Short Takes
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is holding a webinar entitled, Designing Research Campaigns for the Next Decade of Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, on September 29 from 1:00-4:00 PM Eastern Time. The Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space 2020-2030 is slated to begin later this year, bringing together the research community to identify priorities for the next decade. The survey will include a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) request to present research ideas, which may integrate multiple missions and multiple disciplines to tackle an overarchi...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Prepare Your Resume, Hone Your Interview Skills
Registration is open for the Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists, an online professional development program from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs in the United States do an excellent job of preparing students for careers in academia. As early career professionals and a growing number of reports note, however, many STEM graduates (including those with advanced degrees) are interested in employment in sectors beyond the professoriate. Scientists continue to report that they feel ill-prepared and ill-equipped ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

2020 ADBC Conference and Pre-Conference Webinar Series
Discussion/Q&A Speakers: Robert Gropp, Scott Miller, Pam Soltis, Roland Roberts Zoom link for series: https://ufl.zoom.us/j/93561818170?pwd=eVRxU1RWQWE2VGFhTi91enV6WWJvdz09 For additional information visit: https://www.idigbio.org/content/webinar-series-adapting-covid-resources-natural-history-collections-new-virtual-world Virtual ADBC Summit 2020 The 2020 Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) conference will be held on September 22-25, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern. This year’s virtual format will allow a unique opportunity for all interested members within the ADBC community to be able to ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

NSF Requests Information on STEM Education
In coordination with the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC’s) Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science Foundation (NSF) is soliciting input on the implementation of the Federal STEM Education Strategic Plan, Charting a Course For Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education. This Request for Information (RFI) addresses changes in education systems that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Information collected from this solicitation may be used to guide future Federal STEM education resource devel...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

USFWS Proposes Revisions to Critical Habitat Designations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued a new proposed rule that would modify the process of designating critical habitats under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If finalized, the new regulation could potentially shrink critical habitats, which are areas essential for recovery of a species. Under ESA, critical habitats are to be designated “on the basis of the best scientific data available and after taking into consideration the economic impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact.” The law allows exclusion of certain areas if “the benefits of such exclusion out...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Senate Democrats Outline Plan to Address Climate Crisis
On August 25, 2020, the Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis released a report, The Case for Climate Action: Building a Clean Economy for the American People, outlining a policy roadmap for addressing climate change. The panel, led by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and comprised entirely of Democratic lawmakers, provides “a framework for Congress to finally do what is necessary to build the clean energy future.” The report makes several recommendations for tackling climate change, including increasing federal spending on climate action to 2 percent of gross domestic product annually in order t...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Lawmakers Concerned About Political Meddling at CDC
In a September 14, 2020 letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) expressed concerns about political interference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawmakers have called for a briefing with Secretary Azar to address these concerns. The letter was in response to reports from Politico that the politically appointed HHS spokesperson, Michael Caputo, and his aides demanded and received the right to revi...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Relief Negotiations Stall After " Skinny " GOP Proposal Fails in Senate
A pared-down COVID-19 relief package introduced by Senate Republicans failed to move forward in the Senate after failing to capture the 60 votes needed to close debate. The chamber voted 52-47 - along party lines. The “skinny” proposal was introduced on September 8, after relief negotiations between Democratic leadership and the Trump Administration have been stalled for weeks as a result of disagreement over the size of the package. Republicans in the Senate had introduced a $1 trillion package, entitled the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act (HEALS Act) in late July. The House ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Science, Medical Groups Oppose Fetal Tissue Ethics Board Recommendations
AIBS joined 76 other scientific, medical, and patient groups in expressing concerns about the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board’s report that recommends withholding funding for most of the applications submitted to NIH to conduct medical research using human fetal tissue. After reviewing 14 research proposals in July 2020, the Ethics Board recommended in a report sent to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar only fund one of the proposals and withhold f...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

AIBS Endorses Call to Study Racism in Science
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) has endorsed a science community letter supporting House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) request that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) investigate systemic racism in academic research. On July 29, 2020, Chairwoman Johnson requested Dr. Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, undertake “a rigorous and thoughtful analysis of the extent to which the U.S. scientific enterprise perpetuates systemic inequities to the detriment of society as a whole, as wel...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 15, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Short Takes
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has shared a collection of freely available resources to support the participation and advancement of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). These include reports that explore the wide range of structural, cultural, and institutional patterns of bias, discrimination, and inequity that affect women, and the steps that can be taken to increase representation in STEMM. Read more at: https://notes.nap.edu/2020/08/25/resources-to-increase-the-participation-and-advancement-of-women-in-stemm/ The National Academies rece...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Prepare Your Resume, Hone Your Interview Skills
Registration is open for the Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists, an online professional development program from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs in the United States do an excellent job of preparing students for careers in academia. As early career professionals and a growing number of reports note, however, many STEM graduates (including those with advanced degrees) are interested in employment in sectors beyond the professoriate. Scientists continue to report that they feel ill-prepared and ill-equipped ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

