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Website News Index, 2006-2011

Space Shuttle Endeavour Offically Signed Over to California Science Center

(10/13/11) The Space Shuttle Endeavour title transfer to the California Science Center (CSC) was finalized on Tuesday with former NASA astronaut and STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly, the STS-134 crew, NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Richard Keegan and California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph. The event included more than 400 business, community and philanthropic leaders as well as Science Center members and Science Center School students.

'Innovate 2 Innovation' Envisions Resurgent California

(08/17/11) "Innovate 2 Innovation," or "i2i," presents an action plan that would restore California's magnetic attraction for talent and unparalleled reputation for scientific research and high technology. "This report is timely, as California's leaders determine how best to nurture the innovations that will grow our economy," said Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. "CCST's report reassures us about what's right with California - the assets on which we can build, to ensure California continues to enhance its science and technology industry from the classroom to the workplace."

Possibilities, Problems And Potential Envisioned For Nuclear-Powered California in 2050

(07/11/11) was produced as input to the CCST report, "California's Energy Future - The View to 2050' issued in late May that summarized for state leaders how California can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, the goal set in 2005 by executive order S-3-05. The nuclear power report estimates that roughly 30 new nuclear power plants could provide two-thirds of California's electric power in 2050.

Report Maps California's Energy Future to 2050

(05/24/11) "California's Energy Future - The View to 2050" looks a generation ahead at what's required to reach that goal and answers the call of S-3-05, the executive order from 2005 to reduce the state's emissions 80 percent below the 1990 level by 2050. The good news: The technology to do more with less energy and produce the electricity and fuel we need to get to the 60 percent mark is either in demonstration, or already in use.

CCST Releases Preliminary Assessment of Innovation Ecosystem

(03/02/11) California's innovation eco-system achieved world leadership in the last century because of its system of higher education, high-talent workforce, advanced technical infrastructure, and enlightened policies. The state must take action if it is to maintain its status as the nation's high-tech leader, according to a preliminary assessment from CCST.

CCST Releases Summary of Meetings on Trust and Accountability

(01/13/11) The October 2010 CCST Council meeting focused on trust and accountability in science and technology. Two summary documents are now available, with overviews of the discussions from October 18 and 19, respectively. The meetings focused on the role CCST should take with regards to the erosion of public trust in science and ways to address both real and perceived lapses in scientific accountability.

CCST SmartMeter Report Available for Comment

(01/11/11) CCST's report, "Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters," is now available for public comment and review. The report was produced in response to a request from Assembly Member Jared Huffman (Marin) and Assembly Member Bill Monning (Santa Cruz) and assesses the evidence available to address whether FCC standards for SmartMeters are sufficiently protective of public health taking into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields, and whether additional technology specific standards are needed for SmartMeters and other devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from adverse health effects.

Mim John, Peter Cowhey Named New CCST Chair and Vice Chair

(01/10/11) Miriam John, former Vice President of the California Division of the Sandia National Laboratories, has been named the new Chair of the California Council on Science and Technology effective January 1. Council member Peter Cowhey has been named the new Vice Chair. "Mim brings to the position a depth and breadth of experience as a senior executive with Sandia, together with significant advisory roles for Department of Defense agencies," said CCST Board Chair Karl Pister. "I look forward to her tenure as chair."

CCST Executive Director to Speak at Grand Challenges Summit

(09/30/10) Susan Hackwood, Executive Director of CCST, will be speaking at the NAE Grand Challenges National Summit, Oct 7-8, hosted by USC's Viterbi School of Engineering. The meeting will be the second national Grand Challenges Summit, a conference which seeks to merge perspectives in engineering with technology, innovation, business, policy, education and communications, in response to 14 challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering as defining challenges for the 21st century. Registration for the conference is open through Friday October 1.

Council Member Bryant Named UC Irvine Medal Recipient

(09/28/10) CCST Council Member Susan Bryant, former vice chancellor for research at UCI, has been named as a recipient of UC Irvine's most prestigious honor. The UCI Medal, awarded annually, confers lifelong recognition on those who have made exceptional contributions to the university's mission of teaching, research and public service.

Former CEC Commissioner, CCST Senior Fellow Named to Secretary of Energy Advisory Board

(08/27/10) On August 10, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). The twelve member board comprised of scientists, business executives, academics and former government officials will serve as an independent advisory committee to Secretary Steven Chu, a CCST Senior Fellow.

