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. 18, No. 2, Winter

Achievement versus Aptitude in College Admissions: Students Should Be Selected on the Basis of Their Demonstrated Success in Learning, Not Some Ill-Defined Notion of Aptitude
Every year, more than a million high school students stake their futures on the nation's most widely used admissions test, the SAT I. Long viewed as the gold standard for ensuring student quality, the SAT I has also been considered a great equalizer...
Colleges Drop Opposition to More Tracking of Foreign Students. (from the Hill)
In the wake of reports that one or more of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attacks entered the United States on student visas, the academic community has reversed its staunch opposition to electronic tracking of foreign students at U.S....
Homeland Security Technology: A New Federal Agency Is Needed to Rapidly Develop and Deploy Technologies That Will Limit Our Vulnerability to Terrorism
On September 11th, our complex national aviation infrastructure became a brilliant weapons delivery system, both stealthy and asymmetrical. The attack was so successful that we should expect this and other like-minded groups to strike again at our...
Keeping National Missile Defense in Perspective: If We're Going to Pursue This Strategy, Let's Do So in a Realistic Way That Minimizes the Economic and Political Costs
The United States is in the midst of its third major debate on nationwide ballistic missile defense--the first culminating in the 1972 ABM Treaty and the second sparked by President Reagan's "Star Wars" speech in 1983. This time the Cold War is over,...
Marburger Confirmed as Science Advisor; OSTP Moves Questioned. (from the Hill)
New science advisor John H. Marburger III, confirmed by the Senate on October 23, has taken steps that have increased anxiety among some members of the science community about the Bush administration's interest in science. Marburger, who will be...
Preparing for and Preventing Bioterrorism: Strengthening the U.S. Public Health Infrastructure Is the Key to Enhancing the Nation's Safety. (Perspectives)
The tragic events of September 11th, followed by the recent anthrax incidents, have made us painfully aware of our nation's vulnerability to terrorism, including bioterrorism. Although once considered a remote concern, the possibility that a biological...
President Appoints Science and Technology Advisors. (from the Hill)
On December 12, President Bush named the members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), which has the job of providing the president and the Office of Science and Techology Policy with independent expert guidance...
Regulatory Challenges in University Research: Federal Regulations Must Be Streamlined and Coordinated So That Society's Values Can Be Upheld without Impeding Science
The body of federal regulations designed to ensure that university research adheres to generally accepted societal values and ethics has grown rapidly in recent years, creating an administrative burden and a potential impediment to research. As publicly...
Rethinking U.S. Child Care Policy: Demand for High-Quality Care Will Increase Only When Consumers Have Better Information about Child Care and Stronger Economic Incentives to Purchase Excellent Care
Child care in the United States is, by many standards, in poor shape. Commonly heard complaints include that today's system of child care endangers the well-being of children, causes financial hardship and stress for families, makes it next-to-impossible...
Revamping the CIA: The Terrorist Attacks Have Once Again Exposed Wide-Ranging Flaws in the Agency's Operations
One week after the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, national security adviser Condoleeza Rice told the press: "This isn't Pearl Harbor." No, it's worse. Sixty years ago, the United States did not have a director of central...
The Ethanol Answer to Carbon Emissions: When the United States Gets Serious about the Threat of Global Climate Change, It Should Turn to Ethanol to Power Cars
The moment is fast approaching when the United States will have to face up to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is finding growing scientific evidence that human activities are forcing a gradual...
The Uninsured: Myths and Realities. (Real Numbers)
Much of what Americans think they know about people without health insurance is wrong. National polling data and market research reveal that the popular wisdom is that the number of uninsured people is small, includes largely healthy young adults who...
Weighing Our Woes: Just as We Marshal Resources against Terrorism, We Must Increase Our Efforts to Control an Even More Prolific Killer-Infectious Disease. (Editor's Journal)
The horror of September 11 is difficult to absorb. We all looked in disbelief as the tape of the buildings collapsing was played over and over and over again. We watched thinking that if we saw it often enough perhaps we could feel the magnitude of...