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2~ '[he Years between the Wars ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (~947—i950) After the dynamic wartime presidency of Frank B. Jewett, that of Alfred Newton Richards was in the nature of an interregnum, low- keyed and lasting just three years. Yet, during that brief period the Academy and its President were involved in some of the most urgent and intensive inquiries in its history. Trained at the turn of the century in the new science of physiologi- cal chemistry, Richards had been for almost forty years Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. His was a career with few interruptions apart from a brief tour of duty in ~9 ~8 setting up a field laboratory for the study of problems of chemical warfare at Chaumont, France. Behind Richards's deceptive gravity of mien lay a lively sense of humor and a pungent wit. He delighted in teaching and frequently declared it as important to him as his research. His classroom manner and even his research papers were characterized by a lifelong habit of 475
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476 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947—1950) Alfred Newton Richards, Pres- ident of the Academy, ~947- ~gbo (Photograph courtesy Chase News). self-deprecation. This, however, did not conceal the importance of the discoveries he made in the physiology of the kidney and in the chemistry of digestion, adrenal glycosuria, the action of cyanides, and histamine. Among his most significant contributions were his classic paper with Dale in ~9~8 on the effect of histamine on the circulation of the blood, and his verification in ~923, by microexperimental methods he devised, of Karl Ludvig's f~ltration-reabsorption theory of urine formation proposed more than half a century before.2 He was elected to the Academy in ~927. Richards's term as Chairman of the Academy Section on Physiology and Biochemistry, his first Academy office, was just ending when he was called to Washington by Vannevar Bush in ~94~ to direct the Committee on Medical Research (CMR) of the OSRD. In Bush's words: It soon became evident that the one man for chairman was A. Newton Richards. He had a distinguished record in medical research. But, more ' Car! F. Schmidt in HAS, Biographical Memoirs 42:271-318 (~97~). See also DetIev W. Bronk's "Alfred Newton Richards ( ~ 876- ~ 966)," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 19:413~22 (Spring ~976). 2 Charles l. Singer and E. Ashworth Underwood, A Short History of Medicine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2d ea., ~962), pp. 302, 559.
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The Years between the Wars 1 477 important, he was a wise man, trusted by all who knew him. It was a fortunate choice. Many years later, for he lived to be ninety, I concluded that, of all the able men I have known, of all the men of science I have known, he was the most fully respected, yes, the most beloved by his colleagues and by everyone who knew him., As Chairman of the Committee on Medical Research, Richards pre- sided over more than three hundred wartime projects in the medical sciences, showing "great patience and skill in piloting the CMR in a difficult role," guiding the huge research and development programs in plasma, penicillin, and the new sulfa drugs; in infectious diseases; in insecticides; and in aviation medicine. In these and other pro- grams, CMR made effective use of two major operating agencies of the National Research Council, the Division of Medical Sciences headed by Lewis Weed and the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technol- ogy headed by W. Mansfield Clark.4 When his duties as Chairman of CMR ended early in ~946, Newton Richards returned on a full-time basis to the University of Pennsyl- vania, where he resumed his duties as Vice-President in Charge of Medical Affairs. A year later, at age seventy-one, he was elected President of the National Academy. He was reassured by Hewett that with the postwar confusion easing and Academy affairs in good shape he would not find the presidency "unduly onerous." Admitting some apprehension "The unknown is full of terrors" Richards accepted Jewett's offer of help and his assurance that the complicated process of selecting and sending to Japan the group of scientists requested by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to advise on the rehabilitation of Japanese science would be ac- complished before Richards took over.5 Richards, like Hewett, was to spend just two or three days each week in Washington, conducting much of the routine of the Academy office, with the help of a part-time secretary, from his office in Philadelphia. He felt a strong sense of personal responsibility for the Academy, however, as well as increasing distress over the postwar world. He was aware of the turmoil of reorganization and adjustment in federal agencies, and in his first annual report he called attention to ~ Vannevar Bush, Pieces of the Action (New York: William Morrow & Co., ~970), p. 4. 4 Memorandum, Carroll L. Wilson to Vannevar Bush, May lo, ~943 (OSRD Box 39). 5 Frank B. Jewett to Alfred N. Richards, May 5, ~947, and replies on May 7 and May 9, ~947; Jewett to Richards, May 9, ~947 (NAS Archives: Jewett file solo).
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478 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947—1950) "the paucity of direct requests from departments of the Goverr~- ment."6 During those years the involvement of leading Academy members in the angry debates in and out of Congress over the organization of the National Science Foundation and the Atomic Energy Commission reflected for a time on the Academy's reputation for detachment. The Loyalty Issue The controversy over atomic legislation caused some Congressmen to resent the scientists who had worked on the atomic bomb and who had been active in seeking transfer of control of atomic energy from the army to the civilian AEC. Rumors of foreign and domestic Communist activities in connection with the development of the bomb began to appear in the press. On July ~7, ~947, the press reported that Representative l. Parnell Thomas of New Jersey, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, was investigating Edward U. Condon, atomic physicist, member of the Academy, and recently appointed Director of the National Bureau of Standards, concerning his acquaintance with Russian scientists and with alleged Communist sympathizers in this country. Dr. Condon, at Los Alamos during the war, had been scientific adviser to the McMahon committee that secured civilian control of atomic energy. Congressman Thomas pointed out that Condon, as the current head of the National Bureau of Standards, directed "one of the most important national defense research organizations in the United States, the target of espionage agents of numerous foreign powers."7 Innuendo became allegation in March ~948, when Thomas handed a report of his subcommittee to the newspapers, charging that "the Soviet Union and her satellite nations have been desperately attempt- ing ... to secure our complete atomic knowledge.... From the evi- dence at hand, it appears that Dr. Condon is one of the weakest links in our atomic security." He has, said Thomas, "knowingly or unknow- ingly, entertained and associated with persons who are alleged Soviet 6 NAS, Annual Report for 1947~S, pp. i, 6; fewest to members of the Council of the Academy, June lo, ~947 (NAS Archives: lewett file solo). 7 The quotations here and background of the episode are from Stephen K. Bailey and Howard D. Samuel, Congress at Work (New York: Henry Holt & Co., ~952), pp. 32~-336, 487.
