Agency Update: NSF Seeks Members for STEM Education Advisory Panel

Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC – November 10, 2017 On November 8, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it is accepting recommendations for members of a new STEM[1] Education Advisory Panel.  This panel will provide input to the interagency Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM), which is made up of agency leads for … Read more

Action Alert – Contact Congress to Prevent Major Tax Increase on Graduate Students

Please read the urgent request below and contact your Member of Congress regarding a harmful provision in a piece of legislation under consideration by Congress. The situation: The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering tax reform legislation, H.R. 1, that would change the way graduate student income is considered and result in large tax … Read more

Appropriations Update: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill with Bipartisan Support

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill with a bipartisan vote of 30-1.  The Senate bill would provide $31.5 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), an increase of $718 million, or 2.3 percent, above the FY 2017 enacted level.  This level of funding … Read more

ASPB Statement on Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal

On May 23, 2017, the White House released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request whereby it proposed to slash funding for federal agencies that support plant science research and education.  If enacted, President Trump’s FY 2018 budget would have a catastrophic impact on plant science and the broader U.S. enterprise of scientific innovation.  The … Read more

Tell Congress To Support Plant Science Funding By Passing FY 2017 Omnibus

This week, House and Senate congressional leaders reached an agreement on a fiscal year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill.  This bill will fund the entire federal government through the remainder of FY 2017. Despite White House FY 2018 proposals to cut funding for many science agencies, Congress has decided instead to protect and, in some … Read more

Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

Last evening, the Senate voted 87-11 to confirm Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.  Despite being one of the last cabinet nominees named, Perdue experienced a relatively easy confirmation process with considerable bipartisan support.  Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) used floor debate prior to the vote to endorse the candidate.  The Trump … Read more

March for Science – the next steps

Over the weekend thousands of scientists and supporters of science across the world took part in March for Science events from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia. (Please see community statement, which ASPB joined, applauding the March for Science.)  Plant scientists and ASPB staff marched in support of the countless contributions science has made and will … Read more

Hearing Update: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Holds Hearing to Discuss Agricultural Research

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – March 24, 2017 On March 16, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing to discuss agricultural research programs and priorities: one of a series of hearings to examine all titles of the next farm bill.  Witnesses included Dr. Jay Akridge, Dean of the College of Agriculture … Read more

Scientific Community Responds to President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Central to the global scientific and innovation enterprise is the principle of free and open scientific exchange.  Researchers need to be able to attend meetings, host international collaborators and educators, and attract the best graduate and postdoctoral trainees and job candidates.  On January 27, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate Environment Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for EPA Administrator Nominee

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 23, 2017 On January 18, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Senate EPW) held a confirmation hearing for President Trump’s nominee for Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  Partisan divisions were apparent from the outset, with Senate EPW Members clashing with … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Department of Energy Secretary

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 19, 2017 On January 19, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Energy, former Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Although the three-hour hearing concluded without a scheduled vote, it is expected that the Committee will report a favorable recommendation … Read more

Hearing Update: Senate HELP Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Health and Human Services Nominee

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 19, 2017 On January 18, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), an orthopedic surgeon by training, testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee as part of his confirmation process. The HELP Committee does not vote on the HHS Secretary nomination, but … Read more

Policy Update: Congress Passes American Innovation and Competitiveness Act

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – December 16, 2016 On December 16, Congress passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA, S. 3084) which sets policy for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, and other cross-agency research programs. The legislation represents the culmination of … Read more

ASPB and Other Leading Scientific Organizations Reach Out to Trump

Recently, ASPB and AAAS and 27 other leading U.S. scientific organizations and professional societies sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump.  The letter urges Trump to “quickly appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a national respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management … Read more

Appropriations Update: Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government through April 28, 2017

On December 9, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations through April 28, 2017.  The bill passed with bipartisan support, with a Senate vote of 63-36 and a House vote of 326-96.  The first CR of fiscal year (FY) 2017 funded government operations through December 9 and with only one hour to … Read more

Election 2016

As we all know, the divisive 2016 presidential election elicited a broad range of emotions and opinions, including within the ASPB community. Ultimately, President-elect Trump achieved his victory with strong support from rural America, including communities and industries with which plant scientists are closely aligned. Clearly, plant science will continue to have an essential role … Read more

Responsible Conduct of Research Infographics by ORI

ORI is the Office for Research Integrity, part of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. ORI has a wealth of information useful for discussing the important issues surrounding research ethics and misconduct. Recently they have released a set of infographics on various themes, from “Tips for Presenting Scientific Images with Integrity” to “What … Read more

Congress Averts Federal Government Shutdown and Passes CR

On September 28, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations through December 9.  With only two days to spare before the end of the fiscal year and a government shutdown, the bill passed with rare bipartisan support, with a Senate vote of 72-26 and a House vote of 342-85.  The CR funds … Read more