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The urgency of doing something about the problem before it is too late was underscored by the witnesses. The serious adverse effect of this situation on the future technical capability of the Nation was made clear. It is not just a question of putting this group back to work. It is not just a question of turning their talents to the solution of our social problems.

If we don't take positive action soon, we run the risk of long-term reduction in the Nation's economic strength.

This morning we will consider the specific legislative proposals before the subcommittee. Our first witness, who will speak for the administration on these bills, is Dr. William McElroy, director of the National Science Foundation.

Dr. McElroy is a distinguished scientist who was chairman of the department of biology at Johns Hopkins University for many years before becoming director of NSF in July 1969. I know I speak for the other members of this committee when I say we were all extremely sorry to learn of Dr. McElroy's resignation from NSF, which I understand is to be effective early in 1972.

During the 2 years Dr. McElroy has been at NSF, he has exhibited a high degree of leadership in moving the Foundation toward acceptance of its new social responsibilities. The programs proposed in the bills before the subcommittee would require an even greater widening of NSF's responsibilities.

It's difficult for institutions to adjust to changing circumstances. John Gardner has characterized this as the paramount problem of social change in our time. But I would hope the National Science Foundation will

prove capable of making the necessary changes. And I hope Dr. McElroy will address this fundamental issue in his remarks this morning.

Dr. McElroy.

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STATEMENT OF DR. W. D. McELROY, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL

SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Dr. McElroy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this oppor- : tunity to discuss aspects of the complex problem generally identified by the phrase "economic conversion." You have on record my formal statement on S. 32, conveyed in a letter to Senator Williams last spring. Today I wish to comment briefly on some of the broad ramifications of conversion.

My associates and I have given this subject considerable thought. We advance no simple answer and offer no quick solutions. As I am sure you know, it's a very difficult and complex problem.

Unemployment is always a matter of national concern—whether those out of work are returning veterans, inner-city young adults, skilled machinists or highly trained scientists and technicians. Although there is a relationship between the general unemployment situation and that of scientists and engineers, my comments today are focused on the latter.

Because of the National Science Foundation's missions, my colleagues and I are particularly concerned when large numbers of trained scientists and engineers are unemployed or underemployed. Unemployed scientists and engineers often have a considerable leverage effect upon the work force.

In our highly technological society, each scientist and engineerparticularly in industry-requires the support of technicians and other workers. In addition to the personal hardship, unemployment of these skilled and specialized people is a serious waste of valuable human resources-resources which are needed to help resolve some of the pressing problems facing the Nation.

I should like, at this point, to provide you with some of the more pertinent results of our recent analyses of the problem of unemployment among the Nation's scientists and engineers, for I suspect there may have been considerable confusion and some misunderstanding as to the magnitude and nature of this problem.

Our current estimates are based on a variety of information which includes recent Bureau of Labor Statistics information and our own just completed surveys. We estimate that there are now about 50,000 to 65,000 unemployed scientists and engineers out of a total of about 1,700,000. This represents an unemployment rate of about 3 percent.

To assess the situation in more detail, we initiated two special surveys last spring, in cooperation with the Department of Labor, the Office of Science and Technology, and the Department of Defense.

One covered the 310,000 scientists who responded to the questionnaire of the 1970 National Register; the other, carried out in cooperation with the Engineers Joint Council, covered 100,000 engineers. We have just completed an analysis of the data on these two surveys. This is what we found:

Engineers were slightly worse off than scientists, with an unemployment rate of 3.0 percent compared with 2.6 percent for scientists. (A year ago these rates were 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. The latest BLS national unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, for all workers in the third quarter of 1971 averaged 6.0 percent.)

Senator KENNEDY. Of course, in terms of comparison, if you take the number of unemployed workers with a similar profile as these scientists, you find that it is far below the 6 percent. If you take the average unemployed worker with comparable educational background and family responsibilities, I dare say that you will find that unemployment among the scientists and technicians is well above average for such a group. And this is the proper population which should be used for a valid comparison with scientists, engineers, and technicians.

