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Answer 1. I have always been a strong supporter of the National Science Foundation. There are several steps that NSF could take to improve its image and extend its constituency. These steps could lead to increased ability on the part of NSF to secure funds necessary for continued national preeminence in science.
(1) Since much of basic science is deeply interrelated with the educational process, I believe the National Science Foundation could emphasize this relationship between science and education. The pursuit of basic research is not in itself a reasonable national goal. The securing of new knowledge via basic research is necessary to advance the ability of succeeding academic generations to cope more vigorously with real world problems. Hence, it is this link between the kinds of problems of concern to society that require additional knowledge for their resolution, and the techniques appropriate to pursue such problems, that holds more promise for generating public support than the defense of unfettered free research dictated solely by the interest of the individual scientist. I think if NSF spent more time talking about what new knowledge gained through research has meant to the education of both graduate and undergraduate students, it would talk in terms that are more understandable and more responsive to the current interest in and concern for educational achievement.
(2) In addition to its primary role in basic research, which contributes so much to the education of our young people, the National Science Foundation has recently been given authority to fund applied research related to problem areas of national importance. Its role in support of the social sciences has also been made explicit, and the interaction of these two recent legislative changes could, if vigorously pursued, greatly increase public interest in and support of the National Science Foundation. It seems to me that the National Science Foundation could emerge as a central governmental resource supporting many program areas of national importance. Through cooperation with other agencies it could generate new programs utilizing its traditional relationships with the research community. In time, some of these functions and the new research constituency associated with the programmatic areas could be transferred to operating agencies. It would create for the National Science Foundation, a degree of involvement in the great issues of our time, which it does not now enjoy. With a concern for the acquisition of new knowledge and its crucial role in the educational process, cited in point 1, and a deep concern with the application of knowledge to solve real problems (but in a lead agency role), I believe the National Science Foundation could gain substantial recognition for itself and win much more support than it now has.
(3) Finally, I believe that a much stronger program to help the public recognize what science means to the United States would provide the National Science Foundation with a very important role not now being filled. It seems to me that the contributions of science and technology to the American economy and to American society are very poorly understood. The National Science Foundation has sponsored a small number of studies in the past about the way in which knowledge is transferred and about its implications. The National Science Foundation, through its collection of basic data on manpower and expenditures, provides an important continuing service. If it could extend this interest and concern with science to continuing case studies of the substance of science and its contributions, and convey such information to the public by the development of education courses and the development of lecture series for public groups, it would bring favorable attention to the importance of science and to the role of the National Science Foundation in contributing to the strength of our scientific enterprise.
Question 2. In recent years there has been considerable discussion of the need for an annual report on science and technology. You too have made this recommendation. What do you think such a report should contain? Should it be a review of the immediate pa blueprint for the future, or both?
Answer 2. An annual report on science and technology could be a major contribution toward public awareness and understanding. Such a report need not be a completely comprehensive account of all that has happened in science and technology during a given year. It should both review the immediate past and discuss future plans and possibilities. It should discuss the contributions of Federal R&D efforts to national goals and objectives by addressing subjects such as the following:
(1) Available statistical data drawn from the National Science Foundation and the Federal Budget, organized in a functional rather than an administrative way, as discussed in our statement;
(2) Major Government science actions and concerns of the immediate past; (3) Recommendations from advisory reports and other sources that have been selected for implementation, and discussion of plans for their accomplishment;
(4) Relationships between operating programs and R&D programs in terms of the functions to which they contribute ;
(5) Current issues in science and technology policy, e.g., scientific and technical manpower, potential contributions to the solution of social problems, technology assessment, environmental quality, future marine science and technology programs;
(6) Major developments in certain disciplinary or inter-disciplinary fields of science and technology.
Under present Government structure, it would appear that responsibility for issuing such a report should be assigned to the Office of Science and Technology (OST). Through the Federal Council for Science and Technology, OST can draw easily on the vast resources of Government for inputs to the report. The President's Science Advisory Committee affords OST immediate access to the academic and industrial scientific and engineering community. Other important sources of information for such a report obviously would be the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Science and of Engineering.
Question 3. We are interested in the independent not-for-profit contract research institutes as valuable private sector institutions along with universities and industry.
They do not now get much support from NSF because they are not connected with education. Should this be changed?
Are these institutes fearful of competition from in-house labs if a policy of flexibility and redeployment is implemented? Especially in a time of tight budgets?
To what extent are these institutes adding capabilities for science policy research? Are contract funds available? Which agencies?
