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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 27, 1999
               President Clinton and Vice President Gore:
     Renewing the Federal Government-University Research Partnership
                         for the 21st Century

                              April 27, 1999

Today, President Clinton will direct the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to strengthen the Federal government's research partnership with American universities and to work with universities to advance shared goals. The President will call on Federal agencies and universities to renew their mutual commitment to the partnership; strengthen the linkages between research and education; and take actions to make the partnership more effective and efficient. The President will release the NSTC report on Renewing the Federal Government-University Research Partnership for the 21st Century.


The Report's Findings and Recommendations

  1. Principles of the Partnership - A Renewed Compact: While Federal laws, circulars, and regulations govern operational aspects of the government-university relationship in areas such as allowable costs, administrative procedures, compliance issues, and audit practices, there is currently no statement of principles to guide the overall relationship. As long as this remains so, the government-university research partnership risks being defined primarily in an ad hoc manner, through detailed accounting, administrative, and financial management requirements, and not by our broader, overarching national goals.

A clearly articulated statement of the principles of the partnership will help clarify the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the government and university partners and establish a framework for addressing future issues as they arise. Ultimately, an agreed upon statement of principles also will serve to shape future discussions, formulate policies, and help guide decision making.

Recommendation: The NSTC will work with the university community to develop a statement of principles of the government-university partnership to clarify the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the parties - namely, funding agencies, universities, individual investigators, and regulatory bodies - and to provide a framework for the development of new policies, rules, regulations, and laws affecting the partnership.

2) Research and Education -- A Seamless Web: The integration of research and education is the hallmark of our American system of universities. An important rationale for the Federal investment in university-based research is the benefit derived from training a new generation of scientists and engineers. When students participate in research they simultaneously gain critical educational and training experience and contribute to the national research enterprise. The integration of research and education is therefore vital to the future of our nation, to our research enterprise, and to our future scientific and engineering workforce.

Recommendation: Government policies and regulations will be revised to reflect the vital and dual roles of students -- undergraduates as well as graduates -- as both researchers who contribute to the national research enterprise, and as students who gain research experience as part of their training.

3) Reinvent the Rules of the Partnership to Make it More Effective and Efficient: The report found numerous instances where guidelines and regulations, which in many ways provide the administrative framework for the partnership, were found wanting. These ranged from how the costs of research are allocated, to the paperwork requirements for grants, to environment and safety regulations. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the partnership, a proper balance must be struck between government oversight and the conduct of research. Recommendation: The President will direct the NSTC to foster a more productive policy, regulatory, and administrative environment and to promote cost and administrative efficiencies while maintaining accountability for public funds.

Selected Facts And Figures About The Importance Of University-Based



1998 National Medal of Science Recipients

The National Medal of Science is the nation's highest scientific honor. Established by Congress in 1959, it was intended to be bestowed annually by the President of the United States on a select group of individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences. Congress expanded this definition in 1980 to recognize outstanding work in the social and behavioral sciences. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy awarded the first Medal of Science to the late Theodore Von Karmen, the president emeritus of aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Including the nine 1998 winners, 362 individuals have been awarded the Medal of Science.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers the Medal of Science program for the President. A distinguished independent, 12-member, presidential-appointed committee reviews the nominations and sends its list of recommendations to the President for final selection. The committee is comprised of outstanding scientists and engineers from a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences. Serving as ex officio members are the president of the National Academy of Sciences and the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy.

Bruce N. Ames, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California in Berkeley, California, for changing the direction of basic and applied research on mutation, cancer, and aging. His simple, inexpensive test for environmental and natural mutagens identified causes and effects of oxidative DNA damage, and translated these findings into intelligible public policy recommendations on diet and cancer risk for the American people.

Don L. Anderson, Professor of Geophysics at the California Institute of Technology Seismological Laboratory in Pasadena, California, for advancing the understanding of the composition, structure, and dynamics of the Earth and Earth-like planets, and for his national and international influence on the advancement of earth sciences over the past three decades.

