Monthly Archive for November, 2009

Punditry Contestant Recommends OTA

Marisa Katz | Washington Post | October 30, 2009

The Washington Post is sponsoring “America’s Next Great Pundit Contest.” The Post received 4,800 entries from people who hoped to write better commentary than they had been reading.   The Post selected ten entries to move to the next level of the competition. The winner of the contest will be  hired to write a weekly column.

Among the ten finalists was the Nobel Prize -winning physicist, Burton Richter,  who opined about  the need for Congress to  re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment. He pointed out that a 1974 OTA report, “Drug Bioequivalence,” is relevant in recent discussions of health care costs.  He also recommended  one of his favorite OTA reports, “Renewing Our Energy Future,” which discussed the potential of secondary sources for biofuels.

According to Richter, “A new OTA will not settle all the arguments because there are political dimensions to major technical issues, but at least it can help Congress arrive at a common starting point for complicated legislation.”

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones News kindly provided a  summary of the columns at “Pundit Watch” for those wishing to save a little time.