Hillary Clinton will restore the OTA

Good news from the political front. Hillary Clinton plans to re-establish the OTA if elected.

Fifth, we’re going to stop substituting ideology for science and evidence, and we’re going to start giving the American people again the facts on the issues that matter to them and their families. Over the past six years, this Administration has tried to turn Washington into an evidence-free zone. Whether it’s stem cell research or Plan B Contraception or pollution or global warming or the safety of our food or the quality of our air — all too often, ideology has replaced facts, and truth has been the first casualty.

The American people deserve better than that. Way back in the 1990s, the White House had an Office of Technology Assessment that was charged with just one task: telling us the truth about science. Sorting out the competing claims and to the best of the scientists’ abilities, telling us what to believe. For decades, they cut through the myths and the spin on everything from Star Wars to AIDS prevention to solar technology. It’s time we put this office back in business, because our citizens should have the information they need about the issues that affect them.

And from her website (since she accidentally conflated the White House office with the congressional one:

The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) should be restored to provide authoritative and objective analysis of complex scientific and technical issues for the federal government. From 1974 to 1995, the OTA had been a small department in the federal government providing numerous, accurate reports for policymakers. As President, Hillary would work to restore the OTA and ensure that we restore the role of evidence and facts, not partisanship and ideology, to decision making.

This is excellent news. Even if you don’t support Hillary, to have this as a goal of a leading candidate will increase its visibility, and bring a discussion of science in policy-making into the debates in the next election.

So cheers for Hillary for recognizing that this is an important issue and lets hope the other candidates pick up on it and support it as well.

Also, I have put a diary up at Kos to help expand awareness of the OTA. Please visit and recommend it up if you’re a Kossack.