NSB-00-105

May 5, 2000
MEMORANDUM TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD

SUBJECT: Preliminary Report of the May 3 - 4, 2000 Meeting

The major actions of the Board at its 358th meeting on May 3 and 4, are summarized for the information of those members absent and as a reminder to those present.

1. Board Nominations

The Chairman announced that since the last meeting, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Dr. Warren Washington and Dr. John White have been renominated to be members of the NSB class of 2006. He also announced the White House intent to nominate Dr. Mark S. Wrighton, Washington University, St. Louis, as a member of the NSB class of 2006.

2. Board Actions

a) The Board reelected Dr. Eamon Kelly Chair of the NSB and elected Dr. Anita Jones as Vice Chair, for terms ending May, 2002.

b) The Board approved a statement on openness in scientific communication (NSB-00-106), subject to final edits to be made by the EHR Chairman.

c) the Board received the NSF Director's FY 1999 Report on Merit Review.

d) The Board received the annual report of the Executive Committee (NSB/EC-00-9) from the Chair, Dr. Rita Colwell.

e) The Board approved a schedule of meetings for 2001, NSB-00-97, attached.

f) The Board approved posting the draft report of the Committee on Communication and Outreach, Communicating Science and Engineering in the Public Interest, on the NSB Web site. Comments from Board members should be sent to the NSB Office by Friday, June 30.

g) The Board approved the Closed and Open Session minutes of the March, 16, 2000 meeting.

3. NSB Committees

The Chairman discharged with thanks the Committee on the 2000 Vannevar Bush Award, Chaired by Dr. Menger, with members Drs. Jones, Langford, Richardson, and Tien, and Executive Secretary Ms. Susan Fannoney.

Dr. Richard Tapia will succeed Dr. Mitchell-Kernan as Chair, NSB EHR Subcommittee on Science and Engineering Indicators. Dr. John Armstrong and Dr. Jane Lubchenco have been appointed to the NSB Task Force on International Issues in Science and Engineering.

The Chairman accepted the revised charges to the three standing committees, NSB-00-108, -109 and -110, attached.

Committee Reports

(Materials for committee summaries are provided by executive secretaries.)

a. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee briefly discussed the status of the budget process. It also approved the annual report of the Executive Committee (NSB/EC-00-9), as required by the NSF Act.

b. Audit & Oversight (A&O)

The committee heard a briefing on the FY 1999 Report on the Merit Review System. The revised charter for the committee was discussed and approved. A Chief Financial Officer Audit update was also provided, noting a successful FY99 audit and plans for the FY00 audit. It was noted that the House Government Reform Committee on Government Management, Information, and Technology gave NSF, for the second year in a row, a grade of "A" on the Government Management Reform Act (GMRA) Report Card, for high quality federal financial management. Dr. Ries provided information on proposed changes to the Director's Review Board review thresholds.

Supervisory Session:

The committee received and discussed the Inspector General's Semiannual Report for the period ending March 31, 2000. The committee heard an update on the OIG's internal and external outreach efforts, and was provided draft copies of brochures the OIG plans to use in making outreach presentations. The committee also heard discussions from office staff concerning several active investigation and audit projects.

c. Education and Human Resources (EHR)

The committee was given a presentation on EHR FY 2001 budget items and the framework for EHR decision making. Discussion on the latter will continue with a presentation on how EHR picks "issues" and how these issues eventually track with programs and dollars. The committee received a preview of the Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) end of cycle report from Dr. Mitchell-Kernan, who was praised for all her efforts on SEI. The committee discussed and approved revisions to the charge to the EHR Committee, and status reports on NSF diversity programs and on the activities of CAWMSET. A proposed plan for exploration of the NSF's future role in K-16 education through an expert panel was discussed. A draft NSB statement entitled "NSB statement on openness of Science and Engineering Communication" (NSB-00-106) was discussed, and recommended to the full Board for approval.

d. Programs and Plans (CPP)

The committee heard a presentation on the draft interim guidelines for planning and managing the Major Research Equipment (MRE) account. It also received an update on the status of the MRE, including projects currently being supported and planning for potential future projects. The committee discussed the evolution of budget categories for facilities, tools and the MRE account, and NSF plans to use the interim guidelines over the next year while discussions continue. The committee received a briefing on the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) project, including a status report on major project tasks. The committee approved the revised CPP Committee charge, and received a presentation on the use of mail review and panel review in the merit review process.

a. Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI)

The Science and Engineering Indicators-2000 report, including Volumes 1 and 2 and the NSB Companion Piece and CD, have been printed and distributed to all Board members. Indicators 2000 will be delivered to the White House May 4 for clearance and approval, which is expected in about 30 days. It was announced that Ms. Jennifer Bond. Director of the Science and Engineering Indicators Program in the Division of Science Resources Studies is on detail as a Legislative Fellow to the office of Senator Joseph Lieberman. During her detail, Mr. Rolf Lehming will serve as Acting Program Director for the Science and Engineering Indicators Program.

