Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First - download pdf or read online

By James Killian

ISBN-10: 0262110660

ISBN-13: 9780262110662

While the Soviet Union orbited Sputnik I, the world's first man-made satellite tv for pc, on October four, 1957, surprise waves from the development have been felt in the course of the usa. The reactions ranged from senseless, uninformed panic to deeply considerate questionings of the constitution of yank technology, expertise, and nationwide safeguard and the objectives and values of yankee schooling. spotting the scale of the quandary, President Eisenhower made speedy strikes to reassure the yankee humans. considered one of his first acts used to be to deliver a technology advisory potential into the White condominium itself, to serve the president without delay. towards the top of an handle to the country, brought on November 7, 1956, Eisenhower spoke as follows:

"As to motion: I file the next goods to you tonight.

"The very first thing i've got performed is to ensure that some of the best suggestion and suggestion that the medical neighborhood can offer, hitherto supplied to me on a casual foundation, is now absolutely prepared and formalized in order that no hole may well take place. the aim is to be sure that me, in my view, each time there seems to be any hold up in our improvement method, to behave swiftly and decisively.

"To that finish, i've got created a brand new workplace, referred to as the place of work of exact Assistant to the President for technology and know-how. This guy, who could be aided via a employees of scientists and a powerful advisory staff of exceptional specialists reporting to him and to me, can have the energetic accountability of assisting me persist with via at the application of clinical development of our defenses.

"I am comfortable which will inform you that place has been permitted by means of Dr. James R. Killian, President of the Massachusetts Institute of know-how. he's a guy who enjoys my self belief, and the boldness of his colleagues within the medical and engineering global, and within the government.

"Through him, I intend to be guaranteed that the full software is carried ahead in heavily built-in fashion...."

This used to be no longer the 1st time James Killian have been referred to as on by means of presidents to serve his state, nor was once it to be the final. Truman had appointed him a member of the technological know-how Advisory Committee of the place of work of security Mobilization in 1951. He had directed the key Technological features Panel (or shock assault Panel) for Eisenhower in 1954-1955, which ready cautious checks of relative U.S. and Soviet army strengths. He chaired the President's Board of specialists on international Intelligence actions for either Eisenhower and Kennedy. And his guidance to Ford and to Congress used to be influential within the recovery of a technology consultant to the White residence after the discontinuance of the place of work throughout the Nixon years.

In this own memoir, Killian recounts his actions in those and different posts. He conducts the reader on a guided travel via corridors of energy within the White apartment that aren't frequently opened to the general public. Candid pictures of nationwide leaders and behind-the-scenes, virtually nameless manipulators of the levers of coverage are integrated. The ebook represents narrative debts, in keeping with the author's recollection of his first-hand participation and on newly declassified records within the Eisenhower Library, of the beginnings of the U.S. area application and the founding of NASA, the continued improvement of the intercontinental ballistic missile and different guns structures, and the reopening with the Soviet Union of discussions on proscribing nuclear checks and different arms-control projects. truly, the problems that underlie those occasions are as pertinent this present day as they have been then, and Killian brings his adventure to endure on present difficulties that parallel these he handled on the White apartment. [Amazon]

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Extra info for Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology

Sample text

And there were those with dangerous innocence who asserted with new fervor our nation's manifest destiny. In early January 1958, Johnson told a Democratic conference that "The urgent race we are now in— or which we must enter— is not the race to perfect long-range ballistic missiles, important as that is. There is something more important than any ultimate weapon. "3 The overreaction was not confined to the United States; throughout the free world there was worry. One ambassador re­ ported from Washington to his government that on October 4, the center of diplomatic and political power moved from Wash­ ington to Moscow.

I was not unduly elated by this; in fact I think I acutely understood the hazards of flattery. The fact was that the press in general did not know me very well. Its flattery was really directed toward MIT, which it did know and for which it had a high regard. The fact that my appointment was the fulfillment of a widely felt national need also prompted press enthusiasm. I had in earlier years gone on record several times pointing to the failure of government to pay adequate heed to the technological assistance it needed, and I had testified before the Riehlman Committee in the House and the Symington Committee in the Senate about deficiencies in our defense program.

One of the original members of the National Science Foundation Board, he served as chairman from 1956 to 1964. He was a member of the Science Advisory Committee, both the ODM and PSAC ver­ sions, and, at my invitation, chairman of PSAC's Panel on Inter­ national Science. From 1949 to 1953, he served as president of Johns Hopkins and from 1953 to 1968, as president of Rockefeller University. An able scientist, his comprehensive talents ranged far beyond science. He had those qualities of leadership that were possessed by Karl Compton, Bush, and Conant, and he am­ ply demonstrated that a scientist could possess the qualifications to be on top as well as on tap.

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Sputnik, Scientists, and Eisenhower: A Memoir of the First Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology by James Killian

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