Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Nature Publishing announces three new Nature journals: Nature Energy, Nature Microbiology and Nature Reviews Materials
Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group has announced that three new titles will join the Nature family of journals in January 2016: Nature Energy, Nature Microbiology and Nature Reviews Materials. Nature Energy and Nature Microbiology are accepting submissions now.
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Thieme unveils Teo’s modern guide to keyhole brain surgery
Medical and scientific publisher Thieme has launched Principles and Practice of Keyhole Brain Surgery, by Charles Teo and Michael Sughrue, at this year’s meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) that was held in Washington, DC, from May 2 – 6. This timely, comprehensive book is a step-by-step guide to the latest techniques used in the keyhole brain surgery, a concept that has become an integral part of the practice of neurosurgery.
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Karger launches new review journal for research exchange between East and West: Kidney Diseases
Biomedical publisher Karger Publishers has announced the launch of Kidney Diseases, a new journal that aims to provide a platform for Asian and Western research to further and support communication and exchange of knowledge. The journal will be officially launched at the ERA-EDTA Congress and Exhibition in London, May 28-31, 2015.
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Association of Research Libraries seeks proposals for SPEC Survey Topics 2016
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is seeking proposals for 2016 SPEC survey topics. For 40 years ARL has gathered and disseminated data through the SPEC survey program to assist libraries in the continuous improvement of their management systems. Each year, ARL works with librarians in the US and Canada to develop surveys of the ARL membership on strategic topics related to research library policies and practices. Survey authors do not need to work at an ARL member library, but only ARL libraries are surveyed.
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Choice names Cynthia Crooker science and technology editor
Cynthia Crooker has been named science and technology editor for Choice, effective immediately. The premier source of reviews of academic books and digital resources of interest to scholars and students in higher education, Choice is a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association.
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London’s Natural History Museum is live with Ex Libris Alma and Primo
Library automation services provider Ex Libris Group has announced that the Alma resource management solution and the Primo discovery and delivery solution are live at the Natural History Museum in London. Alma allows museum staff to manage all of the Library’s scholarly resources and media types in a unified system, while Primo enables users to search all resource types from a single user-interface, and receive a single, relevance-ranked result list.
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The University of Chicago Press: Journals Hosted on new Atypon platform in 2016
Atypon, a provider of software to the scientific and scholarly publishing industry and University of Chicago Press, has launched a new online home for the University of Chicago Press’s portfolio of nearly 70 journals, using technology developed by Atypon. Chicago’s new platform, due for release by the end of 2015, will enhance the rigorous and cutting-edge scholarship for which Chicago’s journals are renowned with advanced search and information discovery capabilities; superior readability and accessibility; and research tools for scholars in all disciplines.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

AAAS Study Shows Federal R&D Funding On The Decline.

Bloomberg Business  (5/21, Wilson) reports that data put together by the American Association for the Advancement of Science show cuts to federal R&D spending that U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management chief marketing strategist Joseph Quinlan said “risk…a widening innovation deficit” between the US and the rest of the world. This year’s $131 billion is only 3.4 percent of the federal budget and is the fifth straight year in which the percentage spent on R&D has declined. Quinlan noted that federal research “pays powerful innovation dividends.”

Democrats Fear Republican Bills Are Attacking Science Research.

The Washington Examiner  (5/22, Colman) reports that “Democrats and liberal groups are raising alarms” about Republican bills that “pervert the basic principles behind independent science research.” The groups claim that while “high-profile” regulations are attacked, the GOP is simultaneously “quietly dismantling the underpinnings of climate change research” by calling them “matters of transparency and scientific fairness.” Republicans claim scientific panels “shut out public input.” The fact that transparency “sounds innocuous and sensible” has hurt science advocates, but the EPA science panel bill “contains a number of problems,” such as including officials from industries that are regulated to be on independent analysis panels.

Higher Education

Women In Technology Group Gives University Of Washington Recruitment Award.

The New York Times  (5/22, Miller, Subscription Publication) reports that while the computer science industry is “under pressure” to recruit more women, the “difficult question” is how to encourage them to study the subject early on. “Behind the scenes” of many colleges making advances is the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which consults with colleges on how to bring in and keep female talent. The Center will award the University of Washington a Google-sponsored award for its efforts. University of Washington computer science and engineering chairman Ed Lazowska has said that key actions have included getting elementary through high school students involved in computer science, adding computing classes to introductory courses, and to create a community for women in the field.

Congress Considering Holding Colleges Accountable For Student Outcomes.

Inside Higher Ed  (5/21) reports that members of the Senate HELP Committee from both parties are moving toward holding colleges “accountable for student outcomes,” noting that members said that “the government’s existing accountability metrics, like default rates, are inadequate.” Most members “backed the concept of risk sharing – the idea that individual colleges need to have a greater financial stake in what happens to the federal loans that students use to attend their institutions.”

The Memphis (TN) Business Journal  (5/22, Corbet, Subscription Publication) reports that HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander on Tuesday “held a hearing proposing universities and colleges share the risk of student loans with taxpayers and students.” Part of Alexander’s Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act would stipulate that “colleges and universities have a responsibility, or vested interest in, encouraging students to borrow wisely, graduate on time and be able to repay what they’ve been loaned.” The article cites ED data indicating that 70% of student loan defaulters never finished their degree.

Congressional Representatives Ask Secretary Duncan To Address Corinthian Debt.

The Inland Valley (CA) Daily Bulletin  (5/21, Yarbrough) reports that 16 Congressional representatives have asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan to “streamline” federal loan debt forgiveness for students formerly at Corinthian Colleges and affiliated colleges. The representatives’ letter says the company’s “deceptive practices and ultimate closure” has “jeopardized” the future of over 16,000 students and that the ED should “expeditiously develop and implement rules” to help the students.

From ASEE
ASEE Member Comments on Strategic Doing
President Nick Altiero encourages all member to read and respond to the Board’s “Strategic Doing” beta document. (Member login required.)  Open through June 1.

Microinequities: The Power of Small
ASEE members get a steep discount on this engaging webinar when using code ASEE2015.

ASEE’s Annual Conference in Seattle
…is right around the corner!

Research and Development

US Air Force Names New Chief Scientist.

Military  (5/22) reports that Greg Zacharias will be the US Air Force’s chief scientist, replacing Mica Endsley. Zacharias will be charged with overseeing development of UAVs, directed energy and hypersonic weapons, and other programs.

Marshall Space Flight Center’s History With 3D Printing Profiled.

WAAY-TV  Huntsville, AL (5/22, Barrett) reports that engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center learned about 3D printing in the 1990’s and “immediately realized the practical applications of it” for space travel. They bought at 500-pound machine and “got the OK to use NASA’s KC-130 airplane, which flew in parabolic arcs to simulate weightlessness.” While the device appeared to print okay in weightlessness, it was too heavy to send up on the Space Shuttle. Today, the startup, Made In Space, Inc., working with Marshall engineers, have a smaller 3D printer operating on the ISS.

FAA Testing New Air Traffic Tool With Dragon Spacecraft.

The Aviation Week  (5/22, Croft) reports that, in an indication of “a major shift in how” the FAA “will manage restricted airspace around future space launches and reentries,” the agency is beta-testing a new air traffic tool with the help of data from SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Instead of people manually entering positions and possible hazards into the traffic-management system, “the Space Data Integrator (SDI), automates the manual process by ingesting telemetry data from vehicle tracking systems and sending the information directly to a traffic flow management situational display where the current and projected positions, as well as the projected areas where airspace must be protected, are plotted and managed.” Michael Romanowski, director of space integration for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, said, “There’s an increasingly complex integration into the airspace” for space launches, calling it “a challenge.”

