The conjunction of these three terms no longer shocks: a post‐war generation accepts it as quite natural. Yet a mere twenty‐five years ago, when Bernal's The social function of science appