The U.S. Needs a Federal Department of Science and Technology

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The federal government is structured in various organizational tiers. These include large cabinet-level departments with broad scope such as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Commerce (DOC). Within these departments are bureaus and agencies, which have more specialized roles, such as the FAA within the Department of Transportation and the FDA within DHHS. Agencies have their authority outlined in law, while bureaus are parts of departments and derive their mandates from the statutory authority of the larger department. Some agencies, such as NASA and the EPA are independent agencies, meaning they are not part of larger Cabinet-level departments.

Publisher: Scientific American
Author: Ronald Kline
Twitter: @sciam
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Quite a lot has been going on:

The U.S. Needs a Cyber State of Distress to Withstand the Next SolarWinds

Crucially, the incident went undetected for months, and federal agencies became aware only when the private threat intelligence company FireEye revealed it had also been targeted. FireEye’s analysis of the events began to reveal the extent of the attack, but details continue to emerge over a month after the incident. The federal government has scrambled to determine the scope and scale of the incident. Remediation efforts will likely take months, and the true impact of the intrusion may not be known for years as the intelligence community continues to assess what information the perpetrators were able to glean and what they intend to do with it.

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Local health officials tell Congress U.S. needs more Covid vaccine doses and it needs to be easier to get the shots

Scientists and health officials told Congress Friday the federal government needs to ramp up its supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses as they work to streamline the process for getting the shots.

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Those two changes are key if federal officials want to increase the number of people who will get the shots, scientists and public health officials testified before the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology.

“Even people who are motivated and excited about the vaccine can be deterred by the smallest amount of friction in the system, whether that’s complex logistics, inconvenience or confusing instructions,” said Dr. Alison Buttenheim, scientific director for the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.

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Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

‘ By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and’in order to establish an advisory council on science, technology, and innovation, it is hereby ordered as follows:

‘ Sec. 2. ‘Establishment. ‘(a)’ There is hereby established the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). ‘

‘ (c)’ The Science Advisor shall serve as a Co-Chair of the PCAST. ‘The President shall also designate at least one, but not more than two, of the non-Federal members to serve as a Co’Chair, or Co-Chairs, of the PCAST with the Science Advisor. ‘The Science Advisor may designate up to three Vice Chairs of the’PCAST from among the non-Federal members of the PCAST, to support the Co-Chairs in the leadership and organization of the’PCAST.

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US Department of Energy to invest $100M into new clean energy technology

‘ Intel joins PGE Green Future Impact program, allowing for 138 MW solar energy purchase from Avangrid Renewables

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Building on the Biden administration’s emphasis on climate change as a priority issue, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week that it will invest $100 million into transformative clean energy research and development, with more to come.

The funds will be provided through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) OPEN 2021 funding opportunity. Since it began work in 2009, ARPA-E has provided $2.4 billion in research and development funding estimated to have brought more than $4.9 billion in private-sector contributions to commercialize clean energy technologies. Applicants can apply, gain help to form new project teams and collaborations and access a variety of related information on the OPEN 2021 website.

Publisher: Daily Energy Insider
Date: 2021-02-16T13:10:32+00:00
Author: Chris Galford
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