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8-34 can depend only on the quality and relevance of a demand for research which can be precisely and flexibly formulated only by those directly concerned. The orientation of scientific effort is for this reason becoming a matter more of mechanisms than of objectives."5 NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURES FOR RESEARCH Materials science and technology throws into sharp relief, more than many fields of science alone, the critical importance of the form of national administrative structures for research. Since materials science and engineer- ing (MSE) depends so heavily on close relationships between all parts of the spectrum, from basic research to industrial applications, it is a field of activity which cuts across what are traditionally departmental boundaries in the administrative structure. Thus, wherever such boundaries pose problems in technology transfer, there is hope that MSE will provide a robust vehicle for surmounting them. This section reviews some of the research administrative structures that have been developed in various countries, and draws implications for the administration of materials research in the U.S. General Outlines of Administrative Structures The typical approach for federal conduct of R&D in the U.S. is for mission-oriented departments and agencies, such as DOD, AEC, and NASA, to have the authority for deploying their resources for research between in- house and outside laboratories, granting R and/or D contracts to industries, nonprofit laboratories and universities, and supporting a mix of basic and applied research. In addition, NSF has traditionally concerned itself with the health of the nation's science by supporting high-quality academic research. This administrative system seems relatively unique to the U.S. For the most part' other countries appear to have administrative systems which lead to a more clear-cut delineation between organizations responsible for supporting basic research on the one hand and the mission-oriented organizations supporting applied work on the other. In Western Europe, the governments of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom shoulder the main responsibility for formulating and coordinating science policy but none of the three has brought all scientific and techno- logical activities into a single ministry, though the degree of centralization varies in the different countries. Similarly in Japan, and even Russia, where national technological planning has perhaps figured more conspicuously than in other countries, there is no one body responsible for the whole of technology. The Research System; OECD, p. 55, 1972e
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8-35 United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, responsibility is shared between the Department of Education and Science (DES - mainly basic research) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI - primarily applied and mission-oriented research) but with considerable freedom for maneuver left to the private sector. Reporting to the Cabinet is a Central Advisory Council for Science and Technology (whose current chairman is a well-known metallurgist), the function of which is to advise on the most effective national strategy for the use and development of the country's scientific and technical resources. The DES is responsible, among other things, for governmental policy regarding the universities and for promoting civil science throughout the U.K. The Departments' relations with the universities are conducted through the University Grants Committee (UGC); and its responsibilities for basic and applied civil science are discharged mainly through the five research councils: Science, Medical, Agricultural, Natural Environment, and Social Science. The Department is also responsible for some aspects of international scientific relations and for governmental policy regarding libraries and information systems. To advise the head of the Department (Secretary of State for E and S) in the exercise of his responsibilities for formulating and executing scientific policy, there is a Council for Scientific Policy (CSP). Among the issues with which the CSP is concerned is the balance of scientific effort in those areas within the purview of the DES. The DTI has as its main objective the assistance of British industry and commerce to improve their economic and technological strength and competi- tiveness by establishing a general framework of requirements, incentives, and restraints within which firms can operate to their own individual advantage. The DTI, among other things, is responsible for the Atomic Energy Authority, the National Research and Development Corporation, and six industrial research establishments including the National Engineering Laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory, and the Warren Spring Laboratory (primarily chemical engineering). Besides R&D for industry, these establishments are engaged in the application of techniques and discoveries to design, production, quality control, and distribution. The DTI also sponsors research in autonomous industrial research associations as well as in industry and universities. A third agency is the Department of the Environment (DE). The DE has responsibility for the range of functions affecting the physical environ- ment in which people live and work. These include: Housing and Construction, Transport, and Environmental Pollution, each of which engages in some research. Germany In Europe, decentralization is most marked in Germany (where, for example, the Lander retain considerable autonomy in education) - the system appears to have achieved a high degree of social, political and economic pluralism, here the initiatives and contributions of the different institu- tions of the public and private sectors cross-fertilize each other, but each of the partners retains a large measure of autonomy. Support of basic
