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Science Policy Overview: What is it, How is it Made, and Why it is Important PowerPoint Presentation
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Science Policy Overview: What is it, How is it Made, and Why it is Important

Science Policy Overview: What is it, How is it Made, and Why it is Important

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Science Policy Overview: What is it, How is it Made, and Why it is Important

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  1. Science Policy Overview: What is it, How is it Made, and Why it is Important Talk presented by Tobin Smith Associate Vice President for Federal Relations Association of American Universities American Meteorological Society 2009 Summer Policy Colloquium June 1, 2009

  2. How Scientists and Engineers can Participate in the Washington Sausage Making Process and Why it is Important! Navigating the Policy-Making Process: A Guide to Cross-Cultural Communications Talk presented by Tobin Smith Associate Vice President for Federal Relations Association of American Universities American Meteorological Society 200 Summer Policy Colloquium June 1, 2009

  3. Overview • What is Science Policy? • What are its historical origins in the United States? • Who Makes Science Policy? • How is Science Policy Made? • Why Does it Matter?

  4. World #1: The Political World“I double majored in history and English and then went to Harvard law. How about you?”

  5. World #2: The Academic World

  6. Scientists and Politicians Do NOT Speak the Same Languages Michael Faraday, a pioneer in the field of electricity, was demonstrating the tremendous potential of his new invention the dynamo to the British Royal Society. A young politician in the audience, William Gladstone, grew bored, finally saying:

  7. “I’m sure this is all very interesting, Mr. Faraday, but what on Gods Earth good is it? Replied Faraday dryly, “Someday you politicians will be able to tax it.”

  8. Defining the Cultural Divide ScientistsPoliticians/Policy makers Numbers Words Objective/Facts Subjective/Public Opinion Hate to make promises Love to make promises Quantitative Qualitative Technical Political Problem seekers Issue seekers Ask why Ask why they should care Money = research Money = getting re-elected Think long term Think short term Publicity avoiders Publicity hounds Science page Front page Specialists Generalists

  9. What is Science?

  10. Many Members of Congress View Science as a “Means to and End” By Cartoonist Sidney Harris American Scientist

  11. What is “Science Policy” • “National science policy” refers to the set of federal rules, regulations, methods, practices, and guidelines under which scientific research is conducted. • It also refers to the dynamic, complex, and interactive processes and procedures—both inside and outside government—that influence and affect how these rules, regulations, methods, practices, and guidelines are devised and implemented. -- Beyond Sputnik: National Science Policy in the 21st Century Neal, Smith, McCormick, University of Michigan Press (2008)

  12. What is Science Policy? • “Policy for Science” • “Science for Policy” • Grey area in between • Constant interaction between the two, e.g. Global Climate Change • How does politics come into play? • What happens when policy makers don’t like what science tells them? • Remember that “science” in only one policy input

  13. Science and Science Policy: The Differences • ‘Science policy’ is very different from the conduct of science itself. While science is ideally value-free and objective, science policy is “concerned with the incentives and the environment for discovery and innovation; more mundanely, science policy deals with the effect of science and technology on society and considers how they can best serve the public. As such, it is highly visible, value-laden, and open to public debate.”* • The subjective nature of science policy often makes it impossible to prove whether a specific policy is "right" or "wrong.“ Moreover, the evaluation of science policy outcomes is often driven by ideology as opposed to provable facts. This has led many in the scientific community to shy away from engagement in the policy process. Ironically, the scientific voice has thus been absent from debates over major policies affecting the scientific community and its work. * Phillip A. Griffiths, "Science and the Public Interest," The Bridge 23, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 4.

  14. Historical Origins of U.S. Science Policy “Science, by itself, provides no panacea for individual, social, and economic ills. It can be effective in the national welfare only as a member of the team, whether the conditions be peace or war. But without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.” Science - The Endless Frontier, July 1945

  15. Historical Considerations:The Bush-Kilgore Debate Issues in the Creation of the NSF • Merit vs. Geographical Diversity • Social Science Research • Who Appoints the NSF Director • Fundamental vs. Applied Industrial Research

  16. Historical Considerations:What Drives U.S. Science Policy • Crisis • Perceived Crisis • Leadership

  17. U.S. Energy R&D Spending vs. Price of Crude Oil

  18. -- Prepared by Brad Nolen, Association of American Universities, September 18, 2007

