Policy Update – Agencies Release Website for Biotechnology Regulation

Following the streamlining of biotechnology regulations in the fall of 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have launched the “Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation.”  This website comes as part of the Trump Administration’s broader effort to streamline the regulation of biotechnology that was kicked … Read more Policy Update – Agencies Release Website for Biotechnology Regulation

Policy Update – DOE Releases Sustainable Bioenergy Crops Solicitation

On January 10, the Department of Energy (DOE) released its fifth funding call under the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program, and the second for its Biological Sciences program.  The “Systems Biology Research to Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development” solicitation provides a total of $15 million in fiscal year (FY) 2020 and $75 million over … Read more Policy Update – DOE Releases Sustainable Bioenergy Crops Solicitation

Policy Update – ASPB Nominee Named to BIO AC

Dr. C. Robertson “Rob” McClung, who served as ASPB President from 2007 to 2008, has been named as the newest member of the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) Advisory Committee (AC).  Dr. McClung, currently a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, was nominated by ASPB based on his expertise and leadership in … Read more Policy Update – ASPB Nominee Named to BIO AC

Policy Update – Administration Nominates National Science Foundation Director

The Administration has announced its nomination of Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Executive Vice President at Arizona State University, to be the next Director of NSF following the pending conclusion of Dr. France Córdova’s term this spring.  By training, Dr. Panchanathan is an electrical and computer engineer.  Among several possible changes, Dr. Panchanathan’s nomination brings with … Read more Policy Update – Administration Nominates National Science Foundation Director

Policy Update – House Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Implementation of Farm Bill Research Programs

On October 17, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing to review the implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 2018 Farm Bill research programs with testimony from Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Scott Hutchins.  This hearing comes after the Farm Bill was reauthorized in December … Read more Policy Update – House Agriculture Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Implementation of Farm Bill Research Programs

Policy Update – NSF Announces Next Phase of Reintegrating Biology Initiative

October 2019 Washington Update – Prepared by Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC for the American Society of Plant Biologists Following their Town Halls in September, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Reintegrating Biology Initiative has announced the next phase of the process.  Reintegrating Biology will convene four “Jumpstarts”, two and a half-day workshops to “develop new and innovative … Read more Policy Update – NSF Announces Next Phase of Reintegrating Biology Initiative

Policy Update – NIFA Relocation

October 2019 Washington Update – Prepared by Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC for the American Society of Plant Biologists Employees of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Economic Research Service (ERS) have begun work in Kansas City, with the first report-to-work date occurring on September 30.  Although the agencies have begun to hire new … Read more Policy Update – NIFA Relocation

Action Alert – America Grows Act

  The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN) are pleased to pass along an Action Alert released by the American Society for Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in support of new legislation introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). The … Read more Action Alert – America Grows Act

Press Release – ASPB Names 2019 Recipient of Leadership in Science Policy Public Service Award

Honor to be presented at Plant Biology 2019 in San Jose, California ROCKVILLE, MD – The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is pleased to announce that Pamela Ronald is the recipient of its 2019 Leadership in Science Policy Public Service Award. The ASPB Science Policy Committee awards the Leadership in Science Public Service Award … Read more Press Release – ASPB Names 2019 Recipient of Leadership in Science Policy Public Service Award

PSRN Updates – Inclusivity in the Plant Sciences and Plant Summit 2019

In early 2019, the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN) held two strategic planning meetings. The PSRN is an NSF-supported Research Coordination Network whose members are research councils and scientific societies, including ASPB. Among the participants at both workshops were early career researchers and scientists from the public and private sectors across the plant science research … Read more PSRN Updates – Inclusivity in the Plant Sciences and Plant Summit 2019

Policy Update: Shutdown Outlook and Impacts for Higher Education and Research

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – December 21, 2018 While much of the government has already been funded for fiscal year (FY) 2019, including the Department of Defense (DOD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Education (ED), a number of science agencies will be impacted if Congress and the President … Read more Policy Update: Shutdown Outlook and Impacts for Higher Education and Research

Legislative Update: Congress Approves 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report

On December 10, Congress released the long-awaited 2018 farm bill conference report, H.R. 2 The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, a bipartisan compromise package that authorizes farm programs and agricultural research through fiscal year (FY) 2023.  The final farm bill package, totaling 807 pages, is budget neutral.  Title VII, the Research Title, largely reflects the … Read more Legislative Update: Congress Approves 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report

ASPB Appropriations Action Alert

Much of the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that is set to expire on December 7, 2018. Congress has yet to pass seven of the twelve appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, which funds the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as the … Read more ASPB Appropriations Action Alert

Nomination Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on USDA Under Secretary of REE, Chief Scientist Nomination

On November 28th, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Dr. Scott Hutchins as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), which also serves as USDA Chief Scientist. Hutchins, the former global leader of Corteva AgriScience, is an entomologist by training and … Read more Nomination Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on USDA Under Secretary of REE, Chief Scientist Nomination

Plant scientists call for renewed focus on empowerment of trainees

Preparing graduate students and postdocs for diverse careers Changes in the workforce are challenging academia to prepare scientists to be adaptable and adept at communicating across boundaries. To meet these demands, the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN, plantae.org/PSRN) is shifting the focus to enable trainees to take ownership of their training experiences. “Since President Lincoln … Read more Plant scientists call for renewed focus on empowerment of trainees

Policy Update: Senate Hearing on Student Visas and National Security

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – June 6, 2018 On June 6, the Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled, “Student Visa Integrity: Protecting Educational Opportunity and National Security.”  The hearing focused on the potential threats international students and academics, particularly those from China, pose to national … Read more Policy Update: Senate Hearing on Student Visas and National Security

Policy Update: House Agriculture Committee Approves Farm Bill

On April 18, 2018, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (Farm Bill).  As expected, the markup was extremely partisan in nature with Democratic Members strongly opposing the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and noting the lack of transparency.  Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) … Read more Policy Update: House Agriculture Committee Approves Farm Bill

Plant Scientist Runs for Congress

I believe science can help us develop solutions to global food insecurity. I study the effects of drought on maize roots at the University of Missouri, and I hope my findings will contribute to improving crop resilience as rainfall patterns change in the Midwest. Currently, I am represented in Congress by an anti-science politician, U.S. … Read more Plant Scientist Runs for Congress

First Look at Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal

  By Lauren Broccoli (Lewis-Burke Associates)   The Trump Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request overview this morning that did not include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and provided scant details on other research programs.  While we wait on NSF and DOE budget specifics, I wanted to share USDA numbers.  As expected, … Read more First Look at Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal

Government Shutdown Update: CR Advances

On Monday afternoon, the Senate voted to advance a Continuing Resolution (CR) to end the three-day federal government shutdown and extend funding for government programs at Fiscal Year 2017 levels through February 8.  The stalemate that led to the shutdown ended after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Democrats assurances that the Senate will … Read more Government Shutdown Update: CR Advances