Thirteenth Plenary Session

JUNE 9, 1998



OPEN SESSION  --  10:15 AM 3:20 PM


PCAST Members:  John A. Young (Co-Chair); Kerri-Ann Jones (Co-Chair);Francisco J. Ayala; Murray Gell-Mann; John P. Holdren; Diana MacArthur;Shirley M. Malcom; Mario J. Molina; Peter H. Raven; Sally K. Ride; CharlesA. Sanders; Charles M. Vest; Virgina V. Weldon (by teleconference).

Staff:  Arthur Bienenstock; Rosina Bierbaum; Duncan Moore, JoanP. Porter

Public Attendance:  Approximately 30 members of the public, includingthe press, were present.

John Young, PCAST Co-Chair, opened the meeting at 10:15 AM June 9. He welcomed the participants and noted that Neal Lane, designee as thePresident's Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and TechnologyPolicy, was joining the meeting today as a participant, pending his confirmation. He also welcomed Joan P. Porter who is  new Executive Secretary ofPCAST.

Briefings on International Issues

Glenn Schweitzer, Director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, Officeof International Affairs, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), NationalResearch Council (NRC), accompanied by Kelley Robbins, addressed PCASTconcerning the National Academy of Science's study requested by the U.S.Department of State (DOS).  The study will look at the Department'srole in science and technology in the present environment, i.e., importanceof science and technology to global issues and foreign policy objectives;resource constraints; and organizational challenges.  Details of thebriefing and the discussion following are available in the meeting transcript;copies of overheads describing the study are also part of the record ofthe meeting.

Wendy Sherman, Counselor, Office of the Secretary, DOS joined the sessionto participate in questions and answers relating to international scienceand technology issues and their focus in DOS.  Her remarks and thediscussion following are available in the meeting transcript.

The co-chairs recessed the meeting for 15 minutes.

Briefing on Public Understanding of Science and Technology

Bruce Alberts, President, NAS, accompanied by Donna Girardi,  addressedPCAST concerning the activities of the NAS to promote public understandingof science and technology.  He provided a copy of  Every Childa Scientist, an NRC publication, and other handouts, part of the recordof the meeting.  His remarks and discussion are available in the meetingtranscript.

Robert G. Henson, Jr., former Manager of Education Initiative, The DowChemical Company spoke to PCAST concerning his organization's initiativesto promote public understanding of science and technology.  His remarksare available in the meeting transcript.

Eric Mazur, Gordon MacKay Professor of Applied Physics and Professorof Physics, Harvard University, presented an overview of his analysis ofpublic understanding and misunderstanding of science and technology. He presented a series of video clips to illustrate media messages aboutscience and technology.  His remarks and discussion with PCAST membersabout all of the presentations are available in the media transcript.

Public Comment

The following persons provided public comment:

Robert l. Stern, Consultant in Technology Management, Washington, DC

David Z. Beckler,  Fairfax, VA

Gregory A. Schuckman, Director, Government Relations and Media Affairs
       American Association of EngineeringSocieties, Washington, DC
       He provided a handout to PCASTmembers, which is a part of the meeting record.

The co-chairs recessed the meeting for lunch from 12:45 PM to 2:30 PM

Discussion with Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI)

Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-MI), Vice Chairman of the House Science Committee,accompanied by Sharon Hays and Michael Champness of this staff, discussedscience and technology issues of concern to Congress and the status ofhis review of the nation's science and math education.  His remarksand discussion following are part of the meeting record.


John Young, adjourned the meeting at 3:20 PM.

Minutes submitted by:


Joan P. Porter
Executive Secretary
Presidential Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology



Kerri-Ann Jones
Acting Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and
Acting Co-Chair, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology


John A. Young
Co-Chair, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology

President'sCommittee of Advisors
on Scienceand Technology
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20502


Agenda January 26, 1998

Agenda March 5/6, 1998

Agenda June 9, 1998

Twelvth Plenary Session March 1998

Agenda September 17, 1998

Thirteenth Plenary Session

Fourteenth Plenary Session September 1998

Agenda November 19, 1998

Fifteenth Plenary Session November 1998

Plenary Session Monday, February 22, 1999

Sixteenth Session February 22, 1999

Plenary Session on Monday, May 24th, 1999

Seventeenth Session May 24/25 1999 Minutes

Plenary Session on December 10th, 1999

Eighteenth Session December 10, 1999 Minutes

PCAST Plenary Session on February 17th, 2000

PCAST plenary session on, Sept. 16th, 1999

Nineteenth Session February 17, 2000 Minutes

PCAST plenary session on May 18th, 2000

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