California Council on Science and Technology
The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization designed to offer expert advice to the California state government and to recommend solutions to science and technology-related policy issues.
CCST was founded during a period of heightened concern about California's future following the loss of several national competitions for important research facilities. It was established via Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR 162) in 1988 by a unanimous vote of the California Legislature, charged to "report to [university] presidents... and respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other entities on public policy issues related to science and technology." The first CCST meetings took place in 1989.
Core support was initially provided by five institutions of higher education specified in the ACR (the University of California, California State University, Stanford University, Caltech, and the University of Southern California). In 1994, the California Community College System joined as a sustaining institution. In 2005, six of the largest federal funded laboratories in California joined as affiliate members Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories/California, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the NASA Ames Research Center).
During its first two decades, CCST has worked on an ever-increasing number and variety of projects including energy research, science and math education, intellectual property policy, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, among others. It has also collaborated extensively with the National Academies and worked to make a variety of national reports produced by the Academies more accessible to state policy makers.
CCST has had two executive directors to date: Donald Shields (1989–1995), former president of Southern Methodist University and Susan Hackwood, professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside (1995–present).
The founding legislation incorporated two key ideas. First, it called for the Council to consist of experts from business as well as from the educational sector. Second, CCST was funded in a way that was both sustainable and independent from government.
CCST is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from its sponsoring academic institutions, from the corporate and business community, as well as from the philanthropic community. The CCST Board is assisted by a larger CCST Council, a larger group of corporate CEOs, academicians, and scientists that provides advice in their areas of expertise. There are also over 120 CCST fellows who are available to provide expert advice as needed. As of July 2008, seventy-six members and fellows are also members of the National Academies, six are Nobel laureates, nine are National Medal of Science recipients and two are recipients of the National Medal of Technology.
In addition, in 2005 CCST launched the California Teacher Advisory Council (Cal TAC), a group of 12 master teachers who provide a valuable connection between the teaching community and the educational experts and policymakers who are shaping California's educational system.