Congressman Holt’s OpEd on restoring the OTA

Hot off the press, here’s Holt’s opinion piece on why Congress should restore the Office of Technology Assessment. In it, he wisely cites Obama’s plans to restore science to its rightful place by bringing scientists back into the fold as advisers to the Executive Branch.  However, Holt seems to neglect the other half of the President’s effort: provide opportunities for the public to participate in science policy discussions. After all, scientists are not value-neutral beings and they should not be held responsible for determining verdicts on policy matters affecting our lives….we should have a say in the outcome.  The Executive Branch understands this.  Based on Holt’s op-ed, it’s unclear whether he or the Legislative Branch “gets” this. Hmmm. He seemed to embrace the idea when we first discussed this.

Maybe it all comes down to word count (one hopes)?

Two steps forward, one step back. Stay tuned. I need to go rattle some more cages.

  • Any cages we can help rattle?

  • Any cages we can help rattle?

  • I’m with Philip- which cages can I help to rattle?

  • I’m with Philip- which cages can I help to rattle?

  • Rosalind

    Darlene, I support you, and the OTA, but there seems to be a big problem getting voices heard…hence teaparties to try to get a voice. Is anyone listening?
    Congress is passing spending bills without having read them. Never mind that we can’t afford them., My views on the value of life, the value of the family which say much about our values as a nation, have been walked all over. I like what you do, but this administration is walking over the little guys, and some of the dearest things to me, and I’m afraid science and technology don’t have the answers.

  • Rosalind

    Darlene, I support you, and the OTA, but there seems to be a big problem getting voices heard…hence teaparties to try to get a voice. Is anyone listening?
    Congress is passing spending bills without having read them. Never mind that we can’t afford them., My views on the value of life, the value of the family which say much about our values as a nation, have been walked all over. I like what you do, but this administration is walking over the little guys, and some of the dearest things to me, and I’m afraid science and technology don’t have the answers.

  • Rosalind – a well placed/timed email to your Congressman or Senator’s website is oftne the best way. Be polite, state your view on a single issue, and be done. Staffers who answer the mail don’t have time for long winded, convoluted stuff. Same goes for sending thank yous – which I think we should all do when they get it right.

    Bottom line – our democracy isn’t a freebie, and if you want them to truly represent you, you have to take it on yourself to seek representation.

  • Rosalind – a well placed/timed email to your Congressman or Senator’s website is oftne the best way. Be polite, state your view on a single issue, and be done. Staffers who answer the mail don’t have time for long winded, convoluted stuff. Same goes for sending thank yous – which I think we should all do when they get it right.

    Bottom line – our democracy isn’t a freebie, and if you want them to truly represent you, you have to take it on yourself to seek representation.

  • Glad to see this op-ed.

    Re: getting congress/the president to listen

    The Obama administration has gone out of its way to show that it is different from the Bush administration in opening dialogues, being more collaborative, and being more net-savvy. If they want to maintain their credibility on those points, they’re going to have to back up these assertions with actions, which means listening to the “little guy,” even–or especially–if that little guy disagrees with their policies. If that openness is not apparent, the same internet that helped get Mr. Obama elected can also turn against him.

    /b

  • Glad to see this op-ed.

    Re: getting congress/the president to listen

    The Obama administration has gone out of its way to show that it is different from the Bush administration in opening dialogues, being more collaborative, and being more net-savvy. If they want to maintain their credibility on those points, they’re going to have to back up these assertions with actions, which means listening to the “little guy,” even–or especially–if that little guy disagrees with their policies. If that openness is not apparent, the same internet that helped get Mr. Obama elected can also turn against him.

    /b