Agency for technological development for domestic programs.

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【作者】 Amitai Etzioni 

【摘要】The period of change of administrations in Washington is a time when federal reorganization is given special attention. Furthermore, as expenditures for R & D , especially for nonmilitary purposes, are expected to increase much more slowly in the immediate future than they have over the past 10 years, questions of the effective use of existing research facilities and manpower will gain increasing attention. In this context, reorganization is considered here as a method by which greater organizational effectiveness can be achieved, through an increase in economy and coordination. To highlight some of the issues involved in such reorganization in the “short” run (4 to 8 years), I focus on the merits and difficulties of one particular proposal. This proposal is a variant of the often discussed idea of establishing a federal department of science, or science and education, or science and technology (I). Suggestions for such a department find little support among large segments of the academic community, mainly because these scientists fear monopolization of sources of support for research, a situation which could allow the advocates of one school of thought to deny funds to other promising lines of investigation (2). I deal here with a much more limited proposal: the creation of an agency devoted primarily to technological work and specializing in domestic-mainly urban-problems: a kind of earthoriented NASA. However, unlike the case for NASA, the establishment of an Agency for Technological Development (ATD) need not involve the creation of new, large-scale, bureaucratic machinery or a significant increase in total federal expenditures. A conversion of Housing and Urban Development (or of parts of it, especially the Model-Cities Administration) into a kind of R L D Department for the cities, augmented by the transfer of several “technological” units from other agencies and collaboration with still others, could provide most of the manpower, budget, and facilities that would be required. Since I favor this particular approach, I cannot completely avoid all hints of advocacy as I proceed to review first the merits and then the difficulties of this mode of reorganization of the federal R & D effort. The basic conditions I describe would, however, apply to most other attempts at reorganization and, hence, may be of interest even if an “earth-NASA” is not.