There is an overwhelming need to connect scientific and technological knowledge to relevant public policy design and implementation. It is through new scientific and technological discoveries that problems and possibilities are identified. But for these problems and possibilities to be meaningfully addressed, they have to be understood by government officials, stakeholders, and the public. Studying how government officials, stakeholders, and the public learn about and understand such information, and use it or ignore it, is the mission of the Bush School’s Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy.
Our state and nation are facing many important challenges in the next few years. We have to make decisions dealing with climate change, public health, the environment, national security, and the preservation of our infrastructure. To make the best possible decisions, government officials, stakeholders, and the public need to have the best possible scientific and technological information at their disposal. The purpose of our institute, the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, is to conduct research that examines the processes through which scientific and technological information is framed and communicated to decision makers and to the public. Through a greater understanding of this process and the tools and techniques that encourage and discourage effective lines of communication, the research done in the Institute can help decision makers and the public make effective, efficient, and acceptable choices for solving the very real problems that we face.
Director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy