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rehabilitation and reinstrumentation continue to mount. A start must be made soon,
if we are to hold our present international competitive position across the fields
of science and technology.
The FY 1981 budget proposes a $14.25 million program to begin rehabilitation This will be a small, but essential, step in
and renovation of our laboratories.
beginning to mobilize our efforts to address the problem. We commend NSF for taking steps to begin to address these problems and we enthusiastically support these initiatives. Our future research productivity in many fields will depend upon our commitment to improve research instrumentation and to begin the sizeable task of rehabilitating our nation's academic research laboratories.
While we enthusiastically support the bill, one provision is troublesome. Section 4 (a) of the bill requires that "not less than $25 million shall be made available for programs designed to improve participation of women in science." This provision will mandate division of research support from the competitive project system and from instrumentation and facilities needs to undefined activities related to participation of women in science. Recently, Dr. Ann Reynolds, Provost of Ohio State University, testified on behalf of several of these same associations in support of the principles and objectives of bill S.568, (Women in Science and Technology Equal Opportunity Act). She urged the Subcommittee to establish a program of research awards designed to provide targeted support for young women Her testimony on this point is attached.
While we support increased opportunities for women scientists, we must register with the Subcommittee our concern that this provision would simply redirect funds. from ongoing research programs to other undefined purposes. No additional funds are provided. In effect, it would tax research programs to meet added program requireWe, therefore, urge the Subcommittee to either provide additional support for such purposes or to defer action on them until the Committee considers the bill
In closing, I wish to reiterate our support for the National Science Foundation and to pledge our full cooperation in addressing the problems before us. I will be pleased to respond to questions.
Senator SCHWEIKER. Thank you.
Next we will hear from Dr. Wenzlau. I might say that, in addition to his responsibilities for the independent colleges, I know he is also president of Ohio Wesleyan where my sister and brother-inlaw matriculated. I had to mention that.
Dr. WENZLAU. Thank you very much.
I appreciate very much the opportunity to testify before you today on the National Science Foundation budget request for fiscal 1981. I represent the 16 independent colleges and universities which share the Independent Colleges Office, the 338 members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the 800 members of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. My testimony, and I will try to summarize it, emphasizes a concern our colleges have expressed to Congress for several years regarding the decreasing real dollar support for science education by the Federal Government. We express this concern as educators, as scientists and as citizens.
I wish to make four major points to support those statements and then to comment specifically about certain items in the proposed NSF budget. The four major points are:
One, scientific understanding, a direct result of science foundation, is critical for the progress of our society.
Virtually every public policy decision faced by Congress, by legislators at the State level, by city councilmen and by volunteer directors of various organizations requires scientific understanding. Specific issues, such as the debates on resource conservation, on fluorocarbons, on solar and nuclear energy, on DNA synthesis, on environmental pollution, all illustrate the continuing importance of scientific literacy for all citizens.
The need for a scientifically literate general populace means that we must have strong science education programs in our primary and secondary schools and that qualified teachers for those programs must be provided by equally strong science education in our colleges and universities. The most recent National Assessment of Science showed that science achievement of 9-, 13- and 17-year-olds continues to decline, especially in the physical sciences. There the plunge constitutes a crisis. Many undergraduate students who study science will fill jobs in industry and commerce.
It is abundantly clear that our ability to deal with the complex issues of the modern world depend greatly on scientific advancement and that our political and economic futures are tied closely to our technical progress. The preparation of research scientists also calls for the very best science teaching from grade school through graduate school.
Congress recognized the interdependence of science education and scientific research when it formed the National Science Foundation. The legislation creating the Foundation charged it "to develop and encourage the pursuit of a national policy for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences." Congress throughout has understood that neither can proceed effectively or efficiently without the other. Together they provide the knowledge and manpower both essential to solve specific scientific problems. We firmly believe that the National Science Foundation has ignored this interrelationship to the point that the low level of
support for science education will have a deleterious effect on the quality of scientific research. At the level of expenditures for science education recommended in the National Science Foundation fiscal 1981 budget, real expenditures for science education will have declined 83 percent since 1968. Quite unrealistically, this declining level of real expenditures for science education is somehow expected to undergird significantly expanded levels of scientific research-up 78 percent in real terms since 1968,
While we recognize that the $9 spent for science education for each $10 spent for scientific research in 1968 may be excessive for today's needs, it is equally clear that a ratio which allows for only $1 of expenditure for science education for each $12 spent for scientific research can only subvert those very research efforts the National Science Foundation seeks to emphasize. Ultimately, our national scientific potential will be in jeopardy.
