Reinstate The Office of Technology Assessment

For 23 years, the nonpartisan Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) assisted Congress with the evaluation of complex technical issues that impacted our society.  The OTA provided valid scientific data so that politicians could make sound policy decisions.

In 1994, the Republican Congress eliminated the OTA during budget cuts forcing it to close its doors September 29, 1995.  Since the dissolution of the OTA, lawmakers have reverted more to decision-making based on a strictly moral or financial basis rather than on actual scientific data. 

It is time for the Office of Technology Assessment to be reestablished so that lawmakers can take advantage of the bounty of valid technical data generated by some of the most brilliant scientific minds in our country.
We the undersigned are writing as concerned citizens who find that the current political state of affairs in Washington is more inclined to shrug off sound policy decisions based on valid scientific studies in order to pass uninformed legislation designed to do little to truly protect its constituents.

During its twenty-three year existence, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) sought to assist our politicians in making sound policy decisions on subject matters that they might not have been familiar with on a basic scientific level.  We firmly believe that, in order to make informed decisions on matters such as: global warming, alternative fuels, antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, environmental protection, and industrial technology, Congress should reinstate the OTA.  This Office was created as a non-partisan collection of concerned scientists working with no agenda aside from educating politicians on valid scientific data.  Without such a resource, decisions tend to be made more on strictly moral or financial grounds.  We find that this does little to promote the continued growth of the United States of America. 

While we realize that there are agencies in existence designed to overcome the void left by the dissolution of the OTA, the advisory roles of these agencies seem to neglect the broad social and/or economic ramifications of ill-advised decisions.  Would it not be better to reinstate an Agency that was committed to evaluating all possible angles of a scientific issue?  This approach engages some of the most brilliant scientific minds in our country in a way that engenders passionate debates, honest assessments of all the scientific data available on a given subject, and ultimately challenges both sides of our political system to come to an informed decision which will protect our environment, our technology, and our sustainability not only as America alone, but also as members of a global community.

Therefore, we respectfully request that your office support a bill to reinstate the Office of Technology Assessment.  It can only serve to strengthen your position as a politician willing to work for the greater good.

Thank you in advance for your time and future action on this matter.

 

 

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