AUTHORBlanpied, William A.
TITLEInventing US Science Policy
PERIODICAL TITLEPhysics Today
DATE PUBLISHED1998
VOLUME NUMBERn/a
ISSUE NUMBERFebruary
PAGE NUMBERS34-40
ISSN0031-9228
Web Access
Available online from The National Science Foundation


This article addresses post-World War II scientific and governmental policy regarding scientific research as it affects science policy in the United States today. The efforts of Vannevar Bush, who proposed a "practical transition from wartime research to peacetime science" (p. 34), are examined. It is stated that the Bush Report and the Steelman Report are responsible for the establishment of the National Science Foundation, an independent agency funding Federal and non-Federal scientific research. Background information about the documents is provided, and the bureaucratic processes used to reach a system that uses public funding for basic research are discussed. A board formed by executive order of President Truman in 1945 wrote a document influenced by the Bush and Steelman reports, A Program for the Nation, which offered analysis, conclusions, and recommendations regarding scientific activities; according to the author, that document became the basis for science policy.


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