Status Report

Subcommittee Examines Role of NGOs and Universities in International Science and Technology Cooperation

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2008
Filed under , , ,

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Science and Technology Committee Research and Science Education Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the role of U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and universities in fostering international science and technology cooperation, and the relationship between those organizations and the federal government. Subcommittee Members reviewed the respective strengths these organizations contribute to advancing scientific diplomacy.

“It is important for the United States federal government to support international science and technology cooperation, but NGOs and universities also serve a unique and valuable role in promoting science diplomacy,” said Subcommittee Chairman Brian Baird (D-WA). “These organizations represent the best of U.S. science and higher education. And they have the flexibility, the connections and the know-how to engage scientists and pursue good science even in countries where government-to-government relationships are tense or limited and in countries with limited S&T capacity of their own.”

Members questioned witnesses from leading scientific NGOs regarding their coordination and partnerships with the federal government and the contribution of such partnerships to achieving U.S. foreign policy goals. Subcommittee Members and witnesses also underscored the importance of pursuing global solutions to global challenges such as water, climate, energy, and infectious diseases through international S&T cooperation.

“While I often emphasize the diplomatic benefits of international S&T cooperation, there are many compelling reasons for the U.S. public and private sectors alike to make S&T cooperation a national priority,” stated Baird. “The major challenges faced by our nation are the major challenges faced by the entire globe, and the U.S. cannot effectively pursue solutions on its own.” Subcommittee Members heard testimony from:

  • Dr. Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Dr. Michael Clegg, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. William Wulf, Member of the Board of Directors, Civilian Research and Development Foundation
  • Dr. James Calvin, Interim Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University

Please visit the Committee’s website for more information.

SpaceRef staff editor.