Science Policy International, National
By Barbara Spector
arts education teaches undergraduates to think
critically, articulate well and analyze complex
issues. So its no surprise that Bryn Mawr
alumnae with an interest in research have entered
the science and technology policy arena. Heres
a look at the careers of five graduates whose
work has helped shape S&T policy on the international,
national and regional levels.
Maeda Wong 84 is program director in the
Division for International Organizations and Academy
Cooperation at the National Research Council (NRC),
the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences
and the National Academy of Engineering. She manages
U.S. participation in international unions representing
astronomy, chemistry, crystallography, mathematics,
optics, physics and radio science. The unions
facilitate global collaboration for example,
by negotiating universal standards and fostering
worldwide interactions for scientific progress.
The United States participates in the unions via
national committees, which Wong manages.
want scientists in any discipline to be able to
freely interact," she explains. In the realm
of scientific inquiry, "national boundaries
make no sense." On the other hand, governments
have security concerns, which often lead to the
establishment of laws and regulations that impede
the ability of researchers and their work
to cross international borders.
of concerns about scientific espionage at the
Department of Energy, for example, it can take
weeks for a researcher from a sensitive country
such as India which has recently become
a nuclear-weapons power to obtain clearance
to attend a conference at a national laboratory.
responsibilities include ensuring that news about
the U.S. committees activities is disseminated
to scientists at the grass roots. To ensure free
information flow, her office interacts with U.S.
professional societies on matters related to international
activities. It also addresses major issues such
as chemical-weapons treaties to ensure that a
review of such international accords is grounded
in good science.
who earned her Ph.D. in materials science and
engineering from the University of Pennsylvania,
began her career at NRC in 1992 as a staff officer
in the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.
She is the former editor of the Association for
Women in Sciences magazine.
relishes her role in building the infrastructure
that enables science to progress. "Some people
may call it bureaucracy, but the system
needs to be in place in order for U.S. science
to work at an international level," she says.
Hill and the Private Sector
Flamberg 85 is a legislative analyst in
the Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis
(OLPA) within the Office of the Director of the
National Institutes of Health. "Even where
NIH is not in a regulatory role, the private sector
looks to NIH for guidance on key policy issues,"
mission is "to facilitate and enhance the
relationship between NIH and the Congress; advance
NIH legislative priorities; and ensure that the
NIH community receives essential information,
advice and guidance regarding developments in
the Congress that affect NIH," explains Flamberg,
who focuses on bioethics and technology transfer
attends congressional hearings and analyzes newly
introduced legislation to determine how it might
affect the agency. "We frequently provide
technical assistance to congressional staffers
as the legislation is modified," she says.
"I typically respond to several inquiries
a day from congressional staffers. These run the
gamut from simple questions such as, What
is NIHs budget for diabetes research?
to more complex questions that might require
me to explain the legal parameters for conducting
human embryo research and fetal tissue research."
earned a law degree from American University and
worked for the Office of the General Counsel at
the Department of Health and Human Services before
joining NIH. "We are at a point where our
scientific ability has outpaced our ability as
a society to grapple with difficult moral and
ethical issues," she says. "We may be
able scientifically to clone a human being, but
we cant figure out whether we want to, or
ought to. The way this dilemma plays out on Capitol
Hill is fascinating, and extremely exciting."
House Senior Adviser
Perine 80 served in the White House Office
of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from February
1997 until the Bush administration was installed,
rising to the position of deputy associate director
of technology. Today, shes president and
CEO of Interpretech LLC, a consulting group that
focuses on advancing innovation.
OSTP, Perine was a senior adviser on technology
issues and oversaw national policy and research
initiatives in information technology, nanotechnology,
transportation and energy. She helped gain support
for federal R&D initiatives in industry, academia
and Congress and worked closely with the Presidents
Information Technology Advisory Committee and
the Presidents Committee of Advisers on
Science and Technology.
R&D developments into national priorities
often involved explaining emerging technologies
and their impact on citizens lives. "One
of the problems of science and technology policy
today is that its very difficult for the
scientific community to get the rest of the world
to understand what its talking about and
why its important," she says. Her position
required an understanding of the total science
and technology enterprise "from R&D
to commercialization," she notes. "You
have to be aware of the entire context, and you
have to be able to talk to a lot of people."
Clintons speeches incorporated some of her
writings. "Those had to be very simple and
very clear, yet make a strong point," she
previously was senior policy adviser for technology
to the Secretary of Commerce and a senior economist
at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Before her government service, she worked at the
World Bank, where she focused on energy policy.
the S&T Educators
Raizen, MA 45, is the director of the National
Center for Improving Science Education, which
promotes change in policies and practices for
science, mathematics and technology education.
It aims to bridge the gaps among research, policy
and practice in curriculum development, teaching
and learning, and assessment.
isnt just an application of research; its
influenced by peoples values," Raizen
says. As an example, she cites the use of student
test scores to assess teacher accountability.
Tests are only one way to measure students
capabilities. They dont assess students
motivation to continue their studies, their in-depth
knowledge or their ability to do sustained work
or apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations.
Assessment of such additional factors is "complicated
and costly" and therefore not a priority
of policymakers, she notes.
a former Sun Oil Co. chemist whos also certified
as a high school chemistry teacher, began her
involvement in science education in the 1960s
as a National Science Foundation program officer
dealing with curriculum improvement.
she leads an NSF-funded project studying induction
and support programs for beginning teachers in
five countries. In other nations, new teachers
spend less time in the classroom and meet regularly
to share their experiences, she notes. In the
United States, by contrast, "we tell the
new teachers, 'Sink or swim.'" Because seniority
determines classroom assignments, new teachers
often face situations that impede success.
is an adviser to several major education studies,
including the Third International Mathematics
and Science Study (TIMSS). She headed a study
sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education
and wrote reports dealing with science-education
curriculum, teaching and assessment reform as
well as numerous books and articles. Shes
led major evaluation efforts and national education
Sabety 77 directs the Technology Policy
Group (TPG) at the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
The group addresses legal and policy challenges
arising in a "networked society" supported
by pervasive computing devices and electronic
coordinates E-Com Ohio, a landmark effort to use
national benchmarks to measure the readiness of
Ohios businesses and citizens to adopt e-commerce
(www.ecom-ohio.org). TPGs Privacy Series
Conference (www.privacy2000.org), in its third
year, is one of the top three privacy conferences
in the United States, where business leaders and
policymakers discuss new approaches to privacy
issues with academics, chief security officers,
attorneys and other experts. Sabety notes, "Today,
information can be gathered on consumers
every click and financial transaction on the Internet;
we should all be concerned about how it is shared
and used. Tomorrow, with the advent of pervasive
computing, companies will have the power to collect
extremely intimate information on sensory preferences,
eye movements, usage patterns and cognition details
of human behavior. To protect citizens rights,
we must redefine the human boundaries of privacy
1987 to 1991, Sabety served as economic development
policy adviser to former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste.
In the governors office, she witnessed first-hand
"the transformational power of technology
to change an economy from the way factories
operate on the plant floor to the relationships
between companies and their suppliers and customers."
After Celeste left office in 1991, they founded
a consulting firm, Celeste & Sabety, which
focused on technology as a driver of economic
development in states and regions as diverse as
California, Nebraska, Long Island, San Diego,
St. Louis, Denver and New Jersey.
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Barbara Spector writes on
science and technology as well as business topics.
She is the executive editor of Family Business
magazine and former editor of The Scientist.