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CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO HAVE A STRONG SPACE PROGRAM
Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I regret I was unable to be here yesterday, but I understand it was a most interesting and constructive hearing. I want to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for asking the five witnesses yesterday a series of 13 questions which I believe will help to establish à most useful foundation in connection with these 2 days of hearings.
Also for the other courtesies extended to me during my absence, I am most appreciative.
Today I would again like to have the witnesses either answer these 13 questions which I understand are before them now, or if they prefer, submit their answers for the record. In addition to those questions I have several individual questions for each of the witnesses in view of their particular specialties.
Dr. Seitz, you have the questions before you?
Dr. SEITZ. I have one sheet with seven and note that there are six on the other side.
Senator SMITH. Do you wish to go through those and answer them now or some of them? Dr. SEITZ. Yes. I will do
I will do my best.
The first one is: “Are you in favor of a space program which will insure the preeminence of the United States in the space environment?”
I think I have made it clear I don't believe we as a nation can afford not to have a strong space program.
A GENERATION FROM NOW, MOON EXPLORATION WILL SEEM SIMPLE
The second question is concerned with an effort to explore the moon. While the moon seems rather far away at the moment, I think another generation will feel it is about as close as the Antarctic seems to us at present.
I was very much impressed recently in discussing matters with Dr. Clifton Furnas, chairman of the Defense Science Board, on which I serve ex officio. He wrote a book about 1935 dealing with “The Next Hundred Years in Science." In reviewing it recently he discovered that everything that he had predicted would take a century to come into being, had been developed in 25 years. He realized that we are very unimaginative about the speed with which these matters go.
The moon is in our back yard and its exploration will seem to be quite a simple matter a generation from now as our technology advances.
Regarding the question of moon exploration and instrument landings, I think we should start with instrument landings before sending
However, the sooner we can get scientists into the act the better off we will be because the observations we will be able to make will be more sophisticated.
The landing of man, with a safe return, is a part of the job. The problem is very much like that of exploring the Antarctic.
PRESENT PROGRAM WELL PACED
“Do you think the manned lunar program should have a priority for achievement during this decade?”
It is an excellent goal. I don't believe we could take the space program much more slowly than we are, if it is to remain viable. I have just served on a panel of the President's Science Advisory Committee devoted to the field of high energy physics. The study shows that in any field of science one must take steps with a certain stride in order to achieve the right scientific goals. I believe our present program in the field of space exploration is pretty well paced.
SPACE TECHNOLOGY RELEVANT TO MILITARY MISSIONS
“Do you consider that the manned lunar program is essential to our national defense?!!
That is a complicated matter. It is undeniable that the technology we develop in connection with our scientific space program automatically has relevance to the military mission.
Whether or not the establishment of bases on the moon can be of military value is hard to say, but I do think that the space program as a whole has relevance to our military strength, both directly and indirectly.
ADEQUATE NEAR EARTH PROGRAM “Do we have an adequate program for manned spaceflight missions near the earth as distinguished from those required for lunar flights?" I would say yes, that we are doing all of the things that we can and should do in the immediate vicinity of the earth, including developments in the astronomical field which Professor Schwarzschild will discuss later.
CONTINUOUS TRAFFIC TO MOON IN ANOTHER GENERATION
Senator Smith. Dr. Seitz, did you intentionally omit five? Dr. Seitz. Sorry, I thought I included it. “How much of the system we build for going to the moon and back will be usable after this objective is accomplished?”.
I would think, it not unreasonable to suppose that we eventually will have scientific observatories on the moon and a rather continuous traffic back and forth to them. I don't think that this will seem at all unreasonable in another generation.
EXCELLENT WORKING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN NAS AND NASA
Senator Smith. Dr. Seitz, I have several other questions. Some of them
may have been answered or at least partially answered. Rather than to take the chance of the answer not being clear, I would like to ask them and have your answers again.
Do you think there is a close and satisfactory relationship between NASA and the National Academy of Sciences?
Dr. SEITZ. At the present time we have excellent working relationships, yes.
NAS STAFF ADEQUATE AT PRESENT
Senator SMITH. Do you think the work of the National Academy of Sciences is hampered by the fact that the scientists serve only part time? Would it be feasible to have the work done by a larger full-time staff of scientists?
Dr. SEITZ. The National Academy has several hundred full-time employees to work with its committees, even though the academic committees meet only as often as they feel is feasible or desirable. I think the full-time staff of the Academy and National Research Council is quite adequate at present for our problems. Naturally, we are always on the lookout for good people, but we do have a fine staff at the present time.
CLOSE WORKING RELATIONS WITH STATE DEPARTMENT
Senator Smith. Since scientific achievement has become a significant factor in foreign relations I should like your comments on the degree and effectiveness of coordination that exists between the State Department and the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. SEITZ. Well, we have very close working relations with the State Department. Our foreign Office, the Office of the Foreign Secretary, and the corresponding appropriate officials of the State Department, are in continuous session with one another. We face each other on C Street or rather the back of the Academy faces the State Department. We commune daily on the hundreds of items relating to our international science program.
NAS REGARDS ITSELF AS A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION
Senator Smith. Do you think that scientific advice from the National Academy of Sciences to the various Government departments is influenced in any way by the fact that your projects are funded by the Government?