2nd BCoN COVID-19 Survey: Operational Status, Economic Impacts and Plans for Reopening
In April, the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) conducted a survey of the natural history collections/museum community to understand how COVID-19 related economic disruptions are affecting the work of professionals associated with such collections. The results were shared with the scientific community, including federal program managers and policymakers, in May 2020. This second survey follows up on and uses some questions from a recent American Alliance of Museums request for information. This survey focuses on collections institutions rather than individual staff, with the goal of determining the impact of COVID-1...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Certain Endangered Species Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, Study Predicts
A new computational study predicts that several critically endangered primate species are at a very high risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The research, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences this month, assessed the susceptibility of 410 species of vertebrates, including 252 mammals, to the virus and identified a number of mammals that can potentially be infected via their ACE2 proteins (angiotensin converting enzyme-2) - the main receptor for the virus. The species identified by the study that are at “very high&rdq...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Report Lays Out Plan for Strengthening Scientific Integrity at Federal Agencies
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has released a new report, Strengthening Scientific Integrity at Federal Agencies: Recommendations for 2021 and Beyond, which outlines a road map for the next Administration to enhance scientific integrity across federal agencies. “Independent science is under attack in government decisionmaking and its integrity must be restored,” states the report. “Government decisions affect our public health and safety and must be rooted in strong, independent science,” argues the report. “But the safeguards protecting government science have broken down significan...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

White House Announces Nationwide Network of AI, QIS Research Institutes
On August 26, 2020, the White House, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $1 billion in awards for the establishment of twelve new artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum information science (QIS) research and development (R&D) institutes nationwide. NSF, in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the U.S. Department of Homeland’s Security Science and Technology Directorate, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, will invest $140 million ov...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Fetal Tissue Ethics Board Recommends Rejecting Majority of Research Proposals
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board, which was appointed by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar in February 2020, has recommended that the Secretary withhold funding for most of the applications submitted to NIH to conduct medical research using human fetal tissue. The Trump Administration first announced that it will restrict federal funding for medical research that uses human fetal tissue in June 2019. The new policy prohibits all intramural research, or research conducted within NIH, involving the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions. ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

White House Announces 2022 R & D Budget Priorities
On August 14, 2020, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), issued its annual science and technology priorities memorandum. The document guides federal agency priority-setting in the coming budget cycle. The directive identified public health security and innovation, industrial leadership, national security, energy and environmental leadership, and space exploration as priorities for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget. The Administration’s memo asserts that the federal government “serves as a catalyst for innovation by investing i...
Source: Public Policy Reports - September 1, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Short Takes
A new special collection of natural history collection-related articles from BioScience highlights some of the exciting new ways scientists and educators are mobilizing and using biodiversity data from natural history collections. The collection entitled, "Natural History Collections: Advancing the Frontiers of Science," is available at https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/pages/natural-history-collections. On April 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested nominations of scientific experts from a diverse range of disciplines to be considered for appointment to the EPA Science Advisory Board ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Prepare Your Resume, Hone Your Interview Skills
Registration is open for the Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists, an online professional development program from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs in the United States do an excellent job of preparing students for careers in academia. As early career professionals and a growing number of reports note, however, many recent STEM graduates (including those with advanced degrees) are interested in employment in sectors beyond the professoriate by the time they complete their degree. Scientists continue to report...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Lawmakers Express Concerns About BLM Nominee
In an August 10, 2020, letter to President Trump, all Democratic Senators expressed opposition to William Perry Pendley’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The letter, led by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), was signed by all 45 Democratic Senators, as well as Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). Concerns highlighted in the letter include Pendley’s climate change denial, advocacy for selling public lands, and attempts to undermine tribes. “Over the years, Mr. Pendley has consistently called for selling off public lands...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Scientists Concerned About Change to NSF GRFP Solicitation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has updated the guidance for its Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) by announcing three high priority research areas for 2021: artificial intelligence, quantum information science, and computationally intensive research. The updated program solicitation encourages applications in “all disciplines supported by NSF that incorporate these high priority research areas.” According to a report by Nature, some NSF-watchers worry that this update to emphasize research in applied computational science will significantly limit funding for fundamental science, particularl...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

House Science Panel Chair Calls on NASEM to Study Racism in Science
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, has requested the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) investigate systemic racism in academic research. In a July 29, 2020 letter to Dr. Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences, Chairwoman Johnson asserts: “We must meet this moment in history with a rigorous and thoughtful analysis of the extent to which the U.S. scientific enterprise perpetuates systemic inequities to the detriment of society as a whole, as well as how those inequities are manifested.&r...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Judge Strikes Down Changes to Migratory Bird Protections
A federal judge at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled against the Trump Administration’s effort to narrow the reach of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918. A 2017 legal opinion by the Department of the Interior solicitor’s office concluded that incidental bird take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity is not prohibited under MBTA and that the protections only apply to the intentional taking of a bird. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the term “take” means “to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

