The 2010 Science and Engineering Indicators volume is out. Contrary to my expectations, there does not appear to be a short issue report to accompany this year’s big volume and digest. While presentation slides are available, there does not appear to be an HTML version of the 2010 edition, unlike previous years. Why? I have no good idea. This is a step backward when other agencies are moving forward. Give the whiz-band taking place on the various government data sites, the National Science Foundation is no longer at the cutting edge of statistical presentation in the government. They need to do better. This is a disappointment.
Those following coverage of the relief efforts in Haiti (http://redcross.org for donations) may have seen the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Rajiv Shah. While his USAID biography lists his work as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics as a past position, he’s still listed in that position at the Department of Agriculture (USDA). While he seems to be managing well at USAID, and it’s more attuned to his previous work in development, I still regret his departure from USDA. The Department seems to be in a position to really ramp up the use of science and technology in the support of agricultural production and safety, and lacking someone at the head of that effort (Shah was also Chief Scientist) is not going to help.
Finally, there has been an update on Dr. Zewail’s trip to the Middle East as U.S. Science Envoy. This recent post at the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog reports on Dr. Zewail’s activities in Turkey. The trip has already moved on to Jordan. Also of note is that another Science Envoy, Science editor and former National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts, is on his own trip, and is in Indonesia at the moment. I’m looking forward to hearing what he’s up to as well.