The Scientific and Technological Revolution. Its Impact on Management and Education

ClearScan with OCR JFAG

380 61 6MB

English Pages [319] Year 1975

Report DMCA / Copyright


Recommend Papers

The Scientific and Technological Revolution. Its Impact on Management and Education

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

'I '



)J ·�


'· lj)

tl· ,,








l ..



j 340





., ...


'.:; ti•,.;!

... ••



,.. ).

current problems

Translated from the Russian by Robert Daglish

B. r. Ateam whose members are united by common interests rather than organisational ties. Many such teams exist. Large, integrated scientific programmes are a feature of present-day research. Proj ects s uch as space research, the set­ ting up of large industrial plants or even a s eparate machine such as the computer, the building of a supersonic j et a irliner, and so on, call for .the combineld efforts of scientists and spe­ cialists in many different fields, as well as massive material and financial resources. The systemic approach permits an all-round analysis of the problem, provides access to the achievements of rel ated sciences and trends, and application of all kinds of modern methods. Today's giant research programmes usually make use of the matrix. This means that the leadership of the team planning the proj ect falls to the most compete nt specialist at the moment when the planning process demands his spe ­ cialised knowledge. When this particular problem has been dealt with, the need for specia1ised ' knowledge shifts to another part of the proj ect. Leadership is then handed over to another specialist, usually a member of the team. Teams that are dealing with integrated research pro­ gra�mes are bound by common interests and the urge to achieve a common goal . The difficulty of organising such a team i1s to provide within the framework of a unified solu ­ tion conditions in which not a single member of the team



loses his creative individuality. Each member is a part of the whole, and an essential part , whose removal would make the final goal unattainable. At the same time his participa­ tion is relatively independent in view of his specific func­ tions, knowledge and experience. When organising integrated research programmes we are confronted, in extremely practical terms, with the eternal philosophical question of the relation of the parts to the whole. Obviously, any scientist who j oins a research team of this kind must be fully aware of the distinction between scientific indivjduality and scientific indiViidualism. If he is merely a scientific individualist, his contribution to an integrated programme will probably be nil. It is an interesting fact that when the programme's gen­ eral obj ective is achieved, it becomes a means for achieving other, even more complex obj ectives. This is not to say that the obj ective is always attainable and a negative result always useless. But the value of truly skilful organisation and planning of science is that it sets attainable goals and proposes the most effective means of attaining them. One way of testing the proposed aims of complex research programmes is to obtain precise answers to the following questions : who will use the end-product of the completed programme? Where, when and how will it be used? The practice of organising complex research programmes in the USSR shows that not all scientists and not all research teams are prepared to answer these questions. What is the outcome? A research programme is completed, but there is no organis a ­ tion to make use of the result achieved. This means th at these scientific discoveries are either not used at all or introduced into the economy only after considerable delay. After a certain lapse of time, however, the re quired orga­ nisation is found, but decides that further adjustments and modifications must be made before it can make practical use of the programme's result. The research team undertakes these modifications, or rather a revision of its work, and ther e is s till nothing practical to be applied. In another case, the research programme has been com-



pleted, but the organisation that commissioned it has no ba� e or site where it can use the resul t achieved. By the time this base or site is eventually assigned, the p rogramme may re­ quire some adjustment. The research team sets about ma�­ ing the adj ustments, or rather revising its work, and agam there is nothing practical to apply. When the aim of an integrated research programme is closely enough defined, when the organiser or leader knows where, when, how and by whom its result will be applied, he has to plan the stages of the programme. These will usually be defined on a chronological basis. Instead of stages, the principle of dividing the obj ective into blocks or units of a certain size may also be adopted. Whenever we divide a thing into parts (and parts must form a whole) we are again confronted with the same ques­ tions of where, when, how and by whom will the scientific result of the general programme be used. When dividing the programme into parts, we sever certain ties, we divide the labour of the members of a research team, only restoring its integrity when the whole task is completed. Division of the whole into parts, like the division of labour, is not an aim in itself but merely a means to an end. If the divided parts cannot be re-integrated into a single whole, the obj ective is never actually achieved. Integrity of the parts can be restored only when they have been made to interact in a clearly coordinated fashion. In­ teraction means action of one thing oriented on another. Thu s to establish the interaction between two parts of a whole we must determine which actions of the l atter are applied to the former. The actions of the leader of part one are a response to the demand of the leader of par t two o f the general programme, the actions o f the leader o f part two of the general programme are a response to the demand of the leader of part one. The fulfilment of integrated research programm es depends to a considerab le extent on the character of the relations within the research team and such programm es can only be carried out when its members are well disposed to one another. The team spirit, the ability to meet a colleagu e's wishes halfway , even at the expense of '



