Science and Technology
Outlook and Report '95
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
This Nation's future depends on strong public and private support for science and
technology. My Administration's decision to make sound investments in science and
technology even as the federal government cuts other spending is premised on three basic
- Technology is the engine of economic growth.
- Scientific knowledge is the key to the future.
- Responsible government advances science and technology.
The Congress and the American people can find evidence of the Administration's
dedication to responsible government support for science and technology in our defense and
economic policies as well as our management of the science and technology enterprise. We
have decreased the federal deficit, helped to create millions of new jobs, and improved the
tax treatment of small businesses and of investments in research and development.
Hemispheric and global trade agreements as well as relaxation of outdated export controls
have opened huge export markets to America's high-tech industries. My National Security
Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement (February 1995) depends on farsighted and efficient
science and technology investments. Our foreign policy and security interests are also
supported by mutually beneficial international cooperation in science and technology.
We have consistently endorsed technology policies to increase prosperity and enhance
environmental quality. In Technology for America's Economic Growth (February 1993) and
Technology for a Sustainable Future (July 1994) this Administration conveyed to the
American people our plans for public/private partnerships to improve the business
environment, enhance access to quality education and training, support development of
information infrastructure, ensure continued excellence in health care, and strengthen
America's global competitiveness.
Streamlined government based on strong partnerships -- within the government, with
the private sector, and among nations -- is a hallmark of the Clinton/Gore Administration.
The "virtual department" I created by establishing the National Science and Technology
Council (NSTC) has cut bureaucratic red tape and produced a historic first: an integrated
research and development budget that focuses on national goals. The NSTC has also
produced large savings by enabling agencies to coordinate their efforts, divide tasks, and
My Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) provides critical
links to industry and academia. Their oversight of NSTC activities, such as development of
strategies for the management and disposition of fissile materials, promises to improve the
federal effort. So, too, do the forums and workshops that have drawn in thousands of
experts and stakeholders to help develop priorities in areas as diverse as fundamental science,
environmental technology, and health, safety, and food research.
I am also very proud of the steps we have taken to improve international cooperation
in science and technology. Through the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission we have used
science and technology cooperation to ease the Russians' transition to democracy and a
market economy. We have received valuable new technology and cultivated a crucial partner
in global affairs through Russian participation in the international space station. We have
used the Megasciences Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development and other international forums to explore ways to share the increasing costs of
cutting-edge research while maintaining our position of world leadership. Bilateral science
and technology cooperation with other nations, including advanced industrial economies such
as Japan, and big, emerging markets such as the People's Republic of China, serve us well in
the global economy -- giving us access to new ideas and new technologies while creating new
opportunities for business.
Economists have estimated that the social rate of return on investments in research and
development averages about 50 percent, or about double the average private rate of return.
Clearly a solid federal investment program is justified even in the leanest times. It is
especially important for the federal government to maintain its investments in science and
technology when the pressures of international competition are leading businesses to focus on
shorter term payoffs at the expense of more basic, longer term, and riskier research and
In Science in the National Interest (August 1994), the Vice President and I reaffirmed
our longstanding commitment to world leadership in science, mathematics, and engineering.
Scientific discoveries inspire and enrich us. Equally important, science and mathematics
education provides all Americans with the knowledge and skills they need to prepare for and
adapt to the high-technology jobs of the future and to exercise the responsibilities of
This Administration has articulated clear goals and established priorities for federal
spending, and our economic policies have improved the climate for private investment as
well. We intend to work closely with Congress to ensure the wellbeing of our children and
grandchildren. These investments will prepare us for the challenges of the 21st Century.
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