House Approves Boost to NSF, NASA Funding…

May 30th, 2014

BU IN DC

More than 30 undergraduates enrolled in the BU Washington, DC Internship Program began their summer session this week. They will be taking classes while also interning with Congress, federal agencies, and other organizations.

HOUSE APPROVES BOOST TO NSF, NASA FUNDING…

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a science spending bill (H.R. 4660) on Thursday night which would increase funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by 3.3% and the the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate by 0.8% in fiscal year 2015. During the debate, the House narrowly approved an amendment to reduce funding for NSF’s social, behavioral, and economic science activities by $15.3 million, though all members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation opposed the amendment. An amendment cutting NSF funding for a Tufts University study on the socioeconomic responses to changing climate conditions was also approved. A Senate committee intends to consider its own version of the bill next week, and is not expected to include similar reductions in social science funding.

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…WHILE HOUSE SCIENCE PANEL PROPOSES NSF CUTS

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act (H.R. 4186) on Wednesday evening, sending the measure authorizing funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the full U.S. House of Representatives. Universities and scientific associations oppose the bill, which would cut funding to NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate by nearly sixty percent and restrict NSF’s grant review process. The Committee’s Democrats voted against it and the U.S. Senate does not plan to take up a similar measure, so it is unclear whether the FIRST Act will be considered by the full House.

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DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION RESEARCH STEPPING DOWN

Dr. John Easton announced his intention to step down as Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, later this fall. Dr. Easton has held the position since 2009, and has steered IES as it grapples with budget cuts and the upcoming reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act. He plans to take a position as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago.