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December 2010 News Archive

December 21, 2010
CERN DG: A successful year comes to its end

As 2010 draws to a close, there’s no need to remind you that the highlight of the year has been the LHC. At the risk of becoming repetitive, it has been a historic year, but the best is yet to come. The prominence of the LHC, however, has tended to overshadow everything else that has happened at CERN this year, and that’s what I’d like to focus on here.

First of all, I hope that you have all noticed and appreciated the improvements that have been made to CERN’s infrastructure. We’ve lost a lot of old trees, but many replacements are being planted. Roads have been improved, and an extension to restaurant 1 has opened. We have a new meeting room in building 222, and the extension to building 40 is nearing completion. The on-site shuttle service has been improved, and I know that the regular link to the airport has been much appreciated. These improvements will continue next year with, for example, a drop-in child-care facility on the way.

On the Meyrin site, we’ve seen the inauguration of a successful new public exhibition in the Globe. The long running work on the tramline from downtown Geneva is nearing completion, with the service due to be inaugurated in April next year. By that time, the Globe’s architects, Geneva firm Groupe H, working with renowned landscape architect Charles Jencks, will have delivered us plans for ancillary buildings and public spaces around the Globe, which, if external funding can be found, offer a very exciting prospect for CERN’s future engagement with the public.

In physics, the antimatter programme made headlines towards the end of the year with progress towards measuring antihydrogen atoms being reported by the ALPHA and ASACUSA experiments. Physics World magazine even went so far as to select this result as the magazine’s physics breakthrough of the year. We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the nTOF facility, and we bid farewell to the AMS detector as it set off for the Kennedy Space Center on the first leg of its journey into space. These are just a few highlights from a very healthy, diverse and unique non-LHC programme.

CERN’s public profile has remained high, which is good for CERN and good for science as a whole. As well as the continuing high volume of reporting, it seems to me that many media are making more effort to really understand the science that we do. It has always been my conviction that people are intrinsically interested in science - if it can be presented in an accessible way – and CERN’s current high profile would seem to bear that out.

Council took a very big step forward in 2010 by opening up CERN membership to countries from all over the world and putting in place mechanisms that allow CERN to participate in projects beyond Europe, should we wish to do so. As a consequence, CERN can look forward to welcoming its first new members for over a decade in the near future.

All this takes place against a backdrop of increasing globalization of the field that is set to continue in the New Year. Europe will formally start the process of updating the European Strategy for Particle Physics at the EPS Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics in Grenoble in July, while ICFA has already started working on a global vision for particle physics to be presented at the 2011 ICFA seminar at CERN in October.

This increasing integration of the global particle physics research community shows that we conduct our research in a responsible manner. Particle physics is great science, and by coordinating in this way it is affordable and the benefits by far outstrip the investment. Those benefits range from the knowledge our research brings, to the understanding between cultures that comes with collaboration: from the engagement of young people with science, to the technology that results from our innovations.

This year has not been without challenges, both technical and financial. Confronted with a global economic downturn, our medium term plan proposed budget reductions to Council that will be painful to absorb, but that do not compromise the laboratory’s long-term future. This move was much appreciated by delegations, who gave a strong endorsement of the value they place on basic science by unanimously approving the plan.  

I could not finish my end-of-year message without some mention of the LHC. The successes of 2010 give us great optimism for 2011 and beyond. The Chamonix workshop in January is an important date in the LHC calendar. It’s there that we will discuss the energy we’ll be running the LHC at in 2011, and its there that we’ll discuss whether to postpone the long shut-down from 2012 to 2013, giving our experiments more time to exploit the full physics potential of the LHC at beam energies of 3.5 TeV or slightly higher. The decisions on these issues will be taken immediately following the workshop.

It’s set to be another exciting year in 2011, and to start the year off, I’d like to invite you all to my New Year’s presentation to CERNois on 12 January, at 10:00 in the Globe. Until then, I wish you and your families all the very best for the festive season.

