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VANNEVAR BUSH March ~ I, 1890-June 2S, 1974 BY JEROME B. WIESNER NO AMERICAN has had Heater influence in the growth of science and technology than Vannevar Bush, and the twentieth century may yet not produce his equal. He was an ingenious engineer and an imaginative educator, but above all he was a statesman of integrity and creative ability. He orga- nized and led history's greatest research program during World War II and, with a profound understanding of implications for the future, charted the course of national policy during the years that followed. The grandson of two sea captains, "Van" Bush manifested his Cape Cod heritage in a salty, independent, forthright per- sonality. He was a man of strong opinions, which he expressed and applied with vigor, yet he stood in awe of the mysteries of nature, had a warm tolerance for human frailty, and was open- minded to change and to new solutions to problems. He was pragmatic, yet had the imagination and sensitivity of a poet, and was steadily optimistic. These essential qualities speak clearly in the foreword which he wrote in January 1970 for his book of reminiscences, Pieces of the Action: In my time, it has been my good fortune to have a piece of the action here and there in varied circumstances. It has been a pleasant experience for me to review some of the more rugged of these, and some of the more serene. Do birds sing for the joy of singing? I believe they do. The complexity of their songs is far greater than is needed for recognition or for marking 89
go BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS of reserved areas. I have become acquainted with a catbird who obviously derives pleasure as he tries out little phrases on his own. Moreover, I believe that evolution produced birdsongs, and the joy that goes with them, because of the survival value they bestow. He who struggles with joy in his heart struggles the more keenly be- cause of that joy. Gloom dulls, and blunts the attack. We are not the first to face problems, and as we face them we can hold our heads high. In such spirit was this book written. Van Bush gave the most comprehensive view of himself in Pieces of the Action. Characteristically, he despised pomposity and rather than write a formal autobiography he organized his recollections in a way that would illuminate certain historical episodes and amplify some of his views of life. Written in a direct, down-to-earth manner, the book tells a great deal about the rugged, indomitable spirit of its author. Bush's father, the Reverend Richard Perry Bush, was also a nonconformist in style and conviction. He started his career as cook on a mackerel smack at Provincetown, Massachusetts at the age of fourteen and worked his way through Tufts College by delivering coal to students' rooms. Although of a Methodist family, he became a minister in the Universalist Church and was a pastor in Everett, Massachusetts when his son was born on March 11, 1890. Story has it that the boy was named for the Reverend John Van Nevar, a colleague of the Reverend Mr. Bush. Between Vannevar Bush and his father there was a strong bond of affection, cemented by a good-humored appreciation in each one for the personality and idiosyncracies of the other. Both were members of the Masonic order, both were good out- doorsmen, and both were wide-ranging in their interests. As a boy, Vannevar Bush loved to tinker. When his father became a pastor in Chelsea, where Vannevar attended high school, he had a versatile shop at home. After high school he moved on to Tufts College, where he received B.S. and M.S. p. ~x. ~ Vannevar Bush, Pieces of the Action (New York: William Morrow, 1970),
VANNEVAR BUSH 91 degrees in 1913. Also, while still in college, he secured a patent the first of manyfor a surveying machine, which he built with two bicycle wheels and a device using a pendulum, for inte- grating and recording horizontal and vertical measurements. After graduating from Tufts, Bush worked for a time in the test department of the General Electric Company at Schenec- tady, New York, and then as an inspector for the U.S. Navy. He returned to Tufts in 1914 as an instructor in mathematics. He had higher goals, however, and one of them was to marry Phoebe Davis, a Chelsea girl. Having saved enough money for one more year of study, he proposed to earn a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in that one year so that he could qualify for a better job and afford to get married. There was academic skepticism that he could accomplish this, and he was warned that he would wreck his health; but in 1916, at the end of a year, he had earned a Doctor of Engineering, a degree at that time given jointly by MIT and Harvard University. His health was never better, a troublesome case of rheumatism hav- ing disappeared for good. That fall he and Miss Davis were married, and he became an assistant professor of electrical engi- neering at Tufts. His first technical paper, "Oscillating-Current Circuits by the Method of Generalized Angular Velocities," based on his doctoral thesis, was presented before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1917. At about that time, Bush became a consultant to American Research and Development Corporation (AMRAD), a small com- pany with quarters on the Tufts campus which, with the backing of l. P. Morgan, was pioneering in the development of radio devices. When the United States entered World War I, Bush went to New London, Connecticut to engage in antisubmarine research for AMRAD. He developed a magnetic device for the detection of submarines, but because of faulty administrative coordination it was never used effectively a circumstance that he would remember when he took charge of U.S. research dur-
92 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS ing World War II. "That experience," he wrote later, "forced into my mind pretty solidly the complete lack of proper liaison between the military and the civilian in the development of weapons in time of war, and what that lack meant." He did not serve in the Navy during World War I, but he was a lieutenant commander in the Naval Researve from 1924 to 1932. In 1919, Bush joined the MIT faculty as associate professor of power transmission. He was placed in charge of the intro- ductory course in electrical engineering and in 1922, with his colleague William H. Timbie, published a textbook, Principles of Electrical Engineering. Meanwhile, he had been macle clirec- tor of graduate study and of the Research Division of the De- partment of Electrical Engineering. Bush not only continued to serve as a consultant to AMRAD, but was also largely responsible for its progress, despite numer- ous vicissitudes, toward success. He enlisted Laurence K. Mar- shall, who had been his roommate at Tufts, to provide business leadership. A new company, eventually named Metals and Con- trols Corporation, was formed to manufacture a thermostat invented by John A. Spencer, a staff member. Thermionic tubes for the booming radio industry were developed by another com- pany, which took the name of Raytheon Manufacturing Com- pany in 1925 and became a corporate giant. One of the tubes, the S tube, a gaseous rectifier, enabled the owner of a radio set to plug it into the household circuit rather than use what was known as a B battery. The tube was the subject of papers pre- sented before the Institute of Radio Engineers and the Ameri- can Institute of Electrical Engineers by the inventor, C. G. Smith, and Bush. At MIT, Bush's interests turned toward computers. A former student, David O. Woodbury, recalls that in 1922 he was work- ing on a master's thesis, assigned by Bush, dealing with three- . # Pieces of the Action, p. 74.
