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such as that being considered today particularly examine the desirability of a Department of Science and Technology. This Department would not control and centralize all of the related activities of the diverse agencies. As a matter of fact, it is perfectly clear that each of the agencies must have programs related to science and technology that affect the future of their particular programs and their activities. What I would suggest is that those technical activities of the Government that serve the commonweal be brought together. Specifically, I would consider bringing into one agency the National Science Foundation, the National Bureau of Standards, the Environmental Science Services Administration, NASA, the Geological Survey, the Census Bureau, and perhaps parts of NIH and the Atomic Energy Commission. These agencies together provide the Federal mechanism for supporting the examination of man, the character and nature of his physical and social environment, even reaching out into space. These agencies provide strength to the scientific and technical institutions of our country and provide for the growth and good health of science and technology related both to the physical and social realms. If these agencies were brought together into a single department, it would allow much of the integration in the field of oceanography that has long been a matter of concern to Congress. It would provide a mechanism for integration of the study of the atmosphere and of the weather that likewise has been so diffuse as to almost defy integration under the present circumstances.
The Cabinet officer responsible for this department could then be responsive to the President and to Congress for insuring the development of the broad areas of science and technology which in our state of national development are emerging as even more important resources than water, land, or minerals which we recognized many years ago through specifically authorized activities of the executive branch.
I am sure that there are other realinements and rearrangements that would modernize our Federal Government and make it better able to anticipate future needs, but these two specific areas are examples derived from our own knowledge and experience.
IMPROVE MANAGEMENT OF BROAD PROGRAMS
However, even with the most perfect alinement and organization of Government agencies there will still be matters and activities and programs that cut across whole organizations.
These particular programs will vary with time--some important at one time and others becoming important in the future. For example, transportation policy and programs affect urban development. Integration of transportation, with education, with building technology, in terms of their influence on the cities is required. It seems to me that greatest inefficiency in our Government structure results from the difficulty of providing responsible management for those programs that are parts of the activities of several different agencies. The way funds are allocated to departments by nearly independent appropriations subcommittees clearly ties the executive branch's hands in its attempts to integrate projects and programs of vital interest which are within the purview of different agencies.
The program planning and budgeting system, now in its infancy as applied to domestic programs, is clearly an attempt to provide a mechanism of integration, particularly for those activities which are important to the welfare of the Nation, but are not uniquely the responsibility of a single department.
The PPB system should provide an analysis of objectives, alternatives, and costs. But, until there can be a program director for such projects, with responsibility and authority cutting across the several departments, these studies can only be helpful and must be largely academic.
The success of such analyses, studies, and programs in the Department of Defense resulted from there being a single head of the Defense Department whose overall program responsibility included the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
REAPPRAISAL OF CONGRESSIONAL PROCEDURES NEEDED
Obviously, I believe that this matter of program integration is not just a problem for the executive branch. It is strongly influenced by the piecemeal process of the appropriation mechanism of the Congress. Any study in Congress that would affect the implementation of an executive reorganization must also examine procedures and policies in Congress, particularly of the Appropriations Committees that tend to deal with Government programs on a relatively narrow departmental or agency basis.
The opportunity to bring broad interagency programs to the review of the Appropriations Committees of both Houses would, in my opinion, do much to make our executive branch more effective.
THREE AREAS DEMAND PRIORITY CONSIDERATION
In summary, I should like to support the general concept of the need for a new examination of the goals, structure, and organization of the executive branch. There are three broad areas I would consider most important to examine. The first has to do with the establishment of some mechanism within the executive branch to examine the long-range goals, alternatives and possibilities for our Nation, particularly in matters affecting our domestic society and economy.
I would also suggest that there might well be broad realinement of Government agencies that would make it possible to improve the structure, as well as improve the efficiency and economy of its work. I suggest that we need to examine all those agencies that affect the industry and commerce of our country.
