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major problems of American society in a systematic way, through the use of multi-disciplinary approaches, rather than utilizing its energies and talents exclusively for responding to the patchwork of highly specific requests for assistance, in matters large and small, that come to the Academy from federal agencies. It must continue to be our role to be responsive to such queries, but we could be much more useful to the United States were we sufficiently well endowed with private funds or if we were to receive a modest annual appropriation independent of any specific project to undertake major initiatives and test them before seeking project support.
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. The question is, what can be done to convince the Congress and the American people of the need for increasing the annual appropriation to the National Science Foundation to the level of approximately $1 billion per year? If, indeed, I knew a truly useful answer to that question, I assure you that I would already have done my best to implement it. There can be no doubt of the need and the propriety of such a level of funding. I hope that the Congress will give serious consideration to the first report of the National Science Board, which makes the case for the support of research associated with graduate education. We need Americans educated in science for the future conduct of science, for the administration of science, for the application of science in new technology, and for intelligent decision-making by informed citizens. We need additional understanding if ever we are to cope with the problems posed by disease and deterioration of the environment, to enhance our understanding of the opportunities in space and in the oceans for conservation of our natural resources, and to launch sufficient further technological innovations—physical, chemical and biological—to improve the condition of man. We need further understanding if we are to learn how to control the growth of human population while expanding the world's food supply. Thre can be no doubt that science learned tomorrow will be as useful as science learned yesterday, while the understanding of the physical and living universe yet to be gained undoubtedly will reveal a structure even more beautiful and exciting than that which we already know. Meanwhile, the science-based technologies of other nations are rapidly catching us. Technology in Europe, particularly in West Germany, and in Japan is seriously eroding our markets both at home and overseas. The Soviet Union continues to increase its appropriations for science by approximately ten percent per year, whereas our relatively static budgets are being eroded by the forces of inflation.
Most of the American people are not opposed to science nor is their Congress. Their question is, how much science and how much shall be spent upon it? That question can be answered only by the Congress in the last analysis. Numerous courses are open to a nation that can afford to tax itself at a rate in excess of $100 billion per year. But there are also many other uses for such public funds. Moreover, almost all other uses of public funds bring their returns immediately, whereas investment in science is investment in the national future, frequently the long-term national future, indeed after those who voted for such funds have left office. Not to make such investment is to mortgage our future, to jeopardize our position vis-a-vis the rest of the world, and to sacrifice the leadership so hard-gained. If a small fraction of the leadership of the Congress would believe that as deeply as I do, I should think there would be little trouble in bringing the appropriation to the National Science Foundation to an appropriate level. I remind you that the appropriation voted out by the House this year was $420 million. That figure is identical with the appropriation to the National Science Foundation for fiscal year 1965.
From 1965 to 1970 there will have been five years of inflation, five years of increased scientific sophistication which is inherently more and more costly, and five years growth in graduate and undergraduate enrollments, together with new universities serving previously unserved segments of the American population, new medical schools, and so on. It is abundantly evident that the ability of the National Science Foundation to serve the American people has been very seriously diminished with the passage of this five-year period, when, instead, it should have been increased sharply. Moreover, this phenomenon occurred in parallel with the growing inability of mission-oriented agencies to justify their support of those areas of science that are rather remote from their missions, while they, of necessity and appropriately, continue to support research and development closely related to those missions and utilize their appropriated funds in the accomplishment of the missions themselves. The effective result has been a significant transfer of responsibility for the support of a significant fraction of American science from those mission agencies to the National Science Foundation, but without transfer of funds. As you well know, the Committee structure of the Congress renders real transfers extremely difficult, but it seems to me that this difficulty should not be insuperable. I earnestly hope that the Congress, this year and in years to come, will make possible the necessary adjustments.
When in addition, one recognizes the enormous disparity between our level of understanding or social processes and our great need for such understanding : at this transitional time in the history of the American people, the requirement for funding of research in the social sciences makes even more painful the insufficiency of the appropriation to NSF. It will not do simply to gain the technical information required to undo pollution and to build a better contraceptive or a more permanent roadbed. If the lot of the 20 percent of our citizenry who are currently disadvantaged and deprived is to be signicantly improved, if they are to take their places in American society, if our educational system is to be overhauled so as to be maximally responsive to national need to educate our youngsters for the world in which they will live, rather than for that in which we have lived, if our cities are to be rebuilt so as to be appropriate and convivial to 21st century man, if truly our society is to reap the benefits of our technological capabilities, we must gain much more profound understanding of man as a social creature than is currently available to us. This will require a sustained effort involving large numbers of social scientists of all varieties, many of whom must work in cooperation with biological and physical scientists and engineers if their studies are to be truly meaningful and if mechanisms for implementation of their understanding are to be developed.
The sum of these requirements as an investment in the national future surely justifies early increase of the appropriation to the National Science Foundation to a level at least twice its current magnitude.
Question 4. The National Academy of Sciences has conducted several studies of disciplines-chemistry, physics, astronomy-as to their needs for support.
