Harvey Mudd College/Claremont Colleges


STS 179 HM 01


Special Topics: U.S. Science Policy



Instructor: Zuoyue Wang                                 Office: 1263 Parsons

Fall Semester 2008                                         Office Hours: TR 1:30-2:30pm and appointment

Class: TR 2:45-4:00pm                                  Phone: 909-607-0856

Classroom: 1264 Parsons                               Email: zuoyue_wang@hmc.edu 

Course website: TBA


New (9/22/2008): An online version of Vannevar Bush’s Science, the Endless Frontier, perhaps one of the most famous reports in the history of American science policy, is added to the required readings for September 25, 2008.


New (9/4/2008): This course counts as a history course if you are doing a History concentration, but it counts as a Social Science course in terms of fulfilling the Hum/Soc distribution requirements.


New (9/4/2008): There will be a mandatory viewing of a live-cast of Dr. Atomic, an opera based on the life and times of J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos laboratory that assembled the atomic bomb during World War II: Wed. Nov. 19, 2008, at a movie theater in Ontario Mills.


New (9/4/2008): Recommended books on writing and research in history:

            William K. Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students

            Richard Marius and Melvin Page, A Short Guide to Writing about History

            Mary L. Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History

            Anthony Brundage, Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing

            Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

            William Strunk and E. B. White, Elements of Style


New (9/4/2008): A guide on citations in footnotes and bibliography


New (9/4/2008): Links to Zuoyue Wang’s papers and book reviews (including reviews of the some of the books used in this class)


Course Description: Global warming, stem cell research, nanotechnology, weapons of mass destruction, and space exploration are some of the most pressing issues facing both the US government and the American scientific and engineering community.  In addition, nearly 60% of all basic scientific research funding comes from the federal government.  These and other facts make it imperative for beginning scientists and engineers as well as the rest of the public to gain a better understanding of both the historical background and the current dynamics of US science and technology policy.  This class is aimed at stimulating students’ intellectual interest in US science policy, interpreted as the broad interactions between science, technology, government, and society, as well as improving critical thinking and writing skills.  We will begin with a survey of the current debates as mentioned above, and then move on to a historical review of origins and development of American science and technology policy.  We will examine the interface between science and government during the founding period, the buildup of a federal research establishment in the 19th century and the early 20th century, the impact of World War II, especially the Manhattan Project, science and technology policy during the Cold War, the Sputnik shock, the Apollo project, federal reactions to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, promises and limits of military technology, and challenges to American prominence in science and technology in the new era of globalization.


Questions to consider: What forces have shaped American science and technology policy throughout its history?  How do we evaluate the relative influences of broad historical trends—such as the Cold War—and particular political—and presidential—shifts in the making of science and technology policy?  Can the US win the war on terrorism and the fight against global warming with its superior science and technology?  In this course we will examine these questions and the complex interactions between science, technology, the environment, and the government in American history, with an emphasis on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The class will be conducted largely as a historical seminar where students are expected to read and discuss a variety of primary and secondary historical sources, write a term paper on a particular topic related to American science and technology policy, and give a presentation on the paper at the end of the semester.  There will also be some lectures, videos, and writing exercises in class.  


Learning Objectives: By the end of the class, students should be able to: 1) gain a better understanding of the dynamics driving American science and technology policy; 2) develop and improve writing, critical thinking, and communication skills, and information literacy; and 3) demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through the research and writing of a term paper as an in-depth examination, usually historical, of a particular topic related to US science and technology policy.


Learning Environment: In this class we will discuss a large number of socially and politically relevant, and often controversial, issues related to American science and technology policy.  To create an optimal learning environment that promotes critical thinking and constructive collaboration, it is important that we conduct our discussions in a civil and intellectually open manner, that everyone should feel free to express his/her evidence-based arguments, and that everyone is willing to consider alternative points of views.  You will be evaluated by how actively and thoughtfully you participate in the discussions and how articulate and well-supported your arguments are in both the discussions and the writing assignments; you will not be evaluated on whether your views agree with those of the instructor or the authors we discuss in class.


Further Tips: How Do You Succeed in This Class?


