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Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space

This is a joint activity with ASEB


The overarching purpose of the committee is to support scientific progress in space research in the biological, medical, and physical sciences and assist the federal government in integrating and planning programs in these fields. The scope for CBPSS spans plant and microbial biology, animal and human physiology, and basic and applied physical sciences, in the context of understanding the role of gravity in living and physical systems in order to develop capabilities required for space exploration, and using the space environment as a tool of science to advance knowledge. The CBPSS provides an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in space life and physical sciences between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The CBPSS will also monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (RFSE) decadal survey--building on the survey that was tasked with establishing priorities for an integrated portfolio of biological and physical sciences research in the decade of 2010-2020. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the committee may formulate and oversee ad-hoc studies related to the implementation of the RFSE survey and on issues in biological and physical sciences more broadly, including:

  • The scientific quality and the potential for discovery in the field;
  • The impact of scientific advances on the implementation of the decadal survey recommended activities and the translation of scientific knowledge to human exploration missions;
  • The impact of changing budget priorities, especially those that challenge the fundamental assumptions of RFSE, on the implementation of decadal survey priorities and on the balance between exploration-focused and basic scientific research more broadly; and
  • The potential impact on a recommended course of action at a decision point described in the decadal survey. 


March 31-April 2, 1015
Washington, DC
View Agenda | View Presentations
View the NRC Space Science Week Outline Agenda

October 7-8, 2014
Washington, DC
View Agenda

Current Membership

View Bios

ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Co-Chair, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 
ROBERT J. FERL, Co-Chair, University of Florida
ROBERT BYER, NAE, Stanford University
OFODIKE A. EZEKOYE ,The University of Texas at Austin
RONALD G. LARSON, NAE, University of Michigan
RICHARD E. LENSKI, NAS, Michigan State University
PETER W. VOORHEES, Northwestern University
KENNETH M. BALDWIN, University of California, Irvine
KRYSTYN J. VAN VLIET, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EUGENIA Y-H WANG, University of Louisville
JAMES A. PAWELCZYK, The Pennsylvania State University

Sandra J. Graham, Senior Program Officer
Abigail Sheffer, Program Officer
Dionna Williams, Program Associate

Past Meeting Presentations

October 7, 2014

Marshall Porterfield
Francis Chiaramonte
David Tomko
Mark Lee
Rod Jones
Gale Allen

Relevant Links

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (2011)