The State Agricultural Experiment Stations have played a fundamental role in the development of science and agriculture in the United States. From their inception in 1887, the experiment stations have attempted to wed basic research with practical application and have helped institutionalize a utilitarian approach to agricultural science. Agricultural research and the new technology it helped to generate were major factors in the transformation of U.S. agriculture into a high technology, mechanized, science-based industry. Moreover, the experiment stations, as the first large-scale, publicly supported scientific research institutions in the United States, have also long been models for scientific institutions both here and abroad. Compiled for the 1987 centennial of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations, this volume critically examines past performance, current issues, and future directions for public agricultural research in the United States. Each of the authors, drawn from disciplines as diverse as philosophy and agronomy, focuses on a central concern for the scientific enterprise. Issues include priority setting, maintaining and promoting disciplinary and interdisciplinary effectiveness, supporting higher education for agriculture, and efficacious dissemination of research findings. By setting these issues in their historical and philosophical context, the volume suggests new approaches for meeting the continuing challenge to achieve equity, efficiency, sustainability, flexibility, conservation, and consistency with other objectives of U.S. society.
Foreword -- Preface -- Historical and Philosophical Context -- From State Chemistry to State Science: The Transformation of the Idea of the Agricultural Experiment Station, 1875–1887 -- Policy Conflicts in Agricultural Research: Historical Perspective and Today's Challenges -- The Value Measure in Public Agricultural Research -- The Moral Factor in Innovative Research -- Policy Science in the Land Grant Colleges: Implications of Recent Developments in Public Choice Theory and the Philosophy of Science -- Research Priority Setting -- The Dynamic Tension Between the Scientific Enterprise and the Political Process: Priority Setting in Agricultural Research -- The CSRS Scientist: A Role in Transition -- Research Funding and Priority Setting in State Agricultural Experiment Stations -- The Emerging Role of the Computer in Managing for Excellence -- Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Research -- The Pretechnology Agricultural Sciences -- A Century of Periodic Research on Soil Conservation -- Development of an Interdisciplinary, Interagency Integrated Pest Management Project in the Western United States -- Commodity Studies -- A Comparative Study of Rice Research in California, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi -- Tradition and Innovation in Agriculture: A Comparison of Public and Private Development of Hybrid Corn -- History of Wheat Research at the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station -- The Experiment Stations and Science Education -- The Supply of New Agricultural Scientists by U.S. Land Grant Universities: 1920–1979 -- The Contribution of U.S. Universities to Training Foreign Agricultural Scientists -- Dissemination and Impact of Experiment Station Science -- U.S. Agricultural Research and International Agricultural Research Centers: An Institutional Comparison -- The Interrelationships of Agricultural Research and Farm Structure -- Future Directions -- Toward a New Covenant for Agricultural Academe -- Research and Technology Transfer Linkages in American Agriculture -- Industry/Land Grant University Relationships in Transition -- Conclusion -- A Second-Century Agenda for State Agricultural Experiment Stations: A View from the Twenty-First Century