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US news roundup: 6-12 August


This week: Senate spending bills, education R&D, climate report reaction and research integrity grants

In depth: Senators in the United States Congress have passed major legislation for upgrading the country’s infrastructure—a key plank of president Joe Biden’s campaign platform, which includes funding for clean energy and transport R&D.

Full story: US Senate advances spending packages worth $4.5tr

Also this week from Research Professional News

Biden’s team criticised for extra relief on student loan repayments—Republican accuses president’s administration of working “against the interests of students, borrowers and taxpayers”


Here is the rest of the US news this week…

Senate draws up 2022 spending on agriculture and energy R&D

The Senate Appropriations Committee has drawn up the first government spending bills for fiscal year 2022, including funds for the Department of Energy Office of Science and the Department of Agriculture’s R&D programmes. The Senate committee has earmarked $7.5 billion for the DOE Office of Science, $170 million more than its counterpart in the House of Representatives, and $464 million than the office received in 2021. For agriculture research programmes, the Senate committee has chalked up $3.6 billion for 2022, while the House committee approved $3.4bn.

Call for R&D budget to double at Department of Education

Former members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy have called for the US Department of Education to double its R&D capacity. Backers include Kumar Garg, who led efforts to bolster science, technology, engineering and mathematics education under the administration of former president Barack Obama. They have suggested that the doubling of funding for the Institute of Education Sciences, whose 2021 budget was $642,000, should be focused on areas such as a new “transformative” research programme and a permanent data science unit.

Climate report ‘sobering’ says NOAA boss

The head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Rick Spinrad, said it was “sobering…that human influence is, unequivocally, causing climate change” in reaction to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published on 9 August. “It is the consensus of the world’s scientists that we need strong, and sustained reduction in greenhouse gases,” Spinrad added, highlighting the role that NOAA will play in preparing the US for the impacts of climate change.

Research integrity grants offered

Grants of between $75,000 and $150,000 are being offered by the research integrity office of the Department of Health and Human Services for two-year projects related to research integrity and compliance. Projects can cover one of four areas: research transparency, communication to avoid integrity issues, handling allegations of research misconduct, or interventions to address problematic issues of research culture.