By Raphael Sassower (auth.)
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Extra info for Compromising the Ideals of Science
111). The history and methodology of science provided plenty of opportunities for Lysenko’s subversion and manipulation; and he was a willing and subservient participant in the control of the state over science. A similar mindset overtook the Nazi regime in Germany before and during World War II, so that anything considered “Jewish Science” was deemed false because of its crypto-racist overtones (Fuller 2004, 104). Francis Galton’s classical ideas of eugenics were revived with an ideological zeal unparalleled in the history of German science.
This case also illustrates how difficult it is to draw clear lines of demarcation between state Big Science and commercial Big Science. In both cases, one has to consider the obvious concerns over intellectual property that arise when either public or private enterprise undertakes basic research projects (more on this later): should private enterprises compete with government agencies? Should the one take risks the other cannot afford? Is the perception indeed true that the private sector is necessarily more efficient in its use of funds than the public?
This was true all the way from Einstein writing letters and articles, Robert Oppenheimer’s (the leader of the Manhattan Project) famous plea with President Truman, to the formation of the Union of Concerned Scientists and much later organized groups, such as the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. In light of redrawing the European territorial boundaries between the Allies and the Soviet Union after the end of World War II, the Cold War was in full force. It was important for the Americans to win that war, if not on the battlefield then at least in the imagination of its citizens.