In our Winter, 2006 newsletter David Goldston, Chief of Staff for the House Committee on Science, provides a perspective on the state of science policy in Congress. Goldston’s essay was invited as a response to his Democratic counter-part (recently retired), Bob Palmer, who prepared a perspective for us last summer titled, Science Policy: The Victim of Partisan Politics”.
The Federal government is not responding to the many political challenges of the day – energy, environment, health care, global economic competition – whose resolution would greatly benefit from the wise application of S&T. When politics is overly fettered by partisanship, so is science – in the sense that its legitimate role in opening up more room for negotiations and the development of policy options is severely limited. This unfortunately is the niche that science policy occupies today.
To which Goldston responds,
In short, this hardly seems the time to lament the lack of debate over science policy in Washington or the unwillingness of Congress to air science issues. What remains to be seen is how much progress a divided Congress will make in an election year in resolving these issues. As of now, the outlook is promising.
We are appreciative of both David Goldston and Bob Plamer for not only engaging each other, but for providing us a rare look at perspectives on Congressional science policy straight from the House Science Committee. Our newsletter can be found here.