President Dwight D. Eisenhower's famous 1960 farewell address contained more than an admonition about the danger of an expanding "military-industrial complex." That speech was also an early warning of the current unholy alliance between the government and a scientific community dependent on the government for its funding.
Americans have steadfastly recalled Eisenhower's initial clarion call, especially in political debates concerning the size of annual defense budgets:
... we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence...by the military-industrial complex.... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together [i].
However, little attention has been given to an equally important warning that Eisenhower issued in the same farewell address: the danger that public policy might become the captive of a scientific technological elite.
... [In] the technological revolution during recent decades ... research has become central ... complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government ... the solitary inventor ... has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields ...
... the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. ... we must ... be alert to the ... danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite [ii].