By Teresa A. Davis, ASAS Public Policy Committee Member
Many young scientists, facing the decline in research funding, have been leaving the academic workforce, placing the future of science at risk, according to a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Ronald J. Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University. Not only has there been a decline in inflation-adjusted federal spending for research in recent years, but the proportion of research grants awarded to young scientists has also declined. The decline in research awards, coupled with the rise in age when young scientists receive their first grant, are distressing trends for the future of the scientific workforce. Read more
By Casey L. Bradley, ASAS Public Policy Committee Member
The House and Senate are back in full swing for 2015, and the Obama Administration has released a proposed 2016 budget. In the budget, President Obama is once again proposing to create a single food-safety agency that would be housed within the Department of Health and Human Services. This change would strip the FDA and USDA of their extensive food-safety oversight responsibilities. However, the same proposal occurred last year and did not make it out of Congress.
Is a single food-safety agency a good or bad idea? Read more
By Deb Hamernik, ASAS Public Policy Committee Chair
A recent report by the United Nations (Science 346: 234-237) released new projections for the global population through 2100. These data are based on innovative Bayesian probabilistic hierarchical models for the major components of demographic change, including fertility and life expectancy. Based on this analysis, “world population can be expected to increase from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100.” Furthermore, there is a “95% probability that world population in 2100 will be between 9.0 and 13.2 billion people.” Read more