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Advising the Government: Creating Sound Science Policy PowerPoint Presentation
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Advising the Government: Creating Sound Science Policy

Advising the Government: Creating Sound Science Policy

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Advising the Government: Creating Sound Science Policy

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  1. Advising the Government: Creating Sound Science Policy

  2. The Elusive Concept of “Policy” • What is it? • Who/what determine it? • Who enforces it? • How is it changed?

  3. According to Webster… • Policy is… • Any plan or course of action designed to influence and determine decisions or actions • A guiding principle or procedure

  4. Some Examples • Doctoral qualifying exam • Private use of company Internet • Make-up exams and tardy submission of homework • Racial profiling • Immigration • Rates of industrial emission of toxic materials • Use of Internet by employees • Right to die • Cloning

  5. “Public” Policy • Is a process that draws out the collective wisdom of a diverse group to reach a common public goal • Does not involve the generation of knowledge, but the (wise) use of it

  6. What Policy is NOT • LAW!!!

  7. Development of Science Policy • Scientists discover and communicate facts and uncertainties • Policy analysts consider the above in light of values held by various sectors and frame the problems as well as propose courses of action • Decision makers (company leaders, legislators) make the final decision • Communicators (media) facilitate understanding by the public • Policymakers assess the significance by making value judgments to determine how research outcomes will be applied

  8. The Politicization of Science • Global climate change • Genetic engineering/cloning • Stem cell research • Others…

  9. An “Iron Triangle” Policy Makers/Legislators Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  10. An “Iron Triangle” Don’t want to make decisions that upset their constituency; pass the buck to the scientist  funding! Policy Makers/Legislators Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  11. An “Iron Triangle” Policy Makers/Legislators Get $$ to expandknowledge and helpresolve policy issues(IPCC) Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  12. An “Iron Triangle” Policy Makers/Legislators Looking for scientificdata to support their position Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  13. An “Iron Triangle” Looking for scientific data to support their position Policy Makers/Legislators Looking for scientificdata to support their position Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  14. An “Iron Triangle” Looking for scientific data to support their position Policy Makers/Legislators Looking for scientificdata to support their position Provided the outcomesupports their position! Scientists Advocates/Lobbyists

  15. Science Becomes the Battle Ground

  16. Science Becomes the Battle Ground • Legitimate debate about values and interests is being replaced by tactics of professional character assassination, spin • The war zone: policy analysis versus political advocacy

  17. The War Zone • Policy analysis increases the range of alternatives available to decision makers by associating scientific results with a range of choices and outcomes

  18. The War Zone • Political advocacy decreases the range of alternatives, often down to a single result that supports the view of a party or legislator

  19. Example: Global Warming • The IPCC does not assess scientific results in the context of policy • Leads to interpretation by advocates, lobbyists, industry, interest groups • The objective research outcomes fit everyone’s need but are entirely politicized

  20. Hot Off the Press • CLIMATE: Boxer, Inhofe take IPCC debate to the airwaves • In a joint appearance on CNN's Larry King Live, EPW Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) sparred over the significance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth report, scheduled for release tomorrow morning in Paris. • The IPCC analysis "is not a report," he added. "This is a summary for policymakers." • Inhofe read a passage from an IPCC planning document that said "changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance" of a chapter of the forthcoming climate report by one of three main IPCC working groups "shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the summary for policymakers or the overview chapter." • "Forget about science," he said.

  21. So Who Advises the Government? FORMALLY • Office of Science and Technology Policy (in the Office of the White House – President’s Science Advisor) (OSTP) • President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) • National Academies (via the National Research Council, the NAS operating arm) • National Science Board (NSB) • National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) • Professionals (via formal Congressional hearings) • Others (e.g., Council on Environmental Quality)

  22. So Who Advises the Government? INFORMALLY • Lobbying firms • UCAR, professional societies (AMS), trade organizations (CWSA) • Political action committees • Civic organizations, Chambers of Commerce • Non-profits and think tanks • For-profit companies • Individual citizens

  23. OTSP • Political appointees (reflect Admin views) • Loaners from other agencies

  24. NSTC

  25. National Academies • Chartered by President Lincoln • Advises the nation on issues of science, technology and medicine • Enlists the nation’s most eminent scientists and engineers

  26. Atmospheric Science Funding H. Bluestein is member of committee

  27. Coordinates federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives. • Reports annually to the President on the state of the environment • oversees federal agency implementation of the environmental impact assessment process • acts as a referee when agencies disagree over the adequacy of such assessments.

