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CORPORATE GROWTH AND CHANGE
Coming full circle to this Technical Information Center, I have been speaking of the need for improved organization and support of our technical and scientific resources in government. This need is no less important in our great industries, whose corporate growth and whose ability to manage change depend upon their ability to use research and development to further corporate objectives. As in other areas of corporate strategy, the availability of timely and accurate information in fields relevant to the company's product interests is fundamental to sound planning, to product development, and to the directions of technical effort. Serving as it does the whole corporation, including the Celanese divisions as well as the research laboratories here in Summit, the Technical Information Center represents a vital link between research and the market place. It is part of the cement that strengthens and extends the company's technical reach.
Given the problem of allocating scarce technological resources within Celanese, and an almost limitless range of possibilities for corporate R & D, the Technical Information Center can play a crucial role in determining the optimum use of Celanese scientific talent. It can be an important link to basic research in the universities, and in providing essential support both for the R & D process and to the individual scientists and engineers of Celanese. In our leading industrial research laboratories, the modern, well-staffed Technical Information Center has been recognized as an indispensable nerve center that connects corporate brain power to its muscle and bone structure.
THE COMPANY'S FUTURE
I applaud Celanese management for taking the farsighted step of creating this splendid Technical Information Center we dedicate today. I encourage its clients—the scientific staff here in Summit and elsewhere-to make full use of this important new information center. Finally, I congratulate Dr. A. E. Brown [President, Celanese Research Company] and his associates on this happy occasion, for their contributions will, I am sure, have a telling effect on the company's future.
WHEELER, HARVEY. THE CONSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SCIENCE. [SANTA
BARBARA, CALIFORNIA. CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS), NOVEMBER 1968.
[The following excerpt is the final section of Mr. Wheeler's paper in which he suggests several ways by which the constitutional accountability of science can be insured. As used in this paper, the term constitutionalization of science concerns the massive institutional and social implications of the developmental and technological applications of science. The subject is of concern because of the increasing realization that without direction, science and technology can be utilized for purposes which have serious potentials for causing harm to society.]
Let us summarize the state of the argument to this point: science has reached a new stage of development posing new problems for society. They cannot be solved by instituting a Leibnitzian academy, by professionalization or by departmentalization. Only constitutionalization will suffice. But what will this entail ? Suppose we attempt to insure the constitutional accountability of science through a new public corporation.
IX. THE CONSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SCIENCE
1. A PUBLIC CORPORATION How would this work? Perhaps the A.E.C., Telstar and the T.V.A. will serve as examples. A public corporation for developmental science can be chartered and given its constitution. Civilian control can be installed and charged with the discharge of several functions that are not now performed at all. Most obvious is the need to provide us with an ombudsman for science. He would serve not only in response to public complaints but also for complaints raised by scientists themselves, from inside the establishment, so to speak. An ombudsman for science should be given positive, as well as negative, or corrective functions. That is, in addition to investigating alleged evils he should also be charged with seeing that the scientific enterprise achieves its publicly approved goals. This would require a special system of adjudication, complete with its own review courts, and this will be more fully discussed later.
To approach science in this way requires thinking in terms of a new branch of constitutional theory, for it implies an "architectonic" conception of the politics of science. The intellectual endeavors of individuals must be thought of in broad political terms, rather than merely in terms of the narrow desires of those who wish to pursue knowledge for its own, or their own, sakes. This requires taking fresh thought about problems such as representation, which we thought the 18th century had put to rest for all times. If there is to be a new kind of public corporation for science, if it is to be under civilian control, and if the public will is to make its voice heard and responded to, then there must be some way for that will to find expression. This raises the legislative” question of how to furnish science with responsible policy-forming and goal-establishing functions. We know that the scandalous scientific boondoggling of the recent past must be prevented. Scientists themselves have publicized certain unsavory aspects of “big science:" the space program and the Mohole project, are examples. For it is clear that in addition to the fact that science may harm us, it is also true that scientists seem prone to make incredibly bad judgments about the conduct of their own affairs. Hence, science must be provided with a legislature. It must be one especially designed for science because we have already seen that our present legislative organs are inadequate for the task. Moreover, in order for civilian control to work there must be participation by citizens as well as by scientists.
This raises the old question of bicameralism. It may be that the envisioned public corporation should be organized along dualistic lines, with one branch composed of scientists and the other of public members. Each could then have its own chamber, but both would be convened in joint session for ultimate policy formation. One way to conceive of this would be to follow our traditional constitutional wisdom and put financial controls and ratification powers in the public chamber and reserve the responsibility for initiating projects for the scientific chamber.
2. EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT SCIENTIFIC ISSUES
This brings us to the necessity to educate the general public about our leading scientific issues. Each sector could serve this need in its own characteristic way. Representatives from the public sector would have to qualify themselves for office in some way and the best way would be for them to stand for election on the basis of general proposals for the development of science, scientists, in qualifying themselves for selection by their peers, would be required to address themselves to more technical problems. Their educational role would be to explain the extended social implications of the scientific matters at issue. Here a useful example is provided by the Pauling-Teller debates of a few years back. Helmut Krauch has shown that, regardless of their substantive merits, these debates brought about a widespread public discussion of complex scientific issues. The foregoing proposal would regularize just such public debates of the basic issues of science policy, conducted regularly by our leading scientists.
3. A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR SCIENCE AND LETTERS
The fear is that in democratizing science we may run the danger of submitting it to the whims of public opinion. There are many who feel this would be far better than leaving it subject to the whims of scientists, but of course, neither is ideal. Science is not the private property of scientists any more than is the economy the private property of businessmen, or the government the private property of the politicians. A characteristic, and quite widespread, corruption occurs when the scientist forgets this. Actually, the scientist is much like the real estate investor who has bought property in the path of an expanding city. When the value of his possession rises he unaccountably begins to talk and act as if he was solely responsible for it doing so. However, the individual scientist is merely the one who happens to be “in possession” at the time the massive institutional, economic and political forces of his day combine to enlarge the realm of science. Perhaps we need a new Henry George to point out that if any. body "owns" science, it is the people, not the scientists.
There must be some way of protecting the integrity of the scientific enterprise from corruption by both scientists and non scientists. Traditionally such aims have been achieved through bills of rights and today, a special bill of rights for science and letters seems indicated. We are concerned here with such matters as academic freedom, the rights of students and teachers, the needs of the Linus Paulings, the Jackson Pollacks, the Thorstern Veblens, and all who aspire to similar status. We are reminded once again that intellectuals are not necessarily those best qualified to understand the true needs of their own enterprise—just as businessmen are not necessarily those best qualified to understand the true needs of the economic order. Yet today's bureaucratic scientist continues to echo the 19th century businessman's individualist ideology. A hundred years ago the laissez-faire ideology probably was adequate for the needs of both scientists and society. Today, however, the arguments by scientists for unhampered science are as irrevelant as are the arguments for free private enterprice by mammoth corporations—as irrelevant as are arguments for an unregulated press by the mass media monopolies. A scientific monopoly already exists. Scientific freedom is largely a myth. Three quarters of R & D grants are for directed research. Already, grave issues concerning intellectual freedom have arisen. Are there some problems the scientists has a right to refuse to work on? Indeed, Branscom has made it clear that even if present trends continue unhampered some kind of bill of rights for science and letters will have to be instituted. The archaic laissez-faire ideology of science and the overweaning hubris of the scientist must somehow be finessed. The most obvious way of doing this is to provide for the constitutionalization of science in a special polity combining principles of both democracy and the rule of law. Within this context the liberties appropriate to intellectual endeavors could find proper expression and preservation.
4. ADJUDICATING CONFLICTS IN SCIENCE POLICY
A bill of rights, as well as many of the foregoing proposals, would necessitate a special court system. Here, as with the already mentioned ombudsman function, it would be necessary to provide for a prosecutory officer, for some way of commanding records by subpoena, and for holding trial-like hearings. It is not possible for the common law side of our existing judicial system to address itself to these novel problems of adjudication. The same argument applies to a future jurisprudence of science and letters that earlier applied to the jurisprudence of administrative law: the common law side of our judiciary is primarly qualified to deal with ordinary legal issues. Cases in administrative law involve such high technical complexity that special administrative courts had to be instituted. Similarly, to constitutionalize the scientific order will also require instituting a special court system.
5. SCIENCE PLANNING
When we speak of policy formation for the scientific endeavor what we are really talking about is planning. It may well be that in the future the essential nature of planning will become subsumed under the planning of science policy. Indeed, any other outcome would be almost inconceivable. No matter what problem we broach-planning for the city of the future, demographic planning, resource conservation and development planning, transportation planning, etc.each must begin from a scientifically solid foundation and all must be integrated into an over-all planning program for the development of the scientific enterprise. This makes it all the more necessary to provide constitutionally for science planning. This intimate relationship between science and planning further underscores the failure of our present Constitution to provide for a planning function. Even if science as such were to present no constitutional issue, planning would do so. Wisdom counsels that both be provided for together.