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The Years between the Wars 1 479 espionage agents." As he had repeatedly since the previous July, Condon again asked to be heard by the subcommittee. He was ignored. At the annual meeting of the Academy in April ~948, President Richards reported on a statement approved earlier by a majority of the Academy membership condemning the Thomas subcommittee's refusal to hear Condon and pointing out that such treatment was certain to deter scientists from entering government employment and to diminish the respect of citizens for service in the government. The statement, presented by Richards to Thomas at an interview on April ~4, produced the promise of a hearing on April 23. When none was held, Richards on May 3 gave a report on the Academy statement to the press.8 Although he had long been cleared by the loyalty board of the Department of Commerce, by the two Commerce Department Sec- retaries under whom he had served, and most recently by the Atomic Energy Commission, Condon continued to be the object of the subcommittee's defamation by innuendo. One consequence was that scientists in large numbers, particularly in the atomic field, left government laboratories to return to their universities. In September ~95 I, convinced that he would not be heard and that the calumny had destroyed his usefulness to the Bureau of Standards, Condon submit- ted his resignation to President Truman. The Condon episode coincided with a series of crises in this country's relations with Russia, a period also marked by a temporary stasis in the debate on science legislation in Congress. Using its veto in the United Nations to sabotage every effort to restore the war- wrecked economies of Europe or to come to any agreement on the international control of atomic energy, Russia began moving into the political vacuum, raising the spectre of a third world war. When in ~946 Russia threatened to draw Greece and Turkey into the Soviet orbit, the Truman Doctrine, announced in March ~947, promised U.S. support to nations resisting Russian aggression. In February ~948 Czechoslovakia fell to Communist domination, an event followed by the attempted takeover of Finland, the blockade of Berlin, and the threat of Communist Party domination of France and Italy. The Marshall Plan, formulated by the United States in April NAS, Annual Report for 1947~8, pp. 5-6. For the Academy's Committee on Civil Liberties appointed in November ~ 948 under James Conant, with members O. E. Buckley and J. Robert Oppenheimer, see Annual Reportfor 1948-49, pp. 2, lO; NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Civil Liberties: Ad Hoc: ~948-~949
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480 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947 - 1950) ~948, began the restoration of European economies. With the organi- zation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March ~949, Canada, the United States, and ten nations of Northern Europe agreed to joint action in the event of attack by Russia. World fears continued to grow when Chiang Kai-shek fled to Formosa in January ~949, and eight months later the Chinese mainland was taken over by the Communist armies of Mao Tse-tung. In the summer of ~gbo a new menace came from another quarter when North Korean troops crossed the border into the two-year-old Republic of South Korea. The United States dispatched American forces under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and wartime controls were . . ~ ~ . . again in ettect in t AS country. Establishment of the National Science Foundation As the international situation deteriorated, the new research agencies in the armed services urged prompt establishment of the National Science Foundation in order to mobilize science planning in the event of an emergency. When the Cold War threatened to become an active war, Congress instead made sharp cuts in research appropriations, diverting the funds to procurement. Fearful of the consequences to their fundamental research programs, both the Research and De- velopment Board of the Department of Defense and the Office of Naval Research urged legislative action on the science foundation, as a supporting agency for their endangered projects.9 In March ~949, almost twenty months after Truman's pocket veto of S. 5~6, Representative }. Percy Priest's Subcommittee on Public Health, Science, and Commerce in the House Committee on Inter- state and Foreign Commerce convened hearings on new proposals for the science foundation, all of them salvaged from the wreckage of the earlier science bills.~° An amendment to the most likely of the House bills, Priest's H.R. 4846, brought a sharp reaction from the National Academy of Sciences. Just prior to its passage in the House on March I, Ago, 9 See Science 105:171-172 (February ~4, ~947) and John E. Pfeiffer, "The Office of Naval Research," Scientific American 180:14 (February ~949). to U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, National Science Foundation. Hearings, on H.R. 12, S. 247, and H.R. 359, gist Cong., fist sees., March 3~, April I, 4, 5, 26, ~949. Page one of the Hearings noted eight new bills under consideration. See also Science 109 :267 (March ~ I, ~ 949); Dael Wolfle, "A National Science Foundation: ~gbo Prospects," Science 111:79-81 (January 27, two).
