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3 The Current Landscape for State Science and Technology Policy Advice T he states already have an extensive and expanding array of activi- ties that have direct links to science and technology. Many of these activities were summarized in the report Investing in Innovation, which was supported by the Pew Center on the States (2007) as part of a larger initiative on innovation led by the National Governors Associa- tion. At the convocation, Doug Henton summarized the findings from Investing in Innovation and pointed to some of the reportâs implications. An increasing number of states are funding research directly, Henton observed. Some states, including California, Iowa, New York, and Texas, have been especially aggressive. The 2004 passage of Proposition 71 in California set aside up to $3 billion for stem cell research. California is also investing $400 million in its Institutes of Science and Innovation: under the initiative the campuses in the University of California system are working on critical issues like climate change, energy, and traffic conges- tion; private universities, including Stanford, the University of Southern California, and the California Institute of Technology, are also participat- ing in this initiative. Other states not typically known for their commitments to research are making substantial investments in science and technology, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, For additional information about the Pew Center on the States, see <http://www. pewcenteronthestates.org>. For additional information about the National Governors Association, see <http://nga. org>. 17
18 STATE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVICE Virginia, Washington State, and West Virginia. Oklahoma has established the Oklahoma Center for Advanced Science and Technology. Washington State has set aside $350 million for a Life Sciences Discovery Fund. North Dakota has established Centers of Excellence focused on issues like water quality and the environment. âTheyâre getting into the game and doing it well,â said Henton. States have funded these efforts in a variety of ways. Sometimes they have earmarked increased tax revenues approved by popular votes or by state legislatures. For example, the people of Arizona approved a sales tax increase that will generate $1 billion over 20 years to be distributed among three public universities to expand funding for research, technology trans- fer, and new business development. The West Virginia legislature set aside 0.5 percent of the stateâs racetrack lottery proceeds, which was $4 million per year in 2005 and 2006, to fund research and development at institu- tions of higher learning, increase competitiveness for external funding, and support science and mathematics education programs. Some states have set aside funds from general appropriations. The Georgia Research Alliance uses part of its $30 million in annual public and private fund- ing to recruit eminent scholars to Georgia universities, and Kentuckyâs âBucks for Brainsâ initiative has invested about $350 million in state funds for similar purposes. Washington Stateâs Life Sciences Discovery Fund is using money from the stateâs settlement with tobacco companies, and Kansas is setting aside tax revenue that exceeds a base year amount for the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Many of these initiatives seek to take advantage of the physical prox- imity of researchers, businesses, and policy makers. Even in the age of the Internet, said Henton, âthe most creative work is still face to face. Routine work can be done elsewhere. Having people together and interacting and thinking together is still very valuable.â For example, Pennsylvania has supported a Keystone Innovation Zone, where researchers from Carnegie For additional information about the Oklahoma Center for Advanced Science and Tech- nology, see <http://www.ocast.state.ok.us>. For additional information about the State of Washingtonâs Life Sciences Discovery Fund, see <http://www.lsdfa.org/home.html>. For additional information about North Dakotaâs Centers of Excellence, see <http:// governor.state.nd.us/media/speeches/040325.html>. For additional information about the Georgia Research Alliance, see <http://www.gra. org/eminentscholars.asp>. For additional information about Kentuckyâs âBucks for Brainsâ initiative, see <http:// www.research.uky.edu/students/rctf.html>. For additional information about the Kansas Bioscience Authority, see <http://www. kansasbioauthority.org>. For additional information about Pennsylvaniaâs Keystone Innovation Zone, see <http:// www.lehighvalley.org/page.cfm?pag=477>.
