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Pulling together science and pulling together education are two different problems. How you marry them is very difficult for me to think through.
Dr. KEENEY. This is where I break down, too.
Dr. PIORE. One of the reasons is that the constituency in education is large, it has deep roots, and it does not overlap the constituency of science. Organizational pressures on the Office of Education come from, let me call it, the "schoolmen." This is a traditional problem we have had since schools of education were created. They have been a little outside the university setup. They are very powerful. Dr. KEENEY. I would take exception to that. Are you through? Dr. PIORE. I am.
Dr. KEENEY. Actually, it isn't that simple. You have, in the Office of Education, all the constituency of education from the primary school to the university, and they all bring pressure on it. When you get up to the university part of it, your constituency coincides with science.
Dr. PIORE. I would agree completely.
Dr. KEENEY. I don't think you can separate them out without damaging education quite seriously.
Mr. DADDARIO. Dr. Piore, you point out our present position, and the pace of the world in following and meeting the U.S. pace. You indicate that we may no longer be or soon will not be the pace setters. How does that fit what we are looking at here?
Dr. PIORE. Let me talk about the scientific area. We have set a certain pace. We have encouraged a great deal of creativity in this sector. The large instruments which we as a Nation have supplied our scientific establishment, have given us a unique position in the scientific world. European countries look at us and are concerned about what is known as the "technological gap." They have started to emulate us. In many places in the world, you will find, they are building the next set of instruments to break through new areas of science. In that sense, we are going to fall behind.
There are a number of areas where we are facing that sort of problem. CERN is building a clashing beam instrument. The most interesting radio astronomical instruments will not necessarily be in this country in the future, the way we are going. One can cite many other examples. I am not quite so familiar with the biological area.
So that I do not like the word leadership our intellectual drive. in one way or another will be reduced.
Mr. DADDARIO. Do you caution that the balance and the adjustment in our organization and our policy towards the way in which we do this at the present time can be affected by our handling the mission support and fluctuation over a long period of time?
Dr. PIORE. Yes, the mission agencies were very important since actually they dominated most of the funds. Now this is no longer the pattern. They will have less and less money for a lot of reasons. Part of it is the mood of the universities. Part of it is the administrative view in a given department. Congress is in the mood to reduce the role of the mission agencies in science.
Unfortunately, in the congressional debate there is great conviction but no transfer of money, which makes it very difficult. This lack of transfer of money is not because of lack of congressional will but congressional structure.
I am probing for an organization in which the congressional will would reflect itself in a procedure where money would be forthcoming and would facilitate both the Executive branch and Congress to look at the totality of the picture. At the moment, there is no opportunity, even on the educational area, for Congress to have a total look. Congress in the educational area is concerned about the underprivileged, and it is very generous in that area. It is so structured that even the underprivileged cannot be properly dealt with unless you take care of the total educational problem, even the super bright kids. This is the problem we face in science, too.
Dr. KEENEY. May I go at that question another way?
Mr. DADDARIO. Yes, if you would, Dr. Keeney.
Dr. KEENEY. The real question, it seems to me, is where do we want to go. I don't aim to project trends of where we are going in the matters of population and waste disposal and the possibility of atomic war and so forth and so on. We may be going into extinction or at least considerable diminution. The question isn't being asked very often, where do we want to go? It is only going to be asked as a result of having the question brought up quite early in people's lives through education.
It isn't going to be brought up at home. It isn't going to be brought up at church. It isn't going to be brought up much of anywhere else.
The support of education, to me, and the change in education so that such questions will be brought up is the most important thing before us, and it has got to be done quite quickly. Once it is determined where we want to go, the very greatest of scientific and other kinds of ingenuity and creativity and skill are going to be needed to make sure we go there; and for that reason, the support of science, to me, is a most important thing.
Mr. DADDARIO. Mr. Pettis.
Mr. PETTIS. I just wanted to ask a question of either one or both of you gentlemen.
Theoretically, at the Cabinet level, there are scientific departments now in almost each one of these Cabinet posts. For example, in HUD, they have a department
Dr. PIORE. Assistant Secretary.
