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As it now operates OST has netiher the size nor perhaps the structure to take on these added centralizing responsibilities. But supposing the following changes were made : (a) OST is permitted to grow in size; (b) provision is made for two or three presidentially appointed deputy directors; (c) arrangements are made for more formal OST participation in the preparation of budgets for science support: (d) provisions for closer and continuing liaison with Congress are established ; (e) OST is formally charged by Congress to carry out a number of these federal analysis, planning and coordination functions. Then OST would be capable of making a most substantial contribution.
There is however a concerning aspect to this proposal, a concern which is of sufficient seriousness that, if it cannot be minimized in a modified scheme for OST, then perhaps the whole proposal may be desirable. The danger is that OST, as currently operated, with a director who is also the President's chief science advisor, and at the same time, chairman of PSAC, is simply too much a direct branch of the White House and too little an independent federal agency for science. Hopefully the modifications which I have been proposing could decouple these affiliations to the point where OST could truly be thought of as an independent federal agency. If not, then there may be serious doubt as to whether this otherwise attractive possibility should be followed.
The committee's own proposed structure of a National Institute of Research and Advanced Studies certainly contains many of the ideas which I have been supporting. I would personally be reluctant to see the full proposal established immediately and fullblown, i.e., establishment of a body which promptly becomes the overseeing body to the National Science Foundation, takes on the operation of national laboratories, etc. On the other hand I can quite imagine that as a first step, a central planning and coordinating federal agency could be established promptly to undertake many of the tasks which the committee itself has discussed and which I have discussed today. It would be wholly appropriate if such a new federal agency were designed to fit comfortably into an ultimate, more ambitious structure such as the one the committee has been considering. Is perhaps one possibility to establish the office envisaged in the committee report of May 1969 entitled “Administrative Staff and Planning Office” and modify it to be the first federal unit for overall consideration of these several problems? If this or some similar central body were established it would give the Federal Government the kind of planning and coordinating capability which I believe it needs. If, as time went on, this new arrangement pointed toward the need for a still more centralized effort, perhaps by way of a Department of Science or by way of a group of Science Institutes, the Congress could then take a next step with more confidence and less concern than if it tried to go the whole way now. But the fact remains that some first steps toward a more centralized federal responsibility should be made. In reopening this topic for further serious consideration this committee is doing a service both to the federal government and to the nation's science.
STATEMENT OF DR. FRANKLIN A. LONG, VICE PRESIDENT FOR
RESEARCH AND ADVANCED STUDIES, CORNELL UNIVERSITY Dr. Long. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
It really is a great pleasure to be able to come again before this committee. The problems that you deal with are, in my judgment, of very great consequence to the country and it is a pleasure to be able to participate.
You do have my biography. I ought to say one or two words to tell you what will be the attitudes of mine from which I will be talking. One of them obviously is as a professor in a university.
A second one is that I have, as you have noted, been an administrator for the last several years in a university concerning myself with general university programs, especially where science and technology integrate into the total university structure.
Thirdly, I have been involved in a consortium of universities, called Associated Universities, Inc., which operates Brookhaven National Laboratory and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and in this hole I have been forced to ask questions as to what are these large national laboratories for and where they fit in the total picture.
This, then, is my background. Unless you tell me otherwise, I shall not read my statement in detail but rather pick points out. Let me first state that in what I say I am very firmly supporting the position of this committee, that is, that an inquiry into what further centralization of Federal activities in the management of science is needed is an important task. I think what the committee has been doing is valuable and I myself believe that some further centralization of Federal management and supervision and especially analysis and planning is needed. I am not so clear and firm on what precisely is needed. My own tendency is to believe that we should approach this centralization in a step-wise manner. I am not quite prepared to stand up and be counted for the Department of Science or even for the rather interesting alternative that your committee staff has developed, the National Institutes of Science.
On the other hand, some components of the committee's suggestions I do strongly support. I support them in terms of three different needs. Let me spend a little time on each of the three.
