(a) PrinciplesIn view of the foregoing, the Congress declares that the United States shall adhere to a national policy for science and technology which includes the following principles:
The continuing development and implementation of strategies for determining and achieving the appropriate scope, level, direction, and extent of scientific and technological efforts based upon a continuous appraisal of the role of science and technology in achieving goals and formulating policies of the United States, and reflecting the views of State and local governments and representative public groups.
The enlistment of science and technology to foster a healthy economy in which the directions of growth and innovation are compatible with the prudent and frugal use of resources and with the preservation of a benign environment.
The conduct of science and technology operations so as to serve domestic needs while promoting foreign policy objectives.
The recruitment, education, training, retraining, and beneficial use of adequate numbers of scientists, engineers, and technologists, and the promotion by the Federal Government of the effective and efficient utilization in the national interest of the Nation’s human resources in science, engineering, and technology.
The development and maintenance of a solid base for science and technology in the United States, including: (A) strong participation of and cooperative relationships with State and local governments and the private sector; (B) the maintenance and strengthening of diversified scientific and technological capabilities in government, industry, and the universities, and the encouragement of independent initiatives based on such capabilities, together with elimination of needless barriers to scientific and technological innovation; (C) effective management and dissemination of scientific and technological information; (D) establishment of essential scientific, technical and industrial standards and measurement and test methods; and (E) promotion of increased public understanding of science and technology.
The recognition that, as changing circumstances require periodic revision and adaptation of this subchapter, the Federal Government is responsible for identifying and interpreting the changes in those circumstances as they occur, and for effecting subsequent changes in this subchapter as appropriate.
(b) ImplementationTo implement the policy enunciated in subsection (a) of this section, the Congress declares that:
The Federal Government should maintain central policy planning elements in the executive branch which assist Federal agencies in (A) identifying public problems and objectives, (B) mobilizing scientific and technological resources for essential national programs, (C) securing appropriate funding for programs so identified, (D) anticipating future concerns to which science and technology can contribute and devising strategies for the conduct of science and technology for such purposes, (E) reviewing systematically Federal science policy and programs and recommending legislative amendment thereof when needed. Such elements should include an advisory mechanism within the Executive Office of the President so that the Chief Executive may have available independent, expert judgment and assistance on policy matters which require accurate assessments of the complex scientific and technological features involved.
It is a responsibility of the Federal Government to promote prompt, effective, reliable, and systematic transfer of scientific and technological information by such appropriate methods as programs conducted by nongovernmental organizations, including industrial groups and technical societies. In particular, it is recognized as a responsibility of the Federal Government not only to coordinate and unify its own science and technology information systems, but to facilitate the close coupling of institutional scientific research with commercial application of the useful findings of science.
It is further an appropriate Federal function to support scientific and technological efforts which are expected to provide results beneficial to the public but which the private sector may be unwilling or unable to support.
Scientific and technological activities which may be properly supported exclusively by the Federal Government should be distinguished from those in which interests are shared with State and local governments and the private sector. Among these entities, cooperative relationships should be established which encourage the appropriate sharing of science and technology decisionmaking, funding support, and program planning and execution.
The Federal Government should support and utilize engineering and its various disciplines and make maximum use of the engineering community, whenever appropriate, as an essential element in the Federal policymaking process.
Comprehensive legislative support for the national science and technology effort requires that the Congress be regularly informed of the condition, health and vitality, and funding requirements of science and technology, the relation of science and technology to changing national goals, and the need for legislative modification of the Federal endeavor and structure at all levels as it relates to science and technology.
(c) ProceduresThe Congress declares that, in order to expedite and facilitate the implementation of the policy enunciated in subsection (a) of this section, the following coordinate procedures are of paramount importance:
Federal procurement policy should encourage the use of science and technology to foster frugal use of materials, energy, and appropriated funds; to assure quality environment; and to enhance product performance.
Explicit criteria, including cost-benefit principles where practicable, should be developed to identify the kinds of applied research and technology programs that are appropriate for Federal funding support and to determine the extent of such support. Particular attention should be given to scientific and technological problems and opportunities offering promise of social advantage that are so long range, geographically widespread, or economically diffused that the Federal Government constitutes the appropriate source for undertaking their support.
Federal promotion of science and technology should emphasize quality of research, recognize the singular importance of stability in scientific and technological institutions, and for urgent tasks, seek to assure timeliness of results. With particular reference to Federal support for basic research, funds should be allocated to encourage education in needed disciplines, to provide a base of scientific knowledge from which future essential technological development can be launched, and to add to the cultural heritage of the Nation.
Federal patent policies should be developed, based on uniform principles, which have as their objective the preservation of incentives for technological innovation and the application of procedures which will continue to assure the full use of beneficial technology to serve the public.
Closer relationships should be encouraged among practitioners of different scientific and technological disciplines, including the physical, social, and biomedical fields.
Federal departments, agencies, and instrumentalities should assure efficient management of laboratory facilities and equipment in their custody, including acquisition of effective equipment, disposal of inferior and obsolete properties, and cross-servicing to maximize the productivity of costly property of all kinds. Disposal policies should include attention to possibilities for further productive use.
The full use of the contributions of science and technology to support State and local government goals should be encouraged.
Formal recognition should be accorded those persons whose scientific and technological achievements have contributed significantly to the national welfare.
The Federal Government should support applied scientific research, when appropriate, in proportion to the probability of its usefulness, insofar as this probability can be determined; but while maximizing the beneficial consequences of technology, the Government should act to minimize foreseeable injurious consequences.