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other points which we as Members of Congress and as a committee with responsibility in this area have to take into consideration, and which can be extremely helpful.
From a purely philosophical point of view he said certain things which I hope he would repeat over and over about the importance of science to man and its understanding of this universe within which we live. If this was to be repeated often enough by him, it might create in the public mind a better feeling about the need to support science.
I do think this is one of the selling points that we have neglected. We talk about these subjects in a more cold and analytical manner perhaps than we ought. Perhaps, we ought to philosophize a bit more. Dr. DuBridge could serve this country very handsomely in that particular regard. I was impressed.
Mr. FULTON. And would the good doctor deliver a message for me to the National Science Board, who recommend to the President the head of the National Science Foundation. That in their ivory tower and isolation there are some of the best politicians I ever ran into.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. DuBridge, I am not going to belabor the point further. I know you have another meeting to go to, and we appreciate having had you here.
The meeting is adjourned until the 22d of July at this same place at 10 in the morning.
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, to reconvene Tuesday, July 22, 1969, at 10 a.m.)
CENTRALIZATION OF FEDERAL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1969
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 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.
As we proceed with our second day of hearings on the way in which our science resources are being administered and managed, this committee finds it hard to conceive of any witness who can be more helpful than Dr. Seaborg, who has been Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission under three Presidents. He was on the General Advisory Committee previous to that, and has, without any question, earned the high regard which this Nation has for him as one of its top scientists. This subject, one which this committee believes to be extremely important, needs testimony from sources such as him.
Dr. Seaborg, we are happy, as always, to have you here, and would appreciate it if you would proceed.
STATEMENT OF DR. GLENN T. SEABORG, CHAIRMAN, ATOMIC
ENERGY COMMISSION; ACCOMPANIED BY DR. SPOFFORD ENGLISH, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION
Dr. SEABORG. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I welcome the opportunity to appear here this morning to present my views on several of the issues raised in the report "Centralization of Federal Science Activities." I find myself in full accord with the remarks made by Mr. Daddario in his prefacing statement to the report. In dealing with a situation as ramified as the organization of Federal science activities, it is appropriate at this time to emphasize clarification of major issues, guided by carefully formulated objectives such as those listed in the prefacing statement. Most of us in Government with backgrounds in scientific work feel attraction toward the general notion of some centralization of Federal science activities, but I think it important that we satisfy ourselves, before changes are made, that the changes would be likely to enable a better job of enhancing the lives of the individual citizens. I think it is far from clear at this point, what shape a reorganization of Federal science activities should take in the years ahead. I think we can, however, identify some promising
directions and I will try to do so this morning. To make my point of view clear, I will start with several observations regarding the role and organization of science in Federal activities.
Not long ago, I expressed the concern that scientists in general, and scientists in Government in particular, have failed to make clear to the public the nature of the great bulk of the Federal expenditures for research and development. In large part, these funds allow us to draw from our stock of established scientific knowledge and develop specific solutions to specific problems. A much smaller part of the expenditures go toward discovery of new knowledge. We can think of scientific and technological efforts as falling in two groups. One is problem solving. This is the larger part and forms a portion of the work of almost every agency. The other grouping or class I have in mind here, might be called generation of new scientific knowledge. Work of this latter sort, which consumes only a small fraction of total Federal expenditures for research and development, gives us the wherewithal to meet and solve future problems.
These two classes of Federal science activities are not neatly separable, thought we attempt a similar sort of separation when we report expenditures for basic research and for applied research and development. Even though the boundary is never sharp, it is useful to keep this sort of distinction in mind as we discuss the organization of Federal science activities. The organization should reflect the pervasiveness of technological efforts in present day society. This is a scientific age, an age of institutionalized change, an age with tools of ever increasing effectiveness for shaping each increment of change to the needs of the individual. A soundly designed organization should keep in its hands all of the tools necessary to do its job. An agency concerned with housing should judge how much research and development effort should be put into development of improved materials and building techniques, knowing that these expenditures will cut into the funds available for construction, for example, of low-cost housing using currently available techniques. An agency concerned with transportation systems, will want to weigh programs, involving heavy research and development expenditures, such as development of intercity subways, against programs for improved surface transportation which might involve very little research and development. This is what I mean by reflecting the pervasiveness of technological efforts. Substantial expenditures for research and development need to be considered as one of the means for meeting nearly every one of the major challenges of our times. The wise choice in some cases will surely be not to undertake substantial expenditures along these lines, but the choice is best made with the understanding that the largest segments of Federal research and development should, as illustrated above, compete with other alternatives for meeting particular challenges.
It is useful to identify some essential strands which pull Federal science activity together. In 1966 in a talk before the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, I expanded on two major points: The first was that man's growing domination of his environment today demands that we take a new and broader outlook toward our future development. And secondly, in dealing with mankind's physical growth, with the mass society in a world of growing population, we
must not neglect the individual human being and his basic need for a more satisfying, purposeful life. In a nation founded on concern for the individual, a focus of Federal science activity must be the enhancement of the individual-his freedom, his welfare, and his pursuit of happiness.
Focused in this way, science can provide us with marvelous tools for the solution of many of the weighty problems of our physical and social world. The force of science in our culture received perhaps too little attention in the report before us this morning. Science has become a part of our culture with important influence on nearly every aspect of our lives and institutions. Today we have more freedom of choice than any of our ancestors ever had. We have more freedom from ignorance, superstition and ironclad tradition and, as a result, more freedom of change-to control and direct our future, our creative evolution. We need to appreciate the character of these achievements, the sources from which they have flowed, and especially, the impressive views they have given us of what the future can hold.
I have just spoken of the value of looking at the largest segments of expenditures for research and development as items to be judged on their efficacy in solving particular problems. However, other parts of the impact of Federal science on our society must also concern us. Special attention needs to be given to the strength of the institutions which carry out the search for new scientific knowledge and, in particular, to the adequacy of the methods and level of support for academic science and engineering. These matters lie at the source of the power science had to influence the course of our future. They provide the fundamental new insights and the skilled workers, the knowledge. and the cultivated minds.
Let me speak first of support for academic science and, in particular, of what I described last winter in a talk before the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States as "the Government-university partnership in graduate education.” In that talk I defended four generalizations. The first of these is that, in my opinion, the Federal-university partnership in cultivating intellectual resources is a permanent one. Second, the framework for adequate Federal participation, broadly, in educational support is now largely available. Third, Federal support for education at the college and graduate levels is relatively nonpolitical and this has allayed, if not abolished, old fears of centralist control. Finally, the dynamics of the scientific revolutionthe cycle of accelerating scientific and technological power, increasing productivity, greater leisure, and the demands for higher skills—seems to me to guarantee not only the permanence but the increase in Federal involvement. My outlook on the Federal-university partnership is one of optimism. I note the gloom in many quarters and the strains induced by tapering off of budgets for science support. But I believe that in the years ahead ways will be found for stabilizing Government financing of the universities and also to provide for the moderate growth and funds essential for spontaneous creative initiative. Some of the present problems are serious, and solutions need to be found. I will say more concerning these problems later on.
One other aspect of the search for new scientific knowledge warrants mention at this point. Along with the contributions from on
campus research at the universities, an increasingly rich flow of important new ideas has come from other performers of research. Whether these are among the larger Government laboratories, or, as is the case with the major AEC laboratories, they are Governmentowned and contractor-operated, they ordinarily share one characteristic in common. They commit a significant part of their effort to wide-ranging inquiry, to acquisition of new knowledge. This is certainly true of the major AEC laboratories. These efforts in basic research stimulate a heightened awareness of scientific trends and opportunities, of the importance of scientific excellence, and should continue to be integrated within overall laboratory structures. Just as the effectiveness of any industrial or Government operating unit is highly dependent on the organizational skills of its top management, the effectiveness of any laboratory is highly dependent on the scientific skills of its basic researchers. In the AEC laboratories, great emphasis has been given to collaborative efforts with the universities. I believe these efforts have been extremely fruitful. There is heavy interaction between the AEC laboratories and the universities to the advantage of both.
The important, often rather glamorous role of basic research and academic science should not be allowed to obscure the principal thrust of Federal science activities. Earlier I described the great bulk of these activities as concerned with providing solutions to specific problems. The Government as a whole is concerned both with how to solve particular problems and with which problems deserve tackling at what levels of effort. It seems to me that there is considerable merit to hav. ing comparisons of problem solving methods made within an agency so those with the broadest policymaking responsibilities can most effectively compare the levels of effort appropriate for groups of tasks with related purposes. The principle I am invoking here is much like the notion of program budgeting. It makes good sense to organize departments and agencies around coherent endeavors. There are, of course, a great many ways any particular set of activities can be grouped as programs. The same is true for grouping programs to form agencies. One of the questions we need to examine is the intrinsic difficulty of the comparisons at the earliest steps of the budgetary process. Also, are the people involved within the agency likely to feel a sense of unity of purpose? These are questions we should ask about proposed reorganizations. They are also questions worth asking with regard to present agencies.
The Atomic Energy Commission arose, I think, from a sense of special national responsibility. Its unity is based on the idea that, to best fulfill this responsibility, work concerning both military and civilian applications of nuclear energy should be merged in a single agency. Sometimes the feeling is expressed that nothing so familiar as nuclear energy really deserves special handling. The report under discussion here, for example, suggests that the weapons development work of the AEC could be transferred to the DOD. But I believe that there is widespread public recognition that the idea of merging work on civilian and military applications remains valid and, needed, compelling. The discovery and
development of nuclear energy has changed our world. In a moment, I will dwell on some of the benefits we can