Scientists and Public Affairs
The relationship between scientists and government, both in the United States and in Europe, has become increasingly symbiotic in the years since World War II. Government grants, socialized medicine, and technologically sophisticated defense systems are only a few of the ways in which politics and science find themselves interwined. This volume is a collection of original papers dealing with some of the several important aspects of scientists in the public sector.
The first chapter, “Private Government and Professional Science” by Daniel Rich, with a foreword by Harvey M. Sapolsky, deals with the organization and functions of professional scientific associations. Rich sees these societies as private governments, providing institutional services and regulating the behavior of their members. Using this frame of reference, he explores the relationship of these societies to one another and to public government. Eugene B. Skolnikoff introduces Chapter 2, “American Scientists and the ABM: A Case Study in Controversy” by Anne Hessing Cahn, in which she examines the role of the scientists in a recent political controversy through interviews with 122 scientists active in the ABM issue. Chapter 3, “The Associational Interest Groups of American Science” by David Nichols, with a foreword by Robert C. Wood, discusses the range of political interest groups from “establishment” to “radical” existing within the American scientific community. The political attitudes of 320 scientists and engineers from Europe's three largest international laboratories (CERN, ESTEC, and EURATOM-ISPRA) are studied in Chapter 4, “Politics and International Laboratories: A Study of Scientists' Attitudes” by Albert H. Teich, with a foreword by I. I. Rabi. Finally Chapter 5, “The Politics of Cybernetics in the Soviet Union” by R. David Gillespie, with a foreword by Daniel Lerner, examines the controversy over adoption of this technology in the post-Stalin era. A postface by Eugene B. Skolnikoff, “Science and Public Policy: A View from MIT,” traces the history of MIT's program in science and public policy, from which all the studies in this book emerged, Those interested either political science or scientific politics will find this a valuable resource.