Science & Technology
Pol-sci-tech is an open list for discussing democratic politics of science
and technology. You are welcome to repost or publish this notice anywhere you
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Pol-sci-tech (or to its sibling lists, FASTnet and Loka Alerts; see below).
Pol-sci-tech and Loka's other E-mail
lists are projects of the broader Technology & Democracy Project
(hereinafter "the Project"), an activity of the Loka Institute. The
end of the Cold War has opened a little- noticed strategic opportunity to
reorganize U.S. science and technology institutions and policies--the best
opportunity that has existed since World War II. This puts into play, for
example, U.S. government research-and-development (R&D) expenditures of $75
billion/year, plus federal incentives and policies affecting new technology
investments and private sector R&D (perhaps another $1 trillion or more per
That is the opportunity. The converse danger, with the Nov. 1994 Republican
capture of the U.S. Congress, is that science and technology policy will be
remilitarized--e.g., by emphasizing elaborate Star Wars nuclear missile
defenses--at a time in history when exactly the opposite emphasis is both
socially and strategically warranted.
Within this context, the Technology & Democracy Project is promoting a
strong grassroots, worker, and public-interest group voice in U.S. science and
technology decision making (including at local, state, national, and
transnational levels). The Project's initial efforts have been made possible
through the generosity of individual donors as well as grants from the John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Family Associates, the
Foundation for Deep Ecology, and the Menemsha Fund.
Project activities to date have included:
- Publishing constructive policy critiques (e.g., in the Washington Post and
The Chronicle of Higher Education) and the books "Technology for the
Common Good" (available from the Institute for Policy Studies,
Washington, DC) and "Democracy and Technology" (Guilford Press,
- Giving media interviews (e.g., to The New York Times and The
MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour)
- Making public presentations (e.g., to grassroots organizations, U.S.
government officials and leaders, and universities)
- Posting electronic Loka Alerts about democratic politics of science and
- Co-organizing conferences and public forums (such as the first annual
conference on "Technology and the African American Experience" at
Howard University and "Challenges to Citizenship in an Age of High
Technology," a multisite interactive discussion series broadcast live
- Functioning as an informal information clearinghouse for other grassroots
and public-interest organizations, journalists, government staff,
businesses, trade unions, students and scholars
- Producing "Technology, Society and Democracy: New Problems and
Opportunities," a major report on emerging developments in U.S.
technology policy for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Implementing Pol-sci-tech and organizing the Federation of Activists on
Science and Technology (FASTnet) are recent Project initiatives.
For those with access to the World Wide Web, Loka's home page at http://www.Loka.org
contains information about the mailing lists, other activities of the Loka
Institute, and links to sites on the Web relevant to technology and democracy.
There is no charge for subscribing to Pol-sci-tech. However, operating the
list and undertaking other Project activities is costly and funding in this area
has traditionally been notoriously scarce. Consequently, financial contributions
of all sizes are welcome and indeed essential to enabling the Project to
continue and expand its work.
The Loka Institute is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and is
recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
organization [Tax I.D. #04-3334217]. To support the Technology & Democracy
Project, please write a check drawn in U.S. dollars to "The Loka Insitute."
Send it to: The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004-0355, USA. Your
contribution is tax deductible. Thank you!
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If you would rather browse a conference than receive e-mail, FASTnet,
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conferences loka.fastnet, loka.techpol, and loka.alerts. If you need help
accessing these conferences, e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone IGC support in San Francisco at +(415) 442-0220. (Reminder: you cannot
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