Go back

US news roundup: 11-17 June


This week: ‘oceanshots’, an artificial intelligence taskforce and moon missions

In depth: The National Institutes of Health has set out its recent and planned changes to end sexual harassment and racism in biomedical research, and to improve the rigour and transparency of research involving animals.

Full story: NIH sets out actions on racism, harassment and animal research

Also this week from Research Professional News

Parties unite to pass bills aiming to boost US R&D—Senate approves package for expanding National Science Foundation while House moves ahead with alternative


Here is the rest of the US news this week…

Lawmakers ponder ‘oceanshot’ research programme

There is a “chronic underfunding of ocean science in the US”, the Democratic chair of the House of Representatives subcommittee on the environment, Mikie Sherrill, said at a hearing on accelerating marine science. “We need a moonshot equivalent for the ocean; we need an ‘oceanshot’,” Sherrill said, before hearing from experts about what such a research programme could look like. The top Republican on the subcommittee said a well-run national initiative “could spur breakthroughs in technology that benefit more than just marine science”.

National AI infrastructure panel formed

A panel tasked with developing a US research infrastructure for artificial intelligence was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation. The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force—which has 12 members drawn from government, academia and the private sector—will create a roadmap for expanding access to resources and educational tools for AI researchers and students across scientific disciplines. The panel will present its first report in May 2022.

Moon exploration missions selected

Nasa has picked three missions under a new programme for scientific investigations on the surface of the moon, two of which will land on the far side of the moon—something not done before by the US space agency. Joel Kearns, from Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate, said the investigations will help “prove technology which will help pave the way for returning astronauts to the moon”. The equipment will be delivered to the moon in 2024.