Global Developments

India Signals Energy Interest In Mexico, Colombia.

Offshore Engineer  (5/22, Leon) reports that India’s petroleum minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan expressed hopes of transforming the relationship among India, Mexico, and Colombia from “buyer-seller” to an “energy partnership.” Pradhan said in a press release, “Indian companies are willing to participate in the exploration and production activities in Mexico including in deep water and unconventional resources.” Pradhan met with Colombia’s minister of mines and energy, Tomás González Estrada, and address a business round table.

Industry News

House Passes Legislation To Aid Private Space Industry.

USA Today  (5/22, King) reports that on Thursday, the House passed legislation 284-133 that “would extend important legal protections to aerospace firms for the next decade while exempting the firms from certain rules.” Republicans said that the SPACE Act would prolong the “learning period” for the developing commercial space industry “as it makes key strides in getting people and goods into space.” Many Democrats opposed the bill, arguing it “would compromise safety and leave taxpayers on the hook if disaster strikes.”

NHTSA Extends GM Ignition Switch-Related Oversight Order.

The Detroit News  (5/22, Shepardson) reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “will extend a consent order” requiring GM “to disclose detailed safety issues and meet with government officials monthly for at least another year.” Last year, GM “agreed to the sweeping decree and paid a record-setting $35 million civil penalty for delaying a recall of 2.6 million older cars for ignition switch defects that are now linked to 104 deaths and nearly 200 injuries.”

Concept Car With Plastic Engine Set To Debut In 2016.

The Engineer  (5/22, Garlick) reports that Belgian chemical company Solvay and US engineer Matti Holtzberg have combined to create a four-cylinder, double-overhead CAM engine “mostly made from plastic” that will be dropped into a racing car for a 2016 race. The articles notes that according to Holtzberg, “There is metal where the heat is,” but “everything else is a composite material.” The article further details the engine design and Holtzberg’s goal to reduce engine weight and increase fuel efficiency.

Engineering and Public Policy

Senate Committee Approves Energy Legislation.

The Washington (DC) Examiner  (5/22, Colman) reports that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $35.4 billion spending bill that covers the Energy Department, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies without engaging in any partisan warfare over amendments. The measure allocates $6 billion for nuclear waste management, $167 million above current funding, and $10.5 billion on Energy Department programs.

The Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel  (5/22, Collins) quotes Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as saying that the bill moves the US “closer to doubling basic energy research, strengthening and rebuilding our waterways and ports, removing major obstacles to the use of nuclear power, maintaining our nuclear weapons stockpile and cleaning up hazardous materials left over at Cold War facilities.”

The Hill  (5/22, Shabad) notes that the funding levels are up from last year, but still $666 million less than the Administration requested. Notably missing is a provision for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.

The Tri-City Herald (WA)  (5/21, Cary) notes that the bill includes “$2.3 billion for environmental cleanup work at the Hanford nuclear reservation,” which is a project of Sen. Patty Murray. The appropriation is $79 million more than what was requested by the Administration.

GOP Bill Seeks To Ease Burden Of Getting Air Pollution Permits.

The Hill  (5/22, Cama) reports new Republican legislation “aims to ease the burden of obtaining air pollution permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for manufacturing facilities.” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. Steve Scalise “said their legislation introduced Thursday would help the country’s energy and manufacturing sectors move forward in a way that is difficult now.” In a statement Capito said, “The EPA insists on holding America back with its onerous regulations and deeply flawed permitting process for new and expanding manufacturing facilities.” She added, “In order to tap into the full potential of our vital energy and manufacturing sectors, we must establish accountability measures that protect American manufacturing jobs.”

Opinion: President Obama Is Ignoring The Data On Clean Power Plan Costs.

Writing for The Hill  (5/22), George Marshall Institute President William O’Keefe argues that President Obama, despite priding “himself on relying on facts and figures rather than ideology to make policy,” is ignoring the data on how much the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will cost the American economy. He cites a report by the National Association of Manufacturers that estimates the cost of implementing the plan at $140 billion annually and decries the regulation as “a job killer and a major blow to a still struggling economy.”

John Kerry, Big Energy Disagree On Who Should Lead Against Climate Change.

Bloomberg News  (5/22, Nicola) reports that the energy industry pushed back against comments made by US Secretary of State John Kerry at a business climate summit in Paris. Kerry is quoted as saying that “What we really need is for the private sector to encourage governments across the world to set ambitious emission targets and to set targets of their own.” Business leaders responded that government should lead the way by providing incentives for their industries to act.

Bloomberg News  (5/21, Nicola) notes separately that Kerry’s call is similar to those made by French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

New Mexico Businesses Support Shutdown Of Coal-Fired Plant.

The AP  (5/22, Bryan) reports that business leaders in New Mexico have urged the state Public Regulation Commission to approve a plan that would shut down part of the San Juan Generating Plant and replace its capacity with a mix of coal and gas or a renewable energy source. The article notes that “Members of the Association of Commerce and Industry, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Four Corners Economic Development and other groups are siding with the utility” though environmental groups say that the measure does not go far enough to reduce pollution.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

Congress Moves On Science Research Funding.
IG Faults ED Over Pell Grant, Student Loan Estimates.
Ohio State Engineering Students Working On Prosthetic Leg For Dog.
Some Republicans Not Open To McCarthy’s Infrastructure Proposal.
Texas Instruments Foundation Awards $2.2 Million To Texas District.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Text and data mining in the EU: Legal certainty already exists
The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) has noted the desire expressed in the ‘Communication on Single Digital Market Strategy for Europe’ issued on 6 May 2015 for legal certainty around the use of copyright-protected materials, including across borders, for text mining. STM suggests that this certainty already exists – through the activities already undertaken by STM member publishers that simplify licensing, permit licensed use, and support text formatting for efficient TDM activities.
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Thomson Reuters releases greenhouse gas emissions data on Global Energy Providers
Thomson Reuters has released a new research Global 500 Greenhouse Gas Report: The Fossil Fuel Energy Sector, revealing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data from 32 global energy companies, a key subset of the world’s largest publically traded businesses. The report, written in collaboration with global sustainability consultancy BSD Consulting, is the second in a series of GHG reports designed to create transparency and enable sound management of global GHG emissions.
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Organisations around the world denounce Elsevier’s new policy that impedes open access and sharing
STM publisher Elsevier has announced a new sharing and hosting policy for Elsevier journal articles on April 30, 2015. The policy represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies. In addition, the policy has been adopted without any evidence that immediate sharing of articles has a negative impact on publisher’s subscriptions.
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Nature Publishing Group and Monash University publish new open access journal npj Regenerative Medicine
Scientific publisher Nature Publishing Group has partnered with Monash University to publish npj Regenerative Medicine, a new open access research journal that will explore the potential of organisms to restore and regenerate damaged cells, tissues and organs. The study of regenerative medicine has the potential to help scientists and clinicians devise early-intervention treatments for traumatic injury or degenerative diseases, by regrowth or replacement of cells or tissues.
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Cambridge unveils open access journal – Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics
Academic publisher Cambridge University Press has announced a major new open access journal, Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics (GHEG), dedicated to publishing and disseminating research that addresses and increases understanding of global and population health issues through the application of population science, genomics and applied technologies. Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics is the Press’s second Open Access journal in the field of global health, joining Global Mental Health which launched in 2014.
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Archimed announces partnership with EBSCO
Archimed, a software and library solution vendor, has established a partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to enrich the content searchable with Syracuse, its newly-released unified information system portal for libraries. To best serve the diverse needs of their users, university libraries must make their collections easily available at anytime to patrons, this includes providing seamless access to all resources, such as print collections, e-collections, online digital resources, and other valuable third-party content.
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Oxford University Press announces Environmental Epigenetics, a fully open access journal
Academic publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) has launched a new open access journal, Environmental Epigenetics. The field of epigenetics has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, and OUP has Editor-in-Chief Michael K. Skinner leading the journal.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Congress Moves On Science Research Funding.

