NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD
The National Science Foundation
May 24, 2001
Eamon M. Kelly, Chairman
John A. Armstrong
Nina V. Fedoroff
Mary K. Gaillard
Stanley V. Jaskolski
George M. Langford
Joseph A. Miller, Jr.
Diana S. Natalicio
Michael G. Rossmann
Bob H. Suzuki
John A. White, Jr.
Mark S. Wrighton
Rita R. Colwell, NSF Director
Anita K. Jones, Vice Chair
Pamela A. Ferguson
Robert C. Richardson
Warren M. Washington
The National Science Board (NSB) convened in Open Session at 2:15
p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2001, with Dr. Eamon Kelly, Chairman of
the Board, presiding (Agenda NSB-01-71). In accordance with the Government
in the Sunshine Act, this portion of the meeting was open to the public.
AGENDA ITEM 5: Presentations: Honorary Award Recipients
| Dr. Kelly reported that at the Board's annual Awards
Dinner, held on May 23 at the Department of State, honorary awards
were presented to five outstanding scientists and communicators of
science. Dr. Kelly introduced the three recipients present at the
Open Session and invited them to speak about their award-winning work.
Ms. Annette Berkovits, Senior Vice President for Education, represented
the Education Division of the Wildlife Conservation Society of the
Bronx Zoo, recipient of the group Public Service Award. She highlighted
the critical role of informal science institutions in the Nation's
science education system and noted opportunities for program expansion.
Dr. Vahid Tarokh, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, received the Alan T. Waterman Award for his invention
of space-time coding techniques. He summarized the anticipated growth
in demand for wireless service, the scientific and technical challenges,
and the benefits of using his space-time codes in transmitting data.
Ms. Dava Sobel, author of the best-selling books Longitude
and Galileo's Daughter, received the individual Public Service
Award for enhancing the public's understanding of the role of science.
She described her selection of topics and how the telling of a readable,
true story makes science accessible to readers.
AGENDA ITEM 6: Open Session Minutes, March 2001
The Board APPROVED the Open Session minutes of the March 2001 meeting
(NSB-01-41, Board Book Tab D).
AGENDA ITEM 7: Closed Session Items for August 2001
The Board APPROVED the Closed Session items for the August 2001 Board
Meeting (NSB-01-65, Board Book Tab E).
To accommodate Board members' travel schedules, Dr. Kelly moved to
two topics on which votes were to be taken. The first was under Agenda
Item 10, NSB Annual Business, and the second was under Agenda Item
11, Committee Reports.
AGENDA ITEM 10: NSB Annual Business
a. NSB Calendar 2002
Dr. Kelly stated that the proposed calendar for Board meetings in 2002,
developed after looking at dates of other professional meetings and polling
Board members, would give the highest potential attendance.
The Board APPROVED the 2002 meeting calendar as distributed (NSB-01-93,
Board Book Tab F).
AGENDA ITEM 11: Committee Reports
a. Audit and Oversight (A&O)
Dr. Kelly called on Dr. Stanley Jaskolski to report an item from the
Audit and Oversight Committee.
Dr. Jaskolski reported that the A&O Committee had reviewed the management
response to the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG's) semi-annual
report and recommended acceptance of the management response and cover
letter distributed to the Board.
The Board APPROVED the management response to the OIG's semi-annual report
and the cover letter, as distributed.
Dr. Kelly then returned to the original order of the agenda, at Agenda
Item 8, Chairman's Report.
AGENDA ITEM 8: Chairman's Report
a. Results of Executive Committee Election
| Dr. Kelly reported that the Board re-elected Dr.
M.R.C. Greenwood and Dr. Robert Richardson to the Executive Committee
for two-year terms.
b. Committee Business
Dr. Kelly stated that the 2001 Vannevar Bush Award Committee, chaired
by Dr. George Langford, had completed its task. Other members were Drs.
Nina Fedoroff, Warren Washington, and Mark Wrighton. Dr. Kelly thanked
the committee members for their hard work and excellent award selections
and discharged the committee.