Is there any plan to take an overall look—to choose priorities among sciencesso as to get away from the Committee on X, comprised of practitioners of X, who recommend more money for X-or cannot science itself do this kind of planning?
Answer 4. The question quite rightly indicates that the scientific community has learned how to evaluate needs of individual disciplines for their future growth in an orderly way. And the question further indicates that we have failed in the past to respond to requests to establish interdigitated priorities within the totality of science, to indicate which areas of research offer greatest promise for early societal payoff, which for long-term payoff, and which for sig. nificant advances in understanding. The consequence has been, in effect, that the Congress and the Bureau of the Budget have made such determinations with relatively little assistance from the scientific community. It is my intention to ask that a committee of this Academy attempt such a multidisciplinary exercise. It will be difficult and full of travail, but the attempt is necessary and we shall make such a trial in the relatively near future, if only to learn how to go about such an undertaking.
Mr. DADDARIO. We appreciate your testimony, and will adjourn this meeting until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock at this same place, when Dr. Lenher and Dr. Harris will appear before this committee.
(Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the committee was adjourned, to re.convene on Tuesday, July 29, 1969, at 10 o'clock a.m.)
CENTRALIZATION OF FEDERAL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES
TUESDAY, JULY 29, 1969
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10:07 a.m., in room 2325, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Emilio Q. Daddario (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. DADDARIO. This meeting will come to order.
We have two witnesses as we proceed with our hearings on Centralization of Federal Science Activities. The first is Dr. Sam Lenher. Will you come forward, please, Dr. Lenher? He is vice president and adviser on manufacturing and engineering of E. I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Inc., and is also a member of the research management advisory panel of this committee, which over a long period of time has been of inestimable help to us.
We are pleased to have you here, again, Dr. Lenher, and especially to have you here as a witness. It has been quite a while since you have given us testimony, and we are anxious for you to comment on this particular subject.
STATEMENT OF DR. SAMUEL LENHER, VICE PRESIDENT AND
ADVISER ON MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING, E. I.
Let me begin by saying that it is a pleasure to be here and participate in these hearings. The organization and management of science is an important and complex subject, especially with the scale of technical efforts as large as it now is in this country and with budgetary constraints requiring increased thought about national priorities. Moreover, in recent years we have seen, among some segments of the population, growing skepticism about science and technology—skepticism not so much about the content of science as about its applications and the manner in which priorities are determined.
In this context, your review of the science programs and activities of the Federal Government is particularly significant, and I am glad that you have chosen to reopen discussion of the subject.
Congressman Daddario asked me to describe the methods which the Du Pont Co. uses to manage its research and development activities, and to offer whatever observations I might have about the organization of Federal science.
I have no illusions, certainly, that I can provide answers to the many questions involved in the ordering of research and development goals, the allocation of resources and the coordination of a multiplicity of programs. We have by no means solved all of these problems in our company and industry, and the approaches we have taken may not be appropriate or workable for government.
Mainly, my intention is simply to describe the rational and administrative structure that have been developed in Du Pont, a corporation that has sponsored, over a period of about 65 years, an increasingly diversified research and development program. Although most of my experience has been in industry, I have been exposed to academic and Government-sponsored science, and do have a few thoughts on these subjects.
I would like to explain, in broad terms at least, how Du Pont categorizes research and development activities, how we direct these and relate them to one another, and how we evaluate projects. But first, I would like to say a word about the kind of business we are in, and the place in it occupied by research and development.
We are part of an industry with an extraordinary range of interests and technologies. Chemistry and chemical engineering are still the focal points of this technical activity, but Du Pont and other leading chemical manufacturers are also pursuing extensive projects in such fields as biology, solid state physics, electronics, and the agricultural sciences. Our interest range from synthetic fibers to heat-resistant films and insulating materials for spacesuits and spacecrafts, from electronic microcircuitry to refrigerants for quick-freezing food, from pesticides for increasing crop yields to broadspectrum antiviral agents.
Wo are part of an industry in which the application of vigorous, continuous, and costly scientific research is vital to growth and even to survival. New discoveries are at the heart of our new commercial opportunities. They also make some of our older products and processes obsolete, and can leave us with large, expensive plants and facilities that are useless.
Unlike some industries, the chemical industry finances most of its own technical effort. In the past 10 years, about 85 percent of the chemical industry's expenditures for research and development have come from its own resources. Because we are much more dependent on technology than the more labor-intensive industries, we have placed very substantial sums in research and development. The chemical industry has spent more than $13 billion since 1959 for research and development. These expenditures have grown at practically the same rate as those of industry in general, even though technical work in a number of industrial sectors has been greatly stimulated by the infusion of Government funds.
Our primary orientation is toward the civilian marketplace, with each company striving to earn profits by offering customers products and services that are better or less expensive than those offered by competitors. There is unquestionably a great deal of overlap and duplication of technical effort, but in general it is more productive than wasteful. There is strong incentive for real originality, as opposed to me too” research, and because we are using our own facilities and capital, we are free to approach research and development on our own terms, with our own objectives.