Answer 3. The first part of Question 3 asks whether the National Science Foundation support for not-for-profit contract research institutes ought to be encouraged despite the lack of deep involvement in education on the part of many of these institutes. If the National Science Foundation objectives are directed toward the acquisition of knowledge and also to insuring an effective relationship between the acquisition of knowledge and education, it is quite clear that much of the NSF support must continue to go to academic institutions. However, independent not-for-profit institutions should be given a reasonable opportunity to participate in the acquisition of new knowledge. The independent not-for-profit institutions relate new knowledge to its application. Since the NSF is now also con. cerned with applied research, it can logically support institutions that acquire new knowledge with a significant objective of insuring its application. Therefore, it seems to me that the National Science Foundation regulations ought to be adapted so as to encourage an appropriate level of NSF support of non-educational institutions as a part of programs seeking the acquisition of new knowledge as well as the application of such knowledge.
The second part of the question has to do with possible competition from inhouse laboratories with respect to the independent not-for-profit contract insti. tutes. I have worked in Government laboratories, and I have great respect for and am a continuing supporter of the importance of maintaining strong in-house competence in Government in research and development. In times of tight budgets, It would seem inappropriate to attempt any major expansion of Government inhouse research capabilities at the expense of the entire private sector. However, the Government always ought to seek to maximize the effectiveness of utilization of its investments in research facilities and in research manpower.
Some think any competition is unfair. It is my view that competition, especially competition in ideas in the research sense, is generally a positive influence. My only concern is that such competition be open and not provide exclusive or substantial advantage to any particular group or institution other than that earned by quality and efficiency of ideas and performance. If Government laboratory programs in support of new problem areas are given the same critical review as contractor programs, they would not constitute unfair competition. On the other hand, if funds were allocated to Government laboratories to carry on programs
without the same careful on-going review of the relevance of the work and the competence with which it is being performed as is applied to the contract programs, then I would believe that some changes ought to be introduced.
Not all laboratories in the private sector flourish. Some grow for a while and then cease to grow or decline, or even disappear. All of these possibilities exist for Government laboratories as well. It would be inappropriate for the Government to maintain laboratories and laboratory personnel in pursuit of objectives that no longer have high national priority. Accordingly, redeployment of in-house laboratories in Government is just as important as redeployment of laboratories in industry or redirection of the laboratory activities of the private not-for-profit institutions.
The third part of the question has to do with the capabilities of the not-forprofit institutions to conduct science policy research. I can speak only for my own organization in this matter. We have been attempting for five or six years to create a stronger capability in science policy research. We have people in both physical and behavioral sciences and of course in engineering who are deeply interested in and concerned about science and technology policy. Battelle has been underwriting the preparation of a bibliography in the field of science policy. You have seen issues of the Science Policy Bulletin in the past and I am sending a copy of our most recent compilation for your information. This compilation has made us aware of the growing interest in science policy research and the many institutions involved in addition to our own. Battelle also held a conference on Trends in Science Policy at our Seattle Research Center. I am enclosing a copy of the Proceedings of that Conference, which I had the pleasure of chairing.
However, our ability to proceed in this area has been very severely hampered because there have been almost no funds available from any agency. There have been deep expressions of interest from some groups in the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and of course in the Office of Science and Technology about the importance of a better and deeper understanding of science policy.
I believe we have gone about as far in this field as we can with ad hoc committees discussing on the basis of individual experiences what policies are appropriate. The deeper and more penetrating analyses that a continuing research group could make have not been made because of lack of funds. Accordingly, despite the deep interest in the field, the research institutes have not been able to develop the kind of national capability to support administrators and policy makers that could have been the case if reasonable contract support for specific studies on science policy were available.
Question 4. Concerning your NASA sponsored study:
If analysis of goal statements (legislation, budget requests, authority, etc.) would lead to the placement of Themis under National Security, then doesn't this illustrate the "back door” financing of much of science?
Couldn't you have made your own judgments and come up with another breakdown which would be more useful as to real goals and purposes?
Answer 4. The national security program is heavily dependent upon a very strong scientific community. It is also heavily dependent on effective interaction between the academic science community and those deeply concerned with the administration and management of the Department of Defense. It is entirely appropriate for the Department of Defense to utilize any and all of these institutions to carry out its objectives and to tailor programs in a manner which will ensure the continued identification of these elements of our society with problems of deep concern for the national defense. As a user of much basic science, the Department of Defense has an obligation to be a supporter of basic science. Industrial managers of research and development take the same position in many large industries.
The Statement by Secretary of Defense Clark M. Clifford on “The 1970 Defense Budget and Defense Program for Fiscal Years 1970–74" states
. . Project THEMIS, which was started in FY 1967 to stimulate the development of additional academic centers for Defense-relevant research.” (p. 117) This
clearly stresses the national security goal. Accordingly, we have assigned the THEMIS program to the field of National Security. If concern with the acquisition of knowledge and the support of education is made a clearer objective of the Government as a whole, the Department of Defense may have to be less
concerned with ensuring an adequate supply of manpower; but it will continue to be concerned with an effective interaction between university science and national security programs. This does not imply a continuing requirement for the conduct of classified research on the university campus; but the Department of Defense, with its deep involvement in high-science-content problems, cannot fail to utilize the great basic research insights of the universities without allowing the national security program of the U.S. to suffer. Accordingly, I do not regard projects of the kind represented by THEMIS as "back door" financing of research. Instead I regard them as evidence of a continuing desire by the Department of Defense to strengthen the interactions between university science and national security programs.
