Biden Re-Establishes the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Feb 1, 2021

by ASME.org

President Biden has issued an Executive Order re-establishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). This quick action highlights the importance the new administration places on scientific integrity. PCAST advisors will be responsible for providing the President with input based on the best-available science, data, and technological information available. Under the previous administration, PCAST was only reconstituted 33 months into the Trump presidency, creating a lapse in the body for over 2.5 years.
 
The President’s decision to immediately reconstitute PCAST aligns with the “Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum” also released last week. This memorandum promotes evidence-based policymaking and directs agencies to make evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data. The memorandum makes ensuring scientific integrity across federal agencies a responsibility of the Director of OSTP and requires that the Director review the effectiveness of agency scientific-integrity policies and assess agency scientific-integrity policies and practices.
 
Many of the ASME Federal Fellows have supported the work being done at PCAST in past administrations. Michael Molnar, current Director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office at NIST and a former ASME Federal Fellow, referenced his specific work with PCAST in his 2015 Roy V. Wright Public Policy Lecture, which can be read here: https://www.nist.gov/speech-testimony/engineers-federal-fellows-and-four-principles-engineering-public-policy.  
 
No information has been released as to when the White House will announce its PCAST members. ASME will continue to provide updates as they are made available.
 

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