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All of this makes it reasonably clear that man's adventure in space will stimulate many branches of scientific work in a quite natural and automatic way, provided the scientists are given their rightful place in the whole space program.
In this oonnection, I might add that I hope that as our national space program becomes well established and its policies of operation are formulated, it will find ways of bringing the typical university scientist, who has interests close to the space mission, into participation since so much of our scientific strength resides in the universities.
STRONG UNIVERSITY PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH ASSURES HEALTH
The history of science in the United States demonstrates quite clearly that strong university participation in a field of research, whatever it may be, helps to assure the health of the program. There are many reasons for this.
First, a certain fraction of the best minds find the type of freedom and flexibility peculiar to the university best suited for their work. In addition, the presence of many inquiring young minds in the formative period, particularly the research students, adds a particular freshness and vitality to research. I do not mean to say that excellent work is not done elsewhere, such as in industrial, nonprofit, or in-house laboratories. What is important is that any program which does not take maximum advantage of the capability within universities will not advance in the most effective way possible.
INTERACTION BETWEEN RESEARCH AGENCIES AND UNIVERSITIES
This brings me to a very major problem which is in the minds of all scientists at the present time. The problem centers about the question of the degree of interaction between the agencies sponsoring our research program, principally NASA, and the universities.
As mentioned above, such interaction is very desirable if our national space program is to accomplish its best mission in the period of 10 or 20 years which lies ahead. This problem is a somewhat complex one and hard to subject to any exact analysis. Perhaps one would like to ignore it and yet it cannot be ignored because of the demands which the space program will inevitably make upon the universities for the most highly trained manpower as well as for subsidiary talent and knowledge.
I think it is safe to say that in the coming generation a significant fraction of our best-trained students in science and technology, at least 10 percent and possibly more, will end up in some facet of the space program if we continue, as I personally believe is appropriate, to make it the object of urgent national interest and support.
For their own good, the space agencies must make certain that the universities are viable in fields of interest to them and that the students they turn out have been given the maximum opportunity to develop their capabilities at least in the areas of academic work essential for the space program.
POLICIES OF AEC IN SUPPORTING RESEARCH
In this connection, I believe that NASA would do well to examine the policies concerning support of academic research which the Atomic Energy Commission has developed since its establishment in 1946.
That agency, like NASA, is mission-oriented, in contrast to the National Science Foundation, to give an example. Yet it has been able to support research in universities in both breadth and depth, recognizing that this policy would, in the long run, be of benefit both to the universities and to the mission of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Moreover, it has maintained this policy steadfastly for over 15 years. The leadership of NASA must remember that they will depend significantly upon the universities at large for the quality of the product of the staff which they use in their own effort. I believe that in view of the long future life of NASA, it can profitably provide support on a broad basis to individual scientists in academic institutions whose research contributes to the mission of NASA.
The scientists realize that NASA, unlike the Atomic Energy Commission, operates its own in-house laboratories directly, rather than depending on contractors. This, however, is a detail of operation in the larger picture since the large contract laboratories of the Atomic Energy Commission are in a sense also in-house laboratories.
What is notable is that the Atomic Energy Commission, by supporting work inside universities as well as in the national laboratories, has produced a situation where a very large number of university scientists and engineers have a sense of direct responsibility for the welfare of the program of the Atomic Energy Commission.
This would not be the case if the support of the Atomic Energy Commission were confined only to the national laboratories.
In fact, if such a policy were followed, the AEC would probably find that in the long run its national laboratories would be damaged because the staff they acquire as new graduates of universities would not be properly trained.
In brief, then, it is my hope that once this period of organization and adjustment is over, and NASA has become well established as an agency, it will adopt a policy concerning the support of science in our country resembling that followed by the Atomic Energy Commission since the end of the war.
This, I feel, will assure a long healthy period of communication between NASA and the universities, which will optimize the benefits to the mission of NASA. I see no reason why the establishment of such a policy should affect the in-house laboratories of NASA adversely.
On the contrary, it seems to me that such a link will guarantee that these laboratories will receive their appropriate fraction of the best talent graduated by the universities in the future.
UNTHINKABLE THAT WE SHOULD IGNORE THE SPACE CHALLENGE
In conclusion, I hope my earlier remarks make it clear that I feel personally that the general goals of the space program are a natural continuation of the human adventure. It is unthinkable that our society, particularly Western society, can ignore this challenge.
Personally, I feel that the overall development of our country in science and technology will be far better off with a space program than without it, provided we focus reasonable intelligence on recognizing the good and bad effects it can have on our economy and social structure.
I was particularly interested on page 10 when you started mentioning the work of the Atomic Energy Commission in cooperating with the universities and also having its national laboratories.
Are you familiar with the work of Project Sherwood ?
The CHAIRMAN. And there is a sample of it because at Princeton University where the work is being done-also at Los Alamos work has been done and elsewhere around the country—there has been a combination of university campus and national laboratory which I think has worked out very well.
SCIENTIFIC OBSERVERS NEEDED ON FLIGHTS
Do you think we should train scientists to be astronauts?
Dr. SEITZ. I think in the long run we will need to send scientifically trained persons into space as well as the astronauts we are sending at present. Once these missions become relatively easy, as they will, say in a decade or so, assuming there are no obstacles beyond those we already know about, it will be important to have mixed groups including scientists.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, 10 years from now, that is quite a while.
