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. 22, No. 2, Winter

A Forgotten Model for Purposeful Science: In the 1970s the National Science Foundation Had a Good Idea for Tapping Science for the Public Good. It Is Still a Good Idea
Toward the end of Richard Nixon's first term as president, his Republican administration forced on a reluctant National Science Foundation (NSF) a major research program that looked like something out of a New Deal social laboratory. Research Applied...
A Green Approach to Tax Reform
Political debates about taxes usually deal with the question of how much to tax. But an equally important question is what to tax. Current events may encourage policymakers to examine both questions more closely. The Bush administration has called...
Brain Mobility
The high level of participation of international scientists and engineers in U.S. laboratories and classrooms warrants increased efforts to understand this phenomenon and to ensure that policies regarding the movement and activities of highly trained...
Carbon Sequestration
"The Case for Carbon Capture and Storage" (Issues, Fall 2005) paints a very rosy picture of the technology's long-term potential and advances a vigorous argument for investing in projects under the assumption that C[O.sub.2] levels need only be stabilized...
Collaborative Advantage: The Days of U.S. Technological Domination Are over. the Nation Must Learn to Thrive through Working with Others
Almost daily, news reports feature multinational companies--many based in the United States--that are establishing technology development facilities in China, India, and other emerging economies. General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Intel, Microsoft,...
Cyberinfrastructure for Research
In "Cyberinfrastructure and the Future of Collaborative Work" (Issues, Fall 2005), Mark Ellisman presents compelling scenarios for advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI)-enhanced science, highlighting quite appropriately the ground-breaking Biomedical Information...
Energy Research
Daniel M. Kammen and Gregory F. Nemet ("Reversing the Incredible Shrinking Energy R & D Budget," Issues, Fall 2005) are part of a trend. In the past years in the mass media, as well as technical and professional journals such as Issues, a deluge...
House Votes to Revamp Endangered Species Act
The House on September 29 passed a bill that would reduce certain protections for endangered species. The Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act was sponsored by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), who, citing statistics that fewer than 1% of species...
Is the Next Economy Taking Shape? the United States Needs to Be Preparing Now for What It Will Do When the Computer-Driven New Economy Loses Momentum
Recent economic trends, including a massive trade deficit, declining median incomes, and relatively weak job growth, have been, to say the least, somewhat disheartening. But there is one bright spot: strong productivity growth. Starting in the mid-1990s,...
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
In their excellent article "The Challenge of Protecting Critical Infrastructure" (Issues, Fall 2005), Philip Auerswald, Lewis M. Branscomb, Todd M. La Porte, and Ermann Michel-Kerjan raise a number of key points. Because the "border is now interior,"...
Restoring Rivers: The Work Has Begun, but We Have Yet to Determine What Works Best
Between 1973 and 1998, U.S. fresh waters and rivers were getting cleaner. But that trend has reversed. If the reverse continues, U.S. rivers will be as dirty in 2016 as they were in the mid-1970s. Water quality is not the only problem. In parts...
Rethinking, Then Rebuilding New Orleans: This Time around, Science Should Contribute to a Systemic Long-Term Plan That Will Better Accommodate the Natural Forces That Shape the Mississippi Delta
New Orleans will certainly be rebuilt. But looking at the recent flooding as a problem that can be fixed by simply strengthening levees will squander the enormous economic investment required and, worse, put people back in harm's way. Rather, planners...
Senate Delays Action on Bill to Ease Stem Cell Research Restrictions
A Senate bill that would ease current restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has been postponed until 2006. However, consideration of the bill will be given a high priority early in the next session, according to an agreement...
Senators Urge U.S. to Return to Climate Change Talks
Just before a major international meeting on climate change in Montreal, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Ranking Member Joe Biden (D-DE) on November 15 introduced a Sense of the Senate resolution that calls for the...
The Kyoto Placebo
Global warming is a stealth issue in U.S. foreign policy. Even as the effects of mounting carbon dioxide (C[O.sub.2]) begin to make themselves felt, and huge multinationals such as General Electric and Shell announce their own plans of action, the...
The University of the Future
In "Envisioning a Transformed University" (Issues, Fall 2005), James J. Duderstadt, Wm. A. Wulf, and Robert Zemsky have once again rung a bell that seemingly has not yet been heard at our universities. I would not term it a wake-up bell, as that was...
To Blog, or Not to Blog
"I'M HOME FROM HAVING A COLONOSCOPY--everything went fine, but I think I'll let the drugs leave my system for a while longer before doing any serious blogging." --Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) 12/5/05, 11:19 am. To be fair, this is not a typical Glenn...
White House Unveils Pandemic Flu Plan
In a November 1 speech at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), President Bush proposed a multiyear plan to address the growing global threat of an avian flu pandemic. The plan includes an initial investment of $7.1 billion in emergency spending...
Will Government Programs Spur the Next Breakthrough? Economy-Changing Technologies Often Originated in Government Research. Are Today's Federal Programs Sufficiently Ambitious to Catalyze the Next Big Thing?
The future health of the U.S. economy depends on faith: the faith that a new general-purpose technology will emerge that will enable the tech-savvy United States to maintain its pace of rapid productivity growth. In the 20th century, these technological...
Yes, in My Backyard Distributed Electric Power: Clean, Efficient, and Reliable Small-Scale Generators Are Ready for Action If We Can Clear Away the Regulatory Barriers
More than four generations of U.S. residents have come to accept the notion that electricity is best produced at large centralized power plants owned by monopolies. As a result, utilities continue to be protected from market discipline, and few people...