Science policy weekly roundup: November 16, 2018
Department of Education proposes additional protections for students accused of sexual assault
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos today announced new changes to Title IX laws, which prevent gender discrimination at schools that receive federal dollars. The changes include allowing schools to raise the amount of proof needed to substantiate a sexual assault allegation and giving the accused and accuser the right to cross-examine each other. “The rules do not go into effect until they go through a public comment period, which could be a long process and could result in more changes,” NPR reported. Read more here.
Dartmouth sued for failure to protect students from sexual misconduct by its professors
Several current and former Dartmouth University students filed a class-action lawsuit against the school that alleges it failed to protect them from sexual assault and harassment by three professors in the psychology and brain science department. Read more here.
HHS convenes listening sessions on use of human fetal tissue in research
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will hold the first in a series of listening sessions today regarding the use of human fetal tissue in research funded by the federal government. The first session will include scientists who use fetal tissue in their studies. The HHS will convene additional listening sessions with anti-abortion groups, ethicists and other stakeholders. Read more here.
NSF to eliminate restrictions on number of submitted proposals
In response to criticism from the science community, the National Science Foundation will allow principal investigators to submit more than one funding proposal to the agency per cycle. In a blog post, Joanne Tornow, the acting assistant director for the biological sciences directorate, pointed to low proposal-submission rates resulting from the removal of grant deadlines. Read the blog post here.