I had the best intentions to write more about our ongoing conference on Science in the 21st Century, but I didn't fully realize how exhausting it can be if every talk at a meeting is interesting. I'm totally not used to that. Since I presently don't have the time to write much, let me just briefly tell you about a discussion we had yesterday afternoon, lead by Beth Noveck from the New York Law School. The question that we eventually focused on was
How can science can be more efficiently embedded into the politic decision making process?
Greg Wilson - referred to by Chad as "Ontario's fastest typer" - took notes of the discussion - the file is here. There were a couple of interesting thoughts that came up in the meeting. At some point Greg asked the crucial question: How many of you work less than 60 hours per week? Not a single hand went up.
I totally agree with him that a large part of the issue is that scientists getting involved in politics is not presently sufficiently appreciated to convince typically extremely busy researchers to spend time on it. Another part of the problem is one of organization. It is a recurring theme at this conference: how do we get knowledge to where it needs to be and communicate it appropriately?
I'd just like to pass on these questions to you. I'd be really interested to hear your opinion on this.
Update Sep 15: See also Chad's post Peer to Patent and Government 2.0
TAGS: SCIENCE 21