Science, Space, and Technology

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Lamar Smith

Field Hearing - Earthquake Mitigation: Reauthorizing the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program


** Hearing will start at 2:00pm PT/5:00pm ET ** [[{"fid":"2161","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A livestream of this event will appear here.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"A livestream of this event will appear here."},"link_text":null,"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A livestream of this event will appear here.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"A livestream of this event will appear here."}},"attributes":{"alt":"A livestream of this event will appear here.","title":"A livestream of this event will appear here.","style":"height: 353px; width: 400px;","class":"media-element file-full","data-delta":"1"}}]] Hearing charter  Witnesses: Dr. Steven McCabe, director, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program; group leader, Earthquake Engineering Group, NIST Dr. Stephen Hickman, director, USGS Earthquake Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey Dr. Frank Vernon, research geophysicist, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego Mr. Chris D. Poland, consulting engineer; NIST Community Resilience Fellow Mr. Ryan Arba, branch chief, Earthquake and Tsunami Program, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Read More

Smith Statement on President Trump Signing Space Policy Directive – 2


WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump signing Space Policy Directive – 2. Chairman Smith: “President Trump’s Space Policy Directive – 2 is another big win for America. The commercial space industry is a national asset. Their innovations are not only ensuring American leadership in space but also inspiring millions of Americans that the stars are once again within reach. With this directive, President Trump is instituting a streamlined, modern regulatory structure for the space industry, including remote sensing. The order mirrors many of the goals of my American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, which the House passed unanimously last month, including creating a one-stop-shop at the Department of Commerce for overseeing commercial space activities. I thank President Trump and Vice President Pence, who is leading the National Space Council, for their initiative.” Read More

Full Committee Markup


H.R. 5905, the Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act of 2018, approved as amended by voice vote.           Amendment 019, Manager's Amendment, offered by Mr. Weber (R-Texas), approved             by voice vote H.R. 5907, the National Innovation Modernization by Laboratory Empowerment (NIMBLE) Act, approved by voice vote.  H.R. 5906, the ARPA-E Act of 2018, approved as amended by voice vote.           Amendment 008, Manager's Amendment, offered by Mr. Lucas (R-Okla.), approved               by voice vote.    Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Vice Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)  Read More

Subcommittee on Research and Technology and Subcommittee on Energy Hearing - Empowering U.S. Veterans Through Technology


This hearing was previously scehldued for March 21, 2018.  Hearing charter Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) Witnesses: Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, chief scientist, National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Department of Energy [Truth in Testimony]  Mr. Christopher Meek, founder and chairman, SoldierStrong [Truth in Testimony]  Ms. Martha MacCallum, advisory board member, SoldierStrong [Truth in Testimony] Mr. John Wordin, president and founder, Project Hero [Truth in Testimony]  Dr. Matthew J. Major, research health scientist and assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Northwestern University [Truth in Testimony]  Read More

Smith, Rohrabacher Letter to Monitor's Counsel


The letter from Chairman Lamar Smith and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to Michael Sullivan, counsel to Monitor Larry Thompson, can be found here. Read More

Smith Letter to SST Committee Members and Staff


The letter to Science Committee members and staff can be found here. Read More

Full Committee Hearing - America’s Human Presence in Low-Earth Orbit


Hearing charter  Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) Witnesses:  Mr. William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, NASA [Truth in Testimony]  Dr. Bhavya Lal, research staff, Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analysis [Truth in Testimony]  Dr. Elizabeth R. Cantwell, CEO, Arizona State University Research Enterprise (ASURE); professor of practice, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport & Energy, Arizona State University [Truth in Testimony]  Read More

