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Science Progressing: April 6

Science Progressing is your weekly guide to the science and technology policy news you should not have missed. Did we leave anything out? Tweet or facebook us and let us know.

TRADE AND INNOVATION
Bi-partisan request of FTC to protect American manufacturing
Bipartisan members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that the FTC use all their tools “to fight the theft and use of stolen American manufacturing information technology and intellectual property, or IP.” The widespread theft of IP undermines America’s ability to manufacture and innovate at home.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Small business common application bill in the works
Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) proposed a bill that would streamline the paperwork burden for small businesses applying for federal assistance. An idea developed and first proposed right here at CAP, a common application program for federal small business assistance would allow small businesses to focus on growing their business instead of redundant forms across multiple federal agencies. It would also facilitate new  interagency coordination around complementary programs.

SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
17 science agencies publish integrity policies
After three years in the process, Director of the Office of Science, Technology Policy, John Holdren, has said only four agencies failed to meet his March 30 deadline to make public their scientific integrity policy drafts. About half of the executive agencies have finalized drafts. Under increasing pressure Dir. Holdren says “crafting of these policies has not been easy.”

INVESTING IN SCIENCE
University R&D spending floated by stimulus
Universities spent 6% more on R&D in 2010 than they did in 2009. Largely attributed to the stimulus, the bulk was spent on basic research in the life sciences.

STEM EDUCATION
97 percent say improvement of science education vital
A new survey shows the overwhelming support for scientific education reform. 56% of those surveyed believed that the United States ranks behind most other countries in science education, which gives further support for President Obama’s decision in his 2013 budget to fund National Science Foundation and Department of Education programs to develop new science education methods.

SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
DOI’s new policy put to use, again
The Department of Interior was the first agency to implement a scientific integrity policy in accordance with President Obama’s orders. The policy is once again being used for the second time in 6 months. Dr. Paul Houser is claiming he was fired in retaliation after he raised integrity issues of department bureaucrats for their misrepresentation of a scientific study.

RETHINKING SCIENCE
Undirected research questioned
Is the pace of innovation and scientific knowledge owed to the researcher’s ability to conduct undirected research? Is undirected research the best method of solving the most pressing issues? Never settling for status quo, finding ways to increase scientific efficiency can only add value.

OCEANS
3,000 Dolphins dead in Peru
About 1,000 dead dolphins per month have washed ashore in Lambayeque, Peru. Experts are pointing to new offshore drilling exploration in the area as the likely cause of the unexplained mass die-offs

INNOVATION
Business finance rules to relax
The JOBS Act signed by President Obama yesterday included “crowdfunding” provisions among its business and investment law reforms. Crowdfunding will allow small startup companies to sell proposed stock to the general public to raise capital. If implemented effectively, these changes hold the promise of getting innovative startups off the ground and to market faster.

This week’s news compiled and summarized by Science Progress intern Jason Thomas.

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