News from FABBS and the FABBS Foundation
- Capitol Hill Update and the “Devastating” Impact of Sequestration »
In what is typically a busy appropriations time of the year, add to it a great deal of discussion about the upcoming sequestration set to begin in January 2013. The sequestration was put into motion with the Budget Control Act (BCA), signed into law in 2011 following negotiations between Congress and the President over the debt ceiling and deficits. Sequestration provides for automatic cuts of an estimated 8-10 percent to the domestic, discretionary part of the federal budget–meaning to agencies that fund much of the nation’s scientific research.
- Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience Forms »
With the enthusiastic support of the Administration, Congress and numerous scientific societies, the National Science and Technology Council’s Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience is taking shape. The NSTC working group will coordinate activities in neuroscience research across the federal government and will include several U.S. departments in its membership.
- Calling All Scientists: FABBS and APA to Organize District Science Advocacy Week »
FABBS and its largest member society, the American Psychological Association, are joining forces to train interested scientists in preparing for and conducting a visit with their member of Congress. The visits are intended to highlight why federal investments in our sciences are important for individuals, society, and the nation.
- Pre-election Spending Battles Continue on Capitol Hill »
As Congress nears its August recess and with few days left in the legislative calendar before the November elections, it appears once again that a Continuing Resolution (CR) will be needed to fund the government as it moves into the new fiscal year. With an upcoming election, lawmakers want to avoid a government shutdown and postpone the rest of the battles over spending cuts.
- Draft Report on Next Generation Science Standards Released »
The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, released in mid-2011, created a starting point for the development of science standards. As the report was published, the nonprofit ACHIEVE began its work to draft a common set of science standards for K-12 education that could be used to build curricula and assessments.
- U.S. House Votes to Defund Political Science Research at NSF »
On May 10th, the U.S. House of Representatives debated the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill on the House floor and voted 218-208 to eliminate funding for political science research funded by the National Science Foundation. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the amendment stating that it was “oriented toward ensuring, at the least, that the NSF does not waste taxpayer dollars on a meritless program.”
- PCAST Releases Report on STEM Ed in Undergraduate Education »
Since taking office, the President has consistently pushed for improvements in STEM education (traditionally defined) in the U.S. In April 2009, during remarks at the National Academy of Sciences, he stated: “American students will move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math over the next decade.”
- NIH Seeks Input on Strategic Plan for New Addictions Institute »
A NIH planning committee is developing a Scientific Strategic Plan for the agency's proposed new Institute, the National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders. The goal of the strategic plan is to "identify new scientific opportunities that are not currently supported in the existing NIH research portfolios and public health initiatives on substance use, abuse, and addiction-related disorders."
- NIGMS and NIMH Release RFA on Modeling Social Behavior »
NIGMS joins with NIMH to seek applications for "developing and testing innovative theories and computational, mathematical, or engineering approaches to deepen our understanding of complex social behavior." The funding announcement invites research proposals that examine the emergence of collective behaviors arising from individual elements or the functioning of a system within its environment.
- Agreements on Federal Spending Appear Elusive »
In the month since the President’s FY 2013 budget request arrived in Congress, both the House and Senate have been busy with budget and appropriations work. Reports are that the House will bring a budget resolution to the floor on March 21st, a resolution that will set a discretionary cap at $1.028 trillion or $19 billion below the $1.047 trillion cap that was agreed upon in the Budget Control Act (BCA) or debt ceiling deal in 2011.
- House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on NSF Budget: Requested Increase “Unlikely” »
In late February, Subra Suresh, NSF Director, appeared before the House and Subcommittee on Research and Science Education to make the case for the President’s 4.8% increase in the agency’s budget for FY 2013. Appearing with the National Science Board Chair, Dr. Ray Bowen, Suresh described “a carefully-targeted portfolio of innovative investments that provides increased support for fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering.”
- National Science Foundation Seeks Nominations for National Medals of Science »
The National Medal of Science is awarded by the U.S. President to “individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral or social sciences, in service to the nation.”