President's page: A new era for science?


  • Arthur E. Maxwell


Over the past decade or so, science has passed in general from an era of relative prosperity to an era in which the situation can better be described in terms of apprehension, concern, or crisis. In the sixties, science was growing faster than the gross national product—a situation that everyone agrees could not endure. Yet no one could have expected that scientific support would level off so dramatically in a climate of rapidly rising inflation, that constraints would be put so rigidly on basic research vis-a-vis applied programs, that increasing bureaucratic regulations would so stifle universities, and that tremendous pressure for the research dollar would yield a system of grants whereby each grant becomes increasingly small and short.