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Mr. Brown. Is that effort being made in terms of the commitment?
Dr. DuBRIDGE. Yes, we can and it is. I do not think it is possible to measure this with very high precision nor do I think it is necessary to do it.
Mr. Brown. No.
Dr. DuBRIDGE. But it doesn't take very much of a sampling process to find out in the major institutions of the country where science is going on what the situation is. Remember, there are only 150 universities in the country that are really involved in scientific graduate training and research.
There are 2,000 colleges that aren't, or are only involved in undergraduate training or only in small scale research. If we could find out from the 150 or even the 50 leading universities, I am sure a sample there would show exactly where the lively young minds are that need additional support.
And the Federal Council committee on this is now taking a look at precisely this problem.
Mr. BROWN. I have never seen this kind of information. I have seen the information indicating that we have cut back so much and so many projects are having to be cut. You can get a reaction from this. The reaction, of course, is any time you start something and then cut if off you get a reaction.
But that doesn't begin to measure whether or not we are really doing the job that needs to be done in terms of supporting the potential amongst these brilliant young scientists who otherwise are not going to starve to death, but they are just going to move into some other more lucrative field and we will be deprived of their efforts in this area.
Dr. DuBRIDGE. Well, we are studying that situation exactly now. Mr. Brown. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DADDARIO. Beyond studying it and coming to some determination about how many of these young people ought to be supported, Dr. DuBridge, there does have to be created in the public mind the type of opinion, which the Congress then will reflect, that they are actually deserving of such support and that it is necessary to the welfare of this country that that be done.
Dr. DuBRIDGE. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that your committee can be a key factor in conveying to the Congress what the situation actually is. We will certainly keep you informed of whatever we can find out about it.
If your committee can look at these facts and size up the situation and come to a conclusion about the national interest in this field, it will be enormously helpful and useful in educating the people of the country.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. DuBridge, when under the Reorganization Act, the Office of Science and Technology was founded, it was given the responsibility to evaluate scientific research programs undertaken by the various agencies of the Government. In your concluding remarks, you talk about basic sicence being supported by an independent agency, which is the National Science Foundation.
You also said that you did not think it wise to take away from other agencies the basic research activities that those agencies were working on, but rather to build up the National Science Foundation through
the development of other activities and support along the lines Mr. Brown has been talking about.
Isn't it necessary that what is being done in these agencies be examined so that their basic research will maintain the quality of their work rather than to just enhance their own growth? Aren't we in one of those times where such an examination would be extremely helpful, when these agencies under the financial gun are beginning to divest themselves of some of these activities, to see that this is done in an orderly way? Even though the financial situation is a serious one that they ought not to be allowed to do this without some plan over a long enough period of time so that they can be assumed and developed within the National Science Foundation or NIH?
Dr. DuBRIDGE. I certainly agree with you. Mr. DADDARIO. How do you go about evaluating this as a responsibility of OST and then developing the program so that it will be done in an orderly way? Mr. Brown points out how much difficulty we do have in the Congress. I do believe that unless we had taken the steps we have over the course of time, the cutting would have been more severe. Nonetheless, it is painful. The National Science Foundation takes upon itself some $10 million, perhaps even more than that, of DOD programing. This naturally makes it more difficult to get that extra $19 million to support young graduate students whom you believe to be so important to this particular effort over the course of time.
Shouldn't we be doing something in the administration and management of the adjustment to this independent agency concept which you believe to be important and still not do harm to the mission agencies themselves?
Dr. DuBRIDGE. I think we must increase our efforts to do just that, to take a look at the science programs of all the agencies. It isn't too difficult. You don't have to examine every individual project of every agency to get a feeling and a pretty good judgment as to the general value of the scientific work which an agency is supporting, and you don't have to have detailed project-by-project analyses to know whether the general areas of science being supported by an agency have reason. able relevance to their mission, either in the short or the long term.
And the attempt to transfer activities has certainly been a problem in recent years. Because of DOD's tight budget they have been anxious to load onto the Science Foundation certain things which they had previously been doing. These things were perfectly appropriate things for the Science Foundation to take over. But the funds for doing it have never been adequately and promptly enough supplied.
So this question of transfer of functions, I think, is a very delicate one that must be looked at. And no matter how carefully a budget proposal for the R. & D. funding of the country is presented by the President to the Congress, the individual congressional committees each have their authority to make changes which may spoil these plans for a rounded and well-balanced whole.
