The California Council on Science and Technology Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Its Establishment Via the California State Legislature

September 14, 2018 | ,   | Contact: Ben Landis

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University of California President Janet Napolitano was one of the speakers at the celebration of CCST’s 30th anniversary, held at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its establishment (#CCST30th) via California State Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162 – which was introduced by then-Assemblymember Sam Farr with support by then-State Senator John Garamendi, and officially filed on September 15, 1988.

“What makes California a global leader is our drive for ingenuity and our investment in knowledge and talent,” says Peter F. Cowhey, Chair of the CCST Board of Directors and Dean of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. “Science has a role in informing California policymaking and in sustaining the prosperity and wellbeing of our peoples and communities. CCST plays the crucial role of joining together California’s higher learning institutions and its research labs to make their expertise available on a nonpartisan basis – assisting our state government in making wise policy for the benefit of generations to come.”

“It is extraordinary that California has had the benefit of CCST for 30 years,” says Harvey Fineberg, President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and an Honorary Co-Chair of the CCST Anniversary Committee. “California has been at the forefront of so many important developments for our nation and the world. The role of a state-based council devoted to science and technology is another innovative way in which California has set the pace.”

Coinciding with Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Global Climate Action Summitthis week, CCST hosted its 30th Anniversary celebration in San Francisco on Tuesday, September 11, welcoming its community of champions from across scientific, policy, industry, and philanthropic spheres. With the magnificent bayside vista of the Exploratorium as their setting, University of California President Janet Napolitano and California State Senator Bob Wieckowski helped commemorate CCST’s achievements over its 30 years of convening science in service to California’s Capitol community.

“As we gather here tonight to celebrate CCST’s decades of service to the state of California, I want to pause and reflect on the importance of evidence-based scientific research in our policymaking. This concept is at the heart of CCST’s mission,” said UC President Napolitano in commemorating the CCST anniversary on Tuesday. “Looking to the future, I know that CCST and the organizations that support it, including the University of California, will continue to work together to champion these values, to stand up for our researchers and their work, and to emphasize the value of data-driven discourse and policymaking.”

Amidst rapid global change in environment, technology, medicine, and economy during the 1980’s – a coalition of visionary leaders from California’s state government, academic institutions, and R&D community urged the creation of a “California Council on Science and Technology.” This nonpartisan, nonprofit science advisory body would go on to respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other State entities on policy questions related to science and technology – convening the brightest and best scientific minds from California’s leading research campuses and institutions, while attracting support from respected philanthropic institutions and individuals from across the Golden State.

Throughout its three decades of operation, CCST has delivered timely reports on critical topics facing California, from R&D competitiveness to digitally enhanced education to water and energy futures. Notable recent reports addressed hydraulic fracturing in response to Senate Bill 4 (Pavley, 2012), and underground natural gas storage in response to the Aliso Canyon incident. In addition to commissioned reports, CCST helps connect Legislative and Executive Branch offices with technical experts for advice and testimony, and hosts State Capitol “Expert Briefings” where panelists discuss emerging policy issues related to health, natural resources, technology, and innovation.

These Capitol services are provided by the CCST’s in-house policy team, in coordination with the CCST Council – comprised of nearly 30 distinguished leaders in academia, industry, and policy. In addition, CCST readily taps into its expansive partner network – spanning the UC System, California State University, California Community Colleges, Caltech, Stanford, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

And since 2009, CCST has also operated California’s first legislative science policy fellowship program – the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship – which recruits and trains PhD scientists and engineers to work one-year terms as staff analysts in the State Assembly and State Senate. The CCST Science Fellows Program has been made possible with sustaining grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, WHH Foundation, and other leading philanthropists and charitable organizations in California, and will receive partial funding via the State Budget for the first time in 2018-2019. The program will welcome its 10th anniversary class in November 2018.

“As Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, I understand the value of science informing policy. Thankfully, I’ve been incredibly lucky to host multiple CCST Science Fellows in my personal office and the Environmental Quality Committee,” said Senator Wieckowski in commemorating the CCST anniversary. “Easy access to science through CCST and the Science Fellows – in a way all decision makers can understand – is one way that California continues to lead in setting smart policies that protect our people and our planet.”

“CCST is dedicated to making California’s policies stronger with science. Whether you have worked with a CCST Science Fellow in the Legislature, have read or cited a CCST report, or have found a CCST Expert Briefing to be time well-spent, we want to hear how CCST can be of help to your needs as California’s state leaders and staff.” says Amber Mace, CCST Interim Executive Director and a former Assistant Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. “Science is at your service – and CCST is here to be your guide.”

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The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its establishment (#CCST30th) via California State Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162 – which was introduced by then-Assemblymember Sam Farr with support by then-State Senator John Garamendi, and officially filed on September 15, 1988.

VIDEO: Celebrating 10 Years of CCST Science Fellows


About the California Council on Science and Technology

The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988. CCST engages leading experts in science and technology to advise state policymakers – ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.

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