Letter from the Editor

bridges vol. 21, April 2009 / Letter from the Editor

By Caroline Adenberger

Dear Reader,

Like the April cherry blossoms that announce the arrival of spring each year in Washington, DC, “bridges” also starts every April – for the fifth time in 2009 – with its first issue of the new season, providing you with information on transatlantic science and technology policy.

“Canada revisited” would make an appropriate subheading for this issue. It has been exactly five years, since 2004, since we’ve dedicated a special section to the beautiful country north of the Niagara Falls. With a feature on S&T policy under Prime Minister Stephen Harper; an interview with Chad Gaffield, the president of the Canadian Research Council for the Humanities and the Social Sciences; an expert contribution on US-Canadian S&T relations and joint activities written by the Canadian Counselor for Science & Technology Valerie La Traverse; and, last but not least, with two introductions of Austrian scientists who decided to move from Austria to British Columbia to do their research, we want to update you on what is new up north.

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} A five-year period is also foreseen for the review of the science & technology agreement that was signed between the United States and the European Union in 1997. After the first review took place in 2003, the second one was due in 2008 and was assigned to two independent experts: one of them Manfred Horvat, an Austrian who is a well-known expert in science and technology policy. After many months of research, information gathering, and meetings with officials both in the EU and in the US, Horvat presented the final report of the review to the joint committee this March in Brussels. For bridges, Horvat contributed an abridged article featuring the major findings of the report and its recommendations.

The actions of Barack Obama’s administration, now in charge for almost 100 days, have been followed closely during his first months in office. In the People in the Spotlight section, we report on all the president’s science men – and women. It is quite remarkable how many scientists and people with a science background Obama has gathered around him to help him govern the United States in these challenging times.

Both Roger Pielke in his column, as well as this issue’s guest commentator Gernot Wagner from the Environmental Defense Fund, analyze Obama’s approach to climate change and the policy options available to him. And we also take a closer look, in the Bills in Brief section, at what lies in store for science and technology in the stimulus package. With an extra budget of more than US $21.5 billion to spend within the next 180 days, funding agencies such as NIH and NSF are working night shifts to get the money out as fast as possible to restart the economy.

Articles on how Austrian nitrogen removal technology helps in making DC’s rivers cleaner, why transparency in US federal R&D data management can help spur local innovation, and many more round out the current issue. On behalf of the whole bridges editorial team, I wish you an enjoyable read.

With kind regards,

Caroline Adenberger