The Day After Russia Attacks
What War in Ukraine Would Look Like—and How America Should Respond
On August 6, 1961, Major Gherman Stepanovitch Titov circled the earth 17 times, traveling at 18,000 miles an hour in an elliptical course which took him at maximum altitude about 160 miles into the stratosphere. For 25 hours and 18 minutes he traveled in regions until then unfathomed. In considerable discomfort he endured a prolonged state of weightlessness, hitherto known in all of human history only as a relatively fleeting experience to a handful of men. When Titov finally ejected himself from his four-and-one-half-ton vehicle and parachuted to earth he had set an all- time high mark in exploration.
There were a number of things of particular interest about the flight of Vostok II beyond the human daring and impressive technical ingenuity demanded for its accomplishment. One was its timing. A week later came the sealing of the border of East Berlin; 25 days later, on August 31, the Soviets announced their resumption of nuclear testing; 26 days later, on September 1, the conference of "nonaligned" nations convened in Belgrade. On that day, also, Major Titov, speaking to a large crowd of citizens of East Berlin on the Marx-Engels Platz, less than a mile from the border of West Berlin, pointedly remarked that the Soviet rockets that had propelled him into outer space could likewise deliver nuclear warheads to any point on the globe. Further, as almost his last action before being closed into his spaceship, Major Titov had dedicated his flight to the Twenty-second Congress of the Communist Party scheduled for October.
This constellation of events underlines with fresh immediacy the lessons already brought home by the history of Soviet space achievement since October 1957 when the first space satellite was placed in orbit. It gives force to the observation that outstanding technical achievements can be extraordinarily powerful in cementing a people's sense of solidarity, in augmenting its confidence, in reinforcing its pride, its verve, its sense of national identity. It also emphasizes anew how closely and skillfully the knot may be drawn between impressive technical organization, accomplishment and initiative in exploration on the one hand and a grand design of power on the other. It demonstrates how effectively in Soviet hands a spectacular technology may be made to implement a many-sided psychological offensive, ranging from cajolery to indirect blackmail to direct threat, all added to and at the same time detracting from the genuine excitement and admiration which the feat should alone have inspired. The dispatches from London, Paris, Bonn, New Delhi, Tokyo on the following day left no doubt that the event had been fully appreciated by the free world in its various significant aspects.
Further evidence of how closely linked technical and political planning can be in the Soviet Union, and of how excellence in a special, appropriate technology may be oriented to serve the political offensive, is suggested by a comparison of Soviet and American programs over the past several years in space research as distinct from large-scale space engineering. Since the beginning of the space age, the United States has placed in orbit some 45 satellites designed primarily for the gathering of scientific data about conditions in outer space. Some 13 have been launched by the Soviet Union. It would appear that such neglect of the scientific investigation of space, implied by this relative inattention to research satellites, could, in the long run, seriously hamper development; American satellites are producing information of the highest value, pertaining among other things to levels of radiation in space-information which must be essential in the planning of any manned space travel in the future. Such a conclusion may well be mistaken, however, for at least two reasons. The first is the impressive capability of the Soviet Union to marshal resources for research in very many areas and with excellent efficiency once it is decided that it is more economical, in terms of the objectives sought, to do such research than to borrow from abroad. Again, Soviet inattention to research in favor of an apparent concentration on more conspicuous technology has a familiar historical ring in some other areas of development-for example, the earlier history of Russian aeronautics after A. N. Tupolev and N. Y. Zhukovsky joined forces in 1918 to launch the Central Aerodynamics Research Institute (TSAGI) and the Zhukovsky Air Academy. In initiating the first consistent and relatively large-scale programs in the field of flight, they, too, demonstrated how much an ability to keep abreast of technical developments in other countries, to adapt them effectively and dynamically to specific ends, to plan over long periods with endurance, tenacity and singleness of purpose may compensate over the short run for the comparative neglect of disinterested research. On the other hand, all experience suggests-and we shall do well to bear this continually in mind as a cardinal principle-that such a pattern can be productive only in the short run, and that we could emulate it only at inadmissible cost, not only to our own progress but to our whole pattern of scientific and technical well-being, self-confidence and self-respect.