VANNEVAR BUSH 93 phase transients in alternating current motors. The research required onerous slide-rule computation, and Woodbury de- vised a small machine to do the work. One day Bush saw Wood- bury using the machine and asked what it was. When Woodbury explained, the professor said, "Dave, give up all that slip-stick work and write us a thesis on your invention." Woodbury did, and sold the machine to General Electric Company. The increasing complexity of power transmission networks stimulated further development in methods of analysis. Another of Bush's graduate students, Herbert R. Stewart, based a thesis on the Product Integraph, stating: "It was Dr. Bush's suggestion early in 1925 that a mechanical device should be developed to perform the continuous integration, which was the beginning of a continually expanding program of general solution of tran- sients in networks by electromechanical means" (A New Re- cord ing Prod uct Integraph and Multiplier, S.M. thesis, 1926~. The Product Integraph was the first in a series of analog computers which, though not direct ancestors of today's digital computers, led in the opening of the modern field of compu- tation. In addition to Stewart, those closely associated with Bush in this development included Frank D. Gage, Harold L. Hazen, King E. Gould, and Samuel H. Caldwell. An advanced machine, called the Differential Analyzer, was completed in 1931 and was so successful that it was the model for the con- struction of similar machines elsewhere. It could solve sixth- order differential equations or three simultaneous second-order differential equations. Another complex device developed at that time by Harold Hazen and Hugh H. Spencer with Bush's leadership was the Network Analyzer, used in the simulation of power systems. Preparation of the Differential Analyzer for solving a prob- lem was a cumbersome process. Planning for a more versatile machine, which could be controlled by punched tape, was be- gun in 1935. Known as the Rockefeller Differential Analyzer
94 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS because it was funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation, it had 2,000 electronic tubes, 200 miles of wire, 150 motors, and weighed 100 tons. It was demonstrated for the first time in 1941 and throughout World War II was operated on a three-shift basis in the computation of Navy range tables and studies of fire-control systems, radar antennas, and other critical subjects. Bush was by no means satisfied with the Differential Analyzer. As early as 1937 he wrote memoranda on the possibility of achieving greater speed with an electronic calculator the Rapid Arithmetical Machine, as he called it. Preliminary studies of its feasibility and, in fact, of tubes and circuits that might be used were conducted, but investigators were diverted by war research demands, and it was not until the early 1950s that MIT began operating Whirlwind I, a high-speed, high-capacity, highly reliable digital computer. Although Bush maintained a lively interest in such ma- chines, his career had taken a new direction. He had strong views on education. For example, in "Critical Analysis of the Examination System of American Engineering Schools," he wrote: The student is hounded. In four years the student has to take some forty or fifty independently taught subjects in which he is examined formally a total of perhaps a hundred times, and informally several hundred times.... All but exceptional students become automatons.... Our examinations are poor.... Student memories are being taxed with data which any reason- able practicing engineer would keep in notes or a handbook.. Dr. Karl T. Compton had become president of MIT in 1930, and as part of his program to strengthen the Institute, he re- organized it as three schools and appointed Bush vice president of the Institute and dean of the School of Engineering. In the latter position, Bush became virtually the operating executive. His national reputation was growing, and in 1934 he was # Vannevar Bush, Journal of Engineering Education, 23, no. 5 (January 1933~: 322-36.
VANNEVAR BUSH 95 elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The following year he served on the Committee on the Relation of the Patent System to the Stimulation of New Industries, organized by the Science Advisory Board of the National Research Council. In 1938 Bush was invited to become president of the Car- negie Institution of Washington. President Compton was so loath to lose him that he suggested an arrangement by which he, Compton, would become chairman of the corporation and Bush would become president of MIT. Bush accepted the Carnegie invitation, however, and shortly afterward was also appointed chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). As he later put it, he soon "learned quite a bit of the mysterious ways in which one operates in the Washington maze." ~ After World War II broke out in Europe in 1939, Bush and others became increasingly concerned by the lack of technologi- cal preparedness in the United States. He; James B. Conant, president of Harvard University, and Frank B. Jewett, president of the National Academy of Sciences and president of Bell Telephone Laboratories, were members of the Committee on Scientific Aids to Learning, formed by the National Research Council in 1937, and thus had occasion to meet together and discuss the subject. President Compton of MIT and Richard C. Tolman, dean of the Graduate School at the California Insti- tute of Technology, also joined in these discussions. Irvin Stewart, who was secretary of the Committee on Scientific Aids to Learning, was likewise involved. Out of the discussions came a plan for the establishment of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), which Bush described in four short paragraphs and submitted to President Roosevelt. At the end of ten minutes he had an "OK-FDR," and an order creating NDRC was issued on June 27, 1940, providing ~ Pieces of the Action, p. 34.