Read the Textbooks: They provide the core facts and theories in the class, and therefore it’s most important to “get them done” thoroughly before moving to other sources relevant to the class.  Yes, you can pick up facts on individuals and events from the web, such as wikipedia, but often they come in as isolated pieces of information without the proper context that is developed in the textbooks.  It’s also important to relate your term paper with arguments from the textbooks.  You do not necessarily need to agree with these arguments; in fact the best papers tend to revise the accepted views as represented in the textbooks.  But, whether you agree with the textbooks or not, it often helps if you can relate your main argument with theirs, either as a confirmation or as a revision.


Engage in Informal Learning: Read the New York Times or other news publications, listen to NPR, and watch PBS, especially its Nova, American Experiences, and Frontline programs.  These will help keep you intellectually stimulated and keep you informed of current debates over major political, social, and technological issues, which in turn would help you better understand the dynamics of historical changes in the past.  The New York Times is available free on its website (http://www.nytimes.com/); pay special attention to its Opinion and Book Reviews sections.  You are also encouraged to subscribe to the influential weekly e-newsletter “What’s New” on science and society by the physicist Bob Park at: http://www.bobpark.com/.


Talk to Others about What You Are Learning in the Class: Trying to explain something to someone else will help you better understand what you are trying to explain.  Questions from your audience are usually very helpful in giving a new way of looking at the problem.  Often you will find that you do not quite “get it” yourself, but that’s fine.  This discovery will motivate you to read the texts again or to discuss the problem with your instructor.


Communicate with Your Instructor: Professor Wang encourages you to raise questions at any time in class and to talk to him, in class or in his office during office hours, on any issue related to this class.  You can best contact him outside of class via email.


Use Resources on Campus and Improve Your Writing Skills and Information Literacy: Make use of reference librarians to help with your research.  Read a “How To” book such as William Kelleher Storey’s Writing History: A Guide for Students  to improve your writing skills.  Go to campus events and lectures to broaden your horizon.  Choose Your Sources of Information intelligently, using Wikipedia as a starting point but not as an end point.  And finally, be an Intentional Learner by connecting this class with your intellectual interest and your career goals.


Required Books Available at Huntley Bookstore:


A. Hunter Dupree, Science in the Federal Government: A History of Policies and Activities

Lawrence Badash, Scientists and the Development of Nuclear Weapons

Zuoyue Wang, In Sputnik’s Shadow: The President’s Science Advisory Committee and Cold War America

Alan I. Marcus and Amy Sue Bix, The Future Is Now: Science and Technology Policy in America since 1950


In addition there will be additional and online reading assignments.


Term Paper: There is no examination in this class.  Students will be required to write a major paper to explore one aspect of the history of weapons of mass destruction. The topic has to be approved by Prof. Wang in advance.  During the first two weeks, try to thumb through the texts to get an overview of the topics we will be studying and think about what topics you would like to write on.  You should start with a general topic, e.g., the federal policy on the development of nanotechnology, and proceed to narrow it to a more manageable scale, e.g., how did the government respond to concerns over the safety and environmental impact of nanotechnology?  You are required to submit and discuss with Prof. Wang the topic and a one-page outline of your paper on Tues. 9/16 during week 3 of class.  A draft of the paper is due on Thurs. 11/20 during week 12.  The completed paper is due on Tuesday of the finals week. 


Format of Paper: It should be at least 15-18 pages, double-spaced, with 12 point, Times New Roman font and one inch margin on all sides, printed on plain paper using a laser-jet or ink-jet printer, stapled at the upper-left corner.  Put your name, class, title of the paper on a plain-paper cover-sheet separate from the body of the paper (no plastic cover or binding please).  We will discuss various aspects of writing in class as well.  All writings are graded for both grammar and content and there will be presentations and discussions of paper drafts later in the quarter.


Criteria for Evaluating Paper: A good paper will have a captivating introduction (1-2 pp), a brief (1 page) but incisive historiographical discussion (what other scholars have said about your topic broadly?), a clear thesis statement (1 paragraph; what’s your main argument—not your topic—and how does it relate to other scholars’ points of view as summarized in the historiography?), a narrative built on a variety of evidence such as scholarly books and articles, but especially primary sources, such as reports in newspapers or magazines, or oral history interviews.  It can describe an event or individual, but should explain how that event or individual does or does not fit in the general themes of this class.


Sample Term Paper Topics:


Evolution of presidential concerns over environmental issues

John Kennedy and space policy

Women scientists and science policy

Federal reactions to the Santa Barbara oil spill

What happened to the Superconducting Supercollider after its cancellation?

