Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Nature Publishing Group and The University of Queensland launch new OA journal – npj Science of Learning
Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group has partnered with The University of Queensland (UQ) to publish npj Science of Learning, a new open access research journal that will explore the neurobiology of learning in experimental and educational environments. UQ researcher Professor Pankaj Sah of the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the new journal.
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ProQuest joins BIBCO and ECIP Cataloging Partnership Programs
ProQuest has announced that it has become a partner in the Library of Congress’ Electronic Cataloging in Publication (ECIP) Cataloging Partnership and BIBCO Programs. The company is the first publisher ever to partner in the ECIP program and joins academic libraries in cataloguing pre-publication galleys of U.S. imprints received at the Library of Congress.
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Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering now open for submissions
Swiss open-access publisher Frontiers has announced that Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering is open for submissions. The journal welcomes original, theoretical, and applied research in mechanical sciences and engineering, with a scope from the nano- to the macroscale.
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Historical databases now accessible to libraries through WorldCat and WorldCat Discovery Services
Accessible Archives, Inc., a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases, has entered into an agreement with OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative providing research, programs and services for libraries, to add MARC records from hundreds of digitised historical book resources to WorldCat for discovery of these valuable resources worldwide. Accessible Archives’ diverse primary source collections, which now are available through WorldCat Discovery Services, also include newspapers and periodicals from Colonial and Early America.
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Maney Publishing partners with ReadCube to widen reach of its collection
Academic publisher Maney Publishing has announced its partnership with Boston-based publishing software company ReadCube. Through ReadCube’s Discover service, over 100,000 articles from Maney Publishing will be indexed, with their discoverability bolstered via ReadCube’s web, desktop, and mobile reading portals, search engines, and recommendation feeds.
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University of Iowa Libraries select Ex Libris Cloud solutions
Library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group has announced that the University of Iowa has selected Ex Libris Alma for next-generation resource management services. Alma will replace a number of systems, including the Aleph integrated library system.
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Baker & Taylor’s new Axis 360 app streamlines access to digital content for mobile users
Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books, has announced the launch of its new Axis 360 app for both Apple and Android devices. The Axis 360 app offers mobile users the ability to discover, download and listen to digital audiobooks, as well as access ebooks to read, within a single application.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Keystone XL Bill Clears Senate, But Obama Veto Looms.

The Senate easily passed legislation authorizing the Keystone project on Thursday, but looming over the action was the presidential veto threat. The consensus among the media is that the President will veto the bill, and that Congress will not be able to override it.

The AP  (1/30, Cappiello) reports that on Thursday, the Senate passed a “bipartisan” bill to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on a 62-36 vote. Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans to back the bill. Its the first time that such legislation has cleared the Senate, but “the vote was short of the threshold needed to override a veto, and the legislation still must be reconciled with the version the House passed.”

The New York Times  (1/30, Davenport, Subscription Publication) says that the multi-year battle over the pipeline has “become a proxy for far broader fights over climate change, energy and the economy, and for the conflict between Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans.” The measure, following action to reconcile it with the House’s version, is likely to reach Obama’s desk “as soon as next week,” but it is “unlikely” that either chamber “can muster the two-thirds majority of votes necessary to override” the expected veto.

McClatchy  (1/30, Cockerham, Subscription Publication) reports that the White House this week “reiterated” that the President will veto the measure. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “our position on the Keystone legislation is well-known.” McClatchy says outright that there “are not enough Keystone supporters” to override a veto. The Wall Street Journal  (1/30, Harder, Subscription Publication) reports that the President has cited the ongoing State Department review process, which has been ongoing for more than six years, as a reason for the veto threat.

Politico  (1/30, Schor) and Roll Call  (1/30, Gardner, Chacko, Subscription Publication) similarly said that the vote sets up a veto showdown.

USA Today  (1/29, Singer) reports that the House “passed a similar bill Jan. 9 — the 10th time the House has passed such legislation — but since the Senate bill has been amended, the two chambers will have to agree on one version before the bill goes to the president.”

The Washington Post  (1/30, Kane) reports that despite the “likely stalemate,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell “declared the nearly month-long debate over the legislation a step forward for eventually getting the pipeline approved and also for pushing the new leader’s approach of free-wheeling debate.” McConnell said, “The debate over these American jobs has shown that with bipartisan cooperation, it’s possible to get Washington functioning again.” The Los Angeles Times  (1/30, Mascaro) reports that passage “secured not only a top Republican policy victory but also a political success for new” Majority Leader McConnell, “who made Keystone his first priority.”

Reuters  (1/30) reports that after the expected veto, the President will have to make a decision on the project. Bloomberg News  (1/30, Hunter) reports that Obama “has said he wants to wait until” the review process “is completed before deciding on whether to approve construction of the pipeline.”

Yellowstone River Spill Provides Ammunition To Both Sides. The AP  (1/30, Brown) reports that a breach in a Montana oil pipeline spilled 30,000 galls of crude into Montana’s Yellowstone River earlier this month, an event that is being used as ammunition by both sides in the Keystone debate. On one side, opponents argue that it shows the danger of oil pipelines. On the other, proponents argue that it shows the need to update the nation’s aging array of pipelines.

Higher Education

Study Shows Credit Hours Still Useful For Schools.

Education Week  (1/29, Heitin) reports “the group that invented the Carnegie unit—also known as the credit hour—more than a hundred years ago announced this week that it had re-examined the measurement’s usefulness and found that, while imperfect, it still serves a vital administrative purpose and has not been a major obstacle to innovation in schools.”

Barro: Obama’s 529 Plan Violated Tax Rules.

Josh Barro writes in The New York Times  (1/30, Barro, Subscription Publication) that “the first rule of modern tax policy is raise taxes only on the rich,” and that “the second rule is that your family isn’t rich, even if you make a lot of money.” According to Barro, “President Obama’s State of the Union proposal to end the tax benefits for college savings accounts ran afoul of these rules, which is why he abandoned it, under intense pressure from both political parties, within a week.”

From ASEE
#ASEEYoADiversity 3-minute video. Pat Campbell: Getting high-achieving, low-income students to competitive colleges (it’s easier than you think)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Research and Development

Poll Finds Large Gap Between Scientists’, Public’s View On Science Issues.

The AP  (1/30, Borenstein) reports on a poll  released by the Pew Research Center that surveyed both scientists and the American public about their opinions on science issues including climate change, evolution, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The scientists, who were represented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “are far less worried about genetically modified food, pesticide use and nuclear power than is the general public.” In eight of 13 science-oriented issue categories, “there was a 20-percentage-point or higher gap separating the opinions of the public and” the scientists. “The most dramatic split,” the AP reports, “88 percent of the scientists surveyed said it is safe to eat genetically modified foods, while only 37 percent of the public say it is safe and 57 percent say it is unsafe.” Additionally, “68 percent of scientists said it is safe to eat foods grown with pesticides, compared with only 28 percent of the general public.”

NBC News  (1/30) adds that the disconnect is, in part, due to each side “hav[ing] a slightly more negative view of the other.” According to Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “There is a disconnect between the way in which the public perceives the state of science and science’s position on a variety of issues, and the way in which the scientific community … looks at the state of science.” He adds, “That’s a cause of concern.”

Washington Post  (1/29, Mooney) Environmental Reporter Chris Mooney writes in the paper’s “Wonkblog” that just “call[ing] the public dumb” and “try to set them straight about the facts” when there’s a gap between the views of scientists and ordinary citizens, then “you’re not being so perceptive yourself.” He concludes “when people disagree with scientists, there’s often a lot more going on than mere scientific illiteracy.”