Rolf Heuer

December 20, 2010
AIP FYI #126: House Scheduled to Vote on COMPETES Bill

Tomorrow the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the latest version of H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.   Although it was widely believed that the legislative clock had run out on this bill, the Senate, in an unanticipated move, took up and passed a new version of the COMPETES bill on Friday, and sent it back to the House for final passage.

On Friday, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) rose and using language that reflects long-standing Senate procedures, stated:

“Mr. President [of the Senate], as if in legislative session and morning business, I ask unanimous consent that the Commerce Committee be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 5116 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.”

In doing so, Bingaman initiated a procedure that only a few minutes later resulted in Senate passage of the bill. 

The only senator who spoke at length about H.R.5116 was Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) who told his colleagues:

 “I have heard from a broad coalition of universities, businesses, and educators in my home state of Massachusetts about the positive impact of the COMPETES Act on our economy. I have listened closely to my constituents' concerns and have concluded that reauthorization of this legislation is absolutely necessary to the long-term economic health of Massachusetts and the United States as a whole.”

He later added:

“Since arriving in the Senate I have carefully scrutinized every bill with our Nation's fiscal concerns in mind. The compromise struck in this reauthorization recognizes the fiscal climate of today while still making meaningful investments in our future. For example, the bill sunsets nine programs, eliminates several other duplicative programs, and includes an authorization level that is only half of the House's proposal.

“I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join in supporting passage of the America COMPETES Act.”

Following Brown’s remarks, Bingaman stood and said:

“Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Rockefeller-Hutchison substitute amendment, which is at the desk, be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read a third time, and that a budget pay-go statement be read.”

The Rockefeller-Hutchison substitute amendment is 18 pages long in Friday’s Congressional Record, and rewrites substantial portions of the House-passed version of H.R. 5116.  Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) is the Ranking Member.  Both voted for the bill when the committee approved it in July, with Hutchison stating that while she supported the bill, she believed it authorized too much spending.  In written remarks that day, Hutchison explained:

“While I appreciate the Chairman’s [Rockefeller] willingness to work with me to reduce the funding levels by about 10 percent from the measure introduced, I believe we will need to further adjust the funding levels before this bill can be joined with the Titles from the HELP [Health, Education, Labor and Pensions] and Energy [and Natural Resources] Committees and pass the full Senate. We’ve come a long way in streamlining the bill, but we have more work to do. But I will certainly join in supporting the bill being reported today and look forward to helping move it through the legislative process in a bipartisan manner.”

The Senate-passed version responds to Hutchison’s and some of her colleagues’ concerns.  The new language authorizes spending for three years instead of five years as passed by the House, resulting in an almost 50 percent reduction in authorized spending.  Where the 2007 law called for a doubling of the budgets of the National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, and NIST research programs in seven years, the Senate bill would accomplish this objective in ten years.  The bill’s authorization amounts for FY 2011, 2012, and 2013 are higher than the FY 2010 appropriations, with increases, for instance, ranging between 5.1 percent and 7.0 percent for the three agencies from FY2011 and FY2012.

This rewriting of the bill worked in the Senate.  Using a legislative procedure that all senators must agree to, H.R. 5116 was passed using a unanimous consent agreement.  After reference to a Congressional Budget Office review of the legislation, Bingaman stood and said:

“Mr. President [of the Senate], I ask unanimous consent that the bill be passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be printed in the Record.”

The Presiding Officer replied, “Without objection, it is so ordered,” and with that, the bill was passed and sent back to the House which now must vote on the Senate version of the bill.

Later that day, House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon released the following statement on the bill:

“The Reauthorization passed [the science] committee on April 28 with bipartisan support, it passed the House on May 26th with bipartisan support, and now, the Senate has weighed in and approved it -- unanimously.
 
“While there have been concessions made, the Senate’s amendments preserve the intent of the Rising Above the Gathering Storm report and the original COMPETES. It keeps our basic research agencies on a doubling path, it continues to invest in high-risk, high-reward energy technology development, it will help improve STEM education, and it will help unleash American innovation.
 
