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. 1, Fall

At Last
The last time that the look of Issues was updated was the fall of 1988, when I joined the magazine. The 1988 design put Issues at the forefront of the movement toward desktop publishing. Of course, the software was relatively primitive at the time,...
Cyberinfrastructure and the Future of Collaborative Work: Online Sharing of Data, Computing Power, and Expensive Equipment Is Transforming Research and Blazing the Trail for Widespread Advances in Cooperative Efforts in All Human Endeavors
One of the most stunning aspects of the information technology (IT) revolution has been the speed at which specialized, high-performance tools and capabilities originally developed for specific research communities evolve into products, services, and...
Cyberinfrastructure for Research
IN "FACING THE GLOBAL Competitiveness Challenge" (Issues, Summer 2005), Kent H. Hughes persuasively argues that future productivity and economic growth depend on a society's success at innovation and outlines a series of proposed policy steps that...
Digital Education
HENRY KELLY'S "GAMES, COOKIES, and the Future of Education" (Issues, Summer 2005) provides an excellent synthesis of challenges and opportunities posed by technology-based advances in personalized entertainment and services. An aspect of this situation...
Energy Bill Signed, Little Impact Seen on Oil and Gas Use
After several years of impasse in Congress, President Bush on August 8 signed into law a bill that includes a broad range of energy-related activities and R & D. However, according to most analysts, the new law is unlikely to have a significant...
Envisioning a Transformed University: Change Is Coming, and the Biggest Mistake Could Be Underestimating How Extensive It Will Be
Rapidly evolving information technology (IT) has played an important role in expanding our capacity to generate, distribute, and apply knowledge, which in turn has produced unpredictable and frequently disruptive change in existing social institutions....
Even Universities Change: Industry Restructured Dramatically in Response to IT Progress, and Education Leaders Should Prepare for Similar Upheaval
U.S. research universities are going to change, and education leaders would be wise to begin now to direct that change. This will not be easy, but they have the advantage of being able to learn from the experience of many U.S. corporations that have...
Flirting with Disaster
In the aftermath of catastrophes, it is common to discover prior indicators, missed signals, and dismissed alerts that preceded the event. Indeed, in reviewing the accident literature, there are many notable examples where such prior signals were observed...
In Agricultural Trade Talks, First Do No Harm
Trade negotiators at the World Trade Organization (WTO) are struggling to meet a self-imposed deadline of December 2005 to agree on the broad outlines of new trade rules that would cover global commerce in agricultural products, manufactured goods,...
In Defense of Defense Spending
CHARLES V. PENA'S "A REALITY CHECK on Military Spending" (Issues, Summer 2005) falls short of confronting the broad challenge of how the United States might best engage on the issues of global security. His approach seems almost to be a casual excuse...
Integrated Pest Management: A National Goal? the History of Federal Initiatives in IPM Has Been One of Redefining the Mission Rather Than Accomplishing It
The original intent of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was the coordinated use of multiple tactics for managing all classes of pests in an ecologically and economically sound way. Pesticides were to be applied only as needed, and decisions to treat...
Is Very Small Beautiful?
IN "GETTING NANOTECHNOLOGY RIGHT the First Time" (Issues, Summer 2005), John Balbus, Richard Denison, Karen Florini, and Scott Walsh correctly point to the weaknesses in both methodology and regulation surrounding manufactured nanoparticles. This weakness...
Managing the Digital Ecosystem: Administrators Must Lead Their Universities into a Future in Which Every Constituency Has Distinct Needs and Every Decision Has Implications for All
Benjamin Disraeli's ironic comment, "I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?" aptly describes the feelings of many college and university administrators as they develop institutional plans for information technology (IT) that will support...
Nanotechnology for Development
I ENJOYED READING the thoughtful piece on "Harnessing Nanotechnology to Improve Global Equity," by Peter A. Singer, Fabio Salamanca-Buentello, and Abdallah S. Daar (Issues, Summer 2005). It is a larger commentary on how knowledge today is both a global...
Nanotechnology Politics
SENATOR GEORGE ALLEN is a significant supporter of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), sometimes referred to as the National Nanotechnology Program. He is an important asset to the NNI and the physical science and engineering establishment,...
Reversing the Incredible Shrinking Energy R & D Budget
The federal government and private industry are both reducing their investments in energy research and development (R & D) at a time when geopolitics, environmental concerns, and economic competitiveness call instead for a major expansion in U.S....
Supercomputing Revival
"BOLSTERING U.S. SUPERCOMPUTING," by Susan L. Graham, Marc Snir, and Cynthia A. Patterson (Issues, Summer 2005), correctly notes that "Restrictions on supercomputer imports have not benefited the United States nor are they likely to do so." In fact,...
The Case for Carbon Capture and Storage: The Technology Is Advancing Rapidly; Now the Government Needs to Lead the Push for Deployment
Human activity spills about 25 billion tons of carbon dioxide (C[O.sub.2]) into the atmosphere every year, building up the levels of greenhouse gases that bring us ever closer to dangerous interference with Earth's climate system. The world's forests...
The Challenge of Protecting Critical Infrastructure: To Deal with Terrorist Threats, the Government Must Engage in More Deeply Rooted Collaboration with the Private Sector
In protecting critical infrastructure, the responsibility for setting goals rests primarily with the government, but the implementation of steps to reduce the vulnerability of privately owned and corporate assets depends primarily on private-sector...
The Economic Imperative for Teaching with Technology: Innovative Approaches to Increasing Classroom Productivity Are the Best Option for Controlling the Escalating Costs of Research Universities
In 1997, management guru Peter Drucker predicted that in 30 years the big university campuses would be relics, driven out of existence by their inexorable increases in tuition and by competition from alternative education systems made possible by information...