Science and War

The academic-military-industrial complex produced the age of big science by the need for technological advancements to suit the needs and developments of war as they continue through history. The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower described also aided higher education and its importance that ultimately led to these “big science” technologies. Vannevar Bush’s excerpt is titled “science – the endless frontier” which is very accurate in itself. However, if you add in the military-industrial complex it explains the rapid advancements of medical, agricultural, and nuclear science. Yes these discoveries immediately aided the war, but they are still foundations for scientific discoveries today.

Some leaders seem to be worried about military funded scientific research and others not, this is based on numerous factors such as political party, values, and morals when it comes to economics, government spending, and research science. Some argue for government entanglement with science because “it has been basic United States policy that Government should foster the opening of new frontiers” as Bush put it, and which Eisenhower and Goldwater would agree with. However, others such as William Fulbright sees this as a bad thing and ultimately believes the opposite: “more and more our economy, our Government, and our universities are adapting themselves to the requirements of continuing war – total war, limited war, and cold war”. Fulbrights point here is that everything our country does is to aid war. I personally think both sides are valid and there just needs to be a system of checks and balances of science and its military ties.

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