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During the Eisenhower and Kennedy years, PSAC made its most substantial impact in national defense. Among eight major PSAC actions singled out by Beckler, six are unambiguously defense-related. Beckler, op. cit . Beckler’s non-defense items are the creation of NASA and the establishment, in March 1959, of the intergovernmental Federal Council for Science and Technology (FCST). One study led to the Defense Reorganization Act of 1958, which authorized the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Development; a parallel recommendation engendered the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The remaining five were: major improvements in the long-range ballistic missile program; the acceleration of ballistic missile early-warning capabilities; major advances in technical capabilities for antisubmarine warfare and photographic intelligence-gathering; recommendations that led directly to the establishment of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency early in the Kennedy Administration; and assessment of the desirability and technical feasibility of a nuclear test ban, which led to the successful consummation of the atmospheric test ban treaty during the Kennedy Administration.

The preponderance of national security issues on PSAC’s agenda clearly illustrates the overriding importance of national defense to the conceptualization of science policy in the Eisenhower administration, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the Kennedy administration. The memoirs of General Robert Cutler, who headed the National Security Council and actively assisted PSAC in maintaining its ready access to the president, recall his many productive interactions with the committee. Robert Cutler, No Time for Rest (Boston: Little Brown, 1966).

PSAC (or, at any rate, Killian and his successors George Kistiakowsky and Jerome Wiesner) seems to have understood that its privileged position was a function of the expectation that it could make substantial contributions to national defense. However, PSAC and the science advisors also made effective use of their access to the president to broaden the national science policy agenda. Although several PSAC reports called for support for basic research at universities and national laboratories, science for national defense was still the committee’s principal raison d’être . Its access to the president on matters of national defense helped PSAC convince him to support a more broadly defined science policy.

The kennedy years

PSAC exerted similar influence during the Kennedy Administration. Kistiakowsky resigned as Special Assistant for Science and Technology but retained his PSAC membership. He was succeeded by MIT electrical engineer Jerome Wiesner, a charter member of PSAC. Among the members who had served for at least a year under Eisenhower, twelve remained on the committee, and one former member was immediately reappointed by Kennedy, who appointed five new members, bringing the total membership to eighteen. The five new members were: Paul M. Doty, Harvard University (biochemistry); Edwin R. Gilliland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (chemical engineering); Franklin A. Long, Cornell University (physical chemistry); Colin M. MacLeod, New York University (Microbiology); and Frank Press, California Institute of Technology (geophysics). Additionally, four members were appointed by President Eisenhower in 1960 to replace four whose terms had expired: Harvey Brooks, Harvard University (physics); Donald F. Hornig, Princeton University (chemistry); Alvin M. Weinberg, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (nuclear physics); and Walter H. Zinn, Combustion Engineering, Inc. (physics). Golden, op. cit . Princeton now boasted two members and Columbia and Rockefeller universities none. Eleven members came from Eastern universities and three from California universities (Stanford, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley). One came from a Midwestern university (John Bardeen of the University of Illinois), one from a national laboratory (Alvin Weinberg of Oakridge), and two from industry (Emanuel Piore of IBM and Walter Zinn of Combustion Engineering, Inc.). In June 1961, there were seven physicists, two physical chemists, one biophysicist, one geophysicist, two chemists, one biochemist, one microbiologist, two engineers (including Wiesner), and one mathematician.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
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RAW Reply
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Brian Reply
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Bob Reply
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The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Damian Reply
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Stoney Reply
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Adin Reply
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sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
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Source:  OpenStax, A history of federal science policy from the new deal to the present. OpenStax CNX. Jun 26, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11210/1.2
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