Channeling US Research into Economic Growth

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The special report "Dollars and Discovery - Science Policy in the '90s," Feb. 10, points out that the United States government spends billions of dollars on research and makes the results available to our foreign competitors. In many cases, other countries develop products based on the results and capture most of the US market, thus leaving the US in a lurch.

Debt-ridden as we are and desperate for new manufacturing jobs, we cannot afford this. Any private company following such a policy would quickly go bankrupt. There are two feasible means by which the US can avoid giving competing countries a free ride: (1) University researchers using government funds for projects important to US national competitiveness should agree to accept the same disclosure restrictions as do their counterparts in private companies doing private research. (2) More government funds for research on competitively important technologies should be funneled into our national laboratories. These laboratories have excellent personnel and equipment, and many are searching for worthwhile peacetime missions.

The US should also disclose and license the results of its research expenditures to only a few US-based and US-owned companies. Examples of such areas are high-definition television, improved products and processes for semiconductors, storage devices and flat screens for computers, and high-speed surface and air vehicular technology. David Herron, Atherton, Calif. Hungary's radical right

The article "Hungary's Ruling Party Reaffirms Place for Radical Right," Jan. 27, is but one in a flurry of reports that forgets or leaves out details that form the bottom line.

The parliamentary opposition, controlling more than 90 percent of the media, unleashed heavy artillery against the reigning party, Hungarian Democratic Forum (HDF), which the Western press also joined, and both reported about the HDF's annual Congress at the end of January in Budapest. …

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