96 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS nearly a year and a half of lead time before the United States entered the war. Bush commented thirty years later: There were those who protested that the action of setting up NDRC was an end run, a grab by which a small company of scientists and engineers, act- ing outside established channels, got hold of the authority and money for the program of developing new weapons. That, in fact, is exactly what it was. Moreover, it was the only way in which a broad program could be launched rapidly and on an adequate scale. To operate through estab- lished channels would have involved delays and the hazard that inde- pendence might have been lost, that independence which was the central feature of the organization's success. Bush was appointed chairman, and other members of the committee, in addition to Compton, Conant, Jewett, and Tol- man, were Conway P. Coe, Commissioner of Patents; Rear Adm. Harold G. Bowen, representing the Navy; and Brig. Gen. George V. Strong, representing the Army. Stewart became the executive secretary. The organization was elaborated in 1942, when the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was established, with Bush as its director. OSRD had three principal subdivisions at that time: the NDRC, with Conant as chairman; the Commit- tee on Medical Research (CMR), with A. Newton Richards as chairman; and the Advisory Council, with Bush as chairman. The latter, which included the chairmen of NACA, NDRC, and CMR, as well as Army and Navy representatives, served as a co- ordinating group. In addition, Bush was chairman of the Joint New Weapons Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, when the Manhattan District was created, chairman of its Mili- tary Policy Committee, which functioned as its board of direc- tors. Although a certain organizational complexity was inevitable in so large a program, OSRD and NDRC operations were simplified ~ Pieces of the Action, pp. 3~-3~.
VANNEVAR BUSH 97 by the fact that Van Bush was unquestionably the boss. He had the full confidence of the President and Congress. He was de- cisive and could be tough. "I remember one time when a section walked into my office and resigned as a body," he wrote. "I still do not know quite what the row was about. So I just told them, 'One does not resign in time of war. You chaps get the hell out of here and get back to work, and I'll look into it.' " ~ His wis- clom and integrity were respected. The organization was a remarkable invention, but the most significant innovation was the plan by which, instead of builcl- ing large government laboratories, contracts were made with universities and industrial laboratories for research appropriate to their capabilities. OSRD responded to requests from military agencies for work on specific problems, but it maintained its independence and in many cases pursued research objectives about which military leaders were skeptical. Military tradition was that a war had to be fought with weapons that existed at its beginning. Bush believed that World War II could be won only through advances in technology, and he proved to be cor- rect. In some instances, the armed forces were enthusiastically cooperative. In others, resistance to innovation had to be over- come. Bush, himself, went to Europe to make sure that the proximity fuse was introduced to the battlefield and used effec- tively. The major exception to the policy of avoiding the building of government laboratories was in the development of the atomic bomb. After preliminary studies by NDRC and OSRD, it became clear that a colossal program would be needed, and Bush recommended to Secretary Stimson that the Army take over the responsibility. The result was the formation of Man- hattan Engineering District by the Corps of Engineers. Bush, ~ Pieces of the Action, p. 41.
98 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS with Conant as his deputy, maintained an active scrutiny of the enterprise. Bush successfully confronted Sir Winston Churchill (and earned his wrath) in London in an argument over the terms of exchanging atomic information. He had the duty, after the death of President Roosevelt, of giving President Truman his first detailed account of the bomb. He was among those whose recommendations prevailed when the President decided in spite of some objections that the Smyth Report on atomic energy should be released. He urged the appointment of the Interim Committee to advise the President on use of the bomb and on postwar atomic energy, and he was then appointed a member of the committee. He was a participant in the "Atlee Conference" and prepared the final draft of an agreement with the British proposing control of atomic energy by the United Nations. He was a defender of Dr. I. Robert Oppenheimer. After the Atomic Energy Commission's (AEC) decision that Oppenheimer's clearance be cancelled, he stated: "It does not affect my complete confidence in Dr. Oppenheimer's loyalty and deep devotion to the security of the United States.... Our in- ternal security system has run wild." ~ Bush did not have a central role in the formation of the AEC, but his voice was heard on this and other issues, such as military unification. He was influential in developing a policy of main- taining a high level of research for the military services and was instrumental in organizing the Office of Naval Research. But his greatest contribution was to launch an unprecedented national program in science and technology. Long before the war was over, Bush began to devote thought to how the momentum of research could be sustained, with new peacetime goals. In a letter, President Roosevelt asked him to make recommendations on government policies for combating ~ Newsweek, July 12, 1954, pp. 24-25.
