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The point is they are being paid by free enterprise and the Government, both maybe, to do a certain amount of scientific research and they are supposed to be educating the students of the future and the students never see them. That is where I got the complaint. They are in so and so's class, advertised under so and so, who has a great reputation. They haven't seen him all semester. You know it and I know it.
Dr. KEENEY. Yes; but you know that sort of thing has been going on for as long as I have been in universities which is some time, and a lot of it is true and a lot of it is exaggerated. You have heard the story about students who came in and found a tape recorder in the seminar room and left their tape recorders and went away. I don't know whether that happened, but it is an exaggerated situation or an exaggerated story, one or the other. But there is a great deal of absenteeism, and sponsored research does interfere with education at some levels.
Mr. DADDARIO. Having said that, if I might interrupt for a moment, Mr. Winn.
Mr. Winn. I am all through.
Mr. DADDARIO. What would your observations be, Dr. Keeney, on whether or not the level of teaching has improved over the course of these years since this kind of support has come about?
Dr. KEENEY. I think it has improved from where I was to where I ended up quite a lot. I don't know that it has improved anywhere near as much as it should. A great deal of education is directed to things that don't matter much and that have to be squeezed quite hard to get anything of consequence out of them. I think we need a thorough educational reform and I think it has got to be started in an awful lot of places at considerable expense.
Mr. DADDARIO. Because there are divisions, they aren't pulled together and because we don't have a national goal we don't have the kind of vigor we ought to have. It is not just a matter of money. How you pull it all together? How you develop an approach to the accomplishment of these ends? This is what you both seem to be talking about.
Dr. KEENEY. That is what I am talking about and it has quite a lot to do with glass bottles at the bottom of the sea and old tires in San Francisco Bay at low tide, and it is the failure of education to concentrate the people's attention on questions of ultimate consequence that is concerning me and frightens me quite a lot.
Mr. DADDARIO. There was one point, Dr. Keeney, that Mr. Winn raised. I don't know whether that was the point Mr. Pettis was in fact making about these researchers coming up here for support. I understand Mr. Pettis' point to be not they had come up with their hands out but rather they were coming up here and shopping around. Somehow we ought to be better managed so they would not be able to play one agency against the other.
Mr. Winn. I missed that point, Mr. Chairman. I think my point was why are they coming to the U.S. Government all the time? Why aren't they going to free enterprise ?
Chairman MILLER. Because that is where the action is.
Mr. DADDARIO. I think that is the question that Dr. Piore in fact answered. Maybe not completely, but that is the question he answered. Although he considers there is room for improvement, there is a tendency toward additional support. Private enterprise cannot do it all. Both of our witnesses this morning are somewhat concerned that these types of people, with this kind of innovative capability, are being supported in other countries to a greater extent than ever before. This offers us some challenge. They are putting these questions of education and research much more closely in perspective to the problems of their society. This seems to have something that comes through from both your testimony.
Dr. KEENEY. I think if I were a young man capable of having innovative ideas and carrying them out, I would probably go to Britain.
Where would you go
Dr. PIORE. Phil Abelson returned from a trip abroad and gave a talk to the American Chemical Society indicating how Europe potentially can outstrip us technologically. It would be a very interesting document for the members of this committee. He has been requested to publish it.
Mr. DADDARIO. Gentlemen, we have come to the end of our time. Mr. Winn. Mr. Chairman, can I make one statement.
It is a statement, I think, interesting to our guests and to the members.
I was at Manhattan, Kans., this last Saturday, and a young lad, a junior in school, an engineer, smart as a whip, asked me if I would introduce a truth-in-education bill. That really stirred my thinking. I have been thinking about what that young man was really meaning and he was saying he had never seen some of his engineering professors. He felt he had been misled. That was kind of interesting, I thought.
Mr. DADDARIO. This committee will adjourn until Thursday next at 10 o'clock at the same place.
(Whereupon, at 12 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 9, 1969.)