Dr. Kelly announced that Dr. Daniel Simberloff had replaced Dr. Joseph
Miller on the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Subcommittee on
Science and Engineering Indicators.
c. Strategy and Budget Committee
| Dr. Kelly reminded Board members that they had agreed
to establish a new standing committee, the Strategy and Budget Committee,
at the March meeting. Dr. Anita Jones will serve as chair. Other members
are Drs. Pamela Ferguson, Jane Lubchenco, Joseph Miller, Diana Natalicio,
Warren Washington, and Mark Wrighton. Dr. Kelly noted that the charge
to the committee includes language regarding the full Board's approval
of the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) budget submission and
OIG's part of the budget.
d. Congressional Visits
| Dr. Kelly reported that on May 16 he and Dr. Marta
Cehelsky, Executive Officer, made courtesy calls on Representative
Jim Walsh, Senator Kit Bond, and Representative Vern Ehlers, with
the principal objective of bringing the Board's policy work to their
attention. Issues raised by the members included the need for increased
funding for science and engineering; the need for balance in the Federal
research portfolio; international issues, such as genetically modified
foods; issues affecting developing countries; science and engineering
education; and the need for scientists to inform the public on science-related
e. Stakeholders' Symposium
| Dr. Kelly reported that the Committee on Strategic
Policy Issues hosted a highly productive and well-attended Stakeholders'
Symposium on May 21-22. Details will be provided under Committee Reports.
AGENDA ITEM 9: Director's Report
a. Staff Introductions
| Dr. Rita Colwell, NSF Director, introduced two recently
appointed staff: Ms. Marcia Tremaine, Director of the Division of
Human Resource Management; and Ms. Mary Santonastasso, Director, Division
of Grants and Agreements.
b. Congressional Update
Dr. Colwell reported that at the House Science Committee hearing held
on April 25 committee members focused on how agencies set their science
priorities and coordinate interagency research, and they were supportive
of increased budgets for NSF, among other agencies. At the VA, HUD and
Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on May 16, subcommittee
members signaled their interest in increasing funding for NSF beyond the
budget request. Additional hearings by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
and the House Research Subcommittee are scheduled in early June.
Dr. Colwell summarized several House and Senate bills that could affect
NSF and science education. H.R. 1472 would reauthorize NSF for four years
at funding levels that would reach $7.7 billion by 2005. H.R. 1693 and
H.R. 1858 would authorize a variety of programs to improve education in
math, science, engineering, and technology. H.R. 1 and S. 1 are companion
bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including
provisions for the Math and Science Partnership Program to be headed by
On May 8, the House passed House Concurrent Resolution 108, which honored
NSF for 50 years of service to the Nation. The Senate passed a companion
bill on May 10.
On May 16, Representatives Nick Smith, Felix Grucci, and Vernon Ehlers
held a ceremony recognizing NSF's 50 years and presented the Director
with a framed copy of the resolution.
c. Follow-up to the Board's Communication Report
Dr. Colwell stated that NSF has been working to enhance its communication
and outreach activities in keeping with the Board's recommendations in
Communicating Science and Technology in the Public Interest. First,
NSF has provided up-to-date materials on the Board's website for members
to use in their role as personal ambassadors for science. Second, NSF
has outlined a strategy for communication and outreach, and Mr. Curt Suplee,
Director of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA), is developing
Mr. Suplee reported that the EHR Directorate has held workshops on
how new communication technologies can be used to reach wider audiences
and on metrics for assessing the effectiveness of these activities.
OLPA is setting up a new website that is aimed at the general public
and a set of symposia on difficult subjects for which NSF could become
the national spokes-entity. Mr. George Wilson has joined the OLPA
staff as outreach person to professional organizations and state scientific
entities. In addition, OLPA is communicating with universities about
getting predoctoral students to consider a subspecialty in science
communication and perhaps to intern at NSF.
d. Recent Developments in NSF's Environmental Portfolio
Dr. Colwell asked Dr. Margaret Leinen, Assistant Director of the Geosciences
Directorate, to provide an update of NSF activities to develop an environmental
portfolio as recommended in the Board's Environmental Science and Engineering
for the 21st Century. Dr. Leinen reported that the Advisory
Committee is developing a long-term strategy and implementation plan,
incorporating the environmental grand challenges report of the National
Academy of Sciences as well as the Board's report. The Advisory Committee
is inviting directorates to present their programs that have environmental
components. The purpose of the presentations is to help the Advisory Committee
understand the range of environmental programs in each directorate and
to serve as a catalyst to encourage cross-cutting environmental themes.
In addition, NSF has formed an informal group called the Interagency Forum
for Environmental Research to exchange information, explore opportunities
for interagency collaboration, form partnerships, and leverage activities
already in place.
For the FY 2001 Biocomplexity in the Environment competition, NSF received
374 proposals for almost $500 million; $55 million is available for the
competition. Solicitation was in four areas: coupled human and natural
bio-geochemical cycles, genome-enabled environmental science, and instrument
development in environmental science.
