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What Our Democracy Needs to Know

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?

Join Future Tense and TechCongress 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. 

Lunch will be provided. 

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University

This event will be livestreamed on this page. Follow the conversation online with #FTDemocracy and @FutureTenseNow

Agenda:

12:00-12:15: The Crisis of Expertise 
Sheila Jasanoff 
Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at 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@SylviaBurwell 
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@cecmunoz 
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@DLeonhardt 
Op-Ed Columnist and Associate Editorial Page Editor, The New York Times 

12:45-1:15: Can Government Keep up with Technology? 
Ari Ratner@amratner 
Founder and CEO, Inside Revolution 
New America fellow, class of 2014 

Lorelei Kelly@loreleikelly 
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 

Travis Moore@travismoore‏ 
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 at 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 

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