Reinvigorating the Scientific Enterprise

Envisioning the Next 75 Years of Science Policy

“Since the end of World War II, a particular conception of the relationship between scientific research and societal benefits has dominated US science and technology policy,” write Robert ConnMichael CrowCynthia Friend, and Marcia McNutt in the opening essay of our new collection of articles on the Next 75 Years of Science Policy. That conception was, of course, the idea that federal funding of basic science at universities would ultimately benefit society by ensuring “our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world,” in the words of Vannevar Bush, the architect of postwar science policy in the United States.

The particularities of this promise have long been explored in Issues. There is no doubt that federal support of basic research has transformed our world, leading us now to the pressing question of how to reconfigure science policy—and perhaps the way we do science itself—for the future. Is that “particular conception” right for the reality we face?

Over the next year, Issues will be publishing dozens of ambitious, challenging, and innovative proposals on how to structure the resources of science to enable the best possible future. Contributors will include everyone from recognized global leaders to early career researchers, policymakers, businesspeople, and our readers, creating a forum for the exchange of ideas about reinvigorating the scientific enterprise. This collection is made possible by the generous support of The Kavli Foundation.

Read the introductory essay and the first articles in the collection.