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拜登的科学新政

当地时间1月16日,新一届美国总统当选人拜登(Joe Biden)宣布了新的白宫科学小组成员,任命博德研究所所长兰德博士(Eric S. Lander)为科学技术政策办公室(Office of Science and Technology Policy)主任。今天刊登的是拜登写给兰德博士的信。
 
翻译 | 返朴
 
2021年1月15日
 
埃里克·S·兰德博士(Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.)
所长、创始主任
麻省理工学院-哈佛大学博德研究所
 
亲爱的兰德博士:
 
1944年,富兰克林·罗斯福总统向他的科学顾问万尼瓦尔·布什(Vannevar Bush)博士去信,询问二战后应如何最大限度地利用科学与技术来造福国家的卫生健康、经济繁荣以及国家安全。布什博士以一份题为《科学——无尽的疆域》(Science—The Endless Frontier)的报告做出了回应。后来,这份报告为美国国家科学基金会(National Science Foundation)的成立打下了基础,并推动了美国战后至今75年来的科学发现。
 
这些年来,人类历史上一些最重大的科学进步是在美国的引领下完成的。但四分之三个世纪过去了,我们的生活面貌已经发生改变。技术和工业有起有落,数字化领域的出现重新定义了我们创新、交流和体验世界的方式。而且,发现本身的性质也在急遽改变——高远至外层太空,复杂至微观世界,这些在不久前还是无法想象的。
 
鉴于此,我们应当革新并重振我国的科学技术战略,为下一个75年铺就坚实的道路,让我们的子孙后代生活在一个更健康、更安全、更公平、更和平、更繁荣的世界。这需要学术界、医疗界、工业界和政府部门中最杰出的人才汇聚起来,打破那些过于局限我们视野、阻碍我们进步的樊篱,并将美国人民的需求、利益、忧虑和渴望放在首位。
 
罗斯福总统曾要求布什博士考虑四个具体问题。今天,我委派给你和你的同事们五个议题。我希望,你们能够与美国社会多元的科学领军机构进行广泛而透明的合作,并吸引更广泛的美国公众参与,就联邦政府应采取的总体战略、具体行动、体系创新提出建议,让我们国家继续充分利用科学技术的力量,为美国人民谋取利益。
 
1. 从这次瘟疫中,我们能学到哪些是可以做的——或者说应该做的——以解决公共卫生方面最广泛的需求?
 
在我们急迫地与这场冠状病毒大流行斗争之际,也必须努力应对我们所看到的挑战、不平等和机遇,汲取当下的教训,以便更好地应对未来。
 
病原微生物可能导致新发流行病,带来潜在生物武器,并发展出抗生素耐药性,我们怎样才能大幅提升快速应对此类威胁的能力?针对癌症等其他类型疾病,我们怎样才能加速开发、开展临床治疗?在患者同意的前提下,我们该怎样快速共享健康信息,以建立更智能、更有效的医疗保健系统?我们该怎样利用远程医疗来改善全美人民的健康状况?
 
2. 应对气候变化,该怎样利用科技的突破来创造新的、有力的解决方案,推动以市场为导向的变革,刺激经济增长,提升人民健康水平,增加就业岗位,特别在那些落后的社区?
 
气候变化是切实存在的威胁,亟需采取大胆的应对措施。但与此同时,解除这一威胁的必要性,也代表着一个非凡的机遇,可以创造性地投入国内基础设施建设,增强美国的稳定,推动环境正义,创造新的尖端产业和数百万个高薪岗位,提升美国在未来的领导地位。
 
要实现我们对2050年净零碳排放的承诺,需要部署好现有的美国制造的清洁能源技术,令其物有所值;需要革新碳捕获和碳存储方案;需要激励美国的技术创新,开发能够重塑市场的新零碳技术。这一努力将巩固我们未来的经济,在全国社区创造可持续的、有工会保障的高薪岗位,并重申美国在全球气候变化问题上的领导地位。
 
美国有着悠久的、成功的、两党支持的历史,去利用联邦政府的研究、采购和政策助推关键产业的发展,曾经,我们在半导体行业的开拓和领先地位就是这样取得的。在维护自然环境的同时,我们应当如何重启这一模式,向我们的后代交付一个更健康、更安全、更繁荣的且可持续发展的未来?
 
3. 在关系到经济繁荣与国家安全的关键技术产业领域,美国应如何确保在未来占据世界领先地位,尤其是与中国相比?
 
