NSF Under the Knife, Canadian Science Minister Under the Microscope

Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:

A model electric plant is getting help from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Designed to burn gas from coal and pump carbon dioxide emissions into geological reservoirs, FutureGen II could cost $2 billion or more. Last week, DOE pledged up to $1 billion for the Illinois-based project, pending private backing.

It's still early in the 2010 U.S. budget cycle but there's some sobering all the same: House of Representatives appropriators disapproved of plans by the National Science Foundation to spend $100 million on its Major Research Instrumentation program, saying the program has enough money for now. Legislators also shrank by two-thirds the requested funding for advanced technological education at community colleges.

Researchers who accept U.S. grants should be held to rigorous standards for disclosing outside income--such as from drug companies--according to a couple of heavyweight institutions. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Universities last week told the National Institutes of Health that far too little income is being reported. But at the same time, they warned of "over-zealous" regulation.

Canadian academics want science minister Gary Goodyear to resign over his latest statements involving religious views In March, Goodyear linked possible doubts about evolution to his beliefs. This time around, the minister suggested that a government funding body review its support for an upcoming conference on prospects for peace in the Middle East after pro-Israel groups complained that the list of speakers favored the Palestinian position.

For more on these stories and the latest science policy news and analysis, visit ScienceInsider.

Posted in Technology, Policy