This course explores how scientific and technical information gets used (or not used) in the formation of public policy, and how public policy influences science and technology development. Students will come away from this course with a fundamental understanding of the institutional landscape of S&T policy, the instruments of S&T policy implementation, and the processes of S&T policy decision-making. The landscape encompasses government, business, academic institutions, and NGOs. The policy mechanisms include government subsidies for research and development, enforcement of intellectual property rights, encouragement of public understanding of S&T, and much more. The processes range from direct democracy and litigation to legislative and bureaucratic decision-making. Along the way, students will examine some of the most challenging S&T-linked public-policy issues of the 21st century – climate change, energy, national security, innovation, spectrum allocation, environmental monitoring, agricultural productivity, the pursuit of sustainable economic development – and will grapple with the interlinked issues of S&T education, and the level of public participation in S&T decision making.
PLCY689L Influence of Science on Policy, and of Policy on Science
Faculty: Rosina Bierbaum, Sylvester James Gates, Jr.