从人工智能到合成生物学,新技术出现得越来越快,有望改变我们的生活。每一项技术都带来了一系列清晰的机遇和挑战,都能够极大地影响就业机会、社会公平和国家安全。
 
其他国家——尤其是中国——正在以前所未有的投入,竭尽所能地促进新兴产业的增长,冲击着美国的科技领导地位。在那些定义明日经济的领域,我们追赶竞争对手的能力决定着美国的未来。
 
美国的正确战略必然迥异于我们的对手,且极有可能迥异于我们过去的方针。国家的投资力度应该有多大,快速推动关键技术研发的国家战略支柱是什么?需要什么样的结构体系、基础设施和政策,来加快实验室科研、项目开发和市场之间的衔接?我们应怎样加强和扩大学术界、产业界和政府之间的联系?这一点在历史上一直是取得技术进步和保护国家安全的决定性因素。更重要的是,我们如何才能确保技术进步会创造,而不是缩减高质量的就业机会?
 
4. 我们如何才能保证整个国家和所有美国人民都能充分共享科学与技术的成果?
 
对于不同的种族、性别、经济状况和地理范围,科学技术带来的利益仍然分布不均。我们怎样才能将不同背景的美国人都纳入科学技术创造和回报之中?怎样让科技中心在全国各地蓬勃发展,以推动每一个美国人的家乡经济?怎样确保医学进步惠及所有美国人,并大幅降低不同种族、不同社会经济体的健康状况差距?
 
5. 我们如何才能保证美国科学与技术的长期健康发展?
 
美国科学技术的繁荣,源于由人力、政策和机构组成的丰富生态系统。这一生态系统必须得到滋养和振兴,才能在瞬息万变的世界中取得成功。
 
我们应怎样保护政府内部的科学诚信,使政府成为科学家和技术人员的首选工作地?我们应怎样解决学术研究结构所面对的压力,并扶持联邦政府资助的创新模式?我们应怎样重新构想和改造STEM教育,强化教师能力,配置新技术,以优化教育体验?我们怎样才能令美国继续吸引全世界最优秀、最聪明的人才?
 
我相信,这些问题的答案将促成未来几年内我们国家在新的道路上起航——一条兼顾尊严与被尊重、兼顾繁荣与安全、兼顾发展与共同目标的道路。诚然,这些问题很大,但美国解决问题的能力更大。我期待收到你的建议,并与你、与你的团队、与广大的科学界共同合作,找出解决方案,减轻美国人民的日常负担,带来新工作、新机遇,并恢复美国在世界舞台上的领导地位。
 
真诚的
小约瑟夫·R·拜登
 
英文原文
 
January 15, 2021
Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.
 
President and Founding Director
 
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
 
Dear Dr. Lander:
 
In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authored a letter to his science advisor, Dr. Vannevar Bush, posing the question of how science and technology could best be applied to benefit the nation’s health, economic prosperity, and national security in the decades that would follow the Second World War. Dr. Bush’s response came in the form of a report, titled Science—the Endless Frontier, that would form the basis of the National Science Foundation and set the course of scientific discovery in America for the next 75 years.
 
Those years have brought about some of the most consequential scientific advancements in human history with America leading the way. But three quarters of a century later, the contours of our lives have changed. Technologies and industries have risen and fallen, and the emergence of the digital arena has redefined the ways we innovate, communicate, and experience the world. And the nature of discovery itself has changed by leaps and bounds—reaching celestial heights, and microscopic complexities, that were unimaginable not so long ago.
 
For this reason, I believe it is essential that we refresh and reinvigorate our national science and technology strategy to set us on a strong course for the next 75 years, so that our children and grandchildren may inhabit a healthier, safer, more just, peaceful, and prosperous world. This effort will require us to bring together our brightest minds across academia, medicine, industry, and government—breaking down the barriers that too often limit our vision and our progress, and prioritizing the needs, interests, fears, and aspirations of the American people.
 
President Roosevelt asked Dr. Bush to consider four specific questions. Today, I am tasking you and your colleagues with five. My hope is that you, working broadly and transparently with the diverse scientific leadership of American society and engaging the broader American public, will make recommendations to our administration on the general strategies, specific actions, and new structures that the federal government should adopt to ensure that our nation can continue to harness the full power of science and technology on behalf of the American people.
 
