The academic-military-industrial complex led to the age of big science because the government and military began to fund scientists in their endeavors more than ever before. The government and military became large backers and supporters of science in World War II. Their involvement expanded in the 1900s so that, now, academics and scientists were being funded and supported by the government to perform large, costly experiments. Unlike past scientific endeavors, “[t]oday, the solitary inventor… has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields” (Eisenhower, pg. 435). When science secured the support and funding of the military and government, it grew. Suddenly, there were no longer advancements being made by a couple of scientists, but by large teams dedicated to an experiment and project.
Some researchers, like Vannevar Bush, are not concerned about scientific research being under military control because they believe the benefits outweigh the consequences. Bush sees the advancements made in science as a direct result of the academic-military-industrial complex. He believes that, during World War II, “…it [became] clear beyond all doubt that scientific research [was] absolutely essential to national security… [and that] [t]here must be more… military research during peacetime” (Bush, pg. 430). Bush views military control of scientific research as beneficial and necessary to create a better society. On the other hand, researchers, like J. William Fulbright, are worried about scientific research under military control because it harms society. Fulbright views the alignment between the government and universities as detrimental to a university’s responsibility to its students and society: “The bonds between the Government and universities… are an arrangement of convenience… [and the] price is… [the university’s failure] to meet its responsibilities to its students… [and the betrayal of] a public trust” (pg. 437-8). Unlike Bush, Fulbright sees the academic-military-industrial complex as hurtful to society as a whole because of the influence the government holds over universities and scientists.