THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY DESCRIBING THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AFOSR PROGRAM
AIR FORCE OFFICE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BOLLING AFB DC
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The role of fundamental research in a mission-oriented agency is discussed with particular reference to the external contract and grant program of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. A brief historical account of the evolution of this program points up the tendency to describe the contribution of Air Force research in terms of extreme positions - either in completely mission-oriented terms in which all research supported shows clearly its relationship and application to service needs or completely science- oriented terms which describe the Air Force research roles as primarily a contribution to the large pool of scientific knowledge from which the Air Force and others draw. The point is made that the neglect of either position, and particularly of the role that lies between the extremes, is very unfortunate inasmuch as it results in missing important justification for the research program, and important guidance for the management of the program. The AFOSR is described as a Research Institute - consisting of managers, researchers, and advisors - seeking to help insure the timely impact of science on the Air Force. In carrying out this role it accomplishes research and also it provides communication between the scientific community and the Air Force. The research accomplished is described as phenomena-oriented research which is motivated by either helping a development group obtain the required understanding of phenomena key to technological barriers or by seeking to pioneer or colonize new fields of science holding out high promise for scientific discovery out of which innovations may arise which will bypass current technology barriers.
- Administration and Management