Both chambers saw movement on legislation to fund scientific and energy research on Wednesday, with partisan sniping in the House and some bipartisanship in the Senate. The Senate version of the America COMPETES Act is likely to have more Democratic support, and the version passed by the House has already elicited a veto threat.

House Narrowly Passes Science Research On Party-Line Vote. The Hill  (5/21, Marcos) reports that the House passed a $33 billion bill on a 217-205 vote that cuts funding for the National Science Foundation’s social behavior and economic sciences research by 55 percent. The article notes that the bill, as passed, is opposed by a raft of scientific associations including the American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Anthropological Association, and the Association of American Universities.

Roll Call  (5/21, Dumain) notes the radical change from the legislation’s original form when passed in 2007, calling the new bill “nearly unrecognizable.” No Democrats voted for it, and the President has issued a veto threat. Bill Andresen, associate vice president of federal affairs for the University of Pennsylvania, which benefits from Federal science research funding, said that “It’s better for us to have no bill at all than to have this one.”

Senate Sees Bipartisanship On Energy Research. The Hill  (5/21, Henry) reports that a bill introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of Senators aims to reauthorize part of the America COMPETES Act and double the funding available to the Department of Energy for research. It also realigns programs and offices within the department to more effectively utilize the funding. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said that “Governing is about setting priorities, and this legislation will put us on a path to double basic energy research – one of the best ways to keep good-paying jobs from going overseas.”

The Washington (DC) Examiner  (5/21, Colman) reports that the Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), indicating that it will be part of the bigger energy bill that the Senate is working on.

Higher Education

IG Faults ED Over Pell Grant, Student Loan Estimates.

Inside Higher Ed  (5/20) reports that according to a new report from ED’s Office of Inspector General, last fall, ED “switched its approach to estimating how much it improperly paid out in Pell Grants and student loans” because its original process “would have shown large jumps in erroneous payments.” The piece notes that the new methodology “produced far lower estimates of improper payments than the department’s original methodology.”

WSJournal Urges High Court To Clarify Position On Race-Based College Admissions.

The Wall Street Journal  (5/21, Subscription Publication) editorializes that the Supreme Court has a chance to enforce racial equality by granting a challenge to the University of Texas’ use of race in admissions, which the Journal argues flies in the face of the court’s 2013 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas, which held that an appeals court erred in accepting the university’s practices and sent the case back for the “strict scrutiny” of a trial court. The Journal urges the court to clarify its restriction on the use of race in admissions decision.

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Make Some Schools Responsible For Student Loan Default.

The Washington Times  (5/21, Howell) reports that senators such as Lamar Alexander and Jack Reed are pushing for colleges and universities “that churn out students who default on their federal loans should be forced to bear some of the brunt of those costs.” Lamar “said giving schools a stake could prod them to keep their tuition and fees in check, and make sure students finish their degrees on time.”

Montana Board Of Regents Expected To Freeze Tuition.

The Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle  (5/21) reports that the Montana Board of Regents is expected to vote this week to freeze in-state tuition for the next two years, though out-of-state students will see increases. The article notes that the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has ranked the state number 1 in “keeping college affordable.”

From ASEE
ASEE Member Comments on Strategic Doing
President Nick Altiero encourages all member to read and respond to the Board’s “Strategic Doing” beta document. (Member login required.)  Open through June 1.

Microinequities: The Power of Small
ASEE members get a steep discount on this engaging webinar when using code ASEE2015.

ASEE’s Annual Conference in Seattle
…is right around the corner!

Research and Development

Ohio State Engineering Students Working On Prosthetic Leg For Dog.

WTTE-TV  Columbus, OH (5/21) reports online that a team of engineering students at Ohio State University is working on crafting a prosthetic leg for “a three-legged pooch rescued from a puppy mill in Missouri.” The dog was adopted by a local elementary school teacher in Hilliard, Ohio, whose students have been following the project.

WCMH-TV  Columbus, OH (5/21) reports online that the elementary school students “watched as Ohio State University students fitted Jimmy, a three-legged Cockapoo and puppy mill survivor, for a prosthetic leg.” The engineering students say that “they have collectively designed a bionic leg for dogs with amputations at the joints, which never previously existed.”

Naval Lab Produces Small, Silent Drone.

ExecutiveGov  (5/21, Leigh) reports that the Naval Research Laboratory has created a drone called the Cicada that can be dropped from a plane to carry out missions in remote areas. The aircraft has no engine and flies at 74 kilometers per hour to a preset location. An NRL flight controls engineer, Aaron Kahn, said that “we will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up.” The microplanes can be given sensors and microphones and can also help predict weather phenomenon.

Engineering and Public Policy

Some Republicans Not Open To McCarthy’s Infrastructure Proposal.

Politico  (5/21, Faler, Bade) reports that some House GOP leaders, such as Majority Leader McCarthy, looking for ways to boost transportation funding, are “eyeing a massive tax reform-transportation package that taps $2 trillion in corporate profits parked offshore as a way to cover the costs.” However, the plan is opposed by “tax-minded” Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan, who want to use the money “to lower rates in a business tax code rewrite.”

WSJournal Analysis: Impact Of Infrastructure Spending Holds Growing Importance. The Wall Street Journal  (5/21, Ip, Subscription Publication) reports that the Amtrak derailment has focused concern on the amount spent on US transportation infrastructure, but says that while the attention has been on the amount of spending, some are arguing that the quality of the spending is of equal importance. For example, Aaron Kleinhof of the Bipartisan Policy Center says that the current system places much decision-making at lower levels of government, and money doesn’t always go where it is needed most.

Republicans: Forthcoming Mountaintop Mining Regs Part Of “War On Coal.”

McClatchy  (5/21, Cockerham) reports that Congressional Republicans are looking to block a rule expected from the Administration to protect “Appalachian streams from mountaintop removal mining, as opponents of the controversial practice say the mines are getting closer to communities and harming people’s health.” Some Republicans, McClatchy says, “are describing the move as the latest campaign in the Obama administration’s ‘war on coal.’”

ACEEE Ranks Boston Top US City For Saving Energy.

The Washington Post  (5/21, Harvey) reports that the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on Wednesday released its ranking of US cities based on local energy policies and initiatives, and Boston topped the list for the second consecutive time. Boston’s Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance requires buildings to report water and energy use and complete assessments every five years, requiring improvements over time, the Post reports, and the city “also has a climate action plan, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.” New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Seattle scored in the 70s, but the report cautions that “even the leading five have room for improvement” as “only the top 13 cities exceeded 50.”

Maine Leaders Want Streamlined Licensing For Hydroelectric Dams.

The AP  (5/21) reports that Sen. Angus King is pressing to streamline the federal permitting process for dams, which “takes up to 10 years and up to $100 million to get an answer,” calling it an “annuity for lawyers and consultants.” King has proposed legislation to ease licensing for small dams and FERC re-licensing for existing dams. Gov. Paul LePage has express similar sentiments, the AP reports.

Montrose Hydroelectric Facility Receives $900,000 Federal Water Conservation Grant.

The AP  (5/21) reports that the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association announced Wednesday that it will receive a $900,000 grant from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation for water conservation and reuse projects at a new hydroelectric facility in Montrose. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced funding Wednesday for more than 60 projects in a dozen states, the AP reports.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Texas Instruments Foundation Awards $2.2 Million To Texas District.