Dr. Lynda Carlson discussed five draft data cards that highlight specific Indicators-2000 data. Topics included Investment in R&D, Science and Engineering Education and Workforce, and Information Technology. The subcommittee recommended that the cards be printed and distributed in sets. The subcommittee discussed three recent reports on SEI, and heard a report from Dr. Carlson on the use of SEI, what respondents are saying about the report, timeliness issues, and what future volumes might look like.

Dr. Mitchell-Kernan gave an end of cycle report with recommendations that included selecting three Indicators-2000 chapters for intensive review, conducting a workshop focused on these chapters, and addressing issues such as length, redundancy, content, tone, review process, and deadlines. Her recommendations will be discussed further by the subcommittee at its August meeting, directed by Dr. Richard Tapia, the new S&EI Subcommittee Chair.

Legislation to maintain Indicators and six other NSF publications as Congressionally mandated was introduced in the House and passed under suspension of the rules on April 4, 2000. There may be an opportunity to have similar legislation attached to a Senate bill. Dr. Marta Cehelsky, NSB Executive Officer, and Bill Noxon, OLPA, provided information on the "roll out" process to publicize Indicators-2000. C-SPAN, business media, CNN, national television coverage, press releases, and Weblinks all will be intensely pursued to reach more targets and highlight interesting stories such as education and the digital divide. It is also hoped that Board members will become involved in this process as they have done in the past.

h. International Issues in S&E (ISE)

The task force discussed a list of draft issues/opportunities developed by NSB staff as a springboard for developing a core set of issues and a conceptual framework for structuring an interim report, due in December. Among the issues discussed were coordination and communication. The absence of any mention of NSF or any science agency in the recently released White House memorandum on International Education policy was noted, and it was suggested that the absence of input from science agencies is likely to diminish the chance of effective implementation of the recommendations.

The task force proposed to focus on gaps-areas where something could be done better or where a void could be filled-rather than duplicating existing activities. Alternative approaches for structuring the interim report were discussed, and a focus on seven issues of major current importance was adopted: 1) foreign policy, 2) international economic policy, 3) the developing world, 4) energy, 5) environment, 6) health, and 7) education and research. In order to have an initial rough draft ready by the August Board meeting, the task force plans to schedule a number of conference calls between now and August.

i. Strategic S&E Policy Issues (SPI)

The committee heard a presentation from Dr. Maxine Singer, Chair and Dr. Marye Anne Fox, member, of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) on the benchmarking experiments COSEPUP has recently completed. The committee then discussed with the presenters the utility of this methodology for priority setting across fields of research. The committee heard a brief review of the status of its current activities by its executive secretary, and a presentation by Donna Fossum of RAND on ambiguities in definitions and data measuring Federally-funded research and R&D. Members agreed to continue the discussion by telephone conference, and asked that materials presented at the meeting and a mock-up of workshops for discussion be mailed as background for the conference call. The central focus for that conference call will be the strategy for providing constructive input to the new Administration in December, 2000.

j. Communication & Outreach (CCO)

CCO members reviewed the draft of the committee's final report, titled Communicating Science and Technology in the Public Interest. They made minor changes to the three recommendations. The committee plans to post the draft on NSB's web site and invite comments from Board members and other interested parties. Prior to the August Board meeting, CCO members will have a teleconference to discuss any further revisions. The report will be presented to the Board for approval at the August meeting.

k. NSB 50th Anniversary Task Force

The committee heard a report from Terry Savage, Low+Associates, and Deborah Shapley, journalist, on the 50th anniversary commemorative brochure. All highlights from 1950-1970 are complete and the 1980's and 1990's are in the final production stage. There will be 26 items highlighted in the brochure. Ms. Savage noted that the introduction will be written after the highlights are completed. The committee discussed who should be invited to serve as an external reviewer, and agreed on a two-step process scheduled for May 15 - 26: The full text will be reviewed first, and then all former NSB chairs will be asked to review portions related to their term as Chair. All conflicting comments will be arbitrated through the Board Office.

