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Science Institutions for a Complex, Fast-Paced World [via Issues in Science and Technology]

The story of Vannevar Bush and his 1945 report, Science, the Endless Frontier, has attained in a mere 75 years something of the status—at least among those of us concerned with American science and technology policy—of Moses delivering the tablets from Mount Sinai. The narrative elements are almost mythically compelling: how Bush mobilized the academic science community to deliver the technological advances that helped the United States and its allies win World War II; how, with victory in sight, he recognized the need for a continuation of government support for academic science to ensure America’s continued military and economic security after the war; how President Roosevelt—at Bush’s behest—requested a plan for postwar science; and how Bush in response delivered Science, the Endless Frontier, the brilliantly articulated rationale and blueprint for an implicit social contract between government and the science community.

Read more here.