to the Committee on Science United States House of Representatives

January 6, 1995

Impacts of Science and Technology: A Vision for the Year 2015

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I appreciate the invitation to testify at your first hearing of the 104th Congress and regret that a long-standing commitment prevents my personal attendance. As we agreed in our recent conversation, Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to appear before the Committee in the near future to present my views on the subject of this hearing, or on any other topic involving the Department of Energy.

You have presented a provocative and important challenge to your witnesses in asking each of us to discuss how our Departments are preparing to meet the revolutionary changes projected to occur in the next 20 years. During that period--as over the past 20 years--science and technology will yield powerful, yet in many cases unpredictable, new developments that will affect our economy, national security, environment, and quality of life.

As one of the nation's major supporters of federal research and development, the Department of Energy has a wide range of extremely exciting R&D programs under way that hold the potential to contribute in important ways to a better future. The basic framework for our investments is established through our statutory missions in energy resources and end- use technologies; national security, primarily as it relates to nuclear weapons-related science and security issues; clean-up of the by products of nuclear weapons production; and fundamental science in areas that underlie these mission areas, including high-energy and nuclear physics.

Successful performance in each of these mission areas depends on further advances in scientific and technological research. For example:

Mr. Chairman, I could go on at considerable length in describing ongoing R&D programs of the Department of Energy that we believe will make substantial contributions in meeting the public missions of this agency. To a growing extent, these programs are being performed through partnerships including the Department and other government agencies, academia, and the private sector. One of the great challenges facing our nation is how best to integrate the complementary strengths and needs of R&D performers in the public and private sectors, with the goals of furthering U.S. leadership in science and technology, strengthening our economy and national security, and addressing national problems for which science and technology offer solutions. I look forward to the opportunity to testify before the Science Committee to describe in more detail our contributions toward meeting these goals.