The federal government plays the predominant role in supporting research and development (R&D) and in establishing public policies that affect science and technology (S&T) in the United States. However, the federal government is no longer the sole focus of R&D funding and S&T policy making. State and local policy makers are unquestionably making more and more decisions that affect all of us on a daily basis. With this shift, states have also assumed an increasing responsibility for developing, formalizing, and institutionalizing policies and programs that support R&D and enable S&T evidence and expertise to be incorporated into policy making. These issues were explored during a first-of-its-kind National Convocation organized by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with the National Association of Academies of Science and the California Council on Science and Technology. Scientists, engineers, state policy makers, experts from state regulatory agencies, representatives from foundations, and experts in scientific communication from 20 states and the District of Columbia participated in this event.
This report highlights the major themes from the Convocation that emerged from the presentations and from the rich discussions that occurred in both plenary and breakout sessions.