Smith Sends Member and Staff Names to the Sun


WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said today he has submitted the names of all committee members and staff to be placed aboard the Parker Solar Probe, a “mission to touch the Sun,” that will launch this summer. NASA opened to the public this spring an opportunity to submit names that will be stored on a memory card and installed on the probe before it launches. Chairman Smith: “When NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launches and begins its long journey to the sun this summer, it will have on board the names of the Science Committee members, personal office staff and committee staff. This probe is the first of its kind and will provide the closest observations of the Sun that humankind has ever achieved. “We all take our responsibilities on the Science Committee seriously, and when I came across NASA’s unique offer, I thought this would be a perfect and light-hearted opportunity to carve the names of the members and staff in history. Who knows—maybe each of these names will be etched on the sun!” Each individual received a certificate memorializing the inclusion of their name on the probe’s microchip. NASA announced that the probe will carry over 1.1 million names. Chairman Smith’s letter can be found here. You can read more about the mission at Read More

Full Committee Hearing - Using Technology to Address Climate Change


Hearing charter  Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) Witnesses:  Mr. Oren Cass, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute [Truth in Testimony]  Mr. Ted Nordhaus, executive director, The Breakthrough Institute [Truth in Testimony]  Dr. Phil Duffy, president and executive director, Woods Hole Research Center [Truth in Testimony]  Dr. Judith Curry, president, Climate Forecast Applications Network; Professor Emerita, Georgia Institute of Technology [Truth in Testimony] (Due to travel complications, Dr. curry will not be in attendance.) Read More

Sensible priorities for taxpayer-supported science


The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, on which we both serve, recently reviewed the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) proposed budget for next year. It includes more than $6 billion for basic scientific research. NSF-funded research has laid the foundations for most of the technological breakthroughs that define the modern world:  GPS, wireless communications, life-saving medicines and more. But one aspect of NSF spending continues to be incredibly wasteful – the diversion of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to questionable proposals in the social sciences. Recent years’ examples of such projects include:  $227,000 to study animal photographs in National Geographic magazine, $1.5 million to study pasture management in Mongolia, and $920,000 to study Viking-era textiles. When the NSF awards taxpayer funds to hundreds of these kinds of activities, it means tens of millions of dollars less for higher value research in fields such as cyber security, gene editing and quantum computing. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, one of the last pieces of legislation that President Obama signed into law, required each NSF-supported research project be in the national interest. “National interest” was part of the NSF’s original 1950 congressional charter. But years later, the NSF has drifted away from its original mission and opened the door for thousands of social scientists to get taxpayer financing of their pet projects and free foreign excursions. In the wake of last year’s legislation, the NSF has taken some positive steps, including requiring plain English explanations of each project at its website. However, there is still a lot that the NSF needs to do. The NSF continues to award millions of taxpayer dollars to projects for which there is no apparent national interest. A few recent examples:  $310,000 to study form letters that members of Congress send to each other, $138,000 to study Capuchin monkey responses to “inequity and violated expectations,” and $450,000 to study why there is no Somali word for blue and why there is no single English word for light blue.  There are certainly areas of national interest for which the social sciences can make valuable contributions. For example, the human behavioral patterns involved in cyber security and natural disaster response and recovery. There are also important, unresolved social and behavioral issues of major importance to our country’s future. How to break patterns of multi-generational poverty, domestic abuse and violent crime? Or how to stop the opioid addiction crisis? The social sciences community believes it has an entitlement to at least $250-300 million every year from taxpayers. This entitlement includes low-priority, sometimes frivolous projects. Academics eagerly spend taxpayer funds, but they object when the American people ask about the national interest in spending $330,000 to study cell phone use in Tanzania or nearly $2 million to study fishing practices at Lake Victoria in Africa or $516,000 to create an adult video game entitled “Prom Night.” Such unjustified public funding is more than an affront to taxpayers; it is a waste of funds needed for serious scientific research. Until social science research refocuses on our nation’s most difficult and important problems, the NSF should stop giving millions of dollars each year to what are low-priority proposals. Our future economic prosperity and national security depend on pioneering research in computer science, biology, physics, chemistry and engineering. These are the vital areas of science on which public funds should be focused. Smith is chairman of the House Science Committee. Biggs is chairman on the Science Subcommittee on Environment. Read More

Contact Information

2321 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6371
Fax 202-226-0113


Lamar Smith


Recent Videos