Earlier this month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the launch of a new challenge to broaden participation in science and technology.
The Time is Now: Advancing Equity in Science and Technology Ideation Challenge is soliciting input on steps that can be taken to “guarantee that all Americans can fully participate in, and contribute to, science and technology” and to lift up ideas and examples of existing or promising actions that expand equity and inclusion.
In an OSTP blog post announcing the challenge, the President’s Science Advisor, Eric Lander, said “We need everybody to be able to participate in and contribute to science and technology because different experiences and perspectives are the bedrock of new scientific and technological insights, because having everybody on the team is essential to America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century, and, because it’s the right thing to do.”
OSTP Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson added that it is essential to include those who have for too long been excluded from science: “equitable innovation can open the door to a better future for all people.”
The ideation challenge is available on Challenge.gov through November 19, 2021, as an important element of a larger effort to compile ideas that can galvanize action and spur new efforts. It follows from a series of roundtable conversations convened by OSTP including one on “Emerging Models and Pathways for Success II: Community Centered Research, Participation, and Engagement.”
We encourage members of the science engagement community to share their ideas and examples with OSTP. In addition to providing potentially actionable solutions, submissions from our field help demonstrate the role that science and technology centers and museums—and the broader science engagement community—plays in expanding access and equity in science and technology. The more submissions from our field and the better the story, the more likely it will be that OSTP views our community as an important part of the solution to this challenge.
This ideation challenge does not involve a prize, and no winners will be announced. Rather, submissions will be used by OSTP to inform the development of the White House strategy for advancing equity in science and technology.