  19. How is Public Policy Made? “The processes by which public policies are formed are exceedingly complex. Agenda-setting, the development of alternatives and choices among those alternatives seem to be governed by different forces. Each of them is complicated by itself, and the relations among them add more complications. These processes are dynamic, fluid, and loosely joined.” -- John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies

  20. Many Different Theories on the How Policy is Made • Incrementalism – “The Science of Muddling Through” - Charles Lindblom, 1959 • Garbage Can Model – Policy outcomes result from a mix of problems, solutions, participants, and participant resources. - Cohen, March and Olsen, 1972 • Primeval Soup Model – Ideas float around within policy communities, or “specialists, with some floating eventually to the top of the soup for consideration. - John Kingdon, 1995

  21. Many Different Political Theories on how Groups Interact to Make Policy • “Whirlpools”or centers of activities focused on specific special interests and social problems - Ernest S. Griffith • Iron Triangles - Subgovernments composed of Administrative Staff, Interest Group, and Congressional Committees - Douglas Carter, 1964

  22. The Science Policy Web --“Beyond Sputnik: National Science Policy in the 21st Century” Neal, Smith, McCormick, University of Michigan Press (2008)

  23. The Legislative Process is Complex and Counterintuitive “Understanding the process by which a bill becomes a law requires no astrophysics. But understanding the system by which a bill becomes a law requires about the same amount of patients as the study of this technical science.” -- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to American Government

  24. Why is Science Policy Even More Difficult to Understand? Pluralist in Nature - Supported by Multiple Agencies 12 Federal Departments & 18 Independent Agencies, Commissions and Boards - Overseen and Funded by Multiple Congressional Committees Examples: Human Subjects in Research; Energy Research; Nanotechnology. Oceanographic research 9 federal agencies and 47 Congressional committees and subcommittees have oversight according to Adm. Watkins.

  25. 12 Federal Departments with Science and Technology Responsibilities • Department of Agriculture, www.usda.gov • Department of Commerce, www.doc.gov • Department of Defense, www.defenselink.mil • Department of Education, www.ed.gov • Department of Energy, www.energy.gov • Department of Health and Human Services, www.dhhs.gov • Department of Homeland Security, www.dhs.gov • Department of Interior, www.doi.gov • Department of Justice, www.usdoj.gov • Department of State, www.state.gov • Department of Transportation, www.dot.gov • Department of Veterans Affairs, www.va.gov

  26. 18 Federal Agencies & Commissions with Science and Technology Responsibilities • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, www.darpa.mil • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), www.epa.gov • Federal Aviation Administration, www.faa.gov • Federal Bureau of Investigation, www.fbi.gov • Federal Communications Commission (FCC), www.fcc.gov • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), www.nasa.gov • National Institute of Standards & Technology, www.nist.gov • National Institutes of Health, www.nih.gov • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, www.noaa.gov • National Science Foundation (NSF), www.nsf.gov • National Security Agency (NSA), www.nsa.gov • National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC), www.nttc.edu • National Telecommunications Information Administration, www.ntia.doc.gov • National Transportation Safety Board, www.ntsb.gov • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), www.nrc.gov • Patent & Trademark Office, www.uspto.gov • Smithsonian Institution, www.si.edu • U.S. Geological Survey, www.usgs.gov

  27. Who Makes Science Policy? • White House/President - OMB - OSTP/The Science Advisor • Congress -- Members of Congress -- Committee Staff -- Personal Staff -- Congressional Support Agencies e.g. CRS, GAO, Leg. Council • Federal Agencies -- NSF, HHS (NIH), DOE, NASA, DOD, EPA, NIST, NOAA, USGS • The Courts and the Judicial Branch • National Academies • Scientific Societies • Higher Education Associations • Washington Think Tanks -- Brookings, Rand, AES, Heritage Foundation

  28. Who are the major partners with the Federal Government in the carrying out U.S. Science Policy? • Universities • National Laboratories • Industry • The States • The Public

  29. Science Policy Organization

  30. Why is Science Policy Even More Difficult to Understand? Made at Multiple Levels… • Presidential (e.g. Stem Cells) • Congressional, OMB & OSTP • Agency • Individual Program Officers

  31. Why is Science Policy Even More Difficult to Understand? …Through All Sorts of Mechanisms

  32. Mechanisms Used in Making Science Policy The President & Executive Branch Offices President • Presidential Directives and Executive Orders • Appointments of Key Officials/Advisory Committees • Budget/Presidential Initiatives • Treaties • Veto Authority Executive Branch Offices • OMB Circulars • Interagency Memos

