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The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we cannot get foreign participation. Is this project worth our doing?
Dr. BROMLEY. I believe it is worth doing because, as I have said from the very beginning, it is the most magnificent scientific instrument that has yet been conceived by our species. I look to it not just because it is going to give us the secrets of mass and of the universe but also, I hope, because it has a more important function. It has an important function in demonstrating to our own people and to the world that we still are capable of working successfully on the very frontiers of technology, and I hope that it will also provide a stimulus to bring many more of our young people into careers in science and engineering and technology.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any real hope that one third of the cost of this would be put up by foreign sources?
Mr. BROMLEY. I believe that there is. Not one third by foreign sources, but one third by non-Federal sources. If one takes the-
The CHAIRMAN. Includes Texas.
Dr. BROMLEY. Take the Texan commitment and then ask is it conceivable that we could get the remainder of one third of the total with the presently estimated total from foreign sources---
The CHAIRMAN. And half the magnets?
Dr. BROMLEY. I would say that in terms of total commitment, yes, it is feasible.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that is about $1 billion.
The CHAIRMAN. And could we get them to do anything except the high tech part of it? I mean, you have just identified the importance of magnet technology. Dr. BRON:LEY. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Manufacturing technology, and so we give away or we get our foreign participation from the most important part. Why cannot we get it elsewhere? I mean, you talk about foreign participation from the start right with the design and all the way through, and that sounds like a good idea. Why not foreign participation in digging ditches?
Dr. BROMLEY. Well, frankly, at this point, sir, it is too late for us to do that with SSC because our foreign collaborators are proud individuals and if they feel that they were not involved at the conception, they are not about to come dig our ditches for us.
And so I think there is no question that they will want to be involved in some of the high technology, but I do not think that that is necessarily the dominant feature. For example, the only country that is already committed are the Indians, and the Indians are prepared, I think, to do just about anything that will fit into a reasonable collaborative program. I am sure that the Canadians, whom I would expect to join us in this, would not insist on a particular area of performance. I think what we really are faced with is the need, when Deputy Secretary Moore and his party heads off at the end of May to negotiate foreign participation, that we have to be rather tough in our negotiating stance, because we are making available a very major facility that would make it unnecessary for other countries to invest themselves, and they are not doing this out of altruism. They are doing it because they want access to this facility when it is finally functioning.
And so we can negotiate just under what conditions that access will be made available. I do not think we have to give away what we feel is in our own best interests to retain.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I hope that the Deputy Secretary will go to the negotiations with that in mind because it seems to me that we should not be giving away the most valuable part of that technology. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Bromley, I am not an enthusiastic supporter of this project, and that is the voice of a layman, number one, who does not understand it and, number two, the voice of a fiscal conservative who wonders whether or not we can afford it. But while I understandand I have had physicists in my office who have tried diligently to put through this thick skull precisely what it is we are going after-I still do not fully understand it.
But more than that, I want to ask you what do we get? If we discover the nature of mass today, what are the benefits from that? I know there is a lot of intellectual curiosity, which I fully appreciate.
Dr. BROMLEY. It is not possible for me—when you start dealing with truly fundamental research of this kind, the most fundamental known to us—it is simply not possible for me to specify for you the immediate benefits. What I would have to do is to fall back, first of all, on the history aspect, which shows that every new discovery of this kind that we have ever made has in surprising fashion and in a surprisingly short time turned out to have the most real of applications. For example, the one that I just mentioned in my remarks.
Senator BUMPERS. The magnets?
