Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy

  • Bush Plan B Decision Slammed as Unscientific

    A federal court today chided the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for putting politics before science in assessing Plan B, the emergency contraceptive. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the agency to allow sales of Plan B to 17-year-olds without a prescription, which its own scientists had supported but the agency had ruled against. 

  • Space Station Colbert?

    No joke, as the AP is reporting:

    NASA's online contest to name a new room at the international space station went awry. Comedian Stephen Colbert won.

    The name "Colbert" beat out NASA's four suggested options in the space agency's effort to have the public help name the addition. The new room will be launched later this year.

  • No Red Lights for Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal

    A nuclear deal signed between the United States and India last fall is on track to be implemented despite a leadership change in the United States and a possible change in government on the horizon in India. That was the message from James Steinberg, the United States's new deputy secretary of state, and Shyam Saran, the Indian Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Nuclear Issues and Climate Change, at an event at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., today.

  • DOE Allocates $1.2 Billion in Stimulus Funding to Labs and Universities

    It's time to call in the bulldozers at many of the Department of Energy's national laboratories. Officials at the 10 laboratories have been waiting, wish lists in hand, to hear how much of the stimulus package they might get to spend. Today, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu laid out a plan for how to spend $1.2 billion of the $1.6 billion that the $787 billion stimulus bill provides DOE's Office of Science.

  • British Research Charities See Funds Dry Up

    In the United Kingdom, medical charities provide a vital supplement to government funding of biomedical research, with organizations such as the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK investing heavily in lab facilities and research grants. But with the economy in tatters, their coffers are taking major hits as investments go sour and donations dry up.

  • Stimulus $eekers Swamping

    President Barack Obama's plan to pump money to scientists to help jump-start the economy has hit a snag: Grant seekers are overwhelming, the main site for applying for federal grants. According to updates on the site in early March, the site is set up to handle up to 2000 users at a time, but it has been flooded with about 3000. On 16 March, the system was down for 8 hours, prompting the National Institutes of Health to extend a grant deadline by a day.

  • Chu Lights a Fire Under DOE

    The thing that seemed to shock Steven Chu most when he took over as secretary of energy—he talked about it constantly during his first month in office—was how long it took the Department of Energy to do anything. For example: One of the biggest tools that DOE has, when it comes to promoting green energy, is the ability to issue loan guarantees, making it possible for companies to borrow money for big projects that banks might otherwise find too risky.

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