Also reporting on the polls findings are Reuters  (1/30, Dunham), TIME  (1/30, Rhodan) reports, the NPR  (1/29) “Two Way” blog, Forbes  (1/29) reports, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  (1/30, Roth) adds that according

Engineering and Public Policy

Media Reports Highlight Problems Developing For Renewable Energy Industry.

Several media pieces posted in the latest news cycle suggest problems are developing for diverse renewable energy sectors and energy-saving initiatives.

Offshore Windfarm Leases Draw Little Interest. The New York Times  (1/30, Cardwell, Subscription Publication) reports that back in 2013, the Administration started “auctioning off leases for offshore wind farms up and down the Eastern Seaboard, hoping to spur a nascent industry.” Now, the “industry is languishing,” with projects in a number of areas “dead, moribund or struggling.” Now, an auction for parcels off the Massachusetts coast on Thursday “drew little interest from developers,” with two of the four receiving no bids, and the others attracting much lower prices than other recent auctions.

Meanwhile, in a piece that is focused on wind farms in the West, USA Today  (1/30, Hughes) reports that utilities have installed “thousands” of new wind turbines in 2014 and are “on track to install even more this year,” but they are “causing a new problem: Those churning blades kill hundreds of thousands of birds annually, including federally protected golden eagles.” Now, Federal wildlife officials are “cracking down on wind farms caught killing bats and birds.”

New Mexico Official Halts Renewable Energy Project. The AP  (1/30, Bryan) reports that late on Wednesday, New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn “has put the brakes on a $2 billion transmission project that would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West.” Dunn announced a 60-days suspension following a meeting with developers, a move that will give his office “time to review the project before any further development affects state trust lands, he said.”

Smart Meters Not Meeting Earlier Promise. In the second item in a three-part series, the Washington Post  (1/29, Mooney) reports that five years ago, it was argued that a “great new way of saving money on your energy bills” was the “smart meter,” which would “would let consumers actually see how much power they’re using in their homes, thus empowering them to change their habits and slash their bills.” The Post quotes the President praising the devices, but adds that the meters so far haven’t been “very revolutionary” despite the installation of 50 million units. So far, consumers can’t “easily” access the data or use it “to change their energy use.”

If EPA Treats Biomass Energy As Carbon-Free, It Could Lead To Deforestation. In a piece entitled “Obama’s Climate Plan Could Threaten US Forests,” Politico  (1/30, Grunwald) reported that the President’s Clean Power Plan is designed to “fight climate change,” but “behind the scenes, a dispute is raging over obscure language that could promote the rapid destruction of America’s carbon-storing forests.” A policy memo issued by the EPA back in November “suggests that the administration intends to treat electricity produced from most forest and farm products as carbon-free,” though in an interview with the news outlet this week, an EPA official “tried to walk back the memo.”

Pennsylvania Nuclear Waste Dump Clean-Up Price Rises. The Wall Street Journal  (1/30, Emshwiller, Subscription Publication) reports that the clean-up of the nuclear waste at the Shallow Land Disposal Area in Parks Township, Pennsylvania is likely to be more complicated and far more expensive, according to a report from the Army Corps of Engineers. The revised plan suggests that the clean-up could cost 10 times as much as originally planned.

Podesta May Have Violated Ethics Pledge For ANWR Work.

The Daily Caller  (1/30, Pollock) reports that in 2013, John Podesta, now a member of the President’s “inner circle,” was “paid $87,000 by a shadowy foreign billionaire whose passion is preventing energy exploration on American land.” He is now the “driving force inside the White House to block 12 million acres of land in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.” The Caller says that the “circumstances suggest Podesta may have run afoul of Obama’s highly-touted ethics pledge, which requires political appointees to disqualify themselves in matters relating to the interests of a former employer or client.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Founder Of Engineering Of Kids Discusses How She Got Started.

Kiplinger  (1/30) publishes a Q&A with Dori Roberts, founder and CEO of Engineering for Kids. Roberts was asked, “Why engineering?” Roberts said, “I taught engineering courses to high schoolers for 11 years. I also advised my school’s Technology Student Association, an after-school program in which students worked on projects for competition.” She also said, “My mission is to introduce engineering to as many kids as possible as early as possible.”

More Students Apply For Bell Middle School’s iSTEM Program.

The Denver Post  (1/30, Klemaier) reports on the increased interest in the STEM program at Golden, Colorado’s Bell Middle School.

The Flying Classroom Visits Colbert Elementary School.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel  (1/29, Shell) reported that Barrington Irving, “the youngest person to fly around the world solo,” traveled to Colbert Elementary Museum Magnet School to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers to students. The visit was part of Irving’s The Flying Classroom program, which includes “16 virtual expeditions.” The article noted that the school was able to bring The Flying Classroom to students through a Federal grant it received last year.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

Boeing Beats Analysts’ Expectations.
ASEE-Managed I-Corps For Learning Program Profiled.
Navy To Use Robots To Train Marines.
Drone Maker To Offer Update Disabling Devices In District Of Columbia.
Drop In Oil Prices Threatens President’s Green Legacy.
ED Program Provides States With Major STEM Funding.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Springer assumes control of Autoimmunity Highlights journal, shifts journal to open access
STM publisher Springer has assumed control of the journal Autoimmunity Highlights, which was previously owned by A. Menarini Diagnostics, an Italian company. In doing so Springer has also elected to make the journal an open access (OA) publication, which will allow for its published findings to be immediately available.
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Academic institutions worldwide select ProQuest Intota for transformative library management capabilities and industry-leading user experience
Academic institutions around the world are selecting the IntotaTM library services platform, a transformational cloud-based service that simplifies two major challenges libraries face today – collection assessment and e-resource management. Released last June, Intota v1 combines industry-leading discovery, linking, collection management and assessment in one system, built on a single, authoritative knowledgebase.
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SAGE set to publish Health Environments Research & Design journal
Academic publisher SAGE will begin publishing Health Environments Research & Design (HERD), a journal that publishes research on the relationships among health and environmental design and organisational, provider, and patient outcomes. The journal will continue to be affiliated with the Center for Health Design.
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Applications invited for CSA Trust Grant for 2015
The Chemical Structure Association (CSA) Trust, an internationally recognised organisation established to promote the critical importance of chemical information to advances in chemical research, has created a unique Grant Program and is now inviting the submission of grant applications for 2015. The Grant Program has been created to provide funding for the career development of young researchers who have demonstrated excellence in their education, research or development activities that are related to the systems and methods used to store, process and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds.
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IOP Publishing relaunches Journal of Optics
Non-profit scientific publisher IOP Publishing (IOP) has announced that it is relaunching Journal of Optics (JOPT) in 2015 with a new, expanded scope and a fresh look. JOPT, under different journal names, has been part of the optics community for more than 100 years with some of the earliest discoveries in optical manipulation, transformation optics and plasmonic lasers, having been published in the journal.
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Wolters Kluwer publishes guide for achieving compliance with USP <797> Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Compounding
Healthcare information provider Wolters Kluwer has announced the release of a complementary guide designed to help healthcare organisations stay compliant with U.S. Pharmacopeia Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations (USP 797). A Step-by-Step Guide to a USP 797 Compliant Pharmacy details the core practice and quality steps needed to optimise patient safety during compounding sterile preparations (CSPs) in healthcare organisations.
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Ex Libris Group announces development partnership with universities from the US, the UK, Belgium and Australia
Library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group has announced a development partnership with the libraries of the University of Oklahoma (OU) in the US, Imperial College and Kingston University in the UK, KU Leuven in Belgium, and UNSW Australia. The partners will participate in the development of a new reading-list solution that is now in the works at Ex Libris.
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Credo’s Literati Academic selected as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Information skills solutions provider Credo has announced Literati Academic’s selection as a 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Choice’s 2014 review emphasised the ‘huge potential’ for students and faculty and concluded that Literati Academic is ‘highly recommended.’ Literati Academic is an online research platform and library teaching tool which offers point-of-need instruction and supports students’ self-directed research.
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Synthesis Update from Morgan & Claypool Publishers

