• An Irish politician with no experience in science is set to become Europe’s new research policy chief. On 27 November 2009, the European Commission President announced the nomination of Maire Geoghegan-Quinn as the E.U.’s new commissioner for research and innovation. Geoghegan-Quinn was previously a member of the lower house of the Irish parliament, the minister of justice, and most recently, has been the Irish representative on the Court of Auditors; however, she does not have a scientific education and has no experience in science policy. The Irish Times reported that the President’s plan to have at least nine women on his commission played a role in her nomination.

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved the first 13 lines of human embryonic stem cells as eligible for federal funding under the Executive Order issued by President Obama in March. The order replaced guidelines issued by President Bush, which restricted federal research funding to 21 stem cell lines created before 9 August 2001.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of seven final reports by federal agencies for restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and requests public comment. The reports were prepared pursuant to the May 2009 Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration, which requires that a draft strategy be published for public review and comments. The draft strategy was made available on 9 November 2008 and comments on the seven final reports must be submitted by 8 January 2010. For full details see: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-28974.htm.

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing nearly $650,000 in grants to protect 30 critically endangered species around the world. The 24 grants will help to address the spread of a deadly fungus affecting amphibians, the protection of Siberian cranes and Ethiopian wolves, and the conservation of 9 species of reptiles. “We have a shared responsibility to help safeguard our planet’s remarkable biodiversity,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

  • The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis is offering 50-60 paid research fellowships in the summer of 2010 for graduate students studying natural or social sciences, math, policy, or engineering. The Institute, located outside of Vienna, Austria is an international collaboration whose research informs energy, natural resource, and population policy. The application deadline is 18 January 2010. For more information, please visit http://www.iiasa.ac.at/yssp/register/.

 


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