Committee on Communication and Outreach


At a time when science and engineering are critically important to society, to the economy, and to individual well-being, the public's awareness of their importance remains limited. This limited appreciation of the impact of discovery and innovation on all facets of life discourages meaningful engagement by all sectors of society on a broad range of national and local issues. Within its Strategic Plan (NSB-98-215), the National Science Board identified public understanding of science and technology and outreach by the science and engineering communities to the public as essential to the long term investments that characterize a successful science and technology policy.

The Committee on Communication and Outreach was established to develop guidance on specific strategies that the Board and the Foundation might employ to enhance communication and outreach to the public. The committee developed guidance and recommendations on strategies to:

  • Communicate the significance, challenges, and opportunities of science and engineering to policymakers and government leaders whose decisions regarding national investments will affect the ability of science and engineering to benefit society; and

  • Define the role that the National Science Foundation should play in generating public awareness of science and of the NSF mission to promote discovery and the development of the Nation's human resource base, with specific attention to:

    • Enlisting the science and engineering communities to communicate to the public both the fascination and utility of science and engineering:

    • Capitalizing on the revolution in information technology to promote the public understanding of science, mathematics, and technology, and build bridges between formal and informal science education.

Committee Members

Chairman: Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood
Members:   Dr. George Langford
Dr. Maxine Savitz
Dr. Bob Suzuki
Dr. Chang Lin Tien
Executive Secretary: Mary Lou Higgs