Government supported industry and extended-Enlightenment thinking
(relevant quotes in bold)
From 'Science the Endless Frontier', (the founding document of the
NSF, ARPA, DARPA, etc), 1945, Vannevar Bush
Franklin D. Roosevelt
THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D. C.
November 17, 1944
DEAR DR. BUSH:
The Office of Scientific Research and Development, of which you are the Director,
represents a unique experiment of team-work and cooperation in coordinating
scientific research and in applying existing scientific knowledge to the solution
of the technical problems paramount in war.
There is, however, no reason why the lessons to be found in this experiment cannot
be profitably employed in times of peace. The information, the techniques, and
the research experience developed by the Office of Scientific Research and Development
and by the thousands of scientists in the universities and in private industry,
should be used in the days of peace ahead for the improvement of the national health,
the creation of new enterprises bringing new jobs, and the betterment of the national
standard of living.
First: What can be done, consistent with military security, and with the prior approval
of the military authorities, to make known to the world as soon as possible the
contributions which have been made during our war effort to scientific knowledge?
New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the same vision,
boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can create a fuller and
more fruitful employment and a fuller and more fruitful life.
creativity, freedom, free collaboration, self-actualization:
It should recognize that freedom of inquiry must be preserved and should leave
internal control of policy, personnel, and the method and scope of research to the
institutions in which it is carried on.
Freedom of Inquiry Must Be Preserved
The publicly and privately supported colleges, universities, and research institutes
are the centers of basic research. They are the wellsprings of knowledge and
understanding. As long as they are vigorous and healthy and their scientists
are free to pursue the truth wherever it may lead, there will be a flow of new
scientific knowledge to those who can apply it to practical problems in Government,
in industry, or elsewhere.
Many of the lessons learned in the war-time application of science under Government
can be profitably applied in peace. The Government is peculiarly fitted to perform
certain functions, such as the coordination and support of broad programs on problems
of great national importance. But we must proceed with caution in carrying over the
methods which work in wartime to the very different conditions of peace. We must
remove the rigid controls which we have had to impose, and recover freedom of inquiry
and that healthy competitive scientific spirit so necessary for expansion of
the frontiers of scientific knowledge.
Scientific progress on a broad front results from the free play of free intellects,
working on subjects of their own choice, in the manner dictated by their curiosity
for exploration of the unknown. Freedom of inquiry must be preserved under any plan
for Government support of science ...
There are talented individuals in every segment of the population, but with few
exceptions those without the means of buying higher education go without it. Here
is a tremendous waste of the greatest resource of a nation - the intelligence of
free and open source:
Publication Should Be Encouraged
Selections by Greg Bryant