Current Events in Science Policy
weekly news update

September 21, 2015

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


Congress resumed on September 8th with a full plate of legislation to address, not least of which is federal funding for the new fiscal year. Legislators must pass a continuing resolution or come to a larger bipartisan budget deal that addresses the level of spending caps by October 1st to prevent a government shutdown.(Sources: American Institute of Physics, New York Times)


OE Secretary, Ernie Moniz, and leaders released a major “Quadrennial Technology Review” on energy technology and related advanced manufacturing pathways on September 10th. The report includes input from more than 700 energy experts on promising research areas.(Sources: Department of Energy, Science Insider)


To inform the crafting of the next America COMPETES Act, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee seeks input on STEM education and workforce issues. The Committee posted 5 questions to seek input on the outcomes, efficiency, evaluation, and best practices in STEM education. Comments can be sent to (Source: Consortium of Social Science Associations)


The plan to create a 1 million person volunteer cohort for the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative was released by a National Institutes of Health working group on September 17th. The cohort database will include a variety of measures including a baseline health exam, blood tests, and genotyping for every volunteer. Ultimately, the data collected will provide insight into using genetics and health information to tailor medicine to individuals. (Sources: NIH, Reuters)


Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker came to MIT on September 18th. Her remarks touched upon passing immigration reform that would encourage foreign-born STEM students to stay in the U.S., increased broadband access, strong support for regional innovation clusters, bolstering federal funding for R&D, and expansion of federal advanced manufacturing efforts. . (Source: MIT News)

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