June 2009 News Archive

June 25, 2009
FYI #81: Senate NSF, NASA, NIST Funding Bill; OMB Views

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 81: June 15, 2009
Web version: http://www.aip.org/fyi/2009/081.html

Senate NASA, NSF, NIST Funding Bill; White House Views on House Bill

Later today the Senate Appropriations Committee will meet to review
and then vote on its version of the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice,
Science Appropriations Bill, following its approval by the
subcommittee yesterday.  This bill, a version of which has already
been passed by the House,  funds the FY 2010 operations of the
National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute of
Standards and Technology.  The report accompanying the Senate bill
containing the all-important report language will not be released
until after the subcommittee’s bill, written by Chairwoman Barbara
Mikulski (D-MD) with the cooperation of Ranking Member Richard
Shelby (R-AL), is approved.  Also, last week the Office of
Management and Budget distributed a Statement of Administration
Policy.  While OMB said it “strongly supports passage” of the House
version of the bill, it did find issue with several provisions
concerning NASA, NSF, and NIST that will be excerpted below.


The Senate Appropriations Committee issued a three-page summary of
$64.9 billion legislation. Overall numbers are as follows:

National Science Foundation:

The FY 2009 appropriation was $6,490.4 million.
The Administration’s request was $7,045.0 million, an increase of
8.5 percent or $554.6 million.
The House bill provides $6,936.5 million, an increase of 6.9 percent
or $446.1 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee bill would provide a calculated
$6,916.4 million, an increase of 6.6 percent or $426 million.


The FY 2009 appropriation was $17.782 billion.
The Administration’s request was $18.686 billion, an increase of 5.1
percent or $903.6 million.
The House bill provides $18.203 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent
or $420.9 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee bill would provide $18.68
billion, equal to the Administration’s request.

National Institute of Standards and Technology:

The FY 2009 appropriation was $819.0 million.
The Administration’s request was $846.1 million, an increase of 3.3
percent or $27.1 million.
The House bill provides $781.1 million, a cut of 4.6 percent or
$37.9 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee bill would provide $878.8
million, an increase of 7.3 percent or $59.8 million.


The full three-page statement can be read at
saphr2847h_20090616.pdf (Cut-and-paste both lines of URL.)  Excerpts

“The Administration strongly supports passage of H.R. 2847, making
appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and
Science and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September
30, 2010.

“As we face difficult economic and fiscal decisions, it is important
to make efficient and effective investments. The bill as considered
by the Committee makes important investments in innovation and job
creation, community safety, and cutting-edge technologies. This
legislation serves as an important piece of the Nation’s economic
recovery and is consistent with the President’s commitment to double
the funding for basic research over ten years.

“The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share
additional views regarding the Committee’s version of the bill.”

National Science Foundation:

“The Administration appreciates the Committee’s support for the
President’s goal of doubling the NSF budget as a key component of
his Plan for Science Innovation. However, the Committee’s version of
the bill is $108 million below the level requested in the Budget,
and this reduction will come at the expense of NSF’s research
activities and agency operations.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology:

“The Administration appreciates the Committee’s full funding for the
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program and the Technology
Innovation Program but urges the Congress to provide full funding of
the highest-priority research of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) as part of the President’s Plan for Science
and Innovation. The bill underfunds requested NIST research and
construction activities by $85 million (13 percent); the bill
includes $20 million of unrequested funding for construction grants
that could be better spent on highest-priority research.”


“The Administration is concerned with the reduction of $670 million
from the President’s FY 2010 request for Exploration Systems. This
large reduction would likely cause major negative impacts to any
options that may emerge from the ongoing blue ribbon [Augustine
committee] review of U.S. human space flight plans. The
Administration appreciates the Committee’s strong support for the
NASA Earth science program, which advances the President’s goal of
deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system.
The Administration is concerned with the elimination of $21 million
from the request for NASA innovation, which uses public-private
partnerships to advance important technologies and enable access to
new sources of innovation through incentive prizes and partnerships.
In addition, the Administration is concerned about funding NASA’s
R&D activities with primarily one-year rather than two-year
appropriations. Such an action would increase the cost and
complexity of budget execution and would diminish flexibility
without improving management.”

June 25, 2009
LHC Status, DG Report and Report by S. Myers (CERN Director for Accelerators) July 2

2 July 2009,
15:30, Main Auditorium

Outcome of the Council
week, R. Heuer

Status, S.


The status of the LHC
will be presented. This will include
the repair of sector 34, the ongoing consolidation work in the other
and the progress with the new Quench Protection System. The results of
resistance measurements of the copper stabilizers will be presented.