The Dallas Morning News  (5/19, Miller) reports that the Texas Instruments Foundation will award $2.2 million to Educate Texas which will be used to provide a STEM curriculum to all students in Lancaster ISD from kindergarten to 12th grade. The award follows a $4.8 million award to create the STEM district awarded in 2012. The grant will be put towards professional development, college and career readiness, math curriculum alignment, and new STEM extracurriculars.

Houston-Area Robotics Team Profiled.

The Houston Chronicle  (5/21, Olabi) reports on Rubicon Academy’s Bricksmart junior robotics team, which uses Legos to build FIRST Lego League Robotics competitors. The team competed in the FIRST Lego League World Festival in St. Louis this year.

Iowa Elementary School Hosts STEM Faire.

The Ames (IA) Tribune  (5/21) reports that the Edwards Elementary School in Iowa hosted a FAB Faire May 14, which showcased projects on science, technology, engineering, and computer basics. The article then interviews the students on what they want to do and notes that the “highlight of the evening” was the Junior FIRST Lego League teams’ presentations.

Wednesday’s Lead Stories

US Charges Six Chinese Citizens With Theft Of Trade Secrets From Tech Companies.
Report: Poor, Minority Students Carry Higher Student Debt Burdens.
L’Oreal Working On 3-D Printing Skin To Replace Animal Testing.
New Food Supply Technology Will Help Grow Production.
Uber Snaps Up Staff From CMU For Self-Driving Car Project.
House Easily Passes Short-Term Transportation Spending Extension.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

SAGE announces pilot partnership with Publons
Academic publisher SAGE has announced a new pilot partnership with Publons, a new company working with reviewers, publishers, universities and funding agencies to turn peer review into a measurable research output. Publons, established in 2013, seeks to speed up science by making peer review faster, more efficient and more effective.
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Wolters Kluwer receives 20 awards from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) for editorial and design excellence
Healthcare information provider Wolters Kluwer has announced that its Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) journal portfolio has won 20 awards across 18 categories in the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE) annual awards competition. ASHPE recognises member articles and publications for editorial, design, print and online award categories.
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National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine announce initiative on human gene editing
The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine have launched a major initiative to guide decision making about controversial new research involving human gene editing. Human gene-editing technologies include CRISPR-Cas9, may lead to promising new treatments for disease. However, recent experiments to attempt to edit human genes also have raised important questions about the potential risks and ethical concerns of altering the human germ line. Future advances are likely to raise new questions.
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SPIE spotlights e-book series launches, offers short tutorials in optics and photonics
A new peer-reviewed e-book series launched this spring by SPIE , the international society for optics and photonics, has its topic-expert editors excited. SPIE, long-time publisher of refereed journals, conference proceedings, handbooks, tutorial texts, and reference books on topics in light-based technologies, had received several proposals from potential authors for projects that did not fit any of its existing models.
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Cengage Learning earns recognition for marketing excellence from 2015 Hermes Creative Awards
Cengage Learning, a global education company, has been awarded multiple honors by the Hermes Creative Awards for its work on digital, website and email platforms. Cengage Learning was honored for its creative and marketing excellence for both its MindTap personal learning experience and also for work by National Geographic Learning (NGL), part of Cengage Learning.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

US Charges Six Chinese Citizens With Theft Of Trade Secrets From Tech Companies.

The New York Times  (5/20, B1, Sanger, Perlroth, Subscription Publication) reports that the Justice Department on Tuesday “announced the arrest of a Chinese professor and the indictment of five other Chinese citizens in what it contended was a decade-long scheme to steal microelectronics designs from Silicon Valley companies.” The indictment “was the broadest since five members of the People’s Liberation Army were indicted last year by the United States, accused of hacking into the computer systems of American companies to steal technology for state-owned companies.” The Times notes that none of the Chinese citizens charged “have been arrested or seen an American courtroom, and for a time those indictments froze discussions between the United States and Chinese governments over rules for reducing online attacks,” but Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin, who heads the Justice Department’s National Security Division, “recently defended the approach as the best way to ‘raise the price’ for the Chinese.”

The Wall Street Journal  (5/20, A1, Grossman, Subscription Publication) reports that the indictment charges the six with bringing trade secrets related to technology used to filter out unwanted signals in wireless devices from US firms Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions Inc. back to Tianjin University in China. Federal prosecutors say they then established a joint venture with the university to produce and sell equipment using the technology and secured contracts to sell the equipment to companies and the military.

The Washington Post  (5/20, Nakashima) reports that the indictment, unsealed on Monday, “highlights the threat posed by insiders who use their position to steal sensitive information on behalf of a foreign government or for financial gain and is part of a larger trend by the U.S. government to step up efforts to deter Chinese theft of trade secrets,” and it is “also a manifestation of the ongoing innovation war between China and the United States and could increase tensions in an already-fraught relationship. ‘According to the charges in the indictment, the defendants leveraged their access to and knowledge of sensitive U.S. technologies to illegally obtain and share U.S. trade secrets with the [People’s Republic of China] for economic advantage,’” Carlin said, adding, “Economic espionage imposes great costs on American businesses, weakens the global marketplace and ultimately harms U.S. interests worldwide.”

Higher Education

Report: Poor, Minority Students Carry Higher Student Debt Burdens.

The Washington Post  (5/19, Douglas-Gabriel) reports in its “Wonkblog” blog that according to “a new report from the liberal think tank Demos,” state higher education cuts and tepid growth in Federal aid are increasing the debt loads carried by black, Hispanic, and low-income college students. The report indicates that while less than half of students who are too affluent to qualify for Pell grants graduate with debt, that figure rises to 84% for those who can qualify for them.

Group Sues Wisconsin Governor Over Effort To Change University’s Mission.

Valerie Strauss writes at the Washington Post  (5/19) “Answer Sheet” blog the non-profit watchdog group the enter for Media and Democracy has sued Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker “alleging that he is refusing to make public documents relating to an effort by his office to change the mission of the University of Wisconsin that is embedded in state law.” Walker has proposed budget legislation “that would have changed the century-old mission of the University of Wisconsin system — known as the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ and embedded in the state code.” Walker’s changes would remove language “that commanded the university to ‘search for truth’ and ‘improve the human condition,’” in favor of language mandating that the system “meet the state’s workforce needs.”

NYTimes Calls On Congress To Address Fake Online Degrees.

In an editorial, the New York Times  (5/20, Board, Subscription Publication) says it is “hard to believe that the Pakistani government was unaware of a major scam orchestrated by Axact, a software company based in Karachi that operates a global network of fake online schools that sell bogus diplomas.” Nevertheless, the Times says the “problem of bogus degrees and predatory schools goes well beyond one company in Pakistan,” and calls on Congress to “focus on it in a sustained way,” which “means getting federal agencies to devise a coherent plan for curbing these kinds of abuses.”

Utah State Launches Aerospace Engineering Doctorate Program.

KSL-TV  Salt Lake City (5/20) reports online that Utah State University will launch Utah’s first-ever doctorate program in aerospace engineering, which “will focus on the design, development and testing of rockets, spacecraft, airplanes and missiles.” The piece quotes associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering David Geller saying, “The new degree program will establish a separate degree path for existing aerospace engineering graduate students and attract new students who are looking specifically for a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. Offering this Ph.D. better positions USU to capture regional talent that would otherwise leave the state.”

The Logan (UT) Herald Journal  (5/20) reports that the state Board of Regents approved the new program on Friday.

From ASEE
ASEE Member Comments on Strategic Doing
President Nick Altiero encourages all member to read and respond to the Board’s “Strategic Doing” beta document. (Member login required.)

Microinequities: The Power of Small
ASEE members get a steep discount on this engaging webinar when using code ASEE2015.

New ASEE Fellows
Eleven members were given the professional distinction, conferred by the Board ofDirectors.

