New NRC Report: <i>Furthering America’s Research Enterprise</i>

August 2014

A new report released in June by the National Research Council (NRC), Furthering America’s Research Enterprise, found that, while measures can usefully quantify research outputs for many specific purposes, “current measures are inadequate to guide national-level decisions about what research investments will expand the benefits of science” for the U.S. economy and the advancement of other national goals—in particular, keeping the nation in the forefront of the global competition for new technologies and other innovations.

The report is the culmination of work by the Committee on Assessing the Value of Research in Advancing National Goals, formed by the National Academies in response to a congressional request. The committee examined the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and other federal agencies in an effort to develop improved impact-on-society metrics to foster scientific innovation at a time of budget stringency.

The committee concluded that societal benefits from federal research can be enhanced by focusing attention on three crucial pillars of the national research system: a talented and interconnected workforce, adequate and dependable resources, and world-class basic research in all major areas of science.