At the same time, the U.S. government was promoting exchanges of all types on the grounds that Soviet exposure to Americans would contribute to positive changes in the approach to governance in the country. Advocates of scientific cooperation argued that the objectivity and openness of scientific research were characteristics that would contribute to such positive changes. But this political motivation for engagement never supplanted scientific benefits as the primary rationale for contacts (U.S. House of Representatives, 1986).
In summary, during the late 1980s the academies were major players in pioneering new areas for cooperation and in testing new mechanisms for its implementation. Also, the academies included in their activities many specialists who had not previously been interested in cooperative projects. Some of these participants went on to play important long-term roles in fostering U.S.-Soviet and then U.S.-Russian relations. The payoffs from and limitations of scientific cooperation through academy and other channels had become clearer (Ailes and Pardee, 1984).