WASHINGTON—Director Erich Bloch, under congressional prodding last month, predicted that the National Science Foundation will come to grips in the next five years with many of the major problems facing American science.

Bloch used the annual round of hearings on NSF's request for funding to flesh out the administration's wish to double the agency's budget, to $3.2 billion, by 1992. That financial goal is part of an attempt by Bloch, a former IBM vice president, to graft a corporate approach to long-range planning onto an agency that must delay final decisions until Congress approves its budget each fall.

List of Cuts

The fate of NSF's request for a 16.7 percent increase in fiscal year 1988 is seen as an important test of that approach. Appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate have expressed concern about the size of the overall request, particularly in light of the massive federal deficit, as...

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