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE 19 Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh work together with the industry. In the Torrey Pines area north of San Diego, the Scripps Research Institute, the Salk Institute, and the University of California, San Diego, are all within a few miles of each other, which has helped make the area as active in biotechnology as San Francisco and Boston. âEverything is within walking distance,â said Henton. âThat means heads get together and can do more collaboration.â Proximity is also an important factor for financing. âWhat Iâve learned from friends in Silicon Valley is that venture capital is a contact sport,â said Henton. The University of California has encouraged university professors to get involved with industry, which can lead to spinoff com- panies, and the Bay Area Science and Engineering Consortium10 is doing good work, according to Henton. In general, the states are not trying to fund everything. The states use their funding âfor leverage,â said Henton. âThey put money in to connect the federal dollars and the industry dollars through these various centers. They use it for bridging gaps. . . . The federal government was not there [for stem cell research in California], and the state decided it wanted to fill that gap. Maybe clean energy fits into that right now.â State funding also tends to be focused on commercialization. Several speakers at the convocation mentioned the âvalley of death,â where good ideas generated by researchers languish and eventually expire before they are developed enough to yield commercial products. State funding can help new products and services get through the valley of death, by making connections between researchers and innovators. The federal government excels in mission-oriented funding, like building a particular weapon system, attacking a human disease, or cleaning up a waste site. âBut theyâre not so good at commercialization,â said Henton. âThatâs not their purpose.â Because of the close ties between state governments and industries in those states, state funding for research can help develop an âinnovation habit,â Henton said, which can hasten the commercialization process. State Agencies In each state government, specific agencies often are a focus of policy and decision making that involves science and technology. At the convocation, Larry McKinney, director of coastal fisheries for the Texas Parks and Wild- life Department, described some of the issues in developing science-based natural resource policies as part of a regulatory process. 10For additional information about Californiaâs Bay Area Science and Engineering Consor- tium, see <http://www.bayareabiotechnology.com/resourcecenter/directory.htm>.
20 STATE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVICE A major challenge, said McKinney, is that the variability of natural systems can mask the effects of pollution, overexploitation of resources, or climate change. Opponents of a particular policy can then point to natural variability or other aspects of natural systems as evidence of flaws in the science base supporting a policy, which can complicate or stymie the development of clear and convincing support for policy recommen- dations. Opponents of a policy also can advocate continued study of an issue to be as certain as possible about a decision. In effect, this can be a delaying tactic, even when it is advocated with the best of intentions. A source of friction between science and technology advisors and policy makers is the basis on which they evaluate options, McKinney observed. Policy makers often bring socioeconomic and political consid- erations to bear on a decision. What may appear to be the obvious deci- sion to scientists or engineers based on a logical analysis may not be (and often is not) as obvious to policy makers, who look at issues from a very different perspective. They key for policy advisors is to understand that there are other valuation systems that are not necessarily wrongâtheyâre just different. âIf there is to be any real hope for long-term success,â Kinney pointed out, âscience-based policy making must take people into account.â McKinney pointed toward the value of adaptive management, in which the effects of a management decision are continually assessed to evaluate the outcomes of the decision. If applied honestly and rigorously, adaptive management can yield meaningful progress while leaving open the opportunity to make corrections when new information becomes available. In addition, data from long-term environmental monitoring can be a powerful and confidence-building tool for both advisors and policy makers. State Science Advisors Across the states, some governors choose to appoint science advisors, and others do not. Also, the appointment of a science advisor by one governor does not necessarily mean that his or her successor in the office will retain that advisor or even the position of advisor. As a result, the presence of a single person to provide science and technology policy advice in an official capacity in state governments varies from state to state and over time. Yet science advisors can have an influence that cannot be achieved in other ways, said Tom Bowles, who has been science advisor to New Mex- ico Governor Bill Richardson since 2006. Bowles, a nuclear physicist who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than two decades
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE 21 before becoming the governorâs science advisor, used his own experience in New Mexico to describe the role of state science advisors. New Mexico is âa land of contrasts,â Bowles said. The state has the highest numbers of Ph.D.s per capita of any state and some of the poorest counties in the nation. New Mexico also is âa land of science,â he said. It has the highest R&D funding per capita of any state, largely because of the presence of two large national laboratories there. Together, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories employ more than 20,000 people, includ- ing more than 8,000 Ph.D. researchers. Along with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirkland Air Force Base, the White Sands Missile Base, and researchers at the stateâs colleges and universities, the state has a strong base of highly trained scientists and engineers. In a state in which science is so prominent, having a science advisor is critical, said Bowles. For example, with the exception of Intel, New Mexico does not have large high-technology companies. Bowles has there- fore focused considerable attention on using the resources of the national laboratories and universities for high-tech economic development. âItâs an area where we have tremendous potential. To be honest, we have not done that well in the past. Laboratories, especially the defense labs, have been pretty much behind the fence. Weâre trying to change that.â Bowles cited as an example a computing applications center initia- tive that he helped develop. The initiative called for the development of a premier high-performance computing center in New Mexico that is directed at applications, not basic research. Governor Richardson made it a high priority, and the state has decided to put $42 million into what will be a $300 million investment over five years. The center will have a permanent staff of about 60 and 200 visiting staff, including a large num- ber of students. It has adopted a structure different from that of other computing centers around the country, based on partnerships with local companies or local branches of national and international companies, so that inter- actions are on a face-to-face basis. It is also going to have a strong edu- cational component, with K-12 students involved in the collaborations. âThatâs really important because most of our K-12 students never are on a college campus when theyâre deciding whether or not they want to go to college,â said Bowles. âThe same thing with businesses. Get them connected with the students, and vice versa. Let the students see some of the exciting opportunities so that theyâll stay, finish their degrees, and work there.â In New Mexico, the role of the science advisor is more than one of just providing advice. Bowles has been involved in shaping policies, form- ing initiatives, and leading those initiatives to be implemented. He also emphasized how important it is for a science advisor simply to be present.
