As with every election cycle, changes often occur in the make-up of the Committees in the House and Senate. According to a ScienceInsider analysis, a quarter of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology will either be retiring or lost their bid for reelection this election cycle. Additionally, Representative Ralph M. Hall (R-TX) must step down as Chairman of the committee due to term-limits established by current House rules. This year, three Representatives have announced their candidacy for chairman of the committee. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is currently considered the favorite to replace Representative Hall. The other two Representatives are Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). ScienceInsider interviewed each of the candidates, find the transcripts of their interviews here.
It is important to consider the role of the Science and Technology Committee and the influence it has on the Appropriations Committee and how it may influence how scientists secure funding and perform research in the United States. Here are a few questions to consider:
1.What qualifications should members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology have?
2.What additional qualifications should the committee chairman have?
3.How will the committee members and chair’s outlook on science and technology affect the functioning of the committee?
4. How might the Committee on Science and Technology affect the future of science funding?