The Following Lectures Were Published in December and are included in Collection Six

Combating Bad Weather Part I: Rain Removal from Video
Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, IIT Kharagpur
Abhishek Kumar Tripathi, Uurmi Systems
Synthesis Lectures on Image, Video, and Multimedia Processing

Combating Bad Weather Part II:
Fog Removal from Image and Video

Sudipta Mukhopadhyay, IIT Kharagpur
Abhishek Kumar Tripathi, Uurmi Systems
Synthesis Lectures on Image, Video, and Multimedia Processing

Designed Technologies for Healthy Aging
Claudia B. Rebola, Rhode Island School of Design
Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-Preserving Technologies

Fieldwork for Healthcare:
Guidance for Investigating Human Factors in Computing Systems

Dominic Furniss, University College London
Rebecca Randell, University of Leeds
Aisling Ann O’Kane, University College London
Svetlena Taneva, University Health Network, Toronto
Helena Mentis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Ann Blandford, University College London
Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-Preserving Technologies

Mechanical Testing for the Biomechanics Engineer:
A Practical Guide

Marnie M. Saunders, The University of Akron, Ohio
Synthesis Lectures on Biomedical Engineering

Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs):
Applications, Models, and Future Directions

Christian Wachsmann, Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany
Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Technische Universität, Darmstadt, Germany
Synthesis Lectures on Information Security, Privacy, and Trust

Power-Efficient Computer Architectures:
Recent Advances

Magnus Själander, Uppsala University
Margaret Martonosi, Princeton University
Stefanos Kaxiras, Uppsala University
Synthesis Lectures on Computer Architecture

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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Boeing Beats Analysts’ Expectations.

The AP  (1/28) reports that Boeing “surpassed” analyst forecasts when it reported its fourth-quarter earnings, profits, and earnings.

Another AP  (1/28, Koenig) article notes that commercial aircraft demand, which countered “weakness in the defense business,” helped raise profits by 19%. Meanwhile, Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney “discounted fears” that the drop in the cost of oil will ultimately hurt plane sales. According to the article, McNerney believes that “airline profits,” and not oil prices, dictate demand.

According to the Wall Street Journal  (1/28, Ostrower, Subscription Publication), Boeing did deliver some bad news when it reported that its Dreamliner costs continue to rise.

The New York Times  (1/28, Drew, Subscription Publication) reports that Boeing did show “signs” that it would be able to start generating more funds from the Dreamliner this year. Reuters  (1/28, Scott) focuses on the questions raised by Boeing’s earnings report, such as when the Dreamliner will be profitable.

Also covering the story are USA Today  (1/28, Jones), Chicago Tribune  (1/28, Karp), Bloomberg News  (1/28, Johnsson),another Reuters  (1/28, Singh) article, a third Reuters  (1/28, Scott) article, Times (UK)  (1/29, Frean), Forbes  (1/28, McGrath), Telegraph (UK)  (1/28, Tovey), CNBC  (1/28, DiChristopher), and AFP  (1/29).

McNerney Says He Respects SpaceX And Its Focus On Costs. The Puget Sound (WA) Business Journal  (1/28, Wilhelm, Subscription Publication) “TechFlash” blog reports that during a call with analysts, McNerney said he does “respect” SpaceX and its business focus on reducing launch costs. According to the article, NASA’s commercial crew contracts is “pitting” SpaceX against Boeing. McNerney said that SpaceX will drive his company to become “better competitor in some segments,” but “where manned missions go a long way into many type of places,” Boeing should eventually come out on top.

Higher Education

ASEE-Managed I-Corps For Learning Program Profiled.

In a piece for Forbes  (1/23), contributor Neil Kane writes about the genesis of the Innovation Corps program, which sprang from an effort on the part of former National Science Foundation head Subra Suresh, who “asked the NSF Engineering and Computer and Information Sciences directorates to develop a ‘mentorship’ program to increase the economic impact of its research portfolio.” The piece explains that “in the I-Corps program, teams are comprised of three members: A PI (principal investigator) who has received funding from NSF in the past for his/her research, an entrepreneurial lead and a mentor.” Kane writes about his involvement in the program, and writes that eventually, “Don Millard had the bright idea that educators, distinct from scientists and engineers, could also benefit from the I-Corps curriculum,” leading to the birth of the “I-Corps L (for learning) program.” Near the end of the piece, Kane notes that the American Society for Engineering Education “is providing all the logistic support for I-Corps L.”

USF Cybersecurity Program Receives $300k Grant.

The Tampa Bay (FL) Business Journal  (1/29, Millward, Subscription Publication) reports “the National Science Foundation is giving University of South Florida $300,000 to teach students cybersecurity using actual cases.” The grant will fund “information systems professor Grandon Gill’s 18-month research project of faculty and student researchers interviewing people involved in the cases and how they made their cybersecurity decisions.”

California’s Experience Suggests Potential Problems For Obama’s Community College Plan.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post  (1/28, Kurlaender, Jackson), Michal Kurlaender, an education professor at UC-Davis and Jacob Jackson, a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California, write that President Obama’s proposal to make community colleges “free” is a “valiant effort to address the rising demand for skilled workers throughout the nation and to improve college access for low-income students.” However, they say that California’s experience with very-low tuition community college should educate states considering the President’s plan. They says that “even with high participation levels and nearly free community college, many California students do not complete degrees.”

From ASEE
#ASEEYoADiversity 3-minute video. Pat Campbell: Getting high-achieving, low-income students to competitive colleges (it’s easier than you think)

ASEE Perks
Learn about the broad collection of benefits available to ASEE members.

Research and Development

Navy To Use Robots To Train Marines.

The International Business Times  (1/29) reports that the Office of Naval Research “has unveiled new plans to employ robots to train marine forces in the future,” and on Tuesday “launched a new experiment that it hopes will help create robots and other human surrogates for military training purposes.” Researchers at the University of Central Florida “have placed a human surrogate, which will greet and interact with people passing through the lobby of the university’s Institute for Simulation and Training.” The piece quotes ONR program officer Peter Squire saying, “Marine Corps training concepts continue to merge virtual and live components to create the most realistic, effective and affordable training for Marines. The way people react to and interact with the different surrogates in this study is crucial to understanding how we can improve our military training systems.”

Industry News

Drone Maker To Offer Update Disabling Devices In District Of Columbia.

The Wall Street Journal  (1/28, Nicas, Subscription Publication) reports the Chinese manufacturer of the drone that landed near the White House this week is creating an update to disable the device from flying over a large portion of the District of Columbia. SZ DJI Technology Co. spokesman Michael Perry said, if downloaded, the update will prevent the a drone from taking off in the area. Perry said the company wants to allow consumers to be “innovative and creative with the technology,” while also “using it responsibly.”