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8-36 research is mainly in the hands of private organizations -- the Deutscheforschungsgemainschaft (DFG) and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), with the federal government primarily involved with applied and mission- oriented research administered through the "Ministry fur Bildung und Wissenschaft." There is good cooperation between the ministry and other agencies, especially DFG, to bring about contacts and joint efforts between industry and universities. This reflects recognition of the serious communi- cations gap that has persisted between the academic and the industrial establishments in Germany where the tradition of the autocratic, independent, securely tenured, professorships still has a firm hold. Materials research has played a particularly important role in bringing about more collaboration both within universities and between universities and industry. Furthermore, the materials disciplines, including solid-state physics, are receiving much more attention in all respects than they did five to ten years ago when nuclear physics dominated science policy. France In France, the interministerial structure of the Delegation Generale a la Recherche Scientifique et Technique indicates an effort to centralize and coordinate decisions, while executive responsibility is assigned in particular to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for Industrial and Scientific Development. The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) is the mainspring of the French system of financing and performing basic research. It combines the roles performed by the DFG and MPG in Germany. Each of the above countries seems to have recognized the impracticality of detailed planning of fundamental research while feeling the need to ensure the balanced use of available resources. It has proved difficult to reconcile the accomplishment of sector missions with the undifferentiated financing of basic research. But research policies are becoming more inseparable from national planning policies; they are explicitly included, for example, in the "national five-year plans" that have been practiced for several decades in France and, of course, the U.S.S.R. U.S.S.R. In Russia, the prestigious Academy of Sciences has long exercised a central responsibility for the nation's research programs carried out in its own institutes and in the universities, while applied research and develop- ment of a mission-oriented nature is the responsibility of the various industrial ministries. Effort to achieve overall coordination has centered mainly in the Academy of Sciences, but "departmental barriers" between different research sectors are considerable, and have been overcome in the case of major Scientific projects only by means of special arrangements. En the case of the atomic bomb project' this was achieved by the setting-up of special government agencies, supported by the defense departments, which cut across existing barriers, involving both the Academy of Sciences and industry plus a massive authority to exercise priorities for resources. LIore recently the trend has been for applied R&D to be consolidated under the appropriate technical ministries.
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8-37 Before about 1930, the Academy had been firmly oriented towards theoretical research or "pure science." During the early 1930's, however, an effort to associate the Academy, and "pure science" generally, closely with the industrialization drive, a number of leading engineers and tech- nologists were elected as Academicians; technological research institutes were established under the Academy; and in 1935, a separate Division of Technical Sciences was formed. Between 1959 and 1963, the role of the Academy in the technological sciences was strongly called into question. It was argued that the large technological research establishments within the Academy system did not have sufficiently-close connections with industry; moreover, because the efforts of the Academy were overextended, it did not devote enough attention to leadership in the natural and social sciences. Subsequently, a substantial number of institutes concerned with applied R&D were transferred from the Academies to the incus tries concerned . C zechos lovakia The Eastern European countries which came under U.S.S.R. influence after World War II offer unique opportunities to observe what happens when a country's scientific establishment is reorganized completely along Soviet lines. The case of Czechoslovakia is particularly interesting since this country was technologically the most advanced of the countries in question when Russia took over in 1948. Paralleling national policy in the U.S.S.R. the Communist government in Czechoslovakia gave science top priority. At first, a research bureau was set up to direct all basic and applied research, but in 1952 the Soviet model of an Academy of Sciences was adopted for coordinating all basic research. That this was done reflected the high prestige and power of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Thus, like the Academy in the Soviet Union, the Czechoslovakian Academy became relatively disconnected from industry. Within a few years, the following became the principal features of science organization in Czechoslovakia: (a) The Academy was responsible to the government for all basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities, both within its own institutes and the small amount carried on in the universities; (b) The universities were restricted very much to teaching, receiving only very limited support for research; (c) A relatively large number of applied research institutes under various Ministries were created with responsibilities for applied research and development for industry. The "Basic Research Plan" of the country is divided into many "Problems" such as nuclear physics, elementary particles, solid-state physics, plasma physics, analysis, topology. Every Problem is divided into "Sub-problems," such as solid-state physics into semiconductor physics, physics of metals, physics of ionic crystals, structure of solids, ferroelectrics, etc. Each Sub-problem contains actual topics of research such as, for semiconductors, "theoretical determination of band structure," "experimental determination of In
