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Steve Olson, Rapporteur Jay B. Labov, Editor
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS â 500 Fifth Street, N.W. â Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engi- neering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was supported by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Fund of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the persons identified in the report and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies. International Standard Book Number-13:â 978-0-309-11711-1 International Standard Book Number-10:â 0-309-11711-9 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202)334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap. edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engi- neering, and Institute of Medicine. (2008). State Science and Technology Policy Advice: Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges: Summary of a National Convocation. Steve Olson, Rapporteur. Jay B. Labov, Editor. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the ÂAcademy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern- ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the char- ter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstand- ing engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its m Â embers, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr.Â Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in pro- viding services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr.Â RalphÂ J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
CONVOCATION ORGANIZERS Deborah Johnson Benoit, Executive Assistant, National Academy of Sciences Jay Cole, Education Policy Advisor to the Governor of West Virginia and Christine Mirzayan Policy Fellow, National Academies Lynn E. Elfner, Chief Executive Director, The Ohio Academy of Science Nancy F. Huddleston, Senior Communications Officer, Division of Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council Jay B. Labov (Convocation Director), Senior Advisor for Education and Communication, National Academy of Sciences Karl S. Pister,* Chancellor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz Donna Gerardi Riordan, Director of Programs, California Council on Science and Technology *Member, National Academy of Engineering.
Contents Preface ix Acknowledgments xv 1 The Need for Science and Technology Policy Advice at the State Level 1 2 The National Context for Science and Technology Policy Advice 5 Historical Overview, 5 The Federal Laboratories, 10 The National Academies, 12 A Case Study: Managing the Columbia River Basin, 14 3 The Current Landscape for State Science and Technology Policy Advice 17 State Agencies, 19 State Science Advisors, 20 Colleges and Universities, 22 State Academies of Science, 23 State Science and Technology Councils, 25 4 Institutional Structures for Enhancing State Science and Technology Policy Advice 29 Colleges and Universities, 29 vii
viii CONTENTS State Academies and Councils, 31 State Science and Technology Advisors, 32 Working with State Legislators and Their Staffs, 35 5 Communicating Science and Technology Policy Advice Effectively 43 Framing the Issues, 43 When Scientists Take a Stand, 48 Views from the Trenches, 50 6 Next Steps to Enhance Science and Technology Policy Advice at the State Level 53 History in the Making, 54 References 56 Appendixes A Convocation Agenda 58 B Convocation Participants 62 C Biographical Sketches of Presenters and Facilitators 69
Preface âThe United States is entering a new era of scientific and technologi- cal development, one where the states assume a much greater role than has been the case in the past. We are fairly early in the history of the state science and technology policy movement, and recognizing this also allows us in a sense to recognize that weâre making this history. Weâre in uncharted territory, and we need to learn from everything weâre doing so that we continue to make progress in the future.â âJay Cole, West Virginia education advisor, in the closing session of the convocation S ince the 1945 publication of Vannevar Bushâs ScienceâThe Endless Frontier, the federal government has played the predominant role in supporting research and development (R&D) and in establishing public policies that affect science and technology (S&T) in the United States. That role remains vitally important today. Almost every major policy issue is influenced by scientific and technological information and expertise. There remains a clear and ongoing mandate for a cohesive set of federal policy and programs that both sustain R&D and promote the application of new knowledge. But the federal government is no longer the sole focus of R&D fund- ing and S&T policy making. As the influence of scientific and engineering research on daily life has steadily increased, the states have assumed an increasing responsibility for developing, formalizing, and institutional- ix
PREFACE izing policies and programs that support R&D and enable S&T evidence and expertise to be incorporated into policy making. And as the federal government faces continuing budget shortfalls and a (one hopes, tempo- rary) reluctance to enact policies based on scientific evidence, the roles of the states are likely to expand. Today there are a great range and diversity of approaches for incor- porating scientific and technological advice and evidence into policy and decision making at the state level. Many states fund research directly, much of it tied to driving economic opportunity within the state. Some governors have science advisors, and others do not. Many states rely on consultation with experts from academia, government, and indus- try. Some have formal arrangements with their universities to conduct research for parts of the state government, such as the regulatory agen- cies that work to protect public health and safety or to manage the stateâs infrastructure and natural resources. At the national level, the federal government can rely on various organizations, such as the national laboratories and the nonpartisan, pri- vate, and nonprofit National Academies, for advice. However, as states make an increasing number of S&T-based policy decisions, much more needs to be done to develop rational, collaborative strategies for using S&T information and expertise at the state level. A key emphasis would be to develop stronger, ongoing relationships among governmental offi- cials, individual scientists and engineers, and state and federal scientific organizations (such as state academies of science). It is clear that high-quality scientific information and evidence can improve policy decisions on everything from environmental protection to education to energy to health care. However, in the current policy-making environment, science and technology compete with the panoply of other ideas and voices surrounding a given policy development. Oftentimes, a lack of scientific information is not the problemârather the problem is where to turn for trusted information. State officials must be able to trust the advice and information they receive and must be able to distinguish among and reconcile competing claims. Even if information exists, it may not be useful or meaningful to recipients of that information. In general, scientists and engineers have done a poor job of communicating scientific information clearly and effec- tively to policy makers and the public. Scientific information is useful for policy making only if it is presented in a timely fashion and in the context of the many political and economic factors that policy makers must also consider. Clear science communication is especially important given that only a small fraction of the citizen law-makers who are elected to state legislatures and the people who advise governors or regulatory agencies have a background in science or technology.