One of them is the problem of Federal support of teaching and research in science in the colleges and universities. We all know how important Federal funds have become to the colleges and universities of the United States, notably in the area of science but not restricted to that. We do know that there have been some distinctly awkward features that go with them, features that, now that Federal support is dominant, become of increasing importance. It is certainly so that science has greatly flourished under this Federal support, but it is equally so that there are a number of really awkward aspects. One of course is that so much of the support comes under the rubric research, so that the problem of the teaching aspects in the colleges and universities to some degree has been taken care of on occasion with the left hand. That is a little unfair to the Office of Education, but overall I think it is valid.
The other awkwardness, and I don't want to go stronger, is that a good bit of the support to universities comes from mission-oriented agencies. Let me quickly say that I am in favor of this. I think that universities should participate in research with mission-oriented agencies.
In the past support from Agriculture, DOD, and HEW has been of really great consequence to universities. I am not in any sense suggesting that we should modify that in any basic way.
On the other hand, it is a fact that the mission-oriented support has occasionally been awkward. And the awkwardness is that the mission agencies' interests necessarily reflect to their needs, and the character and participation of the universities is not always completely parallel to their interests and needs.
Furthermore, the mission-oriented agency's interest in these will fluctuate and change with time and those changes don't necessarily phase with the changes and interests of the universities.
Finally, of course, there is this, that I mentioned earlier, the fact of the need within the universities for support for the teaching efforts as well as the research. The mission-oriented agencies tend usually to focus primarily on research.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. Long, as this committee looks at the organization of our science resources, we are also concerned about its administration and management. You indicated in these remarks that the way, in which we are organized, and in which we support activity in the universities, has brought about through its emphasis on research an improvement and an effect on teaching which as I understood has been somewhat negative. I wonder if that is what you mean.
Dr. LONG. I surely didn't mean to imply it was negative. The word I used specifically was “awkward," and it is awkward in two senses.
One is that much of the support for teaching that has come from the Federal funds, and it has been substantial, has come under this categorization of research, so that many graduate research assistance, for example, have been supported under contracts or grants labeled for research. Similarly, a number of visitors programs expansions have been under that. Now, this is by no means entirely the case. The NDEA fellowships have been important to universities and they have not had that research categorization.
It is simply that one hasn't had the situation of looking at the program as a whole by a single Federal agency, with an objective to program balance.
A second aspect, I think, of the awkwardness is that a good deal of the teaching of science, and very important components of it, are done in the undergraduate colleges and they happen not to be so interesting to many agencies if the categorization is research. So that I think of these as awkward points, but not in any sense implying that teaching has suffered thereby.
Mr. Daddario. Well, what would you recommend to put things in better balance? Without criticizing the Office of Education, you indicate that the teachers have been taking care of it with the left hand. How do you recommend this imbalance be dealt with?
Dr. Long. Well, certainly I believe firmly that there should be some kind of central Federal agency which concerns itself with the totality of support, Federal support for science in institutions of higher education, and the totality includes teaching, research, equipment, and facilities. I note that commonalty in such things as contracts and grants and reporting mechanisms and patent policies also could be of substantial help. So that it is I would hope that a coordinating activity within the Federal Government could take as responsibility problems of program balancing and problems of consistency in the policies among interested and active agencies.
I think all of that would help. I think that not only would it help in research but it would help very much in the teaching aspects. It is true that some of these things are accepted as problems by the National Science Foundation. I am perfectly glad to go on record as supporting the National Science Foundation and supporting its efforts. I would be delighted to see it grow and flourish. But I am absolutely persuaded that, in fact, for the next many years we are going to have pluralistic Federal support and it is because I am so persuaded that I think a cen
tralized agency worrying about the totality of the Federal support for teaching and research-and let me also interject that by the word "science” I explicitly would include both basic and applied science. I am in no sense attempting to make the separation between the two.
Mr. DADDARIO. As we go along, gentlemen, and as the committee asks questions, if any of the others at any stage of the game feel as though they want to say something, please just chime in.
Dr. LONG. So, to summarize then, this is one area, the area of this Federal program for the support of teaching and research in science and higher education itself where I think greater Federal centralizing, coordinating, planning, and balancing of activities would be desirable.