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8-38 band structure," "amorphous semiconductors," and so on. These topics usually denote the actual work done by various groups headed by Candidates of Science. The division of research into Problems and Sub-problems was fixed in the late fifties and provided a formal, almost permanent structure for the administra- tion of planning. Each year, every research group in every institute of the Academy suggests the plan of work for the following year; this is discussed in the Council of the Director of the Institute and then sent to the "Coordinators for Sub-problems" in the Planning Department of the Academy. After consulta- tions with all concerned, the Coordinator lists the topics for each Sub- problem, the responsible investigator, the date of termination of various phases of the research, and the estimated amount of money required. The plan assembled in this way has to be approved first by the various bodies in the Academy. The members of the Academy are divided into Collegia, such as Collegium of Physics, Collegium of Nuclear Energy, Collegium of Mathematics, etc. For reviewing the research plan the Collegia are augmented by others, such as directors of large institutes, a few professors of the University and a few outstanding scientists from the institutes of the Academy. One or more members study the proposed problems submitted to the Collegium for approval and report their findings to the Collegium. Approval, perhaps with a few suggested changes, is given in principle by voting; usually the decisions are unanimous. The Planning Department then assembles all the approved Problems and presents them at the beginning of the year to the government for the formality of final approval. The Coordinator follows the progress of the research effort during the year. If some work does not proceed as planned, modifications to the plan are discussed between the Coordinator and the investigator. At the end of the year a brief performance report is submitted for approval by the appropriate Collegium. In turn, the Planning Department submits a final report on the fulfillment of the plan to the General Assembly of the Academy which, after discussion, approves it by voting, and transmits it to the Government for the formal final approval. If taken literally, the Central Planning procedures are exceedingly tedious and frustrating and call for commitments of research programs towards well-defined, practical objectives. However, as is not unknown in the West, ways are found for wording proposals that are politically expedient and yet leave the scientists relatively free to pursue their work in the way they judge best. Funding is not tied directly to each annual proposal in the Plan but is more in the form of a block grant to the institute. Equipment purchasing is time-consuming -- large items, such as an electron microscope, have to be planned for at least two years ahead, while even small equipment Csuch as voltmeters) requires a year Is advance notice. Restrictions on equipment imported from the West may cause severe delays. Attempts at coordinating the work of Academies in various Eastern Bloc countries have been of only limited success -- limited mainly to exchanges of scientists, the organization of conferences and summer schools, and exchange of information about research programs. Joint programs have not developed, in spite of goodwill among the scientists, mainly because of bureaucratic difficulties. I:
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8-39 As far as advantages and disadvantages are concerned: (a) The system provides a fair degree of protection for the scientists since their research programs are officially approved by the government. As a result, research in natural sciences enjoys relatively free development. (b) The planning procedures do not actually make heavy demands on the time of the scientists and yet they are assured of relatively long-term support (As a result, in Czechoslovakia remarkable progress was made in chemistry, physics, and biology (compared to the situation before the War). (c) The detailed planning results in some program inflexibility. It is difficult to terminate existing programs in order to provide resources to start new ones. Thus research programs tend to be perpetuated well beyond the point of obsolescence. (d) It is difficult to impose research programs from above principally because such programs seldom appeal to the scientists who prefer to continue working on what they choose even if the financial support is somewhat less. Be) In spite of all the central planning, science as a whole is poorly coordinated, principally because research plans from different institutes can be differently worded even if the work is much the same. (The best form of coordination arises through personal contacts and direct information exchange at conferences.) (f) The planning largely fails in the task for which it is primarily created -- to provide a link between basic research and industrial research (see below). (g) The planning system is inefficient for promoting interdisciplinary research involving different institutes. Instead, if a physics institute needs the cooperation of chemists, it generally Was to have them on its own staff rather than try to arrange collaboration with a chemistry institute. In the fifties, many scientists in Czechoslovakia were sympathetic to the notion that most research should have a practical pay-off, but the way in which industry was organized and operated tended to frustrate effective cooperation between the Academy scientists and the industrial engineers. There seemed to be strong indications of the "Not Invented Here" syndrome in industry which had set up its own development or technological institutes. But also, industrial planning was much more specific and tied to clear-cut objectives. If these objectives were met, there were bonuses. On the other hand, the bonus could still be obtained despite failure to meet the objective if the failure could be attributed to bad advice or information from the Academy scientists. Another negative feature of the bonus system in industry was that individual workers were encouraged in this way to make suggestions that would lead primarily to cost savings in production. The result was often a decrease in the quality of the product. Such a system worked against intro- ducing potentially more costly, even if better, ideas stemming from research. The fact that the customers had virtually no product choice also gave little incentive for product quality. Thus, in ways such as these the Academies became the whipping-boys for industry. And in every dispute with industry the politicians tended to side with industry. As an example, when engineers in the electronics industry became inter- ested in solid-state devices they initially obtained information from Academy
