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

ASPB Press Release: White House Announces Proposed Update to the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

Periodic review of the regulatory regime governing the use of biotechnology products is an important aspect of maintaining public safety and ensuring consumer confidence. (ASPB) appreciates the efforts of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture … Read more

Policy Update: NSF Big Ideas for Future Investment

The National Science Board (NSB) met on August 9 and 10, 2016, under its new leadership of Maria Zuber (MIT) as Chair and Diane Souvaine (Tufts University) as Vice-Chair.  During the meeting, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, France Córdova and a number of Assistant Directors presented an update on the ten “big ideas” for … Read more

National Academies issue report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”

The National Academies (the collected group of the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering and Sciences) are an independent body that provides advice to the government, but does not hold law-making powers.  The National Academies recently released a report, “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”. The report was commissioned to examine the evidence behind some of … Read more

Plant scientists: GM technology a safe tool to help meet food supply demands Washington, DC

More than 1,000 scientists from nonprofit, corporate, academic, and private institutions say public doubts about genetically modified food crops are hindering the next Green Revolution. In a letter published in the journal Science, six researchers from three institutions explain their recent petition in support of science-based criteria in guiding the safe and effective employment of … Read more

Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget Request

President Obama released the last budget request of his Administration on February 9th. The budget proposal nominally adheres to the top defense and non-defense discretionary spending levels agreed to by Congress in the fall of last year. However, the White House is relying on mandatory spending, which requires Congress to pass legislation to make these … Read more

Analysis of the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Prepared by Lewis-Burke Associates LLC December 17, 2015 This week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees concluded negotiations on an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) to fund federal government agencies for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2016. The final bill provides significant increases to federal investments in research, education, and healthcare programs important to … Read more

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Annual Meeting Summary

I am your ASPB representative on CAST.  CAST is the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and is a non-profit organization composed of scientific societies, many individuals, students, companies, nonprofits, and associate scientific and industry society members.  The primary work of CAST is to organize scientists to write papers on different important topics. CAST assembles, … Read more