Click for next page ( 25


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 24
Professional Associations Professional associations are non-profit entities formed of individuals involved in particular technical disciplines or industrial sectors.45 These associations are held together by the common bonds of scientific or engineering disciplines and are among the most open communication channels available for the dissemination of international scientific and engineering information, both nationally and inter- nationally. As such, professional associations may represent opportunities for increased access to scientific and technical information in the two countries. HISTORICAL EVOLUTION Professional associations have a century-long history in both the United States and Japan. The American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (AS ME), and the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineer- ing (IS ME) were all established in the nineteenth century.46 Professional associa- tions have continued to evolve to take into account the development of new fields and interests. In the United States, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (EEE),47 was formed from a merger of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), which is not a membership association, was created as a non-profit private foundation, and later reorganized as a semigovern- mental organization. In the United States, where new professional associations can be created relatively easily by a group of interested parties who establish non-profit status, they are created frequently, multiplying to the extent that there are professional 24

OCR for page 24
25 associations within professional associations. They all receive preferential treat- ment by the government and tax authorities, including reduced postal rates for their publications. In Japan, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to receive government authorization to establish new professional associations. Although it is techni- cally possible to create "unauthorized" professional associations in Japan, the advantages to government authorization include the right of members to elect members of the Science Council of Japan and a reduced postal rate for journals. Japanese scientists and engineers with interests in a new field would most likely convene within an established professional association, whereas U.S. scientists and engineers are more likely to form a new association representing their new field of interest. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, because they are different in many ways from other professional associations, require separate mention. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established by government charter as a private, non-profit institution in 1863. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was established in 1964 under the same charter, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was founded in 1970. Japan has few direct counterparts to these institutions. The Japan Academy's member- ship includes a broader range of scholars than scientists and engineers. The Japan Engineering Academy was established only recently as a private sector initiative. ROLES The professional associations of both countries play similar roles in some areas, but they also perform unique functions. These include the Japanese professional associations' system for cooperative research and the role of some U.S. associations in policy advice to the government. These differences will be addressed further below. The primary role of most professional associations is information exchange, primarily the exchange of research results. In the United States, professional associations have contributed by forming "invisible colleges" because of their effectiveness in promoting interchange and interpersonal networks among people with similar technical interests. In Japan, established professional associations like the JSME and the Japan Society of Tribologists CAST) consider information exchange their primary function. As they add transnational issues to their traditional concerns with national issues, professional associations can also be bridges between the scientific com- munities of different nations. The NAS has long been involved in international exchange activities; the NAE has played a leading role in the Council of Acade- mies of Engineering and Technological Sciences. The EKE has a very active section in Tokyo. In Japan, the JSME has cooperative agreements with the mechanical engineering associations of seven other countries, including with the

OCR for page 24
26 ASME.48 Japan's Civil Engineering Society recently became the first Japanese professional association to establish a scientific exchange fund to aid engineering researchers from developing countries who wish to conduct research in Japan.49 JSPS, the semigovernmental organization noted above, considers the support of international cooperation in science one of its primary roles, and devotes up to 60 percent of its budget to international programs.s One of the primary mechanisms used by the professional associations of both countries for the exchange of information is conferences and meetings. Annual, local, national, and international meetings, as well as seminars, workshops, and educational programs bring professional association members face-to-face, over- coming some of the barriers to inter-sectoral communication. Professional association meetings are especially important in Japan because of the large number of papers presented. As many as 3,000 15-minute papers may be presented at one conference. Although these papers are presented without review and may therefore be of mixed quality, they give evidence of new direc- tions of research in progress. Abstracts published for meetings of the Japan Society of Applied Physics TSAR), for example, can be submitted three months before the meeting, in contrast to the nine-month delay between submission and publication for the Society's English language journal.Si For many journals, the delay is more than a year. In Japan, where long-term employment separates researchers from different sectors, professional association meetings also play a particularly important role in the exchange of information among universities, government, and industry. Five hundred sixty-six papers were presented at a recent semi-annual meeting of the Japan Society of Precision Engineering USPE), which attracted nearly 22 percent of the association's membership. Statistics from the JSPE meeting, as well as JSME membership statistics indicate that in Japanese academic and engineering associations, the information flow is primarily from university members to industry members (see Tables 5-1 and 5-2~. U.S. professional associations place greater emphasis on publications as a mode of communication than do Japanese professional associations. The EKE, in addition to its well-known journal, Spectrum, publishes 50 journals in special- ized subfields of electrical engineering, electronics, and computer science. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publishes Sci- ence, one of the most widely read and important publications on science and technology policy in the country. The activities of the AA AS are an example of the increasing involvement of U.S. professional associations in public affairs that has come with the rising importance, complexity, and globalization of science and technology. The American Chemical Society releases English translations of abstracts of Japanese and other foreign chemistry and chemical engineering literature through its subsidiary, Chemical Abstracts Service. In the United States, the NAS was organized to provide advice to the govern- ment on scientific and technical matters upon request. Elected members of the

