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Beyond Sputnik offers a comprehensive survey of national science policy looking at how policies for science are made, the government entities that make these policies, and the impact federal policies have on the conduct of science.
Very few, if any, recent books exist that provide a contemporary and comprehensive look at science policy and science policy issues. While there are some that speak to very specific science policies and others that address the role of science in the formation of broader public policies such as those relating to the environment or health care, what has been missing is a basic text that focuses how policy influences the conduct of science itself. Indeed, one is hard pressed to even find a book that contains a definition of “science policy.” Beyond Sputnik was written specifically to fill this void.
The book begins by defining science policy and
reviewing the historical role of national science policy in addressing
the health, welfare, and security needs of the nation. Next it provides
an organizational roadmap to help the reader understand how the federal
government develops, executes, and evaluates policy for science and why
the federal government funds science. Specific chapters explore the
unique roles played by universities, federal laboratories, and industry
in partnering with the federal government to carry out scientific
research. The role of states as well as the public and public opinion
in science policy are also explored.
The last half of the book
is spent focusing on key science policy issues including: national
defense, big science, scientific infrastructure, scientific ethics,
science education, workforce, homeland security, and globalization. The
book concludes by examining major scientific and societal grand
challenges facing both scientists and policymakers, the role of science
policy in addressing these issues, and then speculates a bit concerning
major future science policy challenges.