DC Digest - January 24, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- NSF Reports on State of U.S. Science and Engineering Research and Education
- President's Jobs Council Issues Report on U.S. Competitiveness
- NEW: Dukies on the Move
- Congressional Leaders Delay Consideration of Internet Piracy Bills
- Duke Twitter Chat on State of the Union Address
- Director of White House Digital Strategy Visits Campus
NSF REPORTS ON STATE OF U.S. SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
The National Science Foundation (NSF) on January 18 released the 2012 edition of its biennial publication, "Science and Engineering Indicators." Among many other findings, the report shows that the U.S. remains the global leader in supporting research and development (R&D), but "only by a slim margin that could soon be overtaken by rapidly increasing Asian investments in knowledge-intensive economies." NSF Director Subra Suresh said in a prepared statement that "we must take seriously new strategies for education, workforce development and innovation in order for the United States to retain its international leadership position."
The report is a rich source of data on research funding, higher education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in particular), and the STEM workforce.
New Report Outlines Trends in U.S. Global Competitiveness in Science and Technology(nsf.gov)
Science and Engineering Indicators 2012(nsf.gov)
PRESIDENT'S JOBS COUNCIL ISSUES REPORT ON COMPETITIVENESS
The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness on January 17 issued its year-end report, which examines the broad factors that influence U.S. prosperity and offers an agenda for sustaining and improving U.S. economic competitiveness in the global age.
The report, Road Map to Renewal, makes specific recommendations in six major areas:
· Improving education at all levels to prepare the workforce to participate in the global economy;
· Fostering a climate for innovation to thrive, including increasing federal support of research and development and innovation and targeting it toward
next generation challenges, such as education and health care;
· Promoting an "all-in" strategy on energy supply, innovation, and efficiency;
· Revitalizing the manufacturing sector, including by reforming U.S. export controls;
· Instituting "smart" regulatory reforms, such as better aligning U.S. regulations and international regulatory standards; and
· Reforming the tax system to better promote innovation.
Regarding federal support of basic research, the report says:
"Given the federal government's central role in funding basic research, the prospect of constrained federal budgets in the years to come could put at risk a generation of new ideas. Because the societal benefits of early innovations are far greater than those that accrue to any individual inventor, government has long provided a large share of basic research funding, ranging from 50 to 70% over the years. In the corporate world, where companies are looking for technology that they can develop directly into products, basic research plays a much smaller role, accounting for less than 20 percent of corporate R&D spending even at its peak.
Given this context, reducing federal support for basic research would be a terrible mistake. The Council endorses President Obama's call for significant new investments in R&D and urges the nation to set an overall R&D investment goal of 3% of GDP or more.
The President created the 27-member panel of leaders from business, labor, and academia to develop ideas on how to accelerate U.S. job growth and improve the nation's long-term economic position.
Jobs Council Releases "Road Map to Renewal" Year-End Report to the President (jobscouncil.com)
NEW: DUKIES ON THE MOVE
The White House announced Tuesday that Jeffrey Zients (T '88), deputy director for management and chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, will become acting OMB director when Jacob J. Lew, the current director, replaces William Daley as White House chief of staff at the end of the month. Zients, who has been at OMB since June 2009, was formerly chairman and CEO of The Advisory Board Co. He was acting OMB director for about four months in 2010 after the departure of Peter Orszag.
Know of any Duke alumni who have recently taken a new post on the Hill, in the Administration or elsewhere in Washington? Let us know about it! Send Dukies on the Move tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS DELAY CONSIDERATION OF INTERNET PIRACY BILLS
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Friday announced that he would delay floor consideration of the Senate's Internet anti-piracy bill, the Protect IP Act (S. 968), which had been scheduled for a cloture vote on Tuesday, January 24. Likewise, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said in a statement that his panel would not take up the House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act, SOPA (H.R. 3261), until "there is wider agreement on a solution." Senator Reid's action "was an undeniable signal that prospects have all but evaporated for the legislation," says CQ.com.
Last week both bills appeared on track for action by Congress, propelled by the strong support of the music and film industries and other content providers, while the bills' sponsors continued to meet with critics of the bills to discuss their concerns. But prospects for the bills declined as several Internet service providers, such as Wikipedia and Google, shut down their services or otherwise altered their websites on January 18 to protest the legislation as sanctioning government censorship and stifling the Internet. A number of Senators and Representatives then dropped their support.
Duke has been working with members of the North Carolina delegation to address issues in the bills of concern to the higher education community and will continue to monitor the legislation closely as the bills' sponsors consider how to proceed.
DUKE TWITTER CHAT ON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Several Duke political science and public policy experts will participate in a live Twitter chat during President Obama's state of the union address Tuesday night at 9pm EST.
Professors David Schanzer and Don Taylor of the Sanford School of Public Policy will join political science professors Paula McClain and Michael Ward and religion professor Ebrahim Moosa. Postdoctoral associate Natalie Jackson of SSRI will also take part in the chat. Each will share their analysis, reaction and reflections on the president's speech in the public forum.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #DukeChat and #SOTU.
Duke Twitter Chat on SOTU(duke.edu)
DIRECTOR OF WHITE HOUSE DIGITAL STRATEGY VISITS CAMPUS
Macon Phillips (T '00), Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Director of Digital Strategy at The White House, visited Duke on Friday. While on campus, Phillips spoke to current students and Duke communications staff about his use of new media to advance the Administration's agenda and how he has integrated it into everday operations of the White House.
As the Director of Digital Strategy at the White House, Phillips develops and manages the Obama Administration's online program, including WhiteHouse.gov.
Phillips ran the new media program for the Presidential Transition Team (Change.gov) and served as the Deputy Director of the Obama campaign's new media department (BarackObama.com). Prior to the campaign, Phillips led Blue State Digital's strategy practice, working with clients like the Democratic National Committee and Senator Ted Kennedy.