In addition, it is now time that a Department of Science and Technology be created having broad cognizance over those matters of general science and technology affecting the whole fabric of our life. Such a department would not centralize all the many diverse activities that are so interwoven into the structure of the agencies of the Government, but would bring together only those of broad general influence.
The third general area which I believe deserves attention is the need to examine the techniques for managing projects to which many agencies of Government contribute and for which integration and total management is required. Here we need the equivalent of a project manager as is often employed in modern industry, but which is very difficult to establish in Government because of the independence of appropriations committees and of the agencies of the executive branch. In this area, as well as others, I do not believe that serious consideration of a reorganization of the executive branch can be carried out without also examining whether or not the relationships of the executive branch to the Congress, and the Congress own organization would permit the effective implementation of any proposed reorganization.
NEW RECRUITMENT METHODS SHOULD BE STUDIED
Finally, there is a general comment that I should like to make concerning executive management in the Federal Government. All too often it was my experience that agencies of the Government have not realized the importance of the development of their personnel or of arranging mechanisms for changing the agencies themselves when, due to the changing times, they become outmoded. I think that any commission studying the executive branch should examine the question as to how new, vital, and young ideas can continually be brought to the attention of the agencies of the Government and to the President and to the Congress.
Thank you very much.
[From Science, Feb. 7, 1969)
(By Donald F. Hornig) It is timely that this review of U.S. science policy is being held in December 1968 just before a change in the U.S. Presidency-a time when special thought and attention are being given within and outside of government to the health and future directions of U.S. science policy. For myself, I look forward to contemplating what “they" should do rather than trying to get things done myself in a very complex government.
In a sense, such review and evaluation is a continuous process, but I am struck by the fact that there have been discontinuities in this process at roughly 5- to 6year intervals since 1940.
The first major appraisal of U.S. science came immediately after World War II. Under the Office of Scientific Research and Development we had built from
1 This article is adapted from an address presented 29 December 1968 at the Dallas meeting of the AAAS. At that time the author was President Johnson's Special Assistant for Science and Technology. He is now vice president of Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York, and a professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester.
scratch a magnificent team of scientists and engineers and an array of first-class laboratories. In 1945 we saw the scientific team being disbanded and the research facilities transferred to other auspices. These circumstances were the cause of much thought and debate, which produced such appraisals of the needs and deficiencies of American science as Vannevar Bush's Science: The Endless Frontier (1), which still makes good reading, and the well-known Steelman Report for President Truman.
In 1951, under the stress of the Korean War and the possibility of another mobilization of the scientific community, President Truman created a Science Advisory Committee in the Office of Defense Mobilization, to provide the President with independent advice on scientific matters, particularly those of defense significance. This was the first significant step toward moving scientific advisers into the White House.
Again in 1957, in the traumatic aftermath of Sputnik, there was a call for a general reappraisal of where we stood in our national science policies and goals and the adequacy of government science organization. It resulted in the appointment of the first full-time Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, James Killian. Simultaneously, the President's Science Advisory Committee was established in the White House.
Five years later, in 1962, after another study and review of the White House science organization, it was decided to establish the Office of Science and Technology (OST) to provide permanent staff resources to the President for dealing with matters involving scientific and technological considerations.
Now, 6 years after the OST was created, we are again at the crossroads of introspection and examination of our national science policy and the organization needed to formulate it and carry it out. It is my feeling that, as before, changes will be made and, I hope, for the better.
Having spent the past 5 years at the bench of U.S. science policy development, I would like to review with you some of the issues and problems as I see them, with some thoughts as to the future.
The main problem areas have been perceptively indentified by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) examination of U.S. science policy : academic science and the universities, the role of the government in industrial research, some of the social impacts of U.S. science policy, and the adequacy of the mechanisms in the U.S. government for dealing with these problem areas—that is, to make science do for the intellectual and material welfare of the American people all the things we think it can do and that we claim for it.
FEDERAL SUPPORT OF ACADEMIC SCIENCE
With regard to academic science and the universities, the central questions are: first, how to provide training of high quality for enough scientists and engineers of the right kinds; second, how to maintain vigor and creativity in the basic reserach establishment; and third, how to set priorities and determine the relative emphasis given to different research areas.
