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Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 97
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 98
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 99
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 100
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 101
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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Page 102
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 103
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 104
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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Page 105
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 106
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
×
Page 107
Suggested Citation:"France." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY IN MODERN FRANCE Robert Fox University of Oxford Traditionally, the French educational system has been seen as the victim of the two debilitating blights of centralization and what I shall inelegantly call functional fragmentation.) The meaning of centralization is obvious. It is encapsulated in the story of the Minister of Education in Paris who had only to look at his clock to know which passage from Vergil or which theorem of Euclid was being expounded in every school throughout the country. By functional fragmentation I mean the principle that every institution has a narrowly defined, often exclusive function, a function so precise as to suppress overlap and hence competition between institutions. The consequences, according to Joseph Ben-David and other observers, have been stultifying.2 Certainly, they have represented the antithesis of the intrinsically competitive systems of Germany or the U.S.A. The peculiarities of the French system of advanced education are embodied in the great vocational schools, the so-called grandes ecoles, each of them preparing for a specific career. This has always been a flexible system, since it has allowed a new school to be created whenever a new technical career has emerged. Since the first of the present grandes ecoles, the Ecole des Ponts et Chausse~es, was created in 1747, over 150 new schools have been established in science and engineering alone (most of them in our own century), to say nothing of more than seventy commercial and business schools and about eighty others with different vocational specialities.3 The quality, in such a large sector of education, is necessarily variable, but the most prestigious of the schools, such as the Ponts et Chausse'es, the Ecole des Mines, and, most notably, the Ecole Polytechnique, enjoy an incomparable status in the eyes of candidates and their parents. Research, too, has traditionally been seen as the function of specialized institutions, far fewer in number than the grandes ecoles, but including some of the glories of French intellectual life, such as the sixteenth-century College de France (with its array of chairs across the spectrum of the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences), the Paris Observatory (the creation of Louis XIV), and the Muse'um National d'Histoire Naturelle (the post-revolutionary descendant of the Jardin du Roi). Finally, the most unwieldy element of all, is the university system. This was a single national administration from the time of its creation by Napoleon in 1808 until its division into fifteen separate universities in 1896, and over its history its functions have varied. Initially, at least, the nineteenth-century university was conceived as a means of providing examiners for the national examinations (for the baccalaureat, the licence, the doctorate, and the competitive agregation), though it was also seen as a vehicle for lectures (to both students and the general public) and, secondarily, as an institution for research, complementing in a rather unstructured way the contribution of the designated research institutions. 95

Robert Fox This f irst-order impression of the French system underlines the characteristics of orderliness and functional tidiness. Yet, for my present purpose, it is important to note that research, in this structure, has a distinctly uncertain place. It has always been recognized that professors in any institution, even in the grandes ecoles with their emphasis on vocational training, could perform research, and the reputation of the Ecole Polytechnique in its early golden age rested in large measure on the intellectual distinction of teachers of the calibre of Monge, Ampere, Gay-Lussac, Petit, and Thenard. But it was only when France was wafted by the international currents of reform in the later nineteenth century that research came to be seen as one of the primary duties of the academic profession, in particular of teachers in the · · - universities. This rather late acceptance of the centrality of research could hardly have been otherwise, since an awareness of the new German conceptions of the intellectual role of the professoriate was forced on France (as on no other country) only after the defeat of 1870. Convinced that the German professoriate was responsible for the debacle of Sedan, reformers in France urged that their country should go down the German road of universities that were independent and multi-functional, possessing a commitment to innovation