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Thursday
Dec132018

Dr. Kathy Hill Leads Panel on Assessing Science and Technology in Congress at the 2018 Dupont Summit

The 11th Annual Dupont Summit on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy was held on December 7th in Washington D.C. and Dr. Kathy Hill, Director of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, led a panel called, "Assessing Science and Technology in Congress:  Time for a New Office of Technology Assessment (OTA)?"  The panel participants were: Kevin Kosar, Vice President of Policy at the R Street Institute; Zach Graves, Head of Policy at the Lincoln Network; Yuri Beckleman, Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA); and Berin Szoka, Founder of TechFreedom.  There was a lively discussion with the consensus that the need for increased congressional capacity to assess and legislate on science and technology matters has never been greater.  It was also agreed that momentum with bipartisan support has built to the point that it is likely some version of OTA will be resurrected and funded perhaps as early as the next Congress.  OTA was created in 1972 and de-funded in 1995 (by one vote) in an effort led by then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), but discussions about bringing it back have continued ever since.  Kosar and Graves discussed their paper, "Bring in the Nerds:  Reviving the Office of technology Assessment," and Zach's more recent paper, "Rebuilding the Technology Assessment Office in Congress:  Frequently Asked Questions."  The panel also reviewed the new efforts at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to address science and technology issues and the various forms a revived OTA might take.

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