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Nsf ­rges Lawmakers to Back ­se of Better Science Data

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The U.S. House's Research and Scientific Education Subcommittee recently held a hearing on the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) approach to scientific policy. The NSF created the Office of Science of Science and Innovation Policy in 2005 to develop better tools for determining the effect of science policy decisions on science, innovation, and research. NSF, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Institutes of Health recently launched the Star Metrics program to measure the effects of federal research spending on innovation, science, and competitiveness.

The science of science policy must be able to change direction and cross boundaries, says NSF's Julia Lane. However, she says analysis has been hampered by a lack of agreement on basic definitions and boundaries. Lane says the goals of the Star Metrics program are to improve evidence-based decision-making, build a scientific community to study science, and develop better data.

Meanwhile, Daniel Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, says the general principles the public understands about the value of scientific research to society is being challenged by the current economic climate.

From Federal Computer Week
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