K-6 Teachers and Classrooms Need Stronger Focus on Science

(04/05/10) California's elementary school teachers feel much less confident in teaching science than reading or math, and there is both the need and the potential for significant improvement in elementary school teacher preparation, according to a new report by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).

California Science Center Opens New Ecosystems Exhibit

(04/01/10) The California Science Center, a public-private partnership between the State and the California Science Center Foundation located in Los Angeles, has been actively working for years to provide unique, hands-on educational experiences. On March 25, it added a major new exhibit to this roster when it opened the Ecosystems exhibit gallery.

CCST Senior Fellow Francisco Ayala Awarded Templeton Prize

(03/29/10) Francisco Ayala, UC Irvine professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a CCST senior fellow, has won the 2010 Templeton Prize, which is awarded to a living person who has made an "exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension."

Former CCST Board Member Nikias Named President of USC

(03/12/10) C.L. Max Nikias has been named the next president of the University of Southern California (USC). Nikias, a noted scholar internationally recognized for his research on integrated media systems, digital communications, and biomedicine, is a former member of the CCST Board of Directors and is a CCST Senior Fellow.

Innovation Key to California Space Industry

(02/3/10) Together, California firms are the biggest players in the space industry worldwide. They represent 40 percent of the national market and 21 percent of the international enterprise. But they face serious challenges ranging from economic pressures and international competition to a shortage of technical talent.

UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering celebrates its 20th Anniversary

(01/22/10) UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. As the Founding Dean, CCST's Executive Director, Susan Hackwood and Council member Jeff Rudolph kicked off the distinguished lecture series. Their presentation "Beyond the Classroom: Learning Science in 2030" will set the stage for the lecture series which will focus on Engineering Opportunities and Challenges: The Next 20 Years.

CCST Places First California Science and Technology Fellows

(01/04/10) The California Council on Science and Technology has awarded the first California Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, placing 10 science and technology advisors to serve one-year terms in the California State Legislature. "CCST's S&T Fellows Program is an exciting opportunity for both the fellows and the state legislators they will support," said CCST Council Vice Chair Mim John. "Throughout its history, California has been a world leader in scientific and technical innovation. The fellows will serve a pivotal role in helping both the Senate and Assembly ensure that state policy helps maintain that leadership."

Alice Huang to begin term as AAAS President

(11/16/09) CCST Council member Alice Huang discussed science policy at the state and national level in an address to the Council in October. Having completed the second of two terms as a CCST Council member, she will assume the presidency of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February 2010. She was designated President-Elect at the February 2009 AAAS meeting. "I am sorry to be leaving CCST, because it has been a very valuable experience," she told the Council.

Dept. of State Names Bruce Alberts Science and Technology Envoy

(11/04/09) In remarks at the Forum for the Future in Marrakech on November 3, Secretary Clinton announced new initiatives to bolster science and technology collaboration with Muslim communities around the world. The Secretary named Dr. Bruce Alberts, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, and Dr. Ahmed Zewail as the first three U.S. Science and Technology Envoys and announced that the State Department will expand positions for environment, science, technology, and health officers at U.S. embassies.

Cal TAC Member Shares Experience At NAE Symposium

(10/01/09) On September 8th, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council held a symposium to release a new report emphasizing the importance of introducing engineering into K-12 education. The report examines the status and nature of efforts to teach engineering in U.S. schools. California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) member Pete Arvedson attended the symposium to participate in the discussion with the committee.

Former CCST Board Member Robert Spinrad Dies at 77

(9/7/09) Robert J. Spinrad, former CCST Board and Council member, died on September 2nd of Lou Gehrig's disease. He was a pioneer in computer science who contributed in many ways to the crucial early strategic planning of CCST, serving as one of the first members of the Council. He later joined the CCST Board of Directors, where he served until he retired in 2008. He was also a CCST Senior Fellow.

New Efficiencies

(8/31/09) The past year has been challenging for California. The state's record budget deficits forced it to slash many important programs. Our hopes for addressing California's serious problems with its physical, social, and economic infrastructure- science and math education, healthcare, water and energy supplyhave been deferred. Science and technology are at the core of California's economic strength, and the state must use them to remedy the growing shortcomings in our infrastructure.