as well as to teaching and examining.4 As an abundant secondary literature has shown, the French educational system responded with alacrity, trying to graft a German model onto the centralized bureaucratic structure I have described. Accordingly, reform began strongly. Through the 1 S8Os and 1 890s, universities and individual faculties were encouraged to raise funds locally and to break out of their ivory towers. The consequences, in the sciences and technology, were a host of new courses and specialized institutes devoted to such subjects as electrical technology (at Nancy, Lille, Grenoble, and Toulouse), industrial chemistry (at Lyon and Lille), and wine-making (at Dijon). Vocational teaching was fostered, along with applied research, and the institutions prospered through donations from municipal and departmental councils, chambers of commerce, and industrialists. Before the First World War, this non-ministerial support had grown so substantial that the old frugality of the university sector seemed a thing of the past, and the constraints of centralized control were greatly reduced. At last, university science had a role, but I would argue that, if anything, the response to immediate economic demand between the l88Os and 1914 was too keen. To please local sponsors, the buildings that the new patronage bought had to be of an appropriate grandeur with little thought for their versatility, for example. Moreover, the teaching had to be of a precise, immediately applicable nature, with consequences that encouraged a rather unimaginative approach to instruction and helped to reinforce a conception of research oriented heavily to the testing and routine measurement which industrialists demanded. So it was that the French scientific community came to the First World War in a state of relative detachment from anything resembling a national plan and with governmental attitudes that bordered on benign indifference, as far as the research function was concerned. The favoured "stars" were supported well enough; Marie Curie's Institut du Radium, founded in 1909, was a showpiece. But a major electrical congress in London in 1908 laid ruthlessly bare the weaknesses at more modest levels. In an international plan to promote the standardization of units and standards, Germany could offer her Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt' the U.S.A. had the National Bureau of Standards, and Britain proffered the National Physical Laboratory. France, predictably, had only a handful of individuals working in the modestly 96

France equipped and privately funded Laboratoire Central d'Electricite and some other small testing laboratories; and it was only an intense last-minute protest which ensured that she was represented at all in the international network of national laboratories.6 All too soon afterwards, the consequences were to be seen once again. From 1 914, individual scientists made an impressive response to the challenge of warfare but they did so in conditions that rendered a well-financed, coordinated effort impossible. As L. F. Haber has argued, French scientific achievements in response to Germany's use of gas, though considerable, make both sides of this point plainly enough.7 The tendency for the activity of science to be seen overwhelmingly as a matter of teaching and the passing on of a cultural tradition, or of applied contract research, rather than a valued quest for novelty, persisted after the First World War. Now, local patrons and national governments alike appeared unable or unwilling to meet the mounting cost of research, and French laboratories entered a period of neglect that aroused concern even in non-scientific circles. Quickly, however, scruffiness came to be seen as part and parcel of the scientific enterprise. Between the wars, the quintessential savant, in the public's and most governments' eyes, was Edouard Branly, the contemporary and rival of Marconi, and the inventor of the coherer (an essential component in early wireless communication). By the time Branly acquired a serious working laboratory in 1932, he was 88. And even in his new premises, which came to him as a private donation (stimulated as much by his association with the cause of Catholic higher education as by his scientific reputation), he continued to work, as he always had done, with just one assistant.8 It seems that the desirability of establishing a team or a school was never seriously countenanced. Branly would complain about the conditions in which he worked, but he did so with a limited view to improving facilities for his own research. Despite the availability of a few alternative role models, most notably at the handsomely endowed Institut Pasteur, where team research was encouraged, the man of science was cast firmly as a solitary searcher for truth who throve on hardship. Any explanation of these dominant attitudes to scientific research and of ministerial indifference to the conditions that prevailed in French laboratories between 1918 and 1939 must take account of elusive cultural prejudices. These prejudices fostered individualism and made it appear normal, even desirable, that research should be conducted in a large number of small laboratories in which dilapidation was a price willingly paid for independence and a strong hold over such matters as the choice of problems and the all-important