The new bill (S.3084) was crafted by Senators Cory Gardner (R–CO) and Gary Peters (D–MI) and has the backing of the committee’s chairman, Senator John Thune (R–SD), and ranking member Senator Bill Nelson (D–FL). It is much closer to the community’s view of the federal role in research and education than a sheaf of legislation adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in the past year.
Last year Congress replaced the 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, reviled for its emphasis on annual testing, with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The new blueprint for federal oversight of public education wiped out the $153-million-a-year Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program that had funded the training of Tampa-area teachers, along with three smaller accounts to support physical education, school counseling, and advanced placement courses.
To celebrate 2016’s Week of Making , the National Science Foundation has awarded a total of $1.5 million to five small projects looking to get kids involved with STEM topics, creative play and generally making stuff. It’s not just funding a new gadget or tool library, though -- there’s quite a variety of approaches here.
From June 17 through 23, our nation celebrates the National Week of Making. This week recognizes that makers, builders and doers – of all ages and backgrounds – always have had a vital role in pushing our country to develop creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.
On Tuesday, June 14, Oracle added another $3 million specifically to focus the program on girls and women worldwide. The money will help to fund programs to send 55,000 young girls around the world to various summer computing camps, codefests, workshops and conferences. The company also expects to expand its computer science efforts in Egypt over the next four years, where it invested $1 million in educational resources and services. Ultimately, the tech giant hopes these programs will funnel more people into tech careers.
We always have to make our case because the taxpayers' funding the national science foundation, and congress appropriates our money, so we are continually making our case that funding basic research is very important for the vitality, the health of the economy, and for our security and our health, to keep us a leader among nations.
As public universities lose state funding, and are increasingly forced to function more like any other business, universities have to shift priorities. CEO-like presidents are hired, poorly paid adjuncts are called upon to fill in the gaps, and schools treat low-income and homeless students as "risks." But another big problem is that these universities also lose their research missions -- and as a country, we suffer for it.
The issue of implicit bias in the peer review process is significant because a strong publication record is critical to success in most science and engineering fields. Bias in the grant review process may determine which scientists are able to continue working in their field. If some groups of people are less likely to publish and get funding, then the professional sphere of science will remain more homogeneous.
Cases like Al-Hasan are becoming more common as money for scientific research dries up and competition for limited faculty positions turns fiercer. The number of science and engineering doctorates going into academia has dipped by more than 5 percent over the last decade, even as the rate has increased in non-scientific disciplines, according to the National Science Foundation.
Human beings will never get to Mars, or anywhere in our solar system, as long as we continue to let Congress decide NASA's mission through the appropriations process. Or, to be more exact, we won't get there with NASA's help. The reason is pretty straightforward. Washington, D.C., is a town full of corporate lobbyists in very expensive office suites within walking distance of K Street and a cab ride to Capitol Hill. And what they want (and consistently get) is NASA funding for near-term contracts that provide jobs, not manned missions to Mars that take long-term vision.