CCST was established during a period of heightened
concern about California's future.
In the 1980s, competition from abroad was threatening
California's traditional leadership in areas such as
aerospace and semiconductors. The State had recently
lost national competitions for several important
national research facilities. Economic, demographic, and
environmental changes and issues which dominate our
State today were just beginning to assume prominence.
Amid these concerns, a coalition of policymakers and
institutional leaders began to discuss strategies to
assess and catalyze the role of science and technology
in California's future direction in research, industry, and
policy. The effort resulted in Assembly Concurrent
Resolution 162, introduced by then-Assemblymember
Sam Farr, actively supported by then-State Senator John Garamendi and filed with the Secretary of State on
September 15, 1988.
ACR 162 called for the establishment of "the
California Council on Science and Technology". This
founding statement charged the new organization "to
respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other
entities on public policy issues related to science and
technology" and to create a council "comprised of
distinguished scholars and experts, including scientists
and engineers from California's academic and
industrial community." The Resolution also required
the council to "identify long-range research needs for
sustaining the state's economic development and competitiveness and provide direction for new
scientific and technological activities." The council was
also responsible for assessing "private sector/university
relations and technology transfer, particularly with
respect to California's economic development,
leadership in research and development, and capacity to
retain vital industries and scientific talent in California."
California has seen great advances and new challenges
since then, and CCST has been invited as a voice of
counsel at every turn. Over the ensuing decades,
CCST has been asked to report on the State's R&D
competitiveness, transportation, intellectual
property, STEM education, energy production, and
water supply, among many other timely topics.
CCST itself has evolved as well, adding Federal research
facilities in the State as key affiliates, strengthening
its relationships within the Capitol community,
and creating two programs that connect trained
professionals with California's decision makers: the
CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellows, and the
California Teacher Advisory Council.
Today, California remains at the forefront of research
and innovation on the National and global stage, but the
priorities which seeded CCST's creation still resonate
nearly 30 years later.
California's leadership in technology, environmental
stewardship, biomedicine, and other critical fields
relies on its policymakers having access to clearly
communicated, scientifically informed advice. With
this need in mind, CCST will continue to engage leading
experts in science and technology to advise State
policymakers - ensuring that California policies are
strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge,
research, and innovation.