The founding of the National Academy of Engineering

Engineering in the National Science Foundation

A historical study of the President’s Council (Committee) of Advisors on Science and Technology

A historical study of the National Science and Technology Council

Herblock’s critique of American science and nuclear policy

Testing nuclear weapons in space (Project Argus, Project Starfish, etc.)

How did the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of Sputnik in 2007 and the 50th anniversary of NASA in 2008 tell us of the public attitude toward the space program?

A historical study of the federal support of nanotechnology


Reading Worksheets on the Texts: Everyone is expected to complete the assigned chapters from the texts in each session before the start of the session.  To help you manage the reading assignments, you will write and turn in a one-page (typed) reading worksheet (click on above link to download a template) at the end of each session.  The worksheet covers: 1) the main points of the reading, 2) what's new and striking to you, 3) a question you want to be discussed in class, and 4) any relevant news item that you can use to illustrate how the present is related to the past discussed in the readings.


Presentations/Discussion on the Texts: Even though everyone will complete all the assigned readings from the texts, we will have designated presenters on the various chapters of the book to facilitate discussion.  You can use your reading worksheet as a basis for your 2-3 minute presentations.


Book Reviews: Please select three books (or two book and two articles) from the supplemental readings (see “Topics and Reading Assignments” below) and write a two-page (double-spaced) review of each book or a one-page review of each article which are due on the day that topic is discussed.  In the review, please give the reader a summary of the main argument of the author, some sense of the published reviews (you can find them in JStor and Project Muse), your own evaluation of the work, and how it relates to the discourse on American science and technology policy.  Also be prepared to give a short (2-3 minutes) oral report on the book or article on the same day.


Video Reviews: We will be watching a number of videos, mainly documentaries, related to US science and technology policy.  You will write a short review (one-paragraph) on what’s most striking to you to facilitate discussions afterwards.

Reflective Essay: At the end of the quarter, as you turn in your term paper, you will also need to complete a reflective essay on the course: how has it changed the way you think about science, technology, and society, what are some of the most important things that you have learned through this class, and how do you think that the class will help you in your intellectual growth and your career.


Classroom Ground Rules (for the benefit of all of us):

1.     Avoid late entry or early exit without instructor's prior authorization.

2.     Late works will be penalized by 1/3 letter grade per day, e.g. B to B- if one day late.

3.     Repeated, unexcused absences will considerably lower your grade for the class. 

4.     Cell phones should be turned off during class period; no text messaging is allowed once class starts.

5.     The use of laptop computers is not allowed in this class unless its necessity is certified by the office of the Dean of Students (e.g., due to learning disabilities) or with the permission of the instructor.

6.     In general, activities not related to this class are prohibited during class: e.g., newspaper-reading, doing work for another class, and chatting.

7.     If you do not use your HMC email account regularly, you will need to set it up so any email sent to your HMC account will be forwarded to an email address you do use.

8.     If you have any learning disabilities and might need special accommodations, please contact me or the Office of the Dean of Students.

9.     Plagiarism: As stated in the HMC Student Handbook, academic dishonesty, especially plagiarism—presenting writing and ideas of others as one's own without proper citation—is a serious academic misconduct and can lead to severe disciplinary actions. 


Grades (general guidelines):

Attendance, Participation in Discussion, Presentations:                                                    25%

Reading Worksheets, Book/Article/Video Reviews, and Reflective Essay:                                 25%

Term Paper:                                                                                                                                      50%


Topics and Reading Assignments (subject to change; suggestions for readings are welcome; *indicates reading assignment for all students in class):


Week 1

T 9/2               Introduction to class; Research resources; students select reading and discussion assignments. Video: “Sputnik at 50

                        Academic Search Premier

                        American National Biography

Congressional Quarterly Database

Digital National Security Archives

Dissertations and Theses


Gale Databases (Times of London, 1785-1985, and Economist, 1843-2003)

HistSciTechMed Database

IEEE Xplore Database



Lexus-Nexis Congressional (1969-present Congressional documents, esp. hearings)

                        Los Angeles Times historical

                        New York Times historical

                        Papers of the Presidents of the United States

                        Project Muse

                        Reader’s Guide Retrospective

                        Books on writing in history and humanities


R 9/4               Current issues in science and technology policy, part 1: Global warming; war on terror; nanotechnology.  Video: Hot Politics; lecture notes on global warming

*Naomi Oreskes, “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science 306 (December 3, 2004): 1686 and Testimony…US Senate,” December 6, 2006.

