Category: Discover’s Science Policy Project

Weekly News Roundup: 'Twas the Night Before Jan. 20

By Melissa Lafsky | December 19, 2008 2:46 pm

• Where have we seen this before? A President’s Guide to Science, in video form.

• A holy union of incentives and science: A car key that disables cell phones when the car is in use.

• Will the hordes of laid-off techies be driven to crime?

• All this carbon offsetting and greening is nice and all, but the elephant in the room is still coal.

• Any chemists want to weigh in on what type of drugs can be manufactured at home?

• When Madoff strikes, no sustainable food business is safe.

• And finally, the perfect Christmas medley: electronics meets art meets taut consumerist criticism.

MORE ABOUT: crime, drugs, greed, technology

What Would Einstein Do? Part XXI: David Hirsh

By Melissa Lafsky | October 21, 2008 11:36 am

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? The DISCOVER Science Policy Project gave a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. Today, renowned biotechnology innovator David Hirsh offers his advice for the coming administration. All past responses can be found here.

DAVID HIRSH
Executive Vice President for Research, Columbia University

First, there needs to be a redirection of funding to invest in fundamental discovery science—the applications will follow—especially in the areas of energy, “big physics,” the mind/brain and evolution.

Read More

Lawrence Krauss Has Something to Say to the Next President

By Melissa Lafsky | October 17, 2008 4:33 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? The DISCOVER Science Policy Project gave a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. Today, renowned theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss offers an essay outlining his advice for the coming administration. All past responses can be found here.

LAWRENCE KRAUSS
Theoretical physicist

Memo to the Next President:

“Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”
—Richard P. Feynman

Eighteen years ago, the former President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, addressed the National Academy of Sciences, stating:

“Science, like any field of endeavor, relies on freedom of inquiry; and one of the hallmarks of that freedom is objectivity. Now more than ever, on issues ranging from climate change to AIDS research to genetic engineering to food additives, government relies on the impartial perspective of science for guidance.”

It is hard to find a better statement of what the relationship between science and public policy should be. Science should be a tool to help policymakers understand the world as it is, and as it might be. Science itself doesn’t tell us to how to best organize our society to maximize opportunity and happiness, but it can help inform our decision-making.

Read More

What Would Einstein Do? Part XIX: Walter Willett

By Melissa Lafsky | October 15, 2008 4:26 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

WALTER WILLETT
Epidemiologist and nutrition expert

Support more research on alternative, sustainable energy sources, transportation, and food production. In the long run, this is crucial for the quality of life of Americans.

Commit more research funding to translation of existing knowledge into practice. We know what should be done to prevent most of the major diseases that burden our population, but we often don’t know how to do this most effectively or efficiently.

Read More

What Would Einstein Do? Part XVIII: Alan Stern

By Melissa Lafsky | October 14, 2008 12:15 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

ALAN STERN
Planetary science researcher, former Associate Administrator of NASA

Set an integrally scientific and technological course forward. Mr. President, challenge the nation to lead the world and show by example how science and technology can transform the twenty-first century as deeply and successfully as it transformed the 20th century.

Act as an evangelist for a more scientifically literate public that is better able to evaluate issues such as global change, technology solutions to energy policy, evolution, and gene therapies. Too often our society devalues scientific literacy in the public. Yet with the wide array of public policy issues demanding scientific and technological solutions, our leaders must encourage a broader scientific literacy.

Read More

What Would Einstein Do? Part XVII: Walter Bender

By Melissa Lafsky | October 9, 2008 4:28 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

WALTER BENDER
Former executive director of the MIT Media Lab

Promote more risk-taking within government funding agencies: Industry has all but given up on research of any kind except marketing research, and for the most part, universities are slipping into a mode of incrementalism, because that is the safest way to secure funding.

Read More

What Would Einstein Do? Part XVI: Steven Nissen

By Melissa Lafsky | October 8, 2008 11:07 am

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

STEVEN NISSEN
Cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, innovator

Restore funding at the National Institute of Health. For many years, the NIH budget has remained essentially flat. This means that, in inflation adjusted dollars, actual expenditures have decreased.

Avoid government intrusions on the academic independence of scientists.

Read More

What Would Einstein Do? Part XIV: Daniel Hillis

By Melissa Lafsky | October 7, 2008 10:20 am

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

DANIEL HILLIS
Computer scientist, inventor, and author

Look at any list of the most important “American” scientific accomplishments and you will see that they are in large part the accomplishments of immigrants. Our strength in science and technology is, and always has been, based on our willingness to welcome and support scientists from other nations. We need a president who will lead us back to our historical position of openness and generosity.

What Would Einstein Do? Part XIII: Peter Singer

By Melissa Lafsky | October 1, 2008 5:43 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

PETER SINGER
Bioethicist

Free up scientific research on stem cells by revoking Bush’s restriction of research to stem cell lines that were created before his speech in August 2001. It was never defensible to give more protection to embryos consisting of a few cells than we give to sentient beings like dogs and chimpanzees. In any case, thanks to advances in science, the potential for creating a new human life now exists in almost every cell in our body.

Read More

DISCOVER's Science Policy Project: Ann Druyan

By Melissa Lafsky | September 30, 2008 12:39 pm

What are the three most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to state their views. All past responses can be found here.

ANN DRUYAN
Author and co-founder and CEO of Cosmos Studios

Appoint a scientist of impeccable independence, inter-disciplinary expertise and vision who knows how to connect with the public as the President’s “Science Advisor.” Elevate the position to cabinet status and insure regular access to the President and to the public. (Is it too much to hope that a society completely dependent on science and high technology might have at least one person who really knows science at the highest decision-making level in the government?)

Read More

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »