Government Grants Within The United States Science and Technology Sector

The United States of America prides itself as one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world. Boosting some of this generation’s biggest state-of-the-art research laboratories, the United States government is constantly looking for ways to support and improve the nation’s science and technology sector.

Aside from serving as a major financial and economical forefront, science and technology also serves as one of the most essential facets of human discovery. It poses great promise and potential in enriching the lives of people, not only the Americans, but also human beings all over the world.

In an effort to sustain, improve, and support the science and technology sector, the United States government has established various agencies that are specifically tasked to address science and technology research and development concerns.

On top of the list, is the National Science Foundation, otherwise referred to as NSF. The NSF was established in the year 1950 to support fundamental research studies and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. The primary mission of the NSF is “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.”

The NSF intends to carry out its mission by leading numerous initiatives and by establishing grant programs such as the Energy, Power, and Adaptive Systems which primarily seeks to invest in the design and analysis of intelligent and adaptive engineering networks, including sensing, imaging, controls, and computational technologies for a variety of application domains.

Next up is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known by everyone else as NASA. The agency is known for being accountable for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Its primary agency mission is to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

Among others, it intends to achieve this mission by administering grant programs such as the ROSES 2012: Terrestrial Ecology Project, which seeks to solicit research proposals from eligible parties declaring their intent to support basic and applied research and technology studies across a broad range of Earth and space science program elements relevant to the files of Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.

Meanwhile, the US government also has the Office of Science and Technology Policy, operating as an office in the Executive Office of the President (EOP). The office is generally tasked to accomplish its threefold mission which is to “(a) to provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence; (b) to ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science; and (c) to ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.”

National Book Festival 2010 Hits the Science and Technology Topics

Recently at September 25, 2010, the 10th National Book festival 2010 took place on the National Mall in Washington DC. Science and Technology books draw the attention of the visitors. Some books written by the famous writers were the hot topic of the entire festival. In the festival some writers gave presentations followed by the question and answer session. This was one of the main attractions of the fair. Each and every author tries to highlight their recent works and try to pinpoint the significant of his/her writings.

Edward O. Wilson, biologist, has published his first fiction book named Anthill. Richard Rhodes, a nuclear weapons historian tried to promote his forth volume of the series the creation and spread of nuclear weapons is another attraction of the festival. In this book history was given from the cold war to the present time. The extension of the nuclear weapon of mass destruction is the main focus in his writings.

Harold Varmus, a Nobel Laureate for his contribution came up with his recent memoir, The Art and Politics of Science. This book discusses about different aspects of politics of science got good attention in the civil society. Those three books and speech of the writers were very much informative and touching for the book lovers.

Henry Petroski who is professor of civil engineering at Duke writes about why things fail. In his recent writings “The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems”. In his writings he focused on solving problems using science. Scientific facts in various problem solving issues got attraction of the visitors of the fair. He also tries to distinguish between science and engineering using the linear model. He claims that contemporary policy to science is very much short-sighted.

There are some other scientific topics highlighted in the fair. Allegra Goodman wrote new work “her novel intuition” and Richard Holmes in his book “the age of wonder” tries to discover the scientific discoveries, prominent scientists of the late 18th and early 19th century. These two pieces were much talked books in the festival.

The recent national book festival 2010 can be said the science and technology dominating fair. Various new books about modern science and technology are published and inaugurated in the books fair. Country renowned writers try to bring new books in the festival to attract. So in a nutshell national Book Festival 2010 was seen dominated by the science and technology.

Modern Science and Technology and the Challenges of Third World Countries

We live in a highly sophisticated world where everything is almost achievable. There would probably have been no changes between the world of today and that of three centuries ago if necessity and serendipitous discoveries had not driven men to achieve great things. Science and technology have had huge positive effects on every society. The world today has gone digital, even human thought. Our world has been reduced to a global village and is better for it.

The benefits of science and technology far outweigh every perceived shortcoming. Some of the biggest effects of technology are in the area of communication; through the internet and mobile phones. There is advancement of communication and expansions of economic commerce. Today we hear of information and communication technology (ICT). Any institution worth its name must have it in place to be really outstanding. Information technology has become boosted in today’s generation; from the field of communication, business, education, and down to the entertainment industry. Through information technology, work performances are boosted with less effort and greater productivity by using various operations. Without computers or the internet, it will be difficult for people all over the world to get their questions answered. One may use the internet to locate a wealth of information with which to answer an essay question that may have been assigned at school, communicate with people, conduct transactions, access news, buy and advertise goods. The list is endless.

The advancement of Science and technology allow mass communication today so that we not only have the television, radio and newspaper, but even mobile phones which renders a multipurpose service; from long distance calls, listening to radio and music, playing games, taking pictures, recording voice and video, and browsing the internet. The benefits we obtain as a result of services from ICT have become widespread in our generation today. It improves the productive level of individuals and workers because People’s knowledge of life beyond the area they lived in is now unlimited. This idea of mass communication also profoundly affects politics as leaders now have many ways they talk directly to the people. Apart from going on air to use radio or television, politicians resort to the social media for some of their political comments and campaign. Information about protests and revolutions are being circulated online, especially through social media. This has caused political upheavals and resulted in change of government in most countries today.

Furthermore, current global issues are much more accessible to the public. Communication has been brought also to the next level because one can find new ways to be able to communicate with loved ones at home.

Science and technology expand society’s knowledge. Science helps humans gain increased understanding of how the world works, while technology helps scientists make these discoveries. Learning has maximized because of different media that are being developed which are all interactive and which bring learning experiences to the next level. Businesses have grown and expanded because of breakthroughs in advertising.

Modern technology has changed the way many companies produce their goods and handle their business. The idea and use of video and web conferencing, for instance, has helped companies remove geographical barriers and given them the opportunity to reach out to employees and clients through out the world. In today’s economy, it has helped companies reduce the cost and inconveniences of travelling, allowing them to meet as often as they could like without having to worry about finding the budget to settle it. Modern technology helps companies reduce their carbon footprint and become green due to the fact that almost anything can be done from a computer.

There have been advances in medical care through the development of science and technology. Advances in medical technology have contributed immensely in extending the life span of people. People with disabilities or health problems are now more and more able to live closer to normal lives. This is because science contributes to developing medications to enhance health as well as technology such as mobile chairs and even electronics that monitor current body levels. Most devices used by the physically challenged people are customized and user friendly.

Science and technology increase road safety. Nowadays, law enforcement officers use Laser technology to detect when automobiles are exceeding speed limits. Technology has led to the development of modern machines such as cars and motorcycles which allow us to be mobile and travel freely and airplanes which travel at a supersonic speed.

Another machine, the air- conditioner, provides cool comfort, especially during hot weather. In offices where dress codes exist, people can afford to wear suits without being worried about the weather. It guarantees convenience even when the climate says otherwise.

Moreover, present day factories have modern facilities like machines and soft ware that facilitate production. These machines work with greater speed and perfection incomparable with human skills. These machines have enabled markets to have surplus products all over the world. For the soft ware, they make it possible for machines to be programmed, for production to be regulated, to monitor the progress being recorded and so on.

Modern technology indeed has been great. For third world countries, however, it has been challenging, especially the area of production. Only consuming and not been able to manufacture does not favour any country when it comes to balance of trade. The most sensitive parts of technology are the theoretical or conceptual parts and technical parts. These are the backbone of technological development anywhere in the world. Without the ideas, there will not be technology. Third world counties need to go back to the basics, that is, to the primitive. There must be meeting ground for tradition and modern technological invention. Third world countries engage in import substitution strategy where they import half finished goods and complete the tail end of the production process domestically. Third world countries started wrongly. They started with climbing the ladder from the top which is very wrong and difficult. They thought that being able to purchase and operate modern technological products qualifies for advancement in science and technological development. This makes third world countries to be a dependent system because working in the factories are routine work and this inevitably links to the issue of the idea of technology transfer. They should seek for technological transfer, but the problem is that no nation is ready to transfer her hard earned technological knowledge to any other nation for some certain reasons which drive nations into competition; world politics and economic prowess. That is the struggle to lead or dominate other nations technologically, economically and politically. Be the first to invent new gadgets and latest electronics including those used in modern warfare, use other nations as market for finished goods, and to have a strong voice and be able to influence other countries. They should consider embarking on technological espionage so as to acquire the rudiments for technological development if they must liberate themselves from the shackles of technological domination.

In conclusion, it’s not until third world countries begin to put embargo on the importation of certain electronics and mechanical goods that the necessity to be creative would replace the habit of consuming foreign products. Countries like Thailand, Burma, Brazil, and South Africa and so on, should be emulated. These countries experienced colonialism yet they did not allow it to overwhelm their creative prowess. Industry and determination saw them emerge as economic giants in the world today. Third world countries should emulate them by carrying out proper feasibility studies to ascertain which technology will suit their country; giving more financial boost to this area, training people to become experts; motivating and encouraging individuals who are naturally endowed and technologically inclined to display their bests of talents. These measures if strictly adhered to will go a long way to help the advancement of these countries in the area of science and technology. If these countries must achieve greatness before the next decade, they have to make conscious and unrelenting efforts. The time starts now! The more they delay, the more backward they become.