When we get ready to go with Apollo, would you not think it might be advisable that one of the astronauts might be trained as a scientific observer, I don't say to become a scientist, but shouldn't he be oriented, maybe to be looking for certain specific things along with the instruments he is carrying with him?
Dr. Sertz. I think as soon as it is technically feasible to send the scientists along we should.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you keep using the term "scientists” and I have been trying to use the term "scientific observer” more or less.
Dr. SEITZ. I think we are using different words for the same thing.
The CHAIRMAN. “Scientific observer” was the term that one of the witnesses used yesterday.
Dr. Sertz. I am perfectly willing to use that term.
The CHAIRMAN. I recognize that the astronauts need to be specifically trained but it would be possible, would it not, over a period of several years to develop a few astronauts who had ability to act as scientific observers as well as to fly a machine?
Dr. SEITZ. I think the sooner we can do this the better.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it easier for the American scientific community to cooperate with the international scientific community through the National Academy of Sciences than through NASA governmental channels?
Dr. Seitz. I think both techniques are good. The National Science Foundation, which has a substantial office devoted to foreign
affairs, can do certain things. For example, the international scientific unions work, as far as the United States participation is concerned, through the Academy.
On the other hand, there will be some kinds of activities which NASA itself can and should engage in. I think, as usual, some mixture of the two is good.
COORDINATION BETWEEN SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any lack of coordination and cooperation between the National Academy of Sciences and NASA because the Academy's membership is dominated by scientists while NASA's personnel is from, overwhelmingly from, the engineering profession?
Dr. SEITZ. I think not. The Space Science Board, which is the NASA's chosen outside advisory committee, has a mixture of scientists and engineers on it, and the Academy has an engineering section which comprises about 10 percent of the membership, so we do have a substantial component of engineers.
In addition, the National Research Council, which is the operating part of the Academy, draws on the engineers very widely. We have about 5,000 scientists and engineers on our advisory panels and committees. I would say at least half of them are engineers. So we have a big link with the engineering community.
CAN'T AFFORD NOT TO BE SPACE LEADERS
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think we can afford to have a space program which implements that policy of the NASA Act which declares that the United States shall be a leader in this field?
Dr. SEITZ. Yes. I don't think we can afford not to have such a space program, speaking broadly.
DIFFICULTY OF AGREEMENT ON LEGAL PROBLEMS IN U.N. COMMITTEE
The CHAIRMAN. On page 5 of your statement you refer to the legal problems of space exploration.
Can you explain to us why it is easier for the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to reach agreement on scientific and technical problems than it is to agree on the legal problems?
Dr. SEITZ. I don't know enough about the difficulties which enter there.
The CHAIRMAN. You have never worked much with lawyers?
Dr. SEITZ. I have never worked with the lawyers in the United Nations Committee.
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION BY NASA IS EXCELLENT
The CHAIRMAN. What kind of job is NASA doing in disseminating results of their scientific experiments? Have you any suggestions on how this might be improved ?
Dr. SEITZ. I think the dissemination of knowledge is excellent. For example, NASA cooperates with the Space Science Board in its symposia. Naturally, if one is analyzing data one delays release until
the analysis is complete. Some of the more difficult analyses may take several months. But I am of the opinion that information has been released about as fast as it was reasonable to do so.
NASA FORMULATING SCIENTIFIC POLICIES
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think scientists have or have not been given their rightful place in the whole space program?
Dr. SEITz. I think that in the evolving period of the program the scientists have played a very important role. It is my hope that they will be given as large a role as possible in the coming years. That was the main point I tried to make. I regard NASA to be in the process of formulating its policies. It is a new agency, it is growing both in scope and in planning. I hope the planning will evolve in such a direction that NASA will make as good use of the Nation's scientists as AEC does. It still has quite a way to go.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any proposals for improving the procedures whereby scientists can play a maximum role?
Dr. Seitz. I think NASA could play a somewhat larger role in establishing basic science contracts and grants in the universities. I think it is moving in this direction, but hasn't as yet set up the machinery to do it adequately.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you referring to the scholarship program which we discussed pretty largely yesterday.
Dr. SEITZ. No; I am referring to the scientific programs.
Dr. Seitz. Yes, sir, and smaller programs tied to people doing individual research.
U. S. PROGRAM CONTRIBUTES TO PEACE AND UNDERSTANDING
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think the U.S. international space program contributes to peace and understanding?
Dr. SEITZ. I think so. I think the fact that other nations have cooperated in the observations on satellites has done a great deal to bring nations that might not have a space program of their own closer to the whole field in the human sense.
PROBLEM OF OBTAINING AGREEMENT
The CHAIRMAN. Were you by any chance here yesterday?
The CHAIRMAN. We had two people who, it seemed to me, were in favor of what has been going on and two people who had some doubts about it and one that was reasonably neutral.
If the space scientists can't agree, how do you suppose Congress is going to get along with the problem.
Dr. Seitz. Well, you have got a problem. [Laughter.]
Dr. SEITZ. I think that most of you with a substantial amount of legal training ought to be able to cut through this.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Senator Smith and I are not lawyers at all. It makes it a little difficult. Josh Billings used to say the doubtful things are uncertain and after I finished yesterday, I agreed with him.
I think I had better let Senator Smith go ahead with her questions.