The committee discussed the December 12, 2000 celebratory event at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), including the guest list, proposed budget, program, and type of awards to present. The committee asked staff for additional information on space available at CIW, and possible types of entertainment. The committee will hold a conference call in early June for further discussion of the December event.

l. Committee on NSB Nominees for 2008

The committee discussed the process for review and selection of candidates to forward to the White House in January 2001, and heard a report on the number of nominations received. The committee was informed that at this time there is a shortfall in minority nominations.

________________
Marta Cehelsky
Executive Officer
Attachment 1: NSB-00-97
Attachment 2: NSB-00-108
Attachment 3: NSB-00-109
Attachment 4: NSB-00-110


 

Attachment 1 to NSB-00-105
NSB-00-97
April 24, 2000
MEMORANDUM TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD

SUBJECT: NSB Meeting Dates for Calendar Year 2001

As part of its annual business conducted at the May meeting, the Board approves its meeting schedule for the next calendar year.

For the specified meeting times, we have polled Members' offices to assure attendance by the highest number of individuals possible. We have also taken into account possible conflicts with holidays and with major meetings of professional and scientific organizations. You were provided with a list of these meetings during the polling process to help you identify conflicts.

2001 Calendar of National Science Board Meetings

January 31, February 1, 2 (Wednesday/Thursday/Friday)
[Policy Meeting and Board Retreat]

March 14, 15 (Wednesday/Thursday)

May 23, 24 (Wednesday/Thursday) [Annual Meeting]

August 8, 9 (Wednesday/Thursday)

October 10, 11 (Wednesday/Thursday)

November 14, 15 (Wednesday, Thursday)

Executive Committee
January 17
June/July (TBD)

The following resolution is proposed for your consideration.

The National Science Board approves the schedule of Board meeting dates for Calendar Year 2001 as contained in NSB-00-97.

 

Marta Cehelsky
Executive Officer
 


Attachment 2 to NSB-00-105
NSB-00-108


May 5, 2000

Committee on Programs and Plans

The Committee on Programs and Plans (CPP) provides guidance and advice on major policy issues related to the NSF research and related activities portfolio, reviews proposals representing a significant expenditure of agency resources, and makes informal recommendations, as appropriate, to the Board for its full consideration and action.

I. The Committee engages in review of long-range planning for NSF research initiatives, and monitors their development and implementation. This is reflected in the Committee's deliberations on:



II. Through comprehensive review and discussion, the Committee may submit informal recommendations for full consideration and Board action on:




 

Attachment 3 to NSB-00-105
NSB-00-109


May 5, 2000

Committee on Education and Human Resources

The Committee on Education and Human Resources (EHR) is charged with two principal roles. It provides guidance and advice on major policy issues related to the NSF Education and Training portfolio, and reviews proposals representing a significant expenditure of agency resources. It also provides advice on major national policy issues in education and human resource development. The Committee makes informal recommendations, as appropriate, for the Board's full consideration and action.

I. The Committee engages in review of long-range planning of NSF education programs and initiatives, monitoring their development and integration with research. This is reflected in the Committee's deliberations on:



II. Through comprehensive review and discussion, the Committee may submit informal recommendations for full consideration and action by the Board on:



III. The EHR Committee supports the Board's national policy role in elementary, secondary, higher and informal education, lifelong learning, and human resource development in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. This support includes:




 

Attachment 4 to NSB-00-105
NSB-00-110

May 5, 2000

Committee on Audit and Oversight

The Audit and Oversight Committee (A&O) has three main functions: general supervision of the NSF Inspector General, as delegated by the Board; oversight of major agency administrative processes and principal administrative systems; and review of the agency's GPRA requirements. As appropriate, A&O makes informal recommendations to the Board for its full consideration and action.

I. Pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978 ("Act"), as amended, and NSB delegation, A&O has general supervision over the NSF Inspector General (IG) and its Office. The IG's office serves as an independent and objective unit responsible under the Act for:



II. A&O also provides the primary means for keeping the NSB fully and currently informed of problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of NSF programs and operations and the necessity for and progress of corrective action. The A&O Committee may report to the NSB, as necessary, on:



III. The Committee oversees the implementation by NSF management of the agency's principal administrative systems and internal controls, including:



IV. The Committee reviews the agency's strategic planning documents, which report on and communicate NSF's stewardship and outcomes-based performance.

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