Incentivizing Public Interest Science

Having the most accurate and robust empirical information possible to inform policy decisions is central to good governance. To ignore scientific knowledge would be folly. But how do policymakers ensure that they have the needed expertise on hand when advice is required? How do elected leaders shape what is studied so that the appropriate and required expertise is likely to be available when they need it?Read More

Engineering Education Needs a Revolution

Engineering education in the United States is stuck in 1955. Students that don’t take the right math class in 7th grade find it difficult to break into the engineering “pipeline” later on, collegiate education perpetuates an exclusionary “weed-out” system, and graduate students are treated like indentured servants. It’s high time for a sea change in values and curricula in order to create an educational system that prepares students for today’s digital, diverse, global, and rapidly changing society. Read More

Catalyzing Innovation

Why the United States Needs a National Technology Strategy

Win-win technology choices do exist. With the right incentives, it is possible to make strategic investments in technology that achieve multiple national objectives.Read More

Two Decades Later

Janet Napolitano Homeland Security

“We Suffered From a Failure of Imagination”

Former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano discusses how terrorism has changed in the years since 9/11 and how to think about evolving threats to the homeland.Read More

Human Gene Editing

Not So Fast

One of the central themes of Henry T. Greely’s new book on CRISPR gene editing is that the scientific community has given short shrift to those societal aspects of the political decisions that need to be made. At times, this process has seemed almost comical.Read More

Pop Science Malpractice?

We Haven’t Really Cracked the Code of Life

When Walter Isaacson writes that scientists have cracked the “code of life” and can do “precise” gene edits, those statements are true only in a narrow sense; more broadly, they mislead. Read More

In focus

Introducing a New Inquiry

The Next 75 Years of Science and Innovation Policy

The vision for the US scientific enterprise after World War II has been abundantly realized. Now we must consider how to structure scientific research to meet human needs in a world of accelerating change.Read More

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In response to essays published in Issues, our readers weigh in on critical topics in policy related to science, technology, and society.

Online Exclusives

Artificial Intelligence

AI Invents—But Should It Get Patents, Too?

Is it time for courts, patent offices, and legislators worldwide to consider seriously whether to grant patents to the inventions of artificial intelligence?Read More

Research Funding

Envisioning Science for an Unknown Future

Philanthropy can help shore up today’s science infrastructure, make investments in new areas of research and new institutions, and embrace a new generation of potential discoverers.Read More

Lessons from Europe

Infusing Public Values Into R&D Programs

For the Endless Frontier Act to have the best possible impact on US innovation—and society at large—it will need to infuse public values into the research and development enterprise.Read More

Less Sexy and More Vexy

The Greatest Show on Earth

Maintenance is the unsung partner that enables innovation. But it’s possible to bring more attention to this necessary activity—just ask Elisha Otis.Read More


Creativity During COVID

cpnas creative responses archive

A Time Capsule of Creative Responses to the Pandemic

Creativity often flourishes in stressful times. A remarkable collection of creative responses from individuals, communities, organizations, and industries is now available to explore in a new archive.Read More

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