“I am hopeful that this will come up before the House next week.  I urge my House colleagues to stand with the business community, the academic community, the scientific community, and the Senate to send a strong message that the U.S. must maintain its scientific and economic leadership.
 
“I cannot think of anything I would rather do as one of my final acts in Congress than sending this bill, with strong bipartisan support, to the president’s desk.”

H.R. 5116 is scheduled for House action tomorrow.   

December 15, 2010

AAAS Policy Alert Excerpt
Budget News

Outlook for FY 2010 Budget. The House passed a long-term continuing resolution (CR) last Wednesday by just six votes. The CR generally funds federal agencies at FY 2010 levels ($1.086 trillion) through the end of FY 2011, but also contains over 150 pages of funding exceptions. The most significant funding exception in terms of R&D investment is the rather detailed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) section which aligns the agency's budget with the adjustments made in the reauthorization bill passed a few months ago. The Senate will take up the CR this week. There are currently three different ideas on how appropriations should proceed. Most Senate Democrats would like to replace the CR with an omnibus that wraps up all 12 appropriation bills into one package, while most Senate Republicans and a few moderate Democrats are leaning toward passing the CR largely as is, and a third group of more fiscally conservative Republicans have recently announced their desire for the CR to expire in February so that a reduced budget can be passed once the next, more conservative, Congress is seated. None of the three options has garnered the support of 60 Senators required for passage, but the omnibus and year-long CR appear to be the most likely options.

Appropriations Update: Omnibus Pulled From Senate Floor After Support Evaporates

While passage of the omnibus seemed likely as it was brought to the Senate floor for debate last night, the required Republican support evaporated and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled the bill from consideration without a vote. The House has passed a year-long continuing resolution (CR), but instead of taking up that bill, Sen. Reid has indicated that he will bring a short-term CR introduced by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the floor to fund the government through February 18. The House will then have to quickly pass that short-term CR and send it to the President to avoid a government shutdown at midnight on Saturday.


 
Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.


 
Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.

Other Congressional News

House Republican Leaders Select Committee Chairs. Last week the members of the Republican Steering Committee made their final decisions as to who should serve as the chairs of the House committees for the 112th Congress. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) was nominated to serve as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) was chosen to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee; Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) was tapped for Armed Services; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is to serve as chair of Foreign Affairs; and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) is to serve as the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. The nominations are not finalized until the House Republican Conference ratifies the recommendations.

Executive Branch

Administration Seeks Comments on Changes to Export Control System. On December 9, the Department of State issued a draft rule seeking public comments on proposed revisions to its U.S. Munitions List (USML) -- which controls the export of weapons and weapons components overseas -- and how the USML list could be aligned with the Commerce Control List (CCL). The Administration's long-term goal is to harmonize and simplify the two systems in a manner that will allow for commercialization of innovative technologies without sacrificing national security. In the proposed revisions the State Department seeks to create a "positive list" of controlled items that reflects "objective criteria" that would narrow controlled items by precise descriptions or technical parameters (e.g., micron, wavelength) rather than utilizing the existing subjective list that reflects broad categories. Furthermore, State is suggesting that a tiered system be created for distinguishing items that should receive "stricter or more permissive levels of control" based on its ultimate destination, end-use, and end-users. Comments are due February 8, 2011.

Outlook for FY 2010 Budget. The House passed a long-term continuing resolution (CR) last Wednesday by just six votes. The CR generally funds federal agencies at FY 2010 levels ($1.086 trillion) through the end of FY 2011, but also contains over 150 pages of funding exceptions. The most significant funding exception in terms of R&D investment is the rather detailed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) section which aligns the agency's budget with the adjustments made in the reauthorization bill passed a few months ago. The Senate will take up the CR this week. There are currently three different ideas on how appropriations should proceed. Most Senate Democrats would like to replace the CR with an omnibus that wraps up all 12 appropriation bills into one package, while most Senate Republicans and a few moderate Democrats are leaning toward passing the CR largely as is, and a third group of more fiscally conservative Republicans have recently announced their desire for the CR to expire in February so that a reduced budget can be passed once the next, more conservative, Congress is seated. None of the three options has garnered the support of 60 Senators required for passage, but the omnibus and year-long CR appear to be the most likely options.

