<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The era was also marked by an erosion of confidence in the “technological fix” (the idea that a ready technological solution couldbe found for any social problem) and the “technological imperative” (the idea that any innovation that can be pursued must be pursued). Doubts about theefficacy of technological fixes lay at the heart of opposition to the ABM system and the SST, the latter also opposed by several PSAC members. Further, peoplebegan doubting Vannevar Bush’s laissez faire assumption that the best way for government to effect economic and social progress was through support of undirected basic research inuniversities, and further doubts about the social efficacy of basic research arose as part of the resistance to Johnson’s Great Society.

Finally, as more Americans came to regard the Vietnam War as unwinnable and an inordinate drain on the country’s human and financialresources, the idea that national defense could be regarded as a public good lost credence, and science for the public good was seen as something separate from science for national defense. Pressured by faculty and students, manyuniversities gave up their contracts with the military, student radicals slapped the “war criminal” label on scientists doing research for the military, and thenumber of students seeking careers in science and engineering dropped significantly.

The great society

Lyndon Johnson is often regarded as having been opposed to science, in part because of the decline in federal R&D expenditures and PSAC’s influence during his administration. But he professedstrong support for science; it was academia he distrusted, particularly what he regarded as the elitist East Coast university establishment that he felt exertedundue influence over his predecessor. Johnson was also skeptical about the validity of Science—the Endless Frontier ’s premise that social and economic benefits would follow automatically if adequateresearch support for universities was forthcoming.

Donald Hornig, science advisor to Lyndon Johnson, and his predecessors. Left to right: Hornig, James Killian, Jr., George Kistiakowsky, H.Heffner (a senior OST staff member), and Jerome Wiesner.

As Senate majority leader, Johnson had been one of the first congressional advocates for a strong space program. As president, heregarded science as essential to his Great Society, but felt that the American academic community was reluctant to back him. And indeed it was: when Johnsonsigned the Medicare bill into law, for example, he said that he expected to see specific medical benefits flow from government support for research in thebiomedical sciences. The speech caused a furor in the academic community, which considered it an unwarranted intrusion into scientific prerogatives; inacademe’s view, Johnson committed the unforgivable sin of assigning a higher priority to applied than to basic research.

When Johnson turned to PSAC, he found its members to be primarily academic scientists who were ill-equipped to provide useful advice.Herbert Simon, a Carnegie Mellon University economist, was the only social scientist on PSAC during the Johnson Administration. Only two other socialscientists ever served on PSAC: James Coleman, a sociologist from Johns Hopkins University and, later, the University of Chicago, served from 1971 through theabolition of the presidential advisory system in January 1973. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Harvard University economist and later Senator from New York, alsoserved from early 1971 through the demise of PSAC. While it is true that social scientists exerted a more decisive influence during the Johnson administrationthan at any time since the early New Deal, that influence was exerted largely outside of science policy.

Questions & Answers

Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
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
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

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
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'A history of federal science policy from the new deal to the present' conversation and receive update notifications?