Lots going on today. The House Science Committee will hold the first of its hearings on the FY 2006 Science Budget today at 11 am. Scheduled to appear are:
John Marburger, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Samuel Bodman, Secretary of Energy; Arden Bement, Director of the National Science Foundation; Charles McQueary, Undersecretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security; and Theodore Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
It’s always a little depressing to listen to directors of the science agencies forced to defend the lean budgets they’ve been saddled with, but for those who want to watch, the hearing will be webcast starting at 11 am today. Here’s the hearing charter (pdf).
Also happening today is a press conference hosted by the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation — a coalition of industry and academic groups advocating for support of the physical sciences and engineering. The Task Force is releasing a series of benchmarks for measuring U.S. global competitiveness in research and innovation. Scheduled to appear at the press conference today at 1 pm are:
John Engler, President, National Association of Manufacturers Craig Barrett, Chief Executive Officer, Intel Nils Hasselmo, President, Association of American Universities Deborah Wince-Smith, President, Council on Competitiveness Burton Richter, Paul Pigott Professor in the Physical Sciences and former Director, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University Diana Hicks, Chair, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology.
All will make the case for strengthening federal investments in science and engineering research, emphasizing the impact of those investments on long-term economic growth and prosperity.
The strength of this particular coalition, as can be seen above, is the strong participation of the high-tech companies and industry associations — who have some influence in the current administration — along with the academic groups (CRA is a member of the task force).
I’ll have more coverage of the benchmarks, as well as some other comments after the event this afternoon.
Update: (2/16 6:30pm EST) – The Task Force press conference was remarkably well-attended — the 70-person capacity room was filled, with people lining the walls. It appears a good number of attendees were actually press, too. I’ll be posting links to coverage of the event here as I come across them.
For now, here is the official Benchmarks report (pdf). And the accompanying press release (pdf).
Reuters is already out with the story.