- Six GOP Senators Write Trump Administration Urging Strong Funding for DOE Research Programs
- Senators Submit Dear Colleague Letter on FY18 NSF Funding
- Associations Submit Comments on Proposed Supplemental Questions for Visa Applications
- Democrats Introduce Legislation Expanding Pell Eligibility
- AAU President Mary Sue Coleman Speaks at an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Event on Communicating Science
SIX GOP SENATORS WRITE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION URGING STRONG FUNDING FOR DOE RESEARCH PROGRAMS
On Thursday, May 18, six GOP Senators, led by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) sent President Trump a letter advocating for robust funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) research programs in FY18. The Senators did not specify a funding level but stressed the importance of future federal investment in DOE research citing the value of government-sponsored research and its role in encouraging innovation and ensuring U.S. competitiveness in a global economy.
In its Budget Blueprint, released earlier this year, the Trump Administration threatened to cut DOE's Office of Science budget by approximately $900 million from its FY16 level of $5.35 billion. Further, the Blueprint proposed to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) entirely.
Read AAU's summary of the FY18 Budget Blueprint here.
SENATORS SUBMIT DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER ON FY18 NSF FUNDING
Led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), 29 Senate Democrats submitted a letter to Senate appropriators requesting at least $8 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF) in FY18.
The following Senators signed on to the letter: Chris Murphy, Mazie Hirono, Elizabeth Warren, Brian Schatz, Dianne Feinstein, Tim Kaine, Richard Durbin, Maria Cantwell, Tom Udall, Debbie Stabenow, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tammy Baldwin, Chris Van Hollen, Amy Klobuchar, Maggie Hassan, Chris Coons, Bob Casey, Jack Reed, Robert Menedez, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Ben Cardin, Jeffrey Merkley, Ron Wyden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, and Michael Bennet.
ASSOCIATIONS SUBMIT COMMENTS ON PROPOSED SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS FOR VISA APPLICATIONS
AAU along with APLU, AACC, AASCU, ACE and NAICU, submitted comments Thursday in response to the State Department's Notice of Information Collection Under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants .
The letter expresses the associations' concerns with proposals to require the collection of additional information from a "subset of visa applicants worldwide." The letter outlines that new supplemental visa questions would be burdensome to applicants and create new barriers to entry for university students, faculty, and scholars.
DEMOCRATS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION EXPANDING PELL ELIGIBILITY
House and Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would reform the Pell grant program in several ways, including a $500 maximum award increase and broadly expanding eligibility. Among its key provisions , the legislation would shift the program from a mix of both discretionary and mandatory funding streams to strictly mandatory, which avoids the discretionary appropriations process.
The bill extends eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) or DREAMer students and those students who have previously been incarcerated. It also expands eligibility to those students seeking short-term job training if they participate in a career pathway program leading to an "in-demand, industry-recognized credential."
AAU PRESIDENT MARY SUE COLEMAN PARTICIPATES IN AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES PANEL ON COMMUNICATING SCIENCE
Thursday evening, AAU President Mary Sue Coleman participated in a panel hosted by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Carnegie Institution for Science titled Communicating Science in an Age of Disbelief in Experts.
In her remarks, Dr. Coleman defied the idea that we have entered a new age of disbelief and suggested instead that we have entered a more pronounced age of disbelief. She stressed the importance of acknowledging the vast differences among values held by Americans and the impacts these values have on belief or disbelief in science. She closed by challenging the audience to focus on exciting the public about science - rather than defending science - to gain public trust.