The second broad area that I would mention is this very large question of a national program in basic and applied science. Obviously, we have a national program. All you have to do is take the summation of everything that private industry does in basic and applied science and what the universities do and what the Federal laboratories do and sum it, and you can say that is our national program.
It is my belief that the components of this national program should be a concern of the Federal Government. And I think if the Federal Government is going to respond to this concern, it is going to need something in the way of a rather strong centralized activity. The problems of those, of program balance and especially the problem of response to new national needs. It is a fact that historically the program you have at any given time—this is a somewhat curious mixture of private enterprise responding to its profit interests, of research, institutions including universities and Federal laboratories, continuing programs that have some history to them, and then the various new responses that are building up. And recently we have all been very conscious of the importance of response to new social needs which we see here now and which we increasingly see on the horizon.
Now, conceivably the Federal Government could say, we are not going to participate actively in thinking about this, the national program. We are going to be rather standoffish and sort of let the program grow as various agencies and institutions make their contributions. I don't think that is possible. I don't think it is possible even in basic science and I am quite sure it is not possible in applied science. I think that impacts for new programs for modification of ongoing programs will come to the Federal Government. They will come in the way that we have heard recently, frequently. Various people say let's expand the space program or let's expand the program in environmental research or something else. It will come as a consequence of studies of this and other committees asking, Is the United States responding adequately to some of its needs? I think these pressures from the Federal Government and from outside will make it impossible for the Federal Government to do anything else but accept rather seriously a responsibility for the national program in science.
Now, some mechanisms clearly exist. Hearings before congressional committees like this very one clearly represent a kind of response to questions of program balance.
Activities of the Bureau of the Budget certainly are another kind of response. The Office of Science and Technology and the President's Science Advisory Committee both studied these various questions and
make recommendations. I don't however, think this is enough. I don't think that when you add on what is done within the Federal Council for Science and Technology, either, that one has enough. And I myself think that we do need a significant added mechanism.
Now, the particular word I used in this statement is a planning bureau for national or Federal science programs, where again, I would mean both basic and applied science. And I would think of it as probably located in the executive branch but quite clearly responsive to Congress. It is conceivable that an appropriate home would be in the National Science Foundation, but if it is there I do think it would have to be in such a way so it had a separate budget and be given a very explicit degree of autonomy.
Now, I am aware that any time you talk planning and balancing and analytical functions of this sort that people can point to dangers. I am sure it is so that unimaginative analysis and short-range planning could add to problems rather than help. I am sure that an agency like that could be subjected to pressure. On the other hand I am absolutely persuaded that the potential for positive good is really very great, and I don't see how the Federal Government can avoid doing just as this committee has been doing, in attempting to respond to this need.
Now, I also suspect, and this is a very-almost an interpolated remark, that if the Government shows itself interested in it and concerned, that you will find that various parallel non-Government groups will also respond more vigorously in much the way that the Brookings Institute has responded to problems of the national economy. On the whole, I think that would be a very good thing.
The third area I would point to as needing more centralized concern is that of the direct federally managed science programs. I am thinking of the dozens upon dozens of in-house federally sponsored or federally supported laboratories, laboratories that in the main are direct components of the many Federal agencies.
Now, I would add to that the large Federal contract laboratories, in particular the AEC laboratories.
This is a great big operation. I believe, I am absolutely persuaded, that the Federal agencies need these in-house laboratories. I do not believe, as is occasionally argued, that private industry could take over the applied research that the Federal agencies need. I am persuaded in fact that the very business of managing industrial R. & D. contracts almost requires that there be significant in-house capability, Let me interpolate that I say this with some trepidation in the presence of General Schriever, who really knows about these things, and I take it that he will set me straight later. But I myself am persuaded that it is correct that we have a substantial Federal in-house program of research, especially in applied science, but with the appropriate basic science, to give the program viability.
Now, given then, I think we ought to have this program, I think it is a fact that it raises a number of problems. The problem of keeping laboratories of this sort at a high level of efficiency is not an easy one. That is especially true if they are in classified areas where interaction with outside professional groups is more difficult. I think that the fact that these laboratories have neither the particular kinds of goals that