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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT National Goals for a Near Era Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1993
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: This volume was produced as part of a project approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. It is a result of work done by the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, which has authorized its release to the public. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences in its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) is a joint committee of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. It includes members of the councils of all three bodies. Available from: National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND PUBLIC POLICY PHILLIP A. GRIFFITHS (Chair), Director, Institute for Advanced Study ROBERT McCORMICK ADAMS, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution ELKAN BLOUT, Harkness Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School FELIX BROWDER, Professor of Mathematics, Rutgers University ROBERT A. BURT, Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law, Yale Law School DAVID R. CHALLONER, M.D., Vice President of Health Affairs, University of Florida ALBERT M. CLOGSTON, Member, Center for Material Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory F. ALBERT COTTON, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Director, Laboratory for Molecular Structure and Bonding, Texas A&M University RALPH E. GOMORY, President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation JOHN L. McLUCAS, Aerospace Consultant C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Vice Chancellor, Research Programs, University of California, Los Angeles FRANK PRESS, President, National Academy of Sciences, Ex-Officio PHILLIP A. SHARP, Head, Department of Biology, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology KENNETH SHINE, President, Institute of Medicine, Ex-Officio ROBERT M. SOLOW, Institute Professor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology H. GUYFORD STEVER, Member, Carnegie Commission on Science and Technology MORRIS TANENBAUM, Vice President, National Academy of Engineering ROBERT M. WHITE, President, National Academy of Engineering, Ex-Officio SHEILA E. WIDNALL, Associate Provost and Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Staff ELIZABETH BLOUNT, Executive Assistant LAWRENCE E. McCRAY, Executive Director STEVE OLSON, Consultant Writer and Editor
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era This page in the original is blank.
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era PREFACE For the past half-century, federal science and technology policies have been strongly influenced by two important forces: the promise of fundamental scientific research, which was described in the 1945 report Science, the Endless Frontier, and the demands of the Cold War. These influences contributed to the establishment of the preeminent U.S. research and development enterprise and to an unprecedented cascade of scientific and technological accomplishments. During recent decades, a series of political and technological revolutions have significantly changed the context in which science and technology policy is made in the United States: The products of science and technology have become prominent elements of the world economy and of everyday life. The Cold War has been superseded by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of many newly independent nations. Our abilities to process and communicate information have transformed the creation and sharing of new knowledge. Our ability to diagnose and to treat disease has been greatly advanced. As we approach the new millennium, these broad changes have recast the framework in which the U.S. research and development system functions. As representatives of the scientific
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era and engineering communities, the members of this committee have attempted to understand that new framework and to describe ways in which science and technology can respond to it. We have tried to evaluate the role of the federal government in supporting research and development and to suggest better ways of translating that support into a higher quality of life. The result is this report, which proposes a renewed and strengthened covenant between science, technology, and society. The report recognizes that public support of science and technology is justified by the eventual benefits to humanity. It also recognizes society’s concern that scientific and technological progress should demonstrably lead to improvements in the quality of life. It reaffirms the generative role of scientific research within the research and development system, describing the connections between scientific research and several broad national objectives. It also points toward the key role of technology in transforming scientific discoveries into wealth-generating commercial products and services. It proposes specific national goals for science and technology, designed to ensure leadership in areas essential to the national well-being. Our nation’s economic performance and security depend on several key factors, including the ability to make better use of our world leadership in science and the innovative capacity of engineering. A renewed partnership between science, technology, and the federal government could quicken the movement of ideas from the laboratory and foster the use of new technologies throughout the economy. The government, with its overarching responsibilities for planning, budgeting, and review, is uniquely suited to promote—though not manage—this process. The benefits of such an approach would extend across the spectrum of short- and long-term national objectives. By working together to strengthen federal policy, the government and the scientific and engineering communities can ensure that the goals of the research establishment are aligned with
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era the continuing forces of change within our borders and around the world. These actions will not only perpetuate our national leadership in research but will help translate that leadership into the tools, goods, services, and prosperity that we as a nation require.
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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: National Goals for a Near Era NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS The National Academy Press was created by the National Academy of Sciences to publish the reports issued by the Academy and by the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, all operating under the charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences by the Congress of the United States.