As science grows, its demands on our society's resources grow. It seems inevitable that science's demands will eventually be limited by what society can allocate to it. We shall then have to make choices. These choices are of two kinds. We shall have to choose among different, often incommensurable, fields of science—between, for example, high‐energy physics and oceanography or between molecular biology and science of metals. We shall also have to choose among the different institutions that receive support for science from the government—among universities, governmental laboratories, and industry. The first choice I call scientific choice; the second, institutional choice. My purpose is to suggest criteria for making scientific choices—to formulate a scale of values which might help establish priorities among scientific fields whose only common characteristic is that they all derive support from the government.

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