also the appointment of scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve on federal advisory committees that focus on science-based policy or on the review of research proposals. The committee recognizes that other areas of federal responsibility are as important as S&T, but S&T appointments are the only ones within its purview. This summary presents the committee’s recommendations on the two major topics in its charge: presidential S&T appointments and appointments of scientists and engineers to federal advisory committees.


  1. Shortly after the election, the President or President-elect should identify a candidate for the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST) to provide advice, including suggesting and recruiting other science and technology presidential appointees. After inauguration, the president should promptly both appoint this person as APST and indicate the intent to nominate him or her as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Selection of a confidential adviser on S&T immediately after the election, if one is not already in place, is essential to ensure that assistance is available to the incoming president in identifying the best candidates for key S&T appointments and to provide advice in the event of a crisis. That person should be named the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST) immediately after the inauguration so that he or she will have the stature that the S&T portfolio warrants.

Ideally, the APST will have credibility and the respect of the S&T community; an understanding of large research and educational enterprises; background as a practicing researcher

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