Science and Humanities Funding

06 Sep

In July 1945 Vannevar Bush, who was Director of the US Office of Scientific Research and Development submitted a report for President Roosevelt entitled “Science: The Endless Frontier” in which he recommended a big increase in science spending. His recommendations were mostly adopted by the US government and from 1950 onwards inaugurated the biggest funding initiative for science, which put the US at the forefront of world science. What is less well known is that in his report Bush also gave the following warning:

“It would be folly to set up a program under which research in the natural sciences and medicine was expanded at the cost of the social sciences, humanities, and other studies so essential to national well-being.”

Unfortunately, since the time of his report, Bush’s warning has been ignored.