Volume II

Space debris from defunct satellites poses a growing threat to spacecrafts and satellites. In Volume II of MIT Science Policy Review, Carson Bullock and Robert T. Johanson review recent advances for risk detectability and discuss mitigation options such as prevention and debris removal. The authors highlight the importance of national and international cooperation on multiple levels, including the public sector, private industry, and academia. Universal standards for quantifying the risk posed by space debris and financial incentives could pave the way towards a sustainable use of space. The cover image, designed by Carson Bullock, symbolizes the increasing urgency of the threat as collisions become more frequent, and the need to find sustainable global solutions to keep space accessible for future generations.

In Volume II of MIT Science Policy Review, Sarah Rovito and colleagues suggest that international researchers, engineers, and students are critical for keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery and knowledge. Using a case study of MIT, the authors examine the contribution that foreign-born MIT faculty have made to the institute’s scientific output in terms of papers, patents, clinical trials, grant dollars, and other metrics. The authors propose that, to retain international talent, the U.S. could consider overcoming outmoded visa laws and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Otherwise, these international researchers might choose to relocate to other countries, such as China and Australia. The back cover of Volume II, designed by Sarah Rovito, further reminds us of the many famous international scientists that found a home in the U.S. and bought about a revolution in their respective fields.


Editor’s Note | Aug. 30, 2021

MIT SPR spreads its wings in Volume II

MIT SPR has significantly expanded as a journal and as an organization since its founding two years ago.


Perspective | Aug. 30, 2021

On the landscape of youth participation in science policy

The youth are capable of positively contributing to science policy through passion and fresh perspectives.


Climate Change | Aug. 30, 2021

Reversing global biodiversity declines: Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into decision-making at national and local scales

Community and institutional coherent action at the global and local scales will improve strategies of avoiding catastrophic biodiversity loss.

AI, Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

Catalyzing the quantum leap

A focus on the workforce may be necessary to unlock the potential of quantum information science.

Climate Change | Aug. 30, 2021

Do proposed regulatory approaches for commercial fusion energy jeopardize successful technology deployment?

Regulating fusion technology with the same framework as fission technology may slow down the path to realizing fusion energy.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

Reducing open access publication costs for biomedical researchers in the U.S.A

To achieve open access publishing  of the U.S. biomedical researchers, all stakeholders in the scientific publishing enterprise may need to reevaluate the status quo.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

The impact of international scientists, engineers, and students on U.S. research outputs and global competitiveness

The U.S. may consider taking strategic action to retain international scientific talent and maintain global competitiveness.

Healthcare | Aug. 30, 2021

COVID-19 mitigation strategies for reduced transmission in U.S. prisons

A comprehensive framework for evaluating a state prison’s virus management could facilitate improved responses.

Healthcare | Aug. 30, 2021

A Main Street framework leveraging data and technology for good

A data-driven Main Street framework can support policymakers in better assessing both urban vitality and equity objectives.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

Equitable bikeway expansion: Investigating potential links to gentrification and displacement

Disaggregated data and qualitative methods can help transportation planners and local governments better understand the relation between bikeway expansion and gentrification.

Climate Change | Aug. 30, 2021

A perspective on equity in the transition to electric vehicle

Research and policy should consider how to establish a more equitable electric vehicle market so that the benefits of electrification are experienced by all.

Space and Security | Aug. 30, 2021

Policy for incentivizing orbital debris assessment and remediation

A universal system for risk assessment and financial incentives can be strategies to mitigate threats posed by space debris on space infrastructure

Healthcare | Aug. 30, 2021

Preventing the next pandemic

A combination of clear public health messaging, accessible testing, and advances in biotechnology can be powerful tools to prevent the spread of infectious diseases

Healthcare | Aug. 30, 2021

Unifying global pandemic preparedness efforts

Stronger commitments from all nations to existing international regulations and targeted efforts based on national economic strengths can improve pandemic preparedness

Healthcare | Aug. 30, 2021

The path to herd immunity: Is mandatory vaccination the answer?

Widespread vaccination routinely reduces the spread of infectious diseases and significantly benefits public health, however, key considerations should be addressed when drafting mandatory vaccination policies.


Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with Professor Jonathan King. Part I: On social responsibility and activism in academia

A discussion about effectively and collectively engaging in public policy through the lens of his diverse experiences as an academic and activist.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with Professor Jonathan King. Part II: On the influence of private funding on public policy

An exploration of the relationship that funding sources and lobbying have with the social and scientific institutions that we configure.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with Professor Sheila Jasanoff: On lessons from science, technology, and society

A discussion about lessons from her pioneering work in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the role of the public in policymaking.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with Professor Squire J. Booker: On science and diversity

A conversation about his trajectory in science, how he became a faculty member, and his efforts to increase diversity in science.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with Professor Florence Bourgeois: On policy and regulation of clinical trials

An examination of the relationship between clinical trials and drug development in pediatrics as well as their ethical and social impacts.

Science Enterprise | Aug. 30, 2021

An interview with the Hon. Chris Fall: On fostering innovation in federal research & development

A discussion on government models for funding and performing high-risk, high-reward research, and a vision for the future of national laboratories.