Concepts and Tools for a New American Science Policy

Concepts and Tools for a New American Science Policy


Unfortunately, due to uncertainty with respect to the government shutdown, we must postpone Concepts and Tools for a New American Science Policy (CaTNASP). We regret that we are not able to offer the program at this time. We are looking into alternative options for offering the program later.

Concepts and Tools for a New American Science Policy (CaTNASP) is an innovative training program for career professionals who are looking for practical skills that will change the way science is practiced, policy is formulated, and the public is engaged. From communicating important discoveries to designing more effective research programs, from improving collaborative relationships to assessing project results, CaTNASP teaches the concepts and skills needed for career advancement and the creation of a New American Science Policy.

Why Concepts and Tools?

  • What is the rightful place of science?
  • Can we manage the tensions between expertise and politics?
  • How can we make science more usable for decision-makers?
  • Are we measuring what really matters in science policy?
  • How can private firms and government collaborate to accelerate innovation?
  • Can we engage lay publics in co-designing our socio-scientific futures?

How, that is, can science be a force for social betterment in an era of fierce political conflict, profound social challenges, and tight budgets? For nearly two decades, the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes has been developing knowledge and methods, cultivating public discourse, and fostering policies designed to help decision-makers and institutions grapple with the problems of a complex world. We are reconsidering and reimagining science and technology policy from the bottom up, to better contribute to society’s pursuit of prosperity, health, and opportunity.

To that end, CSPO has developed Concepts and Tools for a New American Science Policy. This executive training program for early career science and technology practitioners is built around twelve modules that explore different aspects of a renewed and reinvigorated science policy. Topics range from strengthening connections between researchers and the public to the role that science plays in confronting and managing uncertainty. The program is presented on Fridays, in a convenient downtown Washington, DC location.

Why a New American Science Policy?

The challenges we face today are more complex than the capacities of the tools we have developed for dealing with them. The analogies we often use for tackling difficult problems evoke past scientific and technological accomplishments—calls for “a new Manhattan project” or “a new Apollo mission,” for example. But these analogies fall apart when trying to apply their lessons to today’s complex problems. Food and resource scarcity, geopolitical disruptions, environmental degradation, climate change, socioeconomic and employment shifts, and other intractable challenges are not solvable with increased federal funding or more R&D; in fact, looking for “solutions” may be part of the problem. Addressing such challenges requires a more thoughtful, effective, and inclusive scientific establishment: we need a New American Science Policy.

Who should attend?

Early career science policy and program fellows, practitioners, managers, designers, developers, knowledge brokers, regulators, funders, communicators, and others looking for creative and complementary alternatives to complex and intractable challenges at the intersection of science, society, and policy. Note that this program counts as 40 training hours for practitioners with professional development requirements.

What to expect?

The course modules will introduce participants to case studies, research findings, and solution approaches that CSPO and its many collaborators in academia, government and industry have co-developed through pioneering work on science policy. More than simply a lecture series, courses led by luminaries in a range of fields will provide the concepts, tools, and skills needed to create and navigate a scientific establishment that will, if it is to succeed, look very different from what came before. Topics covered include:

  • The Political Economy of Cold War Science Policy
  • Mobilizing Science and Technology in World War II
  • Uncertainty and Post-Normal Science
  • A New Typology for User-Inspired Science
  • Public Value Mapping
  • Challenge of Socio-Technical Momentum
  • Accelerating Innovation
  • Biomedical R&D and Innovation
  • Redesigning the American Research University
  • Innovation in Global Development
  • Engineering for the Developing World
  • Participatory Technology Assessment
  • Repositioning the American Science Museums
  • Writing True Stories That Matter


The program fee is $2000, which includes lunch and program materials for all twelve sessions, a certificate of completion, and a networking reception.

CaTNASP: A training program for early career science and technology policy practitioners

  • January 18 – April 19, 2019
  • Fridays, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (except February 15, March 22)
  • Hosted at the ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center at Farragut West
  • Lunch included

Program Agenda:

  • 10am – Concept/Tools Presentation
  • 11am – Discussion
  • 12pm – Lunch and Skills Studio/Case Study Introduction
  • 1pm – Skills Studio/Case Study Discussion