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8-40 scientists. This information was then declared "useless," the industrial institute claimed it had to make many "technology improvements," and thereby earned its bonus. Nevertheless, Academy scientists did see some of their work being applied in industry and this led, in turn, to useful informal contacts at the working level. However, for obvious reasons these were generally frowned upon by upper management, especially in industry, and the scientists had to spend much effort to defend themselves against various accusations. They noticed, however, after a time, that such difficulties did not arise when their work had no practical applications. Thus, the Academy work tended to become more fundamental and more detached from in- dustrial application. Some institutes acquired a high reputation for their research and when this was noted by influential Academicians in the U.S.S.R. it came as a surprise to the government which had heard nothing but com- plaints about the Academy from industry. So, in due course, a modus vivendi or co-existence with relatively little interaction developed between the Academy, the research institutes, and industry. Japan Japan uses separate organizations for supporting basic and applied research -- principally the Ministry of Education for the former and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry CMITI) and other technical ministries for the latter. The Prime Minister is advised in scientific matters by two committees: the Council for Science and Technology, an arm of the central Science and Technology Agency which links the various Ministries and Agencies and is comprised of various key ministers and external "men of learning;" and the Science Council of Japan which is a representative organization of Japanese scientists. The role of MITI in implementing national science and technology policy is worth reviewing. MITI generates an overall plan for the direction in which technology is to develop in Japan, determines the subsidy or funding which is to be provided, and determines which organizations are to undertake the initial development and then the subsequent steps. MITI administers 16 laboratories with a staff of 2600 researchers. The following are some examples of recent actions taken by MITI: (a) In 1968 MITI held talks with representatives of various Japanese electric and electronic manufacturers to consider the future course of integrated circuit (IC) production, as well as current problems. The Ministry was par- ticularly concerned over the fact that more than ten firms were producing IC's on a small scale, whereas mass production was considered to have many benefits. As a result of these talks, an Integrated Circuit Council was established by nine of the manufacturers with a view to advancing the IC industry through closer cooperation among manufacturers an well as backup from the government. The next step was the standardization of IC's into a modest number of types with the aim of mass producing this smaller quantity at lower cost. Subsequently, some of the restrictions on the kinds of IC's that could be undertaken were eased as the industry gained strength. (b) MITI undertook the same general pattern in the computer industry where, under its guidance, six computer manufacturers agreed to concentrate
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8-41 production on certain standard types of computers and output devices on a division-of-labor basis. It was agreed which of these manufacturers would produce which units. (c) MITI undertook to regulate the equipment investment by 57 companies in the electronics industry during fiscal 1969. The program called specifically for increased investment in the manufacture of electronic computers, for the volume production of integrated circuits, for increased production of color TV sets and related parts, and for increased output of electronic desk-top calculators and tape recorders. (d) Another project undertaken by MITI was the development of electric automobiles. As might be expected, the initial effort was to concentrate on high-power batteries which could be used to run such a car. The electric automobile program now is being carried out under six phases. The first is the development of five types of experimental vehicles by five separate companies; second, the development of a reinforced plastic body; the third, development of batteries by three firms; fourth, the development of motor controls by three firms; fifth and sixth are research on battery-charging systems and research on utility systems. (e) MITI has formed plans to integrate some 20 oil development enterprises in the country into groups of three or four firms in order to promote effective operations for overseas oil resources. It appears that they have been dissatisfied with the previous effort of one company which did not have the resources itself to carry on a program of this magnitude. (f) MITI is now establishing a basic policy for setting up a special enter- prise for the development of Japan's next civil air transport plane. It is said that this will be undertaken jointly with some foreign aircraft firm, possibly Boeing. (g) MITI has formed a plan to control the steelmaking capacity of the country by reducing the number of blast furnaces in operation, as larger and more modern blast furnaces are put into service. The pattern for the control of the capacity is based on a long-range projection of the nation's steel supplies and demands. It is recognized that there could be ill-effects not only domestically because of overproduction, but also in international relations because of the drive to export as a consequence of such excess capacity. (h) MITI recently placed extra emphasis on modernization of the polyvinyl- chloride industry. This move was undertaken because that industry was suffering seriously from falling profits in the Japanese petrochemical in- dustrial sector. The modernization would include establishment of a joint export company and the formation of a joint government-industry organization to regulate the expansion of facilities. (i) MITI has worked out a "stockpile system" to help assure a stable supply of important basic materials like oil and nonferrous metals. The aims are to avoid emergency supply shortages caused by disasters or accidents and the encountering of sharp increases in market prices, as well as to strengthen Japan's bargaining powers in negotiating purchases from overseas sources.
