Topping off a strong public week for American science and technology policy, last week the AAAS Forum presented addresses by both Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. Usually the Forum does well to get one political appointee at that level, to have two should prompt a little bit of P.R. bragging. What it apparently doesn’t include is full text of their respective remarks. Sure, you can find excerpts of those remarks at the AAAS website, with video clops. Good luck finding any amount of those remarks on the OSTP or Energy Department websites.
I think I understand what’s going on (for the record, I did not attend the Forum, so I don’t know the full content of the addresses). AAAS typically provides (and sells to those who didn’t attend) copies of their Yearbooks, which are essentially conference proceedings of their Forums. So they may be holding onto the good stuff until the next Yearbook is ready. If this is accurate, I think it’s unfortunate. Why not use the big addresses to sell the rest of the content from the Forum? AAAS already puts up a lot of Forum content online (look here for last year’s material, including an address from then OSTP Director John Marburger), why not prime the pump by pushing the Chu and Holdren addresses in their entirety? It sounds like AAAS could take a couple more steps toward embracing new media strategies.