. "Appendix D: A Brief Analysis of University Research and Development Efforts Relating to National Security, 1940-1980." Scientific Communication and National Security. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1982.
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Scientific Communication and National Security
the instrumentation and servo laboratories to the control of gunfire, which proved to be of decisive importance in protecting against airplane attacks on ship and land forces.
Baxter notes that the college and university at war had their dormitories and classrooms filled with Army and Navy trainees, along with reduced civilian student bodies; but, at the same time, they conducted war research of a secret character. Thus, these institutions managed the complexities of a first-rate security system, which at times involved armed guards and painstaking indoctrination. The security record of these academic institutions was admirable, proving that “intelligent and patriotic civilians, carefully indoctrinated as to the importance of security, can maintain secrecy as effectively as members of the armed services.” The development of the atomic bomb and other weapons under tight security “was achieved,” wrote Baxter, “not by the regimentation of science or industry but by the country where greatest pains had been taken to leave both free to make the most of the creative powers. Secrecy was maintanined without a Gestapo.”
Most of the secret war research projects on campus and in big laboratories, such as the Radiation Laboratory, were brought to a rapid conclusion at the end of the war, particularly those that were secret and therefore inappropriate to the policies and freedom of academic institutions. A few major classified projects were continued after the war under university management but were conducted off campus. For example, the Applied Physics Laboratory has continued under the management of Johns Hopkins University, and, of course, the Los Alamos Laboratory has remained under the direction of the University of California, which also operates a second major classified research laboratory at Livermore. In the postwar period, a few new secret, large research projects, such as Lincoln Laboratories at M.I.T., were established by the universities, but they were mainly off campus. The scientists who worked on secret projects during the war sought with all deliberate speed to return to university environments where they and their graduate students could work in complete freedom, and practically all universities banned secret work from their campuses.
The achievements of university research during the war led the Department of Defense to fund on-campus basic research generously in the postwar period. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) moved quickly to aid universities to reestablish their graduate programs in science and technology, thereby setting a pattern of benign sponsorship that recognized those special characteristics of universities which emphasized the essential values of academic freedom and the admission (and freedom of choice) of qualified students, including foreign nationals. ONR established contracting principles and procedures that paved the way for the National Science Foundation and that were generally adopted by all parts of the Department of Defense and by other defense-related government agencies, such as the Atomic Energy Commission and its successor.
Thus, the DOD played a major part in underwriting U.S. world leadership in unclassified science and technology. There was clear recognition that this achievement was an essential contribution to