Date: August 24, 1999
Creator: Hendry, Nancy H.
Description: In defining the powers and duties of the three branches of government, the U.S. Constitution never explicitly referred to Science, except in the patent clause. But many technical responsibilities are implied in references to weights and measures, the census, and the like. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and in particular Benjamin Franklin, were highly literate in science, but it was their disciple, President John Quincy Adams who promoted as a matter of policy a direct role of the government in science--in particular with respect to astronomy, land surveys and navigation--all physical sciences. Some agencies of government--notably the National Bureau of Standards and the Department of Agriculture were founded in the early days of the Republic with scientific and technical missions. Since then the involvement of the government with science has waxed and waned but the major expansion of the interaction between physics and government occurred after World War II when physicists demonstrated the power of their craft during mobilization of science in support of the war effort. In discussing the interaction of physics with government we should distinguish ''science in government''--scientific input into policy making--from ''government in science,'' which is the support and management of that part of the overall scientific ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department