the Board's discipline committees' responses and assembled this consensus assessment. 2 The Board concluded that the proposals that Dr. Riegler describedfor responding to the 1998 report are appropriate; however, a finalassessment awaits action guided by a concrete implementation plan.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

The 1998 Space Studies Board report analyzed the roles and contributionsof R&DA grants in the research programs of NASA's three science offices, and it presented a set of strategicand programmatic recommendations to enhance the R&DA programs. TheBoard reaffirms the conclusions of the 1998 report: research anddata analysis activities are critical elements of a viable spacescience program. 3 The Board is aware of a number of actions within OSS that are underway or planned that will strengthen the R&DA programs and that willbe entirely consistent with the recommendations of the 1998 report.For example, Dr. Riegler described plans to reallocate current budgetsand to seek funds for new projects that will provide selected increasesin data analysis funding at an overall rate of 8% per year. He alsoreported on the OSS intent to provide explicitly for data analysisfunding in all new projects when they are initially proposed. Further,Dr. Riegler described a regular process of “senior reviews” of the research grantsprogram that would complement the senior reviews of operating spacecraftmission programs and provide a mechanism to accomplish a number ofactions recommended by the Board in the 1998 report.

While the Board supports the steps noted above, there are still twoconcerns to be addressed. First, many of the OSS responses to the1998 report's recommendations are planned rather than ongoing activities,and so any assessment of their effectiveness must await their implementation.Second, there are areas where the plans appear to be incomplete orwhere the attention being given may be inadequate. In the remainderof this report, the Board provides additional comments on those areasby addressing each of the six major recommendations in the 1998 reportin order.

2

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosenfor their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordancewith procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) ReportReview Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to providecandid and critical comments that will assist the authors and theNRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensurethat the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence,and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the reviewcomments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect theintegrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the followingindividuals for their participation in the review of this report:Anthony W. England, University of Michigan; Richard Goody, HarvardUniversity (emeritus); Gordon Pettengill, Massachusetts Instituteof Technology; Paul G. Steffes, Georgia Institute of Technology;and Robert E. Williams, Space Telescope Science Institute. Whilethese individuals have provided many constructive comments and suggestions,responsibility for the final content of this report rests solelywith the authoring board and the NRC.

3

Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA's Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis, 1998, pp. 11-33 and 37-42.



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