one's own particular result, a re an essential feature of work on an integrated research programme. What has been said about these programmes and the need for the scientific structure of science to be dynamic does not imply that stable organisation of scientific institutions is a thing of the past. It is needed to ensure continuity, to keep up the main directions of research and maintain their perspective. But rigid organisational structures must be sup­ plemented and enriched by mobile structures specially creat­ ed to deal with certain scientific and technological problems and particularly problems of a general nature. In the USSR and other countries today much is being said and written about systems of guiding the work of research establishments. These systems are extremely varied. Attempts are being made to unify them. In the United States, for example, at least twenty systems of managerial technology have been devised for coordinating the work of research teams. But these systems are not being widely a dopted.1 There is certainly a similarity in the managerial structures of various scientific institutions and this should be taken into account. It must not be forgotten, however, that scientific work is an extremely specific field of human activity. Sc'ience is not homogeneous. It has many aspects, trends, branches and schools. Each team of scientists is unique and a system devised for one institute may not necessarily suit another. Science is creative work and the approach to its manage­ men t must be equally creative at all levels and in all its departments. 4. FURTHER WAYS OF INTENSIFYING SCIENCE

We can now return to the problems of improving the effectiveness of scientific inquiry. First, there is the great reserve that we find in the higher educational establishments. 1 See P. Coll, Improving Effectiveness in Research and Development,

Washi ngton, 1 967 . 1 6-2229



At the end of 1 969 these establishm ents had on their staff 307 ,800 science teachers, indulding 1 0,000 Doctors ·o f Science and over 90,000 Candidates of Science. In the system of the Ministry of Higher and Specialise d Secondary Educa tion of the USSR alone there are 43 research institutes, over 350 prnblem and about 300 branch laboratories. These organisa­ tions are engaged in basic theoretical research that is of great importance to the national economy ; they have ini­ tiated and developed many scientific trends and schools that have become world famous and prepared the theoretical ground for a number of advanced scientific and techni­ cal disciplines (solid-state physics, magnetic radiospectros­ copy, and others) . N everitheless the bulk of unive,rsity and college science teachers in the USSR are not engaged in research. This is not usually due to any lack of desire on the part of the teach­ ers, but to the lack of the right conditions-time taken up by a heavy teaching programme and, very often, lack of an experimental base, of up-to-date laboratories, apparatus and equipment. Where such a base could be created the premises are lacking because the buildings were designed for teaching purposes on the basis of so much space per student . Higher educational establishments have few laboratory assistants and auxiliary staff (one laboratory assistant may have to be shared by ten teachers) , which means that top-level scientis ts often have to do work for which they are not suited. Institutes of the Academy of Sciences and other scientific establishments experience similar difficulties in setting up their experimental base and acquiring apparatus and equip­ ment. But without such equipment and laboratories , simple or sophistica ted, modern research is out of the question. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR alone employs tens of thousands of different instrumen ts-from giant telescopes and accelerators of elementary particles to high-precis ion semiconductor and silicone detectors and pulse ampl ifiers. The Soviet Union produces thousand s of types of research apparatu s and equipme nt that measure up to or exceed world standards.



At Serpukhov, for example, there is the world's biggest elementary-particle accelerator with a diameter of 1 .5 kilo­ metres. Its electromagnet weighs 22,000 tons and is located in an annular tunnel 1 .5 km in circumference. The magnet's supply system has a capacity of 1 00,000 kilovolt-amperes. Yerevan' s circular electron accelerator is one of the world's three largest. The Gatchina synchrocyclotron is the largest in the world. The top-class Tokomak, Uragan, Ogra and other thermonuclear installations, which are being used for experiments on controlled thermonuclear reactions, have a global reputation. One of the two biggest telescopes in Europe (the other is at Greenwich) has been installed at the Crimean observatory . Its primary mirror is 2.6 metres in diameter and weighs 1 25 tons. The telescope is completely automated and can observe galaxies one thousand million light years away from the Earth, supernovae and pulsars. Not far from this observato­ ry, 1on the 1s hores of the Black Sea, there is a raldiotelescope with a diameter of 22 metres. This telescope can pick up millimetre waves, which makes it one of the best in the world. In Melekess a fast neutron reactor has been put into opera­ tion. Everyone knows about the Soviet sputniks, spaceships, automatic space research stations, the famous lunokhod , and .the S alute o rbital space station, which are amiong the finest achievements in world instrument-making. Never,theles.s, the need for up-ito-date apparratus and equip­ ment is not fully satisfied. This is no easy matter, of course, ·in view of the nomenclature and complexity of the equip­ ment required and the need to find the materials and parts for making them. Such apparatus and equipment cannot be serialised to any great extent and they become obsolete i n no time at all. More often than not they have to be made at an economic loss. Sets of experimental equipment are expensive, often have to be produced in small quantities and are sometimes unique. Experience has shown that i·t is w,orthwhile setting up large instrument centres for supplying groups of research institutes on the time-sharing principle. At Moscow Univer-



