National Academies Press: OpenBook

Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology (1995)

Chapter: Appendix D: List of Commissioned Background Papers

« Previous: Appendix C: Acknowledgments
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: List of Commissioned Background Papers." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council. 1995. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5040.
Page 95

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Appendix D List of Commissioned Background Papers On the Allocation of Federal R&D Christopher T. Hill, Professor of Public Policy and Technology George Mason University This paper provides a broad overview of the present-day allocations of federal research and development (R&D) funds among diverse national purposes, perform- ers, and sponsoring federal agencies. It sets out a number of general considerations in the formulation of federal R&D policies over the past 5 decades, and it describes and analyzes the historical processes through which the portfolio of federal R&D has been shaped. Previous Analyses of the U.S. R&D Allocation Process Robert M. Cook-Deegan, Senior Program Officer National Research Council This document reviews some major reports on U.S. federal science policy relevant to the committee’s task. Its purpose is to review what others have said when con- fronted with tasks similar to the committee’s mandate, or when given different tasks that required them to confront similar choices about R&D spending that must be made at the presidential or congressional level. Where Does the Federal Dollar for Basic Research Go? Michael G.H. McGeary, Consultant This paper describes the composition of the federal basic research budget and presents background information on federally funded basic research—who funds basic research and why, what mechanisms are used to provide support, who con- ducts basic research and how, and how performers spend the dollars. Survey of Reports on Federal Laboratories Robert M. Cook-Deegan, Senior Program Officer National Research Council This background paper summarizes the recent reviews of federal laboratories, both those operated by government and those conducted by contractors (whether corpo- rate or university). NOTE: Copies of all commissioned papers are available upon request from the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418. 95

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The United States faces a new challenge—maintaining the vitality of its system for supporting science and technology despite fiscal stringency during the next several years. To address this change, the Senate Appropriations Committee requested a report from the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine to address "the criteria that should be used in judging the appropriate allocation of funds to research and development activities; to examine the appropriate balance among different types of institutions that conduct such research; and to look at the means of assuring continued objectivity in the allocation process."

In this eagerly-awaited book, a committee of experts selected by the National Academies and the Institute responds with 13 recommendations that propose a new budgeting process and formulates a series of questions to address during that process. The committee also makes corollary recommendations about merit review, government oversight, linking research and development to government missions, the synergy between research and education, and other topics. The recommendations are aimed at rooting out obsolete and inadequate activities to free resources from good programs for even better ones, in the belief that "science and technology will be at least as important in the future as they have been in the past in dealing with problems that confront the nation."

The authoring committee of this book was chaired by Frank Press, former President of the National Academy of Sciences (1981-1993) and Presidential Science and Technology Advisor (1977-1981).


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