22 STATE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVICE âIf you have a science advisor sitting in the governorâs office, you have a person who is hearing everything thatâs going on all the time, not just in science, but in transportation and homeland security and health and education and everything else. And where appropriate, you can jump in and say, âWait a minute, science ought to have some say in this. There is a solution. There are some options here. We have a way to help you.ââ Because science and technology advisory groups are often responding to specific requests, they have more difficulty in identifying situations that seem not to directly involve science and technology but where they can be helpful. Furthermore, someone with a technical background can have a huge impact at the state level, said Bowles, because âmy experience has been [that] most state agencies are so consumed with the process of just doing business, they never are in a position to lay out what the long-term issues of importance for the state are.â For example, the governor recently asked Bowles to put together an energy roadmap for the state given a car- bon-constrained economy. A recent three-day meeting brought together national leaders, economists, engineers, utility managers, environmen- talists, citizen groups, water resource managers, and others to look at not only coal, oil, and gas but also wind power, new transmission lines, geothermal energy, and biomass. Having such wide representation is par- ticularly helpful in identifying contradictions in plans, Bowles said. For example, plans to grow biomass to serve as transportation fuels require large quantities of water, but water supplies are very tight in arid states like New Mexico. Colleges and Universities As several speakers at the convocation noted, colleges and universities can have a critical influence on state science and technology policies. At the most general level, institutions of higher education help create the human resources and innovation climate that drive technological, economic, and policy progress. âHow universities impact public policy is through the creation of intellectual capital, and in todayâs society, intel- lectual capital is business capital,â said Holly Harris Bane, associate vice president for strategic initiatives and engagement at the University of Akron in Ohio. âUniversities serve as an engine for the creation, distribu- tion, and application of knowledge.â State governments also can forge close partnerships with colleges and universities through both budgeting and governance. In turn, researchers at colleges and universities can provide state policy and decision makers with the scientific and technical information they need to do their jobs. For example, the University of California system serves as a research
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE 23 organization for the entire state, Doug Henton pointed out, and universi- ties in other states also play that role. As institutions of higher education assume a larger role in the eco- nomic development of their states, the economic and policy impact of colleges and universities other than the major research universities has been growing. For example, the regional comprehensive universities are becoming âmore directly oriented toward the mission and structure of applied research and development,â said Robert McMahan, science and technology advisor for the state of North Carolina. According to McMahan, funding directed specifically toward mission-oriented and applied research at these institutions can be especially effective at spur- ring the development of local economies. State Academies of Science Other valuable resources are the state academies of science that exist in more than 40 states. These academies can be very different kinds of institutions, ranging from consortia of museums to honorific societies to providers of scientific information for their state governments, and some are much stronger or more active than others. Currently, many are not much involved in policy decisions, but they have great potential to do more. As Ed Haddad, executive director of the Florida Academy of Sci- ences, said, âI wish that more state legislators and gubernatorial offices knew that there are state academies of science in their state because weâre a terrific resource.â Lynn Elfner, the chief executive officer of the Ohio Academy of Sci- ence and a member of the convocation planning group, described the role of academies in depth at the convocation. The functions of state academies of science and engineering, which can trace their origins to Platoâs school of philosophy at Akademia, include archiving knowledge, providing a venue for the presentation of original research, fostering education in science and mathematics, engaging in public outreach, and to some extent provide science and technology policy advice to state governments. Representatives of the state academies meet each year at the annual meeting of the National Association of Academies of Science,11 which was founded in 1926 and is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. An area of expertise of many state academies is agriculture, said Elfner. The Ohio Academy of Science, for example, was founded in 1891 11Forlinks to the websites of individual state academies of science and engineering, visit the website of the National Association of Academies of Science, see <http://astro.physics. sc.edu/NAAS>.
