….In the early 1960s, President Kennedy charged his Science Advisory Committee (chaired by Dr. Jerome Wiesner, Special Assistant to the President on Science and Technology) to charter a panel to review federal information management policies and practices. The “Panel on Science Information” was chaired by Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg, Director of Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL). ORNL is the site of the world’s first operational nuclear reactor (the Graphite Reactor, where the “pile” from the University of Chicago was moved during World War II to validate the “breeder reactor” concept) and a key national laboratory.
….NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission were acknowledged by Dr. Weinberg as excelling in this area, interpreting their responsibilities quite broadly, and being proactive in providing full-fledged information services (not just a “document repository”) for enabling access to information. The AEC’s culture of openly sharing information is still evident today in the Department of Energy’s “Office of Scientific and Technical Information” (OSTI) in Oak Ridge – the nation’s central repository of scientific information stored in easily searchable databases (including Science.gov, ScienceAccelerator.gov and WorldWideScience.org). [BTW: OSTI is located on the first street in the nation named after a website, “Science.Gov Way”, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.]
At the other extreme, the Department of Defense was singled out in the Weinberg Report for having an information agency (Armed Services Technical Information Agency [ASTIA], predecessor of today’s Defense Technical Information Center [DTIC]) that only handled internal reports and internal information retrieval requests.
Read the rest here.
Special note: Matt Armstrong writes:
In the spirit of engaging and informing the American public of what the government does and why, Shane Deichman of Wizard of Oz and deep thinker on S&T sent along this post on Openness & Government. He is also the blogger increasingly pictured drinking with fellow bloggers.
So true, so true. 🙂