Excerpt from



Neal Lane

Neal Lane about many of the issues of concern to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) founders that exist today.

Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, is also the Malcolm Gillis University Professor. From 1998 - 2001, he served as Assistant to the President for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is also a former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The "civic scientist"

My advice is - get involved!

But everyone doesn't need to try to do the same thing. Also, heavy involvement doesn't make sense for early-career researchers, unless they are considering a move into a policy career, e.g. by competing for a Congressional Fellowship. The latter is an excellent way to try total immersion for a year or so. And many Congressional Fellows end up in Washington - and the ones I know are very happy.

For scientists and engineers who are not ready for a career change, there are many ways to influence policy from outside government:

This is the notion of a "civic scientist".

version: 12.1.2012

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Joachim Gruber