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  • Reclaiming the Narrative: The US and International Communications

    The Shining City upon a Hill Not long ago, the United States was universally perceived as that shining “city upon a hill”1—a modern nation founded solely on an idea and serving as a beacon of freedom for the whole world. For 40 years, an independent, federally-funded organization had promoted the core values of the United States, broadcasted local and international news, and shared free and open information with the rest of the world. Today, that…

    In Articles by Curtis Pearson, Jody Moxham, Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter
  • Education of Americans Across Various Generations as a Preparation for Global Competitions

    Introduction Since the end of World War II over 70 years ago, the United States has led the world in technology development. The US spearheaded the development of capabilities (in space and with semiconductors, computers, lasers, etc.) and the education of generations of new scientists and engineers. Today, this leadership is under threat. The US needs to seriously reconsider its educational system to include both the results (outputs) and the associated research and development (R&D)…

    In Articles by The Honorable Alan R. Shaffer, Trevor Huffard
  • Don’t Forget About Memory

    Introduction Semiconductors come in various flavors—logic, analog, sensors, memory, and others. While all play important roles in modern electronic systems, the insatiable demands of today’s aptly named “data economy” make memory one of the most critical. Everything from data centers to communication networks to cellphones are dependent on large amounts of memory to safely store the information on which we rely. And while ongoing shortages of critical components remind us of the importance semiconductors play…

    In Articles by Brian Shirley
  • Batteries Not Included: The Need for Rechargeable Battery Technologies

    Introduction Since their development in the 1980s and scale manufacturing in the 1990s, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have come to dominate the market for rechargeable batteries. The increasing use of Li-ion batteries in consumer electronics, commercial applications, and national defense applications is due to their superior attributes. As the market pushes for energy efficient vehicles, the expectation that Li-ion batteries will power electric and hybrid electric vehicles will increasingly drive demand for Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries…

    In Articles by Moriah Locklear, PhD, Claire Costenoble-Caherty, PhD, Sharon Layani
  • Accessing Critical Minerals: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Minerals and Civilization Earth’s natural mineral resources provide vital ingredients to the technologies that are fundamental to modern society. Epochs of civilization have long been defined by the metallurgical technologies of the time—from copper to bronze, and later iron, and most recently, steel. Over millennia, humans have extracted new and varied materials from ores, combined them into alloys, and used these naturally derived products to make the technologies of their age. Many different minerals are…

    In Articles by Sharon Layani, Alyssa Adcock, PhD
  • CHIPS has Passed: Now Comes the Hard Work

    On July 28, 2022, Congress finally passed the “Creating Helpful Incentives for Producing Semiconductors,” or “CHIPS” Act, also called the “CHIPS & Science Act.” The bill authorizes $280B for technology and research and development (R&D) over five years; of that, $52B is allocated to semiconductor production and another $25B corporate tax credits. The $52B for semiconductors was appropriated, with $39B allocated for increasing domestic manufacturing, and $13B for R&D over the next five years. Already,…

    In Articles by The Honorable Alan R. Shaffer, Mike Fritze, PhD, Bob Hummel, PhD

On June 3, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576), which would provide new regulatory guidelines for commercial chemical management, was passed through the House of Representatives Energy & Com- merce Committee with near unanimity. An attempt to improve upon the ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, the proposed legislation would provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the tools necessary to guarantee that chemicals used in every-day products are safe to consume. The bill lays out precise scientific standards by which a chemical’s risk-level will be determined, and sets strict deadlines for the EPA to take action when a chemical is deemed hazardous. The House is set to vote on the bill prior to the July 4th recess. http://www.gop.gov/bill/h-r-2576-tsca-modernization-act-of-2015-as-amended/

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