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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy
Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy
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Chair's Corner 2017

Richard Lester
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of departing Board members Jay Walker of TEDMED and John Hennessy of Stanford University. Jay and John, whose terms expire this winter, added valuable expertise from the venture capital and higher education fields. With great sadness we also note the passing of STEP Board member David Morgenthaler last June. Since joining in 2000, David had served continuously on the board, sharing his insights from decades of work in innovation and venture capital. Finally, we are very pleased to announce that former Board member Arati Prabhakar, most recently director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and with previous stints as head of NIST and in venture capital, has agreed to rejoin the Board.

In other news, STEP’s Innovation Policy Forum sponsored a workshop on AI and robotics in December 2016. The workshop examined the economic, social, and legal/regulatory implications of advances in these technologies – part of STEP’s ongoing studies of how changes in science and technology are affecting U.S. competitiveness and the economy. We are planning a deeper dive into AI and workforce training needs and hope also to conduct other workshops on the policy implications of other disruptive technologies.

Other STEP activities are focused on U.S. competitiveness and technology leadership. Another workshop explored the social returns to federal investments in innovation, and there are plans for additional workshops on related subjects, including the development of stronger linkages between R&D carried out in different environments (universities, industry, government, and nonprofits).  -- Richard Lester, Chair, STEP Board