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Writers Explore How Policies Can Keep Up with Tech, Social Changes

cover of issue showing flood-damaged bedroom

Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University.

Can policymaking keep pace with the current social, technological and environmental upheavals? That question is central to several of the feature essays in the spring edition of Issues in Science and Technology. The authors offer proposals that may help society better manage these momentous changes.

Dr. Brad Allenby and Dr. Mikhail Chester argue that the growing impact of human activities on the Earth’s systems requires a concomitant change in the way physical infrastructure is designed and managed.

Dr. Howard Kunreuther describes ways that Congress can make the National Flood Insurance Program more transparent, cost-effective, equitable and appealing to property owners.

Dr. Sallie Keller, Dr. Sarah Nusser, Dr. Stephanie Shipp and Dr. Catherine E. Woteki outline a plan for helping communities — especially small and rural ones — take advantage of new techniques for collecting and analyzing data to better serve their residents.

Public universities are a vital component of the U.S. innovation system, but, according to Dr. Shiri M. Breznitz and Dr. Martin Kenney, dwindling financial support and ever-increasing federal and state unfunded mandates are forcing them to take actions that undermine their effectiveness.

Skills training is another key part of helping workers navigate technological and economic disruption. John Alic argues that a more integrated and systemic approach to training is needed to ensure a resilient workforce. If the necessary steps for addressing the plight of displaced and struggling workers aren’t taken, the nation risks the continued rise of reactionary populism. Dr. Michael Piore explores economic policies that differ from both the Silicon Valley and the Washington economic paradigms in addressing these concerns.

One of the most significant technological changes on the horizon may well be the deployment of autonomous vehicles. Dr. Jack Stilgoe explains that new rules for self-driving cars are needed and must be flexible while ensuring that the vehicles are safe, broadly accessible and avoid the worst unintended consequences.

This edition also features artists exploring the Anthropocene in a variety of media and the photographs of Robert Polidori, who recorded the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The University of Texas at Dallas and Arizona State University.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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