The End of the Endless Frontier? Truth and Power in the Age of Populism

Monday, August 28; 12 - 2 pm
470 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley
Lunch discussion with Peter Strohschneider (DFG)

“Science can be effective in the national welfare only as a member of a team, whether the conditions be peace or war. But without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.” - Vannevar Bush; Science, The Endless Frontier, 1945

Against the backdrop of current debates about science and populism, Peter Strohschneider, President of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) re-examines Vannevar Bush’s ideas on the public role of science as developed in the 1945 report to the President of the United States, “Science, The Endless Frontier.” Bush was an American engineer and science administrator, who headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II and initiated the Manhattan Project. In his 1945 report, he made a compelling case for government support for science in peacetime, which would lead to the creation of the National Science Foundation.

Peter Strohschneider will be introduced by Simone Lässig (German Historical Institute Washington DC). The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Cathryn Carson (Thomas M. Siebel Presidential Chair in the History of Science at UC Berkeley, Horst Simon (Deputy Laboratory Director and Chief Research Officer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), and Thomas Laqueur (Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor, Department of History at UC Berkeley and Co-Director of the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society at UC Berkeley).

Peter Strohschneider, a Professor of German Medieval Studies, has been President of the DFG since 2013. He is a member of numerous international committees and academies, including the Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences.

This event is organized by GHI West, the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington DC in cooperation with the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, & Society (CSTMS), the Institute of European Studies (IES), The Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), and the departments of History and German Studies at UC Berkeley.