Appropriations Update: Omnibus Pulled From Senate Floor After Support Evaporates

While passage of the omnibus seemed likely as it was brought to the Senate floor for debate last night, the required Republican support evaporated and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled the bill from consideration without a vote. The House has passed a year-long continuing resolution (CR), but instead of taking up that bill, Sen. Reid has indicated that he will bring a short-term CR introduced by Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the floor to fund the government through February 18. The House will then have to quickly pass that short-term CR and send it to the President to avoid a government shutdown at midnight on Saturday.


 
Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.


 
Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.

Other Congressional News

House Republican Leaders Select Committee Chairs. Last week the members of the Republican Steering Committee made their final decisions as to who should serve as the chairs of the House committees for the 112th Congress. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) was nominated to serve as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) was chosen to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee; Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) was tapped for Armed Services; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is to serve as chair of Foreign Affairs; and Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) is to serve as the chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. The nominations are not finalized until the House Republican Conference ratifies the recommendations.

Executive Branch

Administration Seeks Comments on Changes to Export Control System. On December 9, the Department of State issued a draft rule seeking public comments on proposed revisions to its U.S. Munitions List (USML) -- which controls the export of weapons and weapons components overseas -- and how the USML list could be aligned with the Commerce Control List (CCL). The Administration's long-term goal is to harmonize and simplify the two systems in a manner that will allow for commercialization of innovative technologies without sacrificing national security. In the proposed revisions the State Department seeks to create a "positive list" of controlled items that reflects "objective criteria" that would narrow controlled items by precise descriptions or technical parameters (e.g., micron, wavelength) rather than utilizing the existing subjective list that reflects broad categories. Furthermore, State is suggesting that a tiered system be created for distinguishing items that should receive "stricter or more permissive levels of control" based on its ultimate destination, end-use, and end-users. Comments are due February 8, 2011.

December 16, 2010
Spring 2011 URA Visiting Scolars Awards at Fermilab

Proposals for this cycle are due February 18, 2011, and the awards will be announced in late March. 

Details here.

December 15, 2010
The Journal - US Students Show Significant Gains in Math, Science


December 14, 2010


December 14, 2010
8 Dec ACCU Meeting
Our understanding is that the U.S. in general has been pleased with the progress made by the DG. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns from US LUO members
for ACCU.


December 13, 2010
The APS April Meeting 2011, with the theme "100 Years of Subatomic Physics", will take place April 30 - May 3 in Anaheim, California.

As usual there are ample opportunities for contributed short talks (10' + 2') which are well suited for students and young postdocs, as well as for more senior physicists who will be at the meeting. Abstracts are due January 14 2011.

December 10, 2010



December 10, 2010
Deadline reminder: DYNES
Applications for DYNES participation are due December 15, 2010. In addition, three new documents are available on the DYNES website.

December 8, 2010
AAAS Policy Alert

Budget News

Congress passed its second continuing resolution for FY 2011 last week (H.J.Res. 101), extending federal funding at FY 2010 levels until December 18. The House is expected to pass a long-term continuing resolution (CR) on December 8 which would fund the federal government at FY 2010 levels through the end of FY 2011 with limited exceptions. It will then be up to the Senate to either pass the CR as is, or to attach, with the intention of substituting, an omnibus appropriations bill as discussed in last week's Policy Alert.  If the Senate does make changes to the CR or attach the omnibus, the House will then have to approve the changes.  With a large Democratic majority in the House during the lame duck, approval of those changes is likely, assuming no highly contentious amendments are added. 

