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The Problem of Suprise Science CIA

The Problem of Suprise Science CIA

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Published by: Rizzox on Oct 28, 2011
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05/12/2014

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APPROVED
FOR
RELEASE1994
CIA
HISTORICALREVIEW
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TITLE:TheProblemOfScientificSurprise
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Allstatementsoffact,opinionoranalysisexpressedinStudiesinIntelligencearethoseoftheauthors.TheydonotnecessarilyreflectofficialpositionsorviewsoftheCentralIntelligenceAgencyoranyotherUSGovernmententity,pastorpresent.NothinginthecontentsshouldbeconstruedasassertingorimplyingUSGovernmentendorsementofanarticle'sfactualstatementsandinterpretations.
 
r
Progressreport
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efforts
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pindown
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elusiveestimativeprob-lem.
THEPROBLEMOFSCIENTIFICSURPRISE
James
G.
OstensoeUnforeseenSOviet,.aehtevements..inscJence,~~;~lmql~gy..
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wherebyintelligenceestimatescanbetteranticipatethere-;sultsofSovietresearchanddevelopment,forestallingscien-tificandtechnological
surprise
andprOvidingleadtimeforour,oWD"'researchanddevelopment:,progra.m:s:·,j,'Precisionorcer-taintyinthepredictionofSovietadvancescanofcoursenotbeexpected,butitmay
be
possible
to
developmethodsofusingtheinformationwedoobtainoncurrentSovietscientificac-tivitytogainsomeinsightintothelikelihoodoffutureachieve-ments.In1957aseriesofstudies
aimed
atdeyelopingsuchmethods,essentiallyasearchforindicators,trends,andpat-ternsthatmightmakeitpossibletoforeseeatleastcertain
kinds
ofscientificandtechnologicalinnovationswithsomemeasureofaccuracyandreliability,was
begun.
Threeapproachestotheproblemhavebeenmade-onethroughidentificationof.promising',frontier.areasandpromi-nenttrendsinworldwidescientificresearch;onethroughtheanalysisofenvironmentalandsociologicalfactorsinpastma-jorachievementsfirstofWesternscienceandthenofSovietscience;andonethroughanalysisofprojectedSovietresearchprograms.Theresultsofthesestudies
todate
pointtoaprac-ticalmethodologyforimprovinguponestimatesofwhat
will
andwhat
will
not
be
achievedwithinthenexttwodecadesinmanyfieldsofscienceandtechnology;buttheattempttofindmethodsforpredictingwhereandbywhomdiscoveries
will
bemadehasbeenmuchlesssuccessful.Thefindingsofthestudiesmadealongthesethreeap-proachesaregivenindividuallybelow.
FrontierAreas
and
TrendsWorldwide
Thebestsourceforidentifyingpromisingfrontierareas,im-portantobjectives,andprominenttrends
in
theworldofsci-
,
i.
15
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