24 STATE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVICE by members of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Cen- ter.12 âThings like pest management, control of diseases, and soils are a very strong forte of the state academies, [along with] broader issues of crop productivity,â said Elfner. âOne of the worldâs experts on soybeans is a member of the Ohio Academy of Science, for example.â Another area of strength is natural resource policy, such as water poli- cies or the use of coal or other mineral resources. Many state academies have members who have inventoried these resources and know them well. For example, most state geologists are members of their state acad- emies. Studies of the environment, water quality, or endangered species often are published in academy-sponsored journals. The Ohio Journal of Science,13 for example, often publishes studies that provide benchmark data for environmental issues important to the state. The Ohio Academy of Science also has provided state policy makers with a list of experts on energy policy, several of whom have testified before the Ohio General Assembly. State academies can influence state science and technology policy in two major ways, according to Elfner. First, they can inform the bud- get process, especially when a new governor is coming into office and reshaping the budget to reflect new priorities. âGetting involved in the budget process, knowing the sequence of the process and understanding the pinch points, so to speak, is where you can really make a difference,â he said. Second, state academies can influence regulatory issues and the adop- tion of standards for education, water quality, land use, and so on. Most state academies have members who are officials in state agencies, or they have members who can give advice to boards, commissions, or task forces. For example, a task force in Ohio recently examined environmental problems involving Lake Erie, and about half of the members of the task force were academy members. In these ways, state academies can provide âthe technical advice to ensure that standards are reasonable and have some basis in science,â Elfner said. Getting involved in the budget process, knowing the sequence of the process and understanding the pinch points, so to speak, is where you can really make a difference. 12For additional information about the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, see <http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu>. 13For additional information about the Ohio Journal of Science, see <http://www.ohiosci. org/ojs.htm>.
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE 25 State academies also can play a prominent role in science, technol- ogy, engineering, and mathematics education, both by influencing state education standards and funding and by supporting individual students. Many future science and engineering leaders presented papers or proj- ects at state academies when they were high school or college students. For example, George Rieveschl, the inventor of BenadrylÂ®, gave his first technical paper in 1937 as an undergraduate at a meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science. âI could go on and on [naming] numerous others who made their first entry into the scientific community through a state academy of science,â said Elfner. State academies also can monitor the policy process. For example, challenges to the teaching of evolution in public schools can be tracked and confronted by the members of state academies, with assistance from national organizations like the National Academy of Sciences. Many state academies are small and do not have permanent staffs. They also are not necessarily politically savvy, since members of the academies may be largely separated from the political process. Some academies may be able to monitor legislative actions, but others do not or cannot do so. For the same reason, they may not be able to mount a rapid response when the need arises. Despite these limitations, state academies can be particularly adept at putting together coalitions of state organizations to advocate for particu- lar policies. Sometimes they also can work through national organizations that have local chapters, like Sigma Xi14 or professional associations. For example, the director of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers is a senator in the state. Sigma Xi, in particular, is active in many communities and is multidisciplinary, so it can address many different topics. Sigma Xi âhas a chapter structure that lends itself well to being utilized at state, local, and regional levels,â said Kelly Sullivan, director of institutional partnerships for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. State Science and Technology Councils Several states have organizations made up of scientists and engineers that serve functions similar to those of the National Research Council. One of the most prominent is the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), which was described at the convocation by its executive director Susan Hackwood. The CCST was formed about 20 years ago and was modeled explicitly on the National Research Council. It has 30 members, split more or less evenly between academia and business, and includes many of the stateâs 14For additional information about Sigma Xi, see <http://www.sigmaxi.org>.