This contrast of approach, indeed, must drive home with special force one of at least three great lessons taught anew by the flight of Vostok II and the circumstances surrounding it. It is the lesson that there are few things more precious to us than our autonomy, our balance, our pluralism-in technology and science no less than in other aspects of our national being. There could be no more fatal error than to suppose that, because the U.S.S.R. has grown in an extraordinarily short time from a technically backward society to a technically very powerful state, the attitudes and operating patterns by which this was accomplished have per se a special validity for ourselves. To imagine, moreover, that the most exciting, vital and enduring aspects of our own scientific effort necessarily have any pragmatic bearing whatever upon affairs economic or military, or should necessarily even be undertaken in their service, would be to abandon one of our precious avenues of growth-to negate, indeed, one of our major sources of spiritual strength. It will take wisdom and tenacity, in the face of the threats that beset us, to remember, and constantly to act upon, such cardinal truths.
But to maintain faith in our own way is not enough. To emphasize the importance of cultivating one's own garden in one's own pattern is not to be fully satisfied with the effectiveness of the garden or its crop. And we can never forget the none-too-subtle coupling of science and technology with military power, to which Major Titov called specific attention in Berlin, and which the circumstances surrounding his flight have emphasized.
Sputnik I stimulated a noteworthy series of innovations and improvements in the organization of science within the American Government-the most important, probably, which had occurred since World War II. Among them were the strengthening of the President's Science Advisory Committee and its reconstitution within the White House; the creation of the post of the President's Science Adviser and its subsequent increase in significance, especially in the current Administration; the establishment of the Federal Council of Science and Technology; the increased scope and significance of the Federal support of research, as in the National Science Foundation, and in the conduct of research within the Federal agencies, as in the National Institutes of Health, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Space Agency.
But problems concerning the organization, appreciation and use of science and technology at the Federal level remain, and Vostok II has given them new emphasis. Further developments in the structure, the range of duties, the modes of work of the President's Science Advisory Committee are clearly called for, and indeed are inevitable. The position of the President's Special Assistant for Science and Technology itself may need some redefining to increase its scope. Further improvements are urgent to equip the Departments to deal with scientific and technical matters. The creation of the Office of the Director of Defense Research in the Department of Defense has been most encouraging. Despite recent innovations, it may be fairly said that within the Department of State there is still a less-than- satisfactory level of scientific competence. The problems are especially urgent and complex in the foreign-aid agencies, which have still some distance to go in exploiting the tools which science and technology could bring to their planning and operations.
Finally, one of the most critical and difficult issues of domestic policy in the field of science and technology will be posed in the implementation of the expanded Project Apollo, which aims to put a man on the moon by the close of the decade. Much of the basic strength and symmetry of the national scientific effort over the next few years may depend upon the way in which the claims of concentrated programs in a vast but specialized technical field can be balanced against the broader requirements of research and training which are vital to the continuing scientific health and growth of the nation. For Project Apollo will be even more demanding of highly trained manpower than it will be of funds. The issue, moreover, is critical beyond the arena of domestic policy; it is also deeply involved with aspects of foreign policy, in ways to be considered.
A second lesson posed by the flight of Major Titov and all its attendant circumstances is that of the vital importance of the scientific and technical health and growth and solidarity of the community of Western Europe as an absolute condition of survival over the coming decades. The challenge is indeed to the vigor and quality of research within each nation. Even more, however, it is to their combined and coördinated capacity and to the confidence and sense of capability that such capacity can bring to the community itself. For regardless of energy and will, it is clear that no one member alone in the coming years can muster the strength or command the universality to meet the challenge independently. Nowhere, indeed, is the charge on both the wisdom and the coherence of the free world more severe than in the area of its combined science and technology.
Of special interest in this connection are the recent appeals by highly placed European officials for an integration of some major Western European technological concerns within the structure of NATO and the formation of an agency empowered to contract for research and development projects throughout the area. Whatever its specific nature, an important focus of such coördination and institutional strengthening might well lie in the office of the Science Adviser to NATO. A core has been developed here in recent years from which a significant structure of adequate size and character could well evolve. Currently the North Atlantic Council of NATO, with its Science Committee, is empowered to award grants for scientific research in the member nations on the order of a million dollars annually. This small but significant sum permits the office of the Science Adviser to act, in effect, as an international science foundation. In 1960, the NATO Science Fellowship Program was provided with $1,750,000 in international funds, and a NATO Advanced Study Institute Program has made a start with about $200,000.