  28. The National Science Board

  29. Origin of the National Science Foundation: The Manhattan Project • Intensive 2-year, $2B (in 1940 dollars) effort to build a fission weapon to end World War II • Involved hundreds of academic scientists and technicians – universities were raided • Los Alamos was created to bring everyone together in a secure location • At end of war, scientists were heroes (penicillin, radar, the bomb) • Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was created to fund research projects in university and industrial laboratories – precursor to the NSF

  30. Key Individual • Vannevar Bush – President Roosevelt’s science advisor • Directed the OSRD • Convinced President Roosevelt that the best way to continue using US researchers was to keep them on their campuses and fund them with Federal dollars • This was a bold new idea • $20 M in research at universities in 1930s • $90 M by mid 1940s

  31. Manifesto that Created NSF V. Bush (1945) Available at http://www.nsf.gov

  32. The NSF Act of 1950 • So-called “Organic Act” that established the NSF • Signed into law by President Truman on May 10, 1950 • Mission: To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes. • “The NSF Shall Consist of a National Science Board … and a Director” • Unlike ALL other agencies that have science components (NASA, NOAA, DOE, DOD, EPA, USGS, etc), the NSF does not reside within a Cabinet Department – it is completely independent • NSF thus is not a traditional “mission agency” though it has a clear mission! • One of the best run agencies in Government

  33. The NSF Today • Annual budget of $6+B • The NSF is unique – it funds all areas of science and engineering (exclusive of medicine)

  34. National Science Board Roles and Responsibilities • The NSB is part of the NSF • The NSB • Establishes Policies of the National Science Foundation • Oversees and guides the activities of the National Science Foundation • Serves as an independent national science policy body that provides advice to the President and the Congress on matters of national science and engineering policy

  35. National Science Board Membership • 24 members with the NSF Director an ex-officio • Every 2 years, 8 people are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate for 6-year terms • Nomination based upon distinguished service and preeminence in research, education, or public service • Represent academia, industry, and a range of science and engineering disciplines and geographic areas • Meet 5-6 times per year in person including a retreat, supplemented with teleconferences • Most work done in committees

  36. National Science Board Review and Oversight Activities • Review Major Proposals • > 1% of Directorate Budget • Review Major New Programs • > 3% of Directorate Budget • Oversee NSF Project Planning • MREFC • Office of Inspector General

  37. National Science BoardPublications and Awards • Respond to Congressional Requests • Budgetary and Programmatic Expansion • Initiate and Conduct Studies • Workforce • Infrastructure • Environment • International • Federal Research Priorities • Education • Publish S&E Indicators • Administer Honorary Awards

  38. Advising the President and Congress • Responding to Congressional Inquiries • Initiating its own activities • The NSB is very unique and valuable as an advisory body because it • Answers to no Cabinet department • Can be fully candid and not fear political pressure

  39. Advising the President and Congress • Responding to Congressional Inquiries • Initiating its own activities • The NSB is very unique and valuable as an advisory body because it • Answers to no Cabinet department • Can be fully candid and not fear political pressure

  40. Recent Example

  41. Advising the President and Congress • Responding to Congressional Inquiries • Initiating its own activities • The NSB is very unique and valuable as an advisory body because it • Answers to no Cabinet department • Can be fully candid and not fear political pressure

  42. Current Activities • The need for high-risk, high-payoff research • Task force on Potentially Transformative Research • Challenges in K-12 STEM Education • Commission on 21st Century STEM Education • Hurricane Science and Engineering • Task Force • International Science • Task Force

  43. Available at http://www.nsf.gov/nsb