VANNEVAR BUSH 99 disease, supporting research, developing scientific talent, and diffusing scientific information. Bush, on the basis of studies made by four committees which he organized, responded with a report titled "Science The Endless Frontier," which pros vided a blueprint for far-reaching federal policies. "One of our hopes is that after the war there will be full employment," Bush said in the report. "To create more jobs we must make new and better and cheaper products. We want purity of new, vigorous enterprises. But new products and processes are not born full- grown. They are founded on new principles and new concep- tions which in turn result from basic scientific research. Basic scientific research is scientific capital." ~ Use of the term "basic research" was not a casual choice. Bush explained later: "There were some on Capitol Hill who felt that the real need of the postwar effort would be the support of inventors arid gadgeteers, and to whom science meant just that. When talking matters over with some of these, it was well to avoid the word fundamental and use basic instead."T To provide an organization for the support of basic research, Bush proposed the creation of a National Research Foundation, which would administer fellowships and scholarships and would "place its research contracts or grants not only with those institutions which have a demonstrated research capacity but also with other institutions whose latent talent or creative atmosphere affords promise of research success." ~ Since 1942 Senator Harley Kilgore had been seeking passage of a bill providing for the support of science and technology, and in the spring of 1945 the bill was modified to provide for the establishment of a national science foundation. Its provi- sions, tending to favor applied research, were unacceptable to ~ J. Merton England, "Dr. Bush Writes A Report: 'Science The Endless Frontier,' " Science, 191 January 9, 1976) :2. t Pieces of tile A ction, p. 65. ""Science the Endless Frontier," p. 32.
100 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS Dr. Bush, whose own recommendations were embodied in a bill introduced by Senator Warren Magnuson. For two years there was debate on the bills. Finally a compromise bill was passed in 1947, with National Science Foundation (NSF) as the name for the new organization. It was vetoed by President Truman on grounds that the director would be appointed by the foundation's board rather than by the President and that he "would be deprived of effective means of discharging his constitutional responsibility." ~ The bill was passed a second time, and Bush later related, "I managed to convince Truman he should not veto it again. But I did so on the basis that he was being given protection, a buffer against those coming to seek favors." t An expectation had been that Bush would be chairman of NSF, but he asked President Truman not to name him to the board, saying, "I have been running about everything scientific during the war, and somewhat since, and I think people are getting tired of seeing this guy Bush run things around here. I think this outfit would be better if it had some new leacler- ship. If you put me on the board, they will elect me chairman, and I do not think the body of scientists are going to like this continuation of one man in the top post." President Truman remarked, "Van, you should be a poli- tician. You have some of the instincts." "Mr. President, what the hell do you think I've been doing around this town for Eve or six years?" was the response.+ Bush continued to be "around town," and he saw NSF as- sume the kind of character he had envisioned for it. He served on its Advisory Committee on Government-University Rela- tionships for two years. He was chairman of the ~ Joint Research # Detlev W. Bronk, "The National Science Foundation: Origins, Hopes and Aspirations," Science, 188 (May £, 1975): 409-14. t Pieces of the Action, p. 65. ~ Ibid., p. 302.
VANNEVAR BUSH 101 and Development Board of the War and Navy departments in 1946-1947 and then chairman of the Research and Develop- ment Board of the National Military Establishment in 1947- 1948. But he withdrew from active leadership in government affairs, and in 1955 retired as President of the Carnegie Insti- tution. Of his service there, Caryl P. Haskins, his successor, observed that "His great gifts of intellect, of personality, and of administrative ability brought to the Institution one of the most formative and dynamic periods inspire by any president in its history, not even excepting the first, Daniel Coit Gil- man." ~ One important accomplishment was an agreement be- tween Carnegie and the California Institute of Technology for the joint operation of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar observa- tories. During his retirement, Bush made his home on a hill in Belmont, Massachusetts, with a panoramic view of Cambridge and Boston. He was elected chairman of the MIT Corporation (of which he had been a member since 1932) in 1957 and was honorary chairman from 1959 to 1971. James R. Killian, Jr., former president, who succeeded him in these positions, com- mented that "Four M.I.T. presidents benefitted from his advice. They were, in fact, the students of his latter days. In this and other ways he showed unwavering devotion to the Institute and never lost his enthusiasm for its mission and potential."" MIT named its Center for Materials and Engineering the Vannevar Bush Building in his honor. Bush had become a member of the board of Merck & Co., Inc. in 1949, and when George Merck, chairman of the board, died, he was elected to that position in 1957 and actively par- ticipated in the company's affairs. He had a deep interest in the advancement of medicine. In the formation of the Com- # Biographical Memoirs, Year Book of the American Philosophical Sociely (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1974), pp. 120-27. t Memorial service for Dr. Vannevar Bush, MIT, October 4, 1974.