Mr. PETTIS. In Defense, you have John Foster, and in HEW, you have a man. You have got education. You have got the biological sciences.
What I am wondering is, what would be the impact on these existing structures if what you propose were to take place? Would there be a lot of catterwalling and dog fights over jurisdiction for a while, and then it would settle down to all of the new scientific exploration, let's say, on how to, say, in HUD, for example, which has some scientists over there trying to figure out new and better ways to build houses— that is science in one broad sense, but at least it is a technological aspect that is somewhat scientific or any other agency? Isn't there a very jealous situation here which would be fractured by what you propose?
Dr. PIORE. I do not think so. I would certainly, in any organization, permit or encourage each mission agency to work in areas that are important to that agency, and let this new agency worry about the general balance, policies, et cetera.
This is what has happened. I will go down agency by agency. The Department of Defense has narrowed its interest in science. I am not sure of the facts, but at one point they started out with a number of solid state institutes at universities. In doing as the universities-broke department lines and considered these to be continuing commitments. DOD is now disengaging itself. The National Institutes of Health, which once heavily supported chemistry, are moving out of chemistry. So these mission agencies are narrowing their view of those areas of science that are important to them.
This is one of the reasons that we have to regroup and continue the balance in various areas of science that exist now and not wreck this balance by administrative action.
So I would say, if HUD can get $50 million or $100 million from the Appropriations Committees to do your technological work, God bless you, you know, and please spend it intelligently. But they would not, in my view, do the science that is very vital to the underpinnings of the future of the building industry. This is an example of one of the problems we face.
Mr. PETTIS. Mr. Chairman, if I might pursue this just in a way, I see a situation today where, let's say, you take a very bright investigator. He wants to do his thing in science, and he has a lot of talent. Today, when he comes to Washington, he shops really in our Government for someone who will buy what he is trying to do.
Dr. PIORE. That is right.
Mr. PETTIS. I would like to make it a little easier for the bright men in science to find the resources to do their thing provided it shows potential and provided it has some merit and scientists have their own way of measuring merit, and I certainly am not a scientist and would not pose to be one; but it seems to me, at the moment, we lack this ability to really, at any one place, measure this man and what he is trying to do in terms of our national goals, whatever they may be, or in terms of any national goals.
I have had men in my office in the last week that have spent a week or two in Washington shopping really, shopping all around, at the Defense Department, here, there, when you really get down to it; and one of these men considers himself an oceanographer and yet he will go anywhere to try and get some money to pursue his program. He has been very successful here in Washington in years past, the last 15 or 20 years, and if you look back at where he has gone, he has gone three or four places. The Navy has supported him for 2 or 3 years, and then NIH supported him for a while, and then somebody else did.
Dr. PIORE. This is a very critical problem, especially for the young investigator. Wherever you turn, the man who is starting as an assistant professor at this time in our country has a very rough time getting support. The reasons go back-I feel I am playing the same phonograph record so you will have to forgive me to the mission agencies. When they start narrowing their support, they do two things: They narrow the field, and they want to keep on their payroll the best and the most distinguished persons. So the young man is the first to be dropped. The mail is not even answered, symbolically.
The National Science Foundation is very conscious of this problem, is wrestling with it, but this requires funds."
There is one way to deal with this problem. The Department of Defense has had a program where it would give a block of money to a_very_distinguished person, for example, a theoretical physicist like Hans Bethe. He would assume responsibility that the young men at Cornell University would be supported. That sort of thing is disappearing. It goes back to two things: Budgets and the narrowing notion of what is important to a mission agency.
You state a problem that all of us are worried about; the future of American intellectual life depends on assistant professors. They are having the toughest time in getting support.
Dr. KEENEY. It is quite true. It is also quite difficult for universities to find funds to support them, and especially outside of sciences you really have to steal money. But I think you ought to also worry about the senior man who is not very bright and who doesn't want to work on a very useful thing, who can go through this same shopping procedure and come out with pretty nearly the same amount of money. That is the real danger of it, I think.