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8-42 Other Countries It is interesting that in some smaller, but technically advanced, countries, such as Belgium and Sweden, responsibility for science rests with the Prime Minister and is not delegated. Centralized or Decentralized Administration? This question has been discussed by Brooks6 in a broader framework but it is particularly pertinent to the administration of MSE. The aims of science policy in the future will be more diversified, but also more coherent, and will be designed to produce innovations comprising important nontechnological components. Research policy during the next few years will, therefore, include an increasing variety of circumscribed and even highly-specific programs. It may be thought that such a situation requires flexible agencies endowed with wide autonomy, capable of reacting quickly to events without deviating from the missions assigned to them. A careful selection and integration of a wide range of changing and sometimes conflicting options, however, seems to call for some central decision-making mechanism. It is not surprising that the proper balance between the pluralistic and the centralized systems is a matter of continuing debate. In practice, there is no national system of science policy that follows either model in its simplest form. Any viable system of science policy must involve some blend of the two idealized approaches. Each tends, with time, to develop its own rigidities and limitations, and some shift in the mix from time to time may actually be beneficial. Many national systems that recently approximated the centralized model are now moving towards a more pluralistic or sectoral approach. There appears to be a convergence of all systems of national science policy towards arrange- ments that embody elements of both idealized models. The mixed scheme fairly closely resembles that of most large science- based firms. Such companies often have research arms attached to each of their operations or product divisions, in addition to a corporate laboratory responsible for long-range research aimed at developing new products and operations, and providing a general technical background for all the firms activities and decisions. To summarize more specifically, experience in various countries indicates that a certain proportion of the total R&D funds should be allocated centrally by a scientific agency concerned mainly with longer-term research, while another part of the R&D funds should be allocated by those responsible for individual sectors. There should be sufficient overlap between the research supported in the two different ways so that there is a continuous two-way flow of information and personnel between the scientific and operating areas. H. Brooks' Science, Growth and Society, OECD, Paris' 1971.
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8-43 There is an additional problem of coordination, where goal planning in- volves the intersection of various sectors, both technical and nontechnical. Science is then only one resource included in the planning and, under such circumstances, the planning function may have to develop in a single type of staff agency -- an agency with projection, forecasting and analysis functions rather than just a coordinating agency for science and technology. Some of the principal features of the pluralistic and centralized model, are summarized in Table 8.6. Discussion of Administrative Structures in the U.S.S.R. and the U.K. Further insight may be gained concerning the effects of various adminis- trative structures by examining such structures in the U.S.S.R., generally regarded as a centralized model, and the U.K., generally regarded as closer to the pluralistic model. These remarks are based on information given in "National Science Policies in Europe," UNESCO, Paris, 1910; "Science Policy . in the USSR,': OECD, Paris, 1969; and 'tA Framework for Government Research and Development," Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911 (the "Rothschild- Dainton Debated. U.S.S.R. The main organizations administering science policy in the U.S.S.R. are the Academy of Sciences for basic research and the various ministries for applied research. All are subordinate to the Council of Ministers (Cabinet). Many of the ministries possess their own substantial R&D networks, controlled from the center. Likewise, the Academy of Sciences exercises central control over research in natural and social sciences in many Soviet institutions. Thus, in principle, the degree of central control of all science is very high Prior to 1965, the Academy was also responsible for numerous applied research institutes, but in 1965 these were transferred to appropriate technical ministries. At the same time the Academy's responsibilities for the natural and social sciences were increased. The Soviet Academy is now responsible for managing the research of its own establishments and for planning and supervising all research in the natural and social sciences, whether carried out at its own establishments, in the Union-Republican Academies of Sciences, or in Higher Educational Establishments. How far the planning and coordinat- ing powders of the Academy are effective is not clear. Within the Academy itself, complaints abound that research plans are simply bureaucratic com- pilations of independent projects, and that science councils are often mere talking-groups which lack the powers to enforce their decisions. It is also difficult to assess how far the Soviet Academy influences the activities of Republican Academies and of Higher Educational Establishments. The available evidence reflects a rather complicated process in which attempts at central planning of fundamental research, often somewhat bureaucratic, have been coupled with a situation in which much of the direction of research is determined by individual scientists rather than by
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8-44 Table 8.6 Comparison of Pluralistic and Centralized Model of Research Programming PLURALISTIC MODEL CENTRALIZED MODEL STRUCTURE Resources assigned to each policy sector as a whole -- e.g. defense, health, trans- port, etc. All resources for R&D given to a single agency for allocation among sectors. ADVANTAGES 1) R&D is well coupled to the operational needs of vari- ous social goals and is more responsive to these needs. 2) New technological opportun- ities and scientific knowledge likely to be brought quickly to attention of relevant sector. 1) Facilitates more effec- tive use of limited techni- cal resources -- manpower, facilities and money. 2) Encourages development of overall coherent policy for technical activity that avoids disruption of scientific establishment caused by sudden policy shifts. 3) Can have high flexibility and adaptability. DISADVANTAGES 1) Places long-term and short- term needs of the sector in direct competition with each other. 2) Definition of scientific and technological goals in the sector tend to become static. 3) Sector becomes less alert ton new technical stimuli from elsewhere. 1) Likely to be less respon- sive to the operational needs of the various sectors. 2) Results of research can more easily be ignored or overlooked in sectoral planning. 3) May result in some rigidity or excessive con- servatism in the operational aims of the various sectors. USES When sectoral goals are fairly constant and the total resources available to the sector are growing. Situation of limited resources and uncertain or rapidly-shifting social goals.