102 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS mittee on Medical Research under OSRD, he repelled reactionary influences. During World War II, the death rate from disease in the Army was reduced to 0.6 per thousand, compared to 14.1 during World War I, and this was due in part to the effec- tiveness of the committee's program, notably in making peni- cillin available early and in large quantities and in consolidat- ing pharmaceutical industry talents. Bush's interest in medicine continued through the years, and he later invented an auto- matic microtome, a silicone rubber valve for the heart, and a gold valve for use in hydrocephalus. Although Bush has been called a scientist, and justifiably so because of his broad and profound understanding of science, he preferred to regard himself as an engineer. He was always fascinated by practical applications of science and was never happier than when he could work with his own hands in their achievement. He had shops at his home in Belmont and his summer cottage at South Dennis on Cape Cod, where he not merely tinkered but also attacked difficult problems with high skill. He had fun devising a bird feeder that was inhospitable to greedy pigeons and blue jays, and he worked doggedly for years to solve the problems of gas and free piston engines. He obtained three patents for the latter, in addition to a score of other patents for devices ranging from thermostats to a machine for rifling guns. At one time Bush had a turkey farm in New Hampshire, but throughout his life he was devoted to salt water and boats. He loved cruising and was too independent-mir~ded for conven- tional racing. For his ketch he designed unorthodox but efficient sails, ignoring the disapproval of nautical conformists. He was enthusiastic about the potential of hydrofoil boats and partici- pated in designing, building, and testing them. The most persistent line of Bush's inventive endeavors in- volved technology for processing information. The Differential Analyzer was the most important product of such activity, but
VANNEVAR BUSH 103 his interests led in other directions. At MIT in the thirties he designed a decoding machine for the Navy. In 1936 he initiated the development of a machine which he called the Rapid Selec- tor, employing 35-mm film, on which microphotographed texts could be made quickly available by the use of photoelectric cells in scanning a coded index. His application for a patent was rejected, but development of the machine was carried forward until World War II interrupted, when the two men working on it were suddenly shipped off to Washington for decoding work in the Navy. Bush did not lose interest in speeding up the cumbersome process of searching through masses of data. In 1945 he wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly describing "memex," a sys- tem by which a researcher sitting at a desk could have almost instant access to microphotographed books, periodicals, and other materials and could use a mechanized "trail" to assist in searching for relevant information. Twenty years later Bush took part in the inauguration of a program to develop such technology for library use, Project INTREX, which was undertaken by an MIT group. In an essay titled "Memex Revisited," he pointed out that the development of the digital computer, the transistor, video tape, and other such devices had heightened the feasibility of such mechaniza- tion but that costs would delay its achievement. And although Project INTREX demonstrated that technical problems could be solved, economic ones, as Bush feared, remained a barrier. The stroboscopic light developed by Bush's former colleague in electrical engineering, Harold E. Edgerton, was used in the Rapid Selector. It was applied with greater success in Photon, a machine for setting type photographically, which was devel- oped by Graphic Arts Research Foundation, Inc., a Cambridge- # Vannevar Bush, Science Is Not Enough (New York: William Morrow, 1967), p. 75.
104 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS baser] enterprise of which Bush was one of the founders. The computer-controlled "cold type" method is now widely used in the printing industry. Bush also held patents for a justifying typewriter and, with Professor Caldwell, for an apparatus for generating continuously variable mechanical operations. Having had personal experience with patents as well as in administration, Bush maintained a continuing interest in the patent system and was active in seeking its improvement. As director of OSRD, he believed inventions developed with govern- ment funds should not be exploited for private profit, and he developed strong patent policies. He had resigned from the Raytheon board when he went to Washington, and although the company became one of the leading industrial contractors in the field of radar, he scrupulously avoided favoring it. At the end of the war, his friend, Laurence K. Marshall, president of Raytheon, claimed the right to patent certain inventions. Bush threatened to fight the issue in the courts. In the end, they agreed to the appointment of an impartial committee which would determine what patents Raytheon could claim, but their long friendship ended. Bush was a strong believer in free enterprise and the work ethic. "I had grown up with a deep-seated distrust of most social innovators, whom I regarded as a bunch of long-hairec! idealists or clo-gooclers," he wrote. He had been "appalled at some of F.D.R.'s political theory and practice," though his views mel- lowed as he came to revere President Roosevelt, and his loyalty to him was absolute.T "I am all for a welfare state in which a powerful govern- ment seeks to protect its citizens against the cruelties of nature and chance, and incidentally against the rapaciousness of their fellow citizens," he said in an essay, "Poverty and Oppor- # Otto J. Scott, The Creative Ordeal (New York: Atheneum, 1974), p. 173. t Pieces of the Action, p. 35.
VANNEVAR BUSH 105 "unity." ~ "But just trying to abolish poverty leaves me cold. . . . From here on we should not equalize real incomes if we wish to preserve our prosperity and our safety. In the great social pyramid, there should be tangible rewards for those who rise. A state in which all material rewards are cancelled out will not long exist in a turbulent world." He wanted to see "dignity and satisfaction for those who contribute to our well-being" and equality of opportunity for all. He thought that: To accomplish this, or part of it, may involve a return to the village, not isolated in the hills, but surrounded closely in the city, the local community looking after its own affairs, the informal groups that hang together because of common interests. Our trends have been in the opposite direc- tion, centralization of power, dictation from above. Even so, there has never been a time, or a country, in all history in which barriers that block the indvidual's path to success, material or intellectual, were so broken down as here and now. This is the hallmark of our way of life.t Although Van Bush tract consorted with the powerful and himself had exercised enormous power, although he was a bril- liant technologist, although he shared the awesome view of nature disclosed by science, his devotion to individualism and the ideal of a simple life was central to his character. Bush had been in failing health for more than a year when he suffered a cerebral vascular accident, developed pneumonia, and died at the age of eighty-four on tune 28, 1974. Mrs. Bush had died in 1969. Bush was survived by two sons, Dr. Richard Davis Bush, a surgeon, and John Hathaway Bush, president of Millipore Corporation, by six grandchildren, and by a sister, Edith L. Bush of Provincetown, Massachusetts. # Vannevar Bush, Science Is Not Enough (New York: William Morrow, 1967), pp. 123-39. t Science Is Not Enough, p. 138.
