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STATEMENT OF JOHN T. COX, JR., REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN
INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERS, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. Cox. I am Mr. John T. Cox, Jr. I represent the engineers' joint council on this committee. I am a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The committee is composed of five major engineering Societies of the Nation. My address is Washington, D. C.
Mr. PRIEST. You may proceed with your statement, Mr. Cox.
Mr. Cox. I would like to say first that I was a member of the President's Scientific Research Board. However, at this time my views do not represent either the President's Scientific Research Board or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, but the views of the engineering joint council.
As recommended by the Hoover Commission and also, for the sake of brevity, the Steelman report, the chief purposes of the National Science Foundation are (1) to examine continuously the total scientific effort of the Nation and (2) to recommend a national science policy based on these surveys and (3) to assess the proper role of the Federal Government in this effort and to coordinate Government research programs and (4) to support basic research and education in the sciences.
Representing a group of engineers in the United States is a fairly large job. Dr. Bronk pointed out that there are two kinds of research that we are looking at today: one is basic and one is applied. Engineers, for the greater part, are people who prosecute applied research. We are people who make dividends. We do not look askance on our brothers who plow the fields of basic research, because from those fields come the tools with which we implement the great disoveries which in turn implement the commerce and industry of this country.
We feel that any measures taken to advance the state of basic research in this country are fundamental to our cause. This is the so-called fertilizer for men's brains, the provision of moneys for the continuance of the exploratory section of our science effort.
We feel that it is fundamental, also, that methods be provided and means be provided for the education not only of young men who will go into the basic sciences but who will go into the applied sciences, and in particular who will go into our engineering profession.
During the past great conflict, I do not have to remind this committee that we were scratching the bottom of the scientific barrel for trained men. We estimated in the workings of the Steelman Committee that by 1955 we possibly might have enough men to carry out our sustained engineering and scientific effort.
We feel that the dissemination of moneys on a regional basis is a good thing. We think that our engineers and scientists possibly should come from all over the Nation, because, when regionalized, the regions themselves can benefit.
Finally, I would like to point out to the committee that, due to some peculiarity in the commerce, moneys are rather hard to obtain, and I speak practically because I am an engineer, for basic research from industry. That may be a startling indictment, but nevertheless it is trile.
Basic research can become a matter of a great national resource, and we think that this bill will provide that.
That is all that I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Wilson. What is your announced reason for the difficulty in obtaining from industry any funds for basic research? Why is that
Mr. Cox. I will have the temerity to say that they possibly do not understand what basic research is, and they cannot see any immediate economic gain from it.
Mr. WILSON. They consider it not a sound investment?
Mr. Wilson. You heard the previous witness testify about the British Empire considering it a sound investment.
Mr. Cox. On applied research, that is true. I was talking about basic research.
Mr. Wilson. I am referring to basic research with you.
Mr. BIEMILLER. Pursuing the same line of thought, if I recall correctly, when some of us attended the Westinghouse science dinner for the students that were brought in here. Westinghouse insisted that it was doing a good deal of basic research. Is that an isolated illustration?
Mr. Cox. There are a few great companies in the United States who do pursue basic research and expend for it. They are farsighted and have the staff necessary for its prosecution. I would say that those companies are distinctly in the minority. The really great industrial organizations have a policy for amounts of money for basic research, but as a whole I do not think that you will find many American industries that will put in an awful lot of money on basic research.
Mr. BIEMILLER. It would be your contention that neither from the industry nor from foundations or universities are there sufficient funds available for basic research at the moment?
Mr. Cox. That is right.
I was glad Mr. Biemiller brought up the question of Westinghouse. At the same dinner that he attended, I think all of us were convinced by some demonstrations that Westinghouse was doing some rather considerable amount of basic research.
Mr. Cox. That is correct.
Thank you, Mr. Cox. Could you tell the committee whether there are other members of this panel present who wish to testify, or are you the only one? Mr. Cox. I am not aware of any
others. Mr. PRIEST. There were some other names listed.
Are there any other members of this panel, which was to accompany Dr. Bakhmeteff, present!
Thank you so much, Mr. Cox.
