Science policy news weekly roundup: December 19, 2014

The roundup is formatted with the title of the story, followed by the news source in parentheses and a brief summary. If you find a particularly interesting article, please send it to esiebrasse@asbmb.org for inclusion in next week’s roundup. Happy Holidays!

Funding

The Policy Blotter had your cromnibus coverage this week. Chris live blogged the tense U.S. House and Senate votes here, and Ben discussed the various science-related policy riders attached to the cromnibus here. President Obama signed the bill, which will fund most of the government through September, on Tuesday.

Cromnibus leads to modest growth in federal R&D funding (AAAS) Despite a net decrease in funding for the National Institutes of Health, some agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration received appropriations over inflation.

NIH cancels massive U.S. children’s study (Science Insider) The National Children’s Study began over 10 years ago with the goal of following 100,000 children from birth to age 21. After $1.2 billion and a series of negative reviews, the NIH cancelled the study.

Other

Smith encouraged by updated NSF policies (Policy Blotter) U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was encouraged over changes to transparency and accountability policies at the National Science Foundation. These changes will require non-technical project descriptions that include a statement about how the research promotes the national interest.

Stem cells were one of the biggest controversies of 2001. Where are they now? (Vox) The controversy over stem cells has quieted over the past decade. This is due to President Obama’s loosening of regulations on the use of federal funds for stem cell research and the discovery of methods to create stem cells without destroying embryos. However, is the debate poised to begin again soon?

Improving the postdoc experience (Policy Blotter) Chris summarizes two studies—one from Future of Research, a Boston-based postdoc group, and the other from the National Academies—on postdocs published recently.

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