and the Military
does your university tie in?
Institutional and Interpersonal Links
Military Research at UC Santa Cruz
How to find out what your
university is up to.
Universities and the Military
Since WWII, DoD funding of scientific research, development,
and evaluation has remained the first priority of federal
The military led the way in creating federal agencies, offices
with America's universities and research centers. Prior to WWII
had been no serious attempt by the federal government to fund
research. During WWII, the DoD created agencies and linkages
billions of dollars to universities and corporations to research
design the weapons that would win the war and wage future wars.
these weapons was most notably the atomic bomb, but also the
fuze, missile technology, and radar. Breakthroughs in
the war led to the modification of anti-aircraft guns with
used to calculate the firing times and trajectories necessary to
high speed targets like fighter-bomber aircraft and the German
Computers were used to calculate artillery tables, they solved
engineering problems, decoded enemy communications, and opened
future of technological war.
The Enlistment of Science and
Leading members of America's academic institutions joined
Bush, an electrical engineer at the Massachusettes Institute of
(MIT) in the creation of the National Defense Research
committee's mandate was to conduct research in service of
It was composed of Frank Jewitt (National Academy of Science and
James Connant (President of Harvard), Karl Compton (President of
and Richard Tolman (Caltech). A year later the same men founded
of Scientific Research and Development, which allowed them more
to take research projects from basic phases into the development
applications stages. President Roosivelt signed off on the
that, "essentially for the first time, the proper function of
included support of basic research by university scientists".
Toward the wars end the future of academia and the military were
Charles E. Wilson, Executive VP of the War Production Board ,
of General Motors Corp., and later Secretary of Defense under
administration, summed it up in 1944 saying:
"What is more natural and logical than that we should
mount our national policy upon the solid fact of an industrial
for war, and a research capacity for war that is also 'in
seems to me that anything less is foolhardy.".