We will take a few minutes' recess until we can check up on some plane schedules. Our witnesses are late this morning.
Without objection, the Chair would like to read a very brief recommendation made by the Hoover Commission, with reference to
Federal research, into the record at this time. Quoting from that report:
The Federal Government is now engaged in a wide range of research activities involving tremendous expenditures of funds. In 1947, total Federal expenditures for research excluding atomic energy amounted to $625,000,000. This Commission, while recognizing that effective planning and coordination of research undertaken is of major importance, has not endeavored to make an independent study of organization for research in the Federal Government. This decision was based primarily on a realization that the main aspect of the problem had been recently investigated and reported by the President's Scientific Research Board. Nevertheless, the Commission does wish to call attention to the major issues in this field, pointing out progress which has already been achieved and further steps that should be taken.
The report of the Scientific Research Board makes it plain that a satisfactory correlated research program for the National Government has not yet been realized. To be effective, an organization which will facilitate the development of research policy for the Government as a whole must have roots in each department with major responsibilities. Every Federal agency with an extensive research program should have a staff organization reporting to the agency head for developing general research policy. A number of such staff groups are now in operation. These groups include the Agricultural Research Administration, the Office of Naval Research, the Office of Research Planning, and Public Health Service and Research and Development Division of the Department of the Army's General Staff.
While the authority, responsibility, and organizational status of these groups vary widely, they do have a number of common basic characteristics. Each is responsible to the agency head; each maintains records of research projects conducted by all units of the agency served; each advises the agency head on such matters of research policy as the fields of which research should be expanded or contracted and whether research should be undertaken directly by the Federal Government or by non-Federal agencies under a grant of contract, and similar matters.
Effort along these lines within individual agencies is not enough. There is need for an organization to facilitate the development of research policy for the Federal Government as a whole. That was recognized in a report of the President's Scientific Research Board. That Board recommended as a first step the establishment of an interdepartmental committee on scientific research and development. Such a committee was created by Executive order in December of 1947. It was directed to further the most effective administration of scientific research and development activities in the Federal Government and was authorized to submit recommendtaions on research policy and administration direct to the President.
The full potentialities of this committee have been realized, since its members have not as yet attacked major problems of research policy for the Federal Government as a whole. This may be due in part to lack of staff and funds. An interdepartmental committee working alone and without staff is seriously limited in achieving adequate coordination and developing over-all plans to completion. This points to the need for a National Science Foundation. The major functions of such a Foundation should be (a) to examine the total scientific research efforts of the Nation, to assess the proper role of the Federal Government in this effort, to evaluate the division of research effort among the scientific disciplines and among fields of applied research, and to evaluate the key factors that impede the development of an effective national research effort. Based upon its investigation, it should advise the President as to the measures necessary to establish a sound scientific research program for the Nation.
In addition, the Foundation should be given appropriations for the support of basic research and for research fellowships in fields not adequately covered by the research grants and fellowships of other Federal Government agencies. The Foundation might administer the grant and fellowship program for which it has received funds, or delegate administration to other Federal agencies.
In addition, it should advise the President as to the proper balance among research grants and fellowship programs supported by appropriations given to other Federal agencies, and as to major policies that should govern the administration of these programs.
The National Science Foundation should consider most carefully the manner in which the national policies with respect to scientific research are related to
broader questions of educational policy. At present, grants for research purposes are being made on a hit-and-miss basis, making the award of research grants in effect a new form of patronage. The awarding of research grants must be put on a more systematic basis, with due recognition given to their impact on the educational programs of our higher institutions of learning.
That is from the Hoover Commission report.
The House meets at noon today, and there is legislation coming before the House in which there will be considerable interest.
Mr. Teeter was listed as a witness for tomorrow, and since we have had this interruption we can proceed for 15 minutes, and the committee will adjourn at a quarter of 12.
We all know Mr. Teeter, but will you give your full name and title for the record, please?
STATEMENT OF JOHN H. TEETER, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN
CANCER SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. TEETER. Mr. Chairman, my name is John H. Teeter. secretary of the research committee of the American Cancer Society, which is an administrative task, governing the research program in cancer as financed by the American Cancer Society.
