ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
TWELVTH PLENARY SESSION
WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTER
OPEN SESSION -- 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM March 5; 9:00 AM - 11:10 AM March6
PCAST Members: John A. Young (Co-Chair); John H. Gibbons (Co-Chair);Norman R. Augustine; Francisco J. Ayala; John P. Holdren; Diana MacArthur;Shirley M. Malcom; Mario J. Molina; Peter H. Raven; Sally K. Ride; CharlesA. Sanders; Virginia V. Weldon; Lilian Shiao-Yen Wu.
Staff: Arthur Bienenstock; Rosina Bierbaum; Kerri-Ann Jones; DuncanMoore; Yolanda Comedy.
Public Attendance: Approximately 30 members of the public, includingthe press, were present.
Dr. Gibbons opened the meeting at 9 AM March 5. Mr. Young welcomedthe participants and noted that this was Dr. Gibbons's last meeting asco-chair (since he would be retiring April 3).
Briefings on the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS)
Mary Frase, Senior Technical Advisor, Data Development and LongitudinalStudies Group, National Center for Education Statistics, and Larry Suter,Deputy Division Director, National Science Foundation (NSF), briefed theCommittee on the results of the TIMSS high school tests. Detailsof the briefings and the following discussion are available in the meetingtranscript; handouts describing the study and the results are also available.
Briefing on the NSF-DoED Action Strategy for Improving Mathematics andScience
Judy Sunley, Assistant to the Director, NSF, briefed the Committee onthe final report of the NSF-DoED working group. Details of the briefingsand the following discussion are available in the meeting transcript.
Briefings on the Administration's FY 1999 Research and Development Budget
Franklin Raines, Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), accompaniedby T.J. Glauthier, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, andScience, OMB, briefed the Committee on the Administration's FY 1999 R&Dbudget. Al Teich, Director, Science Policy Programs, American Associationfor the Advancement of Science (AAAS), accompanied by Steve Nelson andKei Koizumi of his staff, then analyzed the budget request for the Committee.Details of the briefings and the following discussion are available inthe meeting transcript.
Report from the PCAST Education Panel
Dr. Malcom reported on the Education Panel's activities in 6 areas:1) preparation of a background paper on implementation of the Shaw reportthat will identify target areas for spending experimental research fundson and options for managing the research programs; 2) review of NSF/EDaction plan (reviewed, above, by Sunley); 3) review of new initiativesand comment about relative importance (e.g., action on the TIMSS results);4) review of the National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) ongoinguniversities study; 5) women and minorities in science and technology;and 6) review of NSTC's human resources policy document. Details of thereport and the following discussion are available in the meeting transcript.
Briefing on the Administration's Clean Water Initiative
Kathleen McGinty, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality, briefed theCommittee on the Administration's Clean Water Initiative and also discussedpolicies on climate change and forest management. Details of the briefingsand the following discussion are available in the meeting transcript; ahandout describing the clean water initiative is also available.
PCAST Discussion of Potential Projects for 1998-1999
Members of PCAST and OSTP staff discussed feedback on recent PCAST reportsand opportunities for new work in the coming months.
Dr. Raven and Dr. Bierbaum reported on the release of the PCAST report,Teaming with Life, at the AAAS meeting in February and subsequent briefingsfor members of Congress and their staff. Dr. Raven suggested PCASTmight do additional work to specify the meaning of National BiologicalInformation Infrastructure Phase II and also to popularize and explainthe concept of biodiversity.
Dr. Jones suggested that PCAST establish a panel on security to addresscontinuing and emerging issues, with an initial emphasis on R&D onprotection of critical infrastructure and on follow-up to the Holdren-Velikovreport of June 1997.
Dr. Holdren discussed the response to PCAST's report on energy R&D,including the Administration's Climate Change Technology Initiative, whichincorporated about 70 percent of the PCAST recommended spending. He identified two possible areas for additional work by PCAST: 1) workfocused on a longer timeframe; and 2) work on the international dimensionsof energy R&D.
Dr. Weldon and Dr. Bierbaum discussed their preliminary efforts to establisha scope of work for PCAST in the area of public understanding of scienceand technology. Dr. Sanders endorsed an effort to identify and publicizehuman interest stories. Mr. Young suggested enlisting the supportof corporations and their advertising agencies. Dr. Malcom suggestedthe possibility of a joint effort with AAAS.
PCAST took no action on these recommendations at this meeting.
Briefing on the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection(CCIP)
Tom Marsh, who chaired the Commission, briefed the Committee on theCCIP's findings and recommendations. Details of the briefings and the followingdiscussion are available in the meeting transcript.
Bob Stern, consultant in technology management, spoke to the Committee.Details of his comments and the following discussion are available in themeeting transcript.
Briefing on the Administration's Year of the Ocean Activities
Jim Baker, Undersecretary of Commerce, and Director, National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration, briefed the Committee U.S. participationin Year of the Ocean activities and also spoke about the Administration'swork on harmful algal blooms. Details of the briefing and the followingdiscussion are available in the meeting transcript.
The meeting recessed at 5:00 PM March 5 and reconvened at 9:00 AM March6.
Briefing on the National Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change
Jerry Melillo, Co-Director of the Ecosystems Center of the Marine BiologicalLaboratory, and Chair of the National Assessment Synthesis Team, and TonyJanetoes, Co-Chair of the Synthesis Team briefed the Committee on the plansfor the National Assessment. Details of the briefing and the followingdiscussion are available in the meeting transcript; handouts provided byDr. Melillo are also available.
Briefing on the Environmental Report Card
Bill Merrell, Senior Fellow and President of the H. John Heinz III Centerfor Science, Economics, and Environment, accompanied by Bob Friedman, SeniorFellow and Vice President for Research at the Heinz Center, briefed theCommittee on efforts to produce a report card on the health of our Nation'secosystems by the year 2001. Details of the briefing and the followingdiscussion are available in the meeting transcript.
Briefing on DOE's Implementation of PCAST Recommendations on EnergyR&D
Ernie Moniz, Undersecretary, Department of Energy, briefed the Committeeon DOE's response to PCAST's recent report on energy R&D. Details ofthe briefing and the following discussion are available in the meetingtranscript.
The public session of meeting adjourned at 11:10 AM March 6, 1998.
Minutes submitted by:
Holly L. Gwin
John H. Gibbons
John A. Young
President'sCommittee of Advisors
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