In response to questions from Board members, Dr. Leinen made the following
(1) NSF is actively involved in global change research, including climate
variability and atmospheric composition. As chair of an interagency subcommittee
that manages the U.S. Global Change Research Program, Dr. Leinen stated
that the general approach to research had received substantial encouragement
from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the White House.
(2) Engineering approaches are embedded in the proposals.
(3) The competition received overwhelming response, and NSF is looking
for ways to increase the success rate.
AGENDA ITEM 10: NSB Annual Business
a. NSB Calendar 2002 (continued)
Dr. Kelly noted that a number of Board members have expressed sentiment
for more off-site meetings, especially at research locations where NSF
has major activities. Suggested locations include Greenbank Observatory,
the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National High Magnetic
Laboratory, Kitt Peak, and Arecibo. Board members were asked to think
about these and other possible locations and be ready to discuss the issue
at the August meeting.
A second issue is the best time to hold off-site meetings. Winter weather
and attendance can be problems in February. It has been suggested that
the 2002 policy meeting be held in February as planned, but that other
times be considered for the 2003 meeting.
A third issue for discussion in August is potential topics for the
2002 policy meeting. Possible topics include infrastructure, national
workforce policy, and the social sciences.
b. Annual Report of the Executive Committee
Dr. Kelly called on Dr. Colwell, chair of the Executive Committee, to
present the annual report of committee activities (NSB/EC-01-10, Tab G).
Dr. Colwell reported that the Executive Committee took four actions
during the past year on behalf of the Board. It approved (1) the NSF
budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, (2) the
NSF OIG budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget,
(3) the NSF Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Strategic
Plan 2001 to 2006, and (4) the NSB interim report, "Toward a
More Effective U.S. Role in International Science and Engineering."
ADENDA ITEM 11: Committee Reports
a. Audit and Oversight (A&O) (continued)
Dr. Jaskolski, committee chair, reported that the committee received
a GPRA update and discussed the GPRA cycle for this year. He noted that
NSF GPRA reports have received a very high rating for their usefulness
to the public. The committee also received an audit update from the OIG
staff. Mr. Thomas Cooley, Director of the Office of Budget, Finance and
Award Management, reported on the successful inaugural meeting of the
Business and Operations Advisory Committee. He also reported on the tracking
of NSB-approved awards and on the agency's response to the Gemini audit,
in terms of responses to specific recommendations and the larger lessons
learned. Dr. Jaskolski reminded the Board that, as a result of the NSB
retreat in February, the committee was asked to look at how the Board
could best use its time. In the fall the committee hopes to provide some
recommendations for increasing productivity and making more effective
use of Board time.
Dr. Kelly congratulated NSF senior management and staff on the improved
GPRA reports that consistently receive very high rankings.
b. Committee on Programs and Plans (CPP)
Dr. Lubchenco, acting for Dr. John Armstrong, committee chair, reported
that the committee, with participation from EHR Committee members, discussed
merit review criterion 2.
After the discussion with EHR members, the committee met separately and
received updates on cyber-infrastructure, Gemini's use of contingency
funds, and status of NSB-approved awards. The committee discussed and
endorsed the new guidelines being developed for the Major Research Equipment
(MRE) accounts. The guidelines will be used to review projects for the
FY 2003 budget cycle. The committee requested additional language focusing
on appropriate mechanisms for the external management of projects. The
committee heard the status of current MRE projects proposed for the FY
2001 budget, a list of potential future projects, and a progress report
on the first formal MRE investment in a distributed infrastructure project,
the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The committee also
recommended approval for two projects, ALMA and IRIS, on which the Board
acted in Closed Session.
Dr. John White, chair of the CPP Task Force on Science and Engineering
Infrastructure, reported that the task force is in the process of surveying
the directorates in terms of future years' forecasts on infrastructure
needs for the disciplines they serve. At this meeting, the task force
received reports from several directorates-Social, Behavioral and Economic
Sciences, Geosciences, Engineering, and Computer and Information Science
and Engineering-and the Office of Polar Programs.
c. Education and Human Resources Committee (EHR)
Dr. Bob Suzuki, committee chair, reported that committee members participated
in the CCP discussion of Criterion 2, and the clear sentiment was that
raising awareness of the community about the importance of Criterion 2
was the most pressing issue. Members were impressed by the efforts of
the Office of Polar Programs Advisory Committee to provide detailed examples
of activities that address Criterion 2. For the October Board meeting,
NSF management will prepare a draft resolution on the importance of both
merit review criteria, explore developing generic examples for Criterion
2, and develop a plan for communicating the importance and use of the
After the discussion, EHR met separately and discussed the draft report
"The Road to Excellence: The National Science Foundation's Leadership
in K-16 Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education."
On the basis of that discussion, a new draft will be prepared for
discussion at the August meeting. The committee agreed that no further
work would be done on the draft position paper that had originally
been prepared as a transition document, because much of its content
will be in "The Road to Excellence." The committee asked
NSF to explore the interest expressed by the Sloan Foundation in partnering
with NSF to develop a professional master's degree in science, targeted
at those who will work outside academia. The committee discussed the
problem of under-representation of women and minorities at NSF-sponsored
conferences and meetings, both as participants and invited speakers,
and asked NSF management to consider expanding the Biological Sciences
Directorate's policy that makes awards for conference support contingent
upon the inclusion of women and minorities among invited speakers.
Finally, the committee heard reports on the FY 2002 budget, plans
for the new Math and Science Partnerships, and plans for better communicating
information about EHR programs and studies.
d. Task Force on International Issues in Science and Engineering
| To accommodate travel schedules, Dr. Kelly next
asked for the report of the Task Force on International Issues in
Science and Engineering. Dr. Mary K. Gaillard, reporting on behalf
of Dr. Natalicio, committee chair, reminded the Board that the committee
issued two preliminary reports-a transition report recently sent to
Secretary of State Powell and a guidance report for NSF Director.
NSF has initiated a program to detail NSF staff to U.S. embassies
for three-month stays. To date, 33 embassies have requested temporary
scientific expertise, and nine possible matches have been identified.
The Director established an internal group to look at NSF international
activities. The group has issued a preliminary report, and Associate
Directors are in the process of commenting on the draft and providing
concrete recommendations. An action plan should be available this
summer. The committee discussed a consolidated final report and agreed
on a process for producing it.
c. EHR Subcommittee and Task Force
| Dr. Kelly then returned to reports of the EHR Subcommittee
and Task Force.
Subcommittee on Science and Engineering Indicators
| Dr. Richard Tapia, chair of the EHR Subcommittee
on Science and Engineering Indicators, reported that the subcommittee
discussed three draft chapter, reviewers' comments, and authors' responses.
Teleconferences will be used to discuss the remaining draft chapters.
Task Force on National Workforce Policies
Dr. Miller, chair of the EHR Task Force on National Workforce Policies
for Science and Engineering, reported that the task force heard three
presentations to help identify useful science and engineering workforce
data and gaps in those data. Dr. Lindsey Lowell, a demographer from Georgetown
University's Institute for the Study of International Migration, discussed
immigrant flows in U.S. science and technology. He was asked to provide
the task force with a brief summary of where the data are adequate and
where there are gaps. Dr. Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of the California
Council on Science and Technology, reported on a recent critical path
analysis of trends in the production of a science and technology
workforce by California's schools, colleges, and universities. Dr. Lawrence
Burton of NSF's Division of Science Resource Studies (SRS) reported on
national survey data on mid-career education and transitions among science
and technology workers. SRS was asked to provide trend data for the areas
covered by Dr. Burton's presentation and some information on how the European
Union is approaching analysis of similar workforce issues. The task force
members agreed that preparing a report would be substantially aided by
assistance from a data expert; SRS agreed to provide or help find an appropriate
Using the California critical path analysis model, Dr. Miller will
provide an outline for the task force's approach for discussion at
the August meeting. Members also agreed that November 2001 was probably
an unreasonable deadline for the final report, and additional time
should be requested.
e. Committee on Science and Engineering Policy Issues (SPI)
| Dr. Kelly, committee chair, reported that the committee
discussed the results of the two-day symposium (May 21-22) on the
allocation of Federal resources for science and technology and the
next steps toward a final report. He thanked the Director and Board
members who participated. The lead speaker at the symposium was Newt
Gingrich, who recommended a tripling of the NSF budget. The recommendations
in the committee's discussion paper were well received in principle
by the audience and panel members, though a few areas were indicated
for expansion or revision. Committee members agreed on a schedule
for producing a final report. For the August Board meeting, the committee
will compile comments and produce a revised draft report and prepare
an outline of a broader report for the Board's comment. For the October
meeting, SPI will prepare a final report for Board approval.
AGENDA ITEM 12: Other Business
After thanking the many NSF staff members who helped prepare for the
Dr. Kelly adjourned the Open Session at 4:39 p.m.
Janice E. Baker
1 The minutes of the 363rd meeting were approved
by the Board at the August 8, 9 meeting.
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