Update on my meetings in D.C.

Had some terrific meetings in D.C. on Monday. Then I got slammed with a 24-hour virus (courtesy of my kids). Met the CEO of Discover, Henry Donahue, for coffee. (SO nice and very smart).

┬áThen met with Newt Gingrich and Rita Colwell to brainstorm tactics on behalf of the Science Debate team. (Talk about brain power–them, not me). Picture on left was taken in the late 90s when I met Newt through the Discover Technology Awards (a program I directed back when Disney owned Discover).

 Then, met with a dynamic and eclectic group interested in reopening the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Yes, I realize the irony (Newt shut down the Office of Tech Assessment as part of the Contract with America in 1995.) Read the summary notes and consider joining our cause here.

Here’s what I recently sent to the Facebook team (may sound Greek without the history and context you will find on the Facebook page: “hey, hey Open the OTA with citizen input!”:

Mtg on Monday in D.C. went well. Created a draft action plan. Feedback/insight appreciated. Want to help with the following? Jump in! Am I off-track? Tell me.
1. Craft 1-page summary of technologies a new OTA can use to inform and solicit input from the public on key science policy issues. (the “new” news)
2. Create 1-page overview of which public participation models work best (U.S. and international examples; some tied to government agencies)
3. ID key members of Congress we should approach; how to gain their support? ID those most likely to oppose. Summarize recent efforts to reopen OTA (why they failed; how Obama’s team can help; Pelosi’s role)
4.Develop top 25 scipolicy issues a new OTA could examine today.
5. Frame the pitch to appropriate funds terms of Congress needing a resource to balance President’s massive qty of science advice and ability to connect w/people.