WSJournal Analysis: Authorities Concerned About Drones Being Used In Attacks. In an analysis piece, the Wall Street Journal  (1/29, Nicas, Subscription Publication) reports drones are being used by criminals and terrorists, and US authorities are becoming increasingly concerned they could be part of plans to conduct attacks.

FAA Warns Against Drones At Super Bowl Site. ABC World News (1/28, story 11, 0:15, Muir) reported the FAA is “calling for a no drone zone” for the Super Bowl. The FAA is “telling everyone, leave your drone at home if you have one. Violators will land in jail.”

WPost: “Balance” Needed Concerning Drone Regulations. The Washington Post  (1/29) editorializes that “the federal government poorly regulates the booming drone industry.” The Post says the correct “response is not overreaction but rather tightening rules and procedures in some ways – and loosening them in others.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Drop In Oil Prices Threatens President’s Green Legacy.

Bloomberg News  (1/28, Plungis, Drajem) reports that the benefits of dropping oil prices “may come at a steep price” for the President’s “climate-change initiatives.” Bloomberg says that some of Obama’s “most cherished achievements,” such as “cars on the road that burn less gasoline, reductions in greenhouse gases and a plan to cut emissions from power plants,” are threatened by the drop in oil prices. In addition, the oil industry says that the revenue decline “means it can’t afford new climate regulations.”

Keystone XL Claims Examined. The AP  (1/29, Cappiello) runs a “fact check” piece on the Keystone XL debate. Among the claims examined are the idea that Keystone is “worse for global warming.” The AP suggests that this isn’t true, as the oil in question would be shipped to market one way or another. Another is that Keystone is “good for jobs.” The AP says that the project is unlikely to create more than a handful of long-term jobs.

Sasol Delaying Huge Louisiana Project As Oil Prices Drop. The New York Times  (1/29, Krauss, Subscription Publication) reports that Sasol, a major oil firm, has “delayed an expansive $14 billion project in southwestern Louisiana to make diesel out of natural gas.” The project, “which had not yet been approved by the company, was to create at least 1,200 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs, and begin production in 2018.” However, with the price of oil dropping, the “highly speculative, and expensive, project was economically impractical.”

Chevron, BP Working Together To Find Oil In Deep Gulf Waters. Meanwhile, the New York Times  (1/29, Reed, Subscription Publication) reports that Chevron and BP announced on Wednesday that they would “work together to explore, appraise and, possibly, develop 24 offshore leases in a deepwater part of the Gulf of Mexico known as the lower tertiary.” That “geological zone has in recent years been considered a new frontier” but “because it is deeper under the seabed than previously worked areas, the oil there tends to be hotter and under more pressure and thus more difficult and costly to bring to market.”

Oklahomans Concerned Fracking Is Causing Earthquakes. The Washington Post  (1/28, Montgomery) reports that in Oklahoma last year, “567 quakes of at least 3.0 magnitude rocked a swath of counties from the state capital to the Kansas line, alarming a populace long accustomed to fewer than two quakes a year.” Scientists “implicated the oil and gas industry,” but state officials “have been reluctant to crack down on an industry that accounts for a third of the economy and one in five jobs.” Still, state officials “insist they are doing all they can to develop new regulations.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

ED Program Provides States With Major STEM Funding.

The Afro American Newspaper  (1/29) reports on increasing Federal funding for STEM education, but notes that “limited evidence is available about which programs are most effective, making increased investment a blind gambit.” The piece reports on President Obama’s calls for increased funding, and notes that according to James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition, “the single largest program solely focused on STEM…is the Math and Science Partnership Program at the U.S. Department of Education, which has an annual budget of about $150 million and was established by the No Child Left Behind Act under the George W. Bush administration.” The piece quotes Brown saying, “For a lot of states, that program is the only source of dedicated funding for the STEM subjects.”

Computer Programming May Be Treated As Foreign Language In Kentucky.

The Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal  (1/28, Wynn) reports “Senate President Pro Tem David Givens has filed a bill in the 2015 General Assembly that would let school districts teach computer programming as a credit in foreign language.” The bill “also would allow programming courses to satisfy foreign language requirements for admission into Kentucky’s public universities.” Said Givens,”Computer programming is truly a language, and let’s be honest, it’s foreign to a lot of people.”

TWISTER Conference To Focus On STEM Opportunities.

The Tennessean  (1/28, Allison) reports “the 13th annual TWISTER (Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research) conference takes place 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14.” The conference is “sponsored by a variety of STEM-related organizations in the area” and “is designed to encourage high school aged women to pursue career paths in the field by providing opportunities and real-life experience and connecting participants to female role models.”

Wednesday’s Lead Stories

Study Finds Women Falling Behind In Receiving STEM Bachelor’s Degrees.
In Face Of Bipartisan Opposition, Obama Drops Plan To Limit 529 Plans.
North Carolina Recommends Changes to Teacher Training Programs.
Drones May Change Energy Exploration.
Oklahoma Official Proposes Teacher Pay Increase.
Maryland College To Host Satellite Event For Climate Change Conference.
Senate Holds Hearing To Revise NCLB, Focuses On Teacher Evaluations.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

ProQuest, University of Michigan Library and Bodleian Libraries provide 25,000 early modern books as open access text
The full text of more than 25,000 titles from the acclaimed ProQuest resource Early English Books Online (EEBO) are now openly available on the websites of the University of Michigan Library and the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. The new open access titles are the result of work of the Text Creation Partnership (TCP), a longstanding effort to transcribe early modern print books, creating standardised, accurate XML/SGML encoded electronic text editions.
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Wiley launches premium open access journal Advanced Science
Publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc., has announced the launch of Advanced Science, a new premium, interdisciplinary open access journal. Advanced Science publishes cutting-edge research, selected through a rigorous and fair reviewing process and is presented using the highest quality production standards to create a premium open access journal.
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DynaMed grant to allow free website to continue to provide infectious diseases specialists with beneficial educational resource
A grant from DynaMed will enable healthcare professionals to continue to have the opportunity to learn from interesting and instructive infectious disease cases. The EBSCO Health resource has made a donation to support the Partners Infectious Disease Images website, a free database for healthcare trainees and providers that contains thousands of clinical images and hundreds of in-depth cases.
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SAGE’s Global Publishing Director, Ziyad Marar, appointed to Campaign for Social Sciences Board
Academic publisher SAGE has announced that it’s Global Publishing Director and author of three books, Ziyad Marar, has been appointed to The Campaign for Social Science (CfSS) coveted board. Launched to raise the profile of social science in the public, media and parliament, The CfSS is one of the leading voices and advocates for social sciences in the UK.
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IOP Publishing joins eduGAIN service
Non-profit scientific publisher IOP Publishing (IOP) has joined the service eduGAIN to allow institutions, within participating federations, access to IOPscience through Shibboleth/Institutional login, simplifying access to scientific content within the global research community. Through eduGAIN, IOP has expanded the list of institutions that can use Shibboleth/Institutional login to access IOPscience to include customers in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland.
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De Gruyter expands Advisory Board in China in the area of STM
Academic publisher De Gruyter has announced that Professor Wing Sum Cheung of the University of Hong Kong has been appointed to De Gruyter’s Advisory Board, strengthening the company’s STM activities in the area of mathematics. Professor Cheung’s appointment is the latest development in De Gruyter’s many years of successful engagement in China.
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New whitepaper compares and contrasts linked data initiatives at OCLC and the Library of Congress
OCLC, the non-profit computer library service and research organisation, and the Library of Congress jointly released a whitepaper which compares and contrasts the compatible linked data initiatives at both institutions. The whitepaper is an executive summary of a more detailed technical analysis that will be released later this year.
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More than 20 institutions now using Altmetric to help track and report research impact
Alternative metrics provider Altmetric has announced that over 20 world-leading research institutions have now adopted the Altmetric for Institutions analytics platform to monitor and report on the engagement and attention surrounding their research outputs. The platform aggregates mentions of an institution’s output from a number of non-traditional sources including public policy documents, mainstream and social media, post-publication peer-review and online reference managers.
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University of Arizona selects Ex Libris Rosetta to drive large scale digital asset management and preservation for a consortium-led initiative
Library automation and preservation solutions provider Ex Libris Group has announced that the University of Arizona has adopted the Rosetta digital management and preservation solution as a key component of its repository services. Designed to expose the University’s rich digital collections for the benefit of diverse audiences, the project will better enable the University of Arizona to provide sustained access to scholarly digital content and research to both university members and the broader academic community.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Study Finds Women Falling Behind In Receiving STEM Bachelor’s Degrees.

