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The raw material from which able decisions are shaped is information. Ignoring the tradition is a recurring story. The trials and tribulations of data have endless forms, some as large as national politics and others as small as a dozen-person panel or a small-town issue.This column about a panel in 1975 first appeared in the Monitor on April 2, 2000. In the last 35 years, I fear public forums large and small have lost too much of a vital strength: a broad sense of data exchange.
Each of us carries a lifetime of experiences that makes us who we are. Back in 1975, I was on a national panel of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in Washington D.C. The experience still shapes my views today.
Our panel had the formidable task of assessing the impact of regulations on the nation’s economy. The concern was regulation that protects the environment, public safety and health. To help in our work, we had each other and the results of detailed studies, some which were done for our use.
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