PREFACE xi There is a growing need for state officials and the scientific and engi- neering communities to find ways to communicate with each other, to share ideas and effective practices, and to work together both within their states and across regions to realize the benefits and efficiencies of collaboration. Cooperation and joint decision making across state lines has proven even more difficult than working within individual states. The current ad hoc system of state-level S&T policy advice cannot meet the needs that exist. Addressing the Challenges: A New Approach These issues were explored during a first-of-its-kind National Convoca- tion on the Roles of Science and Technology in State-Level Policy Making that was held October 15-16, 2007, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Cen- ter in Irvine, California. The convocation was organized by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with the National Association of Academies of Science and the California Council on Science and Technol- ogy. Additional information about all of these organizations is provided in the body of this summary. The convocation had several major goals: 1. o discuss with state policy makers the benefits that can result from T policies that are informed by science and technology. 2. o better understand the needs, opportunities, and constraints of T decision makers in the legislative and executive branches of state governments for integrating advice from the science and technol- ogy community. 3. o examine current models for involving science and technical T expertise in state policy making. 4. o explore ways that the National Academies might T a. expand its relationships with states in providing advice directly to them and b. learn from state officials and organizations about issues and concerns that would enable the National Research Council to undertake studies that are more directly applicable to the needs of states. 5. o begin development of a network of state and national policy T makers interested in science and technology issues, plan an agenda for future meetings and related activities, establish a plan for com- munication with others who should be involved with these efforts, and explore sources of funding to sustain such a network.
xii PREFACE Scientists, engineers, state policy makers, experts from state regula- tory agencies, representatives from foundations, and experts in scientific communication from twenty states and the District of Columbia partici- pated in this event (see Figure P-1). The convocation enabled participants to explore the contributions and relationships of science and technology to state policy making from a vari- ety of perspectives. On the morning of the first day, the keynote address offered a historical perspective of federal R&D policy and spending and its possible effects on policy making at the state level. Using a report from the Pew Center on the States as a point of departure, convocation partici- pants next explored the variable landscape of state S&T policy-making practices that are in place today. This presentation was followed by a case study of state and regional policy making involving the watershed of the Columbia River Basin and how authoritative scientific advice (in this case from the National Research Council) helped to overcome policy making gridlock in Washington State. Representatives from several state and national organizations, including the Ohio Academy of Science, the Cali- fornia Council on Science and Technology, the National Research Council, and the federal laboratories, described the kinds of policy-related infor- mation and advice they can provide state officials and offered examples of successful interactions. FIGURE P-1 States (shaded) represented at the national convocation. FIGURE P-1
PREFACE xiii The afternoon sessions on the first day began with talks by representa- tives from the executive and legislative branches of New Mexico and West Virginia, respectively, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and an environmental regulatory agency in Texas, all of whom described the challenges they face when trying to gather and then incorporate scientific information and advice into their work. During much of the remainder of the afternoon, convocation participants from multiple sectors and regions of the country convened in breakout sessions to discuss what they had heard and how that information might be applied to addressing problems related specifically to energy and the environment. The second day focused on ways to improve communication between policy makers and scientists, engineers, and other individuals with tech- nical training. A panel consisting of a social science researcher who has focused on communicating science, a science reporter from the Los Angeles Times, an engineering professor who also produces and delivers a weekly broadcast about engineering on public radio, and an expert in trans- mitting scientific information to policy makers and the public engaged the other participants in a spirited discussion about how to most effec- tively communicate S&T information and evidence to state policy mak- ers. Participants then assembled into small working groups based on their geographic location to plan for future regional events and to offer advice to the organizers of the convocation about possible topics for future convocations. Structure of the SUMMARY This summary is written as a narrative rather than as a chronological account of the convocation. It highlights the major themes that emerged from the presentations and from the rich discussions that occurred in both plenary and breakout sessions. Quotations come from a transcript of the speakersâ comments that were recorded during the plenary sessions, and the summary draws on PowerPoint presentations and other materials distributed prior to and during the event. The agenda, which lists the plenary and breakout sessions in the order in which they occurred, appears in Appendix A. The diversity of interests and expertise of convocation presenters and participants is evi- dent from the list of participants and their institutional affiliations, which appears in Appendix B. Biographical sketches of the planning committee members and the convocation presenters appear in Appendix C. Read- ers are encouraged to contact individual speakers if they wish to obtain additional information about any of the points in this summary. Access to all PowerPoint presentations is available through links on the National Convocation website at: <http://nasonline.org/convocation>.
xiv PREFACE On issues ranging from energy to air quality to natural resources to education, state and local policy makers are unquestionably making more and more decisions that affect all of us on a daily basis. This convocation was an important step toward both recognizing S&T information as an important element of policy making and establishing the networks that will be necessary to bring S&T experts and state policy makers together in more meaningful ways. Karl S. Pister Chair, Board of Directors, California Council on Science and Technology Dean and Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Acknowledgments T his convocation summary has been reviewed in draft form by indi- viduals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical exper- tise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its pub- lished report as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individu- als for their review of this report: Jennifer Mendez, Governmental Issues, Carpet and Rug Institute, Arlington, VA; Douglas M. Smith, State Senator, District 27, Dover-Foxcroft, ME; and Mary Jo Waits, Pew Center on the States, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, DC. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Peter Bruns, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD. He was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this summary was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the author(s) and the institution. xv