Government Research and Development

January 24, 1962

Report Outline
Rise of Federal Spending for Research
Government Employment of Scientists
Contracting-Out of Research Projects
Federal Policy on Patent Rights
Special Focus

Rise of Federal Spending for Research

Quacrupling of Research Outlays in a Deasde

President kennedy has asked Congress to make funds available for expenditure of a record $12.3 billion on research and development programs in the fiscal year beginning next July 1. The budget and supporting statements transmitted to Congress on Jan. 18 showed that expenditures in the amount recommended would represent an increase of $2 billion over comparable estimated expenditures in fiscal 1962 and an increase of $3 billion over the total in fiscal 1961. Approval of the budget proposal will open the way to spending for research and development in the next fiscal year an amount that will be four times the outlay made for that purpose only a decade ago.

The huge expansion of government-supported research and development projects has created difficult problems of public policy and fiscal management. Special attention centers on R & D policies within the Defense Department; seven of every ten dollars spent by the federal government for research and development in the next fiscal year will go primarily to meet national defense needs. Congressional committees have been investigating various aspects of Pentagon “contracting out” procedures under which nonprofit corporations carry on research and development work for the armed services.

Within the Executive Branch, a special Bureau of the Budget review of federal contracting procedures in scientific and technical work is now in its final stages. When President Kennedy ordered the study last July, he indicated that he would like to find out if there was any reason why government laboratories and scientists could not take over some of the scientific and technical work now farmed out under contract. A related issue, certain to be debated in Congress, concerns loss of government scientists to private industry and the resulting deterioration of the government's own capabilities in scientific fields.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Copyright and Patents
Science and Politics