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Funders

  • NSF
  • NASA
  • DOE
  • Air Force
  • Army
  • Private Universities
  • Public Universities and Colleges
  • Private Donors/Foundations

Advisors

  • The National Academy of Sciences
    • An independent body constituted to provide advice to the government on Science (National Academy of Science), Engineering (National Academy of Engineering) and Medicine (Institute of Medicine). Composed of individual members and staff that support “Boards”, which have “Committees” (and Committees that can be jointly constituted, like the CAA – listed below). The “principal operating agency” of the National Academies is the National Research Council. The Institute of Medicine jointly administers the NRC with the other two academies.
      • Space Studies Board
        • Usually provides advice on NASA-related issues, including space flight concerns, not just science
      • Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee (aka the Decadal Survey Committee)
        • Formed every decade to undertake creation of the Decadal Survey. Jointly formed by CAA and BPA (see below)
        • Funded by NASA and NSF and occasionally other sources
      • Board on Physics and Astronomy
        • Broadly focused on science concerns, covers mainly NSF and NASA issues
        • Includes various subcommittees including the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life and various others.
      • Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics
        • Joint committee of SSB and BPA, issues letter reports and Reviews, including the mid-course review of the Astronomy Decadal Survey.
      • Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy
        • A wide-ranging committee that issues reports on topics such as enhancing postdoctoral scholar positions, ethics of science, women in science etc.
  • Agency Advisory Committees
    • Two basic types, “FACA” and non- “FACA”. Usually constituted by agencies to get useful input from the community in question.
      • FACA Committees
        • Constituted under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, must follow certain rules such as how their members are chosen, public comment periods, open meetings etc.
        • Examples
          • AAAC
          • NASA Advisory committee structure (in flux)
          • DOE discipline advisory committees (HEPAP, BESAC, etc.)
          • NSF MPS Advisory Committee
      • Special Committees or Commissions, formed when needed by Presidential order or Congressional direction
        • Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (FACA)
        • PCAST – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (‘permanent’)
        • President’s Commission on the Implementation of the (NASA’s) Exploration Vision (expired)
        • President’s Commission on Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (expired)
      • Non-FACA Committees
        • Not bound by FACA rules
        • Setup by agencies to accomplish something or to serve, in essence like a FACA Committee, though it is not one (e.g. NSF no longer supports FACA committees below the Directorate level)
  • Scientific Associations
    • AAS, APS, AGU etc.
      • Can provide direct input to policy makers
  • Lobbyists for contractors, missions, organizations
    • Professionals trained to represent entities in the policy process, can significantly alter priorities of President and Congress and modify budgets both in the OMB and on the Hill
  • Individual scientists
    • Allowed by law to contact and communicate with any government person they want to.

Policy Makers

  • The President
    • Acts directly and through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
      • OMB is an office of the Executive Office of the President responsible for the management and budgeting of all government agencies
        • Flat management structure, one person does lots, e.g. NASA science and NSF are both overseen by one person each.
      • Issues a budget each year near state of the union address, contains policy directions etc.
      • Top level issues can severely impact our field...e.g. tax cuts, wars, natural disasters.
  • The Agencies
    • Act through execution of their goals and implementation of the President’s directives
      • Interact each year with OMB to establish budget
      • Must testify before Congress to defend budget and when oversight by Congress is mandated/implemented
  • The Congress
    • Acts through passage of laws and oversight
      • Authorization legislation
        • Establishes why something is being done and what should be done in the future
      • Appropriations legislation
        • The Nation’s checkbook...you don’t get $, you don’t do nada
      • Oversight
        • Hearings
        • Letters of inquiry

Edited by: Kevin B. Marvel

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