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

Research and Development

L’Oreal Working On 3-D Printing Skin To Replace Animal Testing.

The Washington Post  (5/19, Phillip) reports that cosmetics company L’Oreal is “partnering with Organovo, a 3-D human tissue company, to print tons of” simulated human skin “to facilitate animal-free cosmetics testing.” The piece notes that the technology is “already being explored for use in human skin grafts that could treat burns or for use in reconstructive surgery.”

The Christian Science Monitor  (5/19) reports that the partnership “could pave the way both for bioprinting on a commercial scale, and for animal-free testing across a number of industries.”

White House Vows To Veto Science Funding Bill Over NSF Cuts.

The Washington Times  (5/18) reports that the White House announced this week that President Obama will veto “a House science, technology and innovation funding bill” over what it called “unacceptably steep cuts for the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.”

Graduate Student Designs “Microneedle Pill” That Could Replace Traditional Injections.

Forbes  (5/20) reports that an MIT chemical engineering graduate student won the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize for his Microneedle Pill, or mPill, a “capsule covered in tiny needles and coated in a ‘pH responsive coating’ that makes it easier to swallow,” as a replacement for “traditional injections.” Once the patient swallows the pill, the coating dissolves and the hollow needles deliver the medication into the bloodstream.

Global Developments

New Food Supply Technology Will Help Grow Production.

Business Insider  (5/20, Hickman) hosts a World Economic Forum article that notes that food supply will need to grow by 60 percent to accommodate an additional two billion humans over the next 35 years. This increase will be accomplished in part using “precision farming” and “prescription planting,” which use data and forecasting to optimize production and water use. Better fertilizers, genetic engineering, and urban farms will also play important roles.

Industry News

Uber Snaps Up Staff From CMU For Self-Driving Car Project.

The Verge  (5/19, Lowensohn) reports that Uber has been “snapping up some of [Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center’s (NREC)] most talented staffers” to work in its “multi-year project to replace human drivers with computers,” recruiting “about 50 people” or “a third of the staff.” The Verge adds that Uber announced Monday that it “plans to lease a 53,000 square foot facility that used to be a Restaurant Depot supply store” to house its Advanced Technologies Center.

Engineering and Public Policy

House Easily Passes Short-Term Transportation Spending Extension.

Reuters  (5/20, Lawder) reports that on Tuesday, the House passed a two-month transportation spending extension on a 387-35 vote. The provision now goes to the Senate, which will need to pass it before funding authority expires on May 31.

The New York Times  (5/20, Huetteman, Subscription Publication) reports that Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer “supported the Republican-sponsored legislation for short-term financing, but cautioned that Democrats would spend those 60 days finding permanent funding of the program, which for years relied on fuel taxes that are no longer keeping pace with the nation’s transportation needs.”

In an editorial, USA Today  (5/20) condemns Congress for passing another transportation funding “patch,” arguing that Congress should raise the gas tax and index it for inflation. The paper concludes, “It’s time to end the stupid tricks and put the nation’s public works on a sound footing.”

In an opposing op-ed for USA Today  (5/20), Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute writes that while “we hear a lot about crumbling infrastructure, some of our infrastructure is actually in great shape,” mainly that which is funded by “users fees,” while that funded by tax dollars is, in fact, “crumbling.” He says that this is because in recent decades, funding decisions “have increasingly been made by politicians more interested in ribbons than brooms,” funding “unnecessary” new projects instead of “needed repairs.”

Study: Higher Wind Turbines Could Generate More Energy In More Places.

The Washington Post  (5/20, Mooney) reports that a new Energy Department report indicates “the potential for wind to generate energy” in the US is “greatly limited” by the fact that “most of the wind turbines being used in the country today aren’t tall enough.” According to the Post, “if they were extended higher…they could potentially not only tap more energy,” but also “tap it in vastly more places.”

Panetta, Hadley: US Can Achieve Its Goals With Secure Access To Energy. In a Wall Street Journal  (5/20, Subscription Publication) op-ed, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley argue that in addition to militarily, the US can also achieve goals economically, which requires ensuring access to secure energy supplies.

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

Texas Enacts Law Barring Local Fracking Bans.
UConn To Launch Tech Entrepreneurship Program.
University Of Pittsburgh Developing Technology To Test Chemicals For Toxicity.
CBC To Push For More African Americans In Tech Sector.
Indian American Students Win Major Intel ISEF Special Awards.
EPA Criticized Over Positive Campaign For Public Comment On Water Rules.
Tweets Highlight Women In STEM.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Elsevier announces its first Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge
STM publisher Elsevier has announced its first Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. As the world’s population quickly approaches 9 billion, the strain on the planet’s resources is steadily increasing too. This means that the need to develop alternatives or think of ways to make existing raw materials more sustainable is greater than ever before.
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BMJ announces continued partnership with Saudi government and healthcare institutions
Medical knowledge provider BMJ has announced its continued partnership with the Saudi government and healthcare institutions to help improve the quality of healthcare throughout the Kingdom. BMJ experts will be at Saudi Health 2015, Riyadh, May 18-20, to talk about the key healthcare challenges facing the Kingdom, and how BMJ can help through joint research and knowledge sharing.
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Wolters Kluwer’ Dr. Brian Levy to lead breakout session on Critical Role of Terminology Management to Effective HIE at Annual WEDI Conference
Healthcare information provider Wolters Kluwer has announced that Dr. Brian Levy, its Vice President of Global Clinical Operations for Health Language, will lead a breakout session at the 24th Annual National WEDI (Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange) Conference. The session, ‘Overcoming Challenges to Clinical Information Exchange Through Terminology Management,’ covers the critical role of terminology management to the future of clinical information exchange and will take place on May 21 at 10:05 a.m. in Salt River Rooms 7 and 8 of Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.
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ORCID and F1000 partner to launch standard for citing peer review activities
The Open Research and Contributor ID (ORCID) has announced a partnership with publisher F1000 to develop a practical means to cite peer review activities, based on a standard set of terms and the use of persistent identifiers. Working with the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI), a community working group has been established to define a standard field set and business rules that would work across the many types of peer review used in publishing, funding, university research management, and conference presentations.
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Future Science Group launches GenomicsNet, an online community for genomics professionals
Publisher Future Science Group (FSG) has launched GenomicsNet, the first online community for those working in the field of genomics and personalised medicine. The new interactive portal is free to join and offers exclusive content from FSG’s leading peer-reviewed journals. GenomicsNet is the latest in a series of niche scientific and medical eCommunities developed and managed by Future Science Group.
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MA Healthcare announces new sales partner for nursing and medical education journals
Mark Allen Group’s MA Healthcare has announced a new sales partner for Nursing and Medical Education Journals hosted on Atypon’s Literatum Platform. MA Healthcare joins a select group of publishers as part of a new offering from EBSCO. Long known as both a subscription agency and a database vendor, EBSCO has pooled the resources from both areas and now offers selected publishers truly expanded worldwide sales and marketing efforts as part of a new program.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Texas Enacts Law Barring Local Fracking Bans.

The Wall Street Journal  (5/19, Gold, Subscription Publication) reports that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on May 18 signed legislation that bars local laws banning fracking and makes it significantly harder for local governments to control where wells can be drilled.

The Dallas Morning News  (5/18, Barnett) reports that Gov. Abbott “compared the new law to suits he filed as attorney general against the federal government for alleged overreach.” He said, “It’s exactly the same…We’re ensuring that people and officials at the local level are not going to be encroaching upon individual liberty or individual rights.” Meanwhile, “critics say the law is an affront to local control and prevents cities from picking up the slack where locals view state regulation has failed them,” the article reports.

