During World War II most scientific research served military imperatives as the U.S. government harnessed science and technology to win the war. The demands of wartime served to speed up scientific innovations—including not only new arms but also new intelligence and transportation technology—which in turn transformed the way the military waged war. World War II transformed science as well, linking science and politics. National-security interests required secrecy of scientists, contradicting the American ideal of free scientific exchange. The Cold War ideology of the postwar period involved science in the arms race and the race into space. With the development of the first atom bomb, American scientists ushered in the atomic age, as the public expressed a mixture of admiration and fear at this tremendous scientific achievement.
Government and Science.
Helped by government subsidy and coordination of the private and public sectors, technological advancement in the 1940s proceeded at a pace paralleled only by the rapid rate of change during the industrial revolution of the mid nineteenth century. In 1941, the federal government established the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) to oversee all wartime scientific and technical research. The OSRD brought together scientists, industrialists, engineers,...
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