CENTRALIZATION OF FEDERAL SCIENCE ACTIVITIES
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1969
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, RESEARCH, AND DEVELOPMENT,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10:13 a.m., room 2325, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Emilio Q. Daddario (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. DADDARIO. This meeting will come to order.
We are pleased to have as our witness this morning Dr. H. Guyford Stever, who is president of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and really a part of this committee's Permanent Advisory Panel. This panel has been in being some years and will hold in January its 11th meeting. I am particularly anxious to hear him because he has chaired an ad hoc science task force on this subject and other matters following the elections of last November and will have some insight from that point of view on our deliberations.
Dr. Stever, we are pleased to have you and anxious to hear what you have to say and ask you some questions about it.
STATEMENT OF DR. H. GUYFORD STEVER, PRESIDENT,
Dr. STEVER. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am very pleased to be here. As you know, I have submitted a written statement, and I would like to have that entered into the records of your committee.
Mr. DADDARIO. Without objection, it will be entered. (The prepared statement of Dr. Horton Guyford Stever follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF H. GUYFORD STEVER
Congressman Daddario and Members of the Subcommittee on Science, Research and Development, I am pleased to offer this statement on the subject of the Centralization of Federal Science Activities, a subiect which you have investigated in the report to your Committee prepared by the Science Policy Research Division of the Library of Congress entitled "Centralization of Federal Science Activities," on which you are now taking testimony.
Science in the larger sense of the word has always and two faces. The first, and to pure scientists the more important, is science itself, the sum of man's knowledge of the physical world together with the pursuit of more knowledge and more understanding of that world. The other face is the application toward human ends of the body of scientific knowledge and the technique developed to explore it. Both aspects of science are important, but few man and few organizations are capable of understanding and treating both properly. It is this problem which your Subcommittee is considering. 33-257-69-24
I think it is always good practice to continue to examine the effectiveness of the instrumentalities of our country which deal with both of these important aspects of science, and especially to discover whether our Federal Government is organized to do its best for both. Thus I heartily approve your investigation. As a result of my own study of the subject, I have come to the conclusion that we should not radically reorganize the agencies of the Federal Government at this time, but rather strengthen the existing agencies to do a better job of supporting both faces of science.
With respect to basic scientific research there are several areas which badly need better federal support, but I believe this support should come through existing agencies new assigned to this job, particularly the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and some parts of the Office of Education. We must insure that a continuous and growing supply of young scientists and that favorable working conditions including monetary support for practitioners of science are available for the exploration and development of new fields of science. The agencies which I have mentioned have developed ways and means of doing these things well. I urge you to give them credit for the job they have done and to strengthen their hand in doing these jobs still better.
Whenever you leaders of this country believe new fields of science deserve support, the missions of these agencies should be broadened or new agencies patterned after them should be established. A case of this kind is now coming to the fore. Many people believe that the social sciences must be strengthened to help in the solution of severe, pivotal societal problems confronting the nation today. The reasons are mostly practical, for we already need to apply some social sciences in areas where we haven't yet developed the sciences themselves. It is my belief that the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health can be expanded to cover some of the appropriate social sciences effectively just as they have been covering the physical and biological sciences.
Another example of an area where the Federal Government needs to pay more attention on the side of science itself at this time in history is in the support of graduate education in science. Here several problems are arising. One of these is the serious problem of financing the research of professors and students, research which is a necessary ingredient of graduate education. Another is to understand and adjust better to the changes in interest of potential science students. The National Science Foundation has turned its attention to these kinds of problems recently, and I believe NSF and other existing agencies, if properly supported by our government, can solve them.
