A bi-monthly update from the APS Office of Public Affairs
ISSUE: RESEARCH FUNDING
Congress finalized the fiscal year 2005 budget in December, with mixed results for science agencies. The NSF budget was cut 1.9% from FY 2004, while the DOE Office of Science fared relatively well, with R&D programs increasing by 4.3% to $3.32 billion. NIST Labs received a 9.6% increase, while NASA research programs decreased by 5.5%. President Bush is scheduled to send his FY 2006 budget to Congress on February 7. Research budgets are expected to be tight. Please refer to the AAAS R&D website for updates (www.aaas.org/spp/rd).
The Task Force on the Future of American Innovation, of which APS is a member, is planning a February 16 press conference to unveil a series of benchmarks on the health of science and technology in the United States.
ISSUE: NEW S&T-RELATED APPOINTMENTS
Dr. Arden L. Bement was recently confirmed by the Senate as the new Director of the National Science Foundation, after serving for two years as director of NIST. President Bush has nominated Dr. Samuel W. Bodman as his new Secretary of Energy. Bodman is currently Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and served previously as Deputy Secretary of Commerce. He is also a former associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT. Carlos M. Gutierrez, CEO of the Kellogg cereal company, has been nominated as Secretary of Commerce. In Congress, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have new chairmen. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) succeeds Bill Young (R-FL) in the House, while Thad Cochran (R-MS) takes over for Ted Stevens (R-AK) in the Senate.
ISSUE: SCIENTIFIC ADVICE TO CONGRESS
At its January 9 meeting, the APS Panel on Public Affairs members drafted a statement that calls for enhancing the capabilities of Congressional organizations that carry out technically based studies. The APS Council will vote on whether to approve the statement at its April 15 meeting. POPA also chose to explore mechanisms for joining with other scientific societies to provide science advice to Congress.
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Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette