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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern on the Science Committee? Okay, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern on a Congressional Committee? Are you just a little curious about the life of an intern on the Hill? 

We are happy to introduce Elizabeth Padilla-Crespo, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Iinstitute STEM Fellow, and one of our fabulous fall #ScienceInterns!

She will be taking part in an ongoing series designed to give students like you and young professionals a glimpse into our growing internship program, as well as the CHCI Fellowship. Elizabeth will be taking your questions via twitter at:@SciCmteDems or @CHCI with the hashtag #ScienceInterns

Also joining us from CHCI will be Caroline Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Leadership Programs at the Institute and, Michael Bueno, a former STEM Fellow and #ScienceIntern.

The Hangout will be streamed live on our YouTube page, which can be found here: 

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceDemocrats

Questions can also be submitted in the comment section below the video feed, through this Facebook event and on our Google+ page. All of which are accessible from the Committee home page.

http://democrats.science.house.gov/

We look forward to a strong turnout and are excited to have Elizabeth share her experience with all of you!
CHCI - Science Committee Google Hangout
Thu, December 19, 2013, 10:30 AM

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern on the Science Committee? Okay, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an intern on a Congressional Committee? Are you just a little curious about the life of an intern on the Hill? 

We are happy to introduce Elizabeth Padilla-Crespo, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Iinstitute STEM Fellow, and one of our fabulous fall #ScienceInterns!

She will be taking part in an ongoing series designed to give students like you and young professionals a glimpse into our growing internship program, as well as the CHCI Fellowship. Elizabeth will be taking your questions via twitter at:@SciCmteDems or @CHCI with the hashtag #ScienceInterns

Also joining us from CHCI will be Caroline Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Leadership Programs at the Institute and, Michael Bueno, a former STEM Fellow and #ScienceIntern.

The Hangout will be streamed live on our YouTube page, which can be found here: 

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceDemocrats

Questions can also be submitted in the comment section below the video feed, through this Facebook event and on our Google+ page. All of which are accessible from the Committee home page.

http://democrats.science.house.gov/

We look forward to a strong turnout and are excited to have Elizabeth share her experience with all of you!
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Science Democrats. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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CHCI - Science Democrats Google Hangout
Thu, December 19, 2013, 10:30 AM
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Science Democrats

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Democrats Show Support for DOE’s Office of Science, Raise Concerns about Majority’s Draft Bill

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to provide Members with a general overview of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science and to discuss the Majority’s draft legislation which would reauthorize the Office for FY 2014 and FY2015, the “Enabling Innovation for Science, Technology, and Energy in America Act of 2013” (EINSTEIN ACT).  Testifying before the Subcommittee were Dr. Patricia Dehmer, Deputy Director for Science Programs at DOE’s Office of Science; Dr. Horst Simon, Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; and Dr. John Hemminger, Chairman of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee at DOE.

DOE’s Office of Science is the lead federal agency in supporting early-stage energy research and the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. It does this through direct support of researchers, by way of grants, and through the development, construction, and operation of unique, world-class user facilities and national laboratories. The Office is comprised of six interdisciplinary program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Biological and Environmental Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. It also supports education initiatives through its Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program.

Witnesses and Members on both sides of the aisle lauded the Office of Science.  Ranking Member of the Energy Subcommittee, Eric Swalwell (D-CA), said, “It is impossible to overstate its importance to our energy future and to our innovation enterprise.” 

Witnesses and Democratic Members expressed a number of concerns about the Majority’s draft legislation including the low funding levels, the fact that it is only a short-term 2 year authorization, and that it downgrades the importance of climate science and environmental research at DOE.

Mr. Swalwell said, “Unfortunately, the funding levels in the draft legislation that the Majority is asking us to consider are simply inadequate to allow the Office of Science to continue to support the great research and facilities that it does. At first glance, one might think that the Majority’s bill actually increases funding for the Office, but a closer look reveals that they are actually cutting funding – the rate of inflation for research is about 3 percent, but the bill only provides year-to-year increases of 1 to 1.7 percent, in effect cutting the Office’s budget. I hope that we can work around this, increase the budget, and give the Office of Science the funding that it deserves. We hear a lot of talk about America being the greatest country in the world, and it certainly is, but if we want to maintain our leadership in technology and innovation - and the jobs that come with it - we can’t afford to continue to cut our research budgets without any consideration of the impacts such cuts will have on our nation’s competitiveness.”

Dr. Simon described how funding issues could impact where the best and brightest researchers seek work.  He said, “I look at what the research facilities are, what our infrastructure is, what our educational institutions are, the opportunities we have to work with industry, America is still very clearly number one. However, what I’m concerned about is the trend; a very recent example is if we have issues such as sequestration, which means that we have to look at future staffing, if we look at the partial shutdown where uncertainty goes through the system, what we are signaling to the next generation of scientists is that the future of science in this country is no longer as it was. We are sending a strong signal saying yes, there is great infrastructure here, yes there is opportunity here to work with the top minds in the field but we cannot guarantee you that 30 years from now that would be the same because if we are in a path of continued reduction of funding and continued uncertainty of the longevity of some of the research projects, somebody who has at stake a 30 year career would have to, very carefully, look where he or she will go.”

Mr. Swalwell also asked witnesses if a short-term, two-year reauthorization that cuts the Office’s budget would provide the certainty and stability that the research community needs.

Dr. Hemminger responded, “It’s widely recognized that programs run by the Office of Science are addressing long-term questions and long-term issues.  These are not science questions that one can expect answers to in very short periods of time and I think that the only way that a short-term reauthorization works is with the expectation that the U.S. government isn’t going to go out of business and fall off a cliff.  I think it certainly would be advantageous to have a longer reauthorization bill and I think this is particularly a problem or an issue with respect to the large science facilities.   In my written testimony I pointed out the issue of the international competition with respect to our global leadership for x-ray light sources and other facilities. These are really major long term projects that require stability in terms of funding and authorization and I would encourage the Committee to support that.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), brought up that the Majority’s draft legislation is directed to “…prioritize fundamental research on biological systems and genomics science…” over the rest of the portfolio and his concern that this is a way to implicitly say, “Take money away from climate and environmental research.”  He said, “Climate and environmental research are so important to my district, and in Southern California in general, where there are seven or eight congressional districts the size of several states that suffer from air quality issues. Our understanding of the how the environment interacts with climate is very important to us.”

“The climate and environmental part of biological and environmental research is extremely important. We do not want to disadvantage [this research] in the way that the language in the Majority bill has been interpreted,” said Dr. Dehmer.

While expressing her concerns about the Majority’s draft bill, Ranking Member of the Full Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said of the legislation, “I believe there is common ground in our support for many of the Office’s programs. I recently circulated a discussion draft of the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2013, which includes several provisions similar to ones in the Majority’s draft. My discussion draft also includes authorization for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) and a number of important legislative changes that would accelerate technology transfer and improve the management of our national laboratories.  With these two drafts in mind, I look forward to working with the Majority and the science and technology community to seek out that common ground, and to see if the concerns that we’ve raised can be reconciled.”
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Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - Democratic Staff
Introduction
Welcome to the official Google+ page for the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - Democratic Staff!

The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit on October 4, 1957, initiating the "Space Race." When the 85th Congress reconvened in 1958, one of its first tasks was the creation of a Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration. This Select Committee wrote the Space Act, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the permanent House Committee on Science and Astronautics, the forerunner of the present Committee on Science and Technology.

The Science and Astronautics Committee was the first standing committee created in the House in 11 years and the first committee since 1892 to be established for an entirely new area of jurisdiction. The Committee’s initial jurisdiction included exploration and control of outer space, astronautical research and development, scientific research and development, science scholarships and legislation relating to scientific agencies. The scientific agencies under the Committee initially included the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology), NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Council and the National Science Foundation.

In 1974, the Committee’s name was changed to the "Committee on Science and Technology."At that time, the Committee’s jurisdiction was expanded to include legislation related to energy, the environment, the atmosphere, civil aviation research and development and the National Weather Service. The Committee on Science and Technology was also given a "special oversight" function providing for exclusive responsibility among all Congressional Standing Committees to review and study, on a continuing basis, all laws, programs and government activities involving Federal non-military research and development.

Civilian nuclear research and development was added to the Committee’s jurisdiction in 1977 when the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy was abolished. The name was again changed at the outset of the 100th Congress to the "Committee on Science, Space, and Technology." When the Republican Party took control of the House in 1995, they changed the name of the Committee to the "Committee on Science."

In its early years, the Committee was an important partner in the Apollo Program that led to a man landing on the moon and strengthening science education and scientific research. After the Committee’s role expanded, the Committee has played an important role in much of the legislation Congress has considered dealing with domestic and international science, technology, standards and competitiveness.

When Democrats resumed control of Congress in 2007, Congressman Bart Gordon (D-TN) was named Chairman of the Committee. He subsequently brought the Committee back to its roots with a return to the name of "Committee on Science and Technology" – a move made to better reflect the broad jurisdiction of the panel. Enhancing long-term economic competitiveness through investments in science and technology emerged as a centerpiece of Committee activities in the 110th and 111th Congresses. In response to the National Academies' landmark report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, the Committee led a bipartisan effort to advance the Academies' recommendations, culminating the in passage of the America COMPETES Act in 2007. The legislation, as enacted, put the budgets of three key federal science agencies on a path to double over ten years: NSF, NIST, and DOE Office of Science. In 2010, a reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act extended and expanded activites call for in the original legislation. it passed as one of the last votes of the 111th Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011.

In the 112th Congress, Chairman Hall changed the Committee's name to the "Committee on Science, Space and Technology."

Today the Committee has jurisdiction over much of the non-defense Federal research and development (R&D) portfolio. The Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The Committee also has authority over R&D activities at the Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).