Defense Science Board and Its Part in the U.S. Technical Progress Management System

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-10-37-50

A. Rey (,
Institute of Applied Economic Research, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, 84, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation 

Abstract. An independent body of experts is an important part of the “superstructure” of a system of public management and control over scientific and technical advance, offering decision-makers a cohesive perspective on technological foresight and planning which is guided by its members’ decades of experience in public and military service, practical design and scientific research. This paper uses the U.S. Defense Science Board (DSB) as a case study, traces its evolution through sixty years of history, and aggregates publicly available (and thus, incomplete) information on reports written by the Board members since 2000. The unique dataset presents striking difference between the post-9/11 flurry of activity and reduced output in the years of the first Obama administration. The data also reveal a rapid expansion in DSB’s membership since 2001. The study links the increase to the digital revolution in the Department of Defense, encompassing highly complex and novel cyber warfare and artificial intelligence capabilities – the technological hypothesis  and bureaucratic dynamics of the Board. The article shows that during the first Obama administration, quantitative metrics of the Board’s performance declined while organizational rigidity and internal complexity grew. Further research and data gathering are needed to disambiguate between the technological and bureaucratic hypotheses. One of the avenues for future studies is exploratory analysis of aggregated standard metrics of innovative activity for the DSB members, inter alia number of patents, peer-reviewed publications, and corresponding citation measures. 

Keywords: Defense Science Board, research and development, military, United States of America 


1. Gansler J. Democracy’s Arsenal. MIT Press, 2011. 432 p.

2. Faramazyan R.A. Voennye raskhody SShA [U.S. Military Spending]. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2013, no. 6, pp. 47-56.

3. Fedorovich V.A., Patron A.P., Zavarukhin V.P. SShA: Federal’naya kontraktnaya sistema: mekhanizm regulirovaniya gosudarstvennogo khozyaistvovaniya [US Federal Contracting System: a Regulatory Mechanism of the Public Economy]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 2010. 1055 p.

4. Fedorovich V.A., Muravnik V.B., Bochkaryov O.I. SShA: voennaya ekonomika: organizatsiya i upravlenie [U.S. Military Economy: Organization and Control]. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2013. 612 p.

5. Tischenko G.G. Povyshenie effektifnosti voennogo stroitel’stva v SShA [Raising the Efficiency of the Military Establishment in the USA]. Moscow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, 2004. 397 p.

6. Tolkachev S.A. Teoreticheskie aspekty funktsionirovaniya rynka voennykh zakupok. Diss. dokt. ekon. nauk. [Theoretical Aspects of the Military Procurement Market. Dr. Diss. (Econ.)]. Moscow, 2001. 354 p.

7. Pankova L.V. Innovatsionnye protsessy v voennoi ekonomike SShA. Diss. dokt. ekon. nauk [Innovation Processes in the U.S. Military Economy. Dr. Diss. (Econ.)]. Moscow, 2007. 387 p.

8. Pankova L.V. Innovatsionnoe razvitie v SShA: rol’ DARPA [Innovative Development in the USA: the Role of DARPA]. Global’nyi nauchnyi potentsial, 2016, no. 10(67), pp. 51-53.

9. Surowiecki J. The Wisdom of Crowds. New York, Doubleday, 2004. 296 p.

10. Tuckman B.W. Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. Psychological Bulletin, 1965, vol. 63, no. 6, pp. 384-399. DOI:10.1037/h0022100

11Sheinin Yu. M. SShA [USA]. Evolyutsiya form organizatsii nauki v razvitykh kapitalisticheskikh stranakh [Evolution of Science Organization Forms in Developed Capitalist Countries]. Gvishiani D.M., Mikulinskij S.R., eds. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1972, pp. 13-179.

12. History of the Defense Science Board. Defense Science Board. Available at: (accessed 05.02.2017).

13. Defense Science Board Charter. Defense Science Board. Available at: (accessed 25.02.2017).

14. The Internet Archive. Available at: (accessed 25.02.2017).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Rey A. Defense Science Board and Its Part in the U.S. Technical Progress Management System. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 10, pp. 37-50.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 7
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • The Supporting Structure of Global Security
  • Institutional Features of the Fourth Energy Transition
  • The Evolution of Modern German Christian Democracy
  • The Monarchies of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.