Fourth episode of “Pipettes and Politics” is available
The ASBMB public affairs staff has released its fourth episode of the science policy podcast “Pipettes and Politics.” In this episode, we discuss the recent government shutdown and its effect on research; provide some agency policy updates; and highlight ASBMB’s upcoming public affairs events. Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.
Where we’ve been: Attending the January NIGMS advisory council meeting
ASBMB Science Policy Analyst André Porter summarizes the advisory council meeting for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The meeting included an update on reorganization of the NIGMS and a data science strategic plan from the National Institutes of Health. Read more here.
ASBMB statement on government shutdown
ASBMB Public Affairs Director Benjamin Corb issued a statement regarding the three-day government shutdown, urging Congress to prevent future shutdowns by passing a spending bill for fiscal 2018 that provides stable funding for research. Read the statement here.
Members of Congress urge Trump to fill science and tech positions
More than a year after his inauguration, President Donald Trump has yet to name a director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy or fill dozens of posts within the office. OSTP provides the administration objective scientific policy recommendations. Members from the House Science Committee, worried that the Trump administration’s actions and statements have not been based on scientific fact, urged the president to appoint a director and utilize the OSTP’s expertise to inform future decisions. Read more here.
Government shutdown ends as immigration negotiations hit a wall
Three days after the government shut down, Democrats agreed to vote on a stopgap funding bill to temporarily fund the government until Feb. 8. In exchange, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will allow for a vote on an immigration bill in the Senate. Since the shutdown, negotiations have been difficult, as the White House is proposing rules to limit legal immigration in exchange for allowing young immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals a path to citizenship. Democrats have rejected this proposal. Read more here.
Federal policy changes for human research subjects postponed
Implementation of new policy that will change how human research subjects are regulated has been delayed by six months. The delay by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allows for additional time for research institutions to prepare for the change, which include stricter informed-consent rules and changes to the institutional review board process. Read more here.
Alex Azar confirmed as secretary of U.S. health department
The U.S. Senate confirmed former Eli Lilly President Alex Azar as the next secretary of the HHS. While Azar’s biggest priority is to lower drug prices, he also will have authority over the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health and science agencies. Read more here