By David Gergen and James Piltch
In the midst of World War II, Franklin Roosevelt had the foresight to see that advancements in American science were critical to Allied victories in World War II.
Searching for day-to-day guidance, he named Vannevar Bush, an engineer with a joint Ph.D from MIT and Harvard, as the director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
Bush became a quiet hero in the war effort, serving essentially as the first national science adviser to a president, providing critical oversight of the Manhattan Project—the WWII research effort that produced the atomic bomb– and eventually helping to create the National Science Foundation.
In 1945, Vannevar Bush submitted his landmark report, Science: The Endless Frontier, to President Roosevelt. It argued that if the United States wanted to remain a world superpower and keep the peace, it was essential that it remain at the cutting edge of scientific and technological research.
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