The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) unites 16 nations in a military and political alliance for the defense of the West. But there is a lesser-known and nonmilitary third dimension to NATO—its activities to foster cooperation in civilian science, both basic and applied.

NATO's involvement in science rests on its 30-year old agreement that a strong, dynamic alliance requires a sense of community based upon a common cultural heritage, of which science and technology form an important part. it is gratifying that a defense organization like NATO extends itself to support nonmilitary basic science. NATO understands that the free world's material advance and its ability to defend itself depend at root on technical and scientific knowledge.

Setting policy and priorities for NATO's science activities is its Science Committee, which includes distinguished, internationally minded scientists representing member nations. The United States, for example, has been fortunate in having Professor I.I. Rabi...

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