Page images
PDF
EPUB

The National Science Foundation is very conscious of this problem, is wrestling with it, but this requires funds.

There is one way to deal with this problem. The Department of Defense has had a program where it would give a block of money to a very distinguished person, for example, a theoretical physicist like Hans Bethe. He would assume responsibility that the young men at Cornell University would be supported.

That sort of thing is disappearing. It goes back to two things: Budgets and the narrowing notion of what is important to a mission agency.

You state a problem that all of us are worried about; the future of American intellectual life depends on assistant professors. They are having the toughest time in getting support.

Dr. KEENEY. It is quite true. It is also quite difficult for universities to find funds to support them, and especially outside of sciences you really have to steal money. But I think you ought to also worry about the senior man who is not very bright and who doesn't want to work on a very useful thing, who can go through this same shopping procedure and come out with pretty nearly the same amount of money: That is the real danger of it, I think.

Chairman MILLER. I made a couple of notes. You said we were losing the lead in the radio astronomical field. Is that due to someone beating us to it, or is it because of the geographical position of this country?

Dr. PIORE. Much of the cutting edge of science, traditionally, depends on instruments. Kelvin was a great scientist. You do science experimentally and you build instruments. When one does not have the resources to build instruments, one cannot be at the cutting edge of science. The days of string and sealing wax are gone.

There is a Dicke ad hoc panel for large radio astronomy facilities for the National Science Foundation which issued a report recommending the construction of certain facilities. At the moment, I am very pessimistic whether funds will be forthcoming for these facilities. The Europeans will build a lot of the things that Dicke recommended. Because they will be there first, their young people will have a greater opportunity to probe the unknown than our young people.

Chairman MILLER. In this particular field, we have pretty much taken the lead. I can't argue the technology of it, but I have been given to understand in order to do this job, we have got to have instruments practically all over the world. We are putting them there, are we not? We have got some big radio astronomical instruments in Australia that we practically paid for.

Dr. PIORE. What I am trying to do is to indicate what the future will be like. If we take a snapshot now, we are in very good shape. As I look at the direction things are going, I am predicting we will be in bad shape.

Chairman MILLER. I would like, as we get into this field, to find out what we can do to correct this. We are building these around the world. We are going to put a 200 foot dish in Spain. It is part of NASA's tracking station, but the dish at Parkes is only used incidentally when we are flying.

Dr. PIORE. If it is a NASA tracking station you cannot do an experiment with it. I would like to see NASA give a university group priority on three-quarters of the time on the instrument. But they will not.

Chairman MILLER. Of course, right now, for the next months, maybe next 2 or 3 years, NASA can't very well do that, because these are there for a certain purpose and they have got to be used for that purpose. On the other hand, the dish, at Parkes, in Australia, when we have a manned space flight station, is cut in on this. The other time, Dr. Bowen uses it in the field of astronomy.

Dr. PIORE. I would agree. Dr. Bowen is a very talented person, who has many friends here stemming back from his work at the radiation lab at MİT during the war. But, you know, that is just the problem, Mr. Miller. We either do serious research, or you try to beg for time on other people's equipment that is there for other purposes. This is very difficult.

Chairman MILLER. I have never visited an astronomical station where this matter of time hasn't been the thing that bugs them all.

Out at Kitt Peak everybody wants to use the big instruments. We are putting up a big instrument down in the Southern Hemisphere in Chile. I presume that there will be astronomers traveling down there and they will be frustrated because they can't get the time they want on the instrument.

Dr. PIORE. There is a difference between competition among scientific types on an experiment where you have a procedure—where someone determines that this is important, this is less important, and sets a priority. It is a different problem to get time to do experiments on an instrument designed for tracking. It is much more difficult. The first priority is for the first purpose of the instrument, and this is as it should be.

Let me put it this way. In building any kind of astronomical instrument, radio astronomy or otherwise, you design it for a set of experiments, with certain wavelengths and a certain curvature of the dish, depending on the experiments you want to do.

