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. 14, No. 4, Summer

"Compromise" Bill on Encryption Introduced
In the latest legislative attempt to deal with the controversial issue of encryption policy, Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced on May 12 what they call the E-PRIVACY Act (S. 2067). The bill would liberalize current...
Computers Can Accelerate Productivity Growth
The evidence can be found by comparing computer-intensive industrial sectors with other sectors. Conventional wisdom argues that rapid change in information technology over the past 20 years represents a paradigm shift, one perhaps as important as that...
Congress Takes a Hard Look at Health Research Priority Setting
Science funding, particularly for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is expected to increase significantly during the next few years. But a larger pie is still a limited pie, and research money for some diseases will increase...
Government's Role in Research Studied
Most economists and science policy experts agree that the federal government's role in funding basic research is irreplaceable. However, as the R&D process has become more complex during the past half-century, the line between research that generates...
Making Guns Safer
The technology now exists to make guns that only authorized users an operate. These safer guns could cut gun-related deaths and injuries. Children are killing children by gunfire. These deaths are occurring in homes, on the streets, and in schools....
No Productivity Boom for Workers
Information technology has yet to deliver on its promise of faster productivity growth. America's love affair with the new technologies of the Information Age has never been more intense, but nagging questions remain about whether this passion is delivering...
Resolving the Paradox of Environmental Protection
EPA's central challenge is to maintain rigorous national standards while providing the utmost flexibility to states, communities, and companies. The next big breakthrough in environmental management is likely to be a series of small breakthroughs. Capitol...
Saving Medicare
Before making any changes, we should look closely at how they will affect the neediest among the elderly. For the past generation, ensuring access to health care and financial security for older Americans and their families under the Medicare program...
Shaping a Smarter Environmental Policy for Farming
The use of compelling incentives not direct controls is the best way to reduce agricultural pollution. In the summer of 1997, Maryland Governor Parris Glendening suddenly closed two major rivers to fishing and swimming, after reports of people becoming...
Space Station Woes Infuriate Congress
Cost and schedule overruns for the international space station program are increasingly exasperating members of Congress, even those who have fought long and hard to support the program. At a March hearing before the House Committee on Science Subcommittee...
Toward a Global Science
By working together internationally, scientists can better use their knowledge to benefit humanity. In the early 1990s, the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government published a series of reports emphasizing the need for a greatly increased...