Science Policy News

Science Policy News

Read about ASPB members in the news and other items of interest for the plant biology community on our Policy Blog. The blog features news and information before they hit the pages of the ASPB Newsletter. It also provides an opportunity for you to engage in dialogue on policy developments affecting the plant biology community.

You can also join a science policy discussion online at

Recent Science Policy News

  • ASPB Appropriations Action Alert
    Much of the federal government is operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that is set to expire on December 7, 2018. Congress has yet to pass seven of the twelve appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, which funds the National Science Foundation ... Read More >
    December 3, 2018
  • Nomination Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on USDA Under Secretary of REE, Chief Scientist Nomination
    On November 28th, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Dr. Scott Hutchins as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), which also serves as USDA Chief Scientist. Hutchins, the former global leader of Corteva AgriScience, is ... Read More >
    November 29, 2018
  • Plant scientists call for renewed focus on empowerment of trainees
    Preparing graduate students and postdocs for diverse careers Changes in the workforce are challenging academia to prepare scientists to be adaptable and adept at communicating across boundaries. To meet these demands, the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN, is shifting the focus to enable trainees to take ownership of their ... Read More >
    August 20, 2018
  • Policy Update: Senate Hearing on Student Visas and National Security
    Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – June 6, 2018 On June 6, the Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled, “Student Visa Integrity: Protecting Educational Opportunity and National Security.”  The hearing focused on the potential threats international students and academics, particularly those ... Read More >
    June 8, 2018
  • Policy Update: House Agriculture Committee Approves Farm Bill
    On April 18, 2018, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (Farm Bill).  As expected, the markup was extremely partisan in nature with Democratic Members strongly opposing the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and noting the lack of transparency.  ... Read More >
    April 20, 2018
  • Plant Scientist Runs for Congress
    I believe science can help us develop solutions to global food insecurity. I study the effects of drought on maize roots at the University of Missouri, and I hope my findings will contribute to improving crop resilience as rainfall patterns change in the Midwest. Currently, I am represented in Congress ... Read More >
    February 13, 2018
  • First Look at Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal
      By Lauren Broccoli (Lewis-Burke Associates)   The Trump Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request overview this morning that did not include the National Science Foundation (NSF) and provided scant details on other research programs.  While we wait on NSF and DOE budget specifics, I wanted to ... Read More >
    February 12, 2018
  • Government Shutdown Update: CR Advances
    On Monday afternoon, the Senate voted to advance a Continuing Resolution (CR) to end the three-day federal government shutdown and extend funding for government programs at Fiscal Year 2017 levels through February 8.  The stalemate that led to the shutdown ended after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Democrats ... Read More >
    January 23, 2018
  • Agency Update: NSF Seeks Members for STEM Education Advisory Panel
    Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC – November 10, 2017 On November 8, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it is accepting recommendations for members of a new STEM[1] Education Advisory Panel.  This panel will provide input to the interagency Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM), which is made ... Read More >
    November 17, 2017
  • Action Alert – Contact Congress to Prevent Major Tax Increase on Graduate Students
    Please read the urgent request below and contact your Member of Congress regarding a harmful provision in a piece of legislation under consideration by Congress. The situation: The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering tax reform legislation, H.R. 1, that would change the way graduate student income is considered ... Read More >
    November 13, 2017
  • Appropriations Update: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill with Bipartisan Support
    Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill with a bipartisan vote of 30-1.  The Senate bill would provide $31.5 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), an increase of $718 million, or 2.3 percent, above the FY 2017 enacted ... Read More >
    July 27, 2017
  • ASPB Statement on Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal
    On May 23, 2017, the White House released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request whereby it proposed to slash funding for federal agencies that support plant science research and education.  If enacted, President Trump’s FY 2018 budget would have a catastrophic impact on plant science and the broader U.S. ... Read More >
    May 25, 2017
  • Tell Congress To Support Plant Science Funding By Passing FY 2017 Omnibus
    This week, House and Senate congressional leaders reached an agreement on a fiscal year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill.  This bill will fund the entire federal government through the remainder of FY 2017. Despite White House FY 2018 proposals to cut funding for many science agencies, Congress has decided instead ... Read More >
    May 3, 2017
  • Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary
    Last evening, the Senate voted 87-11 to confirm Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture.  Despite being one of the last cabinet nominees named, Perdue experienced a relatively easy confirmation process with considerable bipartisan support.  Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) used floor debate prior to the vote to ... Read More >
    April 25, 2017
  • March for Science – the next steps
    Over the weekend thousands of scientists and supporters of science across the world took part in March for Science events from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia. (Please see community statement, which ASPB joined, applauding the March for Science.)  Plant scientists and ASPB staff marched in support of the countless contributions ... Read More >
    April 24, 2017


Please send any news, comments, or suggestions to Tyrone Spady, Director of Legislative and Public Affairs, at or 301-637-2750 x121.