sity, for example, more than ten laboratories, besides � he university's own, have been able to use a costly set of equip­ ment and 40 000 experiments have now been conducted on it. A �other si �ilar set was reserved entirely for the research institute that owned it, and during the same period it was used for only 500 experiments. The losses incurred by mo­ n opoly ownership of apparatus are, as we see, extremely high. The Siberian Metrology Research Institute has set up a special self-supporting laboratory of metrology logistics, which hires out various kinds of equipment to scientific in­ stitutes and enterprises. The hire charge is very low, only 0. 1 5 per cent of the cost of the instrument per day. Custom­ ers include numerous institutes of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Scienceis of 1t he USSR and about 1 ,300 enter ­ prises of the Nov1ois�bi1rsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk 'r egions and Altai Territory. A characteristic feature is that the stock of instru­ ments and apparatus for hire has been built up, and is being added to, not only by centralised deliveries, but also by sci­ entific institutions and enterprises which pass on their appa­ ratus to the laboratory for permanent or temporary use. This system relieves institutes and enterprises of the need to obtain numerous expensive instruments, and the instru­ ments' effectiveness is greatly enhanced by sharing. The role and significance of instruments and equip ment in research today has changed substantially. They are not only a means of experimentation; they also contribute to the increasing mechanisation and automation of research. An international symposium on automation of research by means of computers was held in the Novosibirsk science city in the autumn of 1 970. In his opening speech, Academi·­ cian G. I . Marchuk noted that the automation of scientific experiments was not only a most important reserve for econ­ •Omising such valuable social resources as man'·s time and mental energy. It also opened up scientific vistas that had previously been obscured. Automatic experiment systems and automated systems for proces:sing experimental data are functioni'n g suocessfully



in nuclear physics, astronomy, geology, oceanology, crystal­ lography and other fields. Transmitters and measuring instru­ ments are used to collect data that are then fed into a com ­ puter, where they are processed at various levels and the results displayed in the form of tables, graphs and so on. A system for the automated investigation of crystal struc­ tures by diffraction methods has been set up and is working well at the Insititute 1o f Cry.s:t ail lographiy ·o f the USSR Acad ­ emy of Sciences. The system conducts and optii mises the expriment itself, processes the results and punches them out on tape. Automation has cut by a half or two-thirds the amount of time spent on structural research, boosted the in­ vention of synthetic materials and their improvement , a nd speeded up our penetration into the secrets of complex bio­ logical phenomena. work, Automation is also used in planning experimental . and plans are automatically updated on receip t of new in­ formation. Computers can be programmed to assess all the possible sets of conditions of an experiment, select the best of them and estimate the number of experiments needed to obtain reliable results. Modelling with the computers elimi­ nates the need for oostly mock-up,s of ma1chines, unit1s , build­ ings, etc. Automation design and development systems are also m aking headway. These are systems of the "man-machine" type. The designer uses a computer to obtain information on existing designs and introduces amendments and new de­ tails. The computer then automatically prepares the docu­ mentation and makes the calculations ordered by the de­ signer. The theory of designing automata is being developed on the basis of mechanics, mathematics, electronics and a num­ ber of physico-chemical and biological sciences. This is ac­ companied by theoretical research on optimum versions o f automation and the methods o f optimal solution of the basic problems of network synthesis of automatic machines and lines by means o f computers. Misgivings have been expressed that automata may en­ croach on the scientist's creative work and lead to the formal-