106 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS HONORS AND DISTINCTIONS PROFESSIONAL AND HONORARY SOCIETIES American Physical Society, Fellow, 1923 American Society for Engineering Education, Fellow, 1923; Honor- ary Fellow, 1961 American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Fellow, 1924; Honorary Fellow, 1950 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 1925 National Academy of Sciences, elected 1934 American Mathematical Society, Fellow, 1936 American Philosophical Society, Fellow, 1937 Franklin Institute, Honorary Member, 1947 Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Honorary Mem- ber, 1951 American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Honorary Member, 1955 American College of Surgeons, Honorary Fellow, 1956 Phi Beta Kappa Sigma Xi Tau Beta Pi Eta Kappa Nu (Eminent Membership, 1950) SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS Alpha Tau Omega St. Botolph Club, Boston Century Association, New York AWARDS Louis Edward Levy Medal, Franklin Institute, 1928 Lamme Medal, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1935 Research Corporation Award, Columbia University, 1939 Ballou Medal, Tufts University, 1941 Edison Medal, ATEE, 1943 Holley Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1943 Solon Scott Award, Philadelphia City Trust, 1943 Gold Medal, National Institute of Social Sciences, 1945 Distinguished Service Medal, Roosevelt Memorial Association, 1945
VANNEVAR BUSH 107 Marcellus Hartley Public Welfare Award, National Academy of Sciences, 1945 Washington Award, Western Society of Engineers, 1946 Hoover Medal for 1946, AIEE, ASCE, AIMME, ASME, 1947 Distinguished Service Award, Tufts Alumni Council, 1947 Medal for Merit with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, President Truman, 1948 Knight Commander, Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 1948 Medal, Industrial Research Institute, Inc. 1949 John Fritz Medal, AlEE, ASCE, AIMME, ASME, 1951 Award of Merit, American Institute of Consulting Engineers, 1953 John l. Carty Medal and Award for the Advancement of Science, National Academy of Sciences, 1954 William Proctor Prize, Scientific Research Society of America, 1954 Officer, Legion of Honor, France, 1955 New England Award, Engineering Societies of New England, 1957 Charles F. Kettering Award, George Washington University, 1952 1963 National Medal of Science, President Johnson, 1964 Great Living American Award, Chamber of Commerce of the United States, 1964 Citation, Brotherhood of Temple Ohabei Shalom, Brookline, Massa- chusetts, 1964 Wisdom Award of Honor, The Wisdom Society, 1965 First Annual Founders Medal, National Academy of Engineers, 1966 Distinguished Service to Science Education Citation, National Sci- ence Teachers Association, 1968 Atomic Pioneer Award, President Nixon, 1970 BOARDS Life Member, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation; Chairman, 1957-1959; Honorary Chairman, 1959-1971 Regent, Smithsonian Institution, 1943-1955 Trustee, Tufts College, 1943-1962 (Emeritus) Trustee, Johns Hopkins University, 1943-1955 Trustee, Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1939-1950 Trustee, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1958-1974 Trustee, George Putnam Fund of Boston, 1956-1972
108 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS Director American Telephone and Telegraph Co., 1947-1962 Director, Merck & Co., Inc., 1949-1962; Chairman of Board, 19~7- 1962 Director, Metals and Controls Corporation, 1952-1959 Director and Life Member, Graphic Arts Research Foundation, Inc., 1949-1974
VANNEVAR BUSH BIBLIOGRAPHY 109 1917 Oscillating-current circuits by the method of generalized angular velocities. Proc. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 36~2~: 189-203; Trans. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 36:207-34. The coupled circuit by the method of generalized angular velocities. Proc. Inst. Radio Eng., 5:363-73. 1919 Gimbal stabilization. l. Franklin Inst., 188: 199-215. 1920 Alignment chart for circular and hyperbolic functions of a complex argument in rectangular coordinates. T. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 39:658-59. A simple harmonic analyzer. l. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 39:903-~. 1921 With C. G. Smith. A new rectifier. Proc. Inst. Radio Eng., 10:41-51. 1922 With W. H. Timbie. Principles of Electrical Engineering. N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons. ix + 629 pp. With C. G. Smith. Control of gaseous conduction. Trans. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 41 :402-11. With L. H. Connell. The eRect of absorbed gas on the conductivity of glass. J. Franklin Inst., 194:231-40. 1923 Transmission line transients. Trans. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 42: 878-93. 1924 Note on operational analysis. l. Math. Phys., 3:95-107. 1925 With R. D. Booth. Power system transients. Trans. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 44:80-103; l. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 44:229~0.
110 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1926 The force between moving charges. l. Math Phys., 5: 129-57. 1927 With F. D. Gage and H. R. Stewart. A continuous integraph. I. Franklin Inst., 203:63-84. With King E. Gould. Temperature distribution along a filament. Phys. Rev., 29:337~5. With P. H. Moon. A precision measurement of puncture voltage. J. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng., 46: 1007-14. With H. L. Hazen. Integraph solution of differential equations. I. Franklin Inst., 204:575-615. 1928 Mechanical solution of engineering problems. Tech. Engr. News, 9:52-53. 1929 Transient stability: the analytical solution by point-by-point meth- ods, M.I.T. Proceedings of Colloquium on Power-Circuit Anal- ysis, June. Operational Circuit Analysis. N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons. x + 392 pp. 1931 The Differential Analyzer: a new machine for solving differential equations. T. Franklin Inst., 212:447-88. Edith S. H. Caldwell. Thomas-Fermi equation solution by the differ- ential analyzer. Phys. Rev., 38:1898-1902. 1933 Critical analysis of the examination system of American engineering schools. (Presented at meeting of Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, Univ. of Maine, Orono, Oct. 8, 1932~. J. Eng. Educ., 23~5~:322-36.