matter of the succession when a Director died or retired. But an even more potent influence was the industrial economy of France, which in giving little reward to the independent introduction of new processes and products had taken a path very different from those of Germany or the U.S.A. The history of the new science-based industries of the later nineteenth century artificial dyestuffs and electrical equipment, in particular displays an uncannily regular pattern, with France getting off to a good start when the sector was small and the technology crude, but then flagging and failing to invest in innovation.9 In retrospect, the failure to go the way of the Bayer Company or General Electric-the way of intensive research and patenting may appear a mark of culpable miscalculation. However, seen from within contemporary French industry, it was by no means obvious that a heavy expenditure on laboratories and a strategy based on independent . . 97

Robert Fox innovation could ever be justified. Indeed, even in Germany and the U.S.A., the large company laboratory was a phenomenon of the period of consolidation, after the large research- oriented companies had accumulated capital far in excess of the equivalent sums for France. The case of Bayer is telling and typical. For it was only in the 1890s, nearly forty years after the creation of the first artificial dyestuff by W. H. Perkin in 1856, that Bayer opened its first substantial company laboratory.10 By then, but only then, many years of profits had provided the essential elbow-room that made it possible to embark on a totally unprecedented course of long-term planning for new products, such as synthetic indigo (the fruit of fifteen years of intense effort in the company laboratory). In this, there are obvious parallels with the strategy that led to the protracted development of the tungsten filament lamp in the laboratory of the General Electric Company. It might have been expected that as such firms as Bayer, General Electric, BASE, Hoechst, and AEG grew ever more rapidly (from the late 1890s), French companies would be moved to emulation. The Compagnie Generate d'Electricite was one company that did respond, lacing the publicity that accompanied its launch in 1898 with a nationalistic lament about the invasion of electrical manufacturing in France by foreign technology. But very rapidly the resolve waned, and the goal of developing a range of independent products was abandoned. Within a few years, the CGE had reverted to a traditional policy of technological dependence, in particular on patents leased from the Swiss firms of Brown-Boveri and Ahlstom. The indifference of French companies towards "in-house" research, apart from an essential degree of routine testing and quality control, was profound and lastingly In the short term, perhaps, this need not have been a source of weakness. The case of the Italian electrical industry, which enjoyed great economic success while pursuing just such a policy between the 1 890s and 1914, makes the point plainly enough.~4 But, for my present argument, the importance of the absence of any sustained quest for innovation is that it detached research from the main stream of economic activity and helped to reinforce the traditional view of science as a personal pursuit of truth not significantly different from scholarship in the humanities. It also suppressed the industrial demand for employees trained in applied research, with clear consequences for the kind of training that educational institutions felt it proper to provide. It was on the eve of the Second World War that these attitudes began to change. In the 1 930s, in the brief period of the left-wing Popular Front, under the influence of Paul Langevin and Jean Perrin, there had been some attempt to make scientific research a major responsibility of government. This culminated, in 1939, in the founding of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), as a national body that would break aggressively with the past, not only by encouraging research but also, and more specifically, by fostering cooperation and breaking down the barriers and intellectual fiefdoms that were integral to the old system of patronage.is The founding of the CARS can be seen as the first salvo in a continuing struggle by a succession of pressure-groups and governments to detach scientific research from its traditional institutional setting. (See Table 1.) After the war, the momentum was maintained, with the confirmation of the CNRS and the reaffirmation of a deliberate interventionism through the creation of the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA), which (in a manner 98