Concern over maintaining the vigor and quality of academic science is not a new phenomenon in 1968. At each of the 5- to 6-year steps in the evolution of the government science structure to which I referred there was a peaking of public concern about the state of American science. I venture to say that this recurrent, if not continuing, concern will remain with us for the foreseeable future.
You will recall the pronouncements after World War II about the sad state of fundamental research in the United States and our unhealthy dependence on European scientific discoveries for the development of the U.S. arsenal of new weapons, most notably the atomic bomb. The case for substantially strengthening the ties of government to university science was eloquently stated in Bush's Science: The Endless Frontier, in July 1945.
The year 1950 finally saw the creation of the National Science Foundation, after long debate (and a Presidential veto) over how independent this so-called independent government agency should be.
Again in 1957, with the advent of Sputnik, there was a resurgence of concern and interest in academic research, particularly in terms of the production of new scientists and engineers with advanced training, partly out of fear that the rapidly increasing output of scientists and engineers in the U.S.S.R. would pose a long-term threat to U.S. security.
When I entered the White House scene I was confronted with the issue of academic science in a somewhat different form. The explosive growth of
government support of science in the 1950's and early 1960's had left in its wake a new array of problems of science administration, both in the universities and in the government. There was evidence of congressional dissatisfaction with what they believed to be lack of tightness and tidiness of federal controls over these large expenditures. This was, in part, based on misunderstanding of the nature and form of federal support. The question of overhead rates charged by the universities was raised, apparently from a confusion of overhead and profits—a question, I must admit, that has not been swept away (witness the recent Mansfield amendment to limit indirect costs paid under research grants).
Members of Congress had become acutely conscious that university science had entered the big league of congressional interests. The House established a Select Committee to Investigate Expenditures for Research Programs. The House Science and Astronautics Committee moved to establish a permanent Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Development. The Congress debated ways of strengthening congressional mechanisms for obtaining information and advice on scientific and technological fields.
Today there are again mutterings about a “crisis of confidence" in federal support of academic research. As in the past, this appears to be another moment of introspection, calling for self-renewal and readjustment of our sights to see clearly the goals ahead.
The current problems of academic science appear to have their origins in the budget stringencies growing out of the Vietnam war. But, in my view, the budget squeeze is only one symptom of a more general difficulty. It has brought to the surface the latent, unresolved problems which must inevitably be dealt with directly. I refer to such issues as the support of research through project grants versus broad institutional grants, and how to wed the cultivation of the best science to the training of enough scientists, broadly distributed throughout the country. Even more fundamental and serious is the failure of the university and the scientific community to effectively communicate its values, its purposes, and its contributions to the public and to the lawmakers.
Although these and other problems connected with federal support of aca. demic research could be alleviated by increased funds, it is likely that there will ever be enough funds to satisfy all legitimate requests. In short, we had better face up to the underlying problems. With the increasing size of the academic science establishment and the proliferation in the number of promising avenues of research, failure to develop a coherent approach could bring even greater pain at a later date should the enterprise suffer a loss of public confidence and support.
As we move to unite the knots in the existing policies and arrangements for federal support of academic research, we must, I believe, find a healthy accommodation between a laissez-faire system and centralized control. Forces in the direction of detailed planning of basic research and graduate education have been resisted because of the inherent unpredictability of the results of scientific research and the needs of our society, and because of difficulties in estimating the long-term national requirements for scientists and engineers. While I agree that central direction of federal support of academic science is not conducive to the maintenance of vigorous, high-quality academic research, neither is chaos. Nor can we entirely capitulate to the vested self-interests in subgroups of the scientific community that will resist any change or trade-off that they believe would threaten their interests. What I am suggesting is a better articulated framework for federal support of science and an indicative plan, looking a few years into the future, that will provide a general guide for the allocation of funds, at least, and provide a necessary degree of stability and predictability for future planning by the universities and the government agencies involved.