The plans for powering
the LHC and the tunnel access
restrictions will also be discussed. Finally the planning for the
start-up and
the programme for future operational consolidation work will be

transmission of the
meeting will be available in the BE Auditorium (Prévessin), and will
also be
webcast at

June 25, 2009
AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award – Deadline:September 1

Many scientists and engineers contribute valuable time away from the
established career paths of research, teaching, and publishing to foster
activities and develop programs of an international nature.  AAAS, in
collaboration with its affiliated organizations, seeks to recognize an
individual or a limited number of individuals working together in the
scientific or engineering community for making an outstanding
contribution to furthering international cooperation in science and
The Award
The AAAS ISC award is presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting.  A monetary
prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration, and
reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the
AAAS Annual Meeting are given to the recipient. 

The award is open to all regardless of nationality or citizenship.
Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.  Any individual
or small group in the scientific and engineering community that has
contributed substantially to the understanding or development of science
or engineering across national boundaries is eligible for this award.
Nomination Procedures

Nominations should be typed and include the following information:
* nominator*s name, address and phone number
* nominee*s name and title, institutional affiliation, and address
* a summary of the action(s) that form the basis for the nomination
(about 250 words)
* a longer statement, not to exceed three pages, providing additional
details of the action(s) for which the candidate is nominated
* two letters of support
* a curriculum vitae (3 page maximum) containing professional positions
* any documentation (books, articles, or other materials) that
illuminates the significance of the nominee*s achievement may also be
All materials become the property of AAAS.
Completed nominations should be submitted to:
International Scientific Cooperation Awards Coordinator
AAAS International Office
1200 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Phone:  202-326-6650
Fax:  202-289-4958
All materials must be received by September 1.
If you are interested in information on other AAAS awards or prizes, or
past winners, please visit our website:  www.aaas.org/about/awards/

June 24, 2009
Extract from the AAAS Policy Alert

*Budget News*

Last week the House of Representatives, by a vote of 259-157, passed the
Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations
bill for FY 2010. The legislation (H.R. 2847
includes funding for National Science Foundation (NSF), National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The measure would provide $6.9
billion for NSF (7 percent above FY 2009 levels); $18.2 billion for NASA
(a $421 million increase); $781 million for NIST (a decrease of $57.5
million), and $4.6 billion for NOAA (a $238 million increase). The White
House issued a Statement of Administration Policy
expressing concern over reductions (compared with the President’s budget
requests) to programs within all four agencies.

The Senate Appropriations Committee released its 302(b) allocations
for FY 2010, providing that chamber’s figures for total discretionary
spending levels for the federal government, as well as allocations among
the 12 appropriations subcommittees. Compared to the House 302(b)
allocations (see last week’s Policy Alert), the Senate, in general,
would provide higher levels for discretionary spending. For example, the
Senate’s recommendation for Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations
is $64.8 billion, compared to the House level of $64.3 billion.

Both the House and the Senate last week approved the conference report
for the war supplemental appropriation bill, which includes $7.7 billion
to respond to the swine flu pandemic. A portion of the funds will go
toward the development and purchase of vaccines, antiviral drugs,
medical supplies, and diagnostic equipment. Other funds will go for
upgrading state and local public health capacity and for domestic and
international surveillance. Of the $7.7 billion, $1.9 billion will be
available in the current FY 2009 appropriations, while the remainder
will be held as contingency appropriations. The money is part of the FY
2009 supplemental appropriation package totaling $106 billion, primarily
for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill now heads to the White
House, where President Obama is expected to sign it.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a guidance
to all federal agencies for preparation of their respective FY 2011
budgets. All agencies are asked to identify “high-priority performance
goals,” submit recommendations for program terminations and reductions,
and provide three outlines for a budget request that would reflect (a)
the estimated level for FY 2011 in the current FY 2010 budget request,
(b) a freeze at the FY 2010 budget level, and (c) a five percent
reduction from the estimated FY 2011 level in the current FY 2010 budget

June 23, 2009
Math Takes the Lag out of Jet Lag

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Univ. of Michigan
have developed a software program that prescribes a regimen for
avoiding jet lag using timed light exposure. The method is described in
an article published June 19 in the open-access journal PLoS
Computational Biology

Traveling across several times zones can cause an individual to
experience jet lag, which includes trouble sleeping at night and
difficulty remaining awake during the day. These effects largely
reflect de-synchronization between the body’s internal time clock and
local environmental cues.

