The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientist and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. This advisory group is composed of not more than 21 members, one whom shall be the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (the Science Advisor – Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy), and 20 of whom shall include distinguished individuals and representatives from sectors outside of the Federal Government appointed by the President. The PCAST shall serve as the advisory committee identified in subsections 101(b) and 103(b) of the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-194), as amended (15 U.S.C. 511(b) and 5513(b)) and the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-305). In performing the functions of such advisory committee, the PCAST shall be known as the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC).
PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American People. PCAST is administered by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The PCAST recently reviewed the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program and its conclusions are presented in the report entitled "Design A Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology”.
The current PCAST was originally established through Executive Order 13226, and re-established by President Barack Obama, Executive Order 13539 on April 21, 2010, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-presidents-council-advisors-science-and-technology.