President Signs Executive Orders as COVID Relief Negotiations Collapse
After COVID relief negotiations between White House representatives and Democratic congressional leaders reached an impasse, President Trump signed a series of Executive Orders on August 8, 2020, the White House argued would restore lapsed benefits and address some of the pandemic’s economic impacts. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin began negotiations on the next coronavirus stimulus after Senate Republicans introduced a $1 trillion relief package on July 27. The House had passed a broader $3 trill...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 17, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Short Takes
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two spending packages or "minibuses," which include ten of the twelve appropriations bills that need to be passed by both chambers of Congress to fund the federal government in fiscal year (FY) 2021. On July 24, 2020, the House voted 224-189 to pass a four-bill package including the Agriculture, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and State-Foreign Operations spending bills. Then, on July 31, the chamber voted 217-197 to approve a six-bill package including the Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Labor-Heal...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Register Now: AIBS Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists
Registration is now open for the Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists, an online professional development program from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs in the United States do an excellent job of preparing students for careers in academia. As early career professionals and a growing number of reports note, however, many recent STEM graduates (including those with advanced degrees) are interested in employment in sectors beyond the professoriate by the time they complete their degree. Scientists continue to re...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

New Members Appointed to NSB
On July 20, 2020, President Donald Trump appointed new members to the National Science Board (NSB) — the governing body of the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSB advises Congress and the Administration on issues in science and engineering. The four new appointees to the 24-member Board will serve six-year terms: Sudarsanam Suresh Babu: Governor’s Chair of Advanced Manufacturing at the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Aaron Dominguez: Provost and Professor of Physics at the Catholic University of America Darío Gil: Director of IBM Research Melvyn Huff: Lecturer at the Univ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Webinar Series: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World
Recognizing the rapid changes happening within museum communities and the efforts being made throughout the community to adapt to these changes, iDigBio is organizing a new webinar series, entitled, Adapting to COVID-19: Resources for Natural History Collections in a New Virtual World. The webinar series aims to help provide insight into how different groups and institutions are adapting to life in a quickly evolving world. The American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), and the Natural Science Collections Alliance contributed to the planning of these ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

EU Leaders Shrink Science Funding in Budget Deal
At a five-day summit held in Brussels in July, European Union (EU) leaders agreed to a 7-year, €1.8 trillion budget and pandemic recovery fund, which includes €81 billion for Horizon Europe — EU’s flagship research program — and €750 billion for pandemic recovery. For the next seven years, starting January 2021, Horizon Europe will receive a slightly higher funding level compared to its €80 billion predecessor program Horizon 2020 and nearly €13.5 billion less than the amount proposed by the European Commission in June. In fact, the core Horizon Europe budget for the 2021-2027 pe...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

USDA Warns About Mystery Seeds in the Mail
Residents across the United States have reported receiving suspicious packages of seeds in the mail, seemingly originating in China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate. Mysterious packages of seeds have turned up in at least two dozen states across the US, as well as in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Researchers at APHIS have identified at least 14 varieties of plants - including ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Senate Lawmakers Unveil Coronavirus Relief Measure
On July 27, 2020, Republican lawmakers in the Senate unveiled a $1 trillion stimulus package to address the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools Act or HEALS Act includes $105 billion in education funding; a “liability shield” to protect businesses, universities, schools, and hospitals from coronavirus-related lawsuits; another round of direct stimulus payments to American households; additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and emergency business loans; and a two-thirds reduction in emergency federal supplemental unemployment paymen...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

RISE Act Introduced in Senate
On July 23, 2020, a companion measure to the House’s Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 7308) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Edward Markey (D-MA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Cory Gardner (R-CO). The bipartisan legislation would provide emergency relief funding for federal science agencies to support the research community during the ongoing pandemic. The measure, which was introduced in the House last month by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), woul...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Science, Medical Groups Express Support for Fetal Tissue Research
The American Institute of Biological Sciences joined a coalition of 90 scientific, academic, and medical groups to express support for the continued use of human fetal tissue in biomedical research. In a July 28, 2020, letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board, the groups argued, in part: “The long-standing existing review process for fetal tissue research ensures that research using fetal tissue is scientifically meritorious, legal, and ethically sound. The legal framework for this research prohibits people from profiting from acquiring, receiving, or transf...
Source: Public Policy Reports - August 3, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