France 1 1 TABLE 1 MAJOR FRENCH NATIONAL RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS Title Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Institut Franpais de Recherche Scientifique pour le D6veloppement en Cooperation (ORSTOM) Centre National d'Etudes des Telecommunications (CNET) Commissariat ~ l' Energie Atomique (CEA) Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Institut National de la Santa et de la Recherche M6dicale (INSEAM) Institut National de Recherche d' Informatique et d' Automatique (INRIA) Institut Franpais de Recherche pour ['Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) Date of foundation 1939 1943 1944 1945 1946 1961 1964 1967 1967 1 1 entirely characteristic of the new thrust of policy) combined national status with an immense degree of autonomy encapsulated in the personality of its Director, Frederic Joliot-Curie, a hero (at least of the Left) who soared above established interests. For a while, it seemed that the CNRS and the CEA were to be the harbingers of unprecedented change in the patronage of French science. But if Joliot-Curie's communist sympathies were acceptable enough in the immediate postwar reaction against what the Left liked to portray as the dead hand of the universities, they soon underlined the dangers inherent in the politicization of science. As the Cold War intensified, there were inevitable questions of trust. In 1950, Joliot-Curie was dismissed, and gradually the traditional elite, with its strong representation of former polytechniciens and predominantly conservative political sympathies, reasserted itself, at least in the higher reaches of the CEA. 99

Robert Fox It was with the beginning of the Gaullist era, strengthened by stability and a new sense of national pride, that the false dawn of the late 1 940s became an irreversible reality. Immediately on coming to power in 195S, De Gaulle declared scientific research to be a key to the national independence and economic prosperity of France, and suddenly what had been seen as a relatively minor element in governmental planning assumed the status of a priority. Hitherto the series of three- to six-year plans for postwar reconstruction, begun under Jean Monnet in 1946, had done little for research, beyond articulating the sense that France had fallen seriously behind as a scientific nation. Under the Fifth Republic, research became the motor of social and economic planning, most obviously from the time of the Fourth Plan, covering the years 1961-1965.~7 With centralization rehabilitated and d irigisme back at the heart of policy, a ma jor restructuring of the committee network took place. A new Delegation Generate a la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (DGRST) was established to serve as a joint secretariat for two national advisory committees the Comite Interministeriel de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CIMRST) and the Comite'Consultatif de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CCRST, or the "Comite des Sages" as it came to be called) whose function was to establish and implement a plan for research that would transcend the traditional divisions between ministries. Significantly and quite crucially, the DGRST was to be answerable directly to the Prime Minister. The result of this new structure and of the dedication and freshness of the generation of younger scientists, engineers, and industrialists who rose to prominence within it was a degree of coherence in planning that has characterized France's effort in research ever since. The first head (De'le'gue-general) of the DGRST, Pierre Piganiol, set the tone with a continuing programme of evaluation and designation of areas of priority which had prominent repercussions in all the subsequent national economic plans. These repercussions were to be seen even when enthusiasm for research waned slightly, as it did at times during the centre- right Presidencies of Georges Pompidou and Vale'ry Giscard d'Estaing (despite the fact that the promotion of science and technology was now firmly equated with emulation of the U.S.A., rather than of the Soviet Union, which had been the main model of reformers in the immediate postwar period). Predictably, there were scientists who protested. But their argument that basic research cannot be planned paled as those who were willing to follow the designated research priorities found themselves spoiled. Time and again, the forced channelling of funds into priority areas allowed France to leap ahead, in telecommunications technology, for example, and in her vigorous nuclear power programme and military technology. Usually the mechanism would be a specialized governmental agency, such as the CEA, the Centre National d'Etudes des Telecommunications (CNET), or the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CES), but the national plans in which the priorities have been spelled out have always fostered ways of diverting a share of the budget for research towards academic institutions and private industry. Both Thomson and Ae'rospatiale have been major beneficiaries of this policy, which has ensured that the dependence of research and development on state funding has been proportionately very much higher in France than in, say, the U.S.A. The figures of 55 percent for the proportion of expenditure on scientific and technological research coming from the state in France and less than 30 percent for the U.S.A. in recent years give a measure of the contrast. 100

