A National Academy of Sciences Committee, headed by Frank H. Westheimer, Loeb professor of Chemistry, has called for a doubling of federal spending for basic research in chemistry.
The committee declared in the "West helmer Report" that research in chemistry is severely under-supported. The financial support per Ph.D. graduate in chemistry ranges from one-fifth to one-thirtieth the support per Ph.D. in astronomy, physics, and the earth sciences, the report said, and as a result many worthwhile projects are not even attempted.
"We cannot evaluate what is lost when a research project is not begun or when a career is dwarfed; but we suspect that America is losing much in originality, discovery, and in the training of students.' it continued.
The report calls for:
* An increase in federal support of basic research from about $50 million in fiscal 1964 to $120 million by 1968.
* An annual increase of $5 million dollars for basic research by "young members of university departments" to encourage the growth of new research careers.
* An increase, from public and private sources, of $18 million for electronic instrumentation, including the purchase of new instrument and computer tune.
Although the report was released only last week, some of the recommendations have already been considered and implemented, Westhelmer said last night.
The National Science Foundation has reviewed the report and has increased its own funds ear-marked for chemical instruments.
The Institute of General Medical Studies, and the Cancer Institute have created panels to review the report. These panels have already revised their own recommendations to conform more closely to the requests in the Westheimer report.
The greatest activity is likely to come from the President's Science Advisory Committee, which is now reviewing reports on the research needs of different scientific fields. Westheimer will appear before the Committee on December 20.