*Zuoyue Wang and Naomi Oreskes, “History of Science and American Science Policy,” Isis 99, no. 2 (June 2008): 365-373. 

*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, 2007

*President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, The Science and Technology of Combating Terrorism, July 2003, and The National Nanotechnology Initiative, April 2008.

Spencer Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming, an online book (there is a print version by Harvard University Press.  You are encouraged to check out other exhibits at the American Institute of Physics site: http://www.aip.org/history/exhibits.html. 

Due: Reading worksheet and one-page paper summarizing and evaluating positions of presidential candidates on science and technology policy based on your own research.


Week 2

T 9/9               Current issues in science and technology policy, part 2: Funding for science and education; challenges of globalization; WMD; politics of science and space policy.

*Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2007):  read executive summary carefully and browse the rest of the report.

*Clare Cain Miller, “Another Voice Warns of an Innovation Slowdown,” New York Times, September 1, 2008.

*Charles Krauthammer, “What Sputnik Launched,” Washington Post, October 5, 2007.

*“Legacy of Sputnik,” New York Times, October 4, 2007.

*Zuoyue Wang, “Living in the Shadow of Sputnik,” San Gabriel Valley Tribune, October 4, 2007.     

*Rita Colwell, “Silent Sputnik,” BioScience 58, no. 1 (January 2008): 3.

* Jamie Metzl, “America’s Sputnik Moment in Beijing,” Project Syndicate, August 2008.

*Union of Concerned Scientists, Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking (2005).

*Daniel Smith, “Political Science,” New York Times, September 4, 2005.

                        Chris Mooney, The Republican War on Science (2006).

                        Roger A. Pielke, The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (2007)

                        Seth Shulman, Undermining Science: Suppression and Distortion in the Bush Administration (2008)

                        Jonathan Schell, The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger (2008)

Due: Reading worksheet, with emphasis on the Rising report; one-paragraph review of Hot Politics (watch it online).


R 9/11             Current issues in science and technology policy, part 3: Players and politics

                        Please select an organization, locate and examine the contents of its website, including its publications, write a one-page report on it, and prepare for a 3 minute report on its role in or relevance to science policy:

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

National Science and Technology Council

                        House Committee on Science and Technology

                        Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

                        Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

                        National Science Foundation

                        National Institutes of Health

                        Department of Defense

                        Department of Energy


                        Environmental Protection Agency

                        National Institute of Standards and Technology

                        Union of Concerned Scientists

                        Federation of American Scientists

                        National Academies of Science and Engineering (Issues in Science and Technology)

                        American Association for the Advancement of Science (Science)

                        American Institute of Physics (Physics Today)

                        American Chemical Society (Chemical and Engineering News)

                        American Institute of Biological Sciences



Week 3

T 9/16             Science and government during the founding period. Video: The World of Franklin and Jefferson

                        *Dupree, chapters 1-6.

David Guston, “Congressmen and Scientists in the Making of Science Policy: The Allison Commission, 1882-1884,” Minerva 32, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 25-32.

Due: Reading worksheet on Dupree and a one-page term paper proposal (a tentative title, a paragraph on the topic, and another paragraph on possible sources).


R 9/18             Science in government from the Civil War to the 1930s

                        *Dupree, chapters 7-19

David M. Hart, Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the United States, 1921-1953 (1998)

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Dupree.

Week 4

T 9/23             The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Video: The Birth of the Bomb

                        *Badash, Introduction and chapters 1-3

                        Richard Hewlett and Oscar Anderson, The New World (1962).

                        Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986).

                        J. Pascal Zachary, Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century (1997).

                        Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2005).

                        Charles Thorpe, Oppenheimer: The Tragic Intellect (2006).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Badash


R 9/25             The Use of the Atomic Bomb: Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped

                        *Badash, chapter 4

*Truman Library: The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb (be sure to select “Documents” tab)

*Vannevar Bush, Science, the Endless Frontier (1945)

John Hersey, Hiroshima (1989).

                        Martin Sherwin, A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies (2003).

                        Michael J. Hogan (ed.), Hiroshima in History and Memory (1996).

                        Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (2006).

