The Public Policy Report has been released. The report provides analysis and communication on important issues in the scientific community.
In this issue:
- Appropriations Committee Leadership Announced
- Biden Appoints New Members to National Science Board
- Administration Shares Plan to Account for Nature’s Value to the U.S. Economy
- Forthcoming Changes to NSF’s Proposal Requirements
- Help Inform Science Policy: Participate in the 2023 AIBS Congressional Visits Day
- Kick-off Webinar & Discussion: The Need for a Specimen Management Plan Requirement
- Input Sought: External Review of IPBES Nexus Assessment
- House Establishes Committee Focused on Competition with China
- From the Federal Register
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Appropriations Committee Leadership Announced
News about leadership changes to committees in the 118^th^ Congress continues to trickle in. On January 16, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) announced the chairs of the 12 appropriations subcommittees, shuffling the top appropriators responsible for science agency budgets.
Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), currently the longest-serving member of the House, will head the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Subcommittee. The CJS subcommittee is responsible for allocating funding for several science agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The previous top Republican on the CJS subcommittee, Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL), will now lead the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which is responsible for drafting the budget for the National Institutes of Health.
Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) will chair the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which covers agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Simpson previously served as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, which oversees the budget of the Department of Energy. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) will now helm the energy subcommittee.
Finally, the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, responsible for allocating funding to agricultural research programs, will be chaired by Representative Andy Harris (R-MD).
On the Senate side, the Appropriations Committee will be chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) serving as Ranking Member. Negotiations over the size and shape of the panel and subcommittee leaders are likely to drag into February.
Additionally, it was announced that the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over science, engineering and technology R&D and policy, will be chaired by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with Senator Ted Cruz (TX) serving as the top Republican. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee will continue to be led by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY).
Biden Appoints New Members to National Science Board
Earlier this month, President Biden announced his intention to appoint eight individuals to serve on the National Science Board (NSB)—the governing body of the National Science Foundation. The NSB also serves as an independent panel of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering research and education. Members of the NSB serve staggered six-year terms.
The new appointees include:
- Vicki L. Chandler, a geneticist and Provost at Minerva University, who has previously served on numerous national advisory boards, including the Biological Sciences Directorate Advisory Committee at NSF.
- Deborah Loewenberg Ball, an education researcher and professor of education at the University of Michigan.
- Dorota A. Grejner-Brzezinska, a geodetic engineer at the Ohio State University.
- Marvi Ann Matos Rodriguez, a chemical engineer, who serves as the Director of Engineering at the Boeing Company.
- Keivan G. Stassun, who holds the Stevenson chair in Physics & Astronomy at Vanderbilt University.
- Merlin Theodore, who directs material research efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
- Wanda Elaine Ward, a psychologist, who serves as Executive Associate Chancellor for Public Engagement at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
- Bevlee A. Watford, Associate Dean for Equity and Engagement and Professor of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.
“The president’s appointments will make this the most diverse National Science Board in history,” stated Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The new 24-member board roster includes 10 women, four Black scientists, and three Latino scientists.
Administration Shares Plan to Account for Nature’s Value to the U.S. Economy
The Biden Administration has released a 15-year strategy for the U.S. government to account for natural assets, such as land, water, minerals, animals, and plants, in the national economic accounting system and track the role of natural capital in driving economic growth.
The National Strategy to Develop Statistics for Environmental-Economic Decisions was developed by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Department of Commerce in collaboration with more than 27 federal departments and agencies and with public input.
“Natural assets, like land and water, underpin businesses, enhance quality of life, and act as a stabilizing force for economic prosperity and opportunity. They also help counteract the destabilizing risks to our environment and markets caused by climate change and nature loss. Yet the connections between nature and the economy are not currently reflected in our national economic statistics,” stated OSTP Director Arati Prabhakar, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and OMB Director Shalanda Young. The new strategy to quantify natural capital is intended to “enable more accurate economic growth forecasts and facilitate a more complete picture of economic progress to inform how we prioritize investments.”
The report argues that climate change, biodiversity loss, and the loss and degradation of ecosystems carry implications for the economy. “Society cannot effectively or efficiently confront those challenges if economic and environmental accounting and policy proceed on two separate tracks,” it states.
Forthcoming Changes to NSF’s Proposal Requirements
An updated National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), a document that outlines requirements for research proposal applications, is set to go into effect on January 30, 2023.
The latest policy includes revisions to the biographical sketch and current and pending support forms that investigators are required to complete when submitting an NSF grant proposal. The revisions are intended to make the forms consistent with the National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33) implementation guidance. Instructions on the new approved formats for these supplemental documents can be found here. While grantees currently have two options to submit the required information—the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) website or a fillable PDF form—NSF will make SciENcv the only accepted format beginning October 23, 2023. It is anticipated that this move will reduce the administrative burden for the research community and streamline the proposal submission process.