26 STATE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY ADVICE science and technology leaders. In addition, the CCST has some 150 appointed fellows, who provide a rich source of expertise for conducting studies. The major federal laboratories in the state, along with the Depart- ment of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, are affiliated with the council. The CCST is funded by state agencies, foundations, and industries. It receives core funding from the three public systems of higher education and three leading private universities in the state, and that core funding is critical, according to Hackwood. âOver the years, it has enabled us to live through the changes that occur so rapidly at that state level.â Like the NRC, the CCST has processes for council members to disclose poten- tial conflicts of interest and submit draft reports to peer review.15 It also seeks to expedite the production of its reports so that state legislators can receive findings when the information is most useful. The council focuses on topics requested by the state, but it also takes on projects that it thinks are important even without a specific request. As a result, it maintains its impartiality, which is âextremely important,â according to Hackwood. Also, the CCST often arrives at conclusions âthat may not be exactly the solution that people are looking for,â Hackwood said. Recent projects undertaken by the CCST have focused on nanotech- nology, intellectual property, biotechnology, genetically engineered foods, energy, climate change, health care information, the preparation of science and mathematics teachers, masters-level science education, and state com- petitiveness. For example, the CCST recently conducted an independent review of a $62.5 million energy research project in the state that was initiated after deregulation of the energy industry in the 1990s. A 2004 interim report drew attention to management deficiencies in the program. âThis caused substantive changes within the management structure of the Energy Commission,â Hackwood said, so that when the final report came out in 2005, its recommendations had already been implemented. When the National Academies report Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future was released in 2005,16 the governor of California asked the CCST to translate the reportâs recommendations to the state level. Four separate task groups led by industry leaders extracted from the report the messages most rele- vant to California, which led specifically to several important educational initiatives at the state level, according to Hackwood. 15For more information about the NRCâs policies on bias and conflict of interest, see <http://www.nationalacademies.org/coi/index.html>. 16This report was updated in 2007 (see National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2007).
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE 27 Sometimes the CCST considers itself successful when something does not happen. For example, a study of genetically modified foods helped keep labels from being placed on school lunch foods in a way not justified by the existing scientific evidence. Similarly, the study of nanotechnology told state legislators that nanotechnology was going to be neither an eco- nomic savior nor an environmental peril. And because of term limits in California, the council has found that in some cases it has to make argu- ments repeatedly for new legislators. The CCST has held a series of joint meetings with the National Acad- emies. For example, a fall 2006 meeting with the National Academy of Engineering17 examined the future of sustainable energy in the state and developed a process for informing the state legislature and administration on opportunities for future energy resources. That effort led to a request from the lieutenant governor to look at the future of nuclear energy in California. The council is also looking at the effects of climate change on the state. The emphasis has been examining âclimate change in my back- yard,â said Hackwood. âWhat happens to me in the next five to ten years is going to affect the way that I do business, the way that I purchase land, the way that I make decisions, [such as whether] to put air conditioning in San Francisco, which the city has never needed before.â The council also is looking at the effects of climate change on transportation, the California coast, land acquisition, and the stewardship of public funds. Several years ago, the National Academies formed a Teacher Advisory Council (TAC),18 and CCST has similarly formed a California Teachers Advisory Council (CalTAC).19 CalTAC consists of a group of practicing science and mathematics teachers who advise the CSST on all aspects of its education work. âIf we donât pay attention to whatâs going on with K-12 education, weâre not going to have much of a future in terms of our growth of science and engineering,â Hackwood said. The TAC and Cal- TAC have collaborated to examine the professional development of science and mathematics teachers as well as several related topics (e.g., National Research Council, 2007). Not all of the councilâs recommendations have been accepted. For example, it has recommended that the governor appoint a science and technology advisor, which has not yet happened. âBringing this kind of expertise to assist the state is really a challenge,â Hackwood said. âIt sometimes works, and it sometimes doesnât.â 17For more information about the National Academy of Engineering, see <http://nae. edu>. 18For more information about the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council, see <http://www7.nationalacademies.org/tac>. 19For additional information about the California Teacher Advisory Council, see <http:// www.ccst.us/ccstinfo/caltac.php>.