enlist the best candidates for these important positions and ensure that the obstacles to their service are minimized.
Serving this nation at a policy-making level is a privilege that is not open to everyone. While some observers comment on the “thousands” of positions open to a newly elected President to fill at the onset of a new administration, in fact it is a remarkably small number of people to bring fresh ideas, open eyes, and a sense of new energy to apply to the agenda of the nation. Change and renewal require more than the President and a handful of cabinet members. The knowledge and experience that can be tapped in the science and engineering communities are invaluable for solving the challenges facing our country.
Service at a high level in government is also a means to enhance the public welfare. The goals of this nation—expressed in our civic culture—involve more than making a living. The ambitions of the scientific community to discover, develop, and deploy new ideas and technologies bring significant inspiration to the government environment to embrace higher goals. In effect, the American belief in progress works hand-in-glove with the traditions of science and technology.
The nature of our current national challenges, whether at home or abroad, demands the best of science, engineering and technology. “More of the same” will not work in the 21st century. Innovative thinking will be needed to a degree unprecedented in American history. Fortunately, large numbers of scientists, engineers, and health professionals have experienced positive change throughout their careers and have been enormously successful as a result. They have much to give back. Government service is an excellent means by which to repay that debt.
This report is being issued on the advent of a new administration in Washington, in a bipartisan spirit to support the success of whichever candidate is elected President. Science endeavors to support the health of the nation, through service and advice to the administration, the Congress, and the nation.