Biophysical Newsletter - April 2014





al Science Foundation by the US Senate. She was nominated for the position by President Obama last summer. Cora Marrett has been acting director at NSF since March when Subra Suresh left to become president of Carnegie Mellon University.

As the US plays “a less dominant role in many ar- eas” of science and engineering activity, the report cautioned, further “potentially disruptive develop- ments” could be on the way. In a separate report that buttresses the NSF find- ings, Battelle, a leading global innovation firm, forecasts a total of $465 billion in US public and private research and development spending, still first in the world. However, the Battelle report also shows rapidly increasing spending by China, which has already enabled it to leapfrog past Japan into second place. If current trends continue, China is projected to overtake the United States by 2022. The full NSF report can be found at http://www.

France Córdova

Córdova will now lead the federal agency that has a $7 billion budget to award grants for scientific research around the country. She stepped down in 2012 as Purdue’s president, a position she had held since 2007. An astrophysicist, Córdova served as NASA’s Chief Scientist in the 1990s. She also served as Chair of the Smithsonian Institu- tion’s Board of Regents. NSF Report Shows Shift in Global R&D Funding The 2014 edition of the NSF’s Science and Engi- neering Indicators , which summarizes trends in science and engineering research, education, work- force development and market economics, points to a decrease in the US and European Union (EU) share of global R&D investment and an increase in that of Asian countries. The amount that Asian countries spent on R&D in 2011 accounted for more than one-third of the world’s total, and in 2012 China spent slightly more of its gross domestic product on science than the EU did as a whole. The report indicates that the US and Europe no longer monopolize global R&D. The portion of the world’s R&D per- formed in the US and Europe has decreased since 2001 by 37% to 30% in the US and from 26% to 22% in Europe. During the same period, the share of global R&D performed by Asian countries in- creased from 25% to 34%, with China leading the way with its share growing from just 4% to 15% during the same period. The report also cites a hefty increase in the num- ber of published papers from Asian countries, but points out that the US remains the leading producer of highly cited articles.

Holt Won’t Seek Reelection

Another advocate for science re- search has announced the he will not run for office in 2014. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) announced on February 18 that he will not seek reelection. “There is no hidden motive for

Rush Holt

my decision,” Holt said. “As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was reelection and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career. For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative.” Holt is the son of former senator Rush D. Holt (D-W.Va.). He worked as a nuclear physicist and starred on Jeopardy! before joining Congress in 1999. He is the 20th House member and ninth Democrat to announce he won’t seek reelection this year.

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