Informal Science Learning Has Important Role to Play

(6/19/09) A recent report from the National Research Council says that there is abundant evidence that informal science education settings, such as museums, aquariums, and after-school programs are important contributors to people's knowledge and interest in science. But for the California Science Center, this is nothing new.

Two CCST Council Members on Panel to Assess Future of Human Space Flight Program

(6/2/09) During the course of the review, the panel will examine ongoing and planned NASA development activities and potential alternatives in order to present options for advancing a safe, innovative, affordable and sustainable human space flight program following the space shuttle's retirement next year. The committee will present its results by August in time to support an administration decision on the way forward.

President Obama Appoints CCST Senior Fellow Maxine Savitz to PCAST

(5/4/09) On April 27, during remarks at the National Academy of Sciences, President Barack Obama announced the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Among the newly appointed members was CCST Senior Fellow Maxine Savitz, retired general manager of Technology Partnerships at Honeywell Inc. and Vice President of the National Academy of Engineering.

New Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Program Launches

(3/31/09) CCST has initiated a new fellowship opportunity for professional scientists and engineers to spend a year working in Sacramento with the California State Legislature. The California Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellowships are intended as professional development opportunities enabling members of the scientific community a chance to contribute to scientific and technical issues facing California through their interaction with the legislative process. Fellows will learn about the legislative process while sharing their own expertise and experience with legislators and their staffs.

CCST Council Member Peter Cowhey Picked as Counselor for US Trade Representative

(2/5/09) The new administration of President Barack Obama has invited CCST Council member Peter Cowhey to serve as a member of the senior leadership team at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Cowhey will serve as Senior Counselor to the U.S. Trade Representative on strategy and negotiations.

Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond Appointed to CCST Board of Directors

(12/5/08) Rollin Richmond, president of Humboldt State University, has joined the CCST Board of Directors. The appointment follows a decision to expand representation from the California State University System on the Board. "CSU has been an active partner in most of our major projects, especially those focusing on science and technology education, and we think CSU's additional representation is appropriate at this juncture," said CCST Board Chair Karl Pister.

Water Resource Planning An Uphill Battle, But a Vital One

(10/14/08) At the CCST Council meeting on October 8, one of the world's leading experts on hydrometeorology brought the message that California urgently needs to plan its water future using every tool available.

NRC Report Recommends Expansion of Professional Science Masters Programs

(7/16/08) Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree programs merit further support and expansion, according to a recent National Research Council (NRC) report by the Committee on Enhancing the Master's Degree in the Natural Sciences. The report drew in part upon the experiences of the California State University System (CSU), which has engaged in a systemwide effort to develop PSM programs, and previous research by CCST.

California Board of Education Adopts Higher Math Standards

(7/10/08) On July 9, the California State Board of Education voted 8-1 to test all eighth graders in algebra, replacing the General Mathematics Test and making California the first state to require algebra at such an early level. CCST was one of the organizations called upon to comment at the Board meeting.

Press Release: Proposed Algebra Standard the Right Measure to Meet

(7/9/08) Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a landmark shift in California's middle school mathematics testing, asking the State Board of Education to test every eighth grader in the state in Algebra I and dispensing with the General Mathematics Test. "The state has been moving towards a goal of preparing every eighth grade student in Algebra for some time," said CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood. "Acknowledging that this is the standard to which California's students should be held is the right thing to do."

Retiring CCST Sacramento Director Honored at Meeting

(5/29/08) CCST honored retiring Sacramento Director Annzell Loufas at its May 2008 meeting, where she received commendations from both the Legislature and Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi as well. "It is a great pleasure to honor and commend Ms. Loufas," said Garamendi. "On behalf of the people of the State of California, I applaud her for her distinguished achievements as Director of the CCST Sacramento Office."

NAE Identifies Engineering Challenges for 21st Century

(2/25/08) The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has identified fourteen priority areas awaiting engineering solutions in the 21st century. "California's scientific community is arguably at the forefront of most if not all of these issues, which concern serious challenges to our citizens' standard of living in the future," said CCST Board Member Lawrence Papay.

New Fellow Continues 20-year Relationship with CCST

(2/12/08) David Goodstein, a founding member of the CCST Board in 1988, has been appointed a CCST fellow, and offers some perspectives on how CCST has changed in the past twenty years.

