President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

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President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 30, 2001
Preceding agency
HeadquartersNew Executive Office Building
725 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Agency executives
Parent agencyOffice of Science and Technology Policy

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is a council, chartered (or re-chartered) in each administration with a broad mandate to advise the president of the United States on science and technology. The current PCAST was established by Executive Order 13226 on September 30, 2001, by George W. Bush, was re-chartered by Barack Obama's April 21, 2010, Executive Order 13539, by Donald Trump's October 22, 2019, Executive Order 13895, and by Joe Biden's February 1, 2021, Executive Order 14007.


The council follows a tradition of presidential advisory panels focused on science and technology that dates back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Science Advisory Board, continued by President Harry Truman. Renamed the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) by Dwight Eisenhower, it was disbanded by President Richard Nixon.

Reagan science advisor Jay Keyworth re-established a smaller "White House Science Council" It reported, however, to him, not directly to the president.[1] Renamed PCAST, and reporting directly to the president, a new council was chartered by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, enabling the president to receive advice directly from the private and academic sectors on technology, scientific research priorities, and mathematics and science education.[2]


The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology mission is to provide advice to the president and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in areas such as understanding of science, technology, and innovation. PCAST is administered by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Recent PCAST reports have addressed antibiotic resistance,[3] education technology (with a focus on MOOCs),[4] cybersecurity, climate change,[5] networking and information technology,[6] and agricultural preparedness, among many others.[7]

Members and structure[edit]

PCAST has been enlarged since its inception and currently consists of 27 members and three co-chairs. The council members, distinguished individuals appointed by the president, are drawn from industry, education, research institutions, and other NGOs. The council is administered by an executive director.

PCAST membership under President Biden[edit]

On February 1, 2021, less than a month into his presidency, President Biden issued an executive order reestablishing the PCAST. He had already announced the 3 co-chairs Frances Arnold, Maria Zuber, and Eric Lander before his swearing-in in January 2021. He announced an initial roster of 27 additional members on September 22, 2021.[8]

As of January 2023, there are 3 co-chairs: Frances Arnold, Maria Zuber, and Arati Prabhakar.[9] There are 25 additional members:[10]

Former members include:

PCAST membership under President Trump[edit]

On October 22, 2019, after a record 33 months since President Obama's PCAST held its final meeting, the Trump administration issued an executive order reestablishing the PCAST, appointing its first seven members:[11][12]

The council was chaired by Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Kelvin Droegemeier.[13]

PCAST membership under President Obama[edit]

The PCAST under President Obama was co-chaired by John P. Holdren and Eric Lander. The outgoing membership included:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robert C. Cowan, "Reagan Adviser Keyworth on Administration's Science Policy", Christian Science Monitor, January 22, 1985.
  2. ^ Elizabeth Pennisi, "Low-Key Start For Bush's Science Panel", The Scientist, March 5, 1990.
  3. ^ "PCAST Releases New Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance". 18 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-09-02 – via National Archives.
  4. ^ Jim Gates; Craig Mundie; Shirley Ann Jackson (18 December 2013). "PCAST Considers Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Related Technologies in Higher Education". – via National Archives.
  5. ^ Weiss, Rick (22 March 2013). "PCAST Releases New Climate Report". – via National Archives.
  6. ^ David Shaw; Susan Graham; Peter Lee (17 January 2013). "PCAST Updates Assessment of Networking and InfoTech R&D".[dead link]
  7. ^ "PCAST Documents & Reports". White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Archived from the original on 2017-01-21. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  8. ^ "President Biden Announces Members of President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology". The White House. 2022-09-22. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  9. ^ "Senate Confirms Prabhakar to Lead White House Science Office". Retrieved 2022-10-05.
  10. ^ "Members". The White House. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  11. ^ "Trump Reconstitutes the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology". 2019-10-22. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  12. ^ "Executive Order on President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology". Retrieved 2020-04-16 – via National Archives.
  13. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey (2019-10-22). "Trump names seven to revived presidential science advisory panel". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  14. ^ "USC trustees back president's ouster of business school dean over handling of harassment cases". Los Angeles Times. 2018-12-13. Retrieved 2023-01-21.
  15. ^ Twitter; Instagram; Email; Facebook (2019-03-04). "How Wanda Austin blazed a trail from public housing to a perch as USC's acting president". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-01-21. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  16. ^ "Wanda Austin's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 2023-01-21.

External links[edit]