Would you say that the National Academy of Sciences is any different in this respect from an independent research organization financed by the Government?
Dr. SEITZ. Although the Academy has a governmental character, it is a private organization. About 80 percent of its work at the present time is done at the request of the Government, but about 20 percent is done at the request of private foundations and industrial organizations. So we regard ourselves as a private organization. In rendering our advice we do our utmost not to be influenced by the immediate source of funds for a study.
NAS COMPOSED OF 10 PERCENT ENGINEERS
Senator Smith. I believe you told us the number of engineers represented, who were in the National Academy of Sciences. Would you want to repeat that?
Dr. SEITZ. It is about 10 percent—the National Academy elects 35 U.S. scientists and engineers each year, and has between 50 and 60 engineers in it. The total membership is about 650, so that almost 10 percent of our elected membership are in the engineering fraternity.
SPACE SCIENCE BOARD WORKS WELL WITH NASA
Senator Smith. Do you think there is a considerable gap between the influence exerted by scientists and engineers upon NASA's program?
Dr. Seitz. I would say at the present time there is a good mixture of the two. I have heard no complaint whatever from our Space Science Board to the effect that its voice is not heard.
Dr. Berkner, who will testify next, was Chairman of the Academy's Space Science Board for a number of years.
Last summer he was replaced by Professor Hess, who will testify this afternoon. I think Dr. Berkner will give you a good picture of the history during his period of service. I think the feeling of the Committee is they have excellent working relations with NASA.
Senator Smith. Now, Dr. Seitz, going back to my earlier questions, those six on the second page, which are rather involved.
Would you prefer to leave those and answer them for the record?
NAS WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO GOVERNMENT
Dr. SEITZ. "Can you make constructive proposals concerning the organization of the process whereby the Government obtains sound advice on scientific and technological matters?"
Is this a broad question?
Dr. Seitz. Well, the Government gets its advice from a host of organizations at present. We have a complex structure, but I think it is inevitably so, because ours is a country with a complex technology. As we proceed, as the budgets grow, and as the problems of science and technology grow, we will enter into a phase where the judicial aspect, the question of decisionmaking on large budgets for science, will become more and more important.
At the present time the key bodies outside of the Congress are, of course, the President's Science Adviser, that is, the President's Special Assistant, Dr. Wiesner, with his Advisory Committee, the Office of Science and Technology. In addition there are bodies like the Federal Council of Science and Technology, the Science Board of the National Science Foundation. Then there is the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council. It is very fortunate that our country was foresighted enough to establish the Academy a century ago. As you may know this is the hundredth anniversary of our National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Sciences, with its operating component, the National Research Council, is in a position to give dispassionate and free advice on almost any
field. În the years ahead, the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council should be of increasing value to the Government in making decisions because it can pull together on relatively short notice expert opinion from the Government agencies, industry, and from the academic sphere.
Senator Smith. Dr. Seitz, I am sure if you have any more detailed information that you believe will be helpful to the committee that the chairman will welcome its submission for the record later on.
Dr. SEITZ. Good.
PRESENT ARRANGEMENT FOR EXECUTIVE ADVICE IS HIGHLY WORKABLE
Dr. SEITZ. "What criteria would you adopt in providing advice and counsel to the executive branch of the Federal Government?”
Well, I think, the present arrangement whereby the President has a special assistant for science, an advisory committee composed of a number of the Nation's best scientists and engineers, with their advisory panels, and the newly formed body, the Office of Science and Technology, which forms a bridge with the Congress, is a good one. I have no adverse criticism whatever to make of this arrangement. Under present circumstances it is highly workable provided it is supplemented by other bodies such as the Federal Council, the Science Board of the National Science Foundation and the various committees of the National Academy of Sciences.
NAS WOULD WELCOME OPPORTUNITY TO DO MORE FOR CONGRESS
“What do you consider the best type of organization and process whereby the legislative branch can obtain the kind of information needed to make decisions on policies, programs, and budgets involving scientific and technological problems?”
This is a difficult question. I believe that traditionally the Senators and the Representatives have tended to organize their own advisory groups, paying attention to many factors which are difficult to spell out in a brief presentation. I think that this is a matter on which the Congress might well hold some hearings for its own purposes.
Perhaps I should say that the National Academy of SciencesNational Research Council has not been used a great deal by the legislative bodies in the past. They have been used to some extent, but we would welcome the opportunity to do more.
Recently we established a Committee under Professor George Kistiakowsky, who was the Special Assistant to the President between 1959 and 1961, called the Committee on Science and Public Policy which stands available to help any governmental body on the broad issues governing the relation between science and National affairs.
One of the very successful programs which that Committee entered into about a year and a half ago, related to a study of world population. You may be familiar with the report it issued about 3 months ago. This represents one of the ways in which we can render service. We would be happy to participate whenever we can.
As I say, the broad question is a very complex one, and many minds will have to focus on it before we get the solution.
NO REASON FOR RADICAL CHANGES IN INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC
"Have you any suggestions for improving coordination between Government departments and between national and international space programs?”
Well, I think the present working relations are quite good. NASA itself engages in bilateral and multilateral arrangements using, of course, the advice of the State Department and the advice of the Academy.
In addition the Academy, which as I mentioned earlier, is responsible for the U.S. participation in the International Council of Scien