According to the Washington Post  (1/27, Rampell), a National Student Clearinghouse report on degrees in STEM fields found the percentage of STEM bachelor’s degrees received by women has “ticked down over the past decade,” with women receiving 23 percent of BA’s in computer science in 2004 versus only 18 percent in 2014. The study also notes that both sexes were “slightly more likely” to major in STEM fields in 2014 than they were in 2004. The study also notes that educators have cited Harvey Mudd College “as a role model” for encouraging woman in STEM fields, as the school’s “revamped” intro course and other changes have led to women comprising “nearly half of its computer science majors.”

NNSA Helps Sponsor University Of Missouri Engineering Zone For Young STEM Students.

The Kansas City (MO) Star  (1/28, Robertson) reports on the Kansas City Engineering Zone at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which “is giving robotics teams from Paseo and Lincoln College Preparatory Academy a new space to collaborate and build.” The article notes that NNSA and Honeywell were two of the partners with UMKC on the center, having donated about “$300,000 worth of machine shop equipment.”

Higher Education

In Face Of Bipartisan Opposition, Obama Drops Plan To Limit 529 Plans.

The White House said on Tuesday that the President was dropping his plan to limit the tax benefits of 529 college savings plans. The coverage stressed the opposition that Obama’s proposal had faced was not only from Republicans, but also from top Democrats. The New York Times  (1/28, Weisman, Subscription Publication) reports that “facing angry reprisals from parents and from lawmakers of both parties,” the President has decided to drop the plan, but will still “keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan.” The plan faced opposition not only from House Speaker John Boehner, but also from a number of top House Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). USA Today  (1/27, Singer) runs a similar report, noting opposition from Boehner, Pelosi and Van Hollen.

The AP  (1/28, Ohlemacher) reports that the White House move came “amid a backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.” Pelosi “pushed senior administration officials to drop it as she flew with the president aboard Air Force One from India to Saudi Arabia.” In addition, Van Hollen and Sen Charles Schumer (D) “privately weighed in against the plan.” An unnamed White House official said, “Given it has become such a distraction, we’re not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision so that they can instead focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief that has bipartisan support.”

The Washington Post  (1/27, Douglas-Gabriel) says that the proposal “proved to be a serious political miscalculation,” because with student debt soaring, the 529 plan “has become one of the best tools for families to save for college.” The Post says that critics “quickly pounced” on the proposal, “saying it was tone deaf to the needs and aspirations of ordinary Americans who are looking for any help they can get saving money for college.”

The Wall Street Journal  (1/28, Mckinnon, Subscription Publication) says that the move is a setback for the President. However, a White House official downplayed the impact of the move, saying the 529 proposal was “a very small component of the president’s overall plan to deliver $50 billion in education tax cuts for middle-class families.”

McClatchy  (1/28, Hall, Subscription Publication) reports that GOP Congressional leaders “cheered” the White House decision to back off the plan. Boehner said, “I’m glad President Obama has decided to listen to the American people and withdraw his tax hike on college savings. This tax would have hurt middle-class families already struggling to get ahead.” Sen. Charles Grassley “questioned the view that the college savings instruments were another way for the rich to shelter income. He said his office checked stats at the Iowa treasurer’s office.”

The Washington Times  (1/28, Boyer) reports that RNC Chair Reince Priebus said Obama’s move was “welcome news for millions of families and an embarrassing blow to his agenda. Democrats are in real trouble heading into 2016 if they think raising taxes on middle class families counts as ‘middle class economics.’”

Bloomberg News  (1/28, Rubin, Dorning) reports that whatever the White House’s stance on the plan, the proposal “had almost no chance of advancing in the Republican-led Congress.”

In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal  (1/28, Subscription Publication) says that it is good that the plan has died, but wishes that it had been the focus of scrutiny for a few more months as it would have been disconcerting to the middle-class taxpayers that the President claims to be working in favor of.

GOP Expected To Look To Expand 529 Plans. Politico  (1/28, Blade, Grasgreen) reports on the Democratic opposition and adds that “now Hill Republicans want to rub his nose in it by voting to expand the tax break.” Politico adds that a “legislative aide to one of the authors of a bipartisan bill to expand tax savings for 529s said House leaders’ ‘plan is for the bill to be brought to the floor in late February for a vote,’ giving Republicans another chance to flaunt the small tax victory.”

Jury Finds Defendants Guilty In Vanderbilt Rape Trial.

The Tennessean  (1/27, Tamburin) reports that a jury found former Vanderbilt University football players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey guilty of rape on Tuesday, as staffers from almost 80 Tennessee colleges began a two-day summit dedicated to stopping on-campus sexual assaults. It says “Organizers started planning the summit” last year in response to new Department of Education regulations on sexual violence, also mentioning what topics the summit panels will address.

The WSMV-TV  Nashville, TN (1/28, Bruck) website reports that ED officials were on the Vanderbilt University campus when the verdict was delivered, noting that this “is one of more than 50 universities under federal investigation for mishandling of sexual assault cases.” WSMV relayed comments from students and victims’ advocates, who hoped the outcome would contribute to more dialogue about rape.

The Tennessean  (1/27, Wilemon) reports that two women who were also raped on the Vanderbilt campus welcomed the verdict and said the student who took Vandenburg and Batey to court was a hero. One of these two, graduate student Sarah O’Brien, is pushing “the university’s leadership to do more to protect students from sexual violence and, along with others, has filed a complaint against the university with the U.S. Department of Education.”

In an editorial written on behalf of The Tennessean  (1/27) Editorial Board, Opinion Engagement Editor David Plazas asserts that the trial, which “was painful and revealed horrible truths about the extent of heinous behavior fed by a culture of irresponsibility and shaming,” should lead to a loud and open conversation about how rape affects everyone.

From ASEE
#ASEEYoADiversity 3-minute video. Pat Campbell: Getting high-achieving, low-income students to competitive colleges (it’s easier than you think)

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Accreditation and Professional Development

North Carolina Recommends Changes to Teacher Training Programs.

The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer  (1/27, Stancill) reports a “daylong summit” ending with the unveiling of seven proposals could mean “major changes” are on their way to the North Carolina public university teacher training programs that have “seen a precipitous drop in students” recently. The Observer notes the recommendations include “a longer, more intensive practical teaching experience for students,” improved collaboration between educational and arts and sciences schools within the university, a “publicly available ‘UNC teacher quality dashboard,’” and expansion of a program providing “support and mentoring to new teachers.” UNC leaders stated “the recommendations are necessary” to curb the drop in the number of students enrolled in the program, which the board chairman deemed “inadequate to meet the demand.” Ellen McIntyre, dean of education at UNC Charlotte, stated that they prepared “enough teachers” but simply “don’t keep them.”