isation of scientific knowledge, that they may rob it of its quality. Such misgivings are unfounded ; the aim is to achieve a rational combination of the researcher's abilities with the vast technical capacities of machines, to save the scientist an enormous amount of time he would otherwise spend on ex­ hausting and uncreative labour connected with gathering an d processing information, prolonged observation and r egistra­ tion of events, and all kinds of calculations. It stands to reason that the computer's ability, although impressive, is not sufficient to carry out any really c omplex intellectual operation, particularly as the forms of commu­ nication between the researcher and the computer are im­ perfect. Nevertheless the first advances have been made in auto­ mating certain deductive logical processes, for example, th e proof of theorems in mathematics. But in the systems avail­ able at present man plays the decisive part, particularly in the early stages of the process. He sets the general and in­ termediate aims and discovers the ways of achieving them, while the computer undertakes the actual search and the recording of results. Undoubtedly, as computer techniques progress, the range of their mental operations will widen. They are becoming more and more versatile and their means of communication with their human mash�rs more sophisti­ cated. As mentioned above, fourth-generation computers are already on the way from the drawing board to the lin e. These will be able to handle intricate sets of intellectual problems. In our scientific and technical a ge the highest value in sci­ ence is the original idea, the brainchild of the scientist, the speci alist, the statesman. It is ideas, the products of the hu­ man brain, talent and krnowledge, tha;t are emhodied in modern machines and technology, in the skills and know-how of the direct producers. Hence the need to free peopl e capa­ ble of producing ideas from non-creative monotonous and exhausting work by passing this work on to a machine. With science and technology developing at the present break-neck pace it is important to leave unto man the creator all that is human and creafrve, and .t o ,the ma:chine all that is mechan-



ical. The further we proceed on these lines, the faster the rate of scientific and technical progress. What ultimately matters is not technology but man, the investigator, the generator of scientific ideas. Such activity occurs under the influence of certain moral and material in­ centives. Hence improvement of the system of incentives (and material incentives come by no means last in the list) is one of the important factors in making scientific work more effec­ tive. In the USSR experiments are being conducted with a view to introducing a new and improved system of material in­ centives for research and design. The first results have been obtained. The Karpov Physico-Chemical Research Institute in Moscow adopted a new system of payment of research scientists and senior engineeris ,in December 1 96 8 . The essence of this system is that the minimum salary of each member of the staff is fixed at 25-30 per cent below· his previous minimum salary, but to encourage creative work a bonus is 'Offered that can be as much ais 1 00 per cent of the guaran ­ teed minimum. The size of the bonus is fixed by the director of the Institute on the basis of recommendations by an effi­ ciency board. Two surveys of the work of the Institute's research sci­ entists have been made with a view to determining the effec­ tiveness of their work. This has helped to improve the quality of the staff, to weed out those lacking in promise and bring the young men to more responsible positions. Working time is being used more rationally and the institute h as become more efficient. In the year following the first survey the number of viable inventions increased 2.2-fold, and in the second year it more than quadrupled. The effectivenes!s of this system of paying sci1entisbs de ­ pends not so much on choice of the correct criteria for as­ sessing their work as on determination to reach an obj ective assessment of the work and to make this assessment known to those who are working ineffectively. A slightly different kind of experiment on improving the system of m aterial incentives is being carried out at the State Research an d De si gn Institute of the Paint and Varnish In-



dustry. Here the scientist's salary, and particularly that of the scientist in a position of leadership, is based not only on his direct contribution to science (participation in develop­ ment, invention, practical application, etc.) but also on his indirect contribution, his part in creating a favourable at­ mosphere in the research team. A sociological mode l com­ prising 20 professional and human qualities that the scien­ tist should have has been developed and is being used for this purpose. To sum up, intensifying the process of scientific creativity means improving the organisation of the work of scientists and research teams, the distribution of scientific institutions and their structure, strengthening the material and, above all, the experimental base, and improving the training of scientific personnel and the system of incentives for s cientists.




