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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DON FUQUA, Forida, Chairman ROBERT A. ROE, New Jersey
JOHN W. WYDLER, New York MIKE MCCORMACK, Washington
LARRY WINN, JR., Kansas GEORGE E. BROWN, JR., Callfornia
BARRY M. GOLDWATER, JR., California JAMES H. SCHEUER, New York
HAMILTON FISH, JR., New York RICHARD L. OTTINGER, New York
MANUEL LUJAN, JR., New Mexico TOM HARKIN, Iowa
HAROLD C. HOLLENBECK, New Jersey JIM LLOYD, California
ROBERT K. DORNAN, California JEROME A. AMBRO, New York
ROBERT S. WALKER, Pennsylvania MARILYN LLOYD BOUQUARD, Tennessee EDWIN B. FORSYTHE, New Jersey JAMES J. BLANCHARD, Michigan
KEN KRAMER, Colorado DOUG WALGREN, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM CARNEY, New York RONNIE G. FLIPPO, Alabama
ROBERT W. DAVIS, Michigan DAN GLICKMAN, Kansas
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin ALBERT GORE, JR., Tennessee
DONALD LAWRENCE RITTER, WES WATKINS, Oklahoma
BILL ROYER, California
HAROLD P. HANSON, Executive Director
REGINA A. DAVIS, Administrator
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY
GEORGE E. BROWN, JR., California, Chairman JAMES H. SCHEUER, New York
HAROLD C. HOLLENBECK, New Jersey DONALD J. PEASE, Ohio
ROBERT W. DAVIS, Michigan TOM HARKIN, Iowa
DONALD LAWRENCE RITTER,
Dr. William Hay, president, Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Rosen-
stiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, University of Miami..
1981 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1980
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:08 a.m., in room 2325, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon George E. Brown, Jr. (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Brown. The subcommittee will come to order.
I'm glad to see so many people here so early in the morning. Today is the first of a number of short hearing sessions to review the proposed program and budget of the National Science Foundation. These sessions will continue at scheduled intervals throughout the first 3 weeks of this month.
I want to welcome Dr. Atkinson, Dr. Pimentel, and their associates who will be explaining the program and budget details to us, and to welcome the rest of you whose presence gives this exercise its significance as a public proceeding.
We also have the unexpected pleasure of having the Vice Chairman of the National Science Board, Dr. Grover Murray with us today. Since Dr. Murray's term on the Board is expiring, I expect, regretfully, this may be the last time we may hear from him as a representative of the Board. I imagine he has mixed emotions about that. [Laughter.]
Last year marked the first NSF program review by this subcommittee in what was then a newly elected 96th Congress. At that time, I said I believed that we should regard our oversight activity as a year-long, ongoing process, and I now believe we have been able to carry that out.
Soon after the authorization, we began a review of the NSF charter and later this spring, after the budget activity dies down, we expect to return to that. We have found a number of long-range problems that seem to bear on the charter or its interpretation, and we will begin to focus on those implications.
On a shorter term basis, we have some interesting topics to begin talking about today.
The plan we expect to follow is to begin with Dr. Atkinson's and Dr. Pimentel's overviews, proceed into more detailed review of the various programs of the Foundation, and then spend some time on February 12 and 13 on some general issues affecting the Foundation as a whole. These general issues will include some minor amendments to the Organic Act, simply to update some obsolete provisions. We will also take up some more significant subjects like 2-year authorizations and the problem of how to avoid the loss of a whole generation of young scientists in a period of low-academic turnover.
Finally, we have set aside 2 days, February 19 and 20, especially for examining the Foundation's role in science education and in supporting research in the social and behavioral sciences.
There have been some new developments in the world and in Federal R. & D. policy that will make the detailed program review rather interesting this year. For one thing, there is a substantial increase in the Foundation's proposed budget, partly aimed at strengthening the Nation's general basic science capability, and partly reflecting new emphasis on industrial innovation.
In addition, the administration has reached the threshold of a major commitment in ocean-bottom drilling. If the proposed drilling program is adopted, it will represent a very large commitment of funds, and we will want to be very clear about why we would be making this investment, and who should be directing it.
I will have a little more to say about that subject on February 6, when we will hear from Dr. Johnson, the Assistant Director for Astronomical, Atmospheric, Earth, and Ocean Sciences, and from a group of outside witnesses.
Now, I would like to invite Dr. Richard Atkinson, Director of the Foundation, and Dr. Grover Murray, Vice Chairman of the Board, to start us off with their overview of the Foundation's program and budget.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for a thoughtful statement this morning and for a thoughtful plan for the hearings this year. These hearings are important to NSF, not only in the defense of the fiscal year 1981 budget, but in the review, conducted in an effective atmosphere, of the National Science Foundation's goals.
I would like to submit my written testimony for the record; I know that you have reviewed it, and I will make only one additional remark.
Mr. BROWN. Your entire statement will be included in the record. [The biographical sketch of Dr. Atkinson follows:]
DR. RICHARD C. ATKINSON, DIRECTOR Dr. Richard C. Atkinson was sworn in before President Carter on June 1, 1977, as Director of the National Science Foundation. He was nominated for the position by President Carter on April 21, 1977, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on May 3, 1977. Dr. Atkinson had been Acting Director of the Foundation since August 12, 1976. He is on leave of absence from Stanford University where he had been on the faculty since 1956.
Dr. Atkinson is an experimental psychologist and applied mathematician whose research has been concerned primarily with problems of memory and cognition. He was one of the first to transform intuitive ideas about the nature of memory into an explicit theory that could be formulated in mathematical terms. This theory has been the basis for much of the current research on human memory. The theory also has played an important role in specifying correlates between brain structures and psychological phenomena, in explaining the effects of drugs on memory, and in providing techniques for optimizing the learning process.
Dr. Atkinson's research on memory has led him to be concerned with problems of classroom learning. He was among the first to develop a computer-controlled system for instruction, whose basic features have had wide influence on the