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US news roundup: 28 October to 3 November


This week: a new NOAA vessel, open-science scrutiny and funding for climate research

In depth: Nasa has said its activities and investments generated around $71.2 billion for the US economy in the 2021 financial year.

Full story: Nasa boosted US economy by more than $70bn in 2021

Also this week from Research Professional News

Ideas sought to boost US capacity for emergency clinical trials—Office of Science and Technology Policy launches open consultation

Researching the research office—Survey finds increasing appreciation for research offices, but administrative burden is growing

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

New ocean exploration ship for research

Construction is underway on a new ocean survey ship designed to further research into biodiversity, renewable energy and green shipping. The 244-foot ‘Discoverer’ will accommodate up to 28 scientists as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ocean discovery programme. It comes as part of a $178 million contract awarded by the US Navy for a new fleet of NOAA vessels, which are designed with cleaner energy technologies and will include vessel emission controls. Construction on Discoverer is expected to be complete in 2026.

Science committee members scrutinise open-science plans

Leaders of the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology have expressed concerns over White House plans to implement open-access publishing rules for taxpayer-funded research. In an open letter to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, committee chairwomen Eddie Bernice Johnson and ranking member Frank Lucas requested more details on the mandate. “Making data accessible in a way that is truly useful to advance science has always been a more difficult technical, cultural and economic challenge than making publications available,” they argued.

$15 million for climate science and community resilience

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced $15.2 million to support 63 research projects to improve national resilience to climate change. The fund will support innovations taking place to further understanding of wildfires, flooding and drought prediction, for up to five years per project. “The window of time to avoid costly, deadly and irreversible future climate impacts is quickly closing,” said Gina Raimondo, US secretary of commerce. “These new awards…will improve data, tools and resources needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”