The achievements of the Soviet Union, which has only bee n in existence for a little over half a century, have been out­ standing in the field of scientific and technical progress. In socialist conditions a formerly backward and mainly agra­ rian country has become a great power with a tremendous economic and intellectual capability. This capability is based on a versatile industry and large-scale socialist agriculture, advanced scire nce, skilled morkers and ·speci ali1sts, aJDd man­ ager.s . Soviet industrial output in 1 97 2 was nearly 95 times that of 1 9 1 3 . The key industries are growing particul arly fast9 1 5,000 million kw/hrs of electricity in 1 97 3 as against 2,000 million in 1 9 1 3, 429 million tons of oil as against 1 0.3 mil­ lio n ; 220,000 million cubic metres of gas as against 5 million ; 7 2.3 million tons of mineral fertilisers as against 9,000 tons in nominal units, and so on. Modern automatic devices, in­ struments and computers, and programme-controlled ma­ chine-tools have been put into mass production ; an elec­ tronic, atomic and other modern industries have been creat­ ed. Th e process of C1Jg ricultural production is being scienti­ fically and technologically intensified. The industrial growth rates of the USSR and other social ­ ist countries are considerably higher than those of the capi­ talist world. The average for the USSR in the 23 years from 1 95 1 to 1 97 3 was 8.49 per cent, as against 5.4 per cent in the developed capitalist countries. The Soviet Union is constantly renewin g its p lant and



technology, and improving the quality of all kinds of goods. More than 20,000 new highly productive machines and sets of plant, and nearly 5,000 instrument's were produced be­ tween 1 966 and 1 970. Despite these impressive achievements, the rates of plant renewal in socialist industry still do not measure up to current rates of modern scierntific and ·technical progres•s . Tih e aver ­ age age of equipment in the Soviet processing industries is 1 5- 1 7 years as against 9.4 years ( 1 964) in the United States. Between 1 960 and 1 968 ,the average annual proportion of machines taken out of production was 8 per cent of all existing types. Between 1 968 and 1 969 only about 2 per cent of metal-working machine tools were renewed. The proportion of fundamentally new ma'chinery prod­ uced in the USSR is between 5 1an1d 7 per cent of the total out ­ put, as against 1 5 to 20 per cent in the USA. The proportion of new items put into production in Soviet machine-building was 1 3 . 8 per cent in 1 965, 1 0.4 per cent in 1 966 and 9.3 per cent in 1 96 7 . The USSR still faces a good many unsolved problems and serious difficulties in the field of scientific and technical progress. One of the fundamental conditions for accelerating the rate of 1scientific and technical development in the USSR is improvement of the system of its control. This is an ex­ ceptionally complex problem, but it can be solved. By con­ centrating more attention on the needs of society, the exist­ ing achievements of science and technology and by tracing the more or l ess stable trends of their development, by sci­ entific forecasting and planning of scientific and technolo­ gical advance, carried out in close contact with the forecast­ ing and planning of production, the whole system of social relationships, by using the most up-to-date means of con­ trol, we can effectively guide the movement of science and technology in the interests of building communism. The classical proposition that science becomes a direct productive force is of great value in this context. The infer­ ences to be drawn from it are highly relevant to the control of scientific and technical pro gress und er socialism.



1 . Science, the supplier of new technical ideas to the pro­ ductive forces, must itself be scientifically guided so that it can use its own potential, its manpower, financial and mate­ rial resources, to the greatest effect. 2 . Production must be so organised and managed as to soak up new iS·cientiific ideas like a 1sponge, a:nd be ready io transfoTm these ideas into new maohines, mechanism s and technologioal ' processes at shor,t notice. ' lit mursit aho be alble to •s et science more and mofle new pr·o blettnJs raised by the needs of production and sooia:l needs. 3 . Communications, the interaction of science and produc­ tion, must be organised so as to achieve a fast and effective flow of scientific and technical ideas into industry and an equally fast and effective counterflow of orders from indus­ try to s1c ience. 4 . Since science is becoming a direct productive force both in the technical and the human aspects (�an as a pro­ duction worker has always been and will continue to be the main productive force) , it is essential to improve and develop the system for educating and training specialists, workers and collective farmers to meet the demands of sci­ entific and technical progress and scientific management. Control of scientific and technical progress under social­ ism thus becomes control of a system whose components are science, technology, production and personnel. These com­ ponents are dii reotly and indireotly deipenden:t on one an­ other in a muliti,tude of 'differ:ent ways.


