Our mission is to restore science and technology advice to Congress.
One of the more notable takeaways from the Facebook hearings last month was the obvious gap in technical literacy on display by many members of Congress. This made it difficult for many of us to chart a line of sight to rational—and necessary—legislation about data protection. While it is unreasonable to expect our policymakers be expert in all areas they consider, there is clearly a material gap in technical literacy in Congress that needs to be filled immediately in order for our government to legislate effectively.
“This is not at all a partisan issue. It goes to the core of our democracy.”
— ADAM BLY, FOUNDER
Science and technology underpin many of the most important issues facing society today—and, therefore, many of the most critical legislative decisions before Congress. Legislators ought to consider the best evidence surrounding the issue they are legislating and adequately understand the technical implications of their decisions. This is not at all a partisan issue; it goes to the core of our democracy.
The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), established by Congress in 1972, provided its members with objective and authoritative analysis of the scientific and technological issues of the day; it was defunded in 1995. Congress has lacked a dedicated source of non-partisan science and technology advice for over twenty years.
We call on Congress to establish a new, modern, non-partisan science and technology advisory apparatus at this most critical moment for democracy in the United States.