[29 Nov 1999] The German Atomic Bomb
[26 Nov 1999] Everybody Knows
[24 Nov 1999] Worlds Enough, and Time
[22 Nov 1999] Future Shocks
[19 Nov 1999] Translator's Note
[12 Nov 1999] Psalm 23
[11 Nov 1999] The Mechanical Demon
[10 Nov 1999] Prisoner's Dilemma
[9 Nov 1999] Conviction of E. German Chief Upheld
[8 Nov 1999] Four Gates to the City
[5 Nov 1999] Worst Crimes of the Millennium
[4 Nov 1999] When the Killing Stopped
The Endless Frontier
By VANNEVAR BUSH
Much of the information and experience acquired during the war is confined to the agencies that gathered it. Except to the extent that military security dictates otherwise, such knowledge should be spread upon the record for the benefit of the general public.
Thanks to the wise provision of the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, most of the results of war-time medical research have been published. Several hundred articles have appeared in the professional journals; many are in process of publication. The material still subject to security classification should be released as soon as possible.
It is my view that most of the remainder of the classified scientific material should be released as soon as there is ground for belief that the enemy will not be able to turn it against us in this war. Most of the information needed by industry and in education can be released without disclosing its embodiments in actual military material and devices. Basically there is no reason to believe that scientists of other countries will not in time rediscover everything we now know which is held in secrecy. A broad dissemination of scientific information upon which further advances can readily be made furnishes a sounder foundation for our national security than a policy of restriction which would impede our own progress although imposed in the hope that possible enemies would not catch up with us.
During the war it has been necessary for selected groups of scientists to work on specialized problems, with relatively little information as to what other groups were doing and had done. Working against time, the Office of Scientific Research and Development has been obliged to enforce this practice during the war, although it was realized by all concerned that it was an emergency measure which prevented the continuous cross-fertilization so essential to fruitful scientific effort.
Our ability to overcome possible future enemies depends upon scientific advances which will proceed more rapidly with diffusion of knowledge than under a policy of continued restriction of knowledge now in our possession.