The age of “big science” was created by the academic-military-industrial complex because of the desire for power. Humans have always been at war with one another and technology has always been there to support the creation of new weapons. These have always somewhat fed off of each other, but the World Wars amplified this tenfold. Through this era, there were purely harmful technologies (like the atomic bomb), but there were also many technologies that showed themselves beneficial outside of a warzone. Through this time of need, we also gained things like radar, antibiotics, computers, and the ability to mass produce products.
This military based scientific research was controversial because some saw it as patriotic, yet it was criticized by many who also had distaste for the United States military specifically. Even those who had fought in the war were hesitant about this growth of technology. This was not always about the technology itself but the intentions and motives behind it and what they could potentially be used for. Specifically, people did not want something as hopeful and helpful as science to be used for potentially nefarious purposes where thousands of people could die.