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a completely hierarchical organization; it is not one that demands absolute coordination of every detail. That is impossible in the kind of business we are dealing with, where a great deal of what we are doing is not something that you can set up target figures for, calculate on PPBS principles, or appraise by systems analysis criteria.
You have got to be aware that you are dealing with institutions which are themselves uncoordinated by necessity and leave a lot of looseness in the structure.
The second point is that this proposes that we really should put together our concern for research in the physical and biological sciences with research in the social sciences and the humanities.
The large-scale applied systems which have been made possible by advances in the physical sciences get us into trouble when we ignore their social and political and economic aspects.
Again, just because these are now such big systems, we have to worry about things we didn't have to worry about at the start. For example, the creation of large-scale computer systems led to concern in the executive branch as well as the Congress as to data banks and dossiers on individual citizens. The key problems you have to solve here are fundamentally political and moral. Similarly, the disputes over large-scale research, as Mr. Dupree pointed out, have now come on our campuses to the point where dissatisfaction with modern science and technology on the part of many philosophers, many theologians, threatens to make our universities impossible places for the conduct of basic research with Federal funds.
It is high time to see that the whole fabric of knowledge is of one piece. The distortions that have been caused within the intellectual world by having Federal money go to only
one of its segments is a great threat. The possibility of enabling the Federal Government to deal with the whole world of higher learning from a comprehensive point of view is, I think, a most attractive part of this proposal.
The natural sciences have made great contributions to philosophy in the intellectual history of the world, and especially of this country. And one of the saddest spectacles today in many universities is the way in which many of the philosophers and the sociologists are in conflict, in fundamental ways, with the physical and the biological scientists in their approach to problems such as those that we are now concerned with.
The final point that I think is right about the general approach of your report is that it now seems to me high time that we no longer pretend that when we make grants at the graduate level for research we are doing something apart from supporting higher education. There were many reasons for adopting this principle or posture or pretense at the outset; we just didn't want to get into spending a lot of money for the system of higher education. On the medical side, it was expensive; in other fields it got us into church-state problems. I think all of those are now largely irrelevant issues. It is really impossible to separate postgraduate education from research programs. It adds to the expense to try to do so; it sets up two classes of professors in many universities and leads to the charge that professors don't pay attention to their students, which has been an important battle cry in many of the recent disturbances.
The Federal Government may not be very deeply interested in supporting basic research for its own sake, but it is interested in supporting basic research as a most important part of a system of postgraduate education, which is a Government mission of long and respectable standing. This mission, it seems to me, would be advanced if we would not continue this split between those Government programs which provide money for higher education fellowships and facilities and so on from those which provide funds for basic research.
Now, quite obviously, when you state these principles, you haven't solved all the practical problems. Mr. Reagan mentioned one such problem: What does this do to the AEC? The same question could be advanced with respect to other parts of the Government, conspicuously, the Department of Commerce. But I think those are in a proper sense subordinate problems, and it seems to me that the report which your subcommittee has put before the Congress and the country generally makes a very good start toward consideration of this important field.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. DADDARIO. Thank you all for putting before us a great deal which can be helpful to the committee.
You all stress the importance of developing within this relationship a closer tie of the social sciences and the humanities to the physical sciences. Dr. Reagan has gone a step beyond that by indicating the need of bringing together both basic research and applied-or at least a better understanding as to how we go from the one to the other, and perhaps developing mechanisms which can be helpful in this regard.
I wonder, as we think about those problems, how through the restructuring of our science organization can we overcome the problems which exist in these areas; the problems which have by themselves inhibited the social sciences from working in a multidisciplinary way, in as close a way as we would like, and also have not developed a better relationship between basic and applied research.
It appears to me that this goes beyond organization; otherwise, this would have come about much more dramatically than it has.
Could we have some comment on that?
Dr. REAGAN. It certainly goes beyond organization, I think you are quite right. But organization can at least create better opportunity so that when the thrust comes, or wherever it appears, it has a chance to be recognized.
NSF's new program for this year in interdisciplinary research, I think, exemplifies in a very small way what can be done here. They apparently are recognizing there are an increasing number of areas in which physicists and biologists may have to work together, and it may be biologists and sociologists. But we have done everything with watertight compartments up till now so it is very hard to bring a proposal in when university people want to and find a place that can be receptive to it. If we have a unified organization covering the fuller part of the spectrum, it should at least be more possible when the urge comes about in universities, which have to do some work on this themselves to handle it in a receptive way.
Mr. DADDARIO. Has it been the organizational structure within the Government which has forced the university people to come to it with
proposals which have been so tightly limited ? If the scientists have developed science policies, as Dr. Dupree indicates, didn't this come about because the scientists themselves developed the proposals along these lines or did it because they lived within these tight compartments themselves?
Dr. REAGAN. They certainly do. I think Alvin Weinberg has written a lot of perceptive pieces about science. To me one of the most perceptive was a piece 3 or 4 years ago in which he argued that the universities themselves need to undergo a great deal of change to break down the disciplinary barriers and orient themselves to interdisciplinary or public problems.
Exactly how to arrange this in some sort of overlapping matrix, I am not sure, but I think in the universities we have to move in that direction. And there should be accompanying changes in governmental organization.
Chairman MILLER. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman MILLER. Isn't this particularly true in the biological sciences, where you get the herpetologists who don't want to talk to the zoologists. Somebody else goes off in his own way. They think he is crazy, if his discipline isn't theirs.
Dr. REAGAN. I don't know where it is the most true. I don't know the scientific disciplines myself that well. On campus I am told by a theoretical physicist that he hardly ever speaks to an experimental physicist. And in the social sciences, we work in political science, which I am in, sociology, economics, in considerably separate ways much of the time.
