Week in Review, or Buttoned up Beltway
It is pleasantly quiet in Washington these days, with all eyes on the election and particularly on “swing states” such as Colorado, where I was lucky enough to spend this past week. Sixteen days and counting until the election, when we’ll see things start to pick up here inside the beltway.
Also of Note
Election. A group of 68 science Nobel Laureates wrote an open letter to the American people endorsing President Obama’s science policies. The letter cites President Obama’s commitment to investments in R&D and STEM education, and calls out “his opponent” for a budget that would hamper scientific advances, and for his position on climate change.
Health. The biomedical research community mourned the death of former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter last week, a long-time champion of the NIH. During his 30-year Congressional tenure, Specter was a staunch advocate for biomedical research and a driving force behind the doubling of funding for NIH that began in the late 1990s.
Research. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released “Wastebook 2012,” the latest in a series of reports identifying government programs the Senator believes are wasteful. This report, similar to previous versions, includes several research projects whose subjects may appear silly, despite scientific merit.
Rob Atkinson writes in the Huffington Post piece, Eroding Our Foundation, about how cuts to R&D slated to occur with sequestration in January 2013 could impact the nation’s innovation, productivity, and economic growth.
Brad Smith writes in the Wall Street Journal about How to Reduce America’s Talent Deficit. He argues that the U.S. needs to do a better job in STEM education from grade school all the way through college.
What’s on Deck
All is quiet on Capitol Hill.