WIB Toolkit Nears Completion

(2/12/08) An innovative website designed to make a wide range of materials available to Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) is nearing completion, and represents a significant resource in an accessible format, according to early reviews.

Interview with Jean-Louis Gassée: Are We Prepared for the Future?

(2/12/08) Council member Jean-Louis Gassée discusses some of the principal science and technology related policy challenges facing California.

CCST Names New Council Chair and Vice Chair

(2/12/08) CCST has also appointed five new Council members, five new Board members, ten new Fellows, and two new members of the California Teacher Advisory Council.

California HIT gets Boost with FCC Grant to UC

(2/12/08) In November, the University of California, in partnership with a coalition of government agencies, health care providers and others, received a three-year, $22 million award from the Federal Communications Commission to help develop a new California Telehealth Network.

Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity Pose Challenge for California

(2/12/08) Biodiversity issues on land and in the ocean involve many layers of state and federal policy. CCST's February Council meeting will focus on state and federal cooperation on the oceans and climate change related issues.

CCST Offers Comments on Ocean Health Agreement

(2/12/08) "We commend the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington for moving forward aggressively on the important challenges of our ocean's health through the development of this plan," said CCST Council Chair Charles Kennel.

CCST Marks 20th Anniversary

(2/12/08) Congressman Sam Farr and Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi will both address the Council at its February 2008 meeting, when CCST will mark its 20th anniversary.

CCST Board Member Bruce Alberts Named Editor-in-Chief of Science

(12/17/07) Bruce Alberts, who has served on the CCST Board of Directors since 2006, has been selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to serve as editor-in-chief of its journal Science. The appointment takes effect in March 2008.

Arthur Kornberg, Nobel Laureate and CCST Fellow, Dies at 89

(11/05/07) CCST Fellow Arthur Kornberg, MD, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1959, died on October 26 of respiratory failure at Stanford Hospital. He was 89. Dr. Kornberg shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine with Severo Ochoa, MD for discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of DNA. He was also instrumental in building the Stanford Department of Biochemistry into a world-class department.

CCST Board Chair Karl Pister Receives Kerr Award

(10/29/07) CCST Board Chair Karl Pister was presented with the Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, in a campus ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 25. The award recognizes extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the advancement of higher education.

CCST Testifies at Congressional Hearing on Education

(9/28/07) On Friday, September 21, CCST Board Member Warren Baker, President of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood testified before the U.S. House Education and Labor Sub-Committee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness at a hearing held as part of the Competitiveness Crisis Council Summit at Cal Poly Pomona. The two-day summit focused on California's continuing need for a workforce trained in science and math, and the economic consequences of failing to meet this demand.

NSB Draft Report Offers National Roadmap to Address STEM Education Woes

(9/05/07) The National Science Board (NSB) has released a draft report of a long-awaited plan to address challenges with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The report's findings resonate strongly with CCST's recent work on science and math teacher preparation in California and with its recommendations for a California response to similar issues raised in the National Academies report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm."

National Academies, CCST to Partner on State S&T Advice Convocation

(7/24/07) The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, the National Association of Academies of Science, and the California Council on Science and Technology are co-sponsoring a convocation on science and technology policy at the state level. The convocation, State S&T Policy Advice: Issues, Assets, and Opportunities, will be held at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, Irvine, CA on October 15-16, 2007.

Annual Report 2006-2007: A Climate for Change

(7/17/07) There has been a crucial shift in the public sphere, a new willingness to look beyond easy fixes. We have reached consensus on the existence and the seriousness of the shortcomings in our science and math education system, on the challenges facing our water supply and on the need for a long-term energy strategy that meets our growing needs and is less harmful to the environment. There is not yet consensus on how to address these problems, but the recognition that they must be addressed now is a major and encouraging step forward.

Senator Feinstein Cites CCST Report in Support of Innovation Legislation

(4/26/07) Senator Dianne Feinstein cited CCST's Critical Path Analysis of California's Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation System yesterday in a statement of support for a bipartisan measure to strengthen federal investments in educational opportunities for math, science, engineering and technology.

California Faces Critical Shortage of Math and Science Teachers

(3/5/07) California faces a persistent and critical shortage of fully prepared math and science teachers and lacks the capacity to produce enough math and science teachers to meet future needs, according to a new report released today by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning. It concludes that the shortage of fully prepared math and science teachers is undermining the quality of the state's education system and hampering the ability to produce college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

CCST Fellow Duane McRuer Dies at 81; Chairman of Systems Technology, Inc.