France It is tempting to advance this structure of technologically oriented and carefully guided research as something approaching an ideal. Certainly, the results since 1958 have been impressive, as anyone who has witnessed the spectacular modernization of France must agree. The losers, unquestionably, have been the university scientists in the classic mould who have pined for the days of completely open-ended research. The gainers have been the far greater number of scientists who have adjusted to the new style of patronage, salvaging at least a measure of control from a process of public consultation between governments and the scientific community that has had some remarkable manifestations. One, predating' the Gaullist era, was a colloquium of 150 scientists, industrialists, and political figures, held at Caen in an atmosphere of crisis in 1956.~9 Another was the consultation of 1982, when 25,OOO scientists, technologists, and engineers from both the state and the private sectors participated in a series of regional meetings and a final national colloquium on educational and research policy stimulated by the election of the new socialist President, Franpois Mitterand.20 The effectiveness of consultation on this scale is, of course, open to question. It has also been suggested that the period embraced by the successive National Plans is too long to allow for the short-term changes of direction that might be coped with rather better in a company involved in a constant review of its policies and priorities. A five-year plan may indeed be hard to reconcile with flexibility of this kind. But, looking back over the history of technical education and research in the last hundred years or so, I am convinced that closeness to the market can be a handicap. It risks a diversion of attention from what I see, not least in the context of the problems of present-day Britain, as a pressing need for more attention to the medium and the long term. In fact, my own reaction to the rhythm of the French process of planning is that the five- year periods of the plans may not be long enough. They allow new specialities to be abandoned before they are established, and they scarcely give time for the training of researchers, who come predominantly through the slower and more conservative mechanisms of the university system. In conclusion, it seems unsurprising that the dynamic reforms of the last thirty years have yielded both successes and failures. It could scarcely be otherwise when planning in research is being attempted in an academic structure that is still, at bottom, wedded to a profile of teaching not necessarily supportive of new departures. Yet through its designation (at ministerial level) as a priority area and the focus of a major "action the'matique programmed" (ATP), molecular biology is just one discipline that has been fostered to a degree that would have been inconceivable in the context of a single university. For the failures, we have to look to fields that have not enjoyed priority status and to the recurring patchiness of France's performance in industrial research in these areas which has been a recurring source of concern to the ministers responsible since the early l980s. Especially notable, and disturbing, is the sharp contrast between the relatively high investment in research and development (much of it directly or indirectly helped by governmental funding) in aviation, electronics, or nuclear power, and the modest financing of R and D in the automobile industry, metallurgy, food and agriculture, and many branches of chemistry, where encouragement by governments has traditionally been slight.2i It remains to be seen whether tax and other incentives introduced since 1983 to encourage expenditure on research by smaller firms will eventually lessen this disparity. 101

Robert Fox It will be clear from all this that, despite the failures, I take a somewhat more favourable view of the French system than Luc Rouban, in his recent book, L'Etat et la science. La politique publique de la science et de la technologie.22 Where Rouban identifies a gathering "crisis" in the 1980s, with governmental policy unable to cope coherently with the multiple and often conflicting demands of society, I tend to see a constructive ministerial response with its roots (though not its only inspiration) in the heady early days of socialist dominance that began with the election of Franpois Mitterand as President of the Republic and the creation of the first government of Pierre Mauroy, both in May 1981.23 The Mauroy administration took one of the most significant steps in favour of research that we have seen in the history of modern France. The creation of a Ministry of Research and Industry in that administration was conceived both as a declaration of the importance that was attached to research in all its forms and of a determination, in this privileged area, to extend the vision of the general five-year plans (whose efficacity, in any case, had been called in question since the later 1960s).24 From the start, the ground was laid overtly for expansion, and barely a year later, in July 1982, the expansion began to take shape in the governmental programme enshrined in the LOP (Lot d'orientation et de programmation de la recherche et du developpement technologique de la France), which can be seen as a realization of the process of consultation on research conducted earlier in the year.25 The vision was a captivating one. It was intended that the proportion of the GNP devoted to research and technological development would increase from 1.S percent to 2.5 percent between 1981 and 1985, and that there would be an increase of 4.5 percent per annum in the number of scientists and engineers employed in the main national research organizations, accompanied by a comparable growth of posts in higher education. There was also to be a determined push in the direction of greater