Science Policy Insider News
Science Policy Insider News (July 2009)
Throughout the spring, Science Directorate staff have been working with Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and House Science Committee staff on legislative language to create an office of behavioral science within the Department of Energy (DOE).
On Thursday, June 18, APA was given an important opportunity to brief Congress on the value of psychological research sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD).
APA Member Anita D’Amico, Director of the Secure Decisions division of Applied Visions, Inc., a human factors psychologist, gave testimony before the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the House Committee on Science and Technology on cyber security research and development on June 10, 2009. This was the first of three scheduled on cyber security—on the recommendation of Science GRO staff.
Tom McLellan, PhD, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination hearing to become the Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Committee Members questioned him on issues related to the balance of supply and demand reduction activities at ONDCP, the regulation of medical marijuana and the value of drug courts.
Tom Insel, MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), addressed concerns about how NIMH was prioritizing their spending of their allocated $366 million slice of the ARRA pie. He explained that the funds would be used to jumpstart its strategic plan, support autism and AIDS research, and provide training and support for faculty positions.
A crowd of over 200 Capitol Hill and federal agency staff members showed up to hear the congressional briefing, “Military Personnel, Veterans and Their Families: How Research is Effecting Positive Change” due to a growing concern over the number of service men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from range of difficulties.
Thomas Frieden, MD,MPH, newly appointed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, announced his priorities for the department, with one of his top priorities being to improve the ability of public health agencies to monitor health status and behaviors by leveraging the use of the Internet.
FDA was given regulatory authority over tobacco with the signing of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law. Many APA scientists and GRO staff have been fighting to restrict the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, but with this change, the biggest challenges may lie ahead, as the legislation calls for the establishment of a Center for Tobacco Products within FDA and the formation of Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education approved the bill to fund research for NIH, CDC, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationfor Fiscal Year 2010. In all of these cases, the House subcommittee approved more funds than even President Obama had requested, but it still needs to go to the full House to vote.