PLENARY SESSION - 9:15 PM - 12:30 PM


PCAST Members: John A.Young (Co-Chair); Neal Lane (Co-Chair); Norman Augustine; Francisco J. Ayala; Murray Gell-Mann; David A. Hamburg; John P.  Holdren; Diana MacArthur; Shirley M. Malcom; Mario J. Molina; Peter H. Raven; David Shaw; Charles M.Vest.

Staff: Arthur Bienenstock; Rosina Bierbaum; Gerald Epstein; Laura Efros; Gerald Hane; Duncan Moore; Joan P. Porter

Public Attendance: Approximately 50 members of the public, including the press, were present.

Welcome and Introductions

John Young and Neal Lane, PCAST Co-Chairs, opened the meeting and welcomed participants at 1:25 PM.

PCAST Panel Reports

Nanotechnology Panel Chairperson, Charles Vest, reported on the Panel's activities.  PCAST agreed to send a letter to the President endorsing the National Science and Technology Council, Committee on Technology, Interagency Working Group on Nanoscience and Technology National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Peter Raven, Chairperson of the Environment and Natural Resources Panel, reported on a review of the National Science Board's (NSB) Interim Report on "Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century," that the PCAST Co-Chairs had asked him and John Holdren to coordinate within PCAST. The Environment and Natural Resources Panel met with the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on December 9 to discuss the report and review along with other matters.  PCAST approved a letter to send to Neal Lane reviewing the NSB report.  He will, in turn, forward to the NSB.  A copy of the letter is part of the written record of the meeting.

David Hamburg, Chairperson of the Education Panel, reported on the Panel activities of the previous day.

Norman Augustine, Chairperson of the Security Panel, reported on activities of the Panel and plans for the meeting to follow the plenary session.

Frank Loy, Under Secretary, Global Affairs, Department of State

The Under Secretary commented on a variety of science-related topics in the Department of State.  PCAST questions and comments followed.

Challenges for Our National Science and Technology Enterprise

Frank Press and Erich Bloch, Principals of the Washington Advisory Group, led a discussion of this topic with PCAST.

Reports of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Divisions

Neal Lane, as Director of OSTP, gave a brief report on the status of the FY 2000 budget.  He also introduced Gerald Epstein, appointed December 1 as Assistant Director for National Security in OSTP.  He replaces Bruce MacDonald, now in the private sector.

Neal Lane also introduced the next presenter, Gerald Hane, OSTP Assistant Director for International Strategy and Affairs.  He was joined by Laura Efros, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention representative of the National Science and Technology Council, Committee on International Science, Engineering and Technology.  They gave a brief report on key initiatives in Emerging Infectious Diseases.  PCAST members Shirley Malcom and Virginia Weldon requested an update on this topic.

Duncan Moore, Associate Director for Technology, gave a report on the National Science and Technology Council, Committee on Technology, Summit on Innovation that took place at George Washington University on November 30 and December 1.  Copies of his overheads are part of the written record of this meeting.

Public Comment

Public Commentators:

Ellen Paul, Public Policy Representative, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Washington, DC

Robert L. Stern, S&E Associates, Washington, DC


Neal Lane adjourned the meeting at 12:35 PM.

Minutes submitted by:

Joan P. Porter
Executive Secretary
Presidential Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology


Neal Lane
Co-Chair, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

John A. Young
Co-Chair, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

President's Committee of Advisors
on Science and Technology
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