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US news roundup: 2-8 September


This week: objections to a marine study, new climate appointees and a federal diversity plan

In depth: The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking comment on new research security standards developed in collaboration with federal science and security agencies since early 2021.

Full story: White House seeks input on new disclosure requirements

Also this week from Research Professional News

US oceans agency urged to stop trawling seabed for research—Agency says data from trawling are vital after environmentalists accuse it of “trashing seabeds”

Commission decides to block US biotechnology takeover—Sequencing-technology giant Illumina told by EU it must divest cancer-detection company Grail

Artemis I launch postponed again—Uncrewed moon mission hit by liquid hydrogen leak

Open sesame—The Biden administration’s publishing shake-up puts the US back at the forefront of open access

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

Biden picks clean energy and climate advisors

US president Joe Biden has selected two senior advisors to assist with the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy and climate provisions. John Podesta, the founder and chair of the board of directors for the Center for American Progress, will serve as senior advisor for clean energy innovation and implementation. Ali Zaidi, currently a deputy assistant to Biden and deputy national climate advisor, will be promoted to assistant and national climate advisor, succeeding Gina McCarthy. Podesta and Zaidi will serve as chair and vice-chair respectively of the president’s National Climate Task Force.

Department of Energy releases equity plan

The US Department of Energy has published its first ever plan to advance its diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. The plan was created in response to US president Joe Biden’s 2021 executive order to advance equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity for the federal workforce. The department will require diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility training for all hiring managers and establish a new policy for gender identity and gender transition to support transgender and non-binary workers.

NSF funds Arctic studies

The National Science Foundation has allocated about $30 million to seven projects intended to study the “changing natural, built and social environments” of the Arctic. It said the work should lead to an improved understanding that can inform US national security and economic development. According to the NSF, many of the projects will partner with Indigenous communities. “We have seen the impactful and impressive results from previous Navigating the New Arctic research partnerships and approaches,” said Alexandra Isern, NSF assistant director for geosciences. “Today’s awards continue that tradition.”