Clark Kerr Lecture Series on the Role of Higher Education in Society, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation and the Center for Studies in Higher Education.
Science and the University: An Evolutionary Tale, Part 1: The Endless Frontier
In which President Roosevelt asks Vannevar Bush and others,-including may helpers and some revisionists, to transplant the federal governments apparatus for wartime science into the infrastructure for growth of research in the nation’s universities.
The result is not what Bush originally hopes — a single Foundation responsible for all of the nation’s science — but it ushers in a period of extraordinary growth and transformation. Universities deal with the challenges of allocating and rebalancing new resources of unexpected scope, but the twenty days after war’s end resource growth flattens and new challenges appear: federal support brings more control, and a new generation has new questions about the value of science.
Science and the University: An Evolutionary Tale, Part 2: Bayh-Dole and Enclosing the Frontier
In which universities, having been partly weaned from federal support, are recognizing new sources of help. Their quest is assisted by a new concern from the government: the money being spent on basic research is producing more prizes then patents.
Congress finds a solution: in the Bayh-Dole Amendments of 1980 it forswears collection on intellectual property rights resulting from university research it supports. The result is a dramatic growth in academic centers devoted to patenting and licensing faculty inventions. This brings in new money, accompanied by new challenges: should the university go into business with its faculty? Can it retain equity of treatment across disciplines. Perhaps most significant, had the enclosure of the Endless Frontier created economic property rights that will change the character not only of science but of academic life?
Science and the University: An Evolutionary Tale, Part 3: Science, Security, and Control
In which science and its university proprietors confront a new set of questions. Whether in the later phases of the Cold War or in the early phases of the Terror War, universities find themselves witnessing a replay of the old battle between science, which would prefer to have everything open, and security, which would like to have some of it secret. Struggles in the early 1980’s regarding application of arms control regulations to basic data resulted in some solutions that some hoped would be permanent.
But after 9/11 a host of new issues surfaced. Not limited to arms control considerations, the new concerns included the publication of data or methods that might fall into the wrong hands. At the same time, science was confronting a different kind of security problem: instead of being employed to decide policy, science was being manipulated or kept secure in order to justify preferred policy outcomes.