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US news roundup: 20-26 May


This week: support for Ukraine, 1 million US Covid deaths, and a space-exploration strategy

In depth: Nasa should do more to increase the diversity of principal investigators for its science missions, a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has found.

Full story: Nasa diversity efforts falling short, study finds

Also this week from Research Professional News

Survey reveals shifts in US tenure practices—Changes in recent decades include more flexibility for parents and greater consideration of diversity

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

University leaders discuss support for Ukraine

The Association of American Universities held a live-streamed meeting with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, during which university leaders discussed how they could support Ukraine in rebuilding its decimated higher education system. Zelensky spoke about the resilience of the Ukrainian people, and told listeners that they could build on their work to support displaced Ukrainian students and researchers by establishing long-term partnerships to provide technical expertise and assistance to the country once the conflict with Russia has ended. 

Scientists decry 1 million US Covid deaths

Organisations including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Infectious Diseases Society of America called for the United States to bolster its response to public health threats and expressed their concern over widening health inequities, after the country reached 1 million deaths from Covid-19. Black, Latino and Indigenous people have been disproportionately affected by the disease, they said. UCS president Johanna Chao Kreilick said: “The cost of the pandemic in human lives is all the more tragic because so many of these losses could have been prevented if leaders at the state and national level had followed the best available science.”

Input sought on space-exploration strategy

Nasa is seeking feedback on its deep-space-exploration strategy. The draft 20-year strategy identifies 50 objectives relating to science, operations, transportation, habitation, and future infrastructure on the moon and Mars. Initially, the deadline was 31 May, giving respondents just two weeks to prepare their comments. Nasa extended the deadline to 3 June following criticism that the agency was not giving respondents enough time to provide quality feedback.