So They Say

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. The Weapons of Seduction Scientists and engineers work for the weapons laboratories as William Press says …, because "scientific talent will inevitably flow to those fields where national priorities put incentives of money, prestige, or excitement." The training of many scientists and engineers is heavily supported by taxpayers. After completing their costly education, those who feel they owe a debt to society tend to apply their

The Scientist Staff
Jan 25, 1987
Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science.

The Weapons of Seduction

Scientists and engineers work for the weapons laboratories as William Press says …, because "scientific talent will inevitably flow to those fields where national priorities put incentives of money, prestige, or excitement." The training of many scientists and engineers is heavily supported by taxpayers. After completing their costly education, those who feel they owe a debt to society tend to apply their talents where society wishes, and where it offers incentives.

The obvious way to get scientists and engineers away from weapons laboratories is to stop offering the incentives that draw them there. Press refers to William Broad's "moral plea that young scientists resist the seductive attractions of military research." It is hardly surprising that … such pleas have not diverted many scientists from working for the military. I suggest instead that society direct the plea...