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Forum guest Michael McGeary and his partner, Phillip Smith, argue for a balanced R&D portfolio in Science.
Michael McGeary was a senior staff officer and study director at the National Academy of Sciences from 1981 until l995. A political scientist, his interests include national science and technology policy; organization, funding, staffing, and management of federal scientific agencies; and the uses of scientific research in government decisionmaking. At the NAS, he headed the staff work of more than a dozen studies by the Institute of Medicine, the Commission on Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, and the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. Study reports include Reshaping Graduate Education in Science and Engineering; Major Award Decisionmaking at the National Science Foundation; Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments; The AIDS Research Program at the National Institutes of Health; and Inner-City Poverty in the United States.
Between graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and coming to the National Academy of Sciences, McGeary worked on studies of presidential management at the National Academy of Public Administration and taught political science and urban studies at Wellesley College. His undergraduate degree is from Harvard College.
Most recently, he was a consultant for the report by the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine that proposed new criteria and procedures for federal R&D, Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology (1995). He just completed drafting a follow-up report, The Federal Science and Technology Budget, FY 1997, to be issued by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences in January 1997. The analysis is the first in what will become an annual series of reports analyzing trends in federal investment in science and technology.
Currently, he is writing a book with Philip M. Smith on the changing relationships between science and government and the issues facing the national research enterprise as it restructures itself to meet future challenges such as global economic competition and sustainable development. Their book, The Next Frontiers: Science and Technology Policies for the 21st Century, will appear in 1997. Meanwhile, an article stemming from the book, "The R&D Portfolio: A Concept for Allocating Science and Technology Funds," just appeared as a policy forum piece in the November 29, 1996, issue of Science.