Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released recommendations to promote the development of public policies that are informed by scientific understandings and community values through inclusive dialogue among scientists, policymakers, and the public.

The recommendations complement and augment the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts directing federal agencies to increase engagement and collaboration with communities throughout the process of policy development and implementation, such as in the Executive Orders on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All.

PCAST recommends two actions to catalyze effective and systematic engagement between federal research and development agencies, science and technology experts, and communities:

  • Issue a clarion call to Federal agencies to make science and technology communication and public engagement a core component of their mission and strategy.  An essential pillar of this effort is ensuring that experts in participatory public engagement are included in agency senior-level policy development and decision-making processes.
  • Establish a new office to support Federal agencies in their continuing efforts to develop and build participatory public engagement and effective science and technology communications. This office should consist of individuals with a range of expertise who can partner with or be deployed to agencies, including assistance in the use of social science-informed techniques for participatory engagement and cutting-edge digital technologies. 

These recommendations will help Americans participate in the creation of scientifically-informed policies concerning our health, our environment, our national security, and our general well-being.

View a full copy of the PCAST letter here.

PCAST is the sole body of advisors from outside the federal government charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President. Learn more about their work here.

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