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AIBS Public Policy Report

AIBS Public Policy Report, Volume 23, Issue 25, December 5, 2022

  • New Risk Reduction Resources for Researchers
  • Earth-Observation Technology Highlighted in Senate Hearing
  • Senators Ask Appropriators to Meet Funding Levels Authorized in CHIPS and Science
  • Write to Your Lawmakers About Completing FY 2023 Appropriations with Robust Increases for Science
  • DOE to Hold Informational Webinar on Office of Science Programs
  • Graduate Student Leaders Sought to Shape Science Policy
  • Short Takes
    • ESA Webinar on the National Nature Assessment
    • NASEM Workshops on Antarctic Research Directions
    • New Report: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Women in STEM
    • Apply for the Gulf Research Program’s Science Policy Fellowship
  • From the Federal Register
 

The AIBS Public Policy Report is distributed broadly by email every two weeks. Any interested party may self-subscribe to receive these free reports by email.

With proper attribution to AIBS, all material from these reports may be reproduced or forwarded. AIBS staff appreciates receiving copies of materials used. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact the AIBS Director of Public Policy, Jyotsna Pandey, at 202-628-1500 x 225.

 

New Risk Reduction Resources for Researchers

The federal government launched a new resource for the scientific community to mitigate security threats from foreign countries, criminals, and other actors to the U.S. research enterprise.

The Safeguarding Science toolkit aims to “raise awareness of the spectrum of risk in emerging technologies and to help stakeholders in these fields to develop their own methods to protect research and innovation.”  The toolkit is focused on helping individual researchers and organizations in the fields of the bioeconomy, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, quantum, and semiconductors.

Resources in the toolkit include cybersecurity, personnel security, and supply chain risk management.

The toolkit was developed by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in partnership with the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and other federal partners.

Access the free toolkit.

 

Earth-Observation Technology Highlighted in Senate Hearing

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation recently examined Earth-observations technology.  The hearing was entitled “Landsat at 50 and the Future of U.S. Satellite-based Earth Observation” and featured representatives from several science organizations.

Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), who chairs the Subcommittee on Space and Science, noted the value of this technology for farmers to measure soil moisture, for alerting people to hurricanes and other dangerous weather, in monitoring droughts, and in tracking greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth observation contributes to humanity both as a scientific endeavor and as a source of inspiration, according to the Dr. Kate Calvin, the Chief Scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  “In the years ahead, we will need Earth observations more than ever, for science and for inspiration, as we grapple with the growing impacts of climate change on our planet.”

Landsat is estimated to provide over $2 billion in annual economic benefits in the U.S. alone.

Dr. Stephen Volz of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) touted technological advances that are in the works, including advanced imagers to better detect hurricanes, floods, and wildfires; an ocean color imager to expand detection of harmful algal blooms; and faster processing and delivery of data and information to end users, such as emergency managers.

NASA is soon launching technology to conduct the first global survey of water running through rivers and lakes.  The agency is also focused on launching more “actionable data” for end users through an Earth Information Center.  In real-world terms, this initiative will result in users who don’t have a supercomputer being able to access the data in the cloud.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) noted the value of Landsat moving to open data that is accessible by the public.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who chairs the full committee, called for sustained growth in U.S. Earth observation capabilities “in alignment with our community needs and scientific consensus.”

Earth-observation data is a joint initiative of three federal agencies: NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. Geological Survey, and there are numerous private companies in this industry.  The first Earth-observation satellite was launched more than 60 years ago and Earth-observation data has been continuously measured since 1972.

 

Senators Ask Appropriators to Meet Funding Levels Authorized in CHIPS and Science

With Congress still negotiating federal appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2023, a bipartisan group of fifteen senators sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging that Congress fully appropriate the budget increases authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act to ensure U.S. global economic and technological leadership.

“CHIPS and Science marks a significant bipartisan commitment to domestic manufacturing, regional innovation and strong supply chains,” the senators wrote.  “Fully funded, it will foster an inclusive and highly-skilled 21st century workforce, expand scientific research and development across the nation, and unleash American innovation in emerging technologies.

The senators noted that Congress set similarly ambitious funding targets for science agencies through the America COMPETES Act of 2007 and then the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.  However, they failed to meet these targets through appropriations. “To fulfill the promise of the CHIPS and Science Act, Congress must avoid the funding pitfalls that followed previous COMPETES Acts and fully fund the Chips and Science Act,” the senators argued.

