FABBS Advocacy Update
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
FABBS Member Societies: It was wonderful to see you at the FABBS Council Meeting in December. We are gearing up for a busy 2015 in the advocacy arena! Congress in 2015 Congress returned to town yesterday, and today they will elect a new Speaker (likely Boehner) and swear in new Senators. Over the next week or so, both chambers will finalize committee memberships.
As we discussed at the December meeting, FABBS will conduct some targeted outreach to Congress involving scientists from your societies where it would be helpful. Once the committee membership lists are complete, I will be in touch. Budget and Appropriations On the horizon, the President should be releasing his budget request to Congress in early to mid-February. The appropriations committees will then hold hearings to get details from the agencies.
As I mentioned in December, sequestration cuts kick in again for the FY 2016 budget. While sequestration is not popular (even among many Members of Congress), it's uncertain whether the willpower will be there to roll back the cuts, even partially as they did for FY 2014 and 2015.
NIH Success Rates
There is some positive news, though… According to NIH, the success rate for research project grants in FY2014 climbed to 18.1%, up from 16.8% in FY2013 when sequestration cuts were implemented. For details, see: http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2014/12/31/2014-by-the-numbers/ Good Support for Basic Science
For those who are interested, Fareed Zakaria had an excellent op-ed in The Washington Post that highlighted the need for federal support of basic science -- and even mentioned the work of psychological scientists in the early development of ARPANET and more broadly, human-computer interactions. You an find the piece here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-need-to-renew-american-innovation/2015/01/01/b0f0d864-913b-11e4-a900-9960214d4cd7_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1
Happy New Year! I'll be in touch with new developments.
Paula Skedsvold, JD PhD
FABBS Government Relations Consultant