In the 21st century, technology is becoming increasingly pervasive. Communications, medicine, biotechnology, synthetics, robotics, composite materials, pharmaceuticals, energy sources, and transportation are just a few of the fields that technology is changing. These changes will have an enormous impact on our lives.
New cutting-edge technologies present challenges to our society. Reliable and familiar processes are often replaced by more complex systems, procedures, techniques, and equipment that have the potential to cause repercussions on a scale much larger than the technology itself. New markets open daily and established markets change or die. Workers are often displaced. Employees with different skills are needed.
Understanding the proper roles of industry, and local, state, and federal governments in relationship to these changes is a primary objective of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science, technology, and national security issues facing our society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. The Institute's current endeavors have required the formation of special efforts in:
- Science and technology policy;
- National security;
- S&T forecasting;
- Operational research;
- Terrorism and asymmetry;
- Emerging threats and opportunities;
- Cybersecurity; and
- Neurotechnology and ethics.
The worthy and difficult functions stated in our mission can be met only through a consistent and continuing regard for two basic principles. First, we fiercely maintain objectivity and credibility, remaining independent of any federal or state agency, and owing no special allegiance to any single political party or private concern. This dedication to fierce objectivity is evident in our motto, Integrum Se Servare. We make every attempt to ensure that our work is conducted in an unbiased manner, regardless of the opinions of sponsors, or even self-interest. This often enables fruitful inquiries into issues that might otherwise be difficult to assess.
Second, we seek extensive collaboration with similar organizations, as well as with industry, academia, and government, and we work closely with Congress and the Executive Branch. We believe that the study of today's complex issues demands a wide variety of contributions from various perspectives, each of which add to the needed holistic understanding. But, even if the Institute possessed that understanding, a collaborative approach would be necessary. This is because, by their nature, solutions and strategies to solve significant problems at the national and international level are disruptive, tend to consume large resources, and challenge existing organizational structure and established jurisdiction. All of this results in difficulty in implementing recommendations, which otherwise profit from achieved consensus. For these reasons, Institute work typically involves experts in a variety of disciplines and includes leaders from business, government, and academia to create an environment that promotes exchange of information and analytical development.