Scientists, Seers and Strategy

Courtesy Reuters

That scientists today crucially affect decisions on national and international security-and therefore the fate of us all-will come as no news. After radar and jets and the A-bomb and the H-bomb and intercontinental rockets, the statement surely is obvious enough. But what does it mean? Like much else that is obvious, it is not very clear. Just how do the results of scientific research and the methods of science and the scientists themselves actually figure in decisions on arms and arms control? And how is the role of the scientist in such matters related to the more familiar functions of the politician, the military man and the ordinary citizen? Above all, what does "scientist" mean in such statements?

Even partial answers to these hard questions might help us deal with some others that are even harder and trouble us more. If by "science" is meant a difficult and specialized discipline

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