Such developments are obviously minuscule, yet they represent a beginning in forwarding close coöperation in the fields of science and technology among the nations of Western Europe. Upon this, much could conceivably be built. In so doing great strength may be derived from the very existence of such "working" structures of international science as the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland (CERN), currently operating on a budget of almost 68,000,000 Swiss francs and conducting a flourishing program in high-energy physics which could well be expanded further; and by such technical groups as the Training Center for Experimental Aerodynamics (TCEA) in Belgium, which has made available to all the NATO nations equipment for research and facilities for education on a considerable scale.
Not to be forgotten, either, are various efforts and plans for the establishment of international universities: the University of the Middle East in Turkey, aided with financial support from the United Nations; the European University which has been under study by the Community of Six; and an Atlantic Institute of Science and Technology, which has been suggested as an international scientific university comparable in scope and quality with the best in the United States. These are ambitious and inherently difficult undertakings. Yet they need not reach the impressive goals set for them in order to be important. Even a small institution could have significance if planned and conducted with vision, administered in a way to avoid conflicts with important national interests, and designed to strengthen rather than compete with the best national programs of education. Also, students must be encouraged to return to their own countries at the end of their terms of residence, and, if the institution does not seem promising after a reasonable trial, then the venture should be terminated.
Last but by no means least, the newly established Organization for Economic Coöperation and Development may have an important contribution to make to the scientific unity of Western Europe, especially in relation to technical and scientific assistance to the new nations.
The ultimate strength of such coördinated structures of science and technology must depend on the quality of its components, and that will be strongly conditioned by patterns of scientific and technical education. In many Western European nations, programs of scientific education are of high quality in a substantive sense. But some of them are quite inadequate to the requirements of modern competitive technology. There is clearly a particular need to further improve scientific secondary education, despite encouraging progress in recent years, and often to extend it in time. In many European nations there is still a serious shortage of qualified teachers of science and technology, especially at the secondary level. A variety of specific conditions needs to be remedied. In France, for example, a high proportion of gifted students who enter the national schools of engineering because of the attractive careers to which such training leads graduate thence into engineering positions where their talents may be permanently lost to science and technology. In the Netherlands and in Italy it may be fairly said that professorial salaries are too low. The West German system of education nourishes outstanding individuals, but still makes inadequate provision for team research.
In the last ten years, the output of trained scientists and engineers in many countries has expanded by 25 to 50 percent. This apparently promising increase, however, is quite insufficient for the competitive conditions of the contemporary world. In the United States the annual rate for the production of engineers, tallied without reference to quality, is about 200 per million of population. The Soviet Union produces about twice as many. But the output of the European Economic Community has averaged only about 70 per million per year-a figure that is far too low, and should surely be corrected.
A part of the answer to these deficiencies-though clearly only a part-is economic. Both Great Britain and the United States currently invest about 2 percent of the Gross National Product in the fields of science and technology, generally defined, and devote about a tenth of this sum to fundamental research. Experience suggests that these are desirable goals of expenditure provided that the human and material resources for scientific and technical education, research and development are adequate to use the funds effectively.
There is undoubtedly much that the nations of Western Europe can do to strengthen their own scientific resources, both individually and in combination. There are abundant opportunities here for effective American aid if it can be given with a proper sense of the sharp limitations of our own vision and capacity. We must constantly keep in mind that a true internationalism in science and technology among the industrial nations of the West means far more than a simple exchange of information, far more than coördination of research programs in international administrative bodies, far more, even, than the training of scientists from many nations in international universities, or their subsequent careers in international research centers or engineering establishments. All these activities, important as they are, can serve only as means to promote a working expression of the internationalism that is an inherent substantive quality of science-a quality upon which the structures of scientific knowledge itself are founded. Failures of communication among peoples inheriting a common scientific tradition must perforce be reckoned as failures in the very processes of scientific understanding, and, at a yet deeper level, as failures in realizing an essential quality of scientific verity. So the only final goal of coöperation among the nations of Western Europe which can have real meaning in terms of scientific understanding, as well as of the pragmatic challenges of the day, must be of a more profound kind. It must involve an interpenetration of scientific concerns at a very deep, substantive level along those multifarious frontiers of knowledge which today make the pursuit of science one of the most compelling of all intellectual pursuits-visual and radio astronomy, high-energy physics, geology and geophysics, communication theory, the mechanisms of heredity and of the differentiation and coördination of cells in the living body, and all the rest of those fascinating avenues of inquiry which reach far beyond the confining boundaries of human organization.
