Government and Science

October 23, 1945

Report Outline
Federal Aid for Advancment of Science
State Assistance to Scientific Endeavor
United States Sponsorship of Research

Federal Aid for Advancment of Science

Proposals for New Government Tesearch Foundation

Government will play an important role—perhaps the dominant role—in the future of American science if recommendations submitted by President Truman are carried out by Congress. In a special message, Oct. 3, the President recommended establishment of a federal commission with broad powers to develop atomic energy, control its use, and acquire further knowledge concerning the new source of power. In his general message of Sept. 6, the President recommended that the government extend support to research and education in various fields of science through a new national research foundation.

During the war [Truman said] we have learned much about the methods of organizing science, and about the ways of encouraging and supporting its activities. The development of atomic energy is a clear-cut indication of what can be accomplished by our universities, industry, and government working together. Vast scientific fields remain to be conquered in the same way.

Gen. Marshall in his biennial report, Oct. 10, declared that intense scientific research and development was one of two essentials to a sound permanent security policy, the other essential being a permanent peacetime citizen army. The Chief of Staff recalled that “in the years of peace between the two world wars we permitted Germany to far outpace us in the development of instruments which might have military use.” The Nazis led by a considerable margin in developing long-range rockets and pilotless aircraft. “The fact that we overtook Germany's head start on the atomic explosive is comforting, but certainly should not lull us again into a state of complacent inertia.”

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