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US news roundup: 22-28 July


This week: rewarding science breakthroughs, diversifying clinical trials, and a new astrophysics chief

In depth: A slimmed-down version of the massive science, technology and innovation package designed to help the United States fend off competition from China is advancing through Congress.

Full story: US ‘chips and science’ bill approaches finish line

Also this week from Research Professional News

US government sets out priorities for monkeypox research—Research areas prioritised include diagnostic tools, infection control and therapeutic effectiveness

Stemming systemic racism—Government efforts to tackle underrepresentation of minorities in Stem must address deep roots of racism

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

New award for science breakthroughs

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has established a new international science prize that will recognise important research milestones. The Mani L Bhaumik Breakthrough of the Year Award was established with an $11.4 million gift from the physicist after whom it was named, and will award up to three $250,000 prizes annually. “The international award will help the science most poised to change the world [to] have its maximum impact,” said AAAS chief executive officer Sudip Parikh.

Pharma and universities boost trial diversity

The industry association Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is launching what it described as a “first of its kind” initiative to increase diversity in clinical trials through a network of community-based trial sites, in collaboration with a group of academic organisations. The initiative will be funded by a PhRMA grant and led by the Yale School of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Our goal is to make sure all people, regardless of geography, socioeconomics, race, ethnicity or gender identity, who want to participate in a clinical trial have the opportunity to do so,” said Ramona Sequeira, chair of the PhRMA board of directors.

Nasa appoints head of astrophysics

Nasa has selected Mark Clampin as the next director of its astrophysics division. Clampin is currently director of the Science and Exploration Directorate at the Goddard Space Flight Center. His predecessor, Paul Hertz, will continue to work with the agency Science Mission Directorate in an advisory capacity. Nasa associate director Thomas Zurbuchen described Clampin as a “seasoned leader” who was “uniquely qualified” for the role.