BOX 1-1

Statement of Task

An ad hoc panel, convened under the Committee on National Statistics, in collaboration with the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, proposes to conduct a study of the status of the science, technology, and innovation indicators that are currently developed and published by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Specifically, the panel will:

  1. Assess and provide recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators designed to better reflect fundamental and rapid changes that are reshaping global science, technology and innovation systems.
  2. Address indicators development by NCSES in its role as a U.S. federal statistical agency charged with providing balanced, policy relevant but policy-neutral information to the President, federal executive agencies, the National Science Board, the Congress, and the public.
  3. Assess the utility of STI indicators currently used or under development in the United States and by other governments and international organizations.
  4. Develop a priority ordering for refining, making more internationally comparable, or developing a set of new STI indicators on which NCSES should focus, along with a discussion of the rationale for the assigned priorities.
  5. Determine the international scope of STI indicators and the need for developing new indicators that measure developments in innovative activities in the United States and abroad.
  6. Offer foresight on the types of data, metrics and indicators that will be particularly influential in evidentiary policy decision-making for years to come. The forward-looking aspect of this study is paramount.
  7. Produce an interim report at the end of the first year of the study indicating its approach to reviewing the needs and priorities for STI indicators and a final report at the end of the study with conclusions and recommendations.

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