The program, which seeks to re-synchronize the body with its new
environment, considers inputs like background light level and the
number of time zones traveled. Then, based on a mathematical model, the
program gives users exact times of the day when they should apply
countermeasures such as bright light to intervene and reduce the
effects of jet lag.

Timed light exposure is a well known synchronization method, and when
used properly, this intervention can reset an individual’s internal
clock to align with local time. The result is more efficient sleep, a
decrease in fatigue, and an increase in cognitive performance. Poorly
timed light exposure can prolong the re-synchronization process.

Using their computational method, researchers simulated shifting
sleep-wake schedules and the subsequent light interventions for
realigning internal clocks with local time. They found that the
mathematical computation resulted in quicker design of schedules and
also predictions of substantial performance improvements. They were
able to show that the computation provided the optimal result for
timing light exposure to reduce jet lag symptoms.

“Using this computation in a prototyped software application allows a
user to set a background light level and the number of time zones
traveled to obtain a recommendation of when to expose a subject to
bright light, such as the bright lights sometimes used to treat
Seasonal Affective Disorder” said lead-author Dennis Dean. “Although
this method is not yet available to the public, it has direct
implications for designing schedules for jet lag, shift-work, and
extreme environments, such as in space, undersea or in polar regions.”

“This work shows how interventions can cut the number of days needed to
adjust to a new time zone by half,” said co-author Daniel Forger.

The next phase of this research includes the addition of interventions
such as naps, caffeine and melatonin to help the process of realigning
the internal body clock while reducing decreased performance
experienced during travel across time zones.

June 21, 2009
LHC featured on new Showtime series, “Nurse Jackie”

June 17, 2009
AIP FYI #78: Statement on Visa Reforms

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 78: June 17, 2009
Web version: http://www.aip.org/fyi/2009/078.html

Scientific and Academic Organizations Urge Visa Reforms

Responding to continuing reports about difficulties and delays in
obtaining visas for study, research, and attendance at  conferences,
thirty-one scientific and academic organizations have issued a
statement and set of corrective recommendations.  Among those
endorsing this statement are the American Institute of Physics and
five of its Member Societies: Acoustical Society of America,
American Association of Physics Teachers, American Astronomical
Society, American Geophysical Union, and American Physical Society.

The below statement was sent to the Office of Science and Technology
Policy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of
State.  A complete list of the endorsing organizations can be viewed
at http://www.aip.org/gov/Final%20Visa%20Delay%20Statement.pdf  Note
that a similar statement was issued in May 2005; see

Statement and Recommendations on Visa Problems Harming America’s
Scientific, Economic, and Security Interests

June 10, 2009

As representatives of organizations of U.S. higher education,
science, and engineering, we have been deeply concerned about the
significant increase in delays experienced earlier this year by many
international students, scholars, and scientists who have applied
for visas to study, conduct research, or attend conferences in this
country. Our nation’s colleges and universities and scientific and
technical organizations are the engines of the new knowledge,
innovation, and advanced training that power the country’s research
enterprise and contribute greatly to economic and national security.
Moreover, they are important hubs of international scientific and
technical exchanges, and they play a vital role in facilitating
educational and cultural interactions that help to spread our
nation’s values.

Lengthy and unnecessary delays frustrate and discourage many of the
best and brightest international students, scholars, and scientists
from studying and working in the United States, or attending
academic and scientific conferences here and abroad. This
compromises our ability to attract international scientific talent
and maintain scientific and economic leadership. Given the current
economic crisis, as delays continue, individuals are more likely to
decide not to come to the United States.

Our nation needs a visa system that supports international exchange
and cooperation. We are confident that it is possible to have a
system that protects national security, and yet is still timely and
transparent, provides for thorough reviews of applicants, and
welcomes the finest talent. Scientific exchange and security are not
mutually exclusive; to the contrary, they complement each other, and
each is vital to the other.

We applaud this Administration’s commitment to restoring America’s
image abroad. We understand that steps currently are being taken to
increase personnel resources and improve and streamline the visa
application review process to eliminate the current backlog of
applications and significantly reduce wait times for prospective
applicants undergoing Visas Mantis security review. The Department
of State, Department of Homeland Security, and other partner
agencies have worked closely with our community in recent years to
make the visa process less cumbersome, and we are pleased that the
Administration is taking these additional steps to address some of
our concerns. It is, therefore, in the spirit of past and future
cooperation that we offer the following recommendations:

– Address the current backlog of visa applications as expeditiously
as possible by providing sufficient resources to the Department of
State and its partner agencies to allow timely processing of visa
applications. This action must be taken to prevent the world from
again believing that the United States does not welcome
international students, scholars, and scientists.

