Feb. 5, 2020

Leading Voices Discuss the Future of U.S. Science Policy at Feb. 26 Symposium; Event Marks 75th Anniversary of Vannevar Bush's 1945 Report Science: The Endless Frontier

WASHINGTON – The National Academy of Sciences, in partnership with The Kavli Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will host a symposium to consider the future of science in the U.S. and how it can best serve society in the 21st century. The event will take place on Feb. 26 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will convene leaders of U.S. academic and government research institutions, scientists, policymakers, experts who are at the center of science policy and public engagement, science philanthropies, and voices from the broader scientific enterprise. Speakers will discuss opportunities and challenges facing the future of science and technology, including the path from basic research to innovation and economic growth, how best to engage the public with science, and the role of philanthropic and private-sector funding for research.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the publication of Vannevar Bush’s seminal report Science: The Endless Frontier, which created a blueprint for U.S. scientific research in the post-World War II era. It empowered government support for innovation and basic research at the nation’s universities and the policies that ultimately drove U.S. prosperity, health, and national security. The symposium will include a look back at the prescience of this report and consider what is required for science to continue to advance human understanding and spark discoveries that benefit not just the U.S. but also the whole world.

Sessions will include discussions with speakers and panelists such as:

A full list of sessions and participants is available at nationalacademies.org/EndlessFrontier.

The Endless Frontier launched America on a path to scientific dominance, spawned new industries, and spurred other nations to grasp research innovation as the key to prosperity for their citizens,” said Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences. “It is now time to ask ourselves, given the added complexities of the modern, international, and multisector research landscape, whether the institutional arrangements, culture, and structures of the past still serve us well."

“The United States has a distinct advantage in how it supports science and innovation: with large, synergistic funding from both government and philanthropy,” said Robert W. Conn, president and CEO of The Kavli Foundation and co-founder of the Science Philanthropy Alliance. “While Vannevar Bush sparked the federal government’s imperative in supporting science, it is the interplay between government and philanthropy that is critical for the advancement of science and the success of America’s research enterprise. We look forward to ongoing discussions about the future of science for the next 75 years.”

“The Vannevar Bush report, and the explosion of scientific and technological innovation that followed it, show what happens when America commits itself to the pursuit of discovery,” said Adam Falk, president, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “The Sloan Foundation is pleased to join with the National Academy of Sciences and The Kavli Foundation to renew that commitment and to help start the process of building a new vision for science in the 21st century.”

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 8:15 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. EST

Fred Kavli Auditorium
National Academy of Sciences building
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Agenda | Webcast
Reporters who wish to attend the symposium in person should register in advance.

Megan Lowry, Media Officer

Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu

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