Assessing the Value of Research in the Chemical Sciences

Report of a Workshop

Chemical Sciences Roundtable

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1998



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--> Assessing the Value of Research in the Chemical Sciences Report of a Workshop Chemical Sciences Roundtable Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was 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. The members of the workshop organizing committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. 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. Bruce Alberts 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. William A. Wulf 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 by 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 National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-9630106, the National Institutes of Health under Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, and the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FG02-95ER14556. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Energy. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 98-86063 International Standard Book Number 0-309-06139-3 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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--> CHEMICAL SCIENCES ROUNDTABLE RICHARD C. ALKIRE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Chair THOM H. DUNNING, JR., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Vice Chair PAUL S. ANDERSON, DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals ALLEN J. BARD, University of Texas at Austin JACK C.-M. CHANG, Eastman Kodak THOMAS F. EDGAR, University of Texas at Austin JEAN H. FUTRELL, University of Delaware BARBARA J. GARRISON, Pennsylvania State University LILA M. GIERASCH, University of Massachusetts RICHARD GROSS, Dow Chemical Company BEVERLY K. HARTLINE, Office of Science and Technology Policy VICTORIA F. HAYNES, B.F. Goodrich Company ROBERT J. HUGGETT, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ROBERT L. LICHTER, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation THOMAS A. MANUEL, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. ROBERT S. MARIANELLI, U.S. Department of Energy MORTON L. MULLINS, Chemical Manufacturers Association JANET G. OSTERYOUNG, National Science Foundation GARY W. POEHLEIN, National Science Foundation MICHAEL E. ROGERS, National Institutes of Health KATHLEEN C. TAYLOR, General Motors MATTHEW V. TIRRELL, University of Minnesota DAVID L. VENEZKY, Naval Research Laboratory FRANCIS A. VIA, Akzo-Nobel Chemicals, Inc. ISIAH M. WARNER, Louisiana State University VERN W. WEEKMAN, Mobil R&D (retired) Staff DOUGLAS J. RABER, Director, BCST SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate

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--> BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY LARRY OVERMAN, University of California at Irvine, Co-chair JOHN J. WISE, Mobil Research and Development Corporation (retired), Co-chair HANS C. ANDERSEN, Stanford University JOHN L. ANDERSON, Carnegie Mellon University DAVID C. BONNER, Westlake Group PHILIP H. BRODSKY, Monsanto Company GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University BARBARA J. GARRISON, Pennsylvania State University LOUIS C. GLASGOW, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company JOSEPH G. GORDON II, IBM Almaden Research Center ROBERT H. GRUBBS, California Institute of Technology KEITH E. GUBBINS, North Carolina State University VICTORIA F. HAYNES, B.F. Goodrich Company JIRI JONAS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GARY E. MCGRAW, Eastman Chemical Company GREGORY A. PETSKO, Brandeis University WAYNE H. PITCHER, JR., Genencor Corporation PETER J. STANG, University of Utah JOAN S. VALENTINE, University of California at Los Angeles WILLIAM J. WARD III, General Electric Company JOHN T. YATES, JR., University of Pittsburgh Staff DOUGLAS J. RABER, Director CHRISTOPHER K. MURPHY, Program Officer DAVID A. GRANNIS, Project Assistant MARIA P. JONES, Senior Project Assistant RUTH MCDIARMID, Staff Officer SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate

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--> COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara MARTHA HAYNES, Cornell University L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America Inc. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation Inc. KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory CHANG-LIN TIEN, University of California at Berkeley NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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--> Preface The Chemical Sciences Roundtable (CSR) was established in 1997 by the National Research Council (NRC). It provides a science-oriented, apolitical forum for leaders in the chemical sciences to discuss chemically related issues affecting government, industry, and universities. Organized by the NRC's Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, the Roundtable acts to strengthen the chemical sciences by fostering communication among the persons and organizations—spanning industry, government, universities, and professional organizations—that are engaged in chemically related activities. The principal way in which the CSR does this is to organize workshops that address problems and issues in the chemical enterprise that require national attention. At its first meeting in February 1997, the CSR identified the topic of assessing the value of research as an issue of increasing importance to all sectors of the chemical sciences. In a world with many needs and limited resources, it is important to find mechanisms to assess the value of various endeavors so that resources can be focused on those activities expected to yield the maximum benefit to humankind and society. These such endeavors include scientific research, long protected by its linkage to national security. But the very nature of scientific inquiry—its inherent complexity and interconnections, long lead times from discovery to demonstration, and focus on the unknown—poses formidable obstacles to developing a set of criteria for predetermining the value of research. To provide a forum for exploring this topic, an organizing committee was formed, and a workshop was planned for September 1997. The resulting workshop, "Assessing the Value of Research in the Chemical Sciences," brought together research managers from government, industry, and academia to review and discuss the mechanisms that have been proposed or used to assess the value of chemical research. The papers in this volume are the authors' own versions of their presentations; the discussion comments were taken directly from a transcript of the workshop. The workshop did not attempt to establish the value of chemical research for the general public, but focused instead on the assessment procedures that have been or will be established within the various organizations that carry out or fund research activities. The expectation for the workshop was not that a single set of assessment techniques would emerge that would be appropriate for all sectors of the chemical research enterprise. Rather, the intent was to allow leaders in each of the areas

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--> to share approaches and ideas that will help to identify new and useful ways of assessing the value and potential impact of the research activities for which they are responsible. We believe that the workshop was successful in meeting this goal. Workshop Organizing Committee Thom H. Dunning, Jr., Chair Lila M. Gierasch Robert L. Lichter Thomas A. Manuel Robert S. Marianelli Janet G. Osteryoung Francis A. Via

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--> Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC' s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Carol Creutz, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Jack Halpern, University of Chicago, Joseph M. Jasinksi, IBM Research Center, and Peter J. Stang, University of Utah. Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring group and the NRC.

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--> Contents Summary   1 1   Measuring the Return on Investment in R&D: Voices from the Past, Visions of the Future David A. Hounshell (Carnegie Mellon University)   6 2   The Sources of Commercial Technological Innovation Don E. Kash (George Mason University)   18 Panel Discussion: Introductory Session   28 3   Assessing the Value of Research at IBM Joseph M. Jasinski (IBM Research, Thomas J. Watson Research Center)   33 4   Evaluating Materials Chemistry Research James W. Mitchell (Lucent Technologies)   43 5   The Technology Value Pyramid Trueman D. Parish (Eastman Chemical Company)   50 Panel Discussion: Industrial Session   56 6   Patents and Publicly Funded Research Francis Narin (CHI Research Inc.)   59 7   Research as a Critical Component of the Undergraduate Educational Experience K. Barbara Schowen (University of Kansas)   73

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--> 8   Scholarly Research: Oxymoron, Redundancy, or Necessity? Jules B. LaPidus (Council of Graduate Schools)   82 9   Assessing University-Industrial Interactions Richard K. Koehn (University of Utah)   89 Panel Discussion: Academic Session   94 10   Assessing the Value of Research at the Department of Energy: A Perspective from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences Patricia M. Dehmer (U.S. Department of Energy)   97 11   Assessing the Value of Research at the National Science Foundation Judith S. Sunley (National Science Foundation)   107 12   National Institutes of Health Response to the Government Performance and Results Act Mary Groesch (National Institutes of Health)   112 Panel Discussion: Government Session   116 Appendixes     A   Workshop Participants   121 B   Origin of and Information on the Chemical Sciences Roundtable   124