Dr. BROMLEY. When I talked about positron emission tomography. Positron emitters were discovered in the old crude cyclotrons when I was a youngster, and we had great fun playing with them because they were a particular new kind of radioactivity. No one had the slightest idea that if you had come to me and asked me why do you not, Dr. Bromley, come up with a device which will allow us without any penetration of the human person whatever to tell us in real time exactly what that individual's brain is doing, which part of his brain is functioning when he reads, when he listens to music, when he speaks, when he moves his arms, I would certainly not have been apt to go out and build a cyclotron. But that, sir, is exactly what happened. We learned how to make positron-emitting radioactivity, which is now fed to patients in small amounts. That radioactivity is carried by the biochemistry, human biochemistry, to the brain. By labeling sugars, for example, with that radioactivity, the brain cells thai are most active at any moment are burning that sugar and are attracting more into themselves so that they can continue to function. So when you, for example, are reading, a particular part of your brain is burning sugar at a high rate. And here is this machine that was invented by a bunch of physicists, who were playing around with a cyclotron because they were curious, that tells you that this precisely is the part of the brain that is functioning, and if it is not functioning you have big problems and perhaps we can tell you why, and we can identify abnormalities. We can probe so that a surgeon knows to within fractions of a millimeter where he has to go to make corrections. This is the kind of thing that comes from this kind of research.
But I cannot promise any particular example. And I would have to say, sir, that this, again, is the sort of thing that is on the absolute frontier of human knowledge, and there is nothing more on the frontier than what the SSC can and will do. And it is part of our human nature, I think, to go after it because it is there.
Senator BUMPERS. Well, it is very exotic and very interesting, but you know, one of the choices we have to make here in the Congress is--for example, let us take the space program, nobody would turn the clock back on the space program. I would turn it back on SDI. But in each of those instances, we obviously get a lot of technical fallout, a lot of scientific knowledge.
Dr. BROMLEY. Yes.
Senator BUMPERS. But we have to decide, would we have been better off to have sought that knowledge specifically at a much reduced cost other than going after this big global picture where we get these things as a sort of a fallout?
And in this particular case, you have got the CERN project in Switzerland. Did you read the big feature story in this week's Time Magazine on that?
Dr. BROMLEY. Yes.
Senator BUMPERS. Now you have suggested that that is simply not big enough to get the right answer or the ultimate answer that we want. But let me go back to the cost thing and compare what we are about to undertake with the CERN project.
What if the CERN project, which is way ahead of us, what if they do discover, for example, enough information that shows us we are either on the wrong track, or that a tremendous portion of our investment has been wasted, and that we are going to have to do an additional redesign just as we have come up with an additional $2 billion right now? Is that a possibility?
Dr. BROMLEY. One can never rule out that something of this kind could conceivably happen. But I would say that on the basis of the assembled wisdom of all the world's best and most able physicists, the probability of that happening has been judged to be very small. And we are making this investment, we are recommending this investment to you.
Obviously, we would not recommend it to you if we felt that there was any significant probability of it being beside the point, of it being too late, or if the Europeans could in fact achieve what we are trying to achieve with their facility.
I do not believe that they can. I do not believe that they have sufficient energy. And I would suggest that you ask the same question of Professor Drell, who is an expert in this particular field, when his panel comes before you.
Senator BUMPERS. I think he was one of the physicists in my office, and I have already asked him the question. (Laughter.]
I have a high degree of confidence in you and Professor Drell, so far as science is concerned. I am not sure I have that high a degree of confidence in your fiscal prowess as to what this thing ought to cost.
Dr. BROMLEY. You would be singularly unwise if you did.
Senator BUMPERS. But you have expressed, and I think in a rather dangerous way, frankly, your high degree of confidence that this is the ultimate design, and that it will work. And, as I say, I think that is rather dangerous, because we got that same high degree of confidence expressed in this same room a year ago. And now we are, one year later, $2 billion above that figure.
Dr. BROMLEY. Well, if I may, Senator. I would not for a moment contradict the statement that you may have gotten exactly the same statement, but I do submit to you, sir, that the conditions were different. You were dealing then with a conceptual design figure, and I understand fully that when people are attempting to sell a project that particular fact is not overly emphasized. But it is nonetheless the fact.
We are not dealing with a conceptual design figure now.
