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Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 1976. The OSTP advises the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, and the environment.
OSTP leads efforts across the Federal government to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and works with the private and philanthropic sectors, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the research and academic communities, and other nations toward this end.
OSTP also assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of Federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal government.
OSTP’s Senate-confirmed Director may also serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. The Director co-chairs the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and supports the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), which is chaired by the President.
On January 15, 2021, then-President-Elect Biden sent this following letter to Dr. Eric S. Lander, his appointee as the President’s Science Advisor and nominee as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, tasking him and his colleagues, working broadly and transparently with the diverse scientific leadership of American society and engaging the broader American public, to refresh and reinvigorate our national science and technology strategy. The letter poses five big questions.