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The Years between the Wars 1 48 ~ Representative Howard W. Smith of Virginia attached an amendment to the bill that required FB! investigation and clearance of every member of the foundation and of every individual awarded a fellow- ship or scholarship. On March ~8, Senator Daniel l. Flood of Pennsyl- vania added a similar amendment to his companion bill, S. ~4~. The scientific community was aroused; the Council of the Academy protested the amendments as unjustifiable and menacing to the spirit of research, declaring the likelihood remote that any re- search under a National Science Foundation scholarship would in- volve national security. The stand had support in Congress, and an oath of allegiance was substituted for the loyalty amendments.' On April ~7, Ago, after five years of debate and last-minute resolution of minor differences in the Priest and Flood bills, the House passed its revised version, and a day later the bill passed in the Senate. The act was signed into law by President Truman on May lo. The long-debated National Science Foundation, as a new inde- pendent agency in the Executive Branch, had come into being. Established to "promote the progress of science; to advance the ""'Statement of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences," Science 111:315 (March 24, two); NAS, Annual Reportfor 1949-50, pp. 3-4, 39-4O. This was the second protest by the Council of the Academy concerning unnecessary security investigations (see U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship Program, Hearings before the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 8 ~ st Cong., ~ st sees., May ~ 949). In August ~949 the Senate passed a rider to the ~gbo Independent Offices Appro- priations Act, introduced by Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming, requiring FB! loyalty and security investigations of all AEC fellows, then numbering over four hundred. When no modification for nonclassified projects could be effected, the Academy, whose Research Council administered the AEC fellowship program under contract, requested that the AEC take over the program. Pressed to continue, the Academy negotiated a new and more limited agreement with the AEC, which made no offer of predoctoral fellowships for two- ~ 95 ~ and provided Research Council admin- istration of postdoctoral fellowships during that year only for fellows whose intended research involved access to classified data. Thereafter the Research Council limited its role to the evaluation of the scientific qualifications of candidates until the AEC terminated the program in September ~ 953 [Committee of the Federation of American Scientists, "Loyalty and Security Problems of Scientists: A Summary of Current Clear- ance Procedures," Science 109:621-624 (rune 24, ~949); Science 110:103 (July 22, ~949); "Statement of the National Academy . . . ," Science 110:64~651, 670 (December ~6, ~949); NAS, Annual Report for 1949-50, pp. ~-3, YO-YO; 1950-51, p. 36; Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, Final Report, Atomic Energy Commission Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Physical and Biological Sciences, May 1, 1948 to September 30, 1953 (Oak Ridge: n.d.), p. v]. See also the NAS position paper prepared by A. N. Richards (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Council of the Academy: Meetings: January 22, HOBO). ~2 Science 111:396 (April ~4, Go); ibid., 506 (May 5, Mao); ibid., 558 (May 26, Mao).
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482 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947—1950) national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national de- fense and for other purposes," the Foundation was empowered to initiate and support by grant or contract basic research in the mathe- matical, physical, biological, and engineering sciences, and, upon the request of the Secretary of Defense, to contract for research relating to national defense. Patent rights resulting from research initiated by the Foundation were to be disposed of "in a manner calculated to protect the public interest and the equities" of the researcher or . . researc ~ organization. The Foundation would take over and maintain the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel (accomplished in the National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel in ~953) and foster the interchange of scientific information between scientists here and abroad. It was also to evaluate the research programs of federal agencies and to "develop and encourage the pursuit of a national policy for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences." From the point of view of the Academy, the legislation represented an acceptable compromise of differences that had split its member- ship. The Science Foundation was by no means the central scientific agency originally conceived, but instead supplemented existing agen- cies, acting to promote the advancement of science, to fill gaps in the support of basic research, and to provide funds that were unavailable from private organizations for the training of young scientists. The Foundation got off to a slow start when the House failed to appropriate the full half million dollars authorized for its organiza- tional activities and diverted half that sum instead to current emergency spending.~4 It was November Anglo, seven months later, before President Truman appointed the twenty-four-member Na- tional Science Board, which was to establish its general policies and guide its operation. On the Board were Academy members Detlev W. Bronk, Gerti T. Cori, Tames B. Conant, Lee A. DuBridge, Edwin B. Fred, Robert F. Loeb, H. Marston Morse, and Elvin C. Stakman.~5 t5 National Science Foundation Act of 1950, P.~. 5O7 (64 Stat ~49-~57), Use Cong., 2d sees., May lo, two; U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics, The National Science Foundation: A General Review of Its First 15 Years, 88th Cong., fist sees., ~965, pp. 3 ff. ~4 Science 112 :288 (September ~5, Ago); The National Science Foundation: A General Review of Its First 15 Years, p. 32. ]5 "The National Science Board," Science 112:607 (November ~7, two). For subsequent notes on the operation of the National Science Board, see Science 155:1063-1066 (March 3, ~ 967); ibid., 156:474 177 (April 28, ~ 967).
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The Years between the Wars / 483 Early the next year, on March 9, 1951, the President appointed as Director of the Foundation Alan T. Waterman, Yale physicist and wartime Deputy Chief of the Office of Field Service, OSRD, then in his fifth year as Director of the Office of Naval Research. A decade after its establishment, Alan Waterman reported on the state of the Foundation. He saw it as initially overshadowed by the array of new scientific organizations set up in the government after the war and as only recently gaining its place among them and completing the edifice based on the principles that Bush had pro- jected in Science, the Endless Frontier. ~7 The responsibility of the Foundation for the development of a national science policy proved "an extremely troublesome and dif- ficult problem," and its evaluation and correlation functions proved "unrealistic." Yet, in its principal objectives, the support of basic research and education, it developed into the institution envisioned in the Bush report, reflecting with new relevance Alexander D. Bache's dictum of ~85~, that the utilization of science in the nation's welfare was a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. Despite the troubles and uncertainties that afflicted the country and the Academy during the brief period between World War II and the Korean conflict, Richards's short presidency was marked by many positive accomplishments. These included the establishment of the Pacific Science Board and the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission; a fresh and greatly broadened approach to the field of oceanography; and, finally, active support of the State Department's concentrated effort to include science more significantly in the conduct of foreign relations. The Pacific Science Board The Pacific Science Board grew out of a National Research Council conference, held in ~946, the year prior to Dr. Richards's election, to plan resumption of scientific research in the Pacific, particularly in the vast island area of Micronesia, recently taken from the Japanese, ~6 Science 113 :340 (March 23, ~ 95 ~ ). ~7 Cf. Bronk in NAS, Annual Report for 1950-51, p. xi. '8 Alan T. Waterman, in Science 131 :1342, 1344 (May 6, ~960); Waterman, "Introduc- tion" to Science, the Endless Frontier, National Science Foundation reprint, July ~960, pp. vii, xix, xx, xxii-xxiii, xxvii. See also The National Science Foundation: ~ General Review of Its First 15 Years, passim.