There are many ways in which the federal support of academic science can be carried out-different mixes of government agencies and universities, as well as different mechanisms for the support of research and for the support of graduate training. What may make sense at one level of consideration may not make sense at another level. I believe that we do not know enough about the interrelationships of the various parts of the scientific enterprise, the various types of support, and the various objects of support to construct a comprehensive blueprint or plan for proceeding. However, I am convinced that we need to sharpen our analytical tools and capabilities, identify and acquire the necessary data, devise working hypotheses, and be willing to experiment with subaggre
gates of the system so that we will be in a steadily improving position to deal effectively with the entire set of problems. And we will have to move further toward the generation of broad-scale, long-range plans.
This problem can be likened to the continued, healthy growth of a delicate and complex organism. It is not analogous to the stages of human growth from childhood to adolescence, adulthood, and old age—and I hope the latter is not in sight. Rather, it is more like the problems of medicine and physiology, where we understand some of the pieces, but where our understandings are isolated and do not explain the functioning of the organism as a whole. The pieces I refer to are basic research, education, applications, and their coupling to technology. Our job is to make the organism healthier—not just its component organs.
IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC EFFORT ON SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS
A question just as fundamental as that posed by academic science concerns the coupling between the national scientific effort and our country's social and economic progress.
During the past 2 years I have been deeply involved in two studies of the so-called “technological gap" issue. One was carried out at my direction within the U.S. government. The other was undertaken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in Paris, in preparation for the OECD Ministers of Science meeting last March. The analysis of technological disparities among industrially advanced countries and their basic causes makes it clear that the United States does better than most countries in harnessing science and technology to economic and social progress.
Europeans tend to regard the technological gap as a new phenomenon, and in doing so overlook the long history of U.S. preoccupation with industrial growth. There was considerable debate on this issue among the “founding fathers” after the American Revolution. According to George Soule, in his Economic Forces in American History (2), Thomas Jefferson favored a nation of landowners, principally engaged in farming, to avoid the poverty and exploitation of the working classes which accompanied the beginning of the industrial revolution in England. In this debate, Alexander Hamilton's differing views prevailed, and Hamilton should be credited for the strategy America used to overcome its technological dependence on Europe. The basic elements of this strategy, reflected in Hamilton's "Report on the Subject of Manufactures," submitted to Congress in 1791 when he was Secretary of the Treasury, were the protection of "infant industries.” Perhaps more importantly, he urged the promotion of immigration of technologically skilled manpower and the encouragement of capital inflow from abroad. Since that early time, numerous European observers, from Alexis de Tocqueville on, have commented on the positive American attitudes toward technological change and the introduction of new technology in industry.
Federal policies and programs aimed at stimulating American industrial technology, directly or indirectly, are simply the modern version of Hamilton's infant-industry argument. What makes it more difficult now is that we are trying to strike a balance between a national view and a world view. In Hamilton's day, government policies toward satisfying the needs of 10 million people couldn't upset any international apple-carts. Today, the currency and the military power of the United States are dominant forces in the world of commerce and international order. Government policies with short-term domestic objectives can, through international repercussions, have longer-term adverse effects on both the international and the domestic scene—witness the run on the dollar due to what others regard as overexpansion of domestic programs.
Despite the acknowledged American success in most fields of science and technology, there are some industrial people in the United States who feel that the effect of our emphasis on academic science has been to draw off too many talented people from other creative functions of society, such as industrial engineering and innovation. They feel, for example, that contemporary engineering training is not appropriate to the conduct of engineering in industry—although others dispute this allegation.
Another difference of view concerns the degree of coupling of the results of government-financed research and development, particularly in the military and space areas, with the needs of civilian industry. Again, some will allege that the federally financed research and development effort has siphoned off or otherwise deprived industry of creative talents that could be put to use in commercial R&D—that it has undesirably inflated the salaries of scientists and engineers employed in nongovernmental commercial business.