Dr. McELROY. Except possibly for inner-city youths.

Senator KENNEDY. That's why I don't think it is valid to say that since only 3 percent of scientists are unemployed, versus a national level of 6 percent, scientists' unemployment is not serious. The national level of 6 percent includes young people, blacks, Indians, people who have not finished their education, and others where the unemployment is well above the national average.

And I dare say if you considered college graduates who have been in the labor market, you will find the unemployment level below that of the scientists and engineers. I think unemployment among scientists and engineers is well above the unemployment rate for other groups with comparable educational background.

Dr. McElroy. I agree with you, Senator. I think if you look at some of our data you will find that, for example, for people with a doctorate degree, their unemployment rate is only 1.4 percent compared to the overall 3 percent.

So it's certainly true, the point you are making, that the more highly trained you become the less the unemployment. Certainly our survey of engineers has been focused on ones that have the B.A. degree and who have not had a chance for additional training.

Senator KENNEDY. The problem of conversion and scientific unemployment has been with us for some period of time. We introduced our first economic conversion bill in August of 1970. This was after we had spent a number of months talking to knowledgeable people, and trying to work these kinds of problems out. Yet we find that the NSF study of scientific unemployment was not initiated until the spring of this year. I know that you people have a variety of different responsibilities and new programs such as RANN, but I am just wondering how concerned the NSF really is about this pool of unemployed scientists. How concerned should we be ?

I know you will probably get into that in your testimony later on, but I hear people in the Congress and elsewhere saying it still hasn't gotten off the mark line, still hasn't gotten started. How legitimate is that criticism?

Dr. McElroy. Well, I think, as I say a little later on in my testimony, that there are certain aspects of what we are doing that we do believe reach the objectives of some of the bills that have been introduced. On the other hand, there are certain things where we feel it would probably best for the NSF itself not to be the primary agency involved, even though the idea may be good.

Furthermore, it is certainly true that we had a hard time ourselves getting a handle on the real meaning of the so-called unemployment among scientists and engineers, and this, as I indicate in the testimony, is regional. The States of Washington and California and Connecticut and Massachusetts are the major ones where you really have some heavy unemployment. But nationally, we couldn't get our finger on this total problem.

Senator KENNEDY. I see. You know, Walter Reuther testified here almost 2 years ago-December 1969—about this kind of problem, and I just am trying to put the question which is asked me a good deal: Is the NSF really concerned and interested in this particular problem?

As we heard yesterday, and as I frequently hear from members of the scientific community in my own State, people in the Government generally aren't as concerned about their problems, and NSF has been dragged into this issue against its will, I wonder what do you think is the best way for me to answer those kinds of questions?

Dr. McElroy. Let me say this, NSF has been very much concerned about this. In our manpower division, we have been trying to get a handle on who is unemployed, how many doctor's and master's degrees, what is their training.

We came to the conclusion it is a question of how you create jobs. Not so much the retraining. As I indicated before, I believe on-thejob type training, like we did at the end of World War II, is a more realistic approach, if you can create a job as you go along.

If you don't have a job, you don't know what you are training a person for. Fundamentally, that is the problem, how to create jobs.

Senator KENNEDY. I agree with that.

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Dr. McElroy. We feel the RANN program is at least a modest approach to solving two things. One is helping the manpower problem. The other is putting scientists and manpower to work in our major societal problems, particularly in the urban environment.

Senator KENNEDY. Yes; but as I understand it, you believe that a general expansion in the economy offers the best hope for employment of scientists. I am going to want to explore that further. I shall let you continue with your testimony at this time.

Dr. McElroy. As indicated in my July 14, 1971, statement before the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Science, Research, and Development, our belief

Senator KENNEDY. I'm sorry to interrupt again, Doctor. But as I understand it, the group included in your survey constitutes only a portion of the total technical community; and, moreover, is a portion

а which is likely to have an unemployment rate which is less than that prevalent in the total group of scientists and engineers.

