Issues in Science and Technology

A quarterly journal of the National Academy of Science focused on discussion of public policy related to science, engineering, and medicine. Provides a forum researchers, government officials, business leaders, and others concerned with public policy to s

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 4, Summer

Are New Accountability Rules Bad for Science?
If properly implemented the new requirements could strengthen science and enhance its public support. In 1993, the U.S. Congress quietly passed a good government bill, with little fanfare and full bipartisan support. President Clinton happily signed...
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Bills to Protect Confidentiality of Medical Data Introduced
With a congressional deadline looming for the adoption of federal standards ensuring the confidentiality of individual health information, bills have been introduced in Congress that would establish guidelines for patient-authorized release of medical...
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Conservatives Challenge Science Community on Data Access
Politically conservative organizations have made a big push in support of a proposed change to a federal regulation governing the release of scientific research data. The scientific community strongly opposes the change. In last year's omnibus appropriations...
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Controversial Database Protection Bill Reintroduced
A bill designed to prevent the unauthorized copying of online information that was strongly opposed by the scientific community last year has been reintroduced with changes aimed at assuaging its critics. However, the revisions still do not go far...
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Education Reform for a Mobile Population
School management must be local, but national action is also essential. The high rate of mobility in today's society means that local schools have become a de facto national resource for learning. According to the National Center for Education Statistics,...
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Lab Access Restrictions Sought in Wake of Chinese Espionage Reports
In the wake of reports detailing the alleged theft by China of U.S. nuclear and military technology, bills have been introduced that would severely restrict or prohibit visits by foreign scientists to Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National...
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Major Deficiencies Remain in Flood-Control Policies
In "Plugging the Gaps in Flood-Control Policy," (Issues, Winter 1994-95), I critiqued the policies that helped exacerbate the damages from the big 1993 flood along the upper Mississippi River and proposed steps that could be taken to avoid the next...
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Reworking the Federal Role in Small Business Research
The U.S. economy is changing rapidly, and the Small Business Investment Research program must change with it. After 16 years of experience and almost $10 billion in federal expenditures, the SBIR program is showing its age. It has lived through...
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Science at the State Department
Scientific expertise has too often been neglected in the making of U.S. foreign policy, but we are making a determined effort to expand its role. The mission of the Department of State is to develop and conduct a sound foreign policy, taking fully...
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Science Savvy in Foreign Affairs
The Department of State must integrate science and technology expertise more completely into its staff and operations. On September 18, 1997, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott gave a talk to the World Affairs Council of Northern California...
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The Government-University Partnership in Science
In an age when the entire store of knowledge doubles every five years, where prosperity depends upon command of that ever-growing store, the United States is the strongest it has ever been, thanks in large measure to the remarkable pace and scope of...
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The Merits of Meritocracy
The nation must think through its contradictory attitudes toward academic achievement. On May 17, 1999, the Wall Street Journal reported on the disappearing valedictorian. One of the side effects of high-school grade inflation and a complex system...
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The Role of the University: Leveraging Talent, Not Technology
We are in danger of undermining the value of research universities if we regard them simply as sources of technology. During the 1980s, the university was posed as an underutilized weapon in the battle for industrial competitiveness and regional...
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