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484 ~ o .: ~ C ~ C o o . ~ C a, o ~ o ~ .E o o ~ o . . : ~ ~ o - 8 ~ o ~ ^ .E ~ C o o _ C o o ~ S o C G c ~ o - o ~ ~ o o ._ o ~'@? . ~ C ~ ~ G C o a a = o C ~ o ~ ~ .H ~ - C - - C ~ of o ~ 'O ~ °
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The Years between the Wars 1 485 who had totally excluded other nations from that region for more than thirty years. Micronesia, or Oceania, as it appeared on prewar maps, comprises ~,~4~ islands scattered over more than 3,ooo,ooo square miles in the Pacific. Fewer than loo of those islands were inhabited when the Japanese seized the area from the Germans at the beginning of World War I. In the absence of other national interests, the Japanese had been granted a mandate by the League of Nations in Ago. In ~947 the area was made the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations trusteeship administered by the United States. There the Pacific Science Board undertook "the largest coordinated field pro- gram ever attempted by anthropologists."~9 Academy interest in research in the Pacific was by no means new, going back to the turn of the century when the United States made Hawaii and Eastern Samoa territories and annexed the Philippines after the Spanish-American War. But Academy plans proposed in ~ go3 for scientific explorations in the Philippines, and in ~ 9 ~ 5- ~ 9 ~ 6 for studies of the Coral Islands of the Pacific, failed to obtain financial support.20 Somewhat better success attended a Research Council Committee on Pacific Exploration, organized in ~ 9 ~ 9 under University of California paleontologist John C. Merriam. Two years later it was reconstituted as the Committee on Pacific Investigations, for the promotion of research and exploration in the area. Its Chairman was Herbert E. Gregory, physiographer and Director of the 13ernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and the Vice-Chairman was Thomas Wayland Vaughan of the U.S. Geological Survey. Prior to its dissolu- tion in Ado, the Merriam committee organized the first Pan-Pacific Scientific Conference (thereafter called Pacific Science Congress), attended by scientists from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, England, China, Hawaii, the Philippines, and the United States. The Congress became, with few exceptions, a continuing triennial event. '9 NAs, Annual Report for 1946~ 7, p. 8 I; 1 947~S, p. 7. 20 NAS, Annual Report for 1904, pp. 2 I-33; 1916, p. 23. The Academy's new Proceedings (I :14~157, ~9~ 5) included William Morris Davis's "The Origins of Coral Reefs" and a year later (2:391-437, ~9~6) his Academy-sponsored symposium on the exploration of the Pacific. Discussions at this symposium resulted in the appointment in ~9~6 of an Academy Committee on Pacific Exploration with Davis as Chairman. This committee was later absorbed by the Research Council's Committee on Pacific Exploration under John C. Merriam. 2~ NAS, Annual Report for 1920, pp. 48, 52, 74; 1921, p. 22; "Minutes of the Committee on Pacific Investigations, lone 9, 1921" (NAS Archives: PR: Com on Pacific Investiga-
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506 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947 - 195O) ME ~~£ ~Qffimiti~£E Gtt ~~dD00faphp ~umncr~ik~Pontrit~harb ~,~-,~ ,L 3FriLrA°~p ~~nnor3B~rrIlr Len Band arrison~iromn am.= Arising larI'ansc Richarb9~rr 1 "Ye Olde Committee on Oceanography." Detail from the frontispiece of The Light of Navigation (~6~) by Willem Jantszoon Blaeu to which were added names of several members of the Academy Committee on Oceanography (From the archives of the Academy). with the program set out in this study, the committee became one of the most important and productive ever established by the National Academy. The operation of the committee led to an innovation in Academy- government relations. The report had an unquestioned impact, owing to the successful efforts of the committee chairman to gain the inter- est of congressmen and of the Science Adviser to the President, George Kistiakowsky, who saw in its comprehensive plan an oppor- tunity to coordinate the research programs of a number of federal agencies with oceanographic interests. The members of the commit- tee, bridging a traditional gap, worked carefully and closely with Congress and federal agencies, their efforts leading to the appoint- American Geophysical Union 40 :323-330 (December ~ 959). See also "Ocean Frontier," Time 74:4~54 (July 6, ~959); George A. W. Boehm, "The Exploration of 'Inner Space'," Fortune 60: 163-180 (November ~959); U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Marine Science. Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 87th Cong., ~ st sees., March ~ 5- ~ 7, ~ 96 ~ . The committee report may have inspired the parody by Academy member Warren Weaver, then Vice-President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in his "Report of the Special Committee: A Suggestion for Simplifying a Procedure, Now Almost Traditional by Which Various Agencies Reach Decisions," Science 130:139~1391 (November 20, ~959)
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The Years between the Wars / 5°7 ment in February ~959 of a Special Subcommittee on Oceanography in the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.78 The Academy report thus provided the impetus for a federal program supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, and other government agencies and a federal budget for oceanography that rose in the next decade from $z ~ million to $~? ~ million. The program witnessed the launching of twenty new oceanographic vessels, construction of eight new labora- tories, and the availability of courses in oceanography at fifty univer- sities and colleges.79 An Academy Role in International Science Policy In the spring of ~944, the Academy, working through the State Department, began planning resumption of cooperative efforts in international science and restoration of amenities between scientists of the Allied nations and the Axis powers.~° A brief of the Academy position and interest in international relations in science, prepared by Walter B. Cannon, Harvard physiologist and wartime Chairman of the Research Council Division of Foreign Relations, and Princeton geologist Richard M. Field, urged an end to the long period of scientific isolation and disruption of the work of the international scientific unions. The Cannon-Field report became highly relevant upon the estab- 78Manne Science, cited above, pp. 4~-45; Roger Revelle to Frederick Seitz, March lo, ~969 (NAS Archives: PUBS: NAS History); NAS, Annual Reportfor 1958—59, p. 44; Long, Ocean Sciences (cited above), pp. ~ 79- ~ 80, ~ 87 ff. 79 Committee on Oceanography, Oceanography 1966: Achievements and Opportunities (NAS—NRC Publication ~492, ~967), p. I. See also U.S. Library of Congress, Legislative Reference Service, Abridged Chronology of Events Related to Federal Legislation for Oceanography, 1956-1966, printed for House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 89th Cong., Ed sees., ~966. 