And that is why I suggested that the congressional problems here are very serious. Even if one had a very well-considered, rounded, balanced program for our national science effort which were presented by the President in his budget, it is not at all sure that it would come out of Congress still adequate or well-rounded or adequately balanced.
Mr. DADDARIO. Well, it would be more likely to if it included this basic information
Dr. DuBRIDGE. That is true.
Mr. DADDARIO. So people could understand what was going on, that it was necessary:
Dr. Du BRIDGE. Right.
Mr. DADDARIO. That the transfer would be done in an orderly way. This would help to heighten the confidence of the public, I would expect, in our ability both in the executive and legislative branch to handle these complicated problems in this way.
Dr. DuBRIDGE. Right. I agree.
Mr. DADDARIO. Now, how does your office at the present time stand in its ability from the staff point of view to evaluate the research programs?
Dr. DU BRIDGE. I can tell you in a few weeks. We are going through the exercise right now. We are enlisting the help of members of the President's Science Advisory Committee who had experience in the various areas, of health, of defense, and space and so on. And my new deputy, Dr. Hubert Heffner, who had his confirmation hearing yesterday, I have asked to steer this effort to try to get a picture of the total science budget for fiscal 1971 and where additional emphasis and additional balance is needed so that with the Bureau of the Budget we can develop a total Federal program.
We will not be very successful for the first year. This is a thing which will require a great deal of experience and a great deal of background and collecting information, which will take time. But at least we are going to get a start. And whether this turns out to be a job that our staff can do or not, I don't know. If it is a job that our staff can't do, I can't think of any more urgent request to make to the President than that he authorize us to enhance the staff to meet this problem, because I am sure that he believes that it is a very important enterprise, that we do get a coherent picture of the Federal science and technology effort and try to get it implemented so that it remains a good and important national effort.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. DuBridge, I hope that we might be able to forward to you some further questions. Obviously there are many we would like to ask which we do not have time for, but which will be helpful for the record.
Dr. DuBRIDGE. Certainly. (Questions submitted by the subcommittee to Dr. Lee A. DuBridge :) Question 1. It is common knowledge that the National Science Foundation has always had difficulty selling itself to Congress and the American public. What positive steps can you suggest that the Foundation might take to improve its image, extend its constituency and secure the funds corresponding to a national policy of continued preeminence for U.S. science?
Answer 1. The constituency and funding of the National Science Foundation are inevitably influenced by the public attitude toward science in relation to the various goals and problems of our society. In this broad context, the ability of the Foundation to improve its image is strengthened by the leadership of the Presidency in furthering a national policy of continued preeminence for U.S. science and guaranteeing that the U.S. continually strengthen its scientific and technological base.
The interests and the prestige of the National Science Foundation depend upon the actions of four groups of people, namely, (1) members of the National Science Board and members of the Staff of the National Science Foundation,
(2) Members of the Congress, particularly members of those committees concerned with science, education, astronautics, atomic energy, etc., (3) the university community and (4) informed citizens who are aware of the value of scientific research and education to the country. I will discuss these in order :
(1) Dr. Philip Handler, Chairman of the National Science Board, and Dr. William McElroy, Director of the National Science Foundation, are aware of the problem of congressional relations and are taking steps to improve them. I am confident that they will initiate important new moves in this direction.
(2) The work which the members of the House Science and Astronautics Committee have been doing has been excellent. I hope that they will be able to persuade the members of other committees to take similar actions to strengthen our national science programs and will be able to convince other members of the Congress of the importance to the nation's welfare of scientific education and research. The emphasis needs to be put on the nation's welfare rather than simply on the welfare of the universities and colleges themselves.
(3) Members of the university community, associations of higher education and university alumni can set forth to the public and to the Congress more clearly the role played by university education and research in the advancement of the nation's welfare. They can point out that the university is the cornerstone of the scientific and technological progress which have made our country the strongest and which have given our citizens the world's highest standard of living. They can point out explicitly the relationship between scientific research and the improvement of public health, the continued increase in the nation's economic strength and the future potentialities of science and technology in contributing to the solution of problems of the environment and other areas of current social concern.
(4) Inasmuch as some members of Congress and many members of the general public look upon the National Science Foundation and other university supporting agencies as “charitable” organizations concerned with “handouts” to colleges and universities, it is essential that non-university groups come to the defense of the importance of basic scientific research and education. Leaders in industrial research and technology, business leaders, scientific and engineering professional societies, particularly those with large components of industrial members, and other informed citizens can well point out that the support of university research and advanced training in science and engineering is not “charity" but is an essential investment in the nation's future welfare and its industrial and economic progress.
