A Road Not Taken: economists, historians of science and the making of the Bowman report

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Univ Lausanne

Abstract

This essay investigates a hitherto-unexamined collaboration between two of the founders of modern history of science, Henry Guerlac and I. Bernard Cohen, and two economists, Paul Samuelson and Rupert Maclaurin. The arena in which these two disciplines came together was the Bowman Committee, one of the committees that prepared material for Vannevar Bush’s Science—The Endless Frontier. The essay shows how their collaboration helped to shape the committee’s recommendations, in which different models of science confronted each other. It then shows how, despite this success, the basis for long-term collaboration of economists and historians of science disappeared, because the resulting linear model of science and technology separated the study of scientific and economic progress into noncommunicating boxes.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-106
JournalIsis
Volume108
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Bowman Report, Bush Report, Sceicne policy, Cohen, Guerlac, Samuelson, Maclaurin

ASJC Scopus subject areas