New Legislation Introduced to Address Foreign Influence in Research
As highlighted in an April 2019 editorial in BioScience, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly concerned about foreign threats to the U.S. scientific research enterprise, including threats to national security and the theft of intellectual property. Policymakers in Congress and federal agencies continue to explore how to maintain an open and collaborative scientific environment that simultaneously prevents foreign interests from stealing U.S. research. The most recent proposal from Congress comes in the form of bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate. The Safeguarding American Innovation Act (S. 3997) was introduc...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 24, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Short Takes
The National Science Board (NSB) is accepting nominations for its 2021 honorary public service awards. The Vannevar Bush Award recognizes lifelong leaders in science and technology who have made substantial contributions to the welfare of the nation through public service in science, technology, and public policy. The Public Service Award honors individuals and groups for substantial contributions to increasing public understanding of science and engineering. Nominations are due by September 30, 2020. Learn more about the awards and submit a nomination at http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/awards/. The U.S. Global Change Research P...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Now Online: AIBS Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists
Registration is now open for the Employment Acquisition Skills Boot Camp for Scientists, an online professional development program from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs in the United States do an excellent job of preparing students for careers in academia. As early career professionals and a growing number of reports note, however, many recent STEM graduates (including those with advanced degrees) are interested in employment in sectors beyond the professoriate by the time they complete their degree. Scientists continue to re...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

New Acting Director for NIFA
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced on July 10, 2020, that Dr. Parag Chitnis will serve as the next Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) - U.S. Department of Agriculture’s primary extramural research funding agency. “Dr. Chitnis brings more than 31 years of scientific research and experience to the Director’s office. He has been instrumental in providing steady leadership and support to NIFA during its transition to Kansas City last fall, in addition to playing a lead role on NIFA’s Project CAFÉ (Collaboratively Achieving Functional Excellence) ini...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Faculty Concerned About Returning to In-Person Teaching
Faculty across the country are expressing concerns about the health implications of returning to in-person instruction this fall semester, according to a report by Inside Higher Ed. A June 2020 survey of Purdue University faculty and staff members and graduate students, which received more than 7,000 responses, found that 53 percent of respondents felt unsafe about returning to campus for in-person classes in fall. Sixty-two percent of respondents felt at least somewhat unsafe teaching or interacting with students. Ninety-two percent said they were not confident students would “socially distance appropriately outsid...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Hospitals Ordered to Bypass CDC, Send COVID-19 Data to Washington
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a notice ordering hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and send all COVID-19 patient data to a centralized database effective July 15, 2020. The directive has raised concerns about transparency and public access to data. According to the order, HHS, and not CDC, will now collect daily reports about COVID-19 patients being treated at each hospital, the number of beds and ventilators available, and other information related to tracking and monitoring the pandemic. The new guidance also states that if hospitals were reporting thi...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

House Begins Work on FY 2021 Appropriations
Over the past two weeks, the House Appropriations Committee has swiftly advanced all twelve appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2021. These bills will now be considered by the full House of Representatives. The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) spending measure would provide $8.55 billion to the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is $270 million increase from FY 2020. The President proposed a 6 percent cut for the science agency for FY 2021. Research and related activities within NSF, which includes the Biological Sciences Directorate, would receive grow by $230 million to $6.97 billion in FY 2021. Under t...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

AIBS Supports Dr. Fauci: Science, Not Politics, Must Guide COVID-19 Response
The American Institute of Biological Sciences issued the following statement on July 14, 2020, supporting Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), after the White House initiated an active campaign to discredit him. “The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) supports the development of public policy decisions based on scientific evidence. The COVID-19 pandemic requires evidence-based decision-making, which includes accurate monitoring of the incidence and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the implementation of policy based on existing and emerging ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

New ICE Guidance on Foreign Students Rescinded After Swift Pushback
On July 6, 2020, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a new guidance that would have forced international students to leave the U.S. if they did not participate in in-person instruction during the fall 2020 semester. On July 14, the Administration announced that the controversial policy facing multiple lawsuits would be dropped. The ICE guidance modified temporary exemptions issued in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those provisions allowed nonimmigrant students to take more online courses than normally permitted by federal regulation. Under the new policy, foreign students enrolled in ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 21, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Short Takes
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is soliciting public input on best practices and innovative ideas for education in the principles of rigorous research as well as promotion of rigorous research practices. Responses to this Request for Information (RFI) can be submitted online via this webform or via an email to RigorChampions@nih.gov by August 1, 2020. If submitting by email, please include the Notice number (NOT-NS-20-062) in the subject line. More information can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-NS-20-062.html. ...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 7, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news

Enter the 2020 Faces of Biology Photo Contest
Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest for your chance to win $250 and to have your photo appear on the cover of the journal BioScience. The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the contest must depict a person, such as a scientist, researcher, collections curator, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The depicted research may occur outside, in a lab, with a n...
Source: Public Policy Reports - July 7, 2020 Category: Biology Authors: AIBS Source Type: news