-Streamline the visa process for credentialed short-term visitors in
science and technology fields. A non-immigrant visa applicant who is
a legitimate graduate student, researcher, or professional in any
field of science and technology, and whose application is supported
by a qualified university, scientific body, or corporation should
receive a determination on his or her visa application within 30
days. Longer delays are very disruptive to scientific study,
research and collaborations.

– Reduce repetitive processing of visa applications for those
well-known researchers and scholars who regularly visit the United
States. The Department of State and its partner agencies should
reduce repetitive reviews of international researchers and scholars
who regularly travel to the United States to attend academic
conferences and conduct research. Longer duration clearances and
visas are needed.

– Establish protocols to make treatment of applicants more
consistent. Consular staff at posts abroad should receive regular
training on protocols for initiating a Visas Mantis review so that
this screening tool can be used appropriately and consistently.
Additional training and guidance for consular staff can enhance
security while simultaneously reducing the number of applications
submitted for Visas Mantis reviews, thereby alleviating potential

– Provide more transparency in the visa system. We recommend that
the Department of State provide more transparency for visa
applicants who experience delays, and establish a special review
process to address applications pending for more than 30 days.

– Review and streamline the Technology Alert List (TAL) to include
only subject areas that clearly have explicit implications for
national security. The list identifies sensitive areas of science
and technology in which exports of technology or information might
be controlled. However, over the years, the TAL has been broadened,
and it now restrains and inhibits legitimate areas of scientific

– Continue and expand ongoing efforts to renegotiate visa
reciprocity agreements between the United States and key sending
countries, such as China, to extend the duration of visas each
country grants students and scholars of the other and to permit
multiple entries on a single visa. We applaud the Department of
State’s efforts to date in this area and encourage continued
efforts. Improved reciprocity and allowing multiple entries would
reduce the number of visa renewals that must be processed.

– Convene a high level interagency panel to review the full range of
visa-related policies and procedures put into place after 9/11. Many
policies and procedures designed to enhance national security were
put into place after 9/11. An evaluation of their cost-effectiveness
is needed, and ineffective and unnecessary procedures should be
revised or eliminated. Such a review would resolve these and other
outstanding issues.

We appreciate the steps taken recently to improve the visa
processing system. We reiterate our commitment to work with the
federal government to address remaining issues and improve the visa
system further. A system that maintains our nation’s security while
encouraging the entry of the brightest and most qualified
international students, scholars, scientists, and engineers will
bolster American scientific and economic competitiveness, as well as
help restore America’s image abroad. We believe that implementing
the above recommendations will help make this goal a reality.

June 15, 2009
AIP FYI #75 –
FY 2010 House Appropriations Bill: National Science Foundation

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 75: June 15, 2009
Web version: http://www.aip.org/fyi/2009/075.html (Recommended)

FY 2010 House Appropriations Bill: National Science Foundation

The report accompanying the House Appropriations Committee version
of the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill has
just been posted.  This report stresses the importance of science
and technology to the nation, stating in regard to the National
Science Foundation:

“The value of the NSF to the future growth of the United States
economy was clearly acknowledged in the National Academy of Sciences
report Rising Above the Gathering Storm and in the America Competes
Act (Public Law 110-69). NSF’s budget is on course to double by
fiscal year 2016, and the funding recommended in this bill is
consistent with this goal.”

House Report 111-149 has extensive language regarding the NSF, and
may be viewed at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app10.html  The
following are selections from this committee report.


The FY 2009 appropriation was $6,490.4 million
The Administration’s request was $7,045.0 million, an increase of
8.5 percent or $554.6 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $6,936.5 million, an
increase of 6.9 percent or $446.1 million.

Most of the reduction in the Administration’s request was for
Research and Related Activities (see below.)  The report stated
several times that the budget was on track to double, and earlier in
the report included the following noteworthy language about future
budget requests and the need to avoid “a boom-bust cycle”:

“Continuity in funding levels. – The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included an additional
$3,002,000,000 in funding for NSF. Roughly two-thirds of these added
funds will support 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year research grants, with the
overwhelming majority of this amount likely going to fund 3-year
grants, consistent with normal NSF practice. These grants will
encourage many undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics
majors to go to graduate school in their technical fields and will
support a pulse of research positions employing new graduate degree
recipients. The budget request projects NSF funding in fiscal year
2012 of $8,490,000,000. This level is only $1,990,000,000 above the
base level for fiscal year 2009. The Committee expects future budget
requests for NSF at least adequate to sustain the levels of science
workforce supported in fiscal year 2009 by the combined Omnibus
Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-8) and ARRA so as to avoid
a boom-bust cycle in science, engineering, and mathematics
employment. It is critical that there be sufficient NSF funding in
fiscal year 2012 to support opportunities for this pulse of
additional graduate students and young researchers to continue their
careers when the 3-year grants funded by ARRA expire.

