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may be some pressure-I'm sure at least the question will be raised of whether we should cut back on this at the present time.
I'd like to have some indication of the details and the priorities that you attach to the various aspects of the program.
Dr. PIMENTEL. Yes, sir. May I comment immediately?
Mr. Brown. No. I'd rather have you provide that information later on in the hearings. There is one additional item that I wish you would also provide me some information on.
The Office of Management and Budget has recently circulated a memo to all departments seeking information with regard to the advisability of developing a digital card base. Essentially, what they are trying to get at is to what extent would the processes of governmental decisionmaking be improved if all departments were to move toward a system of uniformly recording the policy information, the societal information that they use in a standard, digital format for display on maps.
We have the beginnings of that with the digital information display system which the White House has been working on for some time. This may have arisen out of that.
It seems to me to be a model of possible government wide information system which should be researched and developed with a great deal of scientific input. What I want to know from you is has the Foundation in any way, shape or form been consulted in an effort to develop this program and do you see it as having connotations with regard to your decision and management sciences program if it were enacted ?
Dr. PIMENTEL. I can answer only that I am not aware that we have been consulted. I would like to answer for the record after consultation with the appropriate people.
Mr. Brown. I would prefer that you provide the information for the record.
Dr. ATKINSON. It is an interesting item of information for us. We will track it down.
Mr. Brown. Yes. It is an interesting item of information because not only in NSF, but in several other places is there activity going on related to this. I'm just wondering if this has been spurred by somebody in the White House saying, you guys get on the ball and do something dramatic, or whether it's been based on a really adequate analysis or maybe this is part of an analysis that is going on to lay a firmer base.
I'd like to find out.
COMPUTERIZED INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND GOVERNMENTAL DECISION MAKING
NSF staff are aware of two efforts within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to improve executive information flows. The first is called Domestic Information Display System (DIDS) which is based on NASA-developed graphics technology. NSF was not consulted nor is it involved in this system.
The second effort is in the planning stages as described in an EOP document, "Toward an Information-Efficient Executive Office of the President,” dated February 15, 1980. The objectives of this plan seem much more restricted than that stated in the question posed by Congressman Brown. The division director of Information Sciences and Technology/STIA was one of numerous individual experts within and outside of government asked to read and comment on various earlier drafts of the plan. The plan would give EOP's Office of Administration
significant word processing and information retrieval capabilities to manage information flow in the EOP. Such a system could track the status of policy issues and decisions as they work their way through various agencies. Other than that mentioned above, NSF has not been involved in the development of these plans.
The type of system referred to in the question could conceivably be a future outcome and further development of the EOP plan but we have no idea whether this has been considered.
The new Decision and Management Sciences program requested in the fiscal year 1981 budget is intended to build up the knowledge base in these interdisciplinary areas. Any large and complex information system used for management decisionmaking could profit from new knowledge and research advances in the decision sciences.
Mr. Brown. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your help this morning. We will excuse you at this time and proceed to some of your other colleagues. Dr. Klemperer, are you by yourself?
Dr. KLEMPERER. Yes, I am.
Dr. KLEMPERER. Mr. Brown, I submitted a written statement for the record. I wonder if I may excerpt a few remarks from it.
Mr. Brown. Your statement will be made a part of the record. [The biographical sketch of Dr. Klemperer follows:]
DR. WILLIAM KLEMPERER Dr. William Klemperer became Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) in November 1979. In this position he is responsible for the development, coordination, direction, and evaluation of programs under the Divisions that comprise MPS; Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Research.
Dr. Klemperer is on leave from Harvard University where he holds the position of Erving Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Klemperer joined Harvard University in 1954.
Born in New York City in 1927, having served in the U.S. Naval Air Corps 1944–1946, Dr. Klemperer graduated from Harvard University in 1950 with an A.B. in Chemistry. He was awarded a Ph. D. in Chemistry by the University of California, Berkeley in 1954, having studied with Dr. George C. Pimentel.
Dr. Klemperer's research interests lie primarily in the area of molecular spectroscopy and molecular structure. His early work was devoted to the infrared spectroscopy of gas phase high temperature species. These infrared spectroscopic studies of lithium hydride led him to the molecular beam electric resonance study of lithium hydride in 1960. Further work in the area of molecular beam spectroscopy on high temperature species led to precision structural and charge distribution parameters of highly refractory materials. A research interest developing from this work led to the study of the measurement of electric dipole moments of molecules in excited electronic states by both optical spectroscopy and molecular beam radio frequency spectroscopy.
An interest developed during a sabbatical year at Cambridge, England is the theoretical description of molecule formation in the interstellar medium. His work in this area was devoted to an attempt to understand the mechanism of formation of molecules observed by modern radioastronomy, and led to the correct identification of the unknown species designated “Xogen" by Snyder and Buehl as the HCO+ ion. This was the first polyatomic ion discovered in the interstellar medium.
A recently developed interest is the study of van der Waals molecules by molecular beam electric resonance spectroscopy, leading to the most precise structural determinations of weakly bound complexes which are of use in understanding the nature of intermolecular forces.
Dr. Klemperer has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1969. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Chemical Society, and a Fellow of the Franklin Institute. In 1978 he received the John Price Wetherill Medal from the Franklin Institute, and in 1980 he receives the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics.
Dr. Klemperer has been a consultant to the Bell Laboratories, and the Manufacturing Chemists Association.
Dr. and Mrs. Klemperer presently reside in Washington, D.C.
STATEMENT OF DR. WILLIAM KLEMPERER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
FOR MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Dr. KLEMPERER. The Directorate for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences covers the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, and materials science. We feel these disciplines are intimately linked; they have a lot of interaction with one another. In addition, they really supply the basis for a wide number of disciplines such as biology, astronomy, atmospheric sciences, and engineering. So, we feel that progress in the basic sciences of this directorate really aid not only themselves, but also many other sciences and much technology. These sciences, with the exception of mathematics, depend on the intimate coupling of theory and experiment. These have to be intimately coupled together for progress to be made in the field. Certainly, we feel two things: One, that the American universities provide an ideal ground for this strong interplay of theory and experiment, and two, that as far as costs go, it is the experimental components of the sciences that generally are the most costly. That's much more costly, in general, than the theoretical aspects, so the 1981 budget will permit us to address effectively the experimental components of these sciences.
Now, I think all of the sciences mentioned have a lot in common, but I'd like to single out first the computer science because I think this represents one of the more dramatic problems that we have seen with respect to experimental components of a science. Computer science was developed in universities. It's extremely successful, as we all know. However, the present scene in most American universities is such that the computer facilities are by and large utilized by other sciences as users, and they are no longer a research tool for the computer scientist. In other words, there is a field where success itself has done its damage. We want to redress this. We want to put in place the beginnings of an active, experimental program in computer sciences. We feel that in this way we will achieve a synergism between theory and experiment which will really lead to advancement in computer science. I think the American universities are again unique in having a large number of bright, interested people in this area and that given the opportunities, we can really see real progress in this field. So, this is certainly one of our most important actions, to really start a program, a broad program of experimental computer science.
I think this is typical of all of the activities that we require strong interplay between experiment and theory, with the exception of mathematics. I think with mathematics and I'd just like to digress because I think it is a little bit unique that the National Science Foundation has a unique role in mathematics. We are the only agency that supports basic mathematics. I think there we have almost national trust to pay close attention to basic mathematics. We intend to do so both in the support of individual programs and also to provide the
ability for mathematicians to move around and interact with each other in different disciplines to provide an effective format for perhaps even the creation of new areas of mathematics out of combinations of subfields. So, our program in mathematics is intended to strengthen the support of the individual mathematician in his research, but also provide a mobility for him to get together with others easily.
Physics is certainly a basic science in the physical sciences. Our programs in physics consist again of a balance between theory and experiment and also between the various subdisciplines of physics today.
Our activities, for instance, in particle physics are on the experimental side, through the support of users of national facilities. We also support the Cornell electron storage ring which provides for the collision of electrons and positrons. That happens to be very exciting. It's just come on line now. It's already seen three particles, two of which had been observed. The third one is new. So, it really is revealing the core structure of matter. The physicists are at the brink of seeing the most intimate details of matter.
We support theory. We support two scientists at Harvard, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, who won the Nobel Prize this year in physics. We have much activity in that area, both in theoretical and experimental work
We are mounting an effort in gravitational physics. It's interrelated with astronomical activity and certainly, this is an understudied area of science from the experimental point of view. One is optimistic that new things will be seen, the detection of gravitational waves from collapsing stars, perhaps even evidence of the existence of black holes might be revealed. This is an exciting field of physics. I think our program attempts to have balance in this area. Certainlv, a lot of effort is made toward that. The experimental component is expensive. I have to point that out again.
In chemistry, which of course is my own field, there is a lot of excitement. I'd say that in chemistry today, one can do so many new things that were really not known in the past. If one takes organic chemistry, synthetic organic chemists now can synthesize molecules almost the same way as an architect builds a building. They know enough that they can really put together the pieces of-you name the substance you want. They will design the synthesis and go in a perfectly methodical way about it. This ability is certainly the basis of the pharmaceutical industry.
I think chemistry has been the basis for many other sciences. For example, molecular biology owes its acuteness, its sharpness to the details with which one knows chemistry. So, it's a field which is important industrially. It's also important intellectually, in its own right and in its contact with other areas.
Research in chemistry goes from synthetic organic chemistry to the most detailed understanding of chemical processes where one is practically living inside the molecule as it reacts and forms another one. We have the tools now to study chemical reactions in great detail using lasers, for example, and other modern methods. So, chemistry has changed a lot and does demand very modern tools.
One aspect of chemistry and also of materials science is an emphasis on the study of catalysis. The control of chemical reactions and processes by individual catalysts is absolutely fundamental.
It's a field in which great progress is promised and also is being made. It's an important field. It usually governs the practical ability to control chemical processes.
Finally, I should briefly remark on materials research which is an extremely broad field. Our activities only represent a small part of the activities in materials science in the United States. It has a very large industrial component. However, we have an active program where I think our interests and our judgments are based on the quality and fundamentality of the proposals. It's not a sharply defined discipline. We have activities there in superconductivity, in welding, in the fracture of materials. You name it; I think we have an activity there.
Obviously, we are a small part of the whole activity in the United States, but we do concentrate on fundamentality there. We, through that division, also supply to the scientists, national facilities such as the Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. So, it's a broad field and a diverse means of accomplishing experimental science.
I should say that I feel that most of our activities in this directorate concentrate in universities. We are paying a lot of attention to the development of young investigators in this agency.
Most of the research programs are executed by students and we feel that this broad research education in the American university is probably the most effective technology transfer that one has. So, our programs under the 1981 budget are designed to really strengthen the experimental component. The theoretical component is paid a lot of attention and I think it is the experimental component of these sciences that we will be able to address with the 1981 budget.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Klemperer follows:]