Research and Development

Drones May Change Energy Exploration.

The AP  (1/27, Legere) reports that drones may be used in the search of oil and gas deposits once the technology becomes available for smaller, more energy-efficient magnetic sensors. Energy companies will save time and money using new technology to perform surveys and safety checks. “The options available to them are wildly expensive, very slow and very dangerous for anybody that’s deployed on site,” said Dick Zhang, CEO of Identified Technologies, a Pennsylvania drone company. “We saw this problem and proposed a solution.” Rob Schwarz said his company, Remote Intelligence, is also developing drone services: “Gas pipelines, erosion and sedimentation, security – that’s where a lot of the interest is, as well as pad layout,” he explained.

Workforce

Oklahoma Official Proposes Teacher Pay Increase.

The Houston Chronicle  (1/28, Perera) reports newly-elected Oklahoma superintendent of public instruction Joy Hofmeister “wants to invest $150 million toward a five-year plan to raise teacher pay,” according to KOKH-TV. Under that plan, teachers would see a $5,000 pay increase, as well as five more days of instructional time.

Engineering and Public Policy

Maryland College To Host Satellite Event For Climate Change Conference.

The AP  (1/27) reports that the public is being invited to Frostburg State University “to watch a satellite feed of a national conference on climate change.” School officials “say the university is one of just seven institutions in the United States selected to host a satellite site for the event starting Tuesday. The conference in Washington runs through Thursday.” The conference “on science, policy and the environment attracts more than 1,200 experts.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Senate Holds Hearing To Revise NCLB, Focuses On Teacher Evaluations.

The Washington Post  (1/27, Brown) reports the Senate’s Tuesday hearing was the “most serious effort” yet to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law, an effort being led by the chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R, TN). The article notes that lawmakers do not want to continue linking “teacher evaluations and teacher pay to student test scores,” with Sen. Patty Marry (D, WA) stating she is “wary” of using tests as the “sole factor” for salaries or evaluations. According to the Post, Alexander’s draft law says the Secretary of ED “may have no role in approving state-level teacher evaluations” and eliminates the “highly qualified teacher” requirement. The draft law also expands “funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund” and gives “states much more flexibility” on the use of Federal funds for teacher and principal training. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) was “sharply critical” of this flexible approach.

The Education Week  (1/28, Camera) “Politics K-12” blog also reports, noting what some witnesses had to say. Kentucky education commissioner Terry Holliday called for an overhaul of “the entire teacher and principal-leader pipeline” and used the opportunity “to take a jab at the U.S. Department of Education. ‘In order to create a system of support for teachers and school leaders, we as state leaders in education do not need review or approval from the U.S. Department of Education,’ he said.” Principal Christine Handy-Collins from Maryland’s Gaithersburg High School emphasized the need for “a more serious effort into recruiting and training principals to work in high-needs school districts.” First-grade teacher and National Education Association member Rachelle Moore agreed, adding that “she favored creating a teacher-induction program…where novice teachers are paired with experienced teachers for an entire year.”

Sen. Alexander Says Feds Should Allow States To Determine How To Evaluate Teachers. The Chattanoogan  (1/28) reports Senate education committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander stated that, regarding reforms to mandated teacher evaluations, the Federal government “will get the best long-term result by creating an environment in which states and communities are encouraged, not ordered, to evaluate teachers.” Following a hearing on revising NCLB and teacher evaluations, Alexander noted that he considered “finding a fair way to encourage and reward outstanding teaching” was the “holy grail of K-12 education.” The article reproduces the entire remarks of Alexander.

Washington Democrats Ask State Leaders To Revoke Common Core.

The Seattle Times  (1/27, Todd) reports on Saturday the Central Committee of the Washington State Democratic Party adopted a resolution condemning the Common Core, “saying private and corporate interests pushed the reading and math standards without evidence they will improve student learning.” The measure contends that the Department of Education pressured states into adopting the testing standards and “asks state lawmakers and schools chief Randy Dorn to revoke” them.

Maryland’s Graduation Rates Hit Record High.

The Washington Post  (1/27, George) reports “state officials cheered the new milestone” as Maryland’s graduation rates improved 4 percentage points from 2010 to over “86 percent of students earning diplomas within four years,” setting a “record high.” Prince George’s County’s graduation rate improved from 74.1 to 76.6 percent in one year, while Montgomery County’s rate jumped from 88.3 to 89.7 percent in one year. Compared to 2010 statewide rates, the African American student graduation rate increased 4 percentage points to 80.5 percent and the Hispanic student graduation rate increased 6 percentage points to 77.5 percent. The state data also indicate “Maryland’s drop-out rate declined from 11.9 percent in 2010 to 8.4 percent in 2014.”

Graduation Rate For ESL Students Drops. The Baltimore Sun  (1/26, Bowie) reports that, as Maryland’s graduation rate hits “a historic high,” some educators state “many students learning English as a second language are falling behind,” with their graduation rate dropping “3 percentage points to 54 percent.” The article notes educators cite “language barriers,” school interruptions, and “emotional trauma” as possible reasons for the low rate. Regarding the increase in the state’s overall graduation rate, State Superintendent Lillian Lowery said schools are becoming “more adept at using test data to find and help students who need extra assistance,” allowing the schools to “target students more directly.”

Hundreds Attend Roosevelt School Science Fair.

The Chicago Tribune  (1/27) reports that on Friday evening at Roosevelt School in Park Ridge, students gathered “to celebrate their love for science.” The 2015 Roosevelt School science fair “featured 83 unique handmade science projects designed by more than 150 students.” The students “were treated to a cryogenic demonstration by Fermilab scientist Jerry Zimmerman.” He “focused his demonstration on liquid nitrogen and how it performs at super-low temperatures.”

Pima County Teens Not Enrolling In Tech Program Despite Good Job Prospects.

The Arizona Daily Star  (1/28, Dale) reports that “despite promising job growth in the field,” student enrollment in the “Pima County Joint Technical Education District’s computer maintenance, information technology and software development classes” has dropped over 50 percent since 2012 to 300 students. JTED Assistant Superintendent Aaron Ball noted “it’s a real quandary” why students haven’t enrolled, since the “jobs are out there.” The Star reports that while attracting students to the JTED program is “one hurdle,” finding instructors was another obstacle. The Star notes that students that have enrolled in the classes stated they’re “interested in the money” the computer-related fields offer.

Also in the News

Gillespie: How To Reform The Complex Educational System.

In an opinion piece for the Huffington Post  (1/28, GillespiePh.d.), Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Executive Director Nicole M. Gillespie, Ph.D. states that the “cause-and-effect assumptions” that are often made when attempting to reform education have failed because the “education system is complex.” Gillespie argues that we must “look beyond centralized top-down approaches with limited impact” and not assume that focusing on specific roles within the system can produce the desired results. Accordingly, Gillespie notes that, instead of merely appointing “teacher leaders” to help steer changes, “we need to cultivate the capacity” within all teachers “to mobilize their peers and together create leadership events that change the system.” Gillespie argues that we must harness the “energy that is already in the system” in order to change it.

