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I believe the fact that, so few American officials have backgrounds in science and technology is negatively affecting how these individuals govern the science and technology sector of our country. Technology is continually becoming more and more important to our society. The government realizes that for America to continue to be successful in this highly technical world that we must continue to advance technologically. For this reason, the government provides a lot of support for research and development of new technologies. The downfall is that there is no cabinet level Department of Technology, therefore it is up to a collection of committees and agencies to make decisions on what types of technologies get introduced and funded. (Excelsior PowerPoint 2020) SOPA is a good example of the negative affects I am talking about. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act was meant to stop piracy, which is already illegal, but in the process would “compromise fundamental internet infrastructure and undermine the security of the net.” (Doctorow 2011) This was written to congress by a group of inventors and engineers who had also brought up names of other countries where similar policies caused problems. (Doctorow 2011)
I believe the American government would be substantially different if most senators and congresspersons previously worked as scientists or engineers instead of lawyers. If this were the case, policies like SOPA would surely not be introduced, however I do not agree that serving on a science and technology committee should be required. I do believe that there should be at least some officials with a science and technology background or the government should create a department in the cabinet dedicated to science and technology. It is also important for the technology community to come together and let the people in office know that, if they don’t know anything about science and technology, then they need to be at least working with professionals that do. (Badger 2011)
There is a concept called Moore’s Law which says, “technology becomes half as expensive and twice as fast, every 18 months.” (Badger 2011) It is essential, for our countries rank in science and technological development in the future, that our current model of governance, in science and technology, change. It is becoming more and more important that the people in charge be computer literate. It is getting to the point where it is just as important to be able to use the internet as it is to be able to read. (Badger 2011)
 
References:
Badger, E. (2011). SOPA Debate Highlights Congress’s Ignorance. Pacific Standard. Retrieved from: https://psmag.com/news/sopa-debate-highlights-congresss-ignorance-38666 (Links to an external site.)
 (Links to an external site.)Doctorow, C. (2011). Internet Engineers to Congress: SOPA Censorship Will Harm Internet Security. BoingBoing. Retrieved from: https://boingboing.net/2011/12/15/internet-engineers-to-congress.html (Links to an external site.)
Excelsior College. (2020). Tech 230, Module 8: Governing Technology [PowerPoint slides]

 

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