Furthermore, NSF will soon require a plan in place for safe and inclusive research for any proposal that involves off-campus or off-site research. For core solicitations, between January 30 and April 18, 2023, submissions must include a certification from the institution's Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) that the institution proposing to conduct research off-campus or off-site has a plan in place for the proposal regarding safe and inclusive working environments. After that period, in lieu of the AOR certification, all proposals submitted to BIO with any work considered off-campus or off-site must include a plan—a two page supplemental document—for ensuring the work environment is safe and inclusive for all participants.
“The no-longer-than two-page plan must include a description of where the work will take place, challenges in that location for personnel and challenges to team dynamics, and pre-fieldwork approaches to manage these challenges,” explained Simon Malcomber, Acting Assistant Director for Biological Sciences. NSF program directors will be holding a Virtual Office Hours Listening Session specifically on this new requirement on February 7 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM eastern. Register here.
Help Inform Science Policy: Participate in the 2023 AIBS Congressional Visits Day
Join the American Institute of Biological Sciences on April 24-26, 2023 for our annual Congressional Visits Day in Washington, DC. We are going back to the in-person format in 2023 after holding this event virtually in 2021 and 2022.
Meet with your members of Congress to help them understand the important role the federal government plays in supporting the biological sciences. Advocate for federal investments in biological sciences research supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.
Participants will complete a communications and advocacy training program provided by AIBS that prepares them to be effective advocates for their science. AIBS will provide participants with background information and materials, as well as arrange meetings with lawmakers on April 26.
Who should participate?
Scientists, graduate students, educators, or other science community members who are interested in advocating for scientific research and education are encouraged to participate in this important event.
The ideal participant will:
- Have an interest in science policy.
- Work in a scientific profession or be enrolled in graduate school.
- Be able to speak about the importance of biological research funded by federal agencies (e.g. NSF, NIH, USDA).
- Provide compelling examples from their own experiences.
The event includes a free, half-day training session on how to be an effective advocate for science policy. This training session will be held on April 25, 2023 and is mandatory for everyone who will be participating in congressional meetings.
Additionally, participants have the option to attend the highly acclaimed AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists. This training course will be held in Washington, DC on April 24-25, 2023. This professional development program provides practical instruction and interactive exercises designed to help scientists (e.g. researchers, graduate students, administrators, educators) translate scientific information for non-technical audiences and to effectively engage with decision-makers and the news media. All participants who complete this optional training will receive priority access to the Congressional Visits Day and a certificate of completion indicating that they have successfully completed 16 hours of communications training. Click here for more information, including cost, for this two-day training program.
Express your interest in participating in the event by registering. Registration closes on March 13, 2023. Space is limited and we encourage you to register early. If registrations exceed program capacity, AIBS may prioritize registrants based on participation in the boot camp training, geographic diversity, and other factors. Register now.
Kick-off Webinar & Discussion: The Need for a Specimen Management Plan Requirement
Please join representatives from the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) and the U.S. Culture Collection Network (USCCN) for a joint webinar discussion on the need for a Specimen Management Plan requirement in research proposals that generate living or preserved specimens. Recommended by the National Academies’ report on biological collections in 2020, this requirement is now supported by the recently enacted CHIPS and Science Act. Join us for a discussion about the elements of a specimen management plan and its benefits to various stakeholder communities.
Location: Online via Zoom (The program will be recorded)
Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Hosted by: American Institute of Biological Sciences & Natural Science Collections Alliance
- The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is conducting an external review of the thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessment). This review, which focuses on the first draft of the chapters of the assessment, is addressed to interested and qualified experts and is open until February 19, 2023. Those interested in participating in the review process as an expert reviewer need to register at the IPBES website.
- The U.S. House voted 365-65 to establish a Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. The panel, chaired by Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), will be tasked with investigating and tackling a wide range of issues related to the military, economy, and science and technology, including research security. A number of Democrats have expressed interest in serving as the Ranking Member, including Representatives Elissa Slotkin (MI), Ro Khanna (CA), and Andy Kim (NJ).
From the Federal Register
The following items appeared in the Federal Register from January 17 to 27, 2023.
- New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
- Nominations to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
Environmental Protection Agency
- Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC): Request for Nominations
- Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”
- Request for Nominations to the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)
Health and Human Services
- Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee
- National Biodefense Science Board; Public Meeting
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Meetings
- Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Evaluation of the Enhancing Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce Program (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
- Agency Information Collection Activities; 1028-0096 60-Day Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs)
- Notice of Call for Nominations for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee
National Science Foundation
Office of Management and Budget
- Give your society or organization a voice in public policy. Join AIBS today.
- Become an advocate for science, visit the AIBS Legislative Action Center.
The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity organization that advances the biological sciences for the benefit of science and society. AIBS works with like-minded organizations, funding agencies, and political entities to promote the use of science to inform decision-making. The organization does this by providing peer-reviewed or vetted information about the biology field and profession and by catalyzing action through building the capacity and the leadership of the community to address matters of common concern.
Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences, AIBS became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Today, AIBS has more than 100 member organizations and has a Public Policy Office in Washington, DC. Its staff members work to achieve its mission by publishing the peer-reviewed journal BioScience, by providing scientific peer-review and advisory services to government agencies and other clients, and by collaborating with scientific organizations to advance public policy, education, and the public understanding of science.
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