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. 2, Winter

Auto Safety and Human Adaptation
The effectiveness of new high-tech auto safety devices will depend on how drivers use them. Vehicle manufacturers around the world are spending large sums of money to develop sophisticated new safety devices. Anti-lock brakes were one of the first....
Bid to Improve Math and Science Education Programs Fails
The National Science Education Act (H.R. 4271), a bipartisan package of reforms designed to improve science and math education, failed to pass the House in October after lobbying by the major teachers' unions. The National Education Association and...
Biotechnology Regulation
Henry I. Miller and Gregory Conko's conclusion that global biotechnology regulation should be guided by science, not unsubstantiated fears, represents a balanced approach to the risks and benefits of biotechnology ("The Science of Biotechnology Meets...
Civilizing the Sport Utility Vehicle
We can reduce the health, safety, and environmental risks of light trucks without decreasing their advantages for consumers. Now that the media craze about the Firestone-Ford tire and sport utility vehicle (SUV) controversy is winding down, it's...
Expanding the Mission of State Economic Development
State technology pro grams need to extend their reach to give more people the skills needed for the new economy. State technology-based economic development (TED) programs need an integrated dual agenda. Most states have two quite different and...
Filling the Policy Vacuum Created by OTA's Demise
The first president and and the first Congress of the new millennium are taking office in January. This has inevitably generated media speculation about how the rapid pace of technological change will create particularly thorny challenges for policymakers...
Funding for Troubled Laser Facility Approved
Despite a host of technical and administrative problems and a critical General Accounting Office (GAO) report, Congress has approved $199 million for construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), $10 million less than DOE's request. The...
FY 2001 Will Be a Banner Year for Federal Research Programs
On December 15, more than two months into fiscal year (FY) 2001, President Clinton and the 106th Congress finally reached agreement on FY 2001 appropriations. The final agreement will result in a banner year for federal research programs. The omnibus...
Glenn Commission Calls for Math and Science Education Overhaul
A report from a commission chaired by former senator and astronaut John Glenn calls for a major national effort to improve math and science education. Declaring the current state "unacceptable," the report sets out a detailed plan for reinvigorating...
Improving Air Safety: Long-Term Challenges
Aviation industry growth and change will likely result in safety threats different from those of the past. Air travel in the United States has seen dramatic improvements in safety in the past 50 years. Through the cooperative efforts of manufacturers,...
Information Warfare: Time to Prepare
Cooperation between the government and industry is essential to protecting the nation 's information infrastructure. During the past several years, military officials have become concerned about the possibility that a foreign adversary might strike...
INSIGHT on Estate Planning
A quarterly newsletter on estate planning and planned charitable giving, provided as a service by the Planned Giving Program of the National Academies Putting Your Values at the Center of Your Estate Plan Estate planning is not something to be...
Just Say No to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets
The Kyoto Protocol's targets are impeding our efforts to deal with climate change. The emissions targets of the Kyoto Protocol are dead, and the international community should let them rest in peace. Diplomatic necessity may require that the United...
NIH Issues Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research
On August 25, after nine months of sorting through approximately 50,000 comments, NIH issued final guidelines for federally funded research utilizing human pluripotent stem cells derived from human embryos and fetal tissue. The NIH Health Guidelines...
Research Reconsidered
Basic ? Applied? Who knows, who cares? Let's move on to more interesting and important questions. A group of experienced analysts and practitioners of science policy gathered in Washington in late November to discuss the theme of "Basic Research...
Senate Approves Bill to Expand S&T Spending, but House Balks
For the third year in a row, the Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would authorize increased funding for basic research for a five-year period. However, the House has refused to go along, citing diminution of its legislative authority. ...
Too Old to Drive?
We must provide the elderly with easy mobility while protecting them from driving risks. For every mile they drive, people age 75 or older are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an automobile accident than are drivers in any other...
Transportation Safety
Few topics in transportation are of greater significance, now and in the future, than highway safety. In the developed world, highway crashes constitute a major public health problem; in the United States, they are the leading cause of injury deaths...
Using Safety Labels to Make Cars Safer
Providing buyers with an overall assessment of a vehicle crashworthiness would prod manufacturers to make better cars. What is the best way to make cars safer? As in the case of reducing environmental risks, the traditional strategy has been government...