                        Robert James Maddox (ed.), Hiroshima in History: The Myths of Revisionism (2007).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Badash


Week 5

T 9/30             Early Cold War science and technology policy under Truman and Eisenhower.  Video: Sputnik

                        *Badash, chapters 5-6

                        *Wang, Introduction and chapters 1-4

Paul Forman, “Behind Quantum Electronics,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 18, pt. 1 (1987): 149-229.

                        Daniel J. Kevles, “Cold War and Hot Physics,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 20, pt. 2 (1990): 239-318.

                        Harvey Sapolsky, Science and the Navy: The History of the Office of Naval Research (1990).

                        John Krige, American Hegemony and the Postwar Reconstruction of Science in Europe (2006).

Allan A. Needell, Science, the Cold War and the American State: Lloyd V. Berkner and the Balance of Professional Ideals (2000).

                        William T. Golden, Impacts of the Early Cold War on the Formation of U.S. Science Policy (1995).

                        Richard Polenberg (ed.), In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer: The Security Clearance Hearing (2002).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Badash and Wang (ok to fill one worksheet for both).


R 10/2             The Sputnik shock

                        *Wang, chapters 5-8

*Marcus and Bix, chapter 1

Charles S. Maier, “Introduction,” in George Kistiakowsky, A Scientist at the White House: The Private Diary of President Eisenhower’s Special Assistant for Science and Technology (1976).

Robert A. Divine, The Sputnik Challenge: Eisenhower’s Response to the Soviet Satellite (1993).

Gregg Herken, Cardinal Choices: Presidential Science Advising from the Bomb to SDI (2000).

Paul Dickson, Sputnik: The Shock of the Century (2001).

                        Martin Collins (ed.), After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age (2007).

                        W. D. Kay, Defining NASA: The Historical Debate over the Agency’s Mission (2005).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang and Marcus/Bix.


Week 6

T 10/7             Golden Age of Federal Support of Science

                        *Wang, chapters 9-10

Daniel Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science: An Inquiry into the Relationship between Science and Government in the United States (1967).

                        Daniel Lee Kleinman, Politics on the Endless Frontier: Postwar Research Policy in the United States (1995).

                        Daniel Sarewitz, Frontiers of Illusion: Science, Technology, and the Politics of Progress (1996).

Sylvia Kraemer, Science and Technology Policy in the United States: Open System in Action (2006).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang.


R 10/9             Kennedy and Space

                        *Wang, chapters 11, 13

                        John Logsdon, The Decision to Go to the Moon (1970).

Walter A. McDougall, The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age (1985).

James Kauffman, Selling Outer Space: Kennedy, the Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963 (1994).

                        W. Henry Lambright, Powering Apollo: James Webb of NASA (1995).

                        Arnold S. Levine and James Webb, Managing NASA in the Apollo Era (2008).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang.


Week 7

T 10/14           Federal Reactions to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  Video: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

                        *Wang, chapter 12

                        Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

                        President’s Science Advisory Committee, Use of Pesticides (1963)

Linda Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (1997)

Mark Hamilton Lytle, The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement (2007)

Priscilla Coit Murphy, What a Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring (2007).

                        Thomas Dunlap, DDT, Silent Spring, and the Rise of Environmentalism (upcoming 9/08)

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang.


R 10/16           Science, technology, the environment, and the Vietnam War under Johnson

                        *Wang, chapters 14-15

*Marcus and Bix, chapter 2 (beginning to p. 104)

W. Henry Lambright, Presidential Management of Science and Technology: The Johnson Presidency (1985)

Robert A. Divine (ed.), The Johnson Years, vol. 2: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science (1987)

Ronald E. Doel and Kristine C. Harper, “Prometheus Unleashed: Science as a Diplomatic Weapon in the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration,” Osiris 21 (2006): 66-85. 

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang and Marcus/Bix.


Week 8

T 10/21           Fall break; no class.


R 10/23           Science, technology, and dissent: The Nixon and Ford years

                        *Wang, chapters 16, Epilogue, and Conclusion

*Marcus and Bix, chapter 2 (p. 104 to end)

Joel Primack and Frank von Hippel, Advice and Dissent: Scientists in the Political Arena (1974)

Jonathan B. Tucker, “A Farewell to Germs: The U.S. Renunciation of Biological and Toxin Warfare, 1969-70,” International Security 27, no. 1 (Summer 2002), 107-148. 

Kelly Moore, Disrupting Science: Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945-1975 (2008)

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Wang and Marcus/Bix.


