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AAAS Forum on S&T Policy to Feature Top Policy Experts and Cutting-Edge Symposia
U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, (D-Tenn.)
The growing role of states in promoting science and technology, issues raised by the expanding use of surveillance technologies and questions surrounding private-sector efforts to develop new drugs are among the topics to be discussed at the 2007 AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, which convenes 3-4 May in Washington, D.C.
The annual Forum has emerged as the major public meeting in the United States devoted to science and technology policy issues. It is expected to draw about 500 of the nation's top S&T policy experts.
Online registration is open until the morning of Tuesday 1 May, with onsite registration available once the Forum begins. The Forum will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 13th Street and Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Among this year's speakers will be John H. Marburger, III, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, (D-Tenn.), chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology; Sherwood Boehlert, former chairman of the House Committee on Science; Helga Nowotny, founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council; and William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering.
[Photo © European Communities, 1995-2007]
Jay M. Cohen, the third person in less than four years to lead the Department of Homeland Security's troubled science and technology directorate, is among the Friday speakers. Cohen, a former U.S. Navy submarine commander and now under secretary for science and technology at DHS, has been moving aggressively since last fall to revitalize a directorate that had been criticized by congressional appropriators as a "rudderless ship." Cohen has reorganized the DHS research agenda into a few broad portfolios and has placed more emphasis on basic research.
State governments have been expanding their role in funding science and technology, some of them concerned that the federal government is taking inadequate action on issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and stem cell research, and nearly all of them wanting to boost their economic development. In an afternoon session on Thursday 3 May, speakers will look at how those state efforts have been faring and what the future may hold. Mary Jo Waits, director of the Pew Center on the States, will discuss a study of state research and development initiatives that her center is conducting for the National Governors Association.
In another Thursday afternoon session, specialists will describe surveillance technologies now entering widespread use in society—such as biometrics, data mining, and radio frequency identification tags—and some of the settings where they are being used. Panelists will assess the accuracy and reliability of the science behind such technologies and the privacy and civil liberties issues they raise. Speakers include Don Prosnitz, deputy associate director for nonproliferation, homeland and international security at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Daniel Sui, assistant vice president for research at Texas A&M University.
The private sector's role in pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D will be the focus of a morning plenary session on Friday 4 May. Among other issues, speakers will discuss the impact of industry-supported research on academic R&D settings, conflict of interests in biomedical research, and the policy challenges of clinical research trials. William Haseltine, founder and former chairman of Human Genome Sciences and now chairman of Haseltine Global Health LLC, will open the session with a talk on the state of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
Among other sessions at the 2007 Forum:
The budgetary and policy context for research and development in 2008;
Building science, technology, and innovation capacity in developing nations; and
Sequestered science, or research carried on behind closed doors in such settings as national security agencies or corporate laboratories.
Forum registrants will receive the new AAAS Report XXXII: Research and Development FY 2008, a comprehensive analysis of R&D in the proposed federal budget for FY 2008.
The report is an annual effort produced in collaboration with nearly 20 science and engineering associations. The 294-page report, including nearly 40 tables and 25 chapters on R&D by agency, theme, and discipline, is an authoritative reference on R&D in the budget. The full text of the report is now available on the AAAS R&D Web site.
27 April 2007