DC Digest – September 29, 2014

In Today’s Issue:

  • OSTP and NIH Release Federal Policy on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences
  • Duke Elections Discussion Series: Part 2 Wrap-Up and What’s Next
  • 2014 Golden Goose Awardees Video Released
  • Higher Ed Groups Submit Suggestions for Updating WH Innovation Strategy


OSTP AND NIH RELEASE NEW FEDERAL POLICY ON DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES
The White House on September 24 released its final policy on institutional oversight of life sciences dual use research of concern. According to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): “The Policy seeks to preserve the benefits of life sciences dual use research of concern (DURC) while minimizing the risk that the knowledge, information, products, or technologies generated from such research could be used in a manner that results in harm to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.”

The final version limits the scope of the policy to 15 agents or toxins and seven experiments of concern. It also requires institutional oversight of DURC via an internal review and risk mitigation process. It also requires institutions to certify as of one year from the announcement, September 24, 2015, that they are in compliance with the policy.

According to the documents released by OSTP, the government is interested in receiving continual feedback on the effects of the policy, how it is being implemented, and whether the scope should be expanded or reduced. The institutional DURC policy and a series of background documents and tools developed to help institutions comply with the policy are available on the government Safety, Science, Security (S3) website.

Read More:
Dual Use Research of Concern (phe.gov)

DUKE ELECTIONS DISCUSSION SERIES: PART 2 WRAP-UP AND WHAT’S NEXT
Weren’t able to join us for last week’s Duke election discussion series focused on healthcare?  Read a recap of the conversation between Donald Taylor, associate professor of public policy and associate professor of community and family medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine, and James Capretta (G ’87), a former associate director of the Office of Management and Budget and current fellow at AEI.

Join us this week for the next installment of the series, a conversation on the role of education issues in the midterm elections featuring education experts at Duke and in DC.

Read More:
Healthcare Debate Breaks Along Regional Lines, Experts Say (governmentrelations.duke.edu)

GOLDEN GOOSE 2014 AWARDEES VIDEO RELEASED
As reported in last week’s DC Digest, eight researchers, including a team from Duke, whose work might have sounded odd or impractical at the time it was conducted, but led to major human and economic benefits, were honored at the third annual Golden Goose Award ceremony held on September 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Veteran journalist Miles O’Brien served as master of ceremonies for the standing-room-only event, at which four Members of the House and Senate spoke and the award winners participated in a roundtable discussion about their work.

The program included a video explaining the nature and importance of the awardees’ research, and it has now been posted to the Golden Goose Award website. ; a video of the award ceremony can be viewed here .

Read More:
Golden Goose 2014 Awardees Video (goldengooseaward.org)
Golden Goose Award Ceremony and Roundtable Discussion (goldengooseaward.org)

HIGHER ED GROUPS SUBMIT SUGGESTIONS FOR UPDATING WHITE HOUSE INNOVATION STRATEGY
Five higher education associations submitted comments last week on updating a 2011 Obama administration policy document, Strategy for American Innovation.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council issued a request for information (RFI) earlier this year to inform the revision process that included a list of 25 questions focusing on policies and initiatives that should be prioritized in the next version of the document; challenges and opportunities for innovation; specific actions the federal government can take; and practices in other countries the United States might consider.

The associations identify the top priority as increasing the productivity of national science and technology, including basic research conducted at universities.

Read More:
Higher Ed Comments on American Innovation Strategy (acenet.edu)