 

Write to Your Lawmakers About Completing FY 2023 Appropriations with Robust Increases for Science

Congress has yet to pass legislation providing fiscal year (FY) 2023 funding for science.  Government agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health, have been operating under FY 2022 funding levels since FY 2023 began on October 1, 2022.  

This stopgap approach expires on December 16 and stifles the government’s ability to initiate new programs.  There is a possibility that Congress might pass another stopgap funding bill to buy negotiators more time, further delaying critical investments in research.

It is important that members of Congress hear from scientists.  Please show your support for science by asking your members of Congress to complete work on FY 2023 appropriations bills without further delay and fund NSF as close as possible to the authorized level of $11.9 billion in FY 2023.  Interested individuals can send a letter to their members of Congress from the AIBS Legislative Action Center.

 

DOE to Hold Informational Webinar on Office of Science Programs

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science is hosting a public webinar on Thursday, December 15, 4:00-5:00 PM ET, to provide an overview of the research they support and to describe their efforts in the following initiatives and programs:

Researchers and research administrators, who are new to the Office of Science, are encouraged to attend the webinar, which will also be recorded.  Register here.

 

Graduate Student Leaders Sought to Shape Science Policy

Are you a science graduate student looking to make a difference in science policy and funding? The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is now accepting applications for the 2023 Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award.  This award recognizes graduate students in the biological sciences who are demonstrating an interest and aptitude for working at the intersection of science and policy.

Recipients of the AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award receive:

  • A trip to Washington, DC, to participate in the AIBS Congressional Visits Day, an annual event where scientists meet with lawmakers to advocate for federal investment in the biological sciences, with a primary focus on the National Science Foundation. The event will be held over three days in the spring of 2023 (likely in March or April). Domestic travel and hotel expenses are paid for the winners.
  • Policy and communications training, including information on the legislative process, trends in federal science funding, and how to engage with policymakers and the news media.
  • Meetings with congressional policymakers to discuss the importance of federal investment in the biological sciences.
  • A one-year subscription to the journal BioScience.

The 2023 award is open to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents enrolled in a graduate degree program in the biological sciences, science education, or a closely allied field.  Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to science policy and/or science education policy.  Prior recipients are not eligible for the award. 

Applications are due by 05:00 PM Eastern Time on January 18, 2023. Learn more about how to apply.

 

Short Takes

  • The Ecological Society of America (ESA), an AIBS member, is holding a webinar on December 6 at Noon Eastern Time on the first-ever U.S. National Nature Assessment led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  This report will assess the state of the lands, waters, and wildlife in the US and the specific benefits that they provide.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy is currently soliciting input on the scope of the assessment.  During the webinar, Director of the National Nature Assessment, Heather Tallis, will introduce the assessment and provide information about submitting comments.  Register now.
  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) will hold two public meetings on “Future Directions for Southern Ocean and Antarctic Nearshore and Coastal Research.” The public is invited to the first virtual meeting on December 5, 2022 where the study committee will hear from the sponsors of this study and discuss the statement of task.  Then a community workshop will be held on February 9-10, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM ET in Washington, DC, which will assist the committee in its information-gathering.  Learn more.
  • A new NASEM report describes the proceedings a workshop held in March 2022 about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the future academic careers of women in STEM.  The two-day workshop convened experts and leaders to outline a national research agenda that ensures academic institutions and federal agencies are able to monitor and mitigate the long-term negative impacts of the pandemic on the career trajectories, job stability, and leadership roles of women—especially women of color—in STEM.  Read the report.
  • The NASEM Gulf Research Program is accepting applications for its Science Policy Fellowship, which helps scientists gain first-hand policy experience as they spend one year on the staff of federal, state, local, or non-governmental environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, and public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region.  The program offers a stipend.  Applications close March 1, 2023.
 

From the Federal Register

The following items appeared in the Federal Register from November 21 to December 2, 2022. 

Agriculture

Environmental Protection Agency

Health and Human Services

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Interior

National Science Foundation

 

The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity organization that advances the biological sciences for the benefit of science and society. AIBS works with like-minded organizations, funding agencies, and political entities to promote the use of science to inform decision-making. The organization does this by providing peer-reviewed or vetted information about the biology field and profession and by catalyzing action through building the capacity and the leadership of the community to address matters of common concern.

Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Today, AIBS has more than 100 member organizations and has a Public Policy Office in Washington, DC. Its staff members work to achieve its mission by publishing the peer-reviewed journal BioScience, by providing scientific peer-review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients, and by collaborating with scientific organizations to advance public policy, education, and the public understanding of science.

Website: www.aibs.org.

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