THIRTEENTH PLENARY SESSION
JUNE 9, 1998
OPEN SESSION -- 10:15 AM - 3:20 PM
PCAST Members: John A. Young (Co-Chair); Kerri-Ann Jones (Co-Chair); Francisco J. Ayala; Murray Gell-Mann; John P. Holdren; Diana MacArthur; Shirley M. Malcom; Mario J. Molina; Peter H. Raven; Sally K. Ride; Charles A. Sanders; Charles M. Vest; Virgina V. Weldon (by teleconference).
Staff: Arthur Bienenstock; Rosina Bierbaum; Duncan Moore, Joan P. Porter
Public Attendance: Approximately 30 members of the public, including the press, were present.
John Young, PCAST Co-Chair, opened the meeting at 10:15 AM June 9. He welcomed the participants and noted that Neal Lane, designee as the President's Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, was joining the meeting today as a participant, pending his confirmation. He also welcomed Joan P. Porter who is new Executive Secretary of PCAST.
Briefings on International Issues
Glenn Schweitzer, Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, Office of International Affairs, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Research Council (NRC), accompanied by Kelley Robbins, addressed PCAST concerning the National Academy of Science's study requested by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The study will look at the Department's role in science and technology in the present environment, i.e., importance of science and technology to global issues and foreign policy objectives; resource constraints; and organizational challenges. Details of the briefing and the discussion following are available in the meeting transcript; copies of overheads describing the study are also part of the record of the meeting.
Wendy Sherman, Counselor, Office of the Secretary, DOS joined the session to participate in questions and answers relating to international science and technology issues and their focus in DOS. Her remarks and the discussion following are available in the meeting transcript.
The co-chairs recessed the meeting for 15 minutes.
Briefing on Public Understanding of Science and Technology
Bruce Alberts, President, NAS, accompanied by Donna Girardi, addressed PCAST concerning the activities of the NAS to promote public understanding of science and technology. He provided a copy of Every Child a Scientist, an NRC publication, and other handouts, part of the record of the meeting. His remarks and discussion are available in the meeting transcript.
Robert G. Henson, Jr., former Manager of Education Initiative, The Dow Chemical Company spoke to PCAST concerning his organization's initiatives to promote public understanding of science and technology. His remarks are available in the meeting transcript.
Eric Mazur, Gordon MacKay Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Physics, Harvard University, presented an overview of his analysis of public understanding and misunderstanding of science and technology. He presented a series of video clips to illustrate media messages about science and technology. His remarks and discussion with PCAST members about all of the presentations are available in the media transcript.
The following persons provided public comment:
Robert l. Stern, Consultant in Technology Management, Washington, DC
David Z. Beckler, Fairfax, VA
Gregory A. Schuckman, Director, Government Relations and Media Affairs
American Association of Engineering Societies, Washington, DC
He provided a handout to PCAST members, which is a part of the meeting record.
The co-chairs recessed the meeting for lunch from 12:45 PM to 2:30 PM
Discussion with Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI)
Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI), Vice Chairman of the House Science Committee,
accompanied by Sharon Hays and Michael Champness of this staff, discussed
science and technology issues of concern to Congress and the status of
his review of the nation's science and math education. His remarks
and discussion following are part of the meeting record.
John Young, adjourned the meeting at 3:20 PM.
Minutes submitted by:
Joan P. Porter
Presidential Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology
Acting Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and
Acting 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