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. 17, No. 4, Summer

Ask Mark Weinberg: "Final Expense" Funds
Mark Weinberg, Esq., is a prominent Washington-based estate planning attorney. You can send your questions to Mr. Weinberg at our website, NationalAcademies.org/Planning. Question: My friends have suggested setting aside a fund in my estate plan...
Bush versus the Defense Establishment?
A large dose of presidential courage will be required to effect the drastic changes needed in weapons spending priorities. In a major speech on defense policy at the Citadel military academy in South Carolina during the 2000 presidential campaign,...
Common Estate Planning Mistakes-ASSUMING ALL ASSETS ARE CREATED EQUAL
When deciding how to allocate the assets in their estate, many people make the mistake of assuming that a dollar's worth of one asset is equal to a dollar's worth of another asset. In fact, because of capital gains and income tax laws, the final value...
European Responses to Biotechnology: Research, Regulation, and Dialogue
Real differences exist between U.S. and European public opinion, but the foundation for a policy convergence is in place. Modern biotechnology is the fruit of a massive surge of knowledge about the structure and functioning of living entities that...
FORUM: Energy Policy
John P. Holdren's "Searching for a National Energy Policy" (Issues, Spring 2001) is the sort of sound assessment of national energy options that should be reviewed and digested by federal officials as they work to resolve the current energy crisis...
FROM THE HILL: DOD, NIH Big Winners in Bush R&D Budget; Other Agencies Face Cuts
On April 9, the Bush administration released details of its fiscal year (FY) 2002 budget request, which contains an overall increase in federal research and development (R&D) spending but cuts in most of the individual sponsoring agencies. The...
Making the Most of Your Retirement Plan Assets
Although a tax-deferred retirement plan like a 401-K, 403 (b), or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) can be a good source of retirement income for you, it may prove expensive to pass it to your heirs through your estate plan. But, by designating...
More Than a Food Fight
If the United States and Europe cannot settle their disagreements over agricultural biotechnology, the fallout will extend far beyond the food business. From some perspectives, the news for agricultural biotechnology boosters seems good. Latest...
Needed: A National Center for Biological Invasions
A new coordinating body is essential to the success of nonindigenous species prevention and management efforts. Introduced organisms are the second greatest cause, after habitat destruction, of species endangerment and extinction worldwide. In the...
Patenting Agriculture
An intense drive to patent agricultural biotechnologies may hurt those who would benefit most: people in developing countries. More than one million children die each year because of a chronic lack of vitamin A. Millions more suffer disease. Many...
Redesigning Food Safety
Better deployment of the government's food safety resources is essential to minimizing the growing risks from foodborne illness. Controversy over genetically modified foods has helped put food safety in the headlines, but that issue, like others...
Retooling Farm Policy
Federal programs to help farmers should be realigned so that they effectively advance their stated goals. In 2000, federal direct payments to U.S. farmers exceeded $22 billion. Farm groups contend that as much as an extra $117 billion will be needed...
The Wild Card in the Climate Change Debate
The potential for abrupt, drastic climate changes on a regional scale is being underestimated by policymakers. The debate on global warming, framed on one side by those who see a long-term gradual warming of global surface temperatures and on the...
What's Food Got to Do with It?
A host of deeper and broader concerns are the real motivation behind the genetically modified food ruckus. Displacement is the common psychological practice of redirecting an emotional response from the original person or event to a different person...