“The budget request projects NSF funding in fiscal year 2011 of
$7,250,000,000, which is less than 3 percent above the fiscal year
2010 request. The Committee finds this level of request inadequate
given the critical role played by NSF and the Nation’s colleges and
universities. A 7 percent increase, as projected for the annual
increases in fiscal years 2013-2016, would be more consistent with
10-year doubling of NSF’s budget.”

The FY 2009 appropriation was $5,183.1 million
The Administration’s request was $5,733.2 million, an increase of
10.6 percent or $550.0 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $5,642.1 million, an
increase of 8.9 percent or $459.0 million.

Regarding the $91.0 million reduction from the request, the report
states: “The reduction recommended from the request for NSF research
support enables increases in important research and education
funding in NOAA and NASA.”

The report contained the following language:

“Climate change. – All requested increases for climate change in the
various research programs are supported.

“Graduate research fellows. – The budget request provides funding
for the selection of 1,654 new fellows in fiscal year 2010. The
Administration has set a goal of 3,000 new graduate research fellows
per year by 2013. To accelerate the increase in graduate research
fellows, the request is increased by $14,010,000 to enable NSF to
select and support 2,000 new fellows in fiscal year 2010.

“Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).-
EPSCoR is critical as one means to build science expertise in all
States. The Committee recommendation includes $147,120,000, the same
as the request.

“High-risk, High-reward Basic Research. – The Committee supports the
proposal in the budget request to set aside a minimum of $2,000,000
in each research division to explore methodologies that support
transformative research. The Committee understands that this
initiative will total approximately $92,000,000 Foundation-wide, and
may include innovative processes for identifying potentially
transformative research, special solicitations and competitions
including innovation prizes, increased use of specialized funding
mechanisms, and exploring novel processes for problem solving.

“Major research instrumentation. – The recommendation includes no
funds for Major Research Instrumentation. This reduction of
$100,000,000 from the request recognizes that NSF has issued two
solicitations during fiscal year 2009 for Major Research
Instrumentation with awards expected to total $400,000,000. The
Committee expects the 2011 request again will seek significant funds
for this important program within Research and Related Activities.

“Materials research. – The request for additional work in Research
Resources for Materials Research within Mathematical and Physical
Sciences is not supported in light of the major similar investments
in basic energy sciences within the Department of Energy Office of

“Hydrology and terrestrial ecosystems research. – The Committee
notes the success of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in
serving as an institutional focus for atmospheric research and in
the provision of shared infrastructure, especially supercomputing
and the community climate model. The Committee sees the need for an
appropriate mechanism to bring together the hydrology research
community and better integrate the different types of data and
observing systems and enhance support of hydrology modeling. The
Committee also sees the need for an appropriate mechanism to bring
together the terrestrial ecology research community including the
existing Long Term Ecological Research sites and their data, the
considerable efforts in agriculture, forestry, and the USGS
Biological Research Program, those who use satellite data such as
that from Landsat, EOS, and the operational NOAA satellites, and the
new NEON distributed observing system. NSF is directed to report its
recommendations on the need for and establishment of mechanisms in
these two areas of research with the budget request for fiscal year

“Climate change education. – Using the most current information
available, the National Academy of Sciences is undertaking a study
to evaluate the implications of different atmospheric greenhouse gas
concentration target levels and explain the uncertainties inherent
in the analyses to inform policy makers as they make decisions about
stabilization target levels for atmospheric greenhouse gas
concentrations. Within the amounts appropriated, $100,000 is
included for transfer to the National Academy of Sciences to develop
educational materials based on the conclusions of this study for use
at the collegiate level to strengthen climate education.

“Ocean acidification. – Ocean acidification is a critical problem
with potentially destructive effects on coral reefs and commercial
fisheries. Within the amounts appropriated, funding is included for
research into the causes of and solutions to the growing threat of
ocean acidification at levels consistent with the recommendations of
the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Program.

“Metagenomics research. – In environmental research and soil
science, the new approach of metagenomics, in which genes are
identified within samples without isolating individual species, is
of increasing value.”


The committee provided the requested amounts for Advanced LIGO,
Atacama Large Millimeter Array, Advanced Technology Solar Telescope,
Ocean Observatories Initiative, and IceCube.


