|Credit: ESO/José Francisco Salgado|
The U.S. Senate recently confirmed a new director for the National Science Foundation, France Córdova.
Córdova is the first astrophysicist and second woman to head the federal agency, and the 14th director since the agency's inception. Previously, she served as the president of Purdue University in Indiana, as well as the chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institution's board of regents. In the 1990s, Córdova also worked as a chief scientist at NASA. One of her main goals as NSF director will be to communicate the importance of basic research, Nature reported
The National Science Foundation is a federal agency that provides funding for basic research and education across a range of sciences.