For better or for worse : the marriage of science and government in the United States
The development of an American science establishment—today an amalgam of scientists, engineers, universities, industrial laboratories, and federal science agencies—began early in the twentieth century when the federal government began to invest in a national scientific infrastructure. During World War II this investment swelled to colossal proportions. At present, the yearly federal investment in basic science and technology amounts to about thirty-five billion dollars. How did this complex marriage between science and government occur? How will increasing economic pressures affect its future?
In this engaging overview of the science establishment and its relationship with the federal government, renowned physicist Alfred K. Mann details the reasons behind the creation of the four nonmilitary federal science agencies that are responsible for the bulk of this budget and are the principal supporters of scientific research and technology in American universities. Looking into each agency, he elucidates the ways in which decisions were made, whose interests were at stake, and the resulting discoveries, mishaps, and bureaucratic mazes that were constructed in the name of research.
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