cooperation between governmental and academic laboratories and private industry; here, a reinvigorated Agence Nationale pour la Valorisation de la Recherche (ANVAR) was to be given a central role in facilitating the economic exploitation of new scientific and technological ideas.26 However, the budget for R and D grew to only 2.1 percent of the GNP by 1985, and there were signs of a slight weakening of resolve in the mid-1980's, even before the Left lost power in the legislative elections of 1986. It is significant that as head of the Ministry of Research and Technology (1981-1982) and of its successor, the Ministry of Research and Industry (1982-1983), Jean-Pierre Chevenement had the select title of a Minister of State. Thereafter, in the third of Pierre Mauroy's governments (1983-1984) and the government of Laurent Fabius (1984-1986) that status was lost. The Ministries of Industry and Research (1983-1984), headed by Fabius, and of Research and Technology (1984-1986), under the influential and energetic leadership of the scientist and writer Hubert Curien, remained important but no longer laid plans with the same confidence that had been characteristic of the early 1980s.27 One source of anxiety between 1983 and 1986 was the current of criticism emanating from the political opposition, notably from the right-wing deputy Alain Devaquet. The main charges concerned the cost of the government's patronage of research and the long-term commitment represented by proposals, contained in the LOP, for the formalization of the status of employees in research as fonctionnaires with the associated rights and privileges. When the right-wing government of Jacques Chirac was formed, after the elections of March 1986, those anxieties briefly exerted some influence on policy. But it was Devaquet, with the 102

France significantly modest rank of a "Ministre delegue-" responsible for research and higher education, who now responded to the menacing noises that were being made against the CNRS, the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicate (INSEAM), and other research organizations. As a result, despite some initial cuts in funding (particularly severe in the budget of ANVAR), the state's support for research was soon restored very nearly to its former levels. Even more importantly, the essential structure of research laboratories and institutions remained intact, though the bond between research, technology, and industry was distinctly loosened in favour of the more traditional association between research and higher education (both Devaquet and his successor in the Chirac administration, Jacques Valade, being answerable to the Ministry of National Education rather than to the Ministry of Industry, Posts, and Tourism). For all the anxieties that some researchers voiced during the two years of the Chirac government, the absolute growth in the governmental budget for research and technological development through the 1980s has been consistent and large enough to calm most critics, even if it has not attained anything like the annual increase of 17.8 percent (for civil purposes) that was set in 1982 as a target for the period 1982-1985.28 The CNRS, with its 1300 laboratories and research groups, 17000 researchers and engineers, 8500 technicians and administrators, and annual budget of 10 000 million francs, has just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in a spirit of great optimism. And even in the universities and the grandes ecoles, which in the 1960s still tended to be set apart from the relatively prosperous world of the organizations for research, the new wave of planning has won support. One irresistible attraction has been the implantation of CNRS groups in university laboratories, a procedure that has accelerated the diversion of significant research funding into higher education and helped further to erode the traditional French divide between research and teaching. It is a mark of the success of this diversification that polytechniciens too have been touched by the new spirit: in recent years nearly fifty of the Ecole Polytechnique's annual graduating class of about 300 have gone on to careers in research, often (at least in their early years as researchers) within Polytechnique itself. Plainly, a definitive assessment of these latest new departures is impossible. We just do not know what will happen to a favoured "secteur de pointe" that loses its status and privileged support; and it cannot be pretended that the old rivalries between the universities and the CNRS, or between the advocates of open-ended research and those with more immediate expectations of an economic return, have completely disappeared. But the benefits of thirty years of a coordinated national policy for research are unmissable and, at least to British eyes, enviable. Most striking of all is the fact that the pace of the development of research seems, if anything, to be quickening, as successive governments continue to foster areas of special priority and as, in the population at large, reticence towards the spirit of industry and enterprise, so characteristic of France before the 1950s, or even the 1980s, passes into the recesses of the national memory. 103