Deficit Commission Final Report Released.  The President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released its final report on December 1.  Although 11 of the 18 commission members lent their support to the report, that fell short of the 14 needed to force a Senate vote on the recommendations.  The report reflects a strategy similar to the Co-Chairs' Proposal released on November 10.  However, there were two changes that could affect federal R&D investments.  First, discretionary spending cuts proposed in the final report are slightly more severe, with the recommendation that FY 2012 spending be held at or below FY 2011 levels, followed by inflation-adjusted FY 2008 spending levels in FY 2013 an d spending increases of half the rate of inflation each year through FY 2020. Second, the biennial budgeting recommendation, which would have provided more stable guidance to agencies when planning future investments, was removed from the final report.
 
Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website for a more detailed analysis of deficit commission recommendations and to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.

Other Congressional News

House Republicans Selecting Committee Chairs.  Last week the Republican Steering Committee held a series of organizing hearings to hear testimony from Members vying to serve as chairs of key committees in the 112th Congress.  The Steering Committee heard from a range of individuals, including Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), currently the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, who needs a waiver due to term limits to continue to serve as chairman of the full committee; Joe Barton (R-TX), currently the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who also needs a waiver to continue as the full committee chairman; and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who lobbied to serve as the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee.  The Republican Steering Committee is expected to reveal its decisions with regard to the committee leadership positions this week.

New Video Calls on Citizens to Identify "Wasteful" Grants.  In an online video employing contemporary technology to follow in the footsteps of the late Senator William Proxmire's (D-WI) famous  "golden fleece" awards, Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) has launched a "You Cut Citizen Review" asking viewers "to identify wasteful spending that should be cut and begin to hold agencies accountable for how they are spending your money."  Rep. Smith's first target is the National Science Foundation, and he provides a helpful link to NSF's award search page and suggests keywords such as "culture," "media," "games," and "stimulus" that viewers might use to identify and report "wasteful" grants.  An article in USA Today compares Smith's exercise with past congressional attempts to ridicule NSF grants on the basis of incomplete information.

December 7, 2010
AIP FYI#120 - Seeking applications for Congressional Fellowship Program

Members of the physics community who want to spend a unique year learning about the inner workings of Congress in Washington DC should consider applying to the American Institute of Physics Congressional Science Fellowship Program. The application deadline is January 15.

Congressional Fellowships are an opportunity for physicists who want to apply their knowledge and skills beyond the lab bench to the conduct of national policy. Fellows serve a one-year term working in the office of a Member of Congress or for a congressional committee. This program enables qualified, highly-motivated scientists to actively participate in the congressional policymaking process. Fellows gain insight into the workings of government, learn how to contribute their voices and knowledge to the policymaking process, and perform a public service by providing skilled support to inform policy decisions. Recent Fellows have contributed their talents to issues as diverse as energy efficiency, nuclear waste and power safety, digital music copyrights, homeland security, Native American issues, and judicial misconduct.

Scientists of all career levels are encouraged to apply. If you have a PhD or equivalent research background, you may be eligible to apply for the AIP Congressional Fellowship Program. The fellowship term is for one year, usually running September through August. Benefits include a stipend of $70,000 per year, a relocation allowance, an allowance for in-service travel for professional development and reimbursement for health insurance up to a specified maximum. While a Fellow must have the scientific qualifications to be a credible representative of the science community on Capitol Hill, he or she should also have demonstrated an interest in broader societal concerns and the application of science to their solution.

Many former Fellows have gone on to help craft Administration science policy by serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or in federal S&T departments and agencies. Others return to academia or industry, while some accept permanent staff positions on Capitol Hill.

The AIP Fellowship program is supported, in part, by contributions from two of AIP's Member Societies: the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces and Processing. In addition, some of AIP's Member Societies sponsor their own Congressional fellow. These societies include APS, OSA and AGU. More information about these fellowship programs can be found here.