Even if all the above-proposed innovations were to work perfectly, a number of additional problems would still remain. One of these concerns the relationship between the scientific and the military establishments. All the foregoing proposals could be instituted and the present corruptions might remain. This indicates that three additional control devices may be required. One is to provide for a postaudit. This should be thought of in two ways: first, as the General Accounting Office post-audit now operates; that is, a simple technical and financial post-audit to find out how appropriations were spent and whether irregularities occurred. But there must also be a substantive post-audit; a post-audit to inspect the substance of what actually was done in carrying out stated policies. This can be thought of as a retrospective application of planning-programming-budgeting techniques. We need to know whether space program R & D was diverted into electronics R & D with commercial marketing potentials; whether funds for molecular biology were diverted into pharmacological research, etc. However, experience teaches us that while they are necessary, institutionalized post-audit devices are not sufficient because, as with the Army Inspector General and the Federal regulatory agencies, there is the ever present danger that the inspector tends to become a part of the system he inspects. This means that thirdly, something like a permanent British-type Commission of Inquiry is needed. Probably it should be required to report on a regular quadrennial basis, coinciding with the periodicity of the planning process and the electoral campaigns previously described. Such a Commission would be staffed by men of eminence and independence to guarantee the quality of their reports and to avoid the issuance of sham public relations-type reports as are so often produced by our present presidential commissions.
7. SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY
Now let us turn to what might be called the larger ecological aspects of the scientific order. What is this scientific order? What are its boundaries? It is obvious that taken most broadly, its boundaries are coterminus with those of the universe itself. This means there is a sense in which no one nation by itself can truly provide for the constitutionalization of its own science. As an example, suppose America had decided to develop solid state physics and transistor applications so as to maximize their utility to people and the public good and avoid
the dislocations that their too rapid exploitation might bring. Similar questions are actually before us as a culture today concerning the computer and yet there is no way for us to address ourselves to their ecological aspects. It may be that there should be intensive theoretical research on the extended implications of the computer before we start using it to make everything from shoes to teaching machines, flooding the consumer market with hastily conceived first-fruit gadgetry. In Russia, for example, there was insufficient hardware for immediate applications when the computer first appeared. As a result, the Russians were forced, as they had been earlier in the field of rocketry, to address themselves first to the theoretical implications of the computer while they waited for the hardware to become more widely available. It may be that this simple technological scarcity permitted them to take a wiser ecological view of the role of the computer than occurred in this country, where the computer seeped through the technological order as a result of the extension of ballistics control devices to industrial and administrative processes. But the Russian example also makes it clear that no one country, not even a dictatorship can really plan ecologically in the realm of developmental science.
The history of the transistor shows that Japan, or some other country, may come along and flood the world market. Ultimately what is needed is a concerted effort on a world level. It makes little difference what one nation decides to do about the transistor if any other is able to do the contrary. So it is apparent that there is an international, or transnational, aspect to the problem of constitutionalizing science. We already have transnational industrial corporations. Perhaps the scientific order in its constitutional mode must follow the example of the transnational industrial combine. Perhaps both in unison will provide us with avenues leading toward world order. In any case, the problem of world order is here, built into contemporary developmental science, and there's no way to avoid it. We must do as much as we can now on the national level, but we must do it with the recognition that soon these efforts must find world wide integration.
8. SCIENCE AND HIGHER EDUCATION
A serious problem has arisen concerning our universities and the relationships between developmental science and the proper approach to higher education. Revelations about Project Camelot and defense oriented university research programs have made it obvious that developmental science has already distored our educational processes and corrupted the idea of the university. The constitutional approach allows us to correct this by separating the big developmental scientific institutes and laboratories from our universities, placing them instead under a public corporation, as described earlier. Indeed, all our present professional and technical schools should properly be transferred to some such public corporation, freeing the university to safeguard the philosophic needs, the theoretical integrity and the educational proprieties of the pursuit of knowledge without the contamination that political, financial and practical needs now impose.
9. SCIENCE REVIEW JOURNALS
Two things that have corrupt the sciences and the professions, of course, are money and power. Whenever an endeavor becomes extremely powerful or highly profitable, morality is threatened. Following this line of argument, it would appear that the only people capable of maintaining an ethic for a profession are the young_before they have used it to become rich and influential. In this light we might recall a proposition once put forward by Harold Laski. He claimed that the effective regulators of the American judiciary were the law journals. These are research and publication endeavors run by the young before they have made any money practicing law. There may be a nugget of wisdom for us here. Perhaps we can somehow institutionalize the critical and ethical talents of our yo and focus them upon the conduct of the sciences, as is now done for the judiciary by the law journals. Perhaps what we need is a series of piercing science review journals—the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a good example devoted primarily to the social, political and ethical implications of developmental science.
10. SEPARATION OF POWERS
Next, thinking about the larger constitutional implications of science, there may be enduring vitality to the initial idea of our Constitution : its separation of powers/balance of power/checks and balances structure. For example, the