Bush and post-war science
I mentioned in an earlier post about a Bush who played a key role in science and technology in the latter half of the twentieth century. That man was Vannevar Bush. There's some good info out there about him, for which I will supply links.
Bush had a lot of things going in his lifetime. But it's his war-time activities and their aftermath that is of interest here. In 1940, Bush, then president of the Carnegie Institution, convinced Franklin Roosevelt to organize the nation's academic scientists in the interests of national security. This led to the creation of the National Defense Research Council, later to become the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). Bush was head of this organization. Aside from the well known Manhattan Project, the OSRD also played a role in the development of radar and countermeasures, systems analysis, and techniques for manufacturing penicillin in large amounts and at low cost.
Prior to WW II, the US government did not finance science and technology research to any great degree. It was the success of the OSRD that opened the door to such government spending.
After the war, Bush created a report, Science: The Endless Frontier, stating his ideas about American science policy. In the report, Bush predicted that the country's future was dependent on technological innovation (which is itself dependent on basic science). As a result, the National Science Foundation was created.
Notes and lectures from The Teaching Company's Science in the 20th Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey.
The NSF provides a copy of Science: The Endless Frontier.
It appears that Bush envisioned the World Wide Web. Check out this link, which has a lot of information on Bush.
There's an Atlantic Monthly article which he wrote...unfortunately you have to be a subscriber to access it. I found a plain text version here.
Some of Bush's pioneering computer work is given here.
Music in my head: Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto