Lawsuit Spurs Debate Over PCAST Meetings: Should They Be Open To Press And Public?

Some researchers question the aura of secrecy that surrounds the presidential panel's closed-door sessions on science policy Scientists around the United States appear to be at loggerheads over the question, brought to the fore by a recent lawsuit, of whether the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) should be conducting a greater portion of its work in meetings that are open to the press and public. On one hand, some, including PCAST members, say that discussing

Barton Reppert
Jul 5, 1992
Some researchers question the aura of secrecy that surrounds the presidential panel's closed-door sessions on science policy
Scientists around the United States appear to be at loggerheads over the question, brought to the fore by a recent lawsuit, of whether the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) should be conducting a greater portion of its work in meetings that are open to the press and public.

On one hand, some, including PCAST members, say that discussing such potentially sensitive matters as AIDS research and bio- diversity in closed meetings enables the council members to be more candid and objective in offering their advice to President Bush and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Closed meetings, they say, also allow for more give-and-take of contrasting views within the group, formed by the administration in early 1990.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Election-year politics was sprinkled amid science issues as the...

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