VANNEVAR BUSH 1934 111 Structural analysis by electric circuit analogies. l. Franklin Inst., 217:289-329. 1935 John Ripley Freeman. In: Biographical Memoirs, 17: 171-87. N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of Sciences. 1936 Instrumental analysis. Bull. Am. Math. Soc., 42:649-69. 1937 The engineer and his relation to government. Electr. Eng., 56: 928-36. 1939 The professional spirit in engineering. Mech. Eng., 61: 195-98. 1940 Arthur Edward Kennelly. In: Biographical Memoirs, 22:83-119. N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of ~ - ~clences. 1941 The case for biological engineering. In: Scientists Face the World of 1942, pp.33-45. New Brunswick, N.~.: Rutgers Univ. Press. Science and National Defense. l. of Appl. Phys., 12:823-26. 1943 Research and the war effort. Electr. Eng., 62:96-102. The Kilgore bill. Science, 98:571-77. 1944 The American tradition of opportunity. Electr. Eng., 63:82-84. 1945 Statement. In: Surplus Material Research and Development (Hear- ings before select committee on post-war military policy, House
112 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS of Representatives, on H. Res. 465), pp. 237-59. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. The builders. Technol. Rev., 47:162. (Reprinted in seventeen publi- cations.) Statement. In: Research and Development (Hearings before com- mittee on military affairs, House of Representatives, on H. R. 2946, authorizing permanent program of scientific research in the interest of national security), pp. 2-29. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Science the Endless Frontier: Report to the President on a Program for Postwar Scientific Research. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.x + 184 pp. As we may think. Atlantic Monthly, 176: 101-8. Statement. In: Atomic Energy (Hearings before committee on mili- tary affairs, House of Representatives, On H. R. 4280, for development and control of atomic energy), pp. 35-51. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Testimony. Hearings on Science Legislation (Hearings before a sub- committee of the committee on military affairs, Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 107 and S. Res. 146, authorizing a study of possibilities of better mobilizing national resources), pp. 199-227. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. With Samuel H. Caldwell. A new type of differential analyzer. J. Franklin Inst., 240:255-326. Statement. In: To Increase Compensation of Officers and Employees of the Federal Government (Hearings before a subcommittee of the committee civil service, Senate, on S. 1414), pp. 223-36. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Statement. In: Atomic Energy (Hearings before a special committee on atomic energy, Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 179, Creating a special committee to investigate problems relating to the develop- ment, use and control of atomic energy), pp. 145-83. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Research and the war. Army Navy Journal, 83: 1 10, 139. Letter to H. M. Kilgore. In: Hearings on Science Legislation (Hear- ings before a subcommittee of the committee on military affairs, Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 107 and S. Res. 146 authorizing a study of the possibilities of better mobilizing the national re- sources), pp. 1118-19. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
VANNEVAR BUSH 1946 113 Endless Horizons. Wash., D.C.: Public Affairs Press. ix + 182 pp. The scientist and his government. In: Inauguration, Arthur Holly Compton as Ninth Chancellor, pp. 59-66. St. Louis: Washington Univ. Public opinion concerning the patent system. American Patent Law Assoc. Bull. (March-April-May):40~6. Research, organization and national security. J. Am. Soc. of Nav. Eng., 58:179-87. Letter to Hugh B. Mitchell. In: To Establish a National Air Policy Board (Hearings before a subcommittee on interstate commerce, Senate, on S. 1639, a bill to establish a national air policy board), p. 270. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Planning in science. In: Science and Civilization: The Future of atomic Energy, vol. 1, pp. 47-69. N.Y.: Whittlesey House/ McGraw-Hill. Statement. In: National Science Foundation Act (Hearings before a subcommittee of the committee on interstate and foreign com- merce, House of Represenatives, on H. R. 6448, a bill to promote the progress of science and the useful arts; to secure the national defense; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare), pp. 47-55. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. New methodology of war. Army Ordance, 31:336. 1947 Statement. In: Navy Department Appropriation Bill for 1948 (Hear- ings before the subcommittee of the committee on appropria- tions, House of Representatives, on the Navy appropriation bill), pp. 133-52. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. The scientific way. In: Modern Minds, An Anthology of Ideas, ed. Howard Mumford Jones et al., pp. 300-05. Boston: D. C. Heath. Statement. In: National Science Foundation (Hearings before the committee on interstate and foreign commerce, House of Rep- resentatives, on H. R. 942, H. R. 1815, H. R. 1830, H. R. 1834, and H. R. 2027), pp. 231-54. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Letter and Statement. In: National Defense Establishment (Unifica- tion of the Armed Services) (Hearings before the committee on armed services, Senate, on S. 758, a bill to promote the national
114 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS security by providing for a national defense establishment which shall be administered by a secretary of national defense), pp. 643- 48. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Letter to George D. Aiken. In: Technical Information and Services Act (Hearings before the committee on expenditures in the execu- tive departments, on S. 493, a bill to provide for the coordination of agencies disseminating technological and scientific informa- tion), pp. 20-21; 200-22. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Statement. In: National Security Act of 1947 (Hearings before the committee on expenditures in the executive departments, House of Representatives, on H. R. 2319, a bill to promote the national security), pp. 549-70. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Statement relative to aeronautical research and development and government policy with respect thereto. In: Stenographic Report of Proceedings, President's Air Policy Commission. Wash., D.C.: Department of Commerce. 1948 Research and strategy. Reserve Officer, 25:4-5, 22. Trends in American science. Physics Today, 1:~-7, 39. Introduction. In: Palmer C. Putnam, Power from the Wind, pp. xi- xiii. N.Y.: D. Van Nostrand. 1949 Richard Chace Tolman. Science, 109:20-21. Panel discussion. Men against nature: the problem of world produc- tion. In: Mid-Century, the Social Implications of Scientific Progress: Discussions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- ogy at the Mid-Century Convocation, ed. John Ely Burchard, pp. 87-95. Cambridge: Technology Press. Modern Arms And Free Men: A Discussion of the Role of Science in Preserving Democracy. N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. xiii + 273 pp. 1950 Frederick Gardner Cottrell. In: Biographical Memoirs, 27:1-11. N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of Sciences.