The Texas Tribune  (5/18, Malewitz) reports that Gov. Greg Abbott said that House Bill 40 “is so incredibly important,” adding that it does a “profound job of protecting private property rights.” Meanwhile, environmental activists and officials in some small towns are concerned over how this will affect their authority to “ensure local health and safety,” the article reports. The energy industry meanwhile is in agreement with the governor. “House Bill 40 represents balanced legislation that will build upon a 100-year history of cooperation between Texans, their communities, and oil and natural gas operators,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, said.

The Austin (TX) American Statesman  (5/18, Tilove, Subscription Publication) reports a spokeswoman for Denton said she was “disappointed on behalf of our community and the democratic process.” But for Gov. Abbott, the new bill is a victory for private property rights.

The Houston Chronicle  (5/18, Fikac) reports that while the new law bars cities from banning oil and gas production, it affords them the option “to regulate above-ground activity, such as drilling setbacks, as long as they are ‘commercially reasonable.’” For Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas, this is not enough. “By advocating for and signing this bill, Gov. Abbott has succeeded in seizing power away from local governments working to protect us from the real dangers of dirty drilling,” he said. “In the past, the state of Texas has failed to stop Big Oil from polluting our air and water, causing earthquakes, and putting our families at risk from leaks, spills and explosions. Regrettably, with millions spent by oil and gas in campaign contributions to influence state officials, I don’t think they’re going to start now,” he added.

Higher Education

UConn To Launch Tech Entrepreneurship Program.

The Hartford Business Journal  (5/18) reports that the National Science Foundation is giving the University of Connecticut $300,000 to “kick off its new tech entrepreneurship program,” called Accelerate UConn. The project “will provide funding, education and mentors for as many as 40 student-faculty teams to develop startup ideas.”

Over 10,700 Tennesseans Apply For Tuition-Free Technical College.

The Tennessean  (5/19, Tamburin) reports that in Tennessee, over “10,700 adults have applied to take advantage of a state grant that would send them to technical college tuition-free, exceeding initial estimates by more than 2,000. The Tennessee Reconnect grant, which offers eligible adults the chance to get training from a Tennessee College of Applied Technology, is” part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R) “plan to ensure 55% of Tennesseans have a college education by 2025.”

“Record” 38 Arizona Students Receive Simultaneous Diploma, Associate’s Degree.

The Arizona Republic  (5/18) reports that a “record” 38 students in Arizona received associates degrees before graduating high school via Rio Salado’s “dual-enrollment program.” Students from 10 high schools in Phoenix, Glendale, and Tempe received their degrees earlier this week. Dual enrollment credits are able to be transferred to all public Arizona colleges and university as well as a number of schools outside the state.

Senator Bernie Sanders Bill Would Make Public Colleges Free.

The Christian Science Monitor  (5/18, Lindsay) reports that Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders will propose a bill to make US colleges and universities free based on European models. Sanders said Sunday that the country needs “the best-educated workforce in the world” and that this cannot happen if people are unable to attend college due to tuition costs. Sanders has requested states to put $18 billion toward higher education and has called for an end to what the Monitor paraphrases as ED’s “practice of profiting off student loan debt.” Sanders said that the country must “shift our priorities” to ensure students do not receive a “crushing debt.” The bill will be introduced on Tuesday.

Obama’s Support For Community Colleges Chronicled.

Politico  (5/19, Grasgreen) reports that in addition to his proposals for making community college free, President Obama has “lifted community colleges to new levels of status, significance and public consciousness.” The article describes the “cheerleading and economic shifts” the Administration has undertaken to this end, including earmarking $5 billion to community colleges in the 2011 economic stimulus bill. Moreover, despite opposition to free tuition in the Republican-controlled Congress, “Obama hasn’t let up, and there’s no indication he will.”

From ASEE
ASEE Member Comments on Strategic Doing
President Nick Altiero encourages all member to read and respond to the Board’s “Strategic Doing” beta document. (Member login required.)
Microinequities: The Power of Small
ASEE members get a steep discount on this engaging webinar when using code ASEE2015.

New ASEE Fellows
Eleven members were given the professional distinction, conferred by the Board ofDirectors.

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

Research and Development

University Of Pittsburgh Developing Technology To Test Chemicals For Toxicity.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  (5/19, Templeton) reports that “with a $6 million EPA grant over four years, Vanderbilt and the University of Pittsburgh are establishing…the Vanderbilt-Pittsburgh Resource for Organotypic Models for Predictive Toxicity, or VPROMPT” to study “technology to test chemicals without using animals, mostly rats and rabbits.” Moreover, The Gazette adds that last fall the National Institutes of Health granted D. Lansing Taylor, director of Pitt’s Drug Discovery Institute, a $5.8 million grant, which led to “the development of a tissue chip involving liver cells and designed to mimic the structure and function of the liver, for use in testing the safety and effectiveness of drugs.” NIH Director Francis S. Collins has “said that ‘the development of tissue chips is a remarkable marriage of biology and engineering,’ with potential to test drug treatments and serve as valuable tools for biomedical research.”

J&J Awards Rutgers $6 Million Grant To Further Partnership On Continuous Manufacturing.

Fierce Pharma Manufacturing  (5/19, Palmer) reports that Johnson & Johnson awarded Rutgers University a $6 million grant to be used by the Rutgers Engineering Research Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems for research. The center is already helping J&J’s Janssen unit “transition some products to the new technology at a plant in Puerto Rico.” Rutgers researchers have created “what the university says is one of the first full production-scale continuous direct compression solid oral dosage manufacturing facility” to be used as a model for the Puerto Rico plant. NJBIZ  (5/19, Sheldon) and Contract Pharma  (5/18) also report the story.

Workforce

CBC To Push For More African Americans In Tech Sector.

The Hill  (5/18, Mccabe) reports that the Congressional Black Caucus is planning an initiative “to increase African American representation in the tech sector,” noting that the move comes in response to reports of “a lack of diversity at companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter.” The Hill quotes CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) saying, “Many of the technology companies have African Americans as very loyal customers, and many of those don’t have any African Americans on their boards. Their senior leadership within many of these companies is not inclusive, and the workforce is appalling. And their reinvestment in African American communities is less than desirable.”

Global Developments

Indian American Students Win Major Intel ISEF Special Awards.

India West  (5/19) reports on Indian-American students recognized May 14 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where “More than 60 organizations provided special awards.” Among the many students listed is “Koushal Rao, 17, of Lincoln Park Academy, Ft. Pierce, Fla.,” who won a $10,000 Global Development Innovation award from USAID.

Engineering and Public Policy

EPA Criticized Over Positive Campaign For Public Comment On Water Rules.

The New York Times  (5/19, A1, Lipton, Davenport, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page that EPA Administrator McCarthy told a Senate committee in March that the agency had received “more than one million comments, and nearly 90 percent favored” its proposed drinking water rule. However, “critics say there is a reason for the overwhelming result: The E.P.A. had a hand in manufacturing it.” The EPA’s campaign, run in conjunction with the Sierra Club, “highlights the tension between exploiting emerging technologies while trying to abide by laws written for another age,” says the Times.

Tech “Behemoths” Urge President To Protect Encrypted Data On Devices.

The Washington Post  (5/19, Nakashima) reports that “tech behemoths,” including Apple and Google, along with “leading cryptologists,” are urging the President to “reject any government proposal that alters the security of smartphones and other communications devices so that law enforcement can view decrypted data.” In a letter to be sent Tuesday, the “coalition” appeals to the White House “to protect privacy rights as it considers how to address law enforcement’s need to access data that is increasingly encrypted.”

Kansas Set To Repeal Renewable Energy Mandate.

