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THE CHASM AHEAD by Aurelio Peccei

By Aurelio Peccei

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The trend of the technological balance of the United States with Western Europe shows a growing surplus in favor of the United States, which more than doubled the receipts from 1958 million dollars) to 1965 ( 4 5 4 million dollars). (132 It is pertinent to indicate that these same years mark the turning point in the R and D effort in the United States, with total expenditures doubling from roughly ten billion dollars in 1958 to more than twenty billion dollars in 1965. " II THE CLEAVAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC T h e R and D investment can thus be considered one of those determinant factors that have brought about the technological gap between Europe and America.

Science and technology have deeply influenced the civilization and shaped the history of man throughout the centuries, and it is worthwhile to begin by considering what part they have played in bringing about this gap in development standards and potential. In the history of mankind it is possible to see long phases of slow evolution, broken by periods of intense change which can be compared to the mutations in the life of the species. When a 37 THE CLEAVAGE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC community became stronger through the discovery of new technical methods or weapons, it invariably conquered or repressed more backward neighboring communities or races.

Certainly, there is also a huge gap in scale: around four billion dollars spent annually in the United States during the past years (more than Europe's entire civilian R and D effort in all industries) compared with slightly more than 200 million dollars on Europe's space programs, national and international. In the more significative terms of manpower, N A S A has some 500,000 employees, as against 20,000 in government and international space research centers in the whole of Western Europe. This overwhelming ratio may probably be reduced in the future.

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