In no potential field of overseas assistance must scientific planning be more carefully meshed with educational, technical, economic and social considerations if the aid is to be truly effective and not merely a temporary stimulus, accepted at the risk of grave long-term imbalances.
A third lesson driven home by Vostok II was almost new in our experience. It was implicit, to be sure-yet hardly more than an implication-in the days of the first satellite launching four years earlier. The approximately 500,000,000 people included in the free nations of Western lineage, comprising perhaps a sixth of the world's population, constitute a fraction that is critical in terms of science and technology, far beyond its numerical proportions. It is a fraction, moreover, bonded together in fundamental ways by the historical sharing of the cultural experience symbolized by the scientific revolution from Copernicus to Newton to our own day. These nations hold the formal precepts of that revolution in common and, beyond that, share its concepts of the essential nature of the universe.
But it was probably not to this sixth of the world's population that the flight of Vostok II and the intense and highly coördinated publicity that accompanied it were primarily directed. Titov also spoke to the substantial portion of the remaining five-sixths of the world's population represented by the new nations. These are nationally conscious of their acute material needs and of the power of technology in the fulfillment of those needs, though without, in many cases, yet fully understanding the means or the requirements of technological or of scientific development. Titov could influence a tremendous audience which simply was not reckoned significant in the scales of world power in the First or Second World Wars, or in any adequate sense even later.
In 1945, 52 states had signed the Charter of the United Nations. By the autumn of 1961 the membership had risen to 103. A majority of the new nations are underdeveloped and their needs are starkly practical. The control of hunger, the conquest of epidemic disease, the elementary development of natural resources are obviously imperative for any adequate realization of their potentialities. They stand in acute need of appropriate and developed technologies. Today their demands on science must be addressed almost wholly to its pragmatic side. But it is not to be forgotten that tomorrow they will surely wish to participate in the continuing scientific revolution of the wider world outside their borders. As that time arrives, the problem of providing effective scientific and technical aid may become more subtle, and also, perhaps, more critical.
We are well placed to aid the new nations of the world with appropriate technologies to strengthen their economies, and few areas in the whole field of foreign aid can be more important in their implications. In this respect the matter seems relatively straightforward in principle, however massive and complex in practice. In fact, however, basic questions are involved which relate as much to underlying concepts as to matters of execution. Some of the most formidable of these cluster around judgments as to what constitutes true relevance in the technologies that are sought by the new nations or that we seek to bring them. Clearly, the simpler and more elementary fields are likely to be most relevant. We should generally be wary of complex and striking technologies which may promise more than they can accomplish, bringing an initial rise in expectations to be followed by disappointments which can be disillusioning and dangerous. Techniques claiming the highest priority will be those bearing upon food production, including agronomy and crop and animal improvement and soil science; those for estimating, prospecting and extracting minerals and renewable resources; those for civil engineering, urban planning and the development of appropriate and available energy sources.
But there are other important criteria of relevance. The scarcity of capital in the new countries demands that technologies in any field carry the lowest capital and development costs consistent with their effectiveness, and that, moreover, they require the shortest possible span between investment and return. The characteristic abundance of manpower relative to capital in the new nations requires that relevant technologies maximize the productiveness of existing manpower rather than conserving it by replacing manpower with machines. Thus in food production, for example, technologies should be directed particularly toward securing an increase in yield per acre rather than in output per man.
The knowledge on which these relevant technologies are based clearly does not lie at the frontiers of Western scientific advance. Indeed, there is probably more basic information appropriate to the needs of the new nations presently available than can effectively be put to use for many years to come. The problem here is not of research, but in a sense one more formidable. It is a problem of discovery, of sensible and sensitive selection, and, above all, of adaptation to the peculiar and individual requirements of each nation, people and region.
In most of the new nations there will be at least a few men generally familiar with technical matters who can seize upon the world's store of technical knowledge, can with some assistance abstract appropriate elements from it, and, under favorable circumstances, can adapt such elements successfully to the needs of their countries. Where the corps of such men is adequate in numbers and relatively sophisticated in outlook, the task of aid may be primarily to make sure that the appropriate information and the means for implementing it are at their command and that any advice which may be helpful and welcome is provided. This is a serious undertaking in itself, and calls for a high order of skill and subtlety. But it is not, basically, an unfamiliar task.
In far too many cases, however, technically sophisticated personnel are still extremely rare in the new nations. It is of the highest importance that their numbers be augmented as rapidly as possible through appropriate secondary training, bearing always in mind the great importance of breadth in training and the dangers of narrow specialization. So vital is this objective that it must be achieved even, if necessary, at the cost of short- term sacrifices in education at the primary and the university levels, and even at the cost of postponing the goal of universal literacy.
