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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2007)

Chapter:Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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Appendix B
Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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STATEMENT OF TASK

This congressionally-requested study will address the following questions:


What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policy makers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st Century?


What implementation strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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United States Senate

WASHINGTON. DC 20510

May 27, 2005

Dr. Bruce Alberts

President

National Academy of.Sciences

2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418

Dear Dr. Alberts:

The Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has been given the latitude by Chairman Pete Domenici to hold a series of hearings to identify specific steps our government should take to ensure the preeminence of America’s scientific and technological enterprise.


The National Academies could provide critical assistance in this effort by assembling some of the best minds in the scientific and technical community to identify the most urgent, challenges the United States faces in maintaining leadership in key areas of science and technology. Specifically, we would appreciate a report from the National Academies by September 2005 that addresses the following:

  • Is it essential for the United States to be at the forefront of research in broad areas of science and engineering? How does this leadership translate into concrete benefits as evidenced by the competitiveness of American businesses and an ability to meet key goals such as strengthening national security and homeland security, improving health, protecting the enviroment, and reducing dependence on imported oil?

    What specific steps are needed to ensure that the United States maintains its leadership in science and engineering to enable us to successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century? How can we determine whether total federal research investment is adequate, whether it is properly balanced among research disciplines (considering both traditional research areas and new multidisciplinary fields such as nanotechnology), and between basic and applied research?

  • How do we ensure that the United States remains at the epicenter of the ongoing revolution in research and innovation that is driving 21st century economies? How can we assure investors that America is the preferred site for investments in new or expanded businesses that create the best jobs and provide the best services?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
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  • How can we ensure that critical discoveries across all the scientific disciplines are predominantly American and exploited first by firms producing and hiring in America? How can we best encourage domestic firms to invest in invention and innovation to meet new global competition and how can public research investments best supplement these private sector investments?

  • What specific steps are needed to develop a well-educated workforce able to successfully embrace the rapid pace of technological change?

Your answers to these questions will help Congress design effective programs to ensure that America remains at the forefront of scientific capability, there by enhancing our ability to shape and improve our nation’s future.

We look forward to reviewing the results of your efforts.

Sincerely,

Lamar Alexander

Chairman

Energy Subcommittee

Jeff Bingaman

Ranking Member

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

COMMITT'EE ON SCIENCE

SUITE 2320 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING

WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6301 (202) 225-6371 TTY: (202) 226-4410 http://www.house.gov/science/welcome.htm

June 30, 2005

Dr. Bruce Alberls

Presidenl

National Academy of Sciences

2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418

Dear Dr. Alberts:

We understand that the National Academies, in response to a request from Senators Alexander and Bingaman, are in the early stages of developing a study related to the urgent challenges facing the United States in maintaining leadership in key areas of science and technology. Because the Science Committee considers ensuring the strength and vitality of the Nation’s scientific and technology enterprise an important part of its broad oversight responsibility, we are writing to endorse the request for this study and to encourage the National Academics to carry it forward expeditiously.


In addition, we would like to suggest some specific questions we hope to see addressed by the study:

  • What skills will be required by the future U.S. science and engineering workforce in order for it to command a salary premium over foreign scientists and engineers? Are alternative degree programs needed, such as professional science masters degrees, to meet the needs of industry and to lead to altractive career paths for students?

  • Are changes needed in the current graduate education system, such as: a different mix in graduate support among fellowships, traineeships and research assistantships; and more research faculty positions and fewer postdocs and graduate students in traditional graduate programs?

  • Should a greater proportion of federal research funding be allocated to high-risk, exploratory, research and should funding priorities among broad fields of science and engineering be readjusted?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
  • What policies and programs will help ensure the rapid flow of research results into the marketplace and promote the commercialization of research in a way that leads to the creation of good jobs for Americans?

The Committee looks forward to reviewing the results of this effort, and hopes that a draft response would be available by September 30, 2005. We hope that the new and innovative ideas you produce as the result of this effort will be able to translate into policies that will enhance U.S. prosperity in the 21st century. If you have any questions, please contact Dan Byers of the Majority Staff or Jim Wilson of the Minority Staff.

Sincerely

SHERWOOD BOEHLERT

Chairman

BART GORDON

Ranking Member

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page242
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page243
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page244
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page245
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page246
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page247
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Statement of Task and Congressional Correspondence." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11463.
×
Page248
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In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation's needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy:

1) Increase America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;

2) Sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research;

3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and

4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.

Some actions will involve changing existing laws, while others will require financial support that would come from reallocating existing budgets or increasing them. Rising Above the Gathering Storm will be of great interest to federal and state government agencies, educators and schools, public decision makers, research sponsors, regulatory analysts, and scholars.

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