On Being an “Assistant to the President”

There are many certainties in current discussions and analysis of American science and technology policy.  Here are three off the top of my head.

  • As Dan Sarewitz has often noted, there is a obsessive focus on the the budget to the exclusion of much else.  It’s often about doubling the budget of some particular agency, and most problems could somehow be solved just through funding increases.
  • The Office of Technology Assessment apparently was most of what was good and wholesome about science and technology advice in this country and must be reconstituted post-haste.
  • The President’s science advisor must receive the title of Assistant to the President that it held in the past, to right the disrespect shown to science and technology.

I have problems with all three, but would like to spend this post calling shenanigans on the third item.

Continue reading