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Cryptomining is hurting local economies around the world

Setting aside multibillion fraud and the large black market economy, cryptomining inflicts pain to society in quieter ways as well, research found. In a nutshell, cryptocurrencies contribute more negative externalities that impact individual wallets and global warming, stemming from the intensive electricity requirements to complete each unregulated transaction.

NIST reveals plan for boosting U.S. advanced packaging capabilities for semiconductors

Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Laurie E. Locascio recently revealed in public comments that approximately $3 billion in funding for the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program will be used to drive U.S. leadership in advanced packaging. Advanced packaging is a cutting-edge design and manufacturing method that places multiple chips with a variety of functions in a densely interconnected two- or three-dimensional “package.” This design paradigm, according to a press release from NIST,  “can help the sector achieve the ever denser, smaller dimensions that the most advanced semiconductors require.” But NIST also notes that “currently, the United States is limited in both conventional and advanced packaging capacity.” 

Restrictions on academic majors disproportionately hurt underrepresented minority groups

Restrictions placed on registering for high-wage-potential academic majors have had an increasingly disproportionate adverse effect on students from underrepresented minority groups (URM: Black, Hispanic, and American Indian or Alaska Native), according to research from the Bookings Institution.

The TBED Community of Practice webinar is coming up next week! 


Useful Stats: S&E talent across the States

Jobs held by degree holders in Science and Engineering (S&E) fields make important contributions to our nation’s economic growth and global competitiveness, fueling innovative capacity through research, development, and other technologically advanced work activities, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). This edition of Useful Stats will explore NSF National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and National Science Board (NSB) education data, specifically data on S&E associate and bachelor’s degrees, and the S&E workforce supplied by the educational systems.

STEM PUSH programs increase college-level persistence for underrepresented minority students

The U.S. has a STEM workforce problem, and finding diverse talent to fill existing and projected vacancies has proven to be particularly challenging. "Only about 20% of Latina/o students and 18% of Black students enroll in STEM majors, according to research published in 2019 in Educational Research. The research team, led by Catherine Riegle-Crumb at the University of Texas at Austin, also found that Latina/o and Black students switch majors at a rate of about 37% and 40%, respectively, and 20% of Latina/o STEM majors and 26% of Black STEM majors leave school without a degree.

Investment associations sue SEC over rule intended to promote transparency

A group of associations representing private investment funds, including the National Venture Capital Association, jointly filed a lawsuit in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The suit seeks to overturn the agency’s recent rule that among other things requires fee, audit, and performance disclosures from private fund managers. The opening brief, which became available last week, argues that the rule should be vacated because it overrides Congress’s deliberate exclusion of private funds from this type of oversight, that the costs to funds and investors of implementing the rule outweigh the potential benefits, and a host of procedural missteps during the rulemaking process. For its part, the SEC has defended the rule as being necessary to address insufficient transparency and exposure to conflicts of interest that threaten regular investors as pension and retirement funds increasingly participate in private investment vehicles.