It is critical, we believe, that this subcommittee recommend to Congress that some reasonable balance be maintained between science education and scientific research expenditures. This balance needs to be established even if the overall NSF budget is subjected to cuts in the interest of the national campaign against inflation. In past testimony we have suggested that $1 for science education should be spent for each $3 for scientific research expenditures. This ratio of 1 to 3, we believe, will maintain a critical mutually supportive balance between these two vital activities. These comments should not be construed to be a criticism of the quantity of resources directed to support scientific research. Quite the contrary. We recognize and support basic research expenditures. But those research dollars can be meaningfully used only if a scientific foundation has been prepared by effective science education. This, in turn, requires a reasonable balance between resources allocated to these two interrelated aspects of scientific progress. My third major point is related to the significance of what we have chosen to call little science. Many critical discoveries have originated from little science-carried out by one researcher with modest equipment and an equally modest budget. Little science researchers work on college and university campuses on all sizes and all over the country.
They tend to be more concentrated more in some disciplines than in others but possess great and largely untapped potential to make crucial future contributions to new scientific knowledge.
We want to acknowledge the recognition of the potential of "little science" by this subcommittee last year in requiring that 10 percent of the research instrumentation grants awarded by NSF be allocated to 2- and 4-year institutions. This policy, even though modified in conference, has been extremely beneficial to colleges such as those I represent and, we believe, beneficial to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Fourth, the National Science Foudation mandate concerning science education reads, "To initiate and support programs to strengthen scientific research potential and science education programs at all levels * Science education programs are of two sorts: those which support and sustain the ongoing process of science education and those which respond in some innovative manner to a crisis or new problem. While it may be exciting and
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certainly more visible politically to attack new problems, certain basic needs in science are always with us. Updated curricula and materials with teachers trained to use them are a continuing requisite in elementary and secondary schools. Qualified science faculty and reasonably up-to-date instructional scientific equipment are needed for good undergraduate science education. These continuing needs are common to all institutions-large universities, 4-year colleges and community colleges.
Among the National Science Foundation support programs which award grants on a competitive basis to help science departments meet continuing needs. I have included specific comments in my statement on four of these. They are the science faculty professional development; the instructional scientific equipment program. We have a great need for dealing with obsolete equipment, as discussed by Dr. Pelczar, with respect to research equipment. The undergraduate research participation program where students become directly involved with the faculty and where, in fact, research is science education. And, finally, comprehensive assistance to undergraduate science education, where, at Ohio Wesleyan, we have had some specific experience with a grant we received in the first phase of this program, and I think there is no doubt that this particular grant has had a greater impact on our curriculum than any single support we have received over the past decade.
I want to comment just briefly on the subcommittee's draft bill and urge the subcommittee, if at all possible, to increase the overall support in fiscal 1981 of NSF science education programs by $10 million to $95.27 million, a 17-percent increase over fiscal 1980 funding, to begin rectification of the long decline of education support within the NSF budget.
This committee has a long record of supporting science education over and above the requested budget and we hope, in this crucial period, you will not fail to set that priority again. Our suggestions on science education programs which could very well use increased funding are included in appendix E.
We also urge that you require that any cuts reflecting current concerns about a balanced Federal budget be administered evenly across all NSF divisions as you have authorized rather than being concentrated on particular parts.
We support the subcommittee's 2-year authorization as contained in its draft bill. We would hope that in years when the subcommittee does not determine new authorizations, it would continue to meet and examine in depth NSF policies.
In view of the House and Senate authorizing committees' significant directives to NSF, for which we are deeply grateful, we hope that you will not deliver the second year budget to NSF unmarked and without comment. Some guidance in your bill indicating either floors of support or proportional shares for program categories would be helpful.
We would like to see also language in the bill to prevent the peremptory scuttling of programs, something NSF has been guilty of in at least two cases this year. For fiscal year 1980, Congress directed the continuation of the science faculty professional development program and the initiation of appropriate technology programs, both of which NSF has attempted to dump in fiscal 1981.
With a 2-year authorization, NSF could be required to give Congress at least 1 year's notice of plans to start up or discontinue programs.
Thank you for this opportunity to present testimony. Thank you. I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. [The prepared statement of Dr. Wenzlau follows:]