The second part of Question 4 has to do with another breakdown which will be more useful as to real goals and purposes. Our recent study attempted to relate Government programs and expenditures to the Government's goals and objectives. What we have tried to do is to be as formal as possible, utilizing the best information we could and the most cohesive set of statements that we could find about national goals and objectives derived from Executive and Legislative Branch documentation. Such an approach relates Government programs to goals and purposes that are very real and are a proper reflection of the relationships as they exist.
As an aid to changes in allocations, it would be useful to initiate studies of alternative approaches to the statements of national goals and allocations of resources to those goals. Comparison of present practices with a broad spectrum of alternatives might serve to focus national attention and debate on feasible alternatives to the present situation. National goals and purposes, as well as program objectives, can and should change as circumstances require. This is not a static situation, and in part discussions and decisions on changing priorities for the future can be expected to change the organization and results of future studies of the kind we have just completed. However, we think it has been important to start with a thorough and objective analysis of the present and past as a basis for speculation concerning the future.
Mr. DADDARIO. I wonder if, Mr. Lederman, if you have a brief comment you would like to make? We can't allow you just to sit there as an observer.
Mr. LEDERMAN. There was one discussion with which I think the results of the study may be a little helpful. One of the most striking and startling conclusions of this whole study was that there are relatively few changes over even 10-year periods of time in the way we allocate our resources, that there is a great deal more talk about what we should do than in fact we really do.
Except for the space program there isn't another good example of a major reallocation of resources in the decade of the sixties, and now that there is so much discussion of national goals and objectives, I think this historical past gives some suggestion that as a society we may not be very enthusiastic about very rapid change, that this is upsetting, that this is disturbing to many people, institutions, and so on.
So we may have a penchant for talking about changes, but doing very little about it. I think this general comment in part goes to your question about using scientific and technological talents in housing and community development and other fields. There is a great deal of resistance in the system. It takes a long time to overcome it. This is especially true apparently with regard to Federal Government activities. And the study quite startlingly points that out.
A lot of things that people think have happened and would like to think have happened just haven't. The man on the street I am sure believes that a great deal more of our national resources are going for welfare today, and yet the study shows 10 years ago it was about 1712 percent, and now it is 20 percent.
So I think one of the important things here is the real question of how, when we identify a needed thing to do, do we get it done, and done when it is timely. It goes to the questions you have raised, Mr. Chairman, about technological assessment, for example, how in fact even when we know we have the skills to do something and know we have a problem, can we move quickly enough so as, at least, not to allow the problem to get worse over the time period during which we are making the decisions necessary to commit the resources.
I would offer this as probably one of the clearest results of this study that has the broadest implications, not only for R. & D., but for the goals and objectives of our Federal Government generally.
Mr. DADDARIO. At least insofar as R. & D. is concerned, the purport of what you have said is that the organizational structure in a sense prevents us from moving quickly.
Mr. LEDERMAN. In some instances, yes. I think, even though there may not be a rationale for saying why create a new organization when we already have the skill, the fact of the matter is that very often that gets the job done sooner, witness the NASA situation. We seem to think that a new program will get launched better, with a different kind of dedication, even if it is the same people, if they are within a new organizational entity.
Now this may not have any basis in logic, but it may have a great deal of basis in the psychological relationships of people and organizational entities that
they are involved with. Mr. DADDARIO. We did have the organizational capability to put together the space program. The decision to do it somewhere else rather than the military.
Dr. HARRIS. Right.
Mr. LEDERMAN. There seems to be an element of enthusiasm that goes with the creation of of a new entity.
Mr. DADDARIO. We need not drag this on, but this was prior to that, the determination that it be done in NASA.
Mr. LEDERMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. DADDARIO. If the military had had a program of that size for that particular purpose, I would guess they would have generated that amount of enthusiasm. But we did have an organization able to meet that objective, and it was the determination of the goal that I think would be most important.
Mr. LEDERMAN. Certainly.
Mr. DADDARIO. On the other hand, many of these other goals involved many political decisions and traditional problems. Yet, they can be overcome, providing the proper intent and purpose is put behind it.
Dr. HARRIS. Mr. Chairman, I wonders if I might be permitted one supplemental statement? I don't want to interrupt your train of thought.
Mr. DADDARIO. Until the bells begin ringing, we have some time.
Dr. HARRIS. All right. I was in Seoul, Korea, a week ago during the time of the moonshot. I arrived before the launch and was there during the moonshot.