PCAST Advances Hazards Resilience and Public Health Workforce Reports 

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met on March 30th to discuss and vote on two reports on preparing for extreme weather risks associated with climate change and on strategies to support the public health workforce. The Council also heard from officials from the Department of Transportation about the Advanced Research Projects Agency Infrastructure (ARPA-I). PCAST co-chairs include Arati Prabhakar, OSTP Director; Francis Arnold, CIT; and Maria Zuber, MIT. 

[Video Recording]  [Meeting Agenda

Preparing for Extreme Weather Risk PCAST leads: Steve Pacala, Princeton University and Jon Levin, Stanford University.  

Key findings and recommendations: 

  • We need a better understanding of potential damage, risk to humans, and loss due to hazards. Insurance companies hold a lot of relevant information in their claims.  
  • Recommendation: Develop a national adaptation plan to make policies and plans that incorporates human decision-making, identifies at-risk communities, and that develops frameworks to assist local communities.

Supporting the U.S. Public Health Workforce Co-chairs: Lisa Cooper, JHU and Sue Desmond Hellman, Gates Foundation. PCAST social psychologist Jennifer Richeson, Yale contributed to the report. 

Key findings and recommendations: 

  • The U.S. pays far more for health care than our fellow developed countries, yet Americans have shorter life expectancies and worse health outcomes.
  • Money goes to treatment while the US underfunds prevention and public health workers. 
  • The environments in which we live, work, and age shape more than 60 percent of our health.
  • Recommendation: Advance health equity through strengthening public health capacity for community engagement 

Advanced Research Projects Agency – Infrastructure (ARPA-I) PCAST also invited a presentation by Dr. Robert Hampshire and Dr. Chris Atkinson, Department of Transportation.  

ARPA-I, OSTP, PCAST, White House