Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



This study was undertaken under the premise that there has been inadequate utilization of scientific and technological personnel in state government, in the development and establishment of administrative policies related to science and technology, and in the provision of guidance, advice, and priority development to elective officials, particularly governors and state legislators.

It is obvious that attitudinal changes are taking place in the fabric of our society regarding social and environmental problems, including urban decay, minority group problems, ecology, and pollution.

In many instances, elected officials at the state level, particularly governors, have been unable to cope with the problems and many governors, because of lack of adequate advice, have not appeared cognizant of some of the solutions to these problems,

In addition, universities and other institutions of higher learning have yet to make their full contribution and assume their share of the responsibility. It did not appear to this investigator that the uses and resources of scientific and technological personnel have been adequate or that the communication between politicians and the science establishment has been adequate.

A strong, interested governor, as in New Mexico and/or a statutory legislative base for state scientific advisory committees are two alternatives which could provide better and more effective involvement of techno scientific personnel in decision making at the state level.

The majority of scientific advisors in state government serve in a voluntary capacity or as "Dollar a Year Men.” The appointment of liaison representatives to the National Science Foundation has been used primarily as an honorary type of appointment. At the present time a limited number of states have established scientific advisors or advisory committees at the executive level, A survey of 50 states was made. Thirty-four states responded to the questionnaire; 15 indicated affirmative action in the establishment of an advisory committee for science and technology. Less than half of these positive replies could point to any significant accomplishments by their advisory committees. Nineteen states had taken no action in this area according to the results of the survey.

The present mechanism for science advice at the state level has been largely ineffective. The premise that social and human needs providing for a quality environment can be more nearly met, but will require more and better utilization of scientific and technological resources, particularly at the state level, is tested in this study, which has attempted to investigate the extent to which state governors and legislators who are in a political environment, and presumably more responsive to public interests and needs, have attempted to establish the communications with the scientific community.

While no specific solutions are offered, certain conclusions can be reached identifying steps which must be taken to obtain maximum utilization of scientific and technological resources at the state level, “Creative Federalism" and decentralization of government activities will have a significant political influence on the roles of states in science and technology in the immediate future.

A detailed case study of science advice in New Mexico, and an investigation of the use of scientific personnel in three agencies responsible for environmental control of reusable natural resources were investigated. A questionnaire {Appendix A) which was mailed out to all 50 states was analyzed. The summary and conclusion in this thesis, because of time constraints, were impossible to follow up; however, certain areas in which obvious subsequent investigation may prove necessary are identified. My study has attempted to develop conclusions for state action, primarily at the executive level, in order to fully utilize science and technology personnel resources, overcoming problems in federal-state relations, inter-agency relations, communications, and manpower.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Mace Hunger

Second Committee Member

Daniel U. Henning

Third Committee Member

David Jones


National Aeronautics and Space Administration



Document Type