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8-45 the central authorities. In the post-war period, the problem of coordinating all R&D activities was acute. While each industrial ministry possessed substantial powers over its own R&D network, the authorities responsible for coordinating the work of the separate research networks (the U.S.S.R. Academy in the case of fundamental research, the U.S.S.R. Gosplan in the case of new technologies) lacked sufficient power to influence the activities of the major ministries. The first real attempt to achieve such overall coordination was made in 1961, with the creation of the State Committee for the Coordination of Scientific Research (since 1965, the State Committee for Science and Technology). The new Committee received powers to create new scientific establish- ments, to approve the list of lead institutes, to decide priorities, to discontinue research, and to allocate research projects to particular institutes. It soon became evident, however, that these powers were insufficient to achieve effective coordination. The Academy of Sciences, which remained independent of the new Committee, became in effect a "ministry" for the natural and social sciences. The various central authorities which administered research organizations between 1957 and 1965 often proved strong enough to resist the attempts of the new State Committee for Coordination of Scientific Research to control their research. More generally, its work was undoubtedly hindered by some hostility to the unified planned management of the development of science. After 1965 the conception of overall administrative coordination of science was no longer maintained. Attention shifted to increasing the efficiency of scientific organizations, ways to accelerate the use of scientific and technical discoveries in the national economy, and to long- range (10 to 15 years) scientific and technological forecasting upon which to base the selection of directions for technical progress and developing the national economy. The new instruments and agencies for planning and coordinating R&D still tend to reflect the administrative gap between the different phases of the research-to-production cycle. At the center, the State Committee for Science and Technology is apparently responsible fo,- only R&D per se, up to and including the prototype stage; production, including the first industrial batch of a new product, is handled by Gosplan. At the same time, the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences continues to bear the main responsibility for research in the natural and social sciences, and its plan for these sciences does not form part of the annual Plan for Scientific Research and New Technology. It seems that the centralized planning system in its present form imposes definite limits on the efficiency of Soviet R&D and that the problem of generally increasing R&D efficiency depends on the successful modification of the planning system as a whole. Key questions here are the proposed decentralization of decision-making; the introduction of noncompulsory, financial and economic instruments of plan implementation; and the use of consumer's preferences and market equilibrium as major functions in setting planned targets. 1
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8-46 U.K. - The Rothschild-Dainton Debate The present framework for government R&D has been reviewed recently by two committees. The first, chaired by Lord Rothschild, Head of the Government's Central Policy Review Staff, was concerned with the overall organization and management of government R&D, and mainly applied R&D. The second, undertaken by the Council for Science Policy within the Department for Education and Science, concerns the future of the research council system. The Rothschild (R) Report "is based on the principle that applied R&D... must be done on a customer-contractor basis. The customer says what he wants; the contractor does it (if he can); and the customer pays." Pointing specifically at the Research Councils, R notes that the latter, particularly the Medical, Agricultural and Natural Environment Research Councils, claim that much of their work is "applied." "But this work had and has no customer to commission and approve it. This is wrong. However, distinguished, intelligent and practical scientists may be, they cannot be so well qualified to decide what the needs of the nation are, and their priorities, as those responsible for ensuring that those needs are met. This is why applied R&D must have a customer." R also declares that "it is sometimes said, for example, that development should be done by different people, in a different place, and with a different administrative system from research. The reverse is the case, whenever possible." Regarding the technological importance of chance observations in basic research, "the country's needs are not so trivial as to be left to the mercies of a form of scientific roulette." As for the often argued fuzziness in the distinction between pure and applied research, R does not accept this. R notes that virtually all applied R&D laboratories sooner or later indulge in some research not directly related to customer-commissioned programs and amounting, on the average, to an expenditure of about 10% of these programs. This expenditure should be regarded as a surcharge on the applied work and covers research done for the following reasons: (a) To engage in basic research in a field relevant to the applied tasks of the laboratory, but which is not being done elsewhere. (b) To test out new, way-out, or unprogrammed ideas of the scientists and engineers. (c) To maintain expertise, e.g. to recruit and keep a spectroscopist who will not join the laboratory unless he can spend part of his time on his own research. (d) To facilitate the transition of researchers from academic life to that in an applied R&D organization. [N.B. This seems like an incomplete view of the role of research within organizations whose primary responsibility is applied work. Other values of basic research that might be listed are: (e) To establish or enhance the reputation of the laboratory within the general scientific community. (f) To facilitate Communication between the laboratory and the general scientific community by having people with relevant interests and common language, a communication link that is important for obtaining advance notice of important developments elsewhere.
