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Science & Technology Policy Forum Will Explore U.S. Competitiveness

2018 Science & Technology Policy Forum speakers
Among the speakers at the 2018 Forum on Science & Technology Policy are Arati Prabhakar, left, Kenneth Gibbs and Susan Hockfield. | U.S. Department of Defense; National Institute of General Medical Sciences; courtesy Susan Hockfield

The American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its 43rd annual Forum on Science & Technology Policy on June 21-22 in Washington, D.C. Members of the science and policy communities will gather under the banner of “U.S. Science, Innovation and Competitiveness: Current Status and Future Imperative.”

“We stand at such a critical inflection point,” said Maureen Kearney, director of the Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs at AAAS. “What will the trajectory of American leadership in science and innovation look like in the years to come? How will we ensure healthy support for breakthrough research and its considerable effects on our economy and society? And how will public views and trust in science, and enhanced inclusion and diversity efforts, affect the future of U.S. science and science policy?”

Susan Hockfield, chair of the AAAS Board of Directors and president emerita of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will explore these themes in the opening keynote lecture on the competitiveness of the U.S. scientific enterprise in 2018.

Federal investment in science will be a key topic of the Forum. Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities and president emerita of the University of Michigan, will discuss the impact of federal investment on the U.S. scientific research, while Matt Hourihan, director of AAAS’ R&D Budget and Policy Program, will offer a status update on the president’s fiscal 2019 science budget proposal and the actions of congressional appropriators on the fiscal 2018 spending.

Other featured speakers include Arati Prabhakar, who will deliver the William D. Carey Lecture on June 21 at 6 p.m. on “A Better Tomorrow: Renewing R&D’s Promise to America.” Prabhakar formerly headed the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology and currently serves as a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Another keynote lecture on the evolving role of industry in science competitiveness will be delivered by Peter Lee, corporate vice president, artificial intelligence and research at Microsoft.

Delivering the Gilbert S. Omenn Grand Challenges Address is Kenneth Gibbs, director of the Postdoctoral Research Association Program at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Gibbs will speak on “Challenges at the Intersection of Society and Scientific Competitiveness” on June 22 at 1 p.m.

Panels will also be held on key aspects of science competitiveness:

  • a global perspective on R&D investment, with lectures on U.S., China and European Union trends
  • the risks of stranded innovation in the field of energy and climate science
  • innovation support across sectors: industry, philanthropy, academic and state government
  • case studies of new U.S. initiatives advancing science and policy innovation, with presentations from leaders at National Science Foundation and DARPA
  • science competitiveness in relation to public support for science.

The Forum, to be held at AAAS’ headquarters at 1200 New York Ave. N.W., is the major public meeting in the United States focused on science and technology policy issues. The meeting is open to scientists and engineers, research administrators, industrial R&D managers, policymakers, association officials, federal grant recipients, students, science diplomats, government affairs specialists, public affairs officers, science writers and others with an interest in the intersection of policy with science and technology.

The full program is available on the Forum website.

[Associated image: Phil Roeder/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]