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US news roundup: 29 July to 4 August


This week: new operational priorities for Nasa, Covid funding, and harassment among medical faculty

In depth: The Senate majority’s proposed science budgets for fiscal year 2023 have been welcomed by research organisations.

Full story: Sector applauds Senate’s proposed science budgets

Also this week from Research Professional News

House Republicans ‘furious’ over Chips and Science Act—Science committee ranking member Frank Lucas “disgusted” with political machinations

Publishing utopia—A Californian open-access deal could herald the sunny future that reformers have been dreaming about

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

New GAO priority recommendations for Nasa

Nasa should adopt two new strategic priorities to improve its operations, the US Government Accountability Office has recommended. These are: using outcome-oriented performance metrics to improve procurement practices, and documenting the process used to determine the management practices and tools that will be applied to the lunar landing and later missions. Since June 2021, Nasa has implemented four of 11 GAO recommendations relating to the management of spiralling project costs and cybersecurity, according to the office, which reiterated that the agency should continue to work on the remaining seven.

Covid-19 emergency funding bill introduced

Democrat senators Patrick Leahy, Patty Murray and Christopher Coons have introduced a $21 billion emergency supplemental funding bill to prepare for the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding would support the purchase and distribution of vaccines, R&D to develop new vaccines and therapeutics, and clinical trials. “For months, the alarm has been raised that we are insufficiently prepared for the next phase of the pandemic,” said Senator Leahy. “The need is urgent.”

Report quantifies sexist behaviour in academic medicine

A survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges has found that 34 per cent of women members of medical faculty and 22 per cent of medical faculty overall have experienced gender-based harassment. Affected faculty members reported sexist jokes, offensive comments about appearance and condescension. The AAMC recommended that institutions focus on preventing these “less overt but still harmful” behaviours to build trust and engagement with faculty members, and to prevent other kinds of sexual harassment.