In tracking you have quite a different problem. Normally you track on a single wave length. You have to make a lot of compromises to do experiments with it. It is a much greater chore for a man to use an instrument that has been designed for some other purpose than to use an instrument that has been designed specifically for his experiment.

Chairman MILLER. Getting into another subject, doctor, you talk about where we may slip behind. When we talk about the matter of housing or some of the things that are important today, sewage disposal or disposal of waste matters, isn't the Federal Government inhibited in this field by the States?

Dr. PIORE. You know better than I. I am not the right person to give testimony on that. But my observation is that, quite apart from our available technological skills to deal with pollution, it is very difficult to bring them to bear on the problem because of the political structure, the economic modifications required, and related matters.

My view is that we know enough to start applying things, and yet we cannot quite do it because of social structural reasons.

Dr. KEENEY. I think there is a deeper reason than that. The reason really is that people in general don't want to make the necessary effort to have them brought about.

Chairman MILLER. They don't want to make the necessary effort and they talk about the costs. I have often raised this question here.

How many disposable bottles, Coca-Cola, Fresca, beer

Mr. DADDARIO. No advertising.

Chairman MILLER. Excuse me-are created in the Washington metropolitan area or in the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area, or the New York metropolitan area each day?

It is cheaper to buy new bottles than it is to collect old bottles and sterilize them for reuse.

Dr. PIORE. Today's paper either the New York Times or the Washington Post, reported that one of the glass companies has a process of taking old bottles

Chairman MILLER. That is just what I was coming to. This is the Owens Glass Co. When they were pouring the large plug for the mirror out there some time ago, I found as a glass manufacturer he was quite concerned with what they could do with this glass. Could you reclaim it, use it in a method of laying concrete or streets, use it for aggregate for streets ! I presume there is a possibility of this.

Dr. PIORE. This was basically the article.

Chairman MILLER. I think this was a test road they were building out there to try it out.

What are we going to do with these glass bottles? Have we got an unlimited supply of sand and stuff that goes into glass that we can continue to fill this room or perhaps fill this room three times over each day and yet go back and get more?

But the next point is I had the privilege, I think, Mr. Daddario, when we went up to the Du Pont place. They have made plastic fittings for disposable pipe. I have a friend in the cast iron pipe business, manufactures it at Oakland, Calif. He is looking to the future of getting into this thing because he said sooner or later you are going to use this. It is cheaper, but what inhibits it today are local ordinances. City ordinances say you must use cast iron. I don't know that this is just as good. I am certain that Du Pont says it is just as good. I have no way of evaluating it, but I do know that local ordinances come up from time to time that do inhibit what should be done or what could be done. I wonder if this isn't one of the places where we have to educate the American people.

Dr. KEENEY. You know, Mr. Miller, you'd better get your oceanographer down at the bottom of the sea pretty soon before it is entirely covered with plastic bottles which never disappear, just as the surface is pretty nearly covered with plastic bags.

Chairman MILLER. I got a report the other day about places out in the Atlantic such as the old Sargasso Sea which we used to read about as a kid, that the pollution in them is pretty bad, but I don't know how you are going to stop this.

We have a problem in as sophisticated a place as San Francisco Bay with the city of San Francisco dumping raw untreated sewage in two places into that bay. When some people came to me sometime ago out there, and said we want to make a fish refuge and game refuge in the San Francisco Bay, the southern part of the bay, will you join us, I said, no. I used to be an executive officer of the California Division of Fish and Game and I have had a little experience.

"Why aren't you for it?"

I am for it. If you will clean the mess up in the bay, you won't need to establish a refuge. The fish will be there and the game will come there. You can't entice them there under the conditions that exist today, though the very charming wife of a former president of the University of California led a great crusade to do this, sat in my office, was very much discouraged and disappointed with me when I told her that some of the things she said were not true. She said that the fish spawn there. I said, no, fish don't spawn there. It is exposed to the sun certain hours of the day. I said the migratory birds aren't coming. It is a little close.

She said, you have got to admit you can go out there and see shore birds. I said, yes, you can go out and see shore birds if you are interested in seeing the long-legged boys run around.

