Issue 14 (August 2)


Sweeping Innovation Bill Crosses the Finish Line

Before recessing for the remainder of summer, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act (H.R. 4346) in late July. This collection of bills has taken many forms over the last two years and has gone by many different names, including the Endless Frontier Act, America COMPETES Act, and U.S. Innovation and Competition Act). The final version gained traction over the last few months following significant disruption to the global microelectronics supply chain resulting from the ongoing pandemic. These concerns reinvigorated Congressional interest in innovation and competitiveness legislation, which led to the CHIPS and Science Act that also incorporates ambitious funding targets and other policy proposals for shoring up U.S. science agencies, including the National Science Foundation. The package also includes provisions related research security.

Passage of the CHIPS and Science Act is a major bipartisan victory for the oft-split Congress and is the first major science and innovation bill enacted in years. COSSA will be providing an in-depth look at the final bill in the coming weeks.

August Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on NSF’s Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate

Join COSSA for our August 11 Headlines webinar to catch up on the most important social and behavioral science news from the past quarter and answer your questions. Stick around for a deep dive discussion on the National Science Foundation’s new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate featuring TIP Director Erwin Gianchandani. Register for the webinar here.

Harel Shapira & American Sociological Association Answer “Why Social Science” Can Shed Light on How People Perceive Guns

This month, as part of COSSA’s ongoing Why Social Science? series on gun violence, we share a video produced by the American Sociological Association, a COSSA governing member. 

Are guns weapons or tools? It depends who you ask. Dr. Harel Shapira of the University of Texas at Austin explains how gun owners are socialized to view guns as tools for self-defense.  

Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2023 Bills

On July 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations bills. As previously reported, the House introduced its bills in June and passed half of them in late July. While the Senate Appropriations Committee is not planning to take up the bills through the regular committee process, the release of the Senate bills allows House and Senate appropriators to begin talks and, hopefully, work toward an agreement on final FY 2023 spending in the fall.

Below is a comparison of the House-passed and draft Senate bills for science agencies:

COSSA will issue a full analysis of the Senate appropriations bills later this month.

NSF and Congressional Women in STEM Caucus Hold Joint Briefing

On July 28, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Congressional Women in STEM Caucus held a joint briefing, “Meeting Today’s Moment: A panel discussion with women leading the way on scientific innovations.”  Panelists included Chief Operating Officer of NSF Karen Marrongelle, Professor and Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California at San Diego Rommie Amaro,  Professor of Astronomy and Physics and College of Science Associate Dean for Research at the University of Arizona Feryal Özel,  and Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Pennsylvania State University Sarah Shandera.  The event was moderated by Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA).

The event focused on highlighting scientific discoveries that result from funding research and the achievements and importance of women in STEM. Panelists discussed their own experiences as women in STEM, and the importance of encouraging more women into science and engineering fields.

This article was contributed by COSSA Intern Megan O’Leary from Cornell University.

White House Releases Budget Priorities for R&D for FY 2024

On July 22, the White House released a memorandum outlining the Administration’s priorities for research and development (R&D) for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget cycle. This memorandum, which is traditionally released annually by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), aims to set cross-cutting priorities for all federal research agencies to consider as they develop their budget submissions. The FY 2024 memorandum lists seven such priorities for agencies to consider:

  • Preparing for and preventing pandemics;
  • Reducing the death rate from cancer in half;
  • Tackling climate change;
  • Advancing national security and technological competitiveness;
  • Innovating for equity;
  • Cultivating an equitable STEM education, engagement, and workforce; and
  • Promoting open science and community-engaged R&D.

While the priorities listed are similar to those in the White House R&D memorandum for FY 2023, there is notably more attention paid towards cancer research, national security, STEM education, and open science than the previous memorandum. More details can be found in the FY 2024 memorandum.

Education Department Inviting Comments on Changes to Title IX

On June 23, the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Title IX law enforcing protections against sex-based discrimination in schools, the Department of Education released a proposal to change Title IX regulations and invited stakeholder feedback on the proposed changes. The proposal would implement several changes aiming to expand protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. According to the announcement, the new Title IX rules would:

  • Protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination and provide full protection from sex-based harassment.
  • Protect the right of parents and guardians to support their school children.
  • Require schools to take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities.
  • Protect students and employees who are pregnant or have pregnancy-related conditions.
  • Require schools to respond promptly to all complaints of sex discrimination with a fair and reliable process evaluated by trained, unbiased decisionmakers.
  • Require schools to provide supportive measures to students and employees, including students who have brought complaints or been accused of sex-based harassment.
  • Protect LGBTQI+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.
  • Clarify and confirm protection from retaliation for students, employees, and others who exercise their Title IX rights.
  • Improve the adaptability of the regulations’ grievance procedure requirements.
  • Ensure that schools share their nondiscrimination policies with all students, employees, and others.

Comments will be accepted through September 12 through the Federal Register. A complete summary of the changes is available on the Education Department website.

NIH To Hold Two-Part Webinar Series on New Data Management and Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be hosting two interactive webinars on August 11 and September 22. The first event will cover the basics of NIH’s new Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, including data sharing expectations and how to prepare a future DMS plan, which is expected to go into effect on January 25, 2023. The second event will go into more depth on those topics and expand upon privacy protection and data sharing limits. The events will feature the NIH Director of Scientific Data Sharing Policy Division Taunton Paine, the Director of Genomic Data Sharing Policy Implementation Julia Slutsman, and the Associate Director of Systems Integration Cindy Danielson. Registration for the series can be found here.

This article was contributed by COSSA Intern Lucas Roemer of the University of Vermont.

National Academies Call for Nominations for Panel on Women’s Empowerment, Population Dynamics, and Socioeconomic Development

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Population has announced they are accepting nominations for a panel on women’s empowerment, population dynamics, and socioeconomic development. This panel will perform a study on the impact of women’s empowerment on global social and economic development and provide recommendations. Goals of the study include developing a framework to conceptualize the impact of women’s empowerment, reviewing the current literature, assess policy options, and set an agenda for future research priorities on this subject. Prospective panelists should have expertise in a related field of social science, including demography, sociology, economics, survey research, and public policy. Nominations will be accepted here through August 26, 2022.


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