8° A singular instance of cooperative international research unrelated to the war was that of the Research Council committee appointed in ~944 to study, with Mexican scientists, a rare phenomenon, the eruption of a new volcano named Paricutin. The history of Paricutin, born on February no, ~943, and abruptly expiring on February e5, ~952, is reported in the Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, vols. 26-35 (~945-~954). See also NAS, Annual Reportfor 1944-45, pp. To-do et seq. 8~ Walter B. Cannon and Richard M. Field, "A Memorandum on . . . International Scientific Organizations, ~ 9 ~ 9- ~ 944" (NAS Archives: FR: International Organizations: Activities & Future Plans: ~9~9-~944: Cannon-Field Report: ~944); NAS, Annual Report for 1944-45, p. 33.
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~o8 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947—1950) lishment of the United Nations in October 1945 and the initiation of planning for its related but independent agency, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (uNESCo).82 To act until UNESCO was formed and prepare concrete proposals for the American program in science and technology, the State Department in April ~946 appointed a Science Advisory Committee, among its members Bronk, Harlow Shapley, W. Albert Noyes, Jr., Merle Tuve, and Howard Meyerhoff.~3 Three months later, on July So, an act of Congress authorized participation by the United States in UNESCO and establishment of a U.S. National Commission as this country's advisory and liaison agency with UNESCO. Its members included Academy members Bronk, Shapley, Arthur H. Compton, Ross G. Harrison, Tames B. Conant, and Alexander Wetmore.84 UNESCO itself held the first session of its General Conference in Paris, November ~9 to December lo, 1946. UNESCO, which had no powers like those of the United Nations' Security Council, had been created, as its preamble stated, "for the purpose of advancing, through the educational and scientific and cultural relations of the peoples of the world, the objectives of international peace and of the common welfare of mankind for which the United Nations Organization was established."85 It was to be a world center for the exchange of ideas and mingling of cultures and for the promotion of scientific research that could be most advan- tageously undertaken on an international basis, as in meteorology, oceanography, education, epidemic disease, and other international health problems.86 82 For the decision to include the "s" in UNESCO, see Nature 156:553-561 (November lo, ~945); NAS Archives: Hewett file 50.7~6, UNESCO; Bart J. Bok, Science in UNESCO, Scientific Monthly 63 :327 ( ~ 946). 83 Reports of its meetings from April ~ ~ to June 5 are in NAS Archives: IR: UN: UNESCO: Preparatory Commission: us Science Advisory Committee; NAS, Annual Report for 1945~6, p. 32 et seq. For the Committee on Science in UNESCO, see 1950-51, p. 43 et seq. 84 U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Report on the First Meeting, September 1946 (Washington: Department of State Publication ~7~6, 1947). 85 Quoted in Bart l. Bok, "Science and the Maintenance of Peace," Science 109: 131-137 (February ~ I, ~ 949). As the constitution of' UNESCO said, its purpose was "to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms . . . affirmed . . . by the Charter of the United Nations." 86 One of UNESCO'S first acts was to provide a continuing subvention for the Interna-
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The Years between the Wars / 509 A principal function of UNESc~to aid in the reconstruction of science in war-devastated countries and provide an agency through which scientists might contribute to the promotion of peace was supported by a number of National Research Council-committees, particularly the Council's Committee on UNESCO, appointed in May ~947 for the purpose of enabling American scientists to give collective informal advice concerning UNESCO'S scientific agencies and activities. The Council committee Chairman, Bart I. Bok, Professor of As- tronomy at Harvard, was one of the most ardent and articulate publicists for UNESCO in its formative years.87 Yet overshadowing every consideration of commitment and coop- eration in science of the new world organization was the cloud of the atomic bomb and the growing threat of the cold war in Europe. UNESCO faced a supranational dilemma with which it was powerless to cope. The international character of science made such new weapons as chemical and biological agents, guided missiles, and the atomic bomb accessible to every nation with any industrial capacity. Only the freest possible exchange of scientific and technological information among nations appeared to offer any hope for the futures On this premise, in ~947 the Steelman report, Science and Public Policy (see Chapter ~4, pp. 463-465), sought to remedy the fact that "The United States has no unified or comprehensive policy on scien- tific research or the support of science. Until World War II, we had never consciously defined our objectives or organized our resources tional Council of Scientific Unions (~csu) and to recognize that association of scientific organizations as its coordinating and representative body ["Statement of December ~9, ~949..." by the NRC Committee on International Scientific Unions," reproduced in International Science Policy Survey Group, Science ~ Foreign Relations (Washington: Department of State Publication 3860, May Ago); copy in NAS Archives: AG&Depts: State: International Science Policy Survey: Science & Foreign Relations: Report]. For the December I, ~946, agreement between UNESCO and ~csu, see NAS Archives: FR: International Unions: ~csu. Cf. Harrison Brown, NAS Foreign Secretary, to Alvin C. Eurich, Chairman, U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, May ~ I, ~969 (NAS Archives: GOVT: IR: UN: UNESCO: General). 87 NAS, Annual Report for 1946-47, p. 48; Bok, "UNESCO and the Physical Sciences," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 4:343-347 (November ~948); Bok, "UNESCO: A Work in Progress," Physics Today 2: 17, 28-31 (July ~949). For a ~949 compilation of uNEsco-related NAS and NRC activities see NAS Archives: IR: UN: UNESCO: National Commission: National Organizations Represented on Commis- sion: NAS—NRC Report. 88 See International Science Policy Survey Group, Science ~ Foreign Relations, pp. -, 76, 81.