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

SpaceX Settles Its Lawsuit With The Air Force.
Despite Push, Number Of College Students Pursuing Science, Engineering Stagnates.
Metamaterials Discovery Brings Invisibility Closer To Reality.
Study Says 100% Of Women Of Color In STEM Fields Experience Bias.
Republicans Fail To Overcome Filibuster On Keystone Legislation.
IT Trade Group Working With STEM Career Service To Promote Cybersecurity PD.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Capturing growth and share in emerging markets will continue to be a key strategy for medical publishers, says new Simba report
Media and publishing intelligence firm Simba Information has released a new report ‘Global Medical Publishing 2015-2019,’ according to which, clinical-based publishing is projected to see some of its most rapid growth in Turkey, Chile, South Korea, Mexico, Greece and Great Britain. Simba Information’s analysis determined that the global medical publishing market was essentially flat in 2014 (-0.2 percent).
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Nature Publishing Group moves to CC BY 4.0 as default for OA journals
All 18 open access journals owned by Nature Publishing Group (NPG), and two society titles published by NPG, will use the Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0 as default, effective immediately. All future open access journals will also use CC BY 4.0 as default.
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HealthCanal and UBM Medica US renew marketing and distribution partnership
HealthCanal.com, an online health newswire, has announced that it will continue its marketing and distribution partnership with UBM Medica US. One of the largest media companies in the United States serving the healthcare industry, UBM Medica US delivers integrated and strategic communication solutions to a comprehensive audience of medical professionals and healthcare consumers through online, print, live, and custom programs.
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Project MUSE in deal with Portico to preserve its complete collection of scholarly electronic journals
Project MUSE has entered into an agreement with Portico to preserve its complete collection of scholarly electronic journals, which contains titles from more than 120 not-for-profit scholarly publishers worldwide. Project MUSE and Portico began their partnership in 2012 with the preservation of e-books from the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) collection.
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Creighton University in Nebraska selects Ex Libris Alma and Primo
Library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group has announced that Creighton University has selected the Ex Libris Alma library management service and the Primo discovery and delivery solution to provide unified resource management and discovery. This integrated cloud-based platform will replace several systems, including SirsiDynix Symphony and ProQuest Summon.
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UBM Canon and Science@OC partner to support STEM education in Southern California
UBM Canon and Science@OC have announced their 2015 partnership to promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). This will mark the second of a three-year collaboration. The partnership will also include a STEM Education Day on February 10, 2015, at UBM Canon’s Advanced Manufacturing Trade Show at the Anaheim Convention Center next month.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

SpaceX Settles Its Lawsuit With The Air Force.

The AP  (1/24) reported that SpaceX and the Air Force announced Friday that they have come to a settlement over SpaceX’s lawsuit alleging that the Air Force “improperly” gave the United Launch Alliance a “lucrative” contract. SpaceX dropped its case after coming to an agreement through sessions mediated by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, according to court documents.

The Wall Street Journal  (1/23, Cameron, Subscription Publication) noted that under the deal, SpaceX will be able to compete for more launches in the future. According to the article, the new agreement should help SpaceX improve its relationship with the Pentagon.

The Washington Post  (1/23, Davenport) reported that the new agreement followed “months of acrimony.”

Defense News  (1/23, Mehta) reported that while SpaceX criticized the block buy deal the Air Force entered with ULA, that contract would appear to remain as is, which would count “as a win” for ULA and the Air Force. Still, the settlement shewed that it is “clear” ULA will no longer have a guaranteed monopoly, according to the article.

Higher Education

Despite Push, Number Of College Students Pursuing Science, Engineering Stagnates.

The Wall Street Journal  (1/27, Korn, Subscription Publication) cites a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center as finding that the number of US students who complete degrees in science and engineering increased by only one percentage point between 2004 and 2014, from 33% to 34%, despite a national effort to enhance workers’ skills and in turn strengthen US economic competitiveness. The Journal, noting that the US has regained some strength in its manufacturing base, quotes Gardner Carrick, vice president of strategic initiatives at the NAM-affiliated Manufacturing Institute, as saying that “if we want to solidify our gains and reestablish our position as the manufacturing leader, we need people with those [technical] skills.”

Reagan’s ‘67 Push Seen As Watershed In Move Away From Liberal Education.

The Chronicle of Higher Education  (1/27) reports that as governor of California in 1967, Ronald Reagan announced a series of austerity measures, and in doing so, made statements arguing that taxpayers “shouldn’t be ‘subsidizing intellectual curiosity’” in academic settings. The article says that Reagan was taking opposition to “the ideal of liberal education, in which college is a vehicle for intellectual development, for cultivating a flexible mind, and, no matter the focus of study, for fostering a broad set of knowledge and skills whose value is not always immediately apparent.” The piece argues that with Reagan’s statement, “the balance started to tip toward utility in ways not even Reagan may have anticipated.”

Villanova Engineering Students To Display Formula Race Car At Philadelphia Auto Show.

The West Chester (PA) Daily Local News  (1/25) reports that the NovaRacing Team at the Villanova University Center for Engineering Education and Research is nearly finished building “a snazzy formula race car…in a basement garage workshop” at the center. The team “is gearing up to begin testing their 2015 model and will also display their 2014 car at the Philadelphia Auto Show (Jan. 31 to Feb. 8).” The piece explains that students use CAD software “to design their car, and then they weld, fabricate and assemble all the parts.”

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December ASEE Prism Online
COVER: Since 2011, NSF’s Innovation Corps has sent 365 research teams out of their labs to scout potential customers, and helped launch 208 start-ups.NAE’s E4U2 Video Contest
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#ASEEYoADiversity 1-minute video. Pat Campbell: Should uni faculty blame “failing” high schools, or work on changing their own institutions?

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Research and Development

Metamaterials Discovery Brings Invisibility Closer To Reality.

The Phys  (1/27, Brown) reports “Hao Xin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona, has made a discovery” using synthetic metamaterials “that may take engineers one step closer to building microscopes with superlenses that see molecular-level details, or shields that conceal military airplanes and even people.” At the moment, however, “metamaterials remain in the testing phase,” with Xin saying “it will be years before potential fantastical applications like invisibility cloaks actually appear on the market.”

Workforce

Study Says 100% Of Women Of Color In STEM Fields Experience Bias.

Fortune  (1/26, Gupta) reports that “at the dawn of 2015, gender bias in science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) fields are pervasive, but a new University of California Hastings study finds the difficulties compound if you are a women of color.” According to the study, “a full 100% of the women of color reported gender bias, with 93% of white women saying they’ve experienced gender bias.”

Lockheed Unit VP Speaks About Mentoring The Next Generation.

The Black Engineer  (1/26, Deen) reports on last week’s BEYA STEM webinar that featured Stephanie C. Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions Civil business. The webinar focused on “mentoring in the workplace,” and Hill spoke about the various mentor roles and mentoring relationships that contribute to career growth.

Engineering and Public Policy

Republicans Fail To Overcome Filibuster On Keystone Legislation.

Politico  (1/26, Schor) reported that on Monday, “The Senate’s first vote to cut off debate on its Keystone XL pipeline legislation failed…on a 53-39 vote, as Democrats mounted their first successful filibuster of the new Congress.” According to Politico, “That means Republicans who had hoped to pass a Keystone bill this week are now preparing for even longer debate,” and “legislation once viewed as an easy layup for the new GOP Senate is now starting to become mired in partisan resistance from as the Democratic minority digs in its heels.”

