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8. Basic Research

The National Science Foundation, in its 1957 study of American research and development, concluded that “our overall effort is ample.”53 It also concluded, however, that we are deficient in basic research, and that this phase of R&D needs encouragement. It recommends a program of Federal encouragement, ranging from tax exemptions (see below) to Federal aid. We have seen, however, that the great bulk of basic research takes place in private university laboratories, and that the Hoover Task Force has found the government incompetent to perform even military research and development, much less civilian. And we have seen in detail the inefficiencies and the grave dangers of science—and direction is bound to follow subsidy. Also, we have seen how Federal aid to scientific education is self-defeating.

  • 53. Basic Research, A National Resource.
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