I also serve in that capacity for the Damon Runyan Memorial Fund, sponsored by Walter Winchell, and I serve in the same capacity for the Babe Ruth Foundation.
I sit with the Committee on Growth of the National Research Council, of the National Academy of Sciences and have the pleasure of sitting with the National Advisory Cancer Council, which serves the National Cancer Institute.
I do not wish to frighten the committee with the volume of papers you see before me, but I want to point out to the members of the committee that I came here in June of 1945 at Dr. Bush's suggestion, to try to assist some phases of the National Science Foundation. This is as dear to me as any work that I could consider.
I have here the bills, the individual bills that occurred since that time. I certainly do not think that they need to be in the committee's portfolio, but I just want to point out the volume of them.
All of this stemmed from just one little publication, "Science, the Endless Frontier." I recall that Dr. Bush, at the request of the President, and his group assembled this work I had the pleasure of helping somewhat. It took them about 5 months and approximately 50 men employed, but I do not think that they spent more than $5,000 in this task, because it was done under the system which places honor above salary. But it has been the bible from which the whole
The President's Research Board report, followed this of which there are four volumes; and which, incidentally, gentlemen, cost $100,000 and took about 18 months to prepare. It is an interesting comparison of the way one might approach a task of this nature.
I would like to also present, just to have you see the volume of it, the hearings that have been held in the House and in the Senate. Here are approximately 1,500 pages and approximately 130 witnesses, which I don't think, gentlemen, you could assemble on a salary basis at any time. It is a great assembly of people. You heard this morning Sir Robert Watson-Watt, who I had the great fortune to ride in the plane with on Tuesday evening and suggest that perhaps he come down and give you the benefit of his thought on research.
I think the interesting point there which we, as Americans, should get, is the way that they take ideas developed in basic and applied research and get it right over into industry, and quick.
The British research program follows a system which, in spite of our great ingenuity and applied research in this country, we might well follow, as a pattern to get our basic ideas into production at as early a date as possible.
I will dispense with the volume of previous data very quickly and point out also that the reports accompanying these bills were equally voluminous. I would say to you gentlemen that I think the subject has been very well and thoroughly covered. I would say to you also that the bills, as between the House and the Senate, the four identical bills in this body, the two bills corresponding to the Senate bill and the one old bill, represent a very good cross-section of the thinking on this subject. I do not believe that the differences between the House bill and the Senate bill—247 in the Senate and 12, 185 and 311 and 2751—are sufficiently different that they are serious. I think that that matter can easily be adjusted in conference. They so completely cover the subject. Having worked on both sides, the Senate and the House, and with both chairmen, I believe that the language of the House bill has been subject to more careful refinement and thinking than the Senate version.
Now, I say that, gentlemen, completely without feeling one way or the other, but it is my honest belief, in watching all of these bills come into being. I believe the language and the care with which the House bill was reviewed is a creditable legislative procedure.
Mr. PRIEST. Thank you.
Mr. TEETER. I would like to say also that I do not think that there are any serious differences existing in the scientific fraternity, the engineering fraternity, in the medical fraternity, in this matter.
I would also suggest, however, that care should be taken in exercising the freedom of this new institution so that they are not directed to undertake their research through a Government agency. I believe that the process of thinking should be that once the Foundation is set up and you get down to the point of the division, say, in medical sciences, and physical sciences and chemical sciences, that that particular division meeting with its assembled experts, composed of men of industry and science and men of the Government agencies in that field, of their own free will and thinking they should decide where that work should be done. If that work can better be done in the Government institutions, that is fine. If it can better be done in a university, throughout the country, that is fine. But let us arrive at that decision by a free method of thinking and not by any mandatory legislation.
I do not think that I should burden the committee further, because there are far better witnesses who will come after me. I can only speak as to my sincerity on this legislation, and my firm belief that this is just as important now as it was in 1945, even more so.
I refer to the brief luncheon we had the other day when Dr. Bush pointed out the necessity of increasing the number of biologists in this country. As we needed radar men—the man who sat here before I did, Sir Watson-Watt, was the father of radar, and he pushed us