Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today joined a forum with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as part of a new National Academies effort to elevate the role of science and technology in government.
Today's first meeting of the Science, Technology and Policy Forum was held to zero in on a discussion of the human genome and its implications for medicine. Attendees included Dr. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bruce Beutler (awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), Dr. Thomas Cech (awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Dr. Carol Greider (awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), Dr. Mike Bishop (awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), Dr. Phillip Sharp (awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), Dr. Lisa Randall, Dr. Adam Reiss, Dr. Maxine Singer, and Dr. Robert Tjian.
"There is much more that we can do to bring science and the hard analysis of the scientific community into the decision making realm of Congress," said Rockefeller. "We need to do everything we can to keep the United States at the leading edge of innovation. Knowledge-intensive and high-tech industries, like communications, semiconductors, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals, are growing faster than any other sectors. There's no better way for us to put this talent to use than for us to collaborate with our country's preeminent scientists and innovators."
"This inaugural meeting of the Science, Technology, and Policy Forum is the culmination of many months of work to bring together U.S. Senators and award-winning scientists and engineers for a dialogue on cutting edge science and technology issues. I want to thank the National Academies for bringing together such an impressive group," Senator Hutchison said.
"We believe this organization will be an excellent resource for both legislators and researchers," she added. "We want our nation to be on the forefront of innovation, and we should prioritize our federal taxpayer dollars toward projects that will reap the biggest rewards in quality of life and economic activity for our country."
The National Academies worked with Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison, along with Senators Alexander and Feinstein, to create the forum earlier this year. The group includes 16 Senators, Nobel Laureates, and members of the National Academies who support scientific research as a national priority. In developing a closer relationship between leading legislators and our Nation's scientific community, the forum will better inform policy making with dialogue and education on the most pressing scientific topics of the day.