The upcoming annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; Anaheim, CA; January 21-26; 202-326-6400) will discuss national science policy, focusing on the DOE labs. On Jan. 23, 1999, a panel of scientists and research-program evaluators will discuss how new accountability requirements will affect the environment for research.
"There is justifiable concern within the scientific community that the new accountability requirements may harm the research environment, and hinder scientific advance if applied inappropriately," says symposium organizer Gretchen Jordan of the DOE's Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM). "A correct understanding of the nature of research environment and its outcomes is important when formulating the measurement of research."
New requirements include the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), which requires strategic plans, annual performance plans, and annual performance reports. Emphasis is on predicting and quantifying the results and value-added services of government programs.
Jordan is directing an ongoing study on assessing and improving the environment for research at DOE national laboratories. This study has identified factors in the research environment that scientists believe contribute to their ability to do excellent research. Panelists will share their experience with the positive and negative impacts of the new requirements with the audience.
Findings from a study, "Research and the GPRA," just completed by the National Academy of Science's Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) will also be discussed.
Presenters will be Patricia Dehmer, associate director of the DOE office of basic energy sciences; Bernard McDonald, deputy director of the NSF division of mathematical sciences; Mildred Dresselhaus, professor of electrical engineering and physics at MIT and COSEPUP member; Susan Cozzens, director of the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech; and Steve Montague, evaluation consultant to Canada's federal science and technology programs.
For more information, call 202-326-6400.