Courtesy Reuters

Scientific Frontiers and National Frontiers: A Look Ahead

Science is the most communal of human endeavors. The vast structures of physics and biology assembled in this century were put together piece by piece by countless people whose identity has by this time been forgotten. The major figures, whose names are stamped there perhaps forever, were gifted in being able to figure out where the key pieces would fit, but the pieces themselves came from other minds and hands. Albert Szent-Georgi once remarked: "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."

It is easier to recall the names of the participants years ago, because there were so few to remember. Science began as a very small enterprise, involving a few amateurs, but even then they were in touch with each other, communicating their findings. Communicating has long been a familiar word in scientific jargon. Papers submitted to the Proceedings of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences are communicated; the word is printed there on the front page under the authors' names. In the case of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences there must also be printed, by federal law, a note at the bottom of that first page stating that the costs of publication of the article have been paid by the author or authors, or by their parent institutions, and that because of this the article must officially be designated as an "advertisement." It is a very small sign of the increasing involvement of government in the style and manners of science, a minor but disturbing signal, to which I shall return.

Today's science has expanded, within just the years of this century, from a small enterprise to an immense industry, from the commitment of a few hundred workers to one involving hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, here and abroad.

And so it is, in the face of the legislated mandates of the various governmental agencies responsible for the sponsorship of their own national science, and despite their

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