1. What can we learn from the pandemic about what is possible—or what ought to be possible— to address the widest range of needs related to our public health?
 
Even as we work urgently to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, we must learn from this moment by grappling with the challenges, inequities, and opportunities we’ve seen in order to better prepare for the future.
 
How can we dramatically improve our ability to rapidly address threats from pathogens, including emerging pandemics, potential bioweapons, and antibiotic resistance? How can we dramatically speed our ability to develop and conduct clinical trials of therapies for other types of diseases like cancer? How can we enable the rapid sharing, with patient consent, of health information to build a smarter and more effective healthcare system? How can we use telemedicine to improve health for all Americans?
 
2. How can breakthroughs in science and technology create powerful new solutions to address climate change—propelling market-driven change, jump-starting economic growth, improving health, and growing jobs, especially in communities that have been left behind?
 
Climate change represents an existential threat that requires bold and urgent action. But at the same time, the necessity of solving it also presents us with an extraordinary opportunity to make groundbreaking investments in our infrastructure, enhance America’s resilience, promote environmental justice, and create new cutting-edge industries and millions of good-paying jobs that will advance American leadership for generations to come.
 
Achieving our commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require deploying existing, cost-effective clean energy technologies manufactured in America; drawing on innovative solutions to capture and store carbon; and spurring American technological ingenuity to develop new zero-carbon technologies that can reshape the marketplace. This effort will fortify our economy for the future, create a durable stream of good-paying union jobs in communities across the country, and reassert American leadership on climate change around the globe.
 
The United States has a long, successful, and bipartisan history of using federal research, purchasing, and policies to help jumpstart critical industries—including, for example, when we pioneered and led the semiconductor industry. How can we refresh that model to deliver a healthier, safer, more prosperous, and sustainable future for our children, while preserving our natural environment for future generations?
 
3. How can the United States ensure that it is the world leader in the technologies and industries of the future that will be critical to our economic prosperity and national security, especially in competition with China?
 
From artificial intelligence to synthetic biology, new technologies are emerging in increasingly rapid cycles that promise to transform our lives. Each arrives with a distinct set of promises and challenges—and each carries the capacity to dramatically impact job creation, equity, and national security.
 
Other countries—especially China—are making unprecedented investments and doing everything in their power to promote the growth of new industries and eclipse America's scientific and technological leadership. Our future depends on our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the fields that will define the economy of tomorrow.
 
The right strategy for the United States will necessarily differ from that of our competitors, but it will also likely differ from our own past playbook. What is the right level of national investment, and what are the pillars of a national strategy that will rapidly propel both research and development of critical technologies? What structures, infrastructures, and policies are needed to accelerate the path from research laboratories to development projects to the marketplace? How can we strengthen and expand the connections between academia, industry, and government, which have historically been crucial for advancing technology and protecting national security? And, importantly, how do we ensure that technological advances create rather than diminish high-quality jobs?
 
4. How can we guarantee that the fruits of science and technology are fully shared across America and among all Americans?
 
The benefits of science and technology remain unevenly distributed across racial, gender, economic, and geographic lines. How can we ensure that Americans of all backgrounds are drawn into both the creation and the rewards of science and technology? How can we ensure that science and technology hubs flourish in every part of the country, driving economic development in every American hometown? How can we ensure that advances in medical science benefit the health of all Americans, including substantially reducing racial and socioeconomic health disparities?
 
5. How can we ensure the long-term health of science and technology in our nation?
 
Science and technology have flourished in the United States because of a rich ecosystem of people, policies, and institutions. This ecosystem must be nurtured and refreshed to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
 
How can we protect scientific integrity within government—and make government a premier destination for scientists and technologists to work? How can we address stresses on academic research labs and promote creative models for federal research support? How can we reimagine and transform STEM education, empowering teachers and deploying technology to enhance the educational experience? How can we ensure the United States will remain a magnet for the best and brightest minds throughout the world?
 
I believe that the answers to these questions will be instrumental in helping our nation embark on a new path in the years ahead—a path of dignity and respect, of prosperity and security, of progress and common purpose. They are big questions, to be sure, but not as big as America’s capacity to address them. I look forward to receiving your recommendations—and to working with you, your team, and the broader scientific community to turn them into solutions that ease everyday burdens for the American people, spark new jobs and opportunities, and restore American leadership on the world stage.
 



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