Congressional testimony in support of public participation in science policy.

On the heels of this announcement about a new effort to involve citizens in technology assessment, comes this word from David Sittenfeld at the Boston Museum of Science, one of the five founding partners of this initiative known as ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology. The core group  includes: Richard Sclove (LOKA Institute), Dave Rejeski (Woodrow Wilson Intl Center for Scholars in DC), Dave Guston and Mahmud Farooque (Arizona State Univ), Larry Bell, David Rabkin and David Sittenfeld from the Boston Museum of Science, and me (Science Cheerleader):

Yesterday, Iannis Miaoulis, testified before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. As part of his written testimony, he included the following paragraph about our ECAST efforts:

“Finally, the Museum is also concerned with public education concerning new technologies and in public engagement with science and technology policy. The Museum has joined forces with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center, the Consortium of Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University, Science Cheerleader, and the Loka Institute to create a nationwide network to conduct Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology (ECAST). The ECAST network will combine the skills of nonpartisan policy research organizations with
the research strengths of universities and the public outreach and education capabilities of science museums. By educating and engaging laypeople, participatory technology assessment enables decision-makers to learn of their constituents‘ informed views regarding emerging developments in science and technology. We urge Congress to support OSTP and GAO in efforts to support ECAST and engage the public in discourse about STEM-related policy issues.”

(PS: it’s ok to chuckle at the sight of “Science Cheerleader” in that mix…I did!)