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Science Policy

Provided by the NASA Headquarters Library

The pursuit of scientific knowledge and the United States share common roots in the Enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were recognized as scientists as much as they were for their role in America's independence. The involvement of the federal government in science begins in the Constitution itself, with Congress expressly ordered to conduct a census, given the power to issue patents for inventions, and to regulate coinage, weights, and measures. Through the nineteenth century, the federal government sponsored expeditions (most famously, that of Lewis and Clark), established the National Geodetic Survey, Department of Agriculture, the Smithsonian Institute, and other research centers (such as the US Naval Observatory), and founded the network of state agricultural and mechanical schools.

This, however, was but the preamble to the relationship between science and the federal government from 1901 forward. Not only did the establishments of the nineteenth century expand and spin off new agencies, but as technologies emerged, new agencies were expressly founded to deal with them. One such agency is, of course, NASA, first as an aeronautical research center (the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics) during the Wilson Administration, and then under its current name and duties during the Eisenhower Administration. This webpage is an overview of recent resources at the NASA HQ library on the relationship between the federal government and science. You may also find items of interest at our webpages on Scientific Literacy, Legislative Research and Space Law, Public Opinion of the American Space Program, Ethics in the Workplace, or Vision and Strategic Planning. If you are a NASA HQ employee, please consider subscribing to our news alerts on Government Reports and/or Think Tanks to get the latest policy-related news.

All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.

Contents: Books E-books Journals Internet Resources


Bierbaum, Rosina, et al. Bridging the Gap between Science and Society: The Relationship Between Policy and Research in National Laboratories, Universities, Government and Industry. Houston, TX: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, 2006.
H96 .B75 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Committee on Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments; National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. Science and Technology for America's Progress: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments in the New Administration. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2008.
Q127 .U6 S314463 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Available online at the National Academies Press.
Frickel, Scott, and Kelly Moore. The New Political Sociology of Science: Institutions, Networks, and Power. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
Greenberg, Daniel S. Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
Q180.55 .G6 G74 2001 BOOKSTACKS
Guston, David H., and Daniel Sarewitz (eds.). Shaping Science and Technology Policy: The Next Generation of Research. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
Karrer, Leah Bunce, et al. A Scientist's Guide to Influencing Decision-making = A Decision-maker's Guide to Using Science. Arlington, VA: Conservation International, Science and Knowledge Division, 2011.
BF448 .S354 D435 2011 BOOKSTACKS
Kraemer, Sylvia K. Science and Technology Policy in the United States: Open Systems in Action. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006.
Q127 .U6 K73 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Lane, Neal, and Kristin R. W. Matthews. Science and Technology: Recommendations for the Next Administration. Houston, TX: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, 2008.
H96 .L364 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Mann, Alfred K. For Better or for Worse: The Marriage of Science and Government in the United States. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2000.
Q127 .U6 M36 2000 BOOKSTACKS
Marcus, Alan I., & Amy Sue Bix. The Future is Now: Science and Technology Policy in America Since 1950. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2006.
Q127 .U6M278 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Pielke, Roger A. The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics. Cambridge, UK; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Q180.55 .G6 P54 2007 BOOKSTACKS
Sarewitz, Daniel R., Roger A. Pielke, Jr., and Radford Byerly, Jr. Prediction: Science, Decision Making, and the Future of Nature. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2000.
Q125 .P74 2000 BOOKSTACKS
Sclove, Richard. Reinventing Technology Assessment: A 21st Century Model: Using Citizen Participation, Collaboration and Expert Analysis to Inform and Improve Decision-making on Issues Involving Science and Technology. Washington, DC: Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, 2010.
T174.5 .S256 R458 2010 BOOKSTACKS
Teich, Albert H., Stephen D. Nelson, and Stephen J. Lita (eds.). Science and Technology in a Vulnerable World. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2002.
Q11 .A19 2002 BOOKSTACKS
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Science and Technology (2007). Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Shaping the Message, Distorting the Science: Media Strategies to Influence Science Policy: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, first session, March 28, 2007. Washington, DC: US GPO: For sale by the Supt. of Docs., US GPO, 2007.
KF27 .S322 M43 2007 BOOKSTACKS
Available online at the Government Printing Office.


The e-books listed below are available to NASA civil servants and contractors through the Books 24x7 service of SATERN.
Estrin, Judy. Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy. McGraw-Hill, 2009.
Kahin, Brian, and Dominique Foray (eds.). Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy. The MIT Press, 2006.
Malerba, Franco, and Stefano Brusoni (eds.). Perspectives on Innovation. Cambridge University Press, 2007.


American Scientist
The Bridge
Engineering and Science
Issues in Physics and Astronomy
Issues in Science and Technology
Space Studies Board News
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Technology Review
Technology in Society

Internet Resources

Executive Office of the President. Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dec. 2, 2011 [Dec. 5, 2011]
House of Representatives. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Dec. 1, 2011 [Dec. 5, 2011]
The National Academies. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Senate. Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Nov. 30, 2011 [Dec. 5, 2011]
The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
The Brookings Institution. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Dec. 5, 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Public Policy Blog. American Astronomical Society. Sept. 21, 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
RAND Corporation. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Science Progress. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]
Science and Public Policy. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2011 [Dec. 6, 2011]

Last Updated: Dec. 2011