Where adequately trained manpower is wholly lacking, the challenges upon us to provide effective technological aid are grave indeed. For then a preponderant share of the burden of selection, adaptation and introduction must rest upon the donor, and the effectiveness with which these things are done will largely determine the success of the enterprise. There is an acute need for improving the quality of our technical assistance, and most particularly the caliber and training of those associated with its ministration. For lack of skill and of effective effort can spell disaster more serious than if the effort had never been undertaken.
We are not at present sufficiently equipped or practiced to be at all certain of meeting this demand well, and it is of great importance that we become so. Few challenges to the whole pattern of our foreign aid will be more severe than this. The field bristles with practical pitfalls. There is not only the danger of offering too advanced, too glittering, or otherwise poorly adapted technologies. There is the equally grave danger of forgetting that in all programs of technical aid an indispensable element must be the social will of the recipients to develop their own technical frontiers. Without it, without a tolerant and helpful political climate, technical aid is all too likely to bring in its train the same hazards that we have come to associate with monetary aid similarly applied. It is important to recall in this connection that among present or past political leaders of the new countries only those of India and of Israel have had extensive scientific training.
Finally, we must keep in mind the relatively high capital costs involved in the development and application of even simple technologies. Often enough such capital expenditures, of the most legitimate and indeed essential kind, will fall hopelessly beyond the economic capacities of the less developed countries. They are, moreover, bound to continue over a considerable period, which requires assurance of continuity at the outset if they are to appear acceptable to responsible statesmen. Now as already noted, the advanced technologies which the industrial nations may expect to evolve at ever-mounting pace over the coming years are not likely to be of great assistance to the newer countries until these have themselves achieved a roughly comparable technical, scientific and industrial civilization, with its broadened economic base. Until then, such technologies may actually widen rather than narrow existing economic gaps. Failure on either side to remember this can easily lead to dangerous errors and bitter disillusionment. This is one of the strongest arguments for the requests for the authorization of large-scale-and most importantly for long- term-aid funds at low interest rates recently sought and in part secured by the Administration.
Besides abounding in hazards, this aspect of foreign technical aid also poses squarely some far-reaching questions of internal policy. How, for example, does it bear upon the distribution of our internal technical effort? The implications reach quite as far as our own plans for the conquest of space. Which will ultimately be more impressive and useful to the new states-leadership on vast and spectacular and sophisticated frontiers of exploration and power, or demonstrated leadership in technologies more relevant to their own practical needs, coupled with genuine willingness and care and insight in making them available? Clearly there can never be a simple answer. Even the judgment of how we shall partition our efforts between such disparate extremes must vary with circumstances, and from year to year. But the flight of Vostok II has emphasized once again how constantly such matters must be kept in mind. We must continually remind ourselves that our scientific and technical resources are no more unlimited than our economic ones-that, indeed, they are far more limited and far slower and more difficult to build. For, comparatively wealthy as we are in both, we are not wealthy enough to do simultaneously all things well on the vast scale that the contemporary world demands.
Vital as relevant technologies are for the new nations, in the end they will not be enough. In the long run, some, if not all, of the new nations will need an indigenous, living science of their own, however limited it may be in volume or in scope.
There are many reasons for this. The most practical and perhaps the least fundamental is that, as demonstrated by the whole history of the scientific revolution, technology cannot remain a vital and a growing thing in the modem world without continuing nourishment from the wellsprings of a living science. Without an indigenous science a new country must depend heavily and indefinitely upon borrowing if its technology is not to stagnate. Furthermore, since none can understand so well the subtle requirements and the new opportunities for technology within a particular country as the peoples who must actually employ it and live with its consequences, the effective adaptation even of borrowed technology to local use requires, in the most pragmatic sense, both a living and a practical indigenous science. It is probably no overstatement that, in the long run, a nation can be reckoned truly strong only if it possesses both a vital technology and a vital science in appropriate balance.
