Now that 2011 is in the books, it is worth pausing briefly to consider some of the year’s notable science policy developments at the White House, in the Capitol, and across the nation.

Among the highlights:

  • Congress nearly shutdown the federal government in April by failing to reach a compromise on fiscal year 2011 spending. A last minute spending deal cut budgets for nearly all federal science programs.
  • President Obama signed into law a reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act.
  • Federal agencies developed policies to ensure scientific integrity.
  • In July, a federal judge dismissed a case brought against the federal government that had previously halted federally funded research involving human embryonic stem cells.
  • Dr. John C. Wingfield was named the new Assistant Director for NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences.
  • The congressional deficit reduction Super Committee failed to reach a deal to reduce the nation’s deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to discretionary funding beginning in FY 2013.

Read the full summary of science policy highlights from 2011 at


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