  33. Mechanisms Used in Making Science Policy The Congress Congress • Laws • Creation of new agencies and federal entities • Budget/Appropriations • Senate Approval of Presidential Appointments • Oversight

  34. Mechanisms Used in Making Science Policy Federal Agencies and the Courts Federal Agencies • Agency Policy • Interpretation/Implementation/Enforcement of Laws • Rulemaking • Budget Judiciary/Courts • Interpretation of the Laws • Constitutionality

  35. The Federal Budget:Where Does the Money Go? And Why Should You Care? • It's a LOT of money, and it used to be yours • The federal government spends $2.0 trillion a year, a fifth of the U.S. economy • You can't do POLICY in Washington without MONEY • Money makes policies possible, and lack of money prevents policies from happening • In these balanced-budget times, every policy decision has to be considered in the context of its effect on the budget • The budget takes up a lot of time and effort on Capitol Hill • Agencies and Congress spend an extraordinary amount of time every year on the budget • The budget has an annual cycle that affects nearly every decision in Washington; this year, it may be the only major thing that gets done • The federal budget determines the health of U.S. science and engineering research and education • The federal government spends over $110 billion a year on R&D • The federal government funds 60 percent of all university R&D, and also supports fellowships, scholarships, student loans, and other aid • R&D funding decisions are part of the budget process; this is where priorities are set for the federal investment Source: Kei Koizumi, AAAS

  36. The Federal Budget Process -- Beyond Sputnik: National Science Policy in the 21st Century, Neal, Smith, McCormick, University of Michigan Press (2008) Prepared by Brad Nolen

  37. Keep in mind that regulations often impact science as much or more than the laws Congress passes.

  38. Steps Involved in Rule Making • Proposed Rule is Drafted • Internal Government Review of Proposed Rule • Publication of Proposed Rule • Comment Period • Public Inspection of Comments • Analysis of Comments • Publication of Final Rule

  39. Understanding the Process The key to understanding the legislative and policy making process lies in realizing that you will never truly understand it… …but you can learn how to navigate through it! Widder and Smith, 2005

  40. Navigation Tips: • All politics truly are local! • Build a relationship -- of trust -- that is mutually beneficial • Speak their language, not yours… • …but don’t pretend to be a native • Know when to talk • Translators can help you get your message across

  41. Why Does Science Policy Matter? Why Should More Scientists Get Involved? What Can Scientists Learn from Politicians?

  42. Policy Challenges for Science will Continue

  43. Why Effective Communication with the New Congress and New Administration Critical for the Scientific Community • Tight budgets mean obtaining adequate and sustained funding for key science agencies and programs will be difficult. Don’t be fooled into thinking the large $$$s in the Economic Recovery Package are normal. • Questions will be asked concerning if past funding for science has been well spent and what has resulted from it. • A new Congress and Administration with new staff, new members, new committee chairs and new agency leaders means the need for education about science is great. • Defense, Defense, Defense - not only against Congressional actions but also to prevent regulations that can harm scientists’ ability to conduct science. • To help shape better public policy by providing scientific and technical input.

  44. Few Members of Congress come from Science & Engineering Backgrounds • Less than 5 percent have backgrounds in science and engineering. • According to CRS, there are three chemists, three physicists, a biomedical engineer, and a microbiologist among the 535 members of Congress. • Only 22 Members of the House and Senate have PhDs. • 11 have engineering degrees and 13 hold medical degrees. • 237 Members of Congress have law degrees.

  45. Scientists and Engineers Need to Have a Strong Voice in Washington • Many researchers do not like to communicate. • Many don’t have time to communicate. • When scientists and engineers do communicate, they are often not very effective. -- Cultural divide -- Entitlement mentality -- Are often misunderstood

  46. What Can Scientists Learn From Politicians? • You have to talk to be heard • Relationships outside your immediate peer group can be beneficial to you • Words matter • Avoid jargon • Don’t use acronyms • Shorter can be better • Accessibility, visibility and accountability matter

  47. Concluding Thoughts on how to be effective in Washington • Remember to say “thank you.” • Don’t pit one area of science against another. • Don’t politicize science. • Don’t be complacent!

  48. Thank you for your attention…

  49. BEYOND SPUTNIK: U.S. Science Policy in the 21st Century by Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith & Jennifer B. McCormick University of Michigan Press, Expected July 2008 www.science-policy.net

  50. Backup Slides