Senator BUMPERS. Well, I have been a big supporter of the B-2 bomber until the last year. And we heard those stories over and over again about how this was the ultimate in penetrating technology. And now we have developed a problem that has nothing to do with penetrability, it is cracks in the tail. Because they are using a new kind of material that we have never used before.
And as I say, one of the things that perplexes me or concerns me about this is the kind of sense of urgency that you and others are expressing. Two weeks ago tomorrow, our national debt soared past $3 trillion. That is only a 200 percent increase since 1980.
And my concern here is that I think the CERN project might be worth watching for a little while longer. And I am concerned about these costs going up in light of our responsibility to deal with the deficits in a fiscally responsible way.
And third, I question whether or not there is the kind of urgency about this particular scientific knowledge-maybe not nearly as much urgency as there is in other things. And I do not want to get preachy about this, Dr. Bromley, but we have got the supplemental appropriations bill coming up this week, and I am having one hell of a time trying to find $23 million to get people in this country a second measles shot, I have $12 million for the outbreak of measles. We have 25 kids dead in Los Angeles from measles in the last 60 days, and I will have a terrible time trying to come up with that money.
One reason is, because in order to get that $23 million, I have already located the $12, in order to get this money, I have got to take it away from somebody else. The people who want Panama and Nicaragua to have $400 million each do not want to give up $23 million of that even to save children's lives in Los Angeles.
Let me ask you another question. The other thing we have to do here is to establish priorities when you are dealing with a limited amount of money, and this kind of research is very expensive.
Dr. BROMLEY. Yes, sir.
Senator BUMPERS. How would you compare your own enthusiasm for this compared to the space station?
Dr. BROMLEY. I think that it would be improper for me, sir, to give you my personal view on that. And the reason for that, sir, is because I had an opportunity to sit down with Richard Darman, with the President, with Admiral Truly, with Admiral Watkins, independently, and we argued the relative merits of these and other major projects, and the President then made the decision.
These are presidential decisions. And as a member of the President's team, once he has made that decision it is my function to make sure that the decision is implemented in the most cost-effective and efficient way that I can.
Senator BUMPERS. Well, you know the President wants it all.
Senator BUMPERS. I am not sure he even wants this. He has not told us how he wants to pay for it. He said, you fellows figure this out. And in his joint session, State of the Union address, he says I am happy to report the budget deficit is under control.
And next year the deficit will be $64 billion-next year the deficit will be $164 billion. It is wildly out of control. And yet we are asked, as members of this body who have to go home and report to our constituents every weekend, as I do at least, why are we are so fiscally irresponsible here? And nobody has told me, and I have got a staff memo here by the subcommittee staff, who say they do not know of any way the President proposes to finance this thing.
Dr. BROMLEY. Sir, I can only say that from my own point of view, and I believe it is the President's point of view, we are bringing this forward to you because we believe that we have, to the best of our ability, in the budget that was brought to you this year, balanced, on the one hand, the support of the ongoing applied work that we expect to have short-term payoff and, on the other hand, investment in the far distant future. This is one of those investments.
And we believe that unless we maintain that balance, and unless we can keep the facilities coming—so that our children are going to have the same kind of support to get to the frontiers of nature that our forefathers gave us do our research-then we will have lost a leadership that was hard won and that we still maintain in the world.
We have the strongest science and technology enterprise that the planet has ever seen. And it has been built through your efforts, gentlemen, working with the scientific community. We are the only developed nation in the world where scientific programs are built from the bottom up on the enthusiasm, the insight, the drive of groups of scientists who, coming together, decide that this is the most exciting and important thing we can do.
Now, some of those people work on the very frontiers of our knowledge, where is it too early yet to tell you exactly what the return is. But let me tell you, sir, that just recently Edwin Mansfield of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the Nation's most distinguished economists, asked this question: what is the return on investment in this research?
His paper, which is just coming out, looks at 76 companies in seven different areas-chemicals, automotive, electronics, and so