The importance of science and technology at the White House

December 04, 2008

Washington, DC - Science, technology and innovation are key elements in addressing the economy, health care, energy and a host of other challenges our nation will face in the coming years.

Because of the importance of science and technology in our society, a new article, Making a Critical Connection: Science Advice and the Next President, highlights the need for the swift appointment of a science advisor whom President-elect Barack Obama trusts. The article is published by the Foresight & Governance Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and authored by four living presidential science advisors, Democrats Drs. John H. Gibbons and Neal F. Lane and Republicans Drs. Edward E. David and John. P. McTague.

The benefits of making the right decisions regarding science and technology policy are enormous--as are the costs of making mistakes. Over the past 60 years, every president has had a science advisor and, since 1976, an office focused on science and technology issues. The science advisor and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) have historically played a central role -- usually behind the scenes -- in crafting national policies. A robust OSTP, located in the White House complex and closely integrated with the other White House functions such as the Office of Management and Budget, is of great importance.
To obtain a copy of the new article, along with the Foresight & Governance report Critical Upgrade: Enhanced Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking, visit Foresight and Governance Project works to improve foresight and long-term planning in the public sector and to help business, government, and the public better understand the impacts and implications of technological change. For more information on the project, visit

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

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