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CONCLUSION T he committee identifies the highest S&T priority for a President- elect: to appoint a senior confidential advisor for S&T who, follow- ing the inauguration, will be named Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and nominated to be Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Secondly, the com- mittee identifies five aspects of governance in which reforms are needed to enhance the nationâs ability to recruit and attract the best S&T leadership to its highest level of public service: the speed with which appointments are made; continuity; the process by which candidates are nominated, cleared, and confirmed; pre-Âgovernment and postgovernment restrictions; and broadening the pool of poten- tial candidates. A new administration and the nation are in need of excep- tionally able scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve in executive positions in the federal government and on federal advisory committees. Such persons, when serving as presidential appointees, make key programmatic and policy decisions that will affect our lives and those of our children. Similarly, skilled scien- tists and engineers are needed for advisory committees to provide advice on the myriad issues with complex technological dimen- sions that confront government decision makers. Our nation has long been served by its ability to draw qualified S&T candidates to government service because of the opportunities for intellectually challenging work that affects the world in which we live and that encourages and protects the scientific process. We must continue to 43
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICAâS PROGRESS 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 âthousandsâ 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 nationâexpressed in our civic cultureâinvolve more than making a living. The ambi- tions 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. âMore of the sameâ will not work in the 21st century. Innovative thinking will be needed to a degree unprecedented in American history. Fortunately, large numbers of scientists, engi- neers, 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 admin- istration 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. 44