Robert Fox NOTES 1. I base this statement on the standard literature of which Robert Gilpin, France in the Age of the Scientific State Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968, is typical. For an alternative view that stresses the flexibility and underestimated degree of decentralization in the system, see R. Fox and G. Weisz, "The Institutional Basis of French Science in the Nineteenth Century," The Organization of Science and Technology in France, 1808-1914, edited by R. Fox and G. Weisz, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1980, pp. 1-28. 2. See, in particular, J. Ben-David, The Scieniist's Role u' Society, A Comparative Study, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall, 1971, pp. 88-107. For convenient listings of these schools, see the guides for potential candidates for admission, such as the annual Devenez ingenieur. Le guide des formations et des carneres, from which much of my statistical information is drawn. For some classic contemporary statements of the view that France had been defeated by "German science," see the views of Henri Sainte-Claire Deville, Armand Quatrefages de Breau, and others in Comptes rendus hebdomadaires de l'Acade~mie des Sciences, Vol. 72 (1871), pp. 237-9 and 261-9. 5. See, for example, T. Shinn, "The French Science Faculty System 1808-1914: Institutional Change and Research Potential", Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, Vol. 10, 1979, pp. 369~2; G. Weisz, The Emergence of Modem Universities in France, 1863-1914, Princeton, NJ., 1983; R. Fox, "Science, the University, and the State in Nineteenth century France," Professions and the French State, 17001900, edited by G. L. Geison, Philadelphia, 1984, pp. 66 145; H. W. Paul, From Knowledge to Power, The Rise of the Science Empire in France, 18601939, Cambridge, 1985; M. J. Nye, Science in the Provinces. Scientif c Communities and Provincial Leadership in France, 1860 1930, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1986. H. Le Chatelier et. al., "Rapport sur les laboratories nationaux de recherches scientifiques," Comptes rendus... de l'Academie des Sciences, Vol. 163 (1916), pp. 581~ (583~. 7. L. F. Haber, The Poisonous Cloud. Chemical Warfare in the First World War, Oxford, 1986, especially chapter 6. 8. Pierre Jacques, La vie laboneuse d'Edouard Branly, Paris, 1942. 9. For my own views on this pattern, see Robert Fox, "Contingency or Mentality? Technical Innovation in France in the Age of Science-based Industry," Technological Education - Technological Style, edited by Melvin Kranzberg, San Francisco, 1986, pp. 59-68. 10. G. Meyer-Thurow, "The Industrialization of Invention: A Case Study from the German Chemical Industry", Isis, Vol. 73 (1982), pp. 363~1. 11. The need for a strong existing economic base before a significant programme of fundamental research can be embarked upon is also bought out in Leonard S. Reich's study of research at General Electric: 17ze Making of American Industrial Research Science and Business at GE and Bell, 187~1926, Cambridge, 1985. 12. ~ Broder, "La multinationalisation de l'industrie electrique franpaise, 1880-1931: causes et pratiques d'une d~pendance", Annales ESC, 39e annee (1984), pp. 1020-43 (1020~. The passage cited on p.1020 illustrates very clearly my point about the nationalistic tone of the leaders of the CGE at its foundation. 104

France 13. Me sluggishness of the growth of "in-house" industrial research in France is brought out well in Terry Shinn's, "The Genesis of French Industrial Research 1880-1940," Social Science Infonnanon, Vol. 19 (1980), pp. 607 40. 14. ~ Guagnini, "Lee Formation of Italian Electrical Engineers: the Teaching Laboratories of the Politecnici of Turin and Milan, 1887-1914", in An siecle d'electncit' dans le monde, 188~1980, edited by Fabienne Cardot, Paris, 1987, pp. 283-99. 15. Frederic Blancpain, "In creation du CNRS: histoire d'une decision 1901-1939~" Bulleizn de l'Ir~siitut Interr~aiiorzal de ['Administration Publique, Vol. 32, 1974, pp. 93-143. 16. On the early history of the CEA and of Joliot-Curie's role in it, see B. Goldschmidt, Me Atonuc Adventure. Its Political and Technical Aspects, trans. by P. Beer, Oxford, 1964, pp. 59~5; L. Scheinman, Atonuc Energy Policy Al France under the Fourth Republic, Princeton, NJ., 1965, chapters 2 and 3; and P. Biquard, Frederic Joliot-Cune. The Marc arid His Theones, trans. by G. Strachan, London, 1965, chapter 5. 17. For an autobiographical account of a major figure who lived through this transformation, in his capacity as Commissaire du Plan between 1959 and 1966, see Pierre Masse's pleas et progres. Entre Candide et Cassandre, Paris, 1984, especially chapter 3. 18. For an impression of Pierre Piganiol's resolute but always realistic view of the need for planning in science and technology, see his reflective book Ma~tnser le progres, Paris, 1968. 19. Papers written for this Colloque National and the resulting proposals are reproduced in a special issue of Les cahiers de la Republique, 2e annee, no. 5 (January-February 1957~. 20. Actesducolloquenationalrechercheettechnologie, Paris, 1982. Ibenewlaw that resulted from this consultation is referred to in note 24, below. 21. On the historical persistence of this contrast, see H. W. Paul and T. Shinn, "The Structure and State of Science in France," Contemporary French Civilization, Vol. 6 (1981-2), pp. 153-93 (176-81~. 22. See Luc Rouban, L'Etat e' la science. La politique publique de la science et de la technologie, Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientific, 1988. 