By Michael Azain, ASAS Public Policy Committee
The Pew Research Center in cooperation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released a survey that highlights the difference of opinions on science-related topics between the general public and scientists. The survey was conducted by phone interviews of the general public (2,002 U.S. adults) and an online survey of members of AAAS (3,478 U.S. scientists). The participants in the general public group were a representative sample of the age, gender, race, and education level distribution of adults in the country. The survey of scientists included members from all scientific fields, with about half of the respondents being in the biomedical sciences. Read more
Congressman Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., who will retire from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of his eighth term, has agreed to join the world’s largest general scientific organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. Read more
Written by: Public Policy Committee Member
The Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 (HR 4012) was recently debated by the House of Representatives. The Act was introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and co-sponsored by 51 additional representatives. The bill would amend the Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to prohibit EPA from “proposing, finalizing, or disseminating a covered action based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible”. A covered action is defined as a risk, exposure, hazard assessment, criteria standard, limitation, regulation or guidance. AAAS in a letter to Congress asked the House Science, Space and Technology Committee to extend their evaluation of HR 4012 until the data access policies associated with America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 is finalized. Major concerns are the definitions of some terms in the bill and the potential costs to research institutions to share and archive data. On June 24, 2014 the bill passed the Committee with a vote of 17:13.