But increasingly, too, we are finding that problems do bring us together on our campus. On our campus we have, for instance, members in these three social science departments all of whom have discovered in the past year that the major problem they are working on is poverty,
Well, there is a politics of poverty, there is a sociology of it and obviously an economics, and none of us can make full sense of what he is trying to do without some fruitful interrelationship of the three.
If we went in to NSF with a combined proposal, we would have had great difficulty. Now maybe their new interdisciplinary program will make this more possible.
Chairman MILLER. Doctor, would you say that one of the experiences we got out of NASA was breaking down some of these tight compartments and bringing together people in different disciplines of science that had never in the past talked to one another. I am speaking of the electronics engineers and doctors. For instance, the things they have brought out in the medical field, which developed as a result of having to get sensors to put on people in space.
We find that this applies up and down the line now.
Dean PRICE. Could I say just a word, Mr. Chairman, on the social science problem?
Mr. DADDARIO. Yes.
Dean PRICE. If I am a social scientist at all, which may well be doubtful, it is very much on the applied side. I think that the difference between organization by discipline and organization by problem is a very important one.
You have to have both in order to get anywhere in science. And in sciences that are rich both in money and in the development of their field, this comes about pretty naturally. Nobody thinks that a theoretical physicist can do the job of an engineer or vice versa.
Nobody thinks that a basic biologist can set a broken leg, or that a practicing physician is expected to make an advance in basic biology. But in the social sciences, we kind of expect people to do both basic and applied work, and we don't really have the related professional fields very well identified or the types of professional training very well identified. And it is in the practicing professions that we find men who want to use the sciences, but who also want to be aware of their shortcomings and limitations.
By not keeping in mind these distinctions we don't get the basic disciplines of the social sciences developed very well. And then when we try to use them, we try to use them prematurely and distort them a bit. The best example I can think of is the way in which the economists made contributions to systems analysis, the theory of choice, and so on. This made possible the planning, programing, and budgeting business, which was a great advance. But the trouble came when we tried to apply it everywhere immediately in field where it wasn't suitable and appropriate, as well as in fields where it was suitable and appropriate.
And I think that the departments of Government which need the social sciences the most are under the most pressure from their own consciences, from the administrative superiors, and from Congress to make their support of the sciences fruitful immediately.
And the more the department is a do-gooder, the more it wants its research grants to be tailored to its particular needs and to be immediately productive. And I think this is very bad for the development of the basic disciplines.
On the other hand, the universities are very much at fault, because they are typically not eager to support the kind of work that is aimed at practical problems and interdisciplinary work. And this is our responsibility in the universities and one I think we ought to work harder on.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. Dupree?
Dr. DUPREE. I would like to add my bit to emphasize this and inject, if I might, a feeling of alarm to it.
I think that the blame lies predominantly on the university side, and I would like to illustrate it with an example, if I may.
I might remark parenthetically that 2 years ago I served on an advisory committee to the National Research Council on the Behavioral Sciences in the Federal Government, in which we spent a year examining this problem very thoroughly.
We heard people from all the agencies of the Government. When one got down to it, there was an immense amount of support for the social sciences being provided right now by the Government, even if it could be focused better. It did not strike me that the essential problem was Government support for the social sciences.
On the other hand, when one goes onto a university campus today, there is immense need in social sciences for doing what would be called in the physical sciences basic research.
When a question like what is going on in the cities comes up, the crying need is, in effect, basic research on social processes are and how they are working out in a city. What happens on a university campus today in connection with urban studies?
The administrators are so afraid of the clamor at their gates that they are ready to bash together any kind of a program, call it urban studies, pull up any kind of an investigator that can be dressed up and called an urbanist and put to work on the most shortrun problem that they can find to get the splashiest result that will please the external forces that are closest at hand. As a result there are very few fundamental questions being asked about the growth of cities and how cities work and whether some of the social problems in the cities may not originate very far from urban problems.
It might be instructive to study the social forces operating on cotton fields in Mississippi rather than focusing on the central cities to find out where the sources of some of our problems are. But the practicing scholar on a campus today is under immense pressure, and not from the Federal Government but from his own university, to drop whatever adequate, long-range fundamental work that might contribute to a solution to our problems, and to go into what is in effect a public relations gimmick for his university,
Mr. DADDARIO. Then, in the administration and organization of these matters, we should take into consideration that serious long-range interdisciplinary type of research is necessary. This sort of falls into the category of the recomendations made that we ought to eliminate some of the redtape problems, which Mr. Price referred to as having been necessary perhaps in the first instance but now have outlived that particular usefulness, and to organize in such a way that if there are programs of a serious type that they can find a place in Government to get support.
Does this fit in with everybody's recommendation? I find this point to be particularly important. We were quite distressed in the National Science Foundation authorization hearings about the interdisciplinary programs, because they first of all weren't well explained. As we went back and looked over them, we found that the universities and the National Science Foundation, as much as they had worked together in this particular area, had not much of an idea as to what might result from this particular program, even though they had requested some $10 million.
We believe it to be important, and yet recognize the problem that you just spelled out for us so nicely, Dr. Dupree.
Mr. MOSHER. Well, Mr. Chairman, all three of these gentlemen have presented such a flood of useful and stimulating advice this morning it is difficult to know where to start.
Because of my personal loyalities to Oberlin College I can't help but comment on Hunter Dupree's testimony, because he also is an Oberlin product.
I submit that his was very unusual testimony, fascinating review and analysis from the historical standpoint, and therefore particularly useful.