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GOVERNMENT TO PROMOTE RESEARCH AND ENCOURAGE STUDENTS
This is found in a Deficiency Appropriation Bill which became a law on March 3, 1901. The provisions of this bill are as follows:
"That facilities for study and research in the Government departments, the Library of Congress, the National Museum, the Zoological Park, the Bureau of Ethnology, the Fish Commission, the Botanic Gardens, and similar institutions hereafter established shall be afforded to scientific investigators and to duly qualified individuals, students, and graduates of institutions of learning in the several States and Territories, as well as in the District of Columbia, under such rules and restrictions as the heads of the departments and bureaus mentioned may prescribe."
This legislation also was enacted before the Bureau of Standards was established. It provided facilities for study and research along the line of the joint resolution above mentioned. There is no indication of any collaboration with big business of any kind but only with students who were seeking opportunity for education and research.
On Page, 20 of Circular No. 296 it is stated, under the caption, 'Actions by Congress":
"The full text of the two actions by which Congress opened the way for the admission of qualified individuals to the use of the research facilities of the National Bureau of Standards is given below."
It seems rather strange that this statement should be made by reason of the fact that there was no National Bureau of Standards in existence at the time of either of these Congressional authorizations. It is plain that only students of universities and higher institutions of learning were included in this authorization.
That it should be the basis of linking up Government activities with corporations who desire research for their own individual benefits or that such activities as scientific associates could by any means be included in either one of these enactments is not even to be inferred. It is a well known principle of nearly every kind of business that research is absolutely necessary to keep pace with the progress of science. A business that does not conduct research is likely to go upon the rocks. Those corporations which have the most extensive research laboratories are those that are making the most progress and securing the best results from their activities. In most instances these great corporations conduct their own researches. In some instances they appeal to such institutions as the Mellon Institute of the University of Pittsburgh, or to such scientific institutions as the A. D. Little Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. In all cases where new processes are devised and new products perfected, the corporations protect themselves by letters patent. In the Mellon Institute, according to, the official report (1925) it is stated that about 300 patents on industrial procsses have been the result of their investigations. When we turn to the activities in the Bureau of Chemistry in which new discoveries are patented for common benefit, we find that 81 patents have been taken out.
The number of investigators and importance of the investigations at the Bureau of Standards almost equals those of the Mellon Institute of the University of Pittsburgh.
"At the close of the Institute's fiscal year on February 28, 1927, as shown in the accompanying chart, fifty-eight industrial fellowships were operating, employing one hundred and two research chemists and engineers. The sum of $598,493 was paid during the year in support of research in the Institute by the fellowship donors--an increase of $70,942 over the payments of the preceding year. The total amount of money appropriated by companies and associations to the Institute, for the sixteen years ended February 28, 1927, was $4,318,397, all of which was disbursed in sustaining fellowship research.
"The extent and variety of the Institute's scientific investigations on behalf of industry are shown in the appended list of the industrial fellowships in operation during the entire fiscal year, February 28, 1926, to February 28, 1927. There were sixty-seven fellowships--twenty-two multiple fellowships and forty-five individual fellowships--on which 124. scientists and engineers were occupied in research.
The Mellon Institute and the A. D. Little Corporation of Cambridge, Mass., are doing the same kind of work. as that conducted by the Bureau of standards and are in direct competition therewith. This is unfair competition.
Apparently all of the expenses of the Scientific Associates in the Bureau of Standards and in addition their postage are paid by the tax-payers of the United States.
No statement is made of the amounts paid by the industries to the sixty-two associates employed in the Bureau of Standards in 1926, nor of the number of experts belonging to the Bureau or cooperating with them. If the industries paid the representatives $2,500 a year, their contribution amounted to $155,050 per annum.