23. For a generally sympathetic review of science policy under the successive socialist administrations of the early and mid 1980s, see P. Papon, "Science and Technology Policy in France, 1981-1986," Minerva, Vol. 26 (1988), pp. 493- 511. Although it is an important part of my argument that the tide had been running strongly in favour of research since the accession of President De Gaulle in 1958, the signs of anxiety about the state of research in France in the later years of the Presidency of Valery Giscard d'Estaing are unmistakable. See, most notably, the review of French provision for all sectors of research presented to the President of the Republic in September 1980 by a committee under the chairmanship of Monsieur Jacques Friedel: Constnuire l'avenir. Lime blanc sur la recherche presente a Monsieur le President de la Republique, Paris, 1980. The "Prologue" to the report speaks of the profound "malaise" of the research community and itemizes complaints ranging from the excessive bureaucratization of research to what was seen as a weakening of governmental support through the 1970s. 24. The doubts concerning the appropriateness of the plans, from the time of the Fifth Plan (1966-70), are reflected in the contributions to a conference organized by the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Present in 1985 See H. Rousso (ed.), La planipcation en crises (1965-1985,, Paris, 1987; and cf. the more favourable view of the first four plans conveyed in H. Rousso (ed.), De Hornet a Masse, Paris, 1986. 105

Robert Fox 25. Idle text of this law was published, with associated documentation, in the Journal offciel de la Republique Franpaise, 114e annee, no. 163 (15-16 July 1982), pp. 2270~0. 26. ANVAR had been created in 1967 to facilitate the development of innovations emerging from both industrial and governmental laboratories. In the 1980s, it has had a particularly important role in support of the research efforts of smaller industrial companies. 27. The appointment of Hubert Curien reflects the relative ease with which the French system of administration admits figures with particular expertise from outside the political world. At the time of his appointment, Curien was President of the Centre d'Etudes Spatiales, one of the most important of the national agencies for research. 28. Journal ofFciel (cited in note 24, above), pp 2270 and 2274. The budget for this purpose in 1982 stood at 254()0m francs. 106

France BIBLIOGRAPHY Ben-David, J. 17ze Scienast's Role in Society: A Comparative Study. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice-Hall, 1971. Blancpain, F. "Le creation du CNRS: histoire d'une decision 1901-1939." Bulletin de l'Institut International de l 'Administraiion Publique, Vol. 32 (1974), pp. 93-143. Broder, ~ "La multinationalisation de l'industrie electrique franpaise, 1880-1931: causes et pratiques d'une dependence." Annales ESC, 39e annee (1984), pp. 1020~3. Construire l'avenir. Lime blanc sur la recherche presente ~ Monsieur le President de la Republique, Septembre 1980. Paris: La Documentation Franchise, 1980. Fox, R. "Science, the University, and the State in Nineteenth-century France." Professions and the French State, 1700 1900. Edited by G. L. Geison. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984. Fox, R. and G. Weisz, editors. The Organization of Science and Technology in France, 1808-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1980. Gilpin, R. France in the Age of the Scientific State. Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1968. Goldschmidt, B. The Atomic Adventure: Its Political and Technical Aspects. Trans. by Peter Beer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964. Leprieur, F. and P. Papon. "Synthetic Dyestuffs: The Relation between Academic Chemistry and the Chemical Industry in Nineteenth-century France." Minerva, Vol. 17 (1979), pp. 197-224. Masse, P. pleas et progres. Entre Ca~dide et Cassandre. Paris: Economica, 1984. Nye, M. J. Science in the Provinces: Scientific Communities and Provincial Leadership in France, 1860-1930. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1986. Papon, P. Le Pouvoir et la Science en France. Paris: Le Seuil, 1978. Papon, P. "Science and Technology Policy in France: 1981-1986." Minerva, Vol. 26 (1988), pp. 493-511. Paul, H. W. From Knowledge to Power: The Rise of the Science Empire in France, 1860-1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Paul, H. W. and T. Shinn. "Lee Structure and State of Science in France." Contemporary French Civilization, Vol. 6, (1981-2), pp. 153-93. Piganiol, P. and L. Villecourt. Pour une politique scientifque. Paris: Slammarion, 1963. Rouban, Luc. L'Etat et la science. La politique publique de la science et de la technologie. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientific (CNRS), 1988. Scheinman, L. Atomic Energy in France under the Fourth Republic. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966. Shinn, T. "~e French Science Faculty System 1808-1914: Institutional Change and Research Potential." Historical Sedges in the Physical Sciences, Vol. 10 (1979), pp. 369-82. Weisz, G. The Emergence of Modern Universities in France, 1863-1914. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983. 107

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