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What Our Democracy Needs to Know: A Future Tense Event.

Forget about Silicon Valley, Big Pharma, and our nation’s fabled industrial conglomerates—the most formidable science and tech incubator in the history of the world is the U.S. government. But maintaining, nurturing, and continuing to develop our public “knowledge infrastructure” in and around government has become increasingly challenging. In a time of crippling political divisiveness, when the very notion of expertise has come under siege, how can we ensure that our lawmakers and citizens can continue to rely on the robust research, knowledge, and expertise-enhancing infrastructure built over the past two centuries?

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Join Future Tense and TechCongress on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Washington, D.C. to consider whether our democracy will have the capacity in the future to address such complex issues as genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and climate change adaptation—and whether our quest for technological and scientific advancement continues to be subjected to sound democratic governance.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

Agenda:

12:00-12:15: The Crisis of Expertise 

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Sheila Jasanoff
Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
Founder and director, Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

12:15-12:45: Our Democracy’s Knowledge Infrastructure 

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
President, American University
Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget
22nd Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Cecilia Muñoz
Vice president of policy and technology, New America
Director, New America National Network
Former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council

Moderator:

David Leonhardt
Op-ed columnist and associate editorial page editor, The New York Times

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12:45-1:15: Can Government Keep up with Technology? 

Ari Ratner
Founder and CEO, Inside Revolution
New America fellow, class of 2014

Lorelei Kelly
Senior fellow, Georgetown University Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation
Former Smart Congress research fellow, Open Technology Institute at New America

Kenneth Prewitt
Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and vice president for Global Centers, Columbia University
Former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau

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Travis Moore
Founder and director, TechCongress, Open Technology Institute

1:15-1:45: The Challenge of Democratizing Expertise 

Arthur Daemmrich
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution

Sheila Jasanoff
Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
Founder and director, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

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David Guston
Founding director and professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University

Megan E. Garcia
Senior fellow and director of growth, New America National Network

Follow the conversation online using #FTDemocracy and following @FutureTenseNow.

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