Press Release

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow Neal Lane Addresses Senate Commerce Committee on the Importance of Investing in Science and Engineering Research


CAMBRIDGE, MA | July 18, 2014Neal Lane, American Academy Fellow, Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University, and Senior Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, testified yesterday in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that America’s future as a global leader depends on a robust and expanding science and technology research and development agenda by the federal government.

Lane discussed the U.S. history of investing in science and engineering research and how these investments have moved American society forward. He also discussed a forthcoming report of the American Academy’s Committee on New Models for U.S. Science & Technology Policy that he is co-chairing with Norman R. Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. The report, to be released in September, will offer recommendations on how to sustain a long-term, nonpartisan, national focus on science, engineering, and technology policy.

Dr. Lane said, “New knowledge and technologies, which are the products of research, are the lifeblood of today’s accelerating high-tech, knowledge-based economy. If the U.S. is to remain a leader in this new economy, it will have to ensure that it has a skilled workforce particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas, and a robust science and engineering research enterprise that matches the challenge. It should be clear that both education and science and engineering research play a critical role in the economic and personal well-being of Americans in this ‘Land of Opportunity.’”

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is chaired by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and is also led by its ranking member Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). The hearing was titled "The Federal Research Portfolio: Capitalizing on Investments in R&D." Video of Dr. Lane’s testimony is available at the Senate Commerce Committee’s website:

Dr. Lane previously served in the Clinton administration as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from August 1998 to January 2001, and as Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and member (ex officio) of the National Science Board, from October 1993 to August 1998.



About the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ( is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy; global security and international affairs; institutions of democracy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.