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8-41 (g) To help set the tone and generate confidence within the laboratory by having scientists who, by digging deeply, show that science does work.] R states that it is important to accept the concept of multifunctional laboratories and institutes which can serve several customers from different departments. To implement the establishment of the customer-contractor principle, R recommends that B27.1 million out of E109.5 million now devoted to the Research Councils by the DES should be transferred to the various other governmental ministries and departments concerned, that all other work per- formed by the Councils on behalf of other departments should be paid for by the latter. As is to be expected, the views expressed in the Dainton (D) Report are somewhat different. Stirred by the above writing on the wall, D rises to the defense of science, emphasizing particularly the importance of obtaining knowledge and the benefits to mankind that result from such endeavors. In contrast to R. D argues that "the adjectives, 'pure' and 'applied' imply a division where none should exist and their use can be harmful. In the course of his work the engineer or technologist makes use of experiment and theory in just the same way as the 'pure' scientist, and at least as great demands are likely to be put upon his intelligence, judgment and imagination." Again: "The historical boundaries of scientific disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred. Multi- and interdisciplinary studies grow apace and as a result old boundaries dissolve and the links between seemingly disparate parts grow stronger. This internal cohesion of science is one of its most characteristic features and will surely increase rather than diminish." Rather than categorize science into "pure" and "applied," D finds it useful to identify the following three categories: '3(a) Tactical science -- the science and its application and development needed by department of state and by industry to further their immediate executive or commercial functions. The extent and nature of this activity may vary widely according to the functions served and to the degree that they involve science. At one extreme it may contain a sig- nificant element of sophisticated research over a long period, while at the other extreme it amounts to little more than a modest intelligence and advisory activity. (b) Strategic science -- the broad spread of more general scientific effort which is needed as a foundation for this tactical science. It is no less relevant in terms of practical objective...but more wide ranging. For this 'strategic' work to be successful, it is necessary to maintain the vigor of the underlying scientific disciplines and to deploy these disciplines with due regard to national goals. (c) Basic science -- research and training which have no specific application in view but which are necessary to insure the advance of scientific knowledge and the maintenance of a corps of able scientists, upon which depends the future ability of the country to use science." D emphasizes that the distinctions between these categories are fuzzy and that the "users" of scientific knowledge and of scientific personnel also need to have close connections with basic and strategic science as well as with tactical science.
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8-48 The purpose of the Research Councils is broadly to foster research and training. To do so they operate flexibly, in many ways including the follow- ing: (a) Provide grants to support research in universities. (b) Provide awards to support students proceeding to higher degrees. (c) Establish research units, usually at universities, staffed by employees of the Research Councils. (d) Provide special experimental facilities for universities. (e) Provide grants to independent research agencies. (f) Carry out their own research programs in their own research institutions. (g) Participate in international scientific projects providing facilities for researchers from the U.K. A large element in the policy of the Research Councils has been and will continue to be to support projects on scientific merit in terms of timeliness and promise. The Councils also choose for particular support areas they judge to be of national importance. Additionally, they often find it necessary to encourage the concentration of activity and resources. The Research Councils interact with a wide range of ministries and departments. For example, the Science Research Council (which is the one most relevant for MSE) has major links with: British Broadcasting Corporation Central Electricity Generating Board Department of the Environment Department of Trade and Industry Independent Television Authority Ministry of Aviation Supply Ministry of Defense Post Office United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, in addition to many links with industrial firms and organizations. In considering the Research Councils, D believes the most important general points to keep in mind are: the pervasiveness of the consequences of science, the diversity of its users, the complexity of the connections between basic research and related economic benefits, the close relationships between different scientific disciplines, and the unifying importance of training in the methods of research. But in addition D recognizes that: (a) There is now some public disillusion with science and some of its technological consequences so that one cannot assume there will be general assent to the proposition that more science will make the nation wiser and richer. (b) Because of the pressure of other demands on resources, we are now probably past the point of maximum growth rate of resources for science. (Note that, to some extent, the increasing cost of experimentation to produce the same 'amount' of good science can be partially offset by international collaboration and by selectivity in the support of science). (c) Particularly because of these increasing social and financial pressures, it is imperative that those responsible for determining scientific priorities should be fully informed of, and should pay due regard to, governmental policy and national needs."
