A National Academy of Sciences Conversation on Rebuilding Federal Science Workforce

May 4, 2021 | 10:36 am
Screenshot of panel discussion on Rebuilding the Federal Science Workforce at the National Academy of Sciences' 158th Annual Meeting in April.
Gretchen Goldman
Former Contributor

Last month, I had the honor of participating in the National Academy of Sciences’ 158th Annual Meeting in a session led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), entitled “Rebuilding the Federal Science Workforce.” The session focused on key priority of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ advocacy to the Biden White House: Building federal science capacity.

Many federal scientific staff left since 2016, and the Biden White House now must carry out the critical public health and safety missions of federal science agencies with a deficit of scientific staff in some areas. This federal brain drain must be addressed, and there are many strategies that can be taken to build back up the federal scientific workforce. Rehiring also provides important opportunities to diversify the federal science workforce, which is currently disproportionately white, male, and older in many parts of the government. The National Academy of Sciences conversation discussed these challenges and opportunities for building back better. Below is the video of the session, and you can learn more about the Union of Concerned Scientists’ work on federal science capacity here, here, here, and here. A strong and vibrant federal science workforce is crucial to ensuring the nation can serve and protect the public. Let’s work together to strengthen and diversify the US federal science enterprise.