The science of the space stations

Satellites lift off Three Canadian radar satellites that will monitor environmental changes in Canada and the Arctic launched on 12 June from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The long-awaited RADARSAT Constellation Mission will image areas of interest up to four times a day and will be able to track ships across the oceans in the north.

The Canadian government, which will run the trio of spacecraft, approved the project in 2008, but the mission ran over budget and behind schedule. The first two RADARSAT satellites, which launched in 1995 and 2007, enabled the first high-resolution mapping the whole of Antarctica, among other things.

Harassment study Several major US science agencies say they have received few reports of sexual harassment by the researchers whose work they fund, despite studies that have found such behavior to be pervasive in US academic science. In some cases, agencies have turned to news reports to identify researchers under investigation by universities for such behavior, according to a report released on 12 June by the US Government Accountability Office.

NASA received three sexual-harassment complaints about its grant recipients between 2015 and 2019, the Department of Energy received two, and the Department of Health and Human Services — which includes the National Institutes of Health — received one. The National Science Foundation, which last year began requiring institutions that it funds to report any finding they make regarding sexual harassment by a grant recipient, received 14 complaints.

Advice not wanted US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that directs federal agencies, including science agencies, to reduce the number of advisory committees they support by one-third before the end of September. Agencies can no longer create advisory committees unless the total number of panels across the government is less than 350; currently, about 1,000 advisory committees provide the government with independent input on a plethora of scientific, environmental and health issues, among others.