OCR for page 24
27 TABLE 5-1 Distribution of Participants and Papers Presented at the March 1989 Semi-Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Precision Engineering by Affiliation (Percent) Affiliation Industry Universities Over Participants 70 20 10 Papers presented 25 60 15 SOURCE: Toshio Sata, '`Technology Transfer in Japanese Academic Societies and Engineering Associations," U.S.-Japan Dialog on Differences and Similarities in the Working Environment for Research, Workshop on National Labs and "Bridging" Organizations, June 5-6, 1989. TABLE 5-2 Distribution of Members and Contributed Papers at the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering by Affiliation (Percent) Affiliation Members (1985) Papers contributed 16 B4 Industry Universities Other 73 16 11 12 4 SOURCE: Yulcio Hori, presentation, U.S.-Japan Dialog on Differences and Similaniies in the Working Environment for Research, Workshop on National Labs and "Bridging" Organizations, June 5-6, 1989. Academy complex (the NAS, NAE, and IOM) join with other professional scien- tists and engineers in volunteering their time and expertise to the work of the National Research Council. Not a professional organization in itself, the National Research Council was organized by the NAS in 1916 and has become the principal operating agency of the NAS and the NAE in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Research Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. As mentioned earlier, there is no direct Japanese counterpart to the Academy complex. The Science Council of Japan advises the central government on scientific matters, but it is part of the government and until recently its members were elected by registered individual scholars. It is not considered a professional association as such, although since 1986, its members have been nominated by members of authorized Japanese professional associations. The Science Council also includes members representing the social sciences and humanities. The most distinctive role of Japanese professional associations is their system of cooperative research. This system provides for direct industry support of and involvement in the associations' research projects. Such relationships are almost unheard of within U.S. professional associations. The ASME's Center for Re

OCR for page 24
28 search and Technology Development, which manages and organizes research with government and industry support is an exception in the United States. The major mechanisms used by Japanese professional associations in coopera- tive research with industry are internal research committees organized to pursue a specific research topic. The ratio of committee members from industry to those from academe is approximately 8:2 in associations focused on engineering and 2:8 in associations that are more academically-oriented. The research committees of engineering associations focus on practical developments of technology. During 1978-1982, for example, the manufacturing engineering research committee of the Japan Society of Automobile Engineers developed user-oriented CAD/CAM systems and standardized computerized programmable controllers.S2 Japanese academic associations are also active in research with practical industrial applications, in part because the continuation of their research efforts may depend on industry funding. Many have had university-industry cooperative research committees in place for many years. JSPS has had such a system since 1933, JSME since 1958, and JAST since 1964. The cooperative research commit- tees are separate from the academic association's other research committees. The exact status of the cooperative research committees is slightly different depending on the association, but all receive support from industry. R&D committees of the JSPS conduct research for up to three years with government support. These committees conduct the initial stages of research, laying the groundwork for industry-university committees (IUCs), which must have industry support to continue their research. Examples of topics that have been studied by IUCs at JSPS (there have been 153 since 1933) include the life cycle of rolling bearings, thin films technology, optical and microwave technol- ogy, nanometer structure electronics, and microbeam analysis. As industry has strengthened its own experimental research programs, however, the research role of JSPS has been diminished. JSPS continues to play an important role in the exchange of information useful to industrial researchers. Another example of how professional associations work with industry is the JSPE research program for the development of CAD/CAM systems created in 1982. Under that program, the association is currently studying the commerciali- zation process and industrial members of JSPE have developed systems for private commercial use. JSPE was able to institute the program with the support of a budget created by raising the industrial membership fee to $16,000. The JSME forms subcommittees for each research topic under one industry- university cooperative research committee. JSME has formed 94 such subcom- mittees in the last three decades; each operates for about three years. There are currently 16 such subcommittees in operation. They receive financial support from industry, as well as from the government. Examples of JSME research topics include nonlinear finite element methodology, ultra-high precision manu- facturing, noise reduction, high efficiency production, static dynamic characteris- tics, computer programs for flow analysis, and thermal engineering.

OCR for page 24
29 U.S. professional associations emphasize "service to members." One dimen- sion is career development and employment. In the United States, professional associations often feature seminars and journal articles on employment prospects and issues affecting the profession. This is not a formal activity of Japanese professional associations.