The Hill  (5/19, Henry) reports that lawmakers in Kansas “are set to repeal the state’s renewable energy mandate and replace it with a voluntary goal for electric utilities, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.” Legislators “have approved a bill to the end the state’s ‘renewable portfolio standard,’ which requires utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, and replace it with a voluntary goal instead.” In addition, the legislation “limits the property tax exemption for renewable energy projects currently in law.” The bill has been sent “to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback for his signature.”

GE Wind Is Working Towards Nonreliance On Federal Energy Subsidy.

Bloomberg News  (5/19, Martin) reports that GE Wind will push to expand production by 20 percent, eliminating the need for a Federal subsidy that keeps the industry in development. As the American Wind Energy Association lobbies to extend the tax cuts, GE Water & Power CEO Steve Bolze says that the company is investing in more efficient and reliable turbine designs to make the credit unnecessary.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Tweets Highlight Women In STEM.

The Huffington Post  (5/19, Yam) hosts a series of tweets from the #girlswithtoys hashtag, which was created in response to comments by California Institute of Technology professor Shrinivas Kulkarni’s comment that “many scientists…are what I call ‘boys with toys.’” Kulkarni’s comment “failed to acknowledge his female counterparts in the field” a slight that “didn’t go unnoticed.” The tweets show women in STEM careers on the job.

Maker Faires Highlight STEM Education.

TIME  (5/18, Bajarin) report on its website that Maker Faires are “one of the truly bright lights in tech education,” and have a “strong STEM emphasis.” The biggest of the Maker Faires will be held in San Mateo, California this weekend and is expected to host 150,000 children and parents. The goal of the movement, according to founder Dale Dougherty, is to “inspire people to become makers instead of just consumers.” The article also profiles vendors and sponsors such as Roominate Toys and Intel, respectively.

Monday’s Lead Stories

Penn State Discloses Intrusion Of Engineering Computers By Chinese Hackers.
University Of Vermont Begins STEM Building Construction.
Military Develops Emergency Robots, Bringing Weaponization Fears.
Report: Asians Underrepresented In Tech Sector Management.
Panama Canal Expansion To Double Its Capacity.
WPost: Driver-less Cars Offer “Tantalizing” Possibilities.
Johnson: Security Related To Drones “Definitely An Issue” In 2016 Presidential Race.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Elsevier presents sixth edition of Murray & Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine at 2015 American Thoracic Society Conference
STM publisher Elsevier has announced the publication of the sixth edition of Murray & Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 2-Volume Set. Similar to its previous editions, Murray & Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine is a comprehensive reference on all aspects of pulmonary medicine and the most definitive content on basic science, diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of the full spectrum of respiratory diseases.
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Faculty of 1000 launches F1000Workspace, a research collaboration, reference management and authoring platform for scientists
Publisher Faculty of 1000 (F1000) has announced the launch of F1000Workspace, a research collaboration, reference management and authoring platform for scientists. It is the latest component part of a unique technology eco-system offered by F1000, a community of over 10,000 biomedical experts.
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ORCID forms new global membership team
The Open Research and Contributor ID (ORCID) has announced its new membership team: Josh Brown, Matthew Buys, Nobuko Miyairi (as of July 1), and Lilian Pessoa. Led by Douglas Wright, Director of Membership, the ORCID membership team brings regional expertise in research management, publishing, analytics, research funding, and open access, and fluency in English, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
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Credo Homework Help expands to include science
Information skills solutions provider Credo has announced that science help is now offered through Homework Help. Students can now work with state-certified teachers of multiple scientific disciplines, in addition to reading, writing and math. In a recent survey of Homework Help users, students expressed an eagerness to share their positive experiences with their peers.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Penn State Discloses Intrusion Of Engineering Computers By Chinese Hackers.

Bloomberg News  (5/16, Riley) reports that Penn State University disclosed Friday “that Chinese hackers have been sifting through the computers of its engineering school for more than two years,” a revelation that Bloomberg says “suggests that foreign spies could be using universities as a backdoor to U.S. commercial and defense secrets,” as Penn State also develops “sensitive technology for the U.S. Navy.”

The Hill  (5/18, Viebeck) notes that Penn State’s disclosure follows an alert to unusual activity sent to the school by the FBI in November. “The subsequent investigation revealed that two groups of hackers had been inside the school’s networks — one linked to the Chinese government, one likely state-sponsored,” The Hill says. Penn State President Eric Barron wrote in a letter to faculty and students that, “this was an advanced attack against our College of Engineering by very sophisticated threat actors.” The Hill notes that the university has hired a top cybersecurity firm to investigate the attack.

The Wall Street Journal  (5/16, Schwartz, Subscription Publication), the Miami Herald  (5/18, Falce), and Reuters  (5/15, Kumar) also reports on this story.

Higher Education

University Of Vermont Begins STEM Building Construction.

The AP  (5/17) reports that the University of Vermont has started construction of a $104 million STEM facility that will host two buildings for classrooms, science labs, and meetings. The project is UVM’s largest capital expenditure in its history. UVM President Tom Sullivan is paraphrased calling the project “transformative,” and Governor Peter Shumlin expressed his gratitude that the project was made a priority. UVM hopes to grow its STEM majors by 50 percent over 10 years.

ED Releases New Rules On Student Debit Cards.

The Washington Post  (5/15, Douglas-Gabriel) reports that ED issued new rules on Friday that would stop colleges from forcing student borrowers to have federal loans and grants “dispersed on prepaid or debit cards that charge fees for overdrawing the accounts.” According to the Post, these cards allow schools to disburse money left over after tuition and fees are paid, and often schools outsource the processing of this money “to banks and other financial firms in exchange for millions of dollars in contracts.” The new rules would disallow overdraft fees for these accounts. Consumer Bankers Association President Richard Hunt said that the rules “will ultimately be paid for by students,” while US Public Interest Research Group advocate Chris Lindstrom said “students on campus are exposed to tactics that don’t exist in the larger banking marketplace.” The Education Department, said Lindstrom, “just drew a very clear line in the sand.” The Post notes that U.S. Bank holds less than a 10-percent share in the campus card market. The Post quotes Under Secretary Ted Mitchell saying, “Students should be able to choose to receive deposits to their own checking accounts and not be forced to utilize debit cards with obscure and unreasonable fees. Students need objective, neutral information about their account options.”

California Assembly Passes Bill Helping Corinthian College Students.

The AP  (5/15) reports that the California State Assembly passed a bill Thursday that will provide community college fee waivers for 13,000 California students hit by the “sudden closure” of Corinthian Colleges as well as money for colleges that receive them as transfers. The ED fined the system $30 million in April for misrepresentation, leading to the closure of 28 campuses. The bill also gives $100 in legal aid to students that seek to have their student debt erased and will restore $10 million in Cal Grant funding for Heald College students.

Attorney Generals Request Information From Secretary Duncan. Legal Newsline  (5/17) reports that 11 state attorney generals requested more information for former Corinthian College students from Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a letter Wednesday. Students may have their student loans forgiven, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, but would lose their right to reimbursement if they transfer credits to another school. The letter calls on the ED to inform students of the tradeoff and mail loan forgiveness applications to students themselves.

College Students Build Solid Fuel Rockets For Competition.

The Houston Chronicle  (5/15, Criscione) reported Northwest Indian College students have built “high-powered, solid-fuel rockets that compete against some of the best colleges in the country.” What’s more, as the students “attend more competitions, the program they started for fun has propelled them to opportunities uncommon for a college of its size.”

From ASEE
ASEE Member Comments on Strategic Doing
President Nick Altiero encourages all member to read and respond to the Board’s “Strategic Doing” beta document. (Member login required.)

Microinequities: The Power of Small
ASEE members get a steep discount on this engaging webinar when using code ASEE2015.

New ASEE Fellows
Eleven members were given the professional distinction, conferred by the Board ofDirectors.

