The 75th anniversary of Science, The Endless Frontier, combined with the particularly complex and turbulent events of recent years, created a valuable opportunity to consider science and technology policies the U.S. will need to support a thriving scientific enterprise for the next 75 years. Seizing this opportunity, Issues in Science and Technology published a series of online articles written by diverse leading experts, scholars, and practitioners, to explore different issues and share policy ideas that will fuel the U.S. science and technology engine for the next 75 years and beyond.
The special edition began with few considerations for the future of science policy and an invitation for submissions in July 2021 by the initial collaborators of the project. In their piece, The Next 75 Years of U.S. Science and Innovation Policy: An Introduction, authors Cynthia Friend, president of The Kavli Foundation; Robert W. Conn, former president of The Kavli Foundation; Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University; and Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, emphasized the need for scientific research to be structured to meet society’s needs and encouraged perspectives on what this might look like. “In the future, science and technology will be called upon to address many challenges, from pandemics to climate change to food and water shortages to crises that cannot be foreseen today,” wrote the authors.
In response to the initial call, Issues in Science and Technology received hundreds of ambitious, challenging, and innovative proposals on how to structure the resources of science to enable the best possible future. Contributors include recognized global leaders to early-career researchers, policymakers, businesspeople, and readers, creating a forum for the exchange of ideas about reinvigorating the scientific enterprise. Categories include:
- Competing in the twenty-first century
- Reimagining the research university
- New frontiers in innovation policy
- Science in the service of society
- Creating meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Educating tomorrow’s scientists and engineers
- Collaboration in a global context
- Science philanthropy’s evolving role
The topic has been energized by so many contributions that Issues in Science and Technology has published the collection as an e-book that can be downloaded for free.
“The pandemic, coupled with shifting geopolitics, provided an opening for a broad consideration of who does science and for what purpose,” said Editor-In-Chief Lisa Margonelli. “At Issues we were excited to see these essays come in, spark conversations, and draw in new writers. Some of the conversations ignited by the series have led to concrete changes including proposed legislation, a new project at NSF, and initiatives to do more team science. We’ve also heard that the book is being used to supplement textbooks in science policy courses—which means that it is making good on its name.”