Week in Review, or Returning from Recess
With the payroll tax cut extended and both chambers of Congress in recess, it was a quiet week on the Hill. Things will pick up this week as Members of Congress return to DC and the FY 2013 budget resolution and appropriations process soldiers on. Keep an eye out for Congressional hearings on research budgets at the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and others (more details below under What’s on Deck).
Also of Note
Energy. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled The Department of Energy’s Office of Science Uses a Multilayered Process for Prioritizing Research. Members of Congress requested this study to further understand how the DOE prioritizes its research portfolio, especially in a constrained fiscal environment.
Health. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for public comment on the draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease released by HHS last week. This plan aims to improve prevention, awareness, and care for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s.
A group of scientists convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that results of research on avian flu, which had been previously pulled from publication in scientific journals due to security concerns, be published in full. The group based its decision on the belief that publishing the research results could help further flu research and public health efforts, and also that it would be too difficult to determine how best to redact certain portions on the results for publication.
Research. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced its intent to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Guidance (ANPG) on Circular A-21, the government publication which governs cost recovery associated with grant-making. This is a follow-on effort to the White House’s interagency Circular A-21 Task Force. The ANPG will seek comments on initial reform proposals OMB has identified based on feedback from the Task Force and other groups, including guidelines on audit procedures and indirect cost rates. OMB will then follow up with another public request for comment later in the year outlining specific revisions to Circular A-21 and other relevant circulars.
Space. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced leadership changes at the agency, including naming Associate Administrator Chris Scolese as director of Goddard Space Flight Center, and Robert Lightfoot, director of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center, as acting associate administrator.
Julie Steenhuysen writes in Reuters about President Obama’s new Alzheimer’s initiative to improve research, care, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Jon Gertner writes in the New York Times about the innovation model that proved successful for Bell Labs.
The Association of American Medical Colleges’s Gina Shaw reports on how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is dealing with flat budgets.
SpacePolicyOnline.com reports on a recent hearing where John Holdren testified before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on the President’s FY 2013 R&D budget request. The report focuses on the NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget requests, and specifically on NASA’s Mars and human exploration programs and NOAA’s weather satellites.
- The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA) will hold its third ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in DC. The event’s program features keynotes from former President Bill Clinton and MIT’s President Susan Hockfield.
- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for Department of the Interior.
- The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the DoD.
- The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the DOE.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the NSF.
- The Semiconductor Industry Association and Freescale Semiconductor will hold a Capitol Hill briefing on semiconductors and the automotive industry.
- The House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the FY 2013 budget requests for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, NOAA, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 request for DoD Science and Technology Programs.
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold hearings on Promoting Innovation, Competition, & Economic Growth and NASA Cybersecurity: An Examination of the Agency’s Information Security.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the DOI.
- The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for HHS.
- The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the FY 2013 budget request for the DOE R&D Budget.