GOVERNING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY by W. Henry Lambright

GOVERNING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lambright (Syracuse Univ., Poll. Sci.), has written a concise if unexciting text on the relationship between the federal government and scientific research. Since 1945, government ""has become a dominant force behind scientific and technological change."" Agencies like the Defense Department, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health control a whopping $20 billion in research and development funds for 1976 alone. But, Lambright finds, there is little coordination or conscious consideration of priorities. The interests of scientists, engineers, administrators and politicians collide within these institutions. Attempts to apply technology to solving social problems bring Washington up against hundreds of state and local governments, companies, unions, and consumers--all exerting pressures. Thus it is easier to deal with new challenges--weapons systems, space vehicles, nuclear power--than with ""existing technostructures."" Further, the military and NASA, as users of the machines they commission, have more clout than less high-powered social agencies working to obtain new construction techniques or mass transportation systems. Lambright summarizes the issues clearly and effectively, although rarely telling us anything startling. His systems-analysis approach casts the data in a form more useful to public administration specialists than to general readers.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1975
Publisher: Oxford