Week 9

T 10/28           Debates over the limit to technological growth from Nixon to Carter

                        *Marcus and Bix, chapter 3 (beginning to p. 173)

                        J. Samuel Walker, Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective (2006)

                        Yaron Ezrahi, The Descent of Icarus: Science and the Transformation of Contemporary Democracy (1990).

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Marcus/Bix.


R 10/30           Science and technology policy in the Reagan and first Bush years.  Video: Star Wars

                        *Marcus and Bix, chapter 3 (p. 173 to end) and chapter 4 (beginning to p. 226)

Frances Fitzgerald, Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War (2000).

Peter Westwick, In the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004 (2007).

Sheila Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers (1990).

                        Bruce L. R. Smith, American Science Policy since World War II (1990).

                        Bruce L. R. Smith, The Advisers: Scientists in the Policy Process (1992)

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Marcus/Bix.


Week 10

T 11/4             Science, technology, and national competitiveness during the Clinton years

                        *Marcus and Bix, chapter 4 (p. 227 to end)

Daniel Greenberg, Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion (2003)

Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman, A Convenient Spy: Wen Ho Lee and the Politics of Nuclear Espionage (2007)

                        Due: Reading worksheet on Marcus/Bix.


R 11/6             Work on Term Paper; No Class.


Week 11

T 11/11           Politics of Big Science: The cases of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) and the Human Genome Project

*Paul Forman, “The Primacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in Postmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology,” History and Technology 23 (1&2): 1-152.

Responses to Forman by Martin Collins, Ronald Kline, Chunglin Kwa, and Philip Mirowski.

Ron Suskin, “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004.

Al Gore, “The Climate for Change,” New York Times, November 9, 2008.

Daniel Kevles, “Preface, 1995,” Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America (2005)

Daniel Kevles, “Big Science and Big Politics in the United States: Reflections on the Death of the SSC and the Life of the Human Genome Project,” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 27, pt. 2 (1997): 269-298.

Due: Worksheet on Forman


R 11/13           Globalization, ethnic diversity, and post-9/11 developments.  Video: Bioterror

                        *Donna Gerardi Riordan,Research Funding via Direct Democracy: Is It Good for Science?” and Irwin Feller and Susan Cozzens, “It’s about More than Money,” Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2008, and readers’ responses to the two articles in the Fall 2008 issue.

David S. North, Soothing the Establishment: The Impact of Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers on America (1995).

                        Roli Varma, Harbinger of Global Change: India’s Techno-Immigrants in the United States (2006).

                        Due: Worksheet on Riordan, Feller/Cozzens, and responses.


Week 12

T 11/18           Reflections by scientists and engineers active in science policy

I. I. Rabi, My Life and Times as a Physicist (1960).

John L. McLucas, Reflections of a Technocrat: Managing Defense, Air, and Space Programs during the Cold War (2006).

Guy Stever, In War and Peace: My Life in Science and Technology (2002).

Wolfgang Panofsky, Panofsky on Physics, Politics, and Peace: Pief Remembers (2007).

Edward Teller, Memoirs (2001).

Glenn T. Seaborg, Adventures in the Atomic Age: From Watts to Washington (2001).

Walter A. Rosenblith (ed.), Jerry Wiesner: Scientist, Statesman, Humanist, Memories and Memoirs (2003).

Alvin Weinberg, The First Nuclear Age: The Life and Times of a Technological Fixer (1994).

Frederick Seitz, On the Frontier: My Life in Science (1994).

Charles H. Townes, How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist (1999).

Herbert Simon, Models of My Life (1991).


W 11/19          Viewing of Dr. Atomic  at Ontario Mills


R 11/20           Individual meetings in my office

                        Sample Paper: Natasha Sung, “Saving Face: American Efforts to Treat the Hiroshima Maidens and maintain Moral, National and Cultural Superiority,” 1999.

                        Due: Title, outline, bibliography, and introduction (or more) of paper.


Week 13

T 11/25           Small group meetings in my office

                        Due: Revised and expanded title, outline, bibliography, introduction, and more body of text.


R 11/27           Thanksgiving holiday; No Class.


Week 14

12/2                 Small group meetings in my office

                        Due: Partial drafts


12/4                 Individual consultations in my office


Week 15

12/9                 Group peer review in CLASSROOM

                        Due: Complete draft of papers


12/11               Presentations