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Over nearly two decades of work on science and technology policy issues, the Potomac Institute has become a leader in providing meaningful policy options for science and technology, including national security, defense initiatives, and S&T forecasting. The Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought (CReST) will bring together individuals from a variety of backgrounds to foster discussion on science and technology futures from both an academic and policy perspective. CReST intends to develop new ideas about the future directions of science and technology, formulate strategies on how to achieve revolutionary gains in S&T, provide a forum to discuss the associated policy, ethical, legal and social issues, and inform the public and policymakers.

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies invests in development of research on science and technology trends to identify the key science and technology developments that could radically change or affect our society and/or national security. To do this, CReST produces briefings, one-pagers, and full reports on trending science and technology topics in society. Some topics include Big Data Analytics, Neuroscience and technology, Threats to the Human Race, and Mental Health in the Age of Technology. These reports are intended for policy makers to further understand the current science and technology in order to drive federal investment in S&T and S&T policy for the good of society and for our nation’s security. On top of this, CReST will develop larger, more complete reports on specific topics of interest to the defense community. Some examples of these types of reports produced by PIPS in the past include: Neurotechnology Futures (2007), Out of the Box (2001), Biosurveillance (2005), etc.

The Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought will also focus on bringing Bold Ideas to light. CReST will host activities designed to find and foster big, bold science and technology ideas that address key societal, national, and international issues. A forum to discuss these bold ideas is the Bold Ideas seminar series featuring past and future Nobel Laureates presenting to and holding dialogue with science and technology leaders in a variety of agencies across the government. The CReST Fellows program sponsors extraordinarily talented scientists for a year at the Institute to address a big complex problem with creative complex solutions.

The conversation around advances in science and technology is incomplete without the discussion of respective ethical, legal, and societal implications (ELSI). Each year the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies hosts an ELSI conference around neuroscience and technology. A similar but more general conference will be held addressing science and technologies and the ELSI associated with them on society.

The Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought is comprised of Potomac Institute Employees and additional Adjunct Fellows. There are three permanent members of CReST: the CEO, Mike Swetnam, the Chief Scientist, Bob Hummel, and the Chief of Staff, Kathryn Schiller-Wurster. This year there are three CReST Fellows Jennifer Buss, Patrick Cheetham, and Ewelina Czapla. Senior CReST Fellow Mark Ridinger and additional Adjunct Fellows participate in CReST meetings for the discussion of the bold ideas addressing key societal, national, and international science and technology issues. This blog is intended to keep you updated on those conversations and allow you to pitch in your two cents. Stay tuned for blogs describing our discussions, Bold Ideas seminars, current events, and policy recommendations. If you have questions or additional comments, please contact the CReST Coordinator, Jen Buss.