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510 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947 - 1950) for science."89 Furthermore, this country had nothing even resem- bling an international science policy. The policy emerged two years later in President Truman's inau- gural speech in January 1949. To support the United Nations' pro- grams for world economic recovery and strengthen friendly nations against the dangers of aggression, he called for a four-po~nt program of assistance by this country, Point IV of which declared that through the United Nations We must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.90 The Point IV program became the responsibility of the State Depart- ment; and, after consultation and deliberation, Bok, as head of the Research Council Committee on UNESCO, on June ~ 2, ~ 949, requested the Research Council Chairman, Detlev Bronk, to suggest the ap- pointment of a full-time special adviser in science to the State De- partment and the assignment to our embassies abroad of foreign officers with training in some branch of sciences On October 4, ~949, the State Department appointed Academy member Lloyd V. Berkner of the Carnegie Institution of Washington Special Consultant to the Secretary of State, asking him to survey the Department's responsibilities in international science as a conse- quence of recent developments in science and technology.92 Berkner was then Chairman of the Section on Exploratory Physics of the Atmosphere of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Ter- restrial Magnetism. His special field of interest was the earth's outer atmosphere and radiowave propagation. During World War II he had organized the Radar Section and the Electronics Materiel Branch of the U.S. Naval Bureau of Aeronautics. In ~945 he served as captain aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise in the Okinawa campaign. In ~946 Berkner was named by the Secretaries of War and Navy to 89 The President's Scientific Research Board, Science and Public Policy. A Report to the President by John R. Steelman, vol. I, A Program for the Nation (Washington: Government Printing Of fire, ~ 947), p. 9. 90 Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Harry S. Truman, 1949 (Washington: Government Printing Of fire, ~ 964), pp. ~ ~4- ~ ~ 5. 9~ Bok to Bronk, June As, ~949 (NAS Archives: IR: Com on UNESCO: General); "The NRC Committee on UNESCO," Science 110 :2~26 (July I, ~949). 92 The study originated in the recommendations of the report on foreign affairs in February ~949 prepared by the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (NAS, Annual Report for 1949-50, p. 4).
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The Years between the Wars / 51 1 the post of Executive Secretary of the Joint Research and Develop- ment Board, of which Vannevar Bush was then Chairman. Returning to the Carnegie Institution in ~947, he remained there until March ~949, and the billion-and-a-half-dollar assistance program proposed pointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State to organize the Military Assistance Program for the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Greece and Turkey. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established for joint action against Communist aggression, came into being in April ~949, and the billion-and-a-half dollar assistance program proposed by Berkner to help arm the NATO countries was intended to mesh with the U.S. national security program and the earlier Marshall Plan for economic recovery abroad. The Military Assistance Program was awaiting congressional action when the State Department requested Berkner to review its role in international science. Berkner was a dynamic and articulate leader. The pursuit of his research had taken him all over the world, and he had had unusual opportunities to observe the effectiveness of cooperation among scientists of many nations. He was also a dedicated and very active member of the Academy, who saw in science a time-tested means of promoting international understanding and good will. When he was asked to undertake the State Department study, he had at once sought to involve the Academy by suggesting to James Webb, Under Secretary of State, that the Department call upon the Academy, in its role as adviser to the U.S. government, to make its advice and facilities available for the survey of the role of science in international affairs. The resulting study had three major organization units: Depart- ment of State International Science Steering Committee, headed by Berkner; Department of State International Science Policy Survey Group, of which l. Wallace Joyce, on loan from the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, was Director; and the Advisory Committee on Interna- tional Science Policy of the National Academy of Sciences, of which Roger Adams was Chairman. Other members of the Academy's committee were Vannevar Bush, I. I. Rabi, Alexander Wetmore, Robert E. Wilson, and Alfred N. Richards and Detlev W. Bronk, ex officio. 93 Other significant Academy inputs were the report, "National Re- search Council Report on Studies for the International Science Policy 93 Richards to dames Webb, May I, Ago; Richards to Bronk, May 22, Ago; Minutes of Meeting, Committee on International Science Policy, April 26, ~gbo (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on ~ sP).