What percentage of the technical community is included in your survey, do you know?

Dr. McElroy. I don't know. I probably should call on Dr. Mills who is with me.

Senator KENNEDY. What percentage, Doctor?

Dr. Mills. Well, as to engineers, I believe it is about 500,000 out of 1,200,000. For scientists, it's much higher. It's about 85 to 90 percent of the scientists.

Senator KENNEDY. Eighty percent of the scientists, and for the engineers, about 500,000 out of a million! So it's about 50 percent for engineers ?

Dr. Mills. Forty to 50 percent.
Senator KENNEDY. And 80 percent in terms of scientists?
Dr. Mills. Eighty-five to 90 percent of the scientists, I would say.

Senator KENNEDY. Did you take account of these factors in reaching your overall estimates?

Dr. McElroy. I will let Dr. Mills answer again.

Senator KENNEDY. I was wondering, Doctor, how you took account of the size and special characteristics of your sample in reaching your overall figures.

Dr. Mills. With respect to the scientists, we went back to the group who had answered the National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel in 1970. This was a total of some 300,000 individuals. We went back to that group, and we had responses from something better than 250,000, which we feel confident represents at least half of the scientists in the country.

With respect to the engineers, we had no comparable list, so we went to the Engineers Joint Council which maintains membership lists for the major engineering societies. We took a random sample of approximately 100,000 of the engineers out of those members, and sent questionnaires to that group. We got responses from approximately 60,000 of the 95,000. We feel that the questionnaire to the scientists represents a good cross section of the scientists, professional scientists, in the country.

With respect to the engineers, we feel that the survey represents very adequately the members of professional societies. It does not represent the individuals who are not members of professional societies. We estimate, however, that if we included in this survey those who were not members of professional societies, the rate might have been as high as 3.4 percent, so this is the range we are talking about—somewhere between 3 and 3.4 percent.

Senator KENNEDY. Okay.

Dr. McElroy. Our belief that the major problem of unemployment, as well as that of conversion from defense to civilian occupations, lies more with the engineering and technology group than it does with scientists has been substantiated by the data from our two surveys.

This is due in part to the fact that about 70 percent of our engineers are employed by private industry and they reported an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent.

By comparison, only about 30 percent of the Nation's scientists are employed in industry and their rate was 3.1 percent.

In terms of areas of work, those engineers in defense and space activities indicated unemployment rates of 4.8 and 6.3 percent respectively, while the corresponding rates for scientists were 3.2 and 3.3 percent.

My point here is merely to suggest that the mix between scientists and engineers in terms of age, institution of employment, and geographic distribution makes it more difficult to support some of the generalizations made when the unemployment problems of scientists and engineers are combined.

But by saying this, I do not mean in any way to play down the seriousness of the unemployment problem. Let me discuss now my serious concerns about the long-range implications of the current unemployment problem as it affects those in the science and engineering professions.

Our current unemployment of scientists and engineers and its companion, underemployment-could be a forerunner of a continuing social and economic phenomenon with a series of employment dislocations and personal frustrations,

I say this perhaps intuitively, for we are just beginning to perceive the possible employment ramifications of our demographic and institutional changes. As we look at these ramifications, it becomes increasingly apparent that we must consider carefully the long-range aspects of conversion if we are to deal responsibly with the situation we face today.

As we pass through the next several decades, we can expect continuing change in occupations—and industries—and the prospects of a host of problems for those individuals immediately concerned. Old occupations will disappear and new ones will be created as we apply our scientific and technological capabilities to a broader array of problems confronting our society and economy, and also as we respond to the forward sweep of invention and innovation.

All of us have seen this happen in our own lifetime. A wheelwright, familiar to our fathers, is unheard of today; a programer is an entirely new occupation, growing out of the development of the computer in only the past 20 years.

And the result of these occupational shifts-particularly during a period of slow growth—could be a series of employment imbalances for a variety of scientists, engineers, and technology-oriented people caught by the forces of change.

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