In a different vein, the ability to make independent, original contributions to the world's store of scientific knowledge has come to be a mark of progressiveness, and even fulfillment of national identity. The new nations are proud. They are entering a world where an indigenous science, however limited its scope, is a part of national greatness, an emblem of self-respect. How true this is has several times been demonstrated in Western Europe. Some technically and scientifically advanced nations have recently found themselves in positions where it would clearly have been more immediately economical to live on technology borrowed from outside- technology developed in many instances from scientific advances for which they themselves were originally responsible. Yet, they have decided, as a matter of policy, that to follow this easy and apparently frugal course would be to sacrifice elements of national morale, national self-respect and, in the long run, national autonomy. Many exceedingly interesting examples of this situation might be quoted-for instance, the British attitude toward continuing research in the field of plastics (polythene itself was a British invention) or in solid-state physics, despite the fact that the whole technical know-how of transistors is just as available to England as it is to the United States, where the device was invented-and at substantial savings in research costs. The emerging nations may be wise to take note of such experiences and decisions.
But in one sense these are all relatively shallow considerations. To assess those that are deeper and more compelling, it is necessary to review certain facets of the history of technology and of science. Modern historical research has demonstrated that many of our technologies are immensely old. It has revealed the striking and important fact that, closely as science and technology seem interwoven today, their origins were actually separated in place and time, and probably were of widely different character. The great initial developments in technology antedated the scientific revolution by several millennia, and, long before the first beginnings of a scientific revolution, some technologies had attained a remarkably modern cast. A genuine technological revolution, in fact, probably occurred coeval with the great prehistoric urban centers of Asia and Africa. The astonishing technical inventions of China between the first and eighth centuries A.D.-including paper, seismoscopes, wind gauges, the magnetic compass, explosives, printing with movable type-leave no doubt of the heights attained by Asian technical skill and inventiveness at a time when comparable European achievements were still of the most primitive kind. It seems probable, indeed, that the basis for a large share of European technical development was imported from the East.
Yet the scientific revolution in a proper sense, when it finally came, was peculiarly a phenomenon of Western Europe. At its outset, it hardly touched the East at all. Why this should have been true is one of the enigmas of history, for which many tentative hypotheses have been advanced. Its consequences for the modern day, and especially for the problems of the new nations, however, are wide and deep.
One obvious and highly relevant consequence is the fact that while the process of technological revolution is familiar everywhere, and the values and the essence of technology are generally understood, the historical experience of a scientific revolution is one from which virtually all the new nations of the eastern and southern hemispheres of the globe have until quite recently stood apart. Indeed, in large measure they have been spectators rather than participants in this strange phenomenon which has done so much to alter the whole cast of human experience. Now they are poised upon the edge of that transformation. Neither they nor we can predict precisely what it will mean. But there can be no doubting the depth and force it is bound to have. Moreover, since intellectual revolutions in general must be highly individual in all societies, it must be assumed that in no two nations will a scientific revolution take precisely the same form.
Certain features, however, adduced from the earlier scientific history of Western Europe, may be characteristic of science wherever it comes into being. One of these is the important fact that, closely linked as science is with both technology and with industry, and important as the partnership is in the modern industrial nations, much of importance in science has always been essentially separate and independent of both. In its origins, science was closely linked with technology, and technology suggested many of the areas of its deepest concern. Yet for the first hundred years of its life there was relatively little of a practical nature that it could contribute to technologies already highly developed through centuries of practical experience. Science none the less flourished during this period, nourished by emotional and intellectual elements extending far beyond the sphere of practical concern. Its historical independence of industry is yet more marked. It is worth noting that in Great Britain, where the scientific revolution may be said to have first occurred, it antedated the industrial revolution by many years. The major steps in the transformation of the world view in British society from an essentially Ptolemaic concept of the universe to a Newtonian one came in the main-and very swiftly-between 1660 and 1700. The period of industrial "takeoff" in England, on the other hand, can be referred to the decades between 1783 and 1803, about a hundred years after the publication of Newton's "Principia." It is clearly not essential for a society to have attained a stage of considerable industrial or even of technical development in order to experience, and be profoundly affected by, a scientific revolution.
From these and similar considerations follow a number of less obvious reasons why the new nations must develop an independent science. Without some structure of indigenous, living science, they are likely to experience great difficulty in developing standards of judgment by which to apprehend the whole scientific "style" of the natural world. To distinguish between what is credible and possible and what is not, and to discriminate between the scientifically genuine and the scientifically deceptive, require continuing direct experience for their perfection. Without the capacity for making such judgments, a new nation must remain highly vulnerable in its contacts with the outer world. It will be vulnerable, indeed, even in its acceptance of technological aid proffered in the most disinterested spirit. But the greater danger is internal, for without such a sense of the world's scientific "style" informed judgments cannot be made in a whole field of critical matters at home. It was not idly that Solomon Caulker of Sierra Leone remarked during the recent Rehovoth Conference, "What we want from science is not prestige projects but the answers to our own witch doctors."