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512 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947 - 1950) Survey Group of the Department of State," prepared by an NRC committee under the chairmanship of Douglas Whitaker, Dean of Graduate Studies, Stanford University, and "Statement of December 19, 1949, by the NRC Committee on International Scientific Unions," prepared under the direction of John A. Fleming, Chairman of the committee.94 Academy members who made personal studies of various kinds were: Karl T. Compton, James B. Conant, I. Robert Oppenheimer, and Merle A. Tuve. On April e6, Ago, Roger Adams informed President Richards that his review committee had unanimously approved in principle the report submitted to it by Dr. Berkner, Science and Foreign Relations; and with this endorsement from the Academy, Berkner forwarded it on April 28 to James E. Webb, Acting Secretary of State. A few days later, President Richards sent Webb a brief report of the observations of the Adams committee on the desired distribution of the Berkner report and on the implementation of its recommendations.95 The premise of the Berkner report reflected the international tensions of the times: The international science policy of the United States must be directed to the furtherance of understanding and cooperation among the nations of the world, to the promotion of scientific progress and the benefits to be derived therefrom, and to the maintenance of that measure of security of the free peoples of the world required for the continuance of their intellectual, material, and political freedom.96 Further supporting that shield of science, the report recommended establishment of a science office in the State Department under a highly qualified scientist who would maintain liaison between the Department and scientific activities in this country and render scien- tific and technological advice where appropriate in the formulation of foreign policy. The report urged establishment, with full diplomatic status, of overseas science attaches in the major diplomatic missions abroad, including those in occupied Germany and Japan. Their function 94 Whitaker, "NRC Report on Studies for the International Science Policy Survey Group of the Department of State," January 7, ~gbo (NAS Archives: IR: ISP Survey for State Department); correspondence in NAS Archives: AG&Depts: State: asp Survey; Science Foreign Relations, p. viii. 95 Roger Adams to Richards, April 26, two; Lloyd Berkner to Webb, April 28, two; and Richards to Webb, May I, Ago, in Science ~ Foreign Relations, pp. iii-V. 96 Science Of Foreign Relations, p. 2.
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The Years between the Wars / 513 would be similar to that of the science groups of the State Department and Office of Naval Research already in London, that is, to speed the flow of scientific information between nations and help as necessary with current and future exchange and assistance programs.97 Accepting the counsel of Berkner's committee, the State Depart- ment, upon the recommendation of the Academy, appointed Joseph Koopfli, research associate in chemistry at CalTech, who had recently served as Senior Science Officer in the American Embassy ire London, to head the new Office of Science Adviser and maintain close relations with the Academy and the National Science Foundation.98 The Berkner report recommended, as well, increased utilization of the National Research Council's Division of International Relations (prior to ~947, known as the Division of Foreign Relations). To this end, Bronk reorganized the division, replacing its society representa- tives and members-at-large with an eight-member Policy Committee and a Committee on Science Policy, both chaired by Roger Adams, Foreign Secretary of the Academy and, as such, Chairman of the .. . . olvlslon. A full-time Executive Secretary for the division, Wallace W. At- wood, Jr., former Professor of Physiography at Clark University and then with the Research and Development Board, was brought in to maintain continuing relations with the State Department, with the national academies and research councils abroad, the international scientific unions, and scientific representatives of other countries here in the United States. Also assisting Adams was a twenty-six-member board of consultants, comprising the heads of the major Research Ibid.' pp. 2, 9-~4, 33-34, 65, 75; NAS, Annual Report for 1949-50, pp. 4-5, 29-30, 60~. 98 Succeeding Joseph Koepfli in the post were James Wallace Joyce, Navy Department geophysicist, Acting Science Adviser (~953-~954); and, after an interim, Wallace R. Brode, chemist and Associate Director of the National Bureau of Standards (~958- ~960); Walter G. Whitman, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT (~960-~962); and Ragnar Rollefson, Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin (~962-~964) In the period ~954-~958, stripped of funds and staff for reasons of economy, the Office was ably served by Walter M. Rudolph, a career economist in the State De- partment, who, preparatory to and during the International Geophysical Year, under- took all Department arrangements made through the embassies and scientific attaches abroad for the use of facilities and cooperation of foreign scientists. See NAS, MS Annual Report for ~955-56, pp. 228-229; "What's Happened to Science in State?" Chemical and Engineering News 34:112-115 (January 9, ~956); "Science and International Relations," Science 123:1067 (June ~5, ~956); Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (New York: New American Library, ~967), p. 275, note.
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514 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947—1950) Council units and representatives of governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations actively involved in international ac- tivities.99 With increased funding from the Department of State, on July 1, 195z, the Division of International Relations no longer fitting the traditional divisional pattern became the NAS-NRC Office of International Relations, with greatly broadened functions.~°° Although the Office of Science Adviser in the State Department never attained the high goals set for it in the Berkner report, Koepfli's appointment was nevertheless a milestone in the long effort of the Academy to make scientific counsel available on a continuing basis at the highest levels of government. The brief years of Dr. Richards's presidency were marked by unprecedented changes in Academy affairs. At the outset govern- ment departments, still adjusting to the peculiar peace, had made "only two direct requests . . . to the Academy," as Richards observed in his first annual Report, but three years later, with U.S. involvement in the Korean War, the Academy was overwhelmed with requests.~°i Once again, office space on Constitution Avenue became in- adequate and committee staff were housed in rented quarters nearby. The staff of the Academy, from the postwar low of slightly more than two hundred, rose to almost five hundred. Already expending more funds than it had at any time during World War II, Academy disbursements for staff operations, for administration of government contracts, and of funds from private resources more than doubled in that period, from $2,73~,ooo to $s,'~g,ooo.~02 They would continue upward. Those years witnessed that significant function of the Academy- Research Council to define and catalyze research. It was the unique capability, stated four decades earlier in the order creating the Na- tional Research Council: To survey the larger possibilities of science, to formulate comprehensive projects of research, and to develop effective means of utilizing the scientific and technical resources of the country for dealing with these projects.~°3 99 Science ~ Foreign Relations, pp. ~ OC~ ~ O I; NAS, Annual Report for 1950-51, pp. x-xi, 4 ~-44 1o0 NAS Annual Reportfor 1951-52, pp. 50-53. pi NAS, Annual Report for 1 94 7-48, p. i; 1 950-51 ; pp. iX, ~ 2. 02 NAS, Annual Report for 1945-46, p. 64; 1950-51, p. 82. ~05 "National Research Council Executive Order Issued by the President of the United States, May At, ~9~8" (NAS, Annual Report for 1946-47, p. ~6~); reprinted here as Appendix F.