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

Research and Development

Military Develops Emergency Robots, Bringing Weaponization Fears.

In a 1,586-word article about an upcoming Robotics Conference organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Washington Post  (5/17, Davenport) explains “the Pentagon’s band of mad scientists…has invested nearly $100 million into developing robots that could head into disaster zones off limits to humans.” The Post adds, however, that “some fear that the technological advancements in weapons systems are outpacing the policy that should guide their use.”

ORNL Researchers Pushing Boundaries Of Facial Analysis.

The Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel  (5/17, Munger) reported that “Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are pushing the boundaries of facial analysis, using 3-D face scans to provide a broadly accurate tool for determining such things as a person’s age, race and gender.” ORNL engineer Ryan Tokola, who is “scheduled to present some of the preliminary findings next week at the International Conference on Biometrics in Thailand,” stated: “We’re not doing anything that nobody’s done before, but we’re making it a lot easier to do a bunch of things that people have done before. We want to show there’s a set of features that work very well for a number of biometric problems.”

National Laboratory Director Advocates Physics Research.

In a column in the Tri-City Herald (WA)  (5/17), Steve Ashby, director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, claims that physics research “seeks to answer some of humankind’s most fundamental questions,” and details research into fields such as dark matter and cyclotron radiation. He argues that the investigations matter because they “give evidence of new physics” that can “help us understand the origins of the universe” or help create tools for national security, such as trafficking of nuclear material.

Workforce

Report: Asians Underrepresented In Tech Sector Management.

NPR’s All Things Considered  (5/18) broadcast that a New York-based Asian-American professional organization called Ascend has released a report showing that there is a disproportionately low number of Asian-Americans in management and executive positions at “five large, established tech companies,” even though the group is “well-represented in lower-level positions.” Ascend reported that “although 27 percent of professionals working at those companies are Asian or Asian-American, fewer than 19 percent of managers, and just under 14 percent of executives, are.” The remainder of this segment can be heard here  (5/18) and a text version can be seen here  (5/17).

Global Developments

Panama Canal Expansion To Double Its Capacity.

TIME  (5/15, Vick) reports on the $5.25 billion expansion project that is forecast to double the Panama canal’s capacity by increasing the size of container ship that can pass through its locks. Originally, the maximum width a ship could be to pass through the locks was 106 feet, but after “accepting control of the canal from the US in 2000, Panamanian officials surveyed shipbuilders’ intentions and glimpsed a future that spelled the canal’s obsolescence.” After its retrofit, expected to be completed in early 2016, the canal will be able to handle container ships that are 160 feet wide and 1,200 feet long.

Pakistani Students Shine At Intel Sponsored Talent Fair.

The Pakistan Observer  (5/18) reports that Canadian Raymond Wang landed in “first place for engineering a new air inlet system for airplane cabins to improve air quality and curb disease transmission at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public.” Pakistani student Habab Idress placed third the Physical Energy category and received an “honorable mention from the US Agency for International Development for the project ‘Multi-Purpose Smart Solar Device.’”

Industry News

WPost: Driver-less Cars Offer “Tantalizing” Possibilities.

In an editorial, the Washington Post  (5/17, Board) asserts driver-less cars “are about to become far more capable, and soon, revolutionizing the way people get around” adding, “the possibilities are tantalizing.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Johnson: Security Related To Drones “Definitely An Issue” In 2016 Presidential Race.

The Hill  (5/15, Hensch) “Briefing Room” blog reported that on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Johnson responded to a question on the “proliferation of drones” as it related to campaign security, stating that “it is definitely an issue” that law enforcement must address during the 2016 presidential campaigns. Johnson added that the agencies involved in District of Columbia security “need to refine our protocols for airborne stuff in the national capital region to deal with what we’re referring to as the low and slow stuff.”

Farmers Eye Commercial Clearance For Drone Use. The New York Times  (5/16, Turkewitz, Subscription Publication) reports that as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to seek comment over proposed rules on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft, “few are as excited about this technology as farmers.” The Times notes that agriculture will “make up 80 percent of the market for unmanned aircraft” once commercial use if approved, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. However, individuals such as those in the National Agricultural Aviation Association are “worried about pilots crashing into drones” because the believe rules proposed by the FAA are “too lax.”

WSJournal Praises Decision To Grant Shell Approval To Drill Off Alaska’s Coast.

In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal  (5/16, Board, Subscription Publication) calls the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s decision to finally grant conditional approval to Royal Dutch Shell for exploratory drilling off the coast of Alaska good news and criticizes the lengthy bureaucratic delays and the opposition from environmental groups to Arctic oil.

Deadly Amtrak Crash Raises Questions About Infrastructure Investment.

TIME  (5/15, Edwards) reports the May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people came the day before a House appropriations subcommittee hearing where the agency’s funding was cut by $250 million to $1.13 billion. Democrats, who “have long been Amtrak’s lonely champions, seized on the crash as a reason to increase federal funding for rail projects.” But many Republicans, “long suspicious of a government-run train service that is for-profit but has never turned one, pushed back,” saying it was not “immediately apparent that the accident was related to failing or aging infrastructure.”

Energy Lawyer: Utility-Scale Solar Plants Better Option Than Rooftop Panels.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal  (5/18, Subscription Publication), Brian H. Potts, a partner and member of the Energy Industry Team at Foley & Lardner, writes that the push for rooftop solar panels may save homeowners money, but only because they are heavily subsidized in a variety of ways. He argues that a greener and more efficient method is the development of utility-scale solar power plants, which can generate electricity far more cheaply.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Corning Engineers Help Students In Elementary School Egg Drop Contest.

The Corning (NY) Leader  (5/15, Post) reported that “a group of engineers from” Corning’s Environmental Technologies division helped students at Calvin U. Smith Elementary School design “contraptions” to protect eggs dropped from the roof of the school in its annual “egg drop.” The Corning engineers offered one-on-one critiques to the students to improve their designs. Engineer Dave Tracy compared the egg drop challenge to the difficulty of “putting a complex piece of engineered ceramic under a moving vehicle,” while the Leader noted that such experiments when young helped the Corning engineers get to “where they are today,” quoting materials engineer Dan McCauley as saying, “when I was your age, I was always trying to make things that hadn’t been made before.”

Google, NASA, Disney Collaborate To Inspire Girls To Pursue Science Education.

The Washington Post  (5/15, Kang) reported last year, Disney Junior approached Google and NASA to discuss a “new series about a space adventure-seeking boy, his smart sister who codes and mother who drives the family spaceship.” The goal was to bury the stereotypes that computer coders are “sun-starved and soft-bellied nerds who spend long hours alone in front of their computers. And almost always, those TV characters are male.” The group “agreed that done right, the show could help get girls interested in the sciences at an early age” since a 2014 Google report showed “that the media can play a huge factor in girls’ decisions to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”

University Of Arkansas Hosts FIRST Lego League Competition.

Northwest Arkansas Online  (5/16, Bernet) reported that the FIRST Lego League Razorback Invitational hosted 1,200 students and supporters Thursday through Sunday at the University of Arkansas. The competition is for students between 9 and 16, with teams scored on their adherence to values including teamwork, following instructions, and valuing discovery. The article then details projects that include Braille assistance and music instruction.

Friday’s Lead Stories

Researchers Develop Buoyant Metal Matrix Composite.
CFPB Launches Public Inquiry Into Student Loan Servicers.
University Of Hawaii Taking Part In Data Network Research Project.
Female Tech Entrepreneur Cites Success Stories.
Lower Gas Prices Hurt Hybrid And EV Sales.
Oil Industry Begins Ad Fight Against EPA Ozone Regulation.
Colorado BOE Begrudgingly Releases State Science Tests.

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