But it is in the qualities of science as a structure of communication, of philosophy, of faith that we find the deepest reasons. Without a living science, the new countries will have no access to the cultural world fraternity that the fabric of scientific understanding implies. They will not share in the lofty concepts that form the priceless heritage of the scientifically literate peoples. They will be denied access to one of the significant assurances that there is an inherent logic, an underlying stability, unifying the currents of scientific and technical change that so alarmingly threaten to engulf them. In the politically bipolar world which they enter late as nations, the new countries stand in sore need of independent standards to which they may repair. Without a living science, one of the most fundamental, practical and accessible of those standards will be denied them. Without it, they are in some measure excluded from those international combinations, well exemplified in Western Europe, which in addition to all their practical benefits are so important in commanding the belief and confidence of peoples-especially those in smaller political units -and in evoking their verve and creativeness. Finally, an original science demands, as it also stimulates, the development of the critical and creative habits of mind that are essential to the leadership of the new nations in every field-the unfettered, flexible, empirical view so essential if the nations they lead are to survive and grow.
In one sense, the new countries should have a marked advantage as they enter upon their scientific and technical revolutions. They take the stage at a time when the basis of world scientific and technical knowledge is richer and more varied than ever before. To that extent we can properly expect their revolutions, if successful, to be even swifter than earlier ones, and the course to scientific maturity shorten But the hazards, too, are greater. The new nations face the formidable difficulty of achieving an autonomous scientific effort of the first class in a world where the range of first-class scientific effort is already bewilderingly immense and the scientific competition cruelly severe. In addition, there are formidable obstacles of a practical sort-the difficulties of securing training for original scientific work where capital and institutions of higher learning are scarce, and of retaining the trained few at home, isolated as they must be among popular attitudes which at the outset may be uncomprehending of or even downright hostile to the scientific way. It is quite possible that in some cases it will take a generation to establish the means for training even a small core of qualified scientific workers. To establish international scientific programs and coöperative training centers among the new nations will demand similar energy and pertinacity.
There is much that we can do in detail to assist here, by means already moderately familiar, including aid in the overseas training of research workers and, probably more significantly, in establishing local institutes for scientific training. Institutes organized on a regional basis, to train students from neighboring countries, promise to be especially fruitful. We can assist also by expanding contractual arrangements between educational institutions in the new nations and American universities having special competence in appropriate areas. In addition, outstanding American teachers, administrators, scholars and research scientists can represent us in the new nations. And in various ways American scientific societies, notably the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, can aid in establishing corresponding scientific organizations in the new nations. It would be hard indeed to overestimate the importance of such associations in promoting the earlier stages of a scientific revolution-a role in which they were predominantly important in the earlier stages of the scientific revolution in Western Europe. In similar vein, a sine qua non of a scientific revolution in its earlier stages is the social value attached to scientific eminence. This can be greatly enhanced by suitable international recognition of real scientific distinction wherever it may appear in the new nations. Traditionally the British Royal Society has played this role with discernment and skill. There is a great potential here.
But in the last analysis we shall need a far deeper understanding than we now possess of the essential nature of a scientific revolution in a nation newly awakened to scientific values. In no easier way can we attain to the wisdom required to render genuinely significant assistance.
It is true that in its details a scientific revolution must differ in each period when it occurs, and with each nation. Yet there are certain important characteristics that are likely to be constant, as earlier scientific revolutions vividly illustrate. The first is its cataclysmic nature. Though history makes evident that scientific revolutions are long in the making, and that typically they are initiated by a gifted few, the final period when the change affects a whole nation-the period of its greatest significance-is characteristically amazingly short. In the West it was not the theories of Copernicus nor the observations of Galileo nor the reasoning of Bacon that heralded the revolution, though they were critical in igniting it. It was, rather, the years following Newton, the years of the British Restoration, when the vision which had compelled the pioneers and the broader implications of their new ideas and attitudes suddenly infected a much wider public. It is hard indeed, at this remove, to comprehend the consuming hold of the Newtonian revolution when it suddenly took firm hold upon the imagination of a whole people. Within 40 years the outlook of an entire nation underwent a transformation more profound than wars or drastic political changes might have wrought. The fact that in less than a generation a people's world view was radically transformed seems especially significant for the new nations of today.
