Current Events in Science Policy
weekly news update

June 22, 2015

Edited by Kate Stoll, Senior Policy Advisor, MIT Washington Office


On a party line vote, the Senate halted the FY2016 Defense Appropriations bill to the floor. Democratic leadership opposes moving the bill forward until an overall federal discretionary budget can be negotiated. Source: American Institute of Physics

A House appropriations bill released on June 16th would increase the NIH budget by $1.1 billion, including targeted funding for Alzheimer’s research, and the President’s antibiotic resistance, Precision Medicine, and BRAIN initiatives, but eliminate the Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality. The bill is now headed to the full committee for a vote. Sources: Science Insider, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations


In light of recent advances in gene engineering technologies, like CRISPR, the House Science Committee held a hearing on “The Science and Ethics of Genetically Engineering Human DNA.” Scientists, bioethicists, and leaders in the scientific community testified on the technology, its implications for therapies and risks for society. Source: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology


On April 27th, MIT released the report, “The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens an Innovation Deficit” and hosted briefings in Washington, DC on the 15 case studies of exciting science and engineering in the report. A video of the report release is available on MIT TechTV. Stay tuned for additional content at

Weekly news digests do not imply endorsement of any political positions, and are not intended to be comprehensive.