December 31, 2019

President Donald Trump signed a bill over the holidays that went largely unnoticed but reflected a yearslong effort by Sen. Jacky Rosen to expand educational opportunities in math and science for young women and students of color. The bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act was signed into law on Dec. 24 after approval by the House and Senate.

December 22, 2019

For over two decades, OTA helped Congress to navigate complex science and technology issues. After its defunding in 1995--a casualty of Congress’s dramatic downsizing--the issues piled up. What to do about the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel? Should the federal government invest more or less in carbon capture and sequestration? What to make of 5G and CRISPR? Of AI and AVs? Congress’s experts disappeared, but the issues didn’t.

December 22, 2019

As organizations increasingly implement automated technologies, artificial intelligence and other new technologies, a panel of workforce experts argued before House representatives Wednesday for a series of innovative and preemptive actions Congress and employers should take to prevent technology-driven displacement of workers.

December 19, 2019

National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) supports cutting-edge research with 130 members from industry, academic institutes, non-profit organizations and states. The manufacturing hub, which could extend its federal subsidy of $ 70 million on Coons' bill, connects local manufacturers with national resources to stimulate local innovation.

December 18, 2019

Most U.S. research agencies have received healthy increases for 2020 in a spending bill that resolves a 3-month deadlock between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Legislators released details today of how they plan to fund each federal agency for the 2020 fiscal year that ends on 30 September.

December 17, 2019

Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Monday introduced legislation intended to protect K-12 schools from cyberattacks, after a year in which schools have been increasingly targeted in cyberspace. The K-12 Cybersecurity Act would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a list of cybersecurity recommendations and resources for schools to use when increasing their cyber protections and would require DHS to examine the overall cyber risks schools face.

December 17, 2019

The House on Monday passed legislation that would bar the government from buying telecommunications equipment from companies deemed to be national security threats, such as Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The bipartisan Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act, which passed the House unanimously, could get a vote in the Senate as soon as this week.

December 11, 2019

Facebook and Apple defended their decision to block law enforcement from accessing communications among their billions of users during a contentious hearing on Tuesday, even as they face intensifying pressure from lawmakers and the U.S. attorney general. The hearing came against a backdrop of reignited tensions between Silicon Valley and the government over whether tech companies are enabling criminal activity as they work to build privacy into their products.

December 11, 2019

The House of Representatives passed legislation to make STEM education and research funding more robust and accessible to students at tribal and historically black colleges and universities, as well as at minority-serving institutions, or MSIs. The MSI STEM Achievement Act, introduced by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Frank Lucas R-Okla., in September, passed by a voice vote Monday and moves to the Senate for consideration.

December 10, 2019

Scientifically oriented members of Congress and think tankers from across the ideological spectrum have been pushing in a low-key but determined way over the past several years to revive the shuttered Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the congressional agency that once advised committees and members on new developments in technology.