« PreviousContinue »
the innovations that led to particular developments actually came about in the industries which produced those particular products. This seems to be even more true in the Defense Department. It was not the Defense Department, for example, which did the work which resulted in the development of nuclear bombs. We stole our missile capability from the Germans after they had done the primary work on it. Aircraft development, to go back to an earlier era, was fought by the military for many years. I am wondering if the large preponderance of Defense Department funds which are available for R. & D. and are used for R. & D. are actually productive to the degree that we would like to see them productive.
Mr. INK. I would hesitate to make a broad statement on that. I do think that some excellent work has been done, for example, in ONR. That office I think has supported some very fine work. It is true in the nuclear area that of course the technology was provided primarily through the Atomic Energy Commission and its contractors and associated universities.
On the other hand, that was the way in which it was organized. So that may have something to do with this.
And of course much of Defense is oriented by its missions toward the applied research area and the developmental phases, and consequently that is where I think most of their effort should be placed.
Mr. Chairman, I would also like to-I have only two more points. I would like to underscore the importance of our finding more effective ways
of utilizing social science in pursuit of social goals and also more effective utilization of physical research in pursuit of social goals.
HUD was mentioned this morning, for example. The work in the housing area, which has been very minimal in terms of research effort, physical research directed toward housing, needs to be meshed with, as I see it, social science.
The problems of displacing people, the impact on human beings, the impact on families through displacement, through Federal programs, whether urban renewal or transportation highway programs, the sociological problems of commuting—there are a whole range of things which I think we need to learn how to deal with more effectively.
And, Mr. Chairman, again having had some experience both in a scientifically oriented agency and with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has not had a background of science, I was impressed by the need in HUD for really learning how to approach science, really learning how to utilize science effectively in many of the program areas and departments with people kinds of programs as their assignment.
And finally—I don't think I mentioned this in my testimony, but it occurred to me as I was listening this morning, that I think people do not realize, many times, the international significance of science. And I think in part this may be because much of our exchange in the scientific area—which I think is very promising, I think it is one of the areas in which we have some of the earliest potential of trying to work back and forth across the Iron Curtain—but much of our work, much
of our exchange isn't of a type that really reaches most peoples in the various countries.
Because the scientific language is one that is understood universally. Dr. Seaborg for example, can speak to his counterparts in the Soviet Union and they understand each other and can work together.
I was on an exchange in the Soviet Union one time, and I was really amazed at how we were able to bridge some of these gaps.
But we also, I think, need to give attention in the field of housing, in the field of medicine, the technological areas that have concern and have interest and have meaning to many people, not just individ. uals in laboratories, not just the scientists in these countries.
So that I think as we move ahead there is a greater potential here than we have really realized in the field of science helping in the international atmosphere.
Mr. DADDARIO. Mr. Ink, I made the point yesterday that the transfer of a man with great systems capability such as Dr. Finger from the NASA-Atomic Energy coordinating operation to HUD where he would take these talents and utilize them, I hope, in the development of better housing capability, is a strong step in this direction, and one from which I think we will learn a lot as we go along.
I am displeased with the idea that we have to close these hearings, because there is much more that you could add through a whole series of questions. And again, we will forward them to you.
Mr. INK. Yes, sir. (Questions submitted by the subcommittee to Dwight A. Ink:) 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. There is probably no ready answer to this question. Nor can the question be dealt with solely in terms of the National Science Foundation.
As the Committee is well aware, the difficulties which the Foundation has recently had in defending its budgets before the Congress are bound up in the more general problem of justifying overall Federal support of science, particularly science activities unrelated immediately to agency missions or to the solution of national problems. Thus, the Foundation has the double burden of justifying science generally as well as its own support role. The agency does not have the advantage of having its science activities support a primary mission which is politically popular.
On the other hand, we believe that the new Administration in the Foundation is in an advantageous position-because it is new—to present a fresh image to the public and the Congress—which could assist in enhancing its budget defense.
The Bureau has no blueprint as to how the new Administration in the Foundation should proceed in dealing with the problem raised by the Committee. The best we can offer at this time is a number of suggestions that might be considered in improving the ability of the Foundation to defend its programs:
Improve Foundation contacts and relations with institutions in sciencenot just the scientists. Increased contacts with presidents and other administrative officials of universities is specifically suggested.
Intensify Foundation efforts in public understanding of science—now a small program of the Foundation.
Develop more explicit evidence of the relationship between basic science and ultimate applications. Improve the marketing of such information to appropriate information media.
Better illustrate how its programs reach out geographically to all areas of the country. Demonstrate how the project system is being used, and can be further used, in advancing science while at the same time supporting a growing number of institutions.
Select a theme each year for program emphasis-hopefully one understandable and of appeal to the lay public.
Emphasize programs of the Foundation more closely coupled with national problems, e.g., ecology.
Increase its contacts with officials of mission agencies to improve the understanding of the interrelationship of Foundation activities with the pro
grams and interests of mission agencies. Question 2. Has the application of Planning-Programming-Budgeting methods and techniques had measurable effects on the management of organization of Federal science activities in your field of interest? Please elaborate.
Answer 2. Although we believe that PPG has contributed significantly to improved public policy decisions, I doubt that the total effect is susceptible to adequate measurement.
Before discussing specific applications of PPB, the assumptions under which the question is approached should be stated :
Choices have to be made among projects and among research areas, and there must be a determination of priorities on the basis of the best available information.
