Since the creation of the National Science foundation in 1950, the federal government has acknowledged and supported the centrality of science and technology to the global competitiveness of the United States. In this important work, historians Alan I Marcus and Amy Sue Bix present illuminating case studies that highlight crucial policy patterns, shifts in emphasis, and debates over future directions of US science and technology policy.
One major theme that emerges from these studies is that universities quickly became the main vehicles through which national science and technology policy was developed. As universities became involved in implementing federal policy, their role as educational institutions inevitably changed.
Other themes include the effect of gender and minority concerns on policy, as well as the application of social science to selecting research agendas and technology initiatives.
Marcus and Bix’s revealing analysis corrects the misperception that federal science and technology policy is solely concerned with defense. They demonstrate that biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, and information science have also become potent policy choices in recent years, impacting such diverse areas of society as medicine, agriculture, energy use, economic trends, and homeland security.
Containing a wealth of information and insightful analysis, this comprehensive chronological study will be especially useful for undergraduate readers, while offering much to graduate students and established scholars.
"In the past half century, science and technology policy have become part of general politics in the United States and vice versa. This book shows how and why they converged. It manages the feat of being a comprehensive introductory text and also a provocative analysis that will engage scholars and general readers alike." ROSALIND WILLIAMS Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology President, Society for the History of Technology Program in Science, Technology, and Society Massachusetts Institute of Technology Author of Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change
"From the Cold War to cold fusion and beyond, this highly readable and insightful primer describes how the government came to depend on scientists and technologists—and how scientists came to depend on the government."
RICHARD HIRSH Professor at Virginia Tech Author of Technology and Transformation in the American Electric Utility Industry
The Future Is Now by Alan I. Marcus and Amy Sue Bix