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US news roundup: 8-14 July


This week: new NOAA chief scientist, an environmental data lab and dark-matter detection

In depth: The academic community in the United States has welcomed new guidance on reviewing proposals for collaborative research involving humans, and the opportunity to provide feedback, saying that more work must be done to better define the scope of the rules.

Full story: New guide on reviewing human research wins praise

Also this week from Research Professional News

Biology society seeks to build more diverse scientific workforce—Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology launches $1.5 million diversity programme

Hubble successor hailed as first image inspires awe—James Webb Space Telescope is a joint initiative of Canada, Europe and the United States

Down to Earth—Nasa’s attempts to aim for the stars keep getting bogged down in the political gutter


Here is the rest of the US news this week… 


Sarah Kapnick named as NOAA chief scientist

The Biden administration has announced that climate scientist and economist Sarah Kapnick will be the next chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Kapnick was most recently a senior climate scientist and sustainability strategist for asset and wealth management at investment bank JP Morgan. She previously served as a deputy division leader at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in New Jersey. In her new role, Kapnick will help to shape NOAA policy and programme direction.

NSF environmental data lab to launch at UC Boulder

The National Science Foundation will create a new environmental data-science centre at the University of Colorado Boulder. The Environmental Data Science Innovation and Inclusion Lab will be supported by a five-year, $20 million award, funded by NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. “Combining, analysing and synthesising the wealth of open environmental data will advance our ability to predict changes in the environment and for life on Earth,” said Joanne Tornow, assistant director of NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences. “ESIIL’s efforts will make these data usable by everyone, from researchers to educators and policymakers.”

Berkeley dark-matter detector records first results

An experiment to detect dark matter, known as Lux-Zeplin, has successfully completed its first run and reported initial results. The experiment is being conducted in the Sanford Underground Research Facility, led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In a paper published on preprint server ArXiv.org, researchers reported that the LZ is already the world’s most sensitive dark-matter detector. “We’re ready and everything’s looking good,” said Kevin Lesko, senior physicist at the Berkeley Lab. “It’s a complex detector with many parts to it and they are all functioning well within expectations.”