On the side of the application of science, the government picture is more complex, for almost all the departments of the Federal Government have some involvement in the application of science: the Department of Defense for the defense of the country, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency for exploring the moon, the Department of Transportation to improve technologically all of our modes of transportation, the Department of Commerce to strengthen our industry, the Department of the Interior for the sensible utilization of our resources and the conservation of our land, and so on. The list can go on almost indefinitely. In these agencies the accent is on application and not on science itself. To be sure, most of these agencies have found ways of supporting pure science in a small way. They have done so to insure that the kinds of scientists who are important in applications are in good supply as well as to increase scientific knowledge in areas of interest to themselves. And they have succeeded in building bridges to the field of science itself—needed bridges of communication. But one can never get away from the point that their primary interest is the application of science, not pure science. These agencies have performed par excellence in applying modern science, some possibly a little to fast as in the case of pesticides or nerve gas.
One of the great things we have accomplished in the last quarter century is to evolve approaches which bring right to the top of the administration and of the legislative bodies of our government the programs and progress and problems in science and its applications. I believe that science is much too important to be organized into a department which is designed primarily to shift the important prority setting to a lower level of government. It is primarily for this reason that I believe in the fundamentals of our current organization rather than in a highly centralized Department of Science. If we could centralize the administration of science and make it more effective without losing this top-level involvement, then I would look with more favor on such an organization.
I have looked at various proposals for the organization of a Department of Science, and there do seem to be several advantages. The strongest, as stated by scientists, is that science would have a more forceful single spokesman at the top level of our administration. This, of course, can be accomplished in many other ways. It is accomplished in part by the current arrangement with the Presidential Science Advisor. But if this is not satisfactory, it would be quite possible in some of the forthcoming explorations of government organizations to propose that our cabinet have, in addition to the departmental secretaries, a minister of science who has a portfolio but no administrative agency reporting directly to him.
Another reason often cited for a centralized agency is to work out priorities of action and funding before they come to the higher levels of government. Personally I think that we have already developed quite effective techniques of bringing the details of science to Congress and the administration, and I have to congratulate the non-scientific leaders of both these organizations for developing solid understanding of the importance of the various aspects of science and its applications. I do not think we are falling short there. I would rather have the leaders of science and the leaders of science application appealing directly to you than going through many intermediaries.
One of the possibilities suggested by the Chairman in his letter transmitting the report under consideration by this Subcommittee was that of a government study. I would be heartily in favor of that, for I do feel that some of our agencies seem to have outgrown their original purpose and possibly it is time for modification, possibly even consolidation. I am convinced that many government laboratories are being underused and that if they were properly oriented to new tasks and if we could close the books on residual tasks of lesser importance, they could give more to the country. This does not seem to be pointing toward a Department of Science, but a revival of existing agencies. True, a centralized Department of Science might perform this function of upgrading and updating various laboratories more effectively than is now done in our government.
There is another area in which a Department of Science might help. There is no question that when the major interest of the Federal Government and of the people of the country as reflected by the Federal Government's activities changes abruptly in nature, existing agencies of government are caught short. One can see very clearly that the support for science and its applications as practiced in the past 25 years by the Federal Government has not given the proper background of research knowledge and the supplies of educated people to attack some of the problems of society-not new problems but newly recognized problems of conservation, air pollution, and a number of others. A centralized Department of Science might be capable of shifting the focus of science to such issues more quickly. This could be considered as another reason for a central agency. But this function could be performed as easily by a national goals committee established by Congress or the administration to study the relative priorities of the federal department with recommendation of realignment and redirection. And since science is not the only element that needs to be redirected in order to approach these problems, it could probably be better done on a platform which was broader than science itself.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I would like to repeat the conclusion that I presented earlier. I think that our Federal Government appreciates the problems of both science itself and science applications. Our problem is to support both more effectively and to improve the existing organizations and their methods.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you.
Dr. STEVER. I might go on and build from that. In the statement, I tried to distinguish between the problems of organization of the Federal Government science structure and the problems related to basic science and those of the application of science.
In many ways, of course, these two run a continuous spectrum of activity, but some problems stand out which are clearly on the basic side and some which are clearly on the application side.
The problem of separating and also combining these two sides of science is not a new problem nor is it confined to our society. It has been going on as long as there has been science. Some have focused