There are about 3000 Ph.D.’s working in science and technology in South Korea, with about 10 percent of those involved in materials science and engineering.

The Soviet Union

Science and technology in the Soviet Union is intimately linked with the machinery of government. The Soviet science and technology effort is the most highly structured, centrally controlled system in the world. Five-year plans are formulated by the State Planning Committee (Gosplan) through a coordinated process involving the Academy of Sciences, the State Committee for Science and Technology, and the various other ministries. Within this organizational complex, the Academy of Sciences carries the most influence. Today, the academy is the scientific side of Soviet science and technology, and the ministries are the technological side. Higher science education is handled by both the academy and the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Education. The academy and other educational institutions, as well as all the ministries, operate an array of research establishments of varying size and sophistication, involving well over 1 million workers. Soviet science on the whole is highly rated and in some cases produces enviable results to be watched and built on, as, for example, the Japanese have done in advancing the published Soviet materials and processing developments in the areas of low-temperature diamond film deposition and electrodeposition of fibers for metal matrix composites. Soviet product design and manufacturing technology are inefficient and, more often than not, are characterized by reverse engineering of Western-made goods, a practice leading to a 5- to 10-year lag in Soviet marketing of products.

There is no official tie between any major research groups; thus many of the basic, innovative ideas (including those in materials) generated by the academy’s research institutes are not developed in the Soviet Union because the ministries conduct about 90 percent of all engineering R&D and generally do not take an interest in academy business (and vice versa). Although there is superficial coordination, there is no incentive for collaboration, and Soviet industry opts for adaption of Western technology rather than developing its own. As a consequence of this division, materials science and engineering is treated as materials science on the one hand and as materials engineering on the other; the former is generally excellent, and the latter, duplicative.


In the United States, government-sponsored materials R&D, because of its multifunctional and widespread impact, is diffused throughout a multitude

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