Chairman MILLER. I made a couple of notes. You said we were losing the lead in the radio astronomical field. Is that due to someone beating us to it, or is it because of the geographical position of this country?
Dr. PIORE. Much of the cutting edge of science, traditionally, depends on instruments. Kelvin was a great scientist. You do science experimentally and you build instruments. When one does not have the resources to build instruments, one cannot be at the cutting edge of science. The days of string and sealing wax are gone.
There is a Dicke ad hoc panel for large radio astronomy facilities for the National Science Foundation which issued a report recommending the construction of certain facilities. At the moment, I am very pessimistic whether funds will be forthcoming for these facilities. The Europeans will build a lot of the things that Dicke recommended. Because they will be there first, their young people will have a greater opportunity to probe the unknown than our young people.
Chairman MILLER. In this particular field, we have pretty much taken the lead. I can't argue the technology of it, but I have been given to understand in order to do this job, we have got to have instruments practically all over the world. We are putting them there, are we not? We have got some big radio astronomical instruments in Australia that we practically paid for.
Dr. PIORE. What I am trying to do is to indicate what the future will be like. If we take a snapshot now, we are in very good shape. As I look at the direction things are going, I am predicting we will be in bad shape.
Chairman MILLER. I would like, as we get into this field, to find out what we can do to correct this. We are building these around the world. We are going to put a 200 foot dish in Spain. It is part of NASA's tracking station, but the dish at Parkes is only used incidentally when we are flying.
Dr. PIORE. If it is a NASA tracking station you cannot do an experiment with it. I would like to see NASA give a university group priority on three-quarters of the time on the instrument. But they will not.
Chairman MILLER. Of course, right now, for the next months, maybe next 2 or 3 years, NASA can't very well do that, because these are there for a certain purpose and they have got to be used for that purpose. On the other hand, the dish, at Parkes, in Australia, when we have a manned space flight station, is cut in on this. The other time, Dr. Bowen uses it in the field of astronomy.
Dr. PIORE. I would agree. Dr. Bowen is a very talented person, who has many friends here stemming back from his work at the radiation lab at MÏT during the war. But, you know, that is just the problem, Mr. Miller. We either do serious research, or you try to beg for time on other people's equipment that is there for other purposes. This is very difficult.
Chairman MILLER. I have never visited an astronomical station where this matter of time hasn't been the thing that bugs them all.
Out at Kitt Peak everybody wants to use the big instruments. We are putting up a big instrument down in the Southern Hemisphere in Chile. I presume that there will be astronomers traveling down there and they will be frustrated because they can't get the time they want on the instrument.
Dr. PIORE. There is a difference between competition among scientific types on an experiment where you have a procedure-where someone determines that this is important, this is less important, and sets a priority. It is a different problem to get time to do experiments on an instrument designed for tracking. It is much more difficult. The first priority is for the first purpose of the instrument, and this is as it should be.
Let me put it this way. In building any kind of astronomical instrument, radio astronomy or otherwise, you design it for a set of experiments, with certain wavelengths and a certain curvature of the dish, depending on the experiments you want to do.
In tracking you have quite a different problem. Normally you track on a single wave length. You have to make a lot of compromises to do experiments with it. It is a much greater chore for a man to use an instrument that has been designed for some other purpose than to use an instrument that has been designed specifically for his experiment.
Chairman MILLER. Getting into another subject, doctor, you talk about where we may slip behind. When we talk about the matter of housing or some of the things that are important today, sewage disposal or disposal of waste matters, isn't the Federal Government inhibited in this field by the States?
Dr. PIORE. You know better than I. I am not the right person to give testimony on that. But my observation is that, quite apart from our available technological skills to deal with pollution, it is very difficult to bring them to bear on the problem because of the political structure, the economic modifications required, and related matters.
My view is that we know enough to start applying things, and yet we cannot quite do it because of social structural reasons.
Dr. KEENEY. I think there is a deeper reason than that. The reason really is that people in general don't want to make the necessary effort to have them brought about.
Chairman MILLER. They don't want to make the necessary effort and they talk about the costs. I have often raised this question here.