Apologies for my disappearance, folks…Sheril did a great job in my absence, and I enjoyed being Obi-Wan for a day. Although it wasn’t exactly like battling with lightsabers: I spent the week largely hunkered down in hotel rooms, preparing talks. Especially on my 30th birthday, and surrounded by top scholars at Cornell who’d been asked to critique my arguments, I wanted to make a good showing.
Video of that September 20th event, which I thought went quite well, whenever I can find it.
In the meantime, though, I want to direct your attention to something that Mark has been blogging about at Denialism: The urgent need to revive the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, a world-renowned scientific advisory body that the Gingrich Republicans did away with in a stunning act of self-lobotomy in 1995. [I had a whole chapter about this subject in Republican War, and it was in turn excerpted/adapted in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (PDF).]
Anyways, with Democrats in control of Congress, I’m starting to get puzzled as to why we haven’t seen more action on the OTA front. I’ve heard chatter suggesting that the Dems don’t want the office to be seen as coming back in a partisan way–lest it just get killed in a partisan way again. Hmmm.
Anyway, if Mark is gonna blog about this now and try to stir things up, I’ve got his back….and in the meantime, click the book cover image for the definitive work on OTA, Bruce Bimber’s The Politics of Expertise in Congress.