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

  • PSRN Updates: Inclusivity in the Plant Sciences and Plant Summit 2019
    In early 2019, the Plant Science Research Network (PSRN) held two strategic planning meetings. The PSRN is an NSF-supported Research Coordination Network whose members are research councils and scientific societies, including ASPB. Among the participants at both workshops were early career researchers and scientists from the public and private sectors ... Read More >
    June 3, 2019
  • Policy Update: Shutdown Outlook and Impacts for Higher Education and Research
    Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – December 21, 2018 While much of the government has already been funded for fiscal year (FY) 2019, including the Department of Defense (DOD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Education (ED), a number of science agencies will be impacted ... Read More >
    December 21, 2018
  • Legislative Update: Congress Approves 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report
    On December 10, Congress released the long-awaited 2018 farm bill conference report, H.R. 2 The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, a bipartisan compromise package that authorizes farm programs and agricultural research through fiscal year (FY) 2023.  The final farm bill package, totaling 807 pages, is budget neutral.  Title VII, the ... Read More >
    December 14, 2018
  • 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


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