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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
Policy and Global Affairs
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October 11-12, 2016

Committee meeting
NAS Building, Washington, DC

Workshop on Using Narrative and Data to Communicate the Value of Science
NAS Building, Washington DC 

March 17, 2016

Committee meeting
NAS Building, Washington, DC

February 25, 2015

Collaborative Workshop to Improve Postdoctoral Training
National Academy of Sciences Building , Washington, DC

 March 23-25, 2015

Presidents' Circle and Joint Meeting
NAS Building, Washington, DC

 April 25-28, 2015

National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
NAS Building, Washington, DC

September 10-11, 2015

Committee Meeting
NAS Building, Washington, DC



Current activities:

Human Gene Editing Initiative. Committee members participated in the advisory group for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the U.K.'s Royal Society initiative on human gene-editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9. Featuring an international summit December 1-3, 2015, to convene researchers and other experts to explore the scientific, ethical, and policy issues, this initiative builds on past leadership on emerging, controversial new areas of genetic research, such as human embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and “gain-of-function” research.

Responsible Science. This project will revise the committee's 1992 work: Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process. Robert Nerem of Georgia Tech chairs the committee, which has put the finishing touches on its draft and will enter review shortly. The report will include findings and recommendations providing guidance to research managers, research funders, institutional officers (universities, foundations, etc.), researchers, and compliance officers.

Action Memos. The committee is experimenting with a new product that will respond to current policy debates by producing short syntheses of relevant findings and recommendations from Academies' reports. An oversight committee of our co members and and non-members is in the process of finalizing an initial example on "Talent: Assessing and Meeting National Workforce Needs."

Using Narrative and Data to Communicate the Value of Science: A Workshop. This NSF-funded activity, which will take place October 11-12, 2016, in Washington, DC, will bring together experts on science communication, scientometricians, science writers, and research leaders to discuss how to merge the insights of expert judgment and newly available quantitative data and present them in engaging narratives that will capture the interest of policymakers and the public. 

Presidents Circle. We met jointly with the Presidents Circle members in March 2015 and again in March 2016 to brainstorm about what are the major topics of policy concern for the S&T community. Both groups plan on moving forward with this growing partnership and finding new ways to work together on areas of shared interest to the three Academies.


Previous activities:

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited. The committee was tasked to assess which universities and funding agencies have adopted the recommendations from its 2000 report Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers, explore how the postdoctoral system has changed in the past decade, paying particular attention to the plight of foreign postdoctoral researchers, and consider how well current practices meet the goals of preparing the next generation of independent researchers and maximizing the productivity of the research enterprise. Greg Petsko of Weill Cornell Medical College chaired the committee. The report received sign off from the RRC and was released on December 10th, 2014.

Workshop on the Arc of an Academic Research Career. 
The September 9-10, 2013, meeting was devoted to a public workshop on the stress points of career entry, the tenure decision, and retirement; the interconnections of policies and practices in these three areas; and how demographic trends will affect these stresses in the future. A workshop summary was published in February 2014 and is available. A short video will be available soon.

Evaluating the Federal Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The committee was asked by NSF to conduct a congressionally mandated review of EPSCoR and EPSCoR-like programs in seven federal agencies. These programs are meant to build research capacity in states and at universities that do not receive a proportionate share of competitive research funding. The committee, which was co-chaired by member Bill Spencer and Norine Noonan of the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, released its report in November 2013 and provided briefings to two House and two Senate committees. The full report is available though the National Academies Press.

Workshop on the Innovation Ecosystem. The committee devoted a full day of its February 2013 meeting and a half day at its May 2013 meeting to a workshop on trends and directions in the innovation ecosystem. The first part was held at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto and focused on understanding they keys to early success in Silicon Valley and exploring how conditions have changed. The second part, which took place in Washington, included speakers involved in research parks affiliated with universities or federal labs. A workshop report was published in September 2013.