We have destroyed these things and we have to put them together again.

Now, what has taken place there is taking place all over the world. The last time I was in Europe, we were over at the meeting of the U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Colonel Gould and I went down to Lisbon to see a great Portuguese hydrographic institute where they are making a study of Rio de Janeiro Bay to see what can be done with it. We were going to Belgrade to the meeting of our own science advisers and stopped at Zurich. We were told one of the things that they were worrying about was the pollution of Lake Zurich. Most of it is a result of the use of chemical fertilizers. Lake Erie is bad enough, but when the beautiful lakes in Switzerland go, what is going to be the cost to the people?

Excuse me, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. DADDARIO. It is all right, Mr. Chairman. We have to leave a little time for Mr. Winn. He has been very patient.

Mr. WINN. I am sorry I was late and I was in and out of the room, but I got the feeling what both of you are saying is we sort of need a king of science, stronger leadership, a coordinator, or a captain, whatever we want to call him, to bring directions together instead of going in different directions or floundering separately.

Is this basically what you are saying?
Dr. PIORE. Well, I would-
Mr. Winn. You said you didn't like the word “leadership.”

Dr. PIORE. I would modify it a little bit. We are doing well. We can do much better, in my view. This is a personal view. We have very definite problems which cannot be settled unless we pull a lot of things together under one administrative tent.

Dr. KEENEY. Mr. Winn, what I have been saying is you have got to pull together a lot more than science.

Mr. WINN. More than science? Dr. KEENEY. Yes. You really have got to pull together the whole intellectual enterprise.

Mr. WINN. Then along that line, what can we do? You talk about maybe the not too bright or the average senior intellectual. What can we do to stimulate private enterprise into becoming more involved in our programs, footing more of the bill for research in scientific fields and hiring a lot of these associate or assistant professors, whatever you call them, that are having a hard time getting off the ground? This

isn't too unusual. Young lawyers usually don't do too well and young doctors don't do too well. So I don't think we are going to change that too fast. That seems to be a part of our system of working their way up. But they do have to make a decent living if they are going to stay in the field.

How can we get the free enterprise system to be more involved and use more of these men?

Dr. PIORE. Let me put it this way. In our free enterprise system, you will find that American industry is increasing its support to universities slowly, but it is on the rise. When I talk about American industry, I mean the 500 in Fortune.

The other thing is that there is a general trend in American industry to be responsive to the thinking of our college presidents. They like to receive general funds to run their institutions, not specific funds for departments or for some specific purpose.

So from where I sit, the trend is to an increasing part, increasing donation, whatever you want to call it, from private enterprise to universities in the area of general support.

Another thing one has to remember is that you can just go so far in trying to get it from American industry. They have a lot of responsibility. I would say the companies have been comparatively generous. One has to look to the Government to support our intellectual plant. Private enterprise and foundations all do their part. Let us not forget our State legislatures.

Dr. Keeney would know much more how much private industries give to universities in any given year, but I don't expect a profound step function. It will keep increasing slowly.

Dr. KEENEY. And more wisely.
Dr. PIORE. More wisely; that is what I meant.

Dr. KEENEY. I would not like to see the private industry take over the assistant and associate professors, Mr. Winn. You cut off your intellectual future if you strip the institutions of the people who do the teaching

Mr. Winn. I don't want them to take it over, but I am talking about someone to foot the bill so they don't have to run to Capitol Hill with their hands out. That is what I meant and what Jerry Pettis talked on a minute ago. It is ridiculous for our top men to have to run around up here with their hands out looking for support for a job they want to do, whether they are qualified or not, and that is one of the bad parts about the Government. We put them in a slot somewhere because they have got this degree or that degree, but some of them sit down and do not produce nearly what they are capable of producing I think

you
will

agree The other thing goes back to the universities and brings up the subject we have talked about before. I have been very outspoken on it because I see it. I ran into it at two different universities this past weekend where I think scientists and educators-I am not pinning them all down in one category—are hiding behind the guise of education so they can get this funding to carry on their work. I don't know which is right.

on that.

« PreviousContinue »