Science policy roundup, November 3, 2017 ?>

Science policy roundup, November 3, 2017


Addressing diversity

In August, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences requested feedback from the community on the potential impacts of changing the funding vehicle for some of the institute’s undergraduate and predoctoral diversity programs. Read a recap of the ASBMB’s feedback here.


Chair of the House Science Committee retires

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, will not to seek reelection in 2018.  Smith long has been at odds with the scientific community. As chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Smith has pushed for what some deem as anti-science policies that would significantly alter peer review at the National Science Foundation and place constraints on environmental regulations. U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., who has echoed many of the same anti-science views, will succeed Smith if the Republican party continues to hold the majority after the 2018 midterm elections.


The rise of postdoc unions

A 2014 report from the National Academies of Medicine calling for changes in postdoctoral employment policies and the recent National Labor Relations Board decision entitling postdoctoral fellows to collective bargaining may lead to increases in postdoctoral unions. Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed details the efforts and achievements of existing postdoc unions and describes current endeavors to form unions around the country. Read more here.


STEM job availabilities

Steve Lohr of the New York Times discusses current trends in STEM jobs in the U.S. The nation has seen a concerted push for STEM education — from STEM programs in K-12 schools and at after-school nonprofits to computer-programming boot camps for recent college graduates. With the exception of computer science, many STEM subfields, including life sciences, have far more graduates than available job openings. Read more here.

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