Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy

  • NIH Braces for Stimulus Impact, Children's Study Overruns

    The mood was mostly upbeat today at a House of Representatives Appropriations Committee hearing to discuss how the National Institutes of Health is spending its $10 billion windfall in the Recovery Act. But hearing chair Jesse Jackson Jr. (D–IL) noted the obvious: The 2-year bolus of money could prove to be "a double-edged sword" if scientists can't keep going when NIH's budget drops to normal levels in 2011.

  • Evolution Survives Vote in Texas

    A new attempt to weaken the teaching of evolution in Texas failed this morning. Science standards under consideration by the Texas Board of Education will not contain existing language that has required teachers to teach both the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution.

  • Science's Celtic Tiger Tries to Keep Roaring

    The Republic of Ireland’s economy boomed during the 1990s and the early part of this decade on the back of infrastructure funding from the European Union and inward investment from international companies—the archetypal Celtic tiger. Once a place that scientists couldn’t wait to get away from, Ireland was transformed into somewhere that genuine world-class research was happening.

  • Geoengineering Research Now!

    A draft statement posted this week by the American Meteorological Society says that research into purposeful geoengineering of the climate should be pursued now. It's the first such statement by a major science group and will be voted on for approval after public comment this summer.

  • Stimulus Smiles on Autism Research

    So far, the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation have said they plan to spend the bulk of the stimulus money on already-reviewed research projects proposed by investigators. But today, NIH announced a different way to use a tiny portion of the $10 billion it got: It has set aside up to $60 million specifically for autism research to be spent as soon as possible. NIH will spend $118 million on autism in 2008, so it's a big increase.

  • Who Will Sit at NASA's Helm?

    President Barack Obama chatted today with the astronauts completing work on NASA's international space station, joking with the crew for nearly half an hour. But he gave no sign of his choice to head the space agency. Obama has promised more than once in recent weeks that he will soon name a NASA administrator, but, like several of the space agency's projects, the launch keeps slipping.

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