I am sure that you are as annoyed with the word “sequester” as I am, but here is a great article further explaining the complexities of the Federal Budget and the impacts of this “sequester”. Last week, each agency drafted a letter to Senator Mikulski explaining the impacts of the sequester specific to their agency. In the letter to NASA the letter seemed to indicate that NASA was “picking winners and losers”, but that was in fact not the case. There is a much more fascinating (is that the right word?), maybe annoying nuance in the letter to Sen. Mikulski that Marcia Smith/Space Policy Online does a great job of explaining further. Please take a look at this blog post on Space Policy Online as it definitely sheds light on where all of these percentages and millions/billions in cuts come from (their starting point). At least for NASA.
Just a quick note about a recent launch of suborbital rocket that was using lithium trails to help scientists observer events in space. Currently looking into what these scientists might be trying to see using lithium vapor. More to come!
article from Wallops that launched the rocket: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/news/west129.html
During the State of the Union tonight, I began to notice that I was not getting as excited as I had been the year before, and for a while I could not quite put my finger on why. But then I realized that there was there was a significant decrease in the urgency to support science and innovation. Last year I remember agreeing with the President on many issues seemingly every other sentence about rallying up the nation like we did in the race to the moon, but in this decade it would be a race to be the top in science, in energy. But this year there was none or very little of that.
Which makes me incredibly sad, as I had written in my last post my anticipation for the 2013 budget and a question for what is in store for science in 2013? We did well in 2012…but can still do better, and we need to do better!
If feels like pushing science is not a good campaigning strategy.
Please take a look at a fellow chemistry blogger’s post here. She does a great and quick “by the numbers” of Winning the Future and America Built to Last. Although true that the two speeches need to be unique and memorable. But what is missing is that there was very few mentions of the success in energy that we made in 2011 to show that those investments made a difference! (yes, research takes time and in a year it is hard to list the successes only the failures – Solyndra – are at the forfront.) But still, I think to really show that we should be working on Winning the Future through innovation, and that we never should stop, there should not have been such a drastic drop off to support science.
All of the Chemistry Carnival – My Favorite Reaction posts have been compiled in a really great post here! Check them out! David Kroll, blogger for C&EN and a pharmacology professor, did a great job categorizing them. Comment on which one is your favorite!
A couple of my favorites were: An important reaction that you probably carry out everyday in your very own kitchen: the Maillard reaction by ScienceGeist, or Ever wonder what goes into a perm? Check out Christine Herman’s, blogger for Just Another Electron Pusher, post on mixing ammonium thioglycolate, hydrogen peroxide, and keratin.
Happy IYC 2011! Enjoy!