Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
- Posted byon November 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM EDT
Earlier this month, Hurricane Sandy tore through the Northeast leaving thousands of families to pick up the pieces of their homes. As families begin the process of rebuilding, the demand for rental housing is making it difficult for these families to find alternative housing.
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has worked to expand housing options for lower income families displaced by Hurricane Sandy, HUD, in conjunction with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), worked with several technology companies that have joined a national effort to help these families with innovative housing solutions. These efforts are evidence of the good that can come when Federal agencies work with the private sector to harness data and technology in creative ways.
Read about these innovative collaborations and how they've helped families on the HUDdle blog.
- Posted byon November 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM EDT
Last month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than$25 million of funding for innovative materials-science research projects. The research awards are a significant milestone for the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative (MGI)—a collaborative effort of public, private, and academic leaders to make the discovery, development, and deployment of cutting-edge materials faster and cheaper than ever before.
- Posted byon November 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM EDT
Last week, OSTP Director John P. Holdren joined USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah in launching the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) – a groundbreaking partnership between USAID and seven top universities that is designed to harness the ingenuity and passion of university faculty and students to develop innovative solutions to global development challenges.
USAID’s HESN was first announced at the White House in February 2012 and its formal launch marks the latest milestone in the Administration’s work to leverage US comparative advantages in science, technology, and innovation to accelerate progress toward global development goals. The effort is a direct response to the President’s Policy Directive on Global Development, which calls for investments in game-changing innovations with the potential to solve long-standing development challenges—such as vaccines for neglected diseases; drought-resistant seed varieties; and clean energy technologies.
- Posted byon October 23, 2012 at 5:43 PM EDT
This week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and partners successfully heaved a 3,665-ton ship into Great Lakes waters near Green Bay, Wisconsin. The massive vessel, better suited for science than subtlety, lumbered loudly into the water in less than 30 seconds, splashing bystanders and rolling so radically as to give new maritime meaning to the term “tipping point.”
The research ship, called Sikuliaq, which means “young sea ice” in the language of northern Alaska’s Inupiat people, is bound for ice-breaking adventures in the Arctic, starting in early 2014. The ship was made possible by $148 million in Federal Recovery Act investments through an NSF grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It was constructed by the Marinette Marine Corporation of Wisconsin, a major regional employer that added local jobs and reinstated previously laid-off workers in order to build the boat.
Read more about the high-tech ship and the scientific research it will enable on the NSF website.
- Posted byon October 10, 2012 at 5:27 PM EDT
Today two American chemists, Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University and Brian K. Kobilka of Stanford University, were awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry. OSTP is pleased to congratulate these exceptional scientists and celebrate their high achievement. OSTP Director John P. Holdren called both winners today to convey those good wishes.
The Nobel Prize Committee cited the two winners "for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors,” tiny sensors that allow cells to “read” their surrounding environment.
Scientists have long understood that cells in the body are able to sense and respond to various substances and stimuli, including environmental chemicals, hormones produced by other cells, and in some cases physical phenomena such as light. Taken together, these cells and their sensors provide the foundation of all the body’s major senses, while also facilitating a level of cross-talk among cells needed to ensure proper physiological and metabolic balance.
Yet until a few decades ago, the form and function of this crucial communications network remained elusive to scientists, even as it became clear that it held the key to critical mysteries in pharmacology and medicine. Understanding exactly how cells are able to sense and respond to their surroundings became a great challenge of chemistry.
Equal Futures: Opening Doors to High-Quality Education and Career Opportunities for Women and Girls in STEMPosted byon October 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM EDT
Last week, at an event in New York City, 17-year-old Brittany Wenger joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 12 other international leaders for the official launch of the Equal Futures Partnership, a new multilateral initiative to break down barriers to women's political participation and economic opportunity. Brittany, Grand Prize winner of the Google Science Fair, was an honored guest at the launch of Equal Futures, which seeks to ensure that more young women like her have the chance to excel worldwide.
White House Blogs
- The White House Blog
- Middle Class Task Force
- Council of Economic Advisers
- Council on Environmental Quality
- Council on Women and Girls
- Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Office of Management and Budget
- Office of Public Engagement
- Office of Science & Tech Policy
- Office of Urban Affairs
- Open Government
- Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Social Innovation and Civic Participation
- US Trade Representative
- Office National Drug Control Policy