Science & Democracy: Carlos Moedas

April 19, 2017 - "Good Science for Good Politics: Scientific Advice and Policy-making in the European Union" with Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation and former Secretary of State to Portugal

With Panelists:

John Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy and former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama on Science and Technology

Rush D. Holt, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Venky Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy and Professor of Physics.


Over a year ago, Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Science and Innovation, launched SAM - the Scientific Advice Mechanism, a new model to incorporate in a structured way the inputs of the scientific community in the decisions taken by the European Commission. In this talk, Mr. Moedas will address the rising importance of scientific advice in policy-making, the need to build partnerships of trust between scientists and politicians, and the vital place of science in our contentious political environment.

About the Speaker:

Carlos Moedas is a member of the European Commission, and is Commissioner in charge of the portfolio on Research, Science and Innovation. Born in Portugal, he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon in 1993, and studied at ├ëcole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris. He worked as an engineer in France until 1998. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2000, and afterwards worked at the London branch of Goldman Sachs. In 2004, he returned to Portugal to work at Aguirre Newman as Managing Director, and in 2008 founded his own investment company, Crimson Investment Management. In 2011 he was elected to the National Parliament of Portugal, and was appointed Secretary of State to the Prime Minister. In 2014, he was nominated as European Commissioner.

About the Series:

Once a semester, the STS Program, with co-sponsorship from other local institutions, hosts an installation in its Science and Democracy Lecture Series. The series aims to spark lively, university-wide discussion of the place and meaning of science and technology, broadly conceived, in democratic societies. We hope to explore both the promised benefits of our era's most salient scientific and technological breakthroughs and the potentially harmful consequences of developments that are inadequately understood, debated, or managed by politicians, institutions, and lay publics. All lectures and panels are free and open to the public.

This event is organized by the Program on Science, Technology & Society at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The lecture and discussion are free and open to the public.