It may of course be properly asked whether a scientific revolution in a new country can ever have an impact comparable with that of the first revolution, when the whole scientific view of the world was new. The question must by its nature remain perpetually moot. But several considerations suggest that the impact today may not be too dissimilar. Many of the new countries may still be sufficiently insulated from the wider ranges of the new scientific knowledge so that its weight may not unduly dim their enthusiasm. Again, although the level of world scientific knowledge is high today, it is a serious question whether it is higher in relation to the challenges for the new nations than was the state of European technology in relation to early science in the days of the classical revolution.
Scientific revolutions may be long in the making-though of this we can by no means be sure-and it seems probable that they will be initiated by a rather small number of intellectuals who are apt to be young men. But when such revolutions culminate, they are likely to do so rapidly and with overwhelming effect. Internally, the social shifts which they entail must affect a nation deeply, destroying for the time being the precious margin of redundancy upon which societies in general, and traditional societies most of all, depend so heavily for their coherence and health, separating father from son in what will amount to different worlds.
During such times the new nations must be at their most vulnerable in their external relations as well as in their internal structures. Then especially they will need to guard against subtle as well as overt destruction or domination. And this will not always be easy, as guideposts will be at a minimum. In many cases, the critical apprehensions in scientific and technical matters, which only the experience of living through such a revolution can fully provide, will not have been adequately developed at the time they are most needed in making the hard choices which the revolution will inevitably impose. And yet the courses chosen at such times of upheaval may well have fundamental and lasting effects. The consequences of wrong choices will not be easily undone. And should such a scientific revolution fail at its critical point, widespread expectations are bound to be dashed and political attitudes may be dangerously affected.
At no point in its development will a new state need advice and wisdom more than at such a juncture, to enable it to pass through the turbulent period of maximum change as rapidly as possible and to handle itself as effectively as may be during the trying times. Will we be equipped with such wise advice? Will we be prepared to lend it with real effectiveness to any new countries truly seeking it?
We probably have to answer that we are very poorly prepared at present to serve in this way. Yet the assistance which we could provide simply through efforts to analyze and to understand would probably be more critical at such a juncture than any material technical aid that we could bring the new nations or than any detailed specific measures to forward scientific progress. In the final analysis, we probably know far less about the real nature of scientific revolutions even than we do of the nature of the economic or the industrial revolutions with which they are likely to be so closely associated. Like those movements, it is clear that scientific revolutions are enormously complex and that they rest upon a multitude of social and material prerequisites, many of which are not apparent in the present state of our understanding. Like economic and industrial revolutions, they are intimately interwoven with other qualities of societies to form a balanced, organic whole. There is far more to the nature of scientific revolutions than the substance of the science which they embody.
To increase our ability to render scientific aid to the new nations the United States might constitute one or more advisory groups, preferably outside government but constantly in close touch with it and responsive to its needs, dedicated to a continuing major effort to understand such scientific revolutions as social phenomena and to give policy counsel concerning them. Such a group or groups should include representatives of many disciplines which can contribute to an understanding of the multifarious kinds of social change of which a scientific revolution is but one aspect, though an overwhelmingly important one. Moreover, they should be prepared for a long existence. The efforts to understand must be systematic and persistent, continually sifting the basic common denominators of experience from the more detailed aspects of less encompassing generality. The need for the advice of such a group or groups,, if it can be effectively formulated, will continue to be acute through many years to come, as new nations approach the thresholds of their respective scientific revolutions and as the store of knowledge accumulates and analysis and judgment become more acute. The disciplines and the viewpoints comprehended in these studies are so various and divergent that communication itself will not be easy and can be developed only gradually.
An enterprise of this kind does not promise to be easy. At best, it is likely to require the passage of years to show substantial accomplishment. Yet we are not without models around which such an undertaking could be built, in the atmosphere of a university center dedicated to international affairs. Success would markedly increase our resources for comprehending forces which may well affect the configuration of world power in the years ahead. Never has such understanding been more vital than in the coming age, symbolized inevitably not only by space exploration but by an unparalleled depth and breadth of understanding of natural phenomena and a new order in their control. If in the end it should prove that the flight of Vostok II has stimulated these things among us, as that of Sputnik I stimulated our organization of scientific and technological concerns within our government, this might well, in the light of history, be reckoned its most significant contribution.