The Endless Frontier: Reaping What Bush Sowed?
I examine and document how the Endless Frontier changed the research landscape at universities and how universities responded to the initiative. I show that the agencies it established and funded initially recruited research proposals from faculty and applications from students for fellowships and scholarships. By the 1960s, universities began to push for more resources from the federal government for research, support for faculty salary and research assistants and higher indirect costs. The process transformed the relationship between universities and federal funders; it also transformed the relationship between universities and faculty. The university research system that has grown and evolved faces a number of challenges that threaten the health of universities and the research enterprise and have implications for discovery and innovation. Five are discussed in the closing section. They are (1) a proclivity on the part of faculty and funding agencies to be risk averse; (2) the tendency to produce more PhDs than the market for research positions demands; (3) a heavy concentration of research in the biomedical sciences; (4) a continued expansion on the part of universities that may place universities at increased financial risk and (5) a flat or declining amount of federal funds for research.
The authors acknowledge support from Regione Piemonte for the GlobSci project and from the IPE Program, National Bureau of Economic Research. Stephan acknowledges support from the European Commission (FP7) Project "An Observatorium for Science in Society Based in Social Models - SISOB" Contract no. FP7 266588 and Collegio Carlo Alberto Project "Researcher Mobility and Scientific Performance.
Stephan also is supported by a contract for research on the productivity of scientists from AIR, with funding initially coming from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.