A Dialogue Grows Up

One underlying trend I have seen is a slow but steady integration of science and technology into the mainstream of national policy. This has occurred much more slowly than most scientists would have hoped, especially in the light of the rhetoric of the early sixties. Yet the dialogue between the public and the scientific community has become considerably more mature and sophisticated on both sides. Even while criticizing some of the activity and results of science, politicians show much more understanding of the scientific process, while scientists hear the popular concerns and reservations about the impact of science with more understanding, if not agreement, than would have been the case earlier.

—Harvey Brooks
“What is the National Agenda for
Science, and How Did
It Come About?”
American Scientist, p. 516
September-October 1987

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