At every level of decision making in the federal government, scientific and technological factors have become increasingly important. This is true in fields ranging from educational policy to basic and applied research strategy, from trade negotiations to arms control policy, and from defense to health related issues. Therefore, it is in the interest of the nation to have a cadre of scientists and engineers helping to make key decisions.

Yet, we have a dearth of scientists and engineers in important positions in the federal government. There is a unique set of problems associated with attracting good people with scientific and engineering backgrounds to serve in the government, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis. These problems must be addressed if we are to ensure that the government serves the long-term interest of the nation.

Some federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, depend on the continuing influx of temporary...

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