The FY 2009 appropriation was $845.3 million
The Administration’s request was $857.8 million, an increase of 1.5
percent or $12.5 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $862.9 million, an
increase of 2.1 percent or $17.6 million.

The committee recommended the following changes in the budget

Discovery research K-12:  +$20,000,000
Research and evaluation on education in science and engineering:
Course, curriculum and laboratory improvement: +$5,000,000
STEM talent expansion program: +$2,560,000
Robert Noyce scholarship program:  +$10,000,000
Advanced technology education:  -$41,600,000
Math and science partnership:  +$2,780,000
Tribal colleges and universities:  +$1,400,000

The report stated:

“Advanced Technology Education. – The recommendation supports
continuation of all existing grants within the Advanced Technology
Education Program but does not support any new grants. The Committee
recommends that future requests for this program of training
technicians to work in industry be made in more appropriate
departments or agencies such as the Department of Education.

“K-6 science education. – In testimony before the Commerce, Justice,
Science Subcommittee, it was stated that most children decide to
pursue science, engineering or mathematics in elementary school. NSF
is directed to prepare a report on K-6 science education compiling
all state standards, evidence of their effectiveness, and the degree
to which they inculcate scientific inquiry in the education of young
students. This report is due to the Committees on Appropriations of
the House and Senate no later than April 1, 2010. NSF is encouraged
to work with the National Research Council, the National Science
Teachers Association, and the American Association for the
Advancement of Science in the preparation of this report and to
include recommendations for how to improve science education in
grades K-6.

“Experiential learning. – The Committee strongly believes that
students need to have experience doing science and not merely
reading about it. Half a century ago an advantage of U.S. science
education was the inclusion of laboratory work in high school and
college science courses. Today, this type of practical student
experience needs to extend beyond reproducing standard experiments
to taking measurements where the correct result is not already
known. Furthermore, it should extend beyond the four walls of a
physics, chemistry, or biology lab. Opportunities for scientific
measurement are all around us in the ever changing natural world and
are simple enough to be accessible even to elementary school
students with affordable equipment such as thermometers. Such
hands-on measurement experiences are the central element of
inquiry-based instruction where students `do’ science: formulating
research questions, taking measurements, analyzing data using their
mathematics skills, and articulating their results. It is critical
that hands-on, inquiry-based instruction form the basis of student
learning because addressing the complexity and uncertainty inherent
in current real world problems requires the integrated application
of all the sciences and mathematics and research shows that this
improves student achievement and retention. Science literacy for the
general public and future innovation workforce relies on students
doing and thinking of how to apply science and math together from
their earliest years. Accordingly, the Committee recommendation
provides an increase of $30,000,000 above the request to enhance
research, implementation and evaluation of inquiry-based, hands-on
instruction for K-12 science students and those who will teach them.

“Discovery research K-12 (DR-K12). – The increase above the request
for the DR-K12 program is to enhance advancement of inquiry-based
instruction in K-12 STEM teaching with at least half the funding
focused on grades K-6. This may be done through the development,
implementation, and study of resources, models, and technologies for
use by students, teachers, and policymakers.

“Research and evaluation of inquiry-based instruction. – The
increase above the request for the Research and Evaluation on
Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program is provided to
enhance support for empirical research on inquiry-based instruction.

“Inquiry-based undergraduate instruction. – The increase above the
request is provided to support creation, adaptation, and
dissemination of learning materials and teaching strategies that
implement inquiry-based instruction in teaching science to future
K-12 teachers and other undergraduates and to assess student
learning and evaluate course effectiveness. Teachers need to
experience a model of inquiry-based science instruction in order to
have a model for use of inquiry in their classrooms.

“Hispanic Serving Institutions – Undergraduate Program. – NSF is
directed to provide a report detailing plans to establish a Hispanic
Serving Institutions-Undergraduate Program no later than 90 days
following enactment. The Committee expects a significant funding
request for such a program to be included in the fiscal year 2011
budget request for NSF.”

An earlier section in the committee report stated: “The Committee
directs the Foundation to convene a panel of experts to survey U.S.
pre-K to 12 schools that are highly successful in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and a
sampling of corresponding institutions abroad and report
recommendations to Congress on how their STEM education practices
might be more broadly replicated in the U.S. public school system.
The membership of the panel should include educators,
businesspersons, scientists, engineers and others, based on their
expertise and contributions in the aforementioned fields. The
Foundation shall submit a report of the findings and recommendations
of this panel to the Committee within 180 days of the enactment of
this Act.”

