The President's Page: Still the endless frontier


  • Helmut E. Landsberg


There have been some rather adverse reactions to science in recent years. In this context, science, often confused with technology, is held responsible for atomic arms and other devastating weapons systems. Science stands accused of producing poisons that threaten the environment. It has inflicted ubiquitous computers on the common man. These control his taxes, his charge accounts, his credit, and, by implication, his privacy. Any benefits that may accrue in the defense of freedom, in the reduction of disease, or in the ease of living are blandly discounted. Worse yet, scientists have been given dehumanizing attributes. Also they are alleged to be interested only in following their personal curiosities and in solving their abstract problems, as indeed some are. Moreover, science stands accused of syphoning funds away from socially more desirable goals.