It is often very difficult to determine in advance exactly what benefits, economic and otherwise, will develop from a particular area of research. This is particularly true for basic research. Thus, while it is useful to calculate benefits insofar as possible, we should be wary of making fine distinctions on the basis of information that is subject to great uncertainty.
Benefits that are received in the future are not as valuable as the same benefits received today. Thus, care should be taken before we make major investments now which will not have a payoff for many years when the same investment might be deferred until a later time and the period between investment and payoff telescoped.
When the Government invests in science, it is building institutions as well
as buying future goods and services. Within this framework, PPB can be applied to research and development in several ways. First, for example, work is underway to develop methods of comparing research programs with each other. Attached is a document prepared in the Budget Bureau called the Research and Development Overview. This simply lays out how much is being spent in a number of major research areas, who the recipients are, the rough objectives, and an estimate of the time stream of the benefits. No attempt is made to put any value on the benefits. This is not because some such data are not available, but simply because it is so uncertain that it is better to leave it out than run the risk of misleading the reader.
The basic purpose of the overview is to show present allocations in terms of selected factors so that Federal decision makers have at least some basis of allocation of the national research budget. However, the overview may contribute in addition by raising more relevant questions than would occur without it. For example, is the mix of R&D too heavily weighted towards “development" as compared with "research?” Are there areas of social concern that are not receiving any R&D funds, though they are susceptible to research? How much do we want to invest in R&D for future generations when the current generation will be relatively poorer? By what extent are we subsidizing professional areas and performing institutions compared to others and is this allocation wise? Where possible to calculate, does the investment provide an adequate return?
Another example of the application of PPB to research and development is in a mission-oriented context, where it is possible to trade off research and development against other possible expenditures in the same program area. For example, the Department of Transportation spends money on immediate transportation needs and also on research and development for future transportation. While it is somewhat useful to compare its research expenditures with those of HUD or OEO, as is done on page 4 of the Overview, it is also useful to con
sider them strictly within a DOT context. For example, it would be irrational for DOT to freeze the state of the art of transportation technology and invest vast sums in present techniques without exploring improvements, but that fact tells very little about how much should be allocated to that activity.
In this context, the PPB system is used to try to identify areas of research that might have a particularly high payoff in terms of more efficient or effective performance of a given mission. Thus, for example, for several years research in cheaper tunneling techniques has been sponsored by DOT and other departments because the economic payoff of cheaper tunneling in connection with construction of urban transit facilities would be very large. There would be direct benefits in terms of cheaper construction of those projects which are actually built anyway; savings in terms of avoidance of disruption from projects which are now built above ground because it is not economically feasible to build them below at the present time; and savings in terms of making certain projects feasible which are now totally infeasible.
Another good example of the use of program analysis in a totally different context is the study done by the Institute for Defense Analyses on proposed crime research programs. The study faced the question of allocating a law enforcement and criminal justice research budget, given all the difficulties and uncertainties of the field, and developed a possible structure and allocation for the problem.
Question 3. In the latter part of the previous Administration a resources planning staff was established in the Office of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget for the purpose of analyzing longer-range budgetary commitments and improving the basis for determination of priorities. Is this staff still functioning? What progress has it made? How deep a breakdown within government functions is this staff concerned with?
Answer 3. In June 1969, the Bureau's Resources Planning Staff and Fiscal Analysis Staff were combined to form the Planning and Analysis Staff. The combined staff is responsible for analyzing both the short-range and the longerrange outlook for Federal revenues and outlays and for analyzing longer-range budgetary commitments. The staff has been exceedingly active. It has produced near-term and long-term projections of Federal revenues and outlays for use by the Director and the President in developing budget plans for 1971 and beyond, and it has been the focal point of the Bureau's work on post-Vietnam planning studies, which are important sources of guidance to the President on the establishment of priorities. In all its work thus far the staff has analyzed in specific program detail those budget commitments required under existing law which will lead to significant future year outlays. On a more aggregative basis, the major functional categories of the budget and major ongoing programs therein have also been analyzed. For example, within the functional category of “Health & Welfare” the Social Security program would be studied in detail.
Question 4. With respect to the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization: When will it become operational? What is its budget for the present fiscal year? What areas will receive priority attention? What other areas of Federal science besides those relating to the proposed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency will be studied? Have any target dates for reporting been set?
Answer 4. The Council was formed by President Nixon on April 4, 1969, and proceeded to recruit staff and work out a general approach to its task. It is now staffed and operational. Its approved budget is $500,000 for the current fiscal year, but a request for an additional $500,000 is expected to be submitted to the Congress.
The organization studies which are under way are at various stages of completion. These include, for example, studies of the Executive Office of the President, the social agencies, and the Federal structure for dealing with organized crime. Study plans have been drafted for many other subject areas, and the Council intends to consider the organizational issues related to Federal science efforts. However, these have not yet been specifically defined. Each report will be made to the President as it is completed.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OVERVIEW
When benefits realized (estimated
1970 year 1970 Major performers, by
mated percent Performers by field percent Objectives (goods and services)
2 Extended capability for manned
space environemnt and on bodies
of solar system and cosmos.
systems such as weather predic-
engine design and operation.
tracking and data requisition and
other general activities. 95
409 Federal Government...
16 Physical sciences.
1 Not available.