Qualifications include:

- Excellent scientific credentials; a PhD in a technical field defined by the scope of the activities of AIP's Member Societies. PhD requirement waived for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience.
- U.S. citizenship and membership in any of the ten AIP Member Societies.
- Interest or experience in applying scientific knowledge to the solution of societal problems.
- Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills.
- Sound judgment and maturity in decision-making.

Applications are due by January 15. Application instructions can be found here.

December 3, 2010
Continuing Resolution
The US House of Representatives passed a 15 day extension
of the FY11 Continuing Resolution by a vote of 239 to 178.
The text of the bill can be found at:

http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hjres101_cr.pdf


December 2, 2010


December 1, 2010
AAAS Policy Alert Excerpt

Budget News

Both chambers of Congress returned this week to consider a number of bills during the final weeks of the lame duck session.  Congress is expected to pass a second continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 this week, extending federal funding at FY 2010 levels until December 17 – essentially buying time for a decision about how to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year.  The current CR expires this Friday, December 3, and legislators have yet to agree on whether to enact a long-term CR that would last through the end of FY 2011, or instead to pass an omnibus appropriations bill. The long-term CR option would continue to fund the federal government at FY 2010 levels with limited exceptions, while the omnibus would enact many of the Administration's new initiatives outlined in the FY 2011 budget request. Both options would likely result in an overall discretionary budget of just over $1.1 trillion, not including "overseas contingency operations," which includes funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most significant changes in R&D investment from the FY 2010 budget to the FY 2011 request include a refocusing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Constellation Program, a $4.1 billion decrease in defense R&D, and a $3.7 billion increase in non-defense R&D.  Congressional action thus far has generally upheld these proposed changes.

Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.

Executive Branch

White House Executive Orders.  This past month the Obama Administration issued two executive orders (EO) of interest to the science and engineering communities.  On November 9 it issued an EO to create a new interagency Federal Export Enforcement Coordination Center in order "to enhance our enforcement efforts and minimize enforcement conflicts."  The Coordination Center will include participation from the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and Commerce, among others.  On November 4 the White House issued an EO on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that calls for all federal departments and agencies to review all existing categories and subcategories for unclassified information within 180 days and to submit to the White House its recommendations for what should be re-designated "Controlled Unclassified Information." 

Budget News

Both chambers of Congress returned this week to consider a number of bills during the final weeks of the lame duck session.  Congress is expected to pass a second continuing resolution (CR) for FY 2011 this week, extending federal funding at FY 2010 levels until December 17 – essentially buying time for a decision about how to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year.  The current CR expires this Friday, December 3, and legislators have yet to agree on whether to enact a long-term CR that would last through the end of FY 2011, or instead to pass an omnibus appropriations bill. The long-term CR option would continue to fund the federal government at FY 2010 levels with limited exceptions, while the omnibus would enact many of the Administration's new initiatives outlined in the FY 2011 budget request. Both options would likely result in an overall discretionary budget of just over $1.1 trillion, not including "overseas contingency operations," which includes funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most significant changes in R&D investment from the FY 2010 budget to the FY 2011 request include a refocusing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Constellation Program, a $4.1 billion decrease in defense R&D, and a $3.7 billion increase in non-defense R&D.  Congressional action thus far has generally upheld these proposed changes.

Visit the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Website to stay up-to-date on congressional action on the FY 2011 budget.

Executive Branch

White House Executive Orders.  This past month the Obama Administration issued two executive orders (EO) of interest to the science and engineering communities.  On November 9 it issued an EO to create a new interagency Federal Export Enforcement Coordination Center in order "to enhance our enforcement efforts and minimize enforcement conflicts."  The Coordination Center will include participation from the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and Commerce, among others.  On November 4 the White House issued an EO on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that calls for all federal departments and agencies to review all existing categories and subcategories for unclassified information within 180 days and to submit to the White House its recommendations for what should be re-designated "Controlled Unclassified Information." 

by Jen Nahn last modified 2011-01-14 06:35

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