June 12, 2009

WHO raises the Pandemic alert level from Phase 5 to 6

Since our
last update to you, the new
Influenza A (H1N1) virus has continued to spread to many more countries
with increasing numbers of people affected. There is verified community
in multiple locations. The phase change is not a signal that the virus
become more virulent but reflects wider geographic spread. WHO is
the global course of the epidemic and the severity of illness which
change over time and also manifest itself differently in different
and countries.

WHO is not
unduly alarmed as to date, most
cases of illness are mild and self limiting and do not require

At this
point in time all staff are required
to come to work as usual and there is no interruption in ordinary work
schedules nor any restriction in travel for CERN staff.  However,
we would like to remind you that the
most effective way to reduce risk of infection is to practice effective
personal hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently, covering
mouth and nose for coughs and sneezes with a tissue and avoiding close
with sick people. These measures will help keep people healthy and
decrease the
number of people around you from becoming ill.

the signs and symptoms of infection?

signs of Influenza A(H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough,
muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes
vomiting or

If you do
become sick with
flu-like symptoms
the recommendations made earlier for access to care remain valid
for Geneva at this stage, as there is no community transmission

Stay at
, limit
contact with others.

residing in Switzerland:

by telephone your own treating physician giving details of your
symptoms. He
will evaluate the situation and refer suspect cases to the appropriate
facility for laboratory investigation.
Geneva the referral centre is Hospital Cantonal and
for Vaud Canton, the CHUV in Lausanne.

suspected of Influenza A (H1N1) should be
isolated at
home pending the result of the test (24-48h) and avoid close contacts

with confirmed Influenza A (H1N1)
can be treated at home if there is no complication. Isolation is
recommended as well as surveillance of very close contacts. According
current Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and cantonal guidelines,
close contacts will be identified. These are defined as: “people living
in the same home as the patient, who shared eating utensils and plates,
or kissed or cared for the patient one day before and up to 7 days
after onset
of symptoms”. They will be informed, receive prevention information on
case-by-case basis (daily fever monitoring for 7 days).

If you
cannot reach
your private physician or if you do not have one, you may call:

d’urgence: 0041 (0) 22 322 20 20 from 7h00 to 23h, 7d/7

Médecins: 0041
(0) 22 754 54 54 , 24h/24h, 7d/7 or

0041 (0) 22 748 49 50 24h/24h, 7d/7

residing in France:
either your own treating physician for guidance or “15”, triage and
dispatch centre, for evaluation of the situation, guidance and
referral. According
to the
evaluation of the situation, the patient will be directed, if needed,
to the
referral hospital which is for both Haute-Savoie and Pays de Gex the
of Annecy where the laboratory investigation will be done. NB: Staff living in France, whose treating
physicians are
in Geneva, may either turn to their treating physician in Geneva or to
a doctor
at their place of residence.

the CERN Site :

go to
the CERN infirmary as son as possible (building 57) and outside opening
call 74444 (the Fire Brigade)

additional updated information on the
Influenza A (H1N1), including fact sheets and guidance, click on the

Switzerland: OFSP (Office fédéral de la santé publique) http://www.bag.admin.ch/aktuell/index.html?lang=fr and the
article Grippe
porcine A/H1N1 (not available in English); telephone hotline: 0041
322 21 00

Ministry of Health and Sports information http://www.sante-sports.gouv.fr/dossiers/sante/grippe-porcine-h1n1/grippe-porcine-h1n1.html

service of CERN will keep you informed of further developments, in
in case of community transmission in Geneva.

June 11, 2009

From the AAAS – Science and Human Rights Seminar June 24

June 11, 2009
LP09 – Hamburg, Aug 17-22 – open for direct invitation requests

Dear colleagues,

We are contacting you in your function as speaker of major experiments in High Energy Physics.

you know the Lepton Photon conference 2009 will take place in Hamburg
from August 17-22, 2009. For more details on the conference and the
program please visit:  http://lp09.desy.de

We like to ask your help in the following two matters:

attendance to the lepton photon conference is by invitation only. The
list of collegues to be invited is prepared by country contacts. For a
number of reasons not all interested people are reached in this way. We
therefore would like to open the conference and allow people to
directly ask for an invitation at this point in time. To reach the
relevant people we would very much appreciate your help in distributing
this information to the members of your collaboration. Interested
people can simply contact us under
lp09@desy.de  (this information is also available on the WEB pages : http://lp09.desy.de) and will receive an invitation. Deadline for registration at the reduced fee is June 30.

addition to the usual program of plenary talks the conference will also
offer the possibility to display a limited number of posters. We like
to encourage in particular younger colleagues to present their work and
recent results in this way. Posters will be on display throughout the
conference. During a dedicated afternoon session the authors of the
posters have the opportunity to present them to the conference
attendees. We would appreciate very much if you could alert your
collegues to this possibility and encourage them to hand in an
abstract. Deadline for abstract submission is June 30, and a decision
on the accepted posters will be taken shortly thereafter.

