The institutions that made American science famous figure less and less in the leadership and management of American science. Causes for this decline, especially evident in ocean and atmospheric sciences, include large programs that cut across institutions, the volume of federal funds, the scale of scientific instruments and facilities, easier travel and telecommunications, and time horizons of entrepreneurial science. The pattern emerging results not from a deliberate policy of bypassing major institutions and their management, but from radical changes in the structure of scientific activity. Science is matching industry in a trend toward flatter management and functional, rather than geographic, organization. Some risks and needs arise with the new balance—or imbalance—of power.

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Footnotes

*The Rockefeller University and Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government, New York, New York.

+Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.