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8-49 (d) There is growing realization that we can no longer expect to improve existing technologies or introduce new developments by simple application of knowledge based on the physical and biological sciences. Increasingly, we need to know more about ways in which such new knowledge can be used in harmony with the economic and human needs of the situation. And this calls for a much closer integration between the natural sciences and the social sciences, not only in research but also in the broader training of able people so that we may deploy our knowledge in ways which will give optimal benefit to the community. D is clearly struck by the growing interaction and erosion of boundaries between the scientific disciplines, "by the great extent of multi- and inter- disciplinary work and by the rapidly increasing tendency for the interactions between the disciplines to grow stronger. The interactions are facilitated by having productive and imaginative scientists in day-to-day contact with colleagues working on related scientific projects with whom they can collaborate directly in new research. An interaction of this sort is quite unpredictable both in its nature and in the nature and extent of its con- sequences which may be the emergence of an entirely new area of scientific activity or the application of a particular scientific technique to an entirely different field of science. To maintain therefore strong and flexible linkages between scientists working in these fields it is important that they should be within the same organization, administered by people who recognize the benefit of these interactions, and should not be dispersed to executive (i.e., functional) departments. For the same reason it is necessary to have a coherent policy for the whole of this scientific activity, especially during a period when costs are likely to grow more rapidly than resources." The above argument is used to defend the organization of the Research Councils and their strong links with many departments; fragmentation of the Councils among these departments is held not to be the answer. By way of an example, "the applied psychology work which is undertaken by the Medical Research Council is of very considerable value to the Post Office, the Ministry of Defense, to the Department of Trade and Industry, and to industry generally. To allocate an activity of this kind to a particular government department would create difficulties for the other interested departments and would involve fragmentation of existing teams of scientists making their work much less effective than it otherwise would be." Moreover, an additional complex of linkages and coordinating committees would be needed. Under the present arrangement, the Research Councils act as a relatively simple focal point for all these interactions. D finds it illogical, on the one hand, to assert the unity of science and the fluidity of its internal boundaries, and on the other hand, to approve a system of completely independent Research Councils, each of which can only operate within relatively rigid boundaries set by its individual charter. D is then led to propose only a slight modification of the current arrangement, namely, that a Board should be appointed to coordinate and administer the activities of the five Research Councils and that this Board would replace the (advisory) Council for Science Policy. The Board would consist of a Chairman, the scientific heads of the Research Councils, members from the most relevant governmental organizations, and various others from outside the government. -
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8-50 To sum up, Dainton is arguing in favor of retaining the management of the nationts science primarily in the hands of scientists, but he considers that they should pay more attention than they have done in the past to societal needs and pressures. He proposes some organizational changes aimed at making the management of the Research Councils by the scientists more efficient and responsive. Rothschild, on the other hand, would give the customer more control over what the scientists do, especially in applied R&D, but would allow a surcharge in the applied R&D contracts to cover longer- range pure research. Moreover, he would transfer at least parts of the Research Councils to the primary customer departments. Publication of the Rothschild and Dainton Reports aroused strong reaction in the scientific community, much of it reflecting nervousness among basic research scientists over the application of Rothschild's customer-contractor principle. Nevertheless, fairly widespread acceptance of this principle eventually emerged: the Institute of Physics (London), for example, stated, "In relation to national needs where departments of state have statutory duties, the discharge of which involves the need for scientific research, we agree that the Rothschild customer-contractor principle is appropriate." Another point that received much emphasis was that, if the governmental departments were going to take on more of a role in contracting out research to the Research Councils and elsewhere, they needed to have the intellectual resources to administer such activities; the customer-contractor principle would work only if governmental departments were properly equipped to ask intelligent questions of their potential contractors. Brooks (Nature, Feb. ll, 1972) has given a U.S. view of the debate. He is struck by the mildness of the Rothschild proposals when compared with American reality which has operated largely on the customer-contractor principle since World War II and, until recently, fairly comfortably. Nevertheless, Brooks is concerned by Rothschild~s "apparent obliviousness to some of the evident weaknesses and dangers of the American system: the in- stability in funding, the effective lack of concern with the integrity and viability of scientific institutions -- especially the universities -- the wasteful competition for control over glamorous or spectacular technical programs, the confusion of technological virtuosity with scientific achieve- ment, the increasing obsession with narrowly conceived asocial relevance,' sometimes to the detriment of scientific quality, the exacerbation of competi- tiveness, 'grantsmanship,' and political maneuvering in the scientific community." Much depends on how the customer-contractor principle is applied in practice. It works best when the relationship between client and supplier Is a negotiated one between competent scientists rather than dictated by the client. Its success depends on persons and attitudes as much as on institute tional forms. Brooks notes that the Rothschild concept "of multi-purpose applied laboratories within government has been poorly developed in the U.S. The so-called "national laboratories" are largely the captive of single agencies and offer their services to broader national missions at considerable political risk...It will be very valuable if Britain can successfully develop and implement this concept of the broad-spectrum multi-purpose laboratory, with which many ministries and the private sector may contract for technical work."
Representative terms from entire chapter: