Scientific Advice And Presidential Choice: A Reminder From Their Cold War Childhood

A Reminder From Their Cold War Childhood The massive advance of science since V-J Day has been accompanied by no visible advance in the abilities of presidents of the United States to find and use the counsel of the scientific community. In most great issues of policy, such as those surrounding nuclear arms and arms control, there can be no wisdom without respect for the possibilities of the real world, which simply are not comprehensible without science. While science has expanded enormously

Mcgeorge Bundy
Jun 23, 1996

A Reminder From Their Cold War Childhood The massive advance of science since V-J Day has been accompanied by no visible advance in the abilities of presidents of the United States to find and use the counsel of the scientific community. In most great issues of policy, such as those surrounding nuclear arms and arms control, there can be no wisdom without respect for the possibilities of the real world, which simply are not comprehensible without science. While science has expanded enormously since World War II, it seems to this unscientific observer that the breadth and strength of scientific advice to the White House has actually declined.

This thought is stirred by reading a remarkable record of inquiries conducted on the subject in 1950-51. The inquirer was a young man named William Golden, who was working for the Bureau of the Budget, which advises the president on matters of organization...

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