After yesterday’s (July 9, 2012) postings about the recent report, Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment, from the Council of Canadian Academies, I was hoping to have a bit of respite from science policy but the Death of Evidence protest couldn’t be ignored and, now the July 2012 issue of NISE Net’s (Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network) Nano Bite features a June 11, 2012 posting by Carol Lynn Alpert on US science funding policy,
It’s been a tumultuous 18 months for the Broader Impacts Criterion (BIC), the NSF [US National Science Foundation] merit review standard that gets a lot of grant-seeking scientists and engineers thinking about including plans for education, outreach, and diversity. First, Congress asked the NSF to explain exactly what it means by “broader impacts,” and how it monitors compliance. Then, the National Science Board stepped in, announcing it would review both the BIC and the IMC (the companion criterion for “intellectual merit.”) Then, in June 2011, the NSB issued a set of draft guidelines for the BIC that listed explicit national goals like economic competitiveness and national security while seemingly downplaying the agency’s historical commitment to diversity, education, and science literacy. You may remember my July 2011 post criticizing that draft for ripping open a “BIC loophole” by suggesting that broader impacts could be achieved “through the research itself.”
AAAS and a number of other science organizations and individuals protested en masse. …
There have been some hints recently as to how the NSF will evaluate BIC,
Feldman [Jean Feldman, policy head of the NSF’s Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management] described a new review framework that would apply the standard five critical elements to BOTH merit criteria, rather than just to the IMC (Intellectual Merit Criterion), as is current practice. This means that a PI’s plans for addressing the Broader Impacts Criterion will also be scrutinized for (1) their potential to advance knowledge and societal goals; (2) the extent to which they explore creative, innovative, and original concepts; (3) their rationale, organization, and assessment strategies; (4) the qualifications of the team charged with pursuing them; and (5) the adequacy of resources available to the PI – either at the home institution or through collaborations – to carry out the proposed activity.
Amongst other new items in the NISE Net resource catalog there is new material about nanocoatings, You can find the video, more resources, and this description of the video here,
In this episode of O Wow Moments with Mr. O from the Children’s Museum of Houston, we take a look at Nanocoatings!
The July 2012 newsletter also features a job posting,
→ Employment Opportunity: OMSI Vice President of Exhibits
The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry is looking to hire a new Vice President of Exhibits. Interested candidates should go to http://omsi.iapplicants.com/ViewJob-313485.html for a detailed description of responsibilities and required experience.
Finally, there is a Nano Haiku,
The mantis shrimp claw
Beats out our body armor
And the shells of snails
Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science, Boston created the above haiku in reference to the article Ultra-Tough Mantis Shrimp Claws Could Lead to Better Body Armor.
I mentioned this shrimp research in my June 15, 2012 posting