Downsizing Big Science: Strategic Choices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The 1990s have been an era of cutback management and down-sizing in government. How do agencies cope with sharply diminished resources? NASA's Big Science satellite program, until recently called "Mission to Planet Earth," illuminates issues that can affect all agencies and programs in the current era. For comparison, the Space Station and the Department of Energy's Superconducting Supercollider are also addressed. Three strategies suitable for cutback eras are discussed: resistance, mitigation, and a mix of resistance/mitigation. The goal of these strategies is not the customary one of survival and growth; it is survival and stability. Leadership is always important in governing Big Science. It is especially so in cutback times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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