John N. Bahcall, Professor of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, for his pioneering efforts in neutrino astrophysics and his contributions to the development and planning of the Hubble Space Telescope.

John W. Cahn, Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, for his profound influence on the course of materials and mathematics research, and his enormous contributions to three generations of materials scientists, solid-state physicists and mathematicians.

Cathleen S. Morawetz, Professor Emerita at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University in New York, New York, for pioneering advances in partial differential equations and wave propagation resulting in application to aerodynamics, acoustics, and optics.

Janet D. Rowley, Professor at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, for revolutionizing cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment through her discovery of chromosomal translocations in cancer, and for her pioneering work on the relationship of prior treatment to recurring chromosome abnormalities.

Eli Ruckenstein, Professor of Chemical Engineering, State University of New York in Buffalo, New York, for his world class pioneering theories and experimental achievements in colloidal and surface phenomena, catalysts, and advanced materials.

George M. Whitesides, Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his innovative and far-ranging research in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and material science that has brought breakthroughs to transition metal chemistry, heterogeneous reactions, organic surface chemistry, and enzyme-mediated synthesis.

William Julius Wilson, Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for his pioneering methods of interdisciplinary social science research that have advanced understanding of the interaction between the macroeconomic, social structural, cultural, and behavioral forces that cause and reproduce inner city poverty.

For additional information about the 1998 National Medal of Science awardees, contact Bill Noxon in Legislative and Public Affairs (703/306-1070) at the National Science Foundation.

1998 National Medal of Technology Recipients

The National Medal of Technology is awarded for technological breakthroughs resulting in the creation of new or significantly improved products, processes, or services. The President of the United States first presented this prestigious award in 1985.

An independent committee of experts from the scientific and technological community evaluates the merits of all candidates nominated through an open, national, competitive solicitation process. Committee recommendations are forwarded to the Secretary of Commerce who then makes recommendations to the President for his final decision.

Denton A. Cooley, MD, Founder, President and Surgeon-in-Chief, Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas, for his inspirational skill, leadership, and technical accomplishments during six decades of practicing cardiovascular surgery, including having performed the first successful human heart transplant in the United States, and the world's first implantation of an artificial heart in man as a bridge to heart transplantation, and for founding the Texas Heart Institute, which has served more heart patients than any other institution in the world.

Team Award jointly to Kenneth L. Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie, (Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories) in Murray Hill, New Jersey, for the invention of the Unix operating system and the C programming language which together have led to enormous advances in computer hardware, software, and networking systems, and stimulated the growth of the entire computer industry, thereby enhancing American leadership in the Information Age. Kenneth Thompson is a Bell Laboratories Fellow in the Computing Sciences Research Center, and Dennis Ritchie is a Bell Laboratories Fellow and Head of the Systems Software Research Department.

Team Award jointly to Robert T. Fraley, Robert B. Horsch, Ernest G. Jaworski, and Stephen G. Rogers (Monsanto) in St. Louis, Missouri, for their pioneering achievements in plant biology and agricultural biotechnology, and for global leadership in the development and commercialization of genetically modified crops to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability. Robert Fraley is Co-President of the Agricultural Sector; Robert Horsch is Co-President of the Sustainable Development Sector and General Manager of the Agracetus Research Campus; Ernest Jaworski is the retired Director of the Biological Sciences Program; and Stephen Rogers is Director of Biotechnology Projects at Monsanto's European Center for Crop Research in Brussels, Belgium.

Biogen, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for its leadership in applying breakthroughs in biology to the development of life-saving and life-enhancing pharmaceutical products designed to treat large, previously underserved patient populations throughout the world; and for the development of hepatitis B vaccines, the first vaccines using recombinant DNA technology.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company of New York, New York, for extending and enhancing human life through innovative pharmaceutical research and development, and for redefining the science of clinical study through groundbreaking and extremely complex clinical trials that are now recognized as industry models.

For additional information about the 1998 recipients of the National Medal of Technology, contact Cheryl Mendonsa in Public Affairs (202-482-8321) at the Department of Commerce.