Twenty years ago, the politicians began to realize that science policy was too important to be left to the scientists. Now, the scientists have learned that it is also too important to be left to the politicians. Both sides need to talk to each other, but they face each other across a gap of comprehension.

As J.L. Heilbron pointed out recently (The Scientist, March 9, 1987, p. 11), there is a real job here for the historians of science. They have had to master the languages of both science and politics, and to interpret between them. What they are now learning about the development of contemporary science contains important lessons for its future direction.

Professor Heilbron made it clear that he was talking here of the history of science in the broadest sense, including the sociology, philosophy, psychology, politics, economics and so forth of all the sciences and...

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