Giving Away Your Rights

[N]owhere in our Constitution does it give Congress or the President the right to set science policy or determine what technology the nation should support or disregard. Rather like literature and art, that right remains with the people. Unfortunately, scientists and engineers in the U.S. have been giving this right away.

The exception to an independent and critical spirit towards science and technology policies may occur when the nation is engaged in deadly combat. A clear situation of this was the cooperation of scientists and engineers with government during World War II to develop the atomic bomb. However, contracting with government did not stop after the war. In his farewell address to the nation in 1961, President Eisenhower warned of the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry. . . . “ He also warned about the power of federal contracts controlling...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?