The starting point is forecasting and planning. The purpose of forecasting is to reveal the possible paths of scientific and technical progress and its conisequences over a more or less prolonged period. Forecasting seeks ways of resolving the corntradiations betw.een the needs and aJims of society, on the one hand, and its capacity to satisfy them, on the other. To resolve this c o ntradiction one must have mor e and



more new scientific and technological means. Since it is practically impossible to predict with any degree of preci­ sion the actual time required to create a technolog ical sys­ tem, its parameters, sphere of use, effect and influence on social relations, scientific forecasting sets itself the task of discovering and assessing trends of development, so that these trends do not come as a surprise and can be quickly utilised. The essence of forecasting is to perceive the p ossi­ bilities of scientific and technical development in the foresee ­ able future, to make preparations for realising these poss i­ bilities, and thus to 1accelerate their realis·ation. We divide scientific and technical forecasting into two categories. The first traces the line from needs and obj e c­ tives to their realisation (normative forecasting) . In this kind of forecasting thought retraces its steps, as it were, f rom the future to the present. In the second type of forecasting (ex­ ploratory forecasting) thought moves from the existing sci­ entific and technical possibilities, that is, from the present to the future. In the case of exploratory forecasting new trends and possibilities are detected on the basis of the exis t­ ing state of science and technology without regard for any particular needs or obj ectives, without considering the prac­ tical need for or value of scientific discoveries . In the case of normative forecasting the value and importance of any given trend in relation to others is assessed in the light of the tasks confronting society and its needs. One of the most effective types of forecasting is integrative forecasting, in which the exploratory approach is supplemented by the normative. Plans are worked out on the basis of long-ran g e forecasts. A plan consists of a system of interconnected specific targets which the planner or controller intends to achieve in the given period and a time-table for their achievement. Both forecasts and plans reach out into the future and provide guidelines for the manager. As forms of managerial decisions, they exert a powerful influence on the whole c ourse of the managerial process. There is a definite and quite sub ­ stantial similarity between forecasting an d planning, and yet they are two distinctly different things. Forecasting comes before plannin g and provides a basis



for the planner to work on. It is not the only basis, of course, b ecause plans must also take into account the available ma­ terial, financial and manpower resources, the needs and obj ectives of society. The plan i1s .the concrete realiis ahion 1o f 1the forecast. In the philosophical ,s ense foreca!sitiing is the cognition of pr.oc­ esseis , the discov1ery of the s1t able, persilsit ent terndencies that guide their course. Planning, although it may contain ele­ m ents of cognition, is rather of a practical nature, it is the form in which man's influence over these processes takes effect, the form of their conversion. In socialist society the forecast is not, as a rule, a direc­ tive in the shape of a state decision ; it is recommendatory and suppositional in character and usually comes in several variants. One variant is usually selected as basic, and then assumes the character of a decision. It provides the basis for the plan, which is a dir.ectii ve ,and contairi1s; specific tar­ gets and a le for their achievement. In the USSR a p l1an haJs the forrce of a sta1te la·w an!d is backed by the ap­ propriate resources. On the informational plane, forecasting, as distinct from planning, which is based on exact and reliable information, derives from information based on probability. The forecast furnishes only a general, more or less authentic contour of the future, whereas the plan describes the future in all the concreteness and variety of its basic parameters. The forecast and the plan are inseparably linked. The plan is built on the basis of the forecast, but the ways of achieving the obj ectives proposed by the forecast m ay d iffer, ·and so b eitween 1the forecast and the plain comeis the elalb o­ ration of a scientific and technological policy which , pro­ ceeding from the forecast, determines the scientific and technologjcaJl. oonception or structurie of the national econ­ ,omy tJlia:t is ulit imately embodie;d in tJhe Long-1term plan. There are, of course, various ways of achieving, let us say, the forecast level of development of electronics. It c an b e done by creating new production capacities and increas­ ing the number of people engaged in the industry. Alterna­ tively, it can be achieved by the technical reconstruction of



