Social Science History/Technology Workshop

The Economics Department and the Program in History and Philosophy of Science present:

"Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the United States, 1921-1953"

By David M. Hart

John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

April 22, 1998, 3:15 pm

Landau Building, Room 140 Stanford University

This project challenges the creation myth of post-World War II federal science and technology policy. According to this myth, the postwar policy sprang full-blown from the mind of Vannevar Bush in Science, the Endless Frontier (1945) and has merely been implemented (if somewhat unfaithfully) over the past half-century or so. The seminar will put Bush's efforts in a larger historical and political context, reaching back to before the Depression and encompassing such figures as Herbert Hoover, Thurman Arnold, Henry Wallace, Robert Taft, and Curtis LeMay, along with those, like Bush, whose influence on American science and technology policy is more familiar. The ideas of these science and technology "policy entrepreneurs" were often in conflict with one another, yet all left legacies that are with us still. What later observers interpreted as a "postwar consensus" is a far more complex and tension-ridden inheritance.

For more information, call the Economics office at (650) 725-3266

<- HPS Home page