President Biden announced 30 of America’s most distinguished leaders in science and technology as members of his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). A direct descendant of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik, PCAST is the sole body of external advisors charged with making science, technology,…
Read More
It was a good day for science in the U.S. House of Representatives. In back-to-back votes last night, members overwhelmingly approved two bills that would authorize massive spending increases at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. One calls for more than doubling NSF’s current annual budget of $8.5 billion to $17.9 billion…
Read More
Sethuraman Panchanathan has a lot to celebrate this week as he marks his first anniversary as director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). President Joe Biden has asked Congress to boost its current $8.5 billion budget by 20% in 2022, and a bipartisan majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives has embraced the idea of making NSF the…
Read More
Buried in a 2400-page bill approved last week by the U.S. Senate to help the United States compete with China is language that is drawing fire from human genome researchers. It would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new security protocols aimed at preventing the misuse of U.S.-funded genomic data by China and other nations. The provision…
Read More
The Senate passed the US Innovation and Competitiveness Act—a massive science funding bill that aims to help the US compete with China technologically—on Tuesday (June 8) with a 68–32 vote. If the bill passes the House, it would provide $250 billion for research and help foster collaborations between academia and industry. The act’s bipartisan support, with 48 Democrats, 19 Republicans, and…
Read More
President Joe Biden’s newly installed science adviser says he understands why scientists are baffled by rules intended to prevent other nations from unfairly benefiting from U.S. science. In recent years, the U.S. government has cracked down on requiring federally funded scientists to report any sources of foreign funding—and has even prosecuted some who failed to follow the rules. But the effort has…
Read More
The U.S. Senate today confirmed mathematician and geneticist Eric Lander as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Lander will also serve as President Joe Biden’s science adviser and hold a seat in Biden’s Cabinet. Lander, 64, has long held prominent roles in U.S. research and science policy. He was president and founding director of…
Read More
In response to the technological advances of recent years, the International Society for Stem Cell Research today (May 26) released an updated version of its guidelines for basic and clinical research involving human stem cells and embryos. The ISSCR’s changes include recommendations for using human embryo models, lab-derived gametes, and human-animal chimeras as well as an end to the widely…
Read More
Two key congressional committees this week endorsed the idea of a sizable spending increase for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Separate pieces of legislation—one approved by a Senate panel, the other by a committee of the House of Representatives—would more than double NSF’s budget over 5 years as part of a broader push to outinnovate China and the rest…
Read More
In a historic move, the US government has announced that it supports waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, a measure aimed at boosting supplies so that people around the world can get the shots. “The extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” said US trade representative Katherine Tai in a statement. The move came on 5 May, the…
Read More