the existing factories, the introduction of new machines �nd technology, the accelerated mechanisation and automation of production, and so on. . Academici an N. V. Melnikov notes that experience o f forecasting and practical planning i n the USSR suggests the following workable combinations : forecasts of scientific and technical progress and development of the branches of national economy are made for periods of 15 to 20 years, and forecasts of the use of natural resources for 30 years ahead ; general schemes for distribution of the productive forces of the USSR as a whole are compiled on the b asis of forecasts and current five-year planning for periods of 10 years ahead ; these general schemes h ave to be systema­ tically verified and, as the five-year plans are worked out, are extended t o cover the next step in time (five years) so that a ten-year perspective is maintained ; the drafting of five-year plans must be based not only on the current course of events, but also on long-term forecasts and general 1schemcs of the disit ribution of the productive for,ces. There are nearly a hundred methods used in forecasting. Broadly speaking, however, the most effective is the inte­ grated technique, which combines extrapolation, analogues and progressive trends, modelling, and computerised seek ­ iing and analysis of alternatives. This technique m1akes for reliable forecasts because it resembles the methods of e n­ gineering, which deal with the task in the most rational way, takinig info 1oonsiid eraition the safety fador and reserves and eliminating the weaker elements of construction. Tlhe int1egrated technique also ensures a deg,r ee of accu­ r,acy in for,ecaSits because it ailloWts for rnntingenoies. The forecasting of scientific and technical progress in the USSR is carried out by the State Committee for Science and Technology, the USSR Academy of Sciences, and in­ dividual ministries. The ministries, which answer for the state and further development of their pa1r1t icular industriies, ·, bear a special responsibility in forecasting science and technology. It is obviously impossible to manage an industry properly with­ out long-range irnformati1on about the needs for new ma-



ohinery and technology, the resour,ces likely to he and the trends of scientific and technical development in the industry over a foreseeable p eriod. This information allow s the ministries to conduct a unified and scientifically substan­ tiated technical policy and to replace obsolete machinery and technologies on a planned basis and in good time. The Sov;iet Union h as asis embleid 1an 1i mpr·e's sive store of forecasting experience. For example, the State Committee for Sci ence and Technology and the USSR Academy of Sciences in co-operation with ministries and departments and their corresponding institutes, have produced a forecast of the fuel-energy resources and fuel-energy balance of the USS R in two stages, the first, up to the year 1 980, and the second, up to the year 2000. There have also been forecasts of scientific pr.o gress (creati·on of new materials, prospects of chemicalisation, etc.) and forecasts for the development of secondary anid higher speci alised education for· the 1 970s. The Scientific Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the State Committee for Science and Tech­ nology deal with the forecasting of scientific and technical progress. The institutes of ministries and departments are responsible for forecasting in the various industries. The general schemes of distribution of the productive forces are worked out by the appropriate Council of the USSR GOSPLAN. Forecasting on an all-Union scale, the all­ round study of forecasting needs and closer verification of forecasts have assumed great importance today. The experience of forecasting scientific and technological development aocumulated in other sooia11is:t count�ies, par­ ticularly the German D emooratic Republic, i1s wonth study ­ mg . Forecasting in the main scientific field s is conducted by the central working group for scientific research under the GDR Council of Ministers. The State Plan Commission fore­ casts the scientific and technological development of branch­ es of the national economy. Forecasts for the electronic and chemical industries, metallurgy, machine-tool building and other industries have, at the time of writing, b een worked out up to the year 1 980. Research groups at large enter-



prises, industrial complexes, amalgamations of people's enterprises co-operate with research institutes and universities in forecasting the development of industrial technology and the future design of certain specific articles. For example, at the Television Electronics Facto ry in Berlin forecasting is handled by the research and desi gn department, which has a staff of 1 ,000 scientists and special ­ ists (neairly ,one-:s,i:xith of the whole staff of the factory) . In 1 970 a detailed assessment had already b een made of how many and wha t groups of articles would be p roduced in ten years' time and the factory's development up to 1 980 is being forecast. The forecasters concentrate on the degree of mechanisation and automation likely to be achieved, the prospects of growth, and the educational and professional training of staff. In the GDR 1speci1al groups that 1include prominent scien ­ tists and specialists are set up to forecast particularly im­ portant and wide-ranging proj ects. These groups have no administraitive poweris and are not ,tied by any strii ct rou­ tine. It is their business to work out a scientifically ground­ ed forecast, or possibly several alternative forecasts. It is then the task of the planners and policy-makers to decide which of them is acceptable. Planning is also vital to the speeding up of scientific and technical .advance. The Soviet Union has a well-defined system of scientific and technological planning that has stood the test of prac ­ tice. It starts out from scientific and technical forecasts over long periods (in some cases up to the year 2000) . Then comes the state five-year plan of research and utilisation of scientific and technical advance in the national econ­ omy. Finally, yet another component of Soviet planning is the five-year and annual plans of research and development drawn up and passed by the ministries and departmen ts of the USSR and the Councils of Ministers of the Union re­ publics for the corresponding organisations and enterprises. An obj eotive economic criterion for aissesis1i ng the eff ec­ tiveness of neiw machines and