VANNEVAR BUSH 1951 115 This period of transition. Electr. Eng., 70: 199-201. The atomic bomb and the defense of the free world. (Address over Mutual Broadcasting System for the Committee on the Present Danger.) Reprinted in: American Assoc. of University Professors Bull., 37:345-50. Statement. In: Weather Control and Augmented Potable Water Supply (Hearings before subcommittees of the committees on interior and insular affairs. interstate and foreign commerce, and agriculture and forestry, Senate, on S. 5, S. 22, and S. 798), pp. 148-51. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. With l. E. Jackson. Correction of spherical error of a pendulum. I. Franklin Inst., 252:463-67. Introduction. In: Of Societies and Men, by Caryl P. Haskins. New York: W. W. Norton. pp. ix-xi. 1952 Automatic microtome. Science, 115: 649-52. Science in medicine and related fields. Med. Ann. D.C., 22: 1-6, 58. With Richard E. Hewitt. Frozen sectioning: a new and rapid method. Am. I. Pathol., 28:863-73. 1953 With Nelson A. Rockefeller, Omar N. Bradley, Milton S. Eisen- hower, Arthur S. Flemming, Robert A. Lovett, and David Sarnoff. Report of the Rockefeller Committee on Department of Defense Organization. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. vi + 25 pp. The relation of fundamental research to engineering. American Engineer, May:13-16. Foreword. In: Algal Culture: from Laboratory to Pilot Plant, ed. John S. Burlew, pp. iii-vi. Wash., D.C.: Carnegie Institution Publication no. 600. With W. R. Duryee and J. A. Hastings. An electric micromanipu- lator. Rev. of Sci. Instrum., 24:487-89. Gano Sillick Dunn. In: Biographical Memoirs, 28:31-44. N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of Sciences.
116 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1954 Defining the research task in government. Chemurgic Digest, 13:20. Scientific motivation. Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 98:225-32. Testimony. In: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission: In the Matter of T. Robert Oppenheimer, pp. 560-68, 909-15. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Lyman J. Briggs and atomic energy. Scientific Monthly, 78:275-77. Statement. In: Organization and Administration of the Military Research and Development Programs (Hearings before a sub- committee of the committee on government operations), pp. 451- 74. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Science and progress? Am. Sci., 43:241-58. Karl Taylor Compton. Yearbook of the Am. Philos. Soc., pp. 409-12. 1955 Improved automatic microtome.Science, 122:119. Statement. In: Automation and Technological Change (Hearings before the subcommittee on economic stabilization of the joint committee on the economic report), pp. 604-18, 628-34. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Introduction. In: The World We Live In, ed. Life staff and Lincoln Barnett, pp. 1-2. N.Y.: Time, Inc. 1956 Professional collaboration. (Martin Memorial Lecture, Clinical Congress, American College of Surgeons.) Service, 125:49-54. A bandsaw for cutting thin tissue sections. J. Bone it. Surg., 38-A: 1 159-62. Proposals for Improving the Patent System (Study of the subcom- mittee on patents, trademarks, and copyrights of the committee on the judiciary, Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 167. Study No. 1~. Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1958 Comfort Avery Adams. In: Biographical Memoirs, 38:1-16. N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press of the National Academy of Sciences.
VANNEVAR BUSH 1959 117 With Dwight E. Harken, Harrison Black, Warren ]. Taylor, Wendall B. Thrower, and Harry S. Soroff. The surgical correc- tion of calcific aortic stenosis in adults. Am. J. Cardiol., 4:135~6. 1961 Testimony. Drug Industry Antitrust Act (Hearings before the sub- committee on antitrust and monopoly of the Committee on the Judiciary, Senate, pursuant to S. Res. 52 and S. Res. 1152, a bill to amend and supplant antitrust laws with respect to manufac- turing and distributing drugs). Wash., D.C.: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1967 Science Is Not Enough. N.Y.: William Morrow. 192 pp. 1970 Pieces of the Action. N.Y.: William Morrow. 366 pp. 1971 Scientists and their dreams. American Scientist, 59:674-77.