Science policy weekly news update: October 20, 2017 ?>

Science policy weekly news update: October 20, 2017


What’s new in blotter news?

The upcoming deadline of multiple science policy fellowships prompted my latest blog post with tips on how to apply for these opportunities. Read more here.


Jon Marcus of The Atlantic writes about the decline of public universities, focusing on the Midwest. Research universities that receive federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies are vital hubs for local economies, supporting thousands of jobs, spawning many new businesses, and protecting cities from economic decline. Many universities, especially in the Midwest, are facing budget shortfalls and declining admissions. The article details the effects of these trends on regional economies.

The decline of the Midwest’s public universities threatens to wreck its most vibrant economies (The Atlantic)


The U.S. Senate approved its budget 51-49 for fiscal year 2018. The bill includes a $2 billion increase for the NIH. A passed budget resolution allows the GOP-led Senate and the House to use reconciliation, a legislative maneuver requiring only a simple majority, to pass tax reform legislation.

Senate approves budget in crucial step forward for Republican tax cuts (Washington Post)

Senate Republicans pass budget that will add $1.5 trillion to deficit, slash Medicare and Medicaid (ABC News)


U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced new legislation that would alter grant proposal processes at all federal institutions, including the NIH. The bill (S.1973) would create a group that reviews a random selection of funded proposals to ensure the research “delivers value to the taxpayer.” Among many other changes, the bill would add two members to all federal grant review panels. One member would determine whether the research adds value to society, and another would be an expert in an unrelated field that determines which subfields are worth funding. Paul’s recent “no” vote against the Senate budget may affect the prospects of this bill.

Rand Paul takes a poke at U.S. peer-review panels (Science Magazine)

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