National Academies’ Activities with Relevance to BGST
The following summarizes programs at the National Academies that BGST has worked with or intends to work with to bolster a collective understanding of global science and technology.
The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) focuses on the nexus between information technology and public policy. Its reports have addressed the major issues of the day related to information technology—from electronic voting to export controls, from health care informatics to cryptography. BGST worked with CSTB staff to develop its workshops in 2010 and 2011. Currently, CSTB staff is working closely with BGST to develop the fast-track study on a global assessment of the future of computing performance.
The Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications (BMSA) has four current themes: the responsible and effective use of computational modeling, massive data, risk analysis and new directions for the mathematical sciences. BMSA has worked with BGST to develop the 2011 BGST workshop, “Realizing the Value from Big Data.” The Board director, Scott Weidman, was the co-rapporteur for the report, Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences: Summary of a Workshop, a study that informed the 2011 workshop.
The mission of the Board on Data Research and Information (BRDI) “is to improve the stewardship, policy, and use of digital data and information for science and the broader society.”61 BRDI helped to identify participants of both workshops and BRDI’s director, Paul Uhlir, helped to develop the surveys that BGST sent to participants of the Singapore meeting prior to the workshop. BRDI constitutes the U.S. representative to the Council on Data for Science and Technology, or CODATA. The mission of CODATA “is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use.”
Due to its focus on energy supply and demand technologies and systems, BGST worked with the Board on Energy and Environmental Sciences (BEES) to identify participants for the 2011 workshop, “Data Analytics and the Smart Energy Grid 2020.” Other subject areas of interest to BEES include the environmental consequences of energy-related activities; fuels production, energy conversion, transmission, and use; and related issues in national security and defense.
The National Academy of Science’s Kavli Frontiers of Science symposia bring together outstanding young scientists to discuss advances and opportunities in a broad range of disciplines, including astronomy, astrophysics, atmospheric science, biology, biomedicine, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, genetics, material sciences, mathematical sciences, neurosciences, pharmacology, and physics. Annual Kavli Frontiers symposia are held for young scientists in the U.S. and bilateral symposia have included young researchers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, China, Indonesia, and India. Participants include leading researchers from academic, industrial, and federal laboratories.
The Frontiers of Engineering62 program brings together emerging engineering leaders (ages 30-45) from industry, academia, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of these meetings is to introduce these outstanding engineers to each other, and to facilitate collaboration in engineering, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders. There are four Frontiers of Engineering (FOE) meetings every year: the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium held each year and a rotating schedule of FOE meetings with Germany, Japan, India, China, and the European Union. Examples from past symposia include visualization for design and display, nanotechnology, advanced materials, robotics, simulation in manufacturing, energy and the environment, optics, intelligent transportation systems, MEMS, design research, bioengineering, counter-terrorism technologies, and quantum computing.
The Committee on Comparative National Innovation Policies: Best Practice for the 21st Century was established in 2005 by the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)63 to compare U.S. innovation policies with selected innovation programs in other countries, particularly national technology development and innovation programs designed to support research on new technologies, enhance the commercial return on national research, and facilitate the production of globally competitive products. The study includes a review of the goals, concept, structure, operation, funding levels, and evaluation of foreign programs that are similar to major U.S. programs, e.g.,, innovation awards, S&T parks, and consortia. To date the committee has produced summaries of symposia on innovation in India, Belgium, Japan, China, and the United States, as well as a volume on S&T research parks. A final report will be issued in 2012.