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Physics Colloquium, 'Giving Science Advice to the President ' and Why It's Getting Harder'

Event Type
Physics Department
141 Loomis
Mar 27, 2013   4:00 pm  
Neal Lane, Rice University
Originating Calendar
Physics - Colloquium

The position of science advisor to the U.S. President was created during the early years of the cold war, as was the government-university partnership and federal agency structure that support science and engineering research today. In those early difficult days, the rationale for large federal investments in research was clear ' keep ahead of the USSR. That rationale is long gone; and nothing has emerged to replace it in the public's eye. Meanwhile, the American people are uninformed ' or intentionally mislead - about scientific matters, distracted by a host of issues that have little to do with science, and increasingly polarized along political and ideological lines. The responsibilities of the President's science advisor include: 1) insure that the President has correct information on any matter of S&T policy of national importance; and 2) advise the President on federal research funding priorities. Today's speaker will share some experiences advising President Bill Clinton, comment on today's challenges, and suggest a possible new way forward.

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