(2/2/07) CCST Fellow Duane McRuer died of prostate cancer January 24, 2007 at his home in Manhattan Beach, California. He was 81. McRuer was Chairman of Systems Technology, Inc. (STI), from 1993 until his death, and was President and Technical Director, STI, 1957-1993. He has also been a Regent's Lecturer at the University of CA Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the 1992-93 Hunsaker Professor at MIT.

Cal TAC Member Gives Teacher Advice in UCLA Magazine

(1/25/07) A member of the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC) was recently given a prominent feature in the UCLA Magazine. Juliana Jones, a mathematics teacher at Montera Middle School in Oakland and member of Cal TAC since 2005, was invited to contribute a feature on how students, new teachers and working professionals in other fields with comparable skills can carve out a career teaching math and science.

CCST Director of Programs Named AAAS Fellow

(1/23/07) Donna Gerardi Riordan, Director of Programs at the California Council on Science and Technology, has been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As part of the General Interest in Science and Engineering section, Riordan was elected as an AAAS Fellow for leadership in and significant contributions to science policy, public understanding of science, and science education at the state, national and international levels.

CCST Urges Reconsideration of Federal Innovation Legislation

(1/19/07) In 2006 several Congressional bills were proposed to improve the United States' science and technology competitiveness, which ultimately converged in the bipartisan National Competitiveness Investment Act (S 3936). However, despite considerable bipartisan momentum, the bill was not acted upon before the end of the congressional session. CCST has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the California congressional delegation urging Congress to take up the important issues addressed in the NCIA.

State Needs to Initiate Aggressive Campaign for Science and Technology Talent, Say Task Forces

(1/9/07) The California Council on Science and Technology, at the Governor's request, convened four task forces chaired by corporate leaders to respond to the major recommendations in the National Academies' report Rising Above the Gathering Storm. In response, CCST has prepared a list of "actionable" items with both short-term and long-term components to reassert California's unique attributes as the premier S&T leader in the nation.

CCST Welcomes 10 New Council Members

(1/2/07) In January 2007, CCST welcomed ten new Council members. The Council is an independent assembly of corporate CEOs, academicians, scientists and scholars of the highest distinction. The purpose of the Council is to provide independent and objective findings on public policy issues involving science and technology that affect the State of California.

CCST Report Helps CSU Launch New Graduate Science Programs

(12/15/06) The Professional Science Master's (PSM) Degree is an innovative two-year graduate program created to meet industry needs by providing math, science and engineering graduates the skills essential to excel in today's high-growth technical industries. PSM programs also feature internships, which provide essential industry-based experience and exposure. In 2005, CCST released a study, "An Industry Perspective of the Professional Science Master's Degree in California," which explored potential interest in the new degree programs among key high-tech industries throughout the state.

Bringing the National Labs into Focus: "Focal Point" Series to Highlight Lab Contributions

(12/10/06) CCST has launched the first of a new publication series designed to highlight important technological contributions from California's federal laboratories.

CCST Board Member To Advise Stanford University on Federal Research Policy

(11/1/06) CCST Board Member Arthur Bienenstock has stepped down from his post as vice provost and dean of research at Stanford University to assume the newly created position of special assistant to the president for federal research policy.

CCST Launches Redesigned Website

(10/7/06) CCST has largely completed a comprehensive overhaul of its website, making its content more readily accessible to readers. At present most of our content (including all our publications) has been transferred to the new site; over the coming weeks, we will complete the process and move all content from the old website to the new.

Governor Signs National Laboratory Contract Bill

(9/1/06) SB 1629, enacting the Federal Laboratory Contracting Act, modifies the existing state's contracting procedures and policies to enable California to contract with Department of Energy and NASA federal funded laboratories.

Council Member Max Weiss Dies, 83

(8/8/06) Max Tibor Weiss, CCST Council member since 2001, died June 10 at age 83. He was Retired Vice President and General Manager of the Electronic Systems Division of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Governor Asks CCST to Develop S&T Strategy

(7/27/06) CCST received a request from the Governor asking us to help California respond to the National Academies report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm. The report contains a strong message that the nation's science and math education and economic environment need serious attention in order to safeguard the future prosperity of the nation.