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. 3, Spring

A Plague O'both Your Houses
"A plague o'both your houses! They have made worms' meat of me." Mercutio knew what he was talking about. In Romeo and Juliet, it is not just his own life but also youthful love that is crushed by the blind animosity between the Capulets and Montagues;...
Constraints Continue in Proposed R & D Budget
President Bush's proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2007, released on February 6, calls for substantial increases in key physical sciences and engineering programs as well as big boosts for alternative energy R & D and the development of new...
Controlling Iran's Nuclear Program: The Country's Slow and Indirect Progress toward Developing Nuclear Weapons Cunningly Skirts International Nonproliferation Rules. Careful Diplomacy Can Stop Iran from Achieving This Destabilizing Capability
The world would be a more dangerous place with nuclear weapons in Iran. A Persian power with a keen sense of its 2,500-year history, Iran occupies a pivotal position straddling the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The country has the largest population...
Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons: The United States Should Take the Lead in Making the Use of Nuclear Weapons Unacceptable under Any but the Most Extenuating Circumstances
The most urgent national security issue facing the United States is the possibility that a nuclear weapon might be used against this nation as an instrument of war or terror. If we are to avoid such a catastrophe and its unprecedented environmental,...
Don't "Dis" Chinese Science
Considering the worldwide attention being paid to the growing economic, technological, and scientific prowess of China, one would expect that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. Department of State would be devoting...
Environmental Safeguards for Open-Ocean Aquaculture: Expanding Aquaculture into Federal Waters Should Not Be Promoted without Enforceable National Guidelines for the Protection of Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries
Because of continued human pressure on ocean fisheries and ecosystems, aquaculture has become one of the most promising avenues for increasing marine fish production. During the past decade, worldwide aquaculture production of salmon, shrimp, tuna,...
Federal Neglect: Regulation of Genetic Testing; Government Needs to Ensure That Genetic Tests Provide Useful Medical Information and That the Test Results Are Reliable
U.S. consumers generally take for granted that the government assesses the safety and effectiveness of drugs and other medical products before they are made available commercially. But for genetic tests, this generally is not the case. At the same...
For What the Tolls Pay: Fair and Efficient Highway Charges
Hydrogen cars, expensive oil, fuel efficiency standards, and inflation frighten those interested in maintaining and improving U.S. highways. All of these forces could erode the real value of fuel taxes that now are the largest single source of funding...
Import Ethanol, Not Oil
To paraphrase Mark Twain, people talk a lot of reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil, but they don't do much about it. Rather than continuing to talk the talk, the United States has a unique window of opportunity to walk the walk. The $2-plus per...
Let the Internet Be the Internet
Now that the Internet has become a keystone of global communications and commerce, many individuals and institutions are racing to jump in front of the parade and take over its governance. In the tradition of all those short-sighted visionaries who...
President, Congress Unveil Innovation Initiatives
With his proposed ACI, President Bush has added to an intensifying debate on innovation policy now taking place on Capitol Hill. A variety of bills have been released, the most prominent of which is a package of three bills introduced by a bipartisan...
Protecting the Best of the West: The Bureau of Land Management Must Start Taking Its Conservation Mandate Seriously
Once considered the leftovers of Western settlement and land grabs, the 261 million acres of deserts, forests, river valleys, mountains, and canyons managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are now in hot demand. Pressure to open more...
The U.S. Energy Subsidy Scorecard: Surprises Abound. Tax Subsidies Outpace R & D Spending. Solar R & D Is Well Funded. Oil Production Is the Big Winner. Coal Receives Almost as Much in Tax Subsidies as It Does for R & D. Nuclear Power Receives Much Less Than Coal for R & D
In his State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, President Bush called for more research on alternative energy technologies to help wean the country from its oil dependence. The proposal was not surprising: After all, R & D investment has...