R&D Agencies Spell Out Goals Under New Accountability Law

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Science  10 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5361, pp. 197
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5361.197

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In the most detailed attempt ever to quantify what the public receives for its investment in science, a new law is forcing R&D agencies, along with the rest of the federal government, to spell out what they expect to accomplish in 1999. Its application to research has been problematic, however, because officials fear that the legislation might force them to predict the outcome of the research they fund, or to devise a scorekeeping system that might trivialize the scientific process.