The Washington Times  (1/27, Dinan) notes that Democrats “accused Republicans of trying to shut down debate too quickly,” although the Times points out that the Senate “has voted on two dozen amendments – more than the chamber considered in all of 2014, when it was under Democratic control.” The Times also notes that on Monday, Republicans “fell six votes shy of the 60 needed,” and that “four Republicans and two Democrats who were co-sponsors of the Keystone bill were absent,” which means that if they had all been there, “the vote might have passed.” According to the Times, “Three other Democrats” – Sens. Carper, Casey and Tester – “who voted for the Keystone pipeline two months ago reversed themselves and voted to filibuster it Monday.”

The Los Angeles Times  (1/27, Mascaro) notes that despite the setback on Monday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, said, “We’ll get this thing done in a matter of a couple of short days.” The Washington Post  (1/27, Sullivan) also reports that “Monday’s vote was more a speed bump than a roadblock,” and that “both parties are expected to continue hashing out their differences on the bill.”

Interior To Propose New Atlantic Drilling, Restrictions On Alaska Waters.

National Journal  (1/27, Subscription Publication) reports that just days after proposing to “permanently declare more than 12 million acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness,” the Interior Department is “set to propose allowing new offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, which is currently off-limits to development.” According to the National Journal, “The same plan, a schedule of oil-and-gas drilling lease auctions between 2017 and 2022, will also propose new restrictions against exploration in Arctic waters off the Alaska coastline.”

According to the New York Times  (1/27, Davenport, Subscription Publication), “Opening the Eastern Seaboard to oil companies is a prize the industry has sought for decades and is a blow to environmental groups,” who “argue that the move would put the coasts of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia at risk for an environmental disaster like the BP spill that struck the Gulf Coast in 2010.” The Times adds that “in opening up the Atlantic Coast for drilling while closing areas off Alaska,” President Obama is “deploying a strategy that he has frequently used in forging environmental policy — giving both the oil industry and environmentalists a win and a loss.” The Wall Street Journal  (1/27, Harder, Subscription Publication) also reports on the Interior Department’s pending announcement.

Politico  (1/26, Restuccia) noted that Alaska “gets more than 90 percent of its government revenues from the energy industry, and efforts to open up new areas for oil and gas exploration are backed by both Democrats and Republicans.” According to Politico, “For Alaska lawmakers in both parties, drilling in ANWR is a no-brainer.” Politico also reports that Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, “rarely starts political fights…but she came out swinging on Monday, saying that the Obama administration has ‘effectively declared war on Alaska.’”

In an article tilted, “Plan To Protect Refuge Has Alaskans Offended And Fearful Over Money,” the New York Times  (1/27, Johnson, Subscription Publication) reports that in Alaska, even supporters of the President are criticizing his decision to try to keep ANWR free of the oil drilling that pays for most of the state’s budget. The Times notes that Gov. Bill Walker “said that he first heard the news on Sunday morning, and that only afterward did he receive a call from” Interior Secretary Jewell. According to the Times, Walker added that “their hourlong conversation ‘didn’t go well,’ and he repeated moments from it when, he said, Ms. Jewell seemed uninformed about Alaska.”

The Washington Times  (1/27) also reports that Alaskan lawmakers are “not disguising their disgust” following the announcement that the Administration’s “plan[s] to designate 12.2 million acres of the state’s public land as pristine wilderness” even though it “happens to contain Alaska’s richest oil and natural gas prospects on the Arctic coastal plain.” But the Times adds that others “are delighted by the plan,” and quotes Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice, as saying: “This is a place of incalculable beauty and value, to be protected like Yellowstone and Yosemite, not turned into another polluted oil patch.”

WSJournal: Obama Hopes To Shut Down The Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. The Wall Street Journal  (1/27, Subscription Publication), in an editorial, charges that the Administration is intent on blocking off as much of Alaska from future oil exploration because it hopes to eventually shut down the Trans-Alaska pipeline, which is already carrying less than a quarter of the oil it did at its volume peak.

House Committees To Look At Hacking.

The Hill  (1/27, Hattem, Trujillo) reports “two separate House panels are scheduled to down to work exploring ways that Congress can protect the country from hackers on Tuesday.” The Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will start “things off with an exploration of the ‘elements of sound data breach legislation.’” Later on, “the House Science subcommittee on Research and Technology will take a look at the ‘expanding cyber threat.’”

Elementary/Secondary Education

IT Trade Group Working With STEM Career Service To Promote Cybersecurity PD.

THE Journal  (1/26) reports that IT trade association CompTIA is partnering with STEM career guidance service LifeJourney “to promote jobs in cybersecurity to middle and high school students.” The groups are collaborating “to develop ‘Cyber Teacher,’ an online professional development and certificate program to help teachers in grades 6-12 add cybersecurity lessons to their curriculum.”

Monday’s Lead Stories

Alaskan Lawmakers Outraged Over White House ANWR Announcement.
Obama’s Move To Cut 529 College Saving Plans Criticized.
Unmanned Helicopter Under Development Could One Day Act As Scout On Mars.
Boeing Expects To Deliver 900 Planes Per Year.
Agreement Could Shield US Firms That Build Reactors In India.
West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl To Be Held Next Month.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Elsevier publishes new edition of three-volume Handbook of Crystal Growth
STM publisher Elsevier has announced the publication of the new edition of the three-volume Handbook of Crystal Growth edited by Dr. Tatau Nishinaga, Dr. Peter Rudolph and Dr. Tom Kuech. These combined works of reference present the underlying scientific foundation of the multi-disciplinary field of crystal growth.
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Wolters Kluwer Health releases complimentary guide to help hospitals create comprehensive ASPs
Wolters Kluwer Health, a global provider of information for healthcare professionals and students, has announced the release of a complimentary guide designed to help hospitals create comprehensive antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). The step-by-step eBook, Guidelines for Developing and Enhancing Your Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, defines the pervasive financial and patient care benefits related to ASP implementation, as well as the critical role electronic surveillance technology plays in an effective program.
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Innovative and EBSCO extend strategic partnership
Innovative and EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) have extended their strategic partnership to incorporate all platforms in the expanded Innovative product portfolio, including Polaris ILS, Vital, and Virtua. The partnership activities between the two companies for Innovative’s Sierra Services Platform and Encore Duet will continue.
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American Geophysical Union to give free access to journal content through public libraries in California
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) and global publisher Wiley have announced that starting in January 2015 they will offer free online access to all AGU journal content (published from 1997 forward) in public libraries throughout California for onsite use. In addition, schools and programs that participate in AGU’s Bright Students Training as Research Scientists (Bright STaRS) program will be given free access.
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University of California Press announces two new OA programs for journal and monograph publishing
The University of California Press recently announced Collabra and Luminos, two new open access programs for journal and monograph publishing. Aligned with UC Press’s mission to build reach and impact for transformative scholarship, the programs expand publishing options for scholarly authors and researchers, make it easier for readers to find and use content, and share the monetary value generated from publishing across the academic community.
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OSA names Ronald Driggers new editor of Applied Optics
The Optical Society (OSA) has announced the appointment of Ronald Driggers, CEO of St. Johns Optical Systems, as the new editor-in-chief of its journal, Applied Optics. Driggers will serve as the seventh editor-in-chief, and has a long history with the Journal as of an author, reader and topical editor.
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Emerald Group Publishing and The Charlesworth Group in exclusive referral deal
Academic publisher Emerald Group Publishing has selected The Charlesworth Group to assist its non-native English speaking authors by providing a referral link to The Charlesworth Group’s Author Services website across its publications. The Charlesworth Group’s referral agreements offer publishers dedicated language services, assisting publishing clients to grow and be able to accept more submissions from international authors.
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