Question 2. Has the application of planning-programming-budgeting methods and techniques had measurable effects on the management or organization of Federal science activities in your field of interest? Please elaborate.
Answer 2. The usefulness and applicability of the PPB methods varies greatly with the nature of the scientific and technological efforts to which it is applied. In the fields of defense technology and certain other areas of technological development it may be feasible to determine priorities by evaluating the goals of the technological research being undertaken and the importance in financial or other terms of those goals or products, and to adjust research investments accordingly.
There are other fields, however, where ultimate usefulness of the research cannot be foreseeably determined or where the values cannot be measured in dollar terms and where PPB techniques cannot be successfully applied. The health of the nation, the quality of our education, the pleasantness of our environment, the advance in human understanding of the universe and of life are all essential and important goals, but are goals and benefits that are not subject to quantitative evaluation. While I agree on the need to go as far as possible in evaluating our goals and the relative contributions of research and development to the attainment of the various goals, PPB procedures must be thoughtfully and considerately applied to appropriate activities keeping in mind the often uncertain outcome of the research process.
Question 3. There appears to be agreement among several members of the scientific community that the National Science Foundation should be funded at an approximate one billion dollars a year level. What specifically can be done to sell the Congress and the American people on the need for this action?
Answer 3. If the nation is to meet its many needs, the budget of the National Science Foundation should be increased steadily and should, at some not too distant date, pass the billion dollar mark. There are important reasons why the funding of the Foundation should be steadily increased :
(1) The costs of research and education are continually rising ; first, because of normal inflation and, second, because more and more sophisticated and increasingly expensive equipment is required as we probe deeper into the mysteries of the unknown. Facilities cost increases would justify an NSF budget increase of not less than seven or eight percent per year.
(2) The growth of our economy is dependent upon new knowledge in science and technology. Scientific research should, therefore, increase (in terms of real effort) at least as fast as the Gross National Product, and the GNP would grow faster if the national investment in research and development is made relatively larger.
(3) Unless there is such a steady increase in Federal support, including that of the NSF, large areas of science may become grossly underfunded in relation to the opportunities and promise they offer this nation. These areas include, among others :
(a) Exciting advances in optical and radio astronomy which require major capital investments for new optical and radio telescopes and associated equipment.
(6) Nuclear high energy physics where important new developments are on the horizon and expensive pieces of equipment are even now being underutilized because of lack of funds for operations and capital improvements and modernization.
(c) Research in biology and medicine where great advances are being made, but where new and more sophisticated equipment and techniques are required. The best route to better medical care is through a deeper understanding of the nature of the life process and of disease, disabilities and other human afflictions.
(d) Marine sciences where there are expanding opportunities for learning more about the oceans, lakes and coastal waters leading to new sources of energy and minerals and to a better understanding of the total earth environment, its climate, weather patterns, etc.
(e) Environmental sciences where we have only begun to realize that better understanding of the physical and biological properties and the constitution of the earth's environment is essential to a better control of environmental quality. In the very act of living and working, men must use environmental resources and to a substantial extent thereby degrade the environment. But degradation can be kept to a minimum and enhancement can be achieved through better understanding of the impact of new technologies on the environment and the potential of new technologies for reducing environmental degradation. We need to understand better how the various aspects of the environment (physical and biological) are interrelated and how activities directed in one area may affect environmental
problems in other areas. Therefore, if we are to continue the progress of science and are to extend scientific knowledge in new and important fields, it is essential that the Federal budget for basic science be steadily and substantially increased and that the National Science Foundation be given a larger portion of such resources in order to take a more active and responsible role in extending our basic scientific knowledge.
Question 4. Can you comment on the present status of Executive Office consideration of the utilization of Federal laboratories, including that of the Federal Council ad hoc task group which is understood to be studying the question of Federal laboratory-university relationships?
Answer 4. Concern has been expressed throughout the Executive Branch that the Federal laboratories and the universities improve their relationship and work together better as a team. The Committee on Federal Laboratories of the Federal Council for Science and Technology is deeply interested in this problem. The FCST and the American Council on Education sponsored a symposium late last year on Education and Federal Laboratory-University Relationships. In February the President approved a statement of policy on expanded use of Federal research facilities by university investigators. A copy of this statement is attached, together with a copy of the press release on it issued by the White House.
The FCST is preparing a report describing the existing training programs and cooperative relationships among Federal laboratories and contract centers and universities. We will provide you with a copy of this report as soon as