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The Years between the Wars I 5 ~ `5 A Break with Precedent The "uncertain, unstable" times that held "little promise of peace" nevertheless weighed on Dr. Richards. On January 7, Ago, he asked the Academy to accept his resignation, a year before his term ended, believing, as he ~aid, "that the increasing responsibilities of the Academy and opportunities for usefulness require the energies of a younger person."~04 He was nevertheless the longest lived of Academy presidents up to that time. His retirement to his home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, lasted sixteen years, quietly ending two days after his ninetieth birthday. At a meeting of the Council of the Academy with the Committee on Nominations two weeks after giving notice of his resignation, Presi- dent Richards called attention to a two-page list recently prepared in his office on the duties of the President. To it Richards had added one more, to have future consequences, that "he should assume the privilege of initiating discussions with those in public office on matters of science which affect the public welfare." The list had been com- piled in response to a proposal on December e8, ~949, from Council member Joel H. Hildebrand that would alter the nature of the Academy presidency dramatically. In view of the accretion of presi- dential obligations, Hildebrand proposed that the office carry a salary of $~s,ooo annually. The duties of the office had become "so exten- sive and onerous as to require practically full time," and the field of choice for candidates was "now practically limited to the few men, mainly emeriti," likely to be willing to undertake the job without remuneration. In the discussion it was agreed that the membership of the Academy should be made aware that "the presidency is no longer simply an honor but an important full-time working job," and the potential nominees should be so informed. And in view of the coming task of the Committee on Nominations, which as customary would propose only one man for the office, the four-member Committee was doubled in size.~05 At the annual meeting of the Academy in April two, the Nom- inating Committee announced its selection of James B. Conant. ~04 NAS, Annual Report for 1949-50, p. 9. The quoted words in assessment of the times were Dr. Bronk's, not Richards's, in 1948-49, p. 35, and 1949-50, p. 47. ~05 "Conference of the Council of the Academy with the Committee on Nominations," January As, ~gbo (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Committee on Nominations). Joel Hilde- brand's and Richards's notes on the duties of the President are in NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Council of the Academy: Meeting: January 22, ~950.
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516 / ALFRED NEWTON RICHARDS (1947-1950) A brilliant organic chemist, Conant had been a member of the Academy since 1929, when he was thirty-five, and President of Harvard University since 1933. He had become Chairman of the National Defense Research Committee when it was reorganized in the Office of Scientific Research and Development under Vannevar Bush in ~94~. With Bush and Karl Compton, Conant had been a key figure in coordinating the development of the atomic bomb and establishing the Manhattan Project. Affable and quietly self-confident, he was a man reputed to have very emphatic ideas on administration at Har- vard, but had seldom frequented the halls of the Academy. Although nominated at the meeting in Ago, Conant, who had absented himself on that occasion, was not elected. In an unprece- dented event, initiated by members of the Chemistry Section of the Academy, the membership was persuaded that the nominee had shown little interest in Academy affairs, that the Academy must have virtually a full-time President, and that as President of Harvard, Conant would have little time to give to the Academy. On the initia- tive of members of the Chemistry Section, the Chairman of the National Research Council, Detlev W. Bronk, over his protests as a friend of Conant, was nominated and formally elected the new President. ~07 The essential facts of the election was later related by Joel Hildebrand: No one is in a position to assess the motives of the individuals who voted to elect Bronk. There were undoubtedly some whose experiences with the National Defense Research Committee had convinced them that its rather authoritarian structure was inappropriate for peacetime operations, but surely the number whit had any cause t`' seek "vengeance" were far too few to account for the election of Bronk. Efforts to vitalize the Academy into the effective organization that it has become under the leadership of Bronk and Seitz began ~ years before the nomination of Conant, and had acquired sufficient momentum by April ~gbo to override a nomination that to the majority meant a return of the Academy to the functions of "electing members and writing obituaries."'°8 ·06 Henry F. Pringle, "Mr. President," The New Yorker (September ~ 2, ~ 936), pp. 20-24; ibid. (September ~9, ~936), pp. 23-27; "Dr. Conant: In Science Pure, in Education Controversial," Newsweek 40 :72-77 (September 22, ~ 952). ~07 "Minutes of the Business Session," April 25, taco (NAS Archives: Elections: Officers: President: Bronk D W); D. S. Greenberg, "The National Academy of Sciences: Profile of an Institution (II)," Science 156:36~361 (April 2~, Ago); Joel Hildebrand, letter, Science 156:1177-1178 (June a, ~967). ~08 Hildebrand, ibid. See also James B. Conant, My Several Lives (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Ago), pp. 4g7-4gg.
Representative terms from entire chapter: