What Did the Office of Technology Assessment Do and Why Was It Defunded?

Adam Keiper, editor of the New Atlantis, authored this fine essay on the Office of Technology Assessment. He interviewed former OTA staff in the course of researching the piece, which is a very informative read. He concludes:

"The story of OTA offers cautionary lessons for Republicans in Congress. But the story also offers an example of a serious attempt to inform the legislative process in a responsible way. Confronted with the challenges of governing on crucial but extremely complex scientific questions, the leaders of Congress in the 1970s made a serious effort to provide themselves with sober and reliable expertise. Today’s congressional leadership, confronted with at least as great a challenge, should learn not only the negative lessons of the OTA experience, but also the positive, and should, in their own way, on their own terms, build their own version of a professional advisory body on science and technology."

Read more at http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/science-and-congress