With many thanks for your help, and best regards,
Joachim Mnich, head of the organising comittee LP09

June 10, 2009

USLUO Chair Harvey Newman presents at National User Facilities Organization Annual Meeting

June 8, 2009
Review of Particle Physics 2009 Update available

* The 2009 UPDATE from the Review of Particle Physics
* is now available on the Web:
* o 2009 Summary Tables
* o 2009 Particle Listings
* o 2009 pdgLive
* The review articles are scheduled to be updated
* on the Web in autumn 2009.
* The next printed edition of the RPP will be in 2010.
* We thank the 700 members of the particle physics community
* who contribute to the Review of Particle Physics.
* We always welcome your suggestions for improvements.
* PDG Berkeley website: http://pdg.lbl.gov/
* The Berkeley website gives access to MIRROR sites in:
* Brazil, CERN, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Russia, and
* the United Kingdom.
* The PDG recommends our website for the public:
* http://ParticleAdventure.org

June 5, 2009
Large Hadron Collider to run through the year in Higgs boson race
– from The Times of London

June 5, 2009

of Geneva honours LHC project leader at 450th anniversary ceremony

Geneva, 5 June 2009. The
University of Geneva is
today holding a ceremony at which honorary degrees will be bestowed on
figures renowned for their activities in bringing nations together,
international collaboration in scientific research at CERN(1)

The ceremony is to
celebrate the
university’s 450th anniversary.(2) The honorary degrees,
which recognize
endeavours in human rights and in fostering dialogue between nations,
are being
awarded to Mary Robinson(3), Desmond Tutu(4), Pascal Lam(5) and Lyn Evans.

Lyn Evans led the project
to build CERN’s
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) from its inception in 1994 until start-up
on 10
September 2008. The LHC, which is the
highest energy particle accelerator, is the Organization’s latest
flagship research facility. It is poised to provide new insights into
mysteries of our universe. Nations from around the globe have
contributed to the construction of the accelerator and its experiments.

“I am very honoured to
receive this degree
on such an historic occasion and in such esteemed company”
, said Evans. “The
extends to the whole team in all corners of the world, who have brought
amazing project to fruition.”

The ceremony, which is
being held in St
Peter’s Cathedral in Geneva, begins at 10 am. It will be preceded by a
procession in full academic regalia that will include the
representatives from
Europe’s oldest universities.

Following the welcome from
the rector of the
University of Geneva, Jean-Dominique Vassalli, there will be a speech
Geneva State Councillor, Charles Beer, a message from Swiss Federal
Micheline Calmy-Rey, and a talk on the history of the university by
professor, Olivier Fatio. After the degree presentations, Pascal Lamy
Desmond Tutu will talk on “Two contrasting visions of human rights and
globalization in the 21st century”.


[1] CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is
world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its
headquarters in
Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,
the Czech
Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy,
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and
the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the
States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have

[2] The University of Geneva is celebrating its 450th
anniversary from
February to December 2009. The programme of events to mark the occasion
includes exhibitions, workshops, open days, festivities, conferences
debates for the general public. www.unige.ch/450/

[3] Mary Robinson, Chancellor of the University of Dublin, is
well-known teacher and champion of international human rights. She was
Commissioner on Human Rights from 1997-2002.

[4] Desmond Tutu, archbishop-emeritus of Cape Town, is a
church leader and opponent of apartheid. He received the Nobel Peace
Prize in

[5] Pascal Lamy
is Director-General of the World Trade Organization and a leading
expert on

June 3, 2009
Improvements to Visa Process on the Horizon?

–from weekly AAAS Policy Alert

Officials of the Departments of Homeland Security and State held a
conference call last week with representatives of scientific,
engineering, and higher education organizations to inform them that the
agencies are planning improvements that should speed up the visa
process for students and visiting scientists whose applications require
security review. No formal announcement of specific changes has been
made, but similar remarks were made by a State Department
representative at the annual meeting of the Association of
International Educators (NAFSA) last week.

June 2, 2009
(Physics Today) – Marburger call for a new academic field of study in “the science of science policy”

Subscribers read the article online.