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Although a presidential advisory system was given statutory authority in 1976 with passage of the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization and Priorities Act, whose passage was encouraged by then-President Gerald Ford, its effectiveness and influence have varied according to the interests of successive presidents and their advisors. A broad spectrum of bewildering new problems that were virtually nonexistent or minimally important during the heyday of the first presidential science advisory system under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy limited the effectiveness of the revised system even during the science-friendly first Bush administration. These included, for example, environmental and energy issues, the effectiveness of the nation’s health care system, the inadequacy of pre-college education, and the effective use of science as a tool for international diplomacy.

It is worth noting that all but four presidential science advisors have been physicists. Of the four exceptions, three came out of academia, and only one out of industry. Arguably, the insistence of an influential group of physical scientists that a strong presidential science advisory system should be the sine qua non of a consistent and effective national science policy may have hindered formulation and implementation of such a policy. The size and diversity of the federal science and technology system renders comprehensive knowledge of its many facets virtually impossible, and without such knowledge central coordination is problematic at best. Cabinet departments and independent agencies have often pursued their own effective science policies, with at least the tacit support of the White House and some monitoring by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. But by the 1990s, science-related issues had become too diverse for central coordination at the presidential level. At best, the president’s science advisor can hope that policies pursued by the separate federal science-related organizations are consistent with the president’s priorities.

The presidential science advisory system reached its nadir during the George W. Bush administration. A potential reversal of that decline began with the election of Barack Obama, who nominated several well-regarded scientists, including one Nobel Prize recipient, to administration posts in November 2008 and during the first months of his administration. His February 2009 economic stimulus package also included generous support for several federal scientific agencies. Whether the presidential science advisory system will thrive during and after the Obama administration remains in doubt, however, since scientific issues generally are not accorded a high priority by the public.

Many friends and colleagues have contributed to the preparation of this book. Gerald Holton, as well as the late William Carey and William Golden, all encouraged my interest in science policy and its history. I am also grateful to Richard Atkinson for encouraging me to undertake this project in the first place. Darleen Fisher and Jennifer Bond gently (and often not so gently) nudged me to carry on when I became discouraged.

George Schillinger gave me a much needed and possibly decisive nudge when he reviewed three early draft chapters and insisted that I proceed.

David Beckler, Rita Colwell, John Gibbons, Neal Lane, Irving Lerch, Norman Neureiter, Rod Nichols, Tom Ratchford, and Al Teich provided useful reviews on earlier versions of the book’s chapters.

Portions of Chapters 2 and 5 were adapted for an article published in the first annual volume of the Journal of the Society for the History of the Federal Government, edited by Benjamin Guterman, who made useful suggestions which have been incorporated into these chapters. Lee Ann Potter, then-president of that society, also encouraged me to pursue my research and writing on this topic.

Edward David, Susie Bachtel, and Fred Beuttler have been kind enough to supply many of the photographs appearing in the book, as have the digital archivists at the American Institute of Physics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Academy of Sciences, the Historian’s Office of the US House of Representatives, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman Presidential Libraries.

It has been a particular pleasure to collaborate on several projects with Tom Ratchford, a colleague for more than thirty years. In particular, we coauthored an article on science policy in the United States that was published in the 2005 UNESCO World Science Outlook, and a follow-up article published in 2010.

And finally, any errors, distortions, misrepresentations and the like should be attributed to me, rather than to any of the many individuals who have helped and supported me in this endeavor.

William A. Blanpied

December 2009

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A history of federal science policy from the new deal to the present. OpenStax CNX. Jun 26, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11210/1.2
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