PCAST Holds First Meeting Focusing on US Competitiveness and Pandemic Preparedness
Oct 11, 2021
Soon after President Biden named 30 distinguished science, technology and engineering leaders to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the Council held its first meeting on October 1. The focus was on U.S. competitiveness, security, and international science and technology leadership, as well as U.S. public health and pandemic preparedness.
The 2-day event hosted prominent speakers from federal and local governments, academia and the private sector. The first day focused on U.S. competitiveness with the discussion centering on how the United States today faces serious science and technology competition from countries that are aggressively recruiting top science and engineering talent. The second day’s discussion focused on the lives lost during the pandemic and how the federal government can help to strengthen the public health system, especially with regards to pandemic preparedness.
Diversity in ideas and solutions is one of the principal goals of the White House appointing members to serve on this PCAST. The White House is saying that Biden’s picks represent the most diverse PCAST in U.S. history. For example, no women have ever served as PCAST Co-Chairs, but with Biden’s picks two women are filling the roles. Furthermore, women make up half of the appointees and people of color and immigrants make up more than one-third. PCAST membership also includes ASME members Dr. Dan E. Arvizu, who currently serves as Chancellor of the New Mexico State University System, and Dr. John O. Daribi, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering at Caltech. Dr. Arvizu has been an active member of ASME’s Technology Transfer Committee and also participated in ASME’s Solar Standards Committees, and Dr. Dabiri has been involved in many of ASME’s Turbo Expo activities.
PCAST’s next public virtual meeting will be held on October 18-19, 2021. Additional information about this meeting and PCAST’s future meetings can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/pcast/meetings/.