Technology policy - whether we should have one and what form such a policy should take - was a core issue of the 1992 presidential campaign, and in February 1993 the Clinton administration confirmed that fostering new technologies will be a critical part of its agenda for redirecting the American economy. To help orient the inevitable debates on this agenda, experts from Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs here examine a set of key issues and problems that, taken together, define the scope and limits of such a policy.
Among the topics discussed are the new relationship between federal and state governments implied by the administration's proposals, the usefulness of the concept of "critical technologies" for setting priorities, the creation of new missions for the national laboratories (particularly the three weapons laboratories), the changing nature of the social contract between the government and research universities, the problems that will confront the creation of a national information infrastructure, the best ways to promote small and medium-sized "driver" companies as well as civilian research and development generally, and the relationship between education and the requirements for work in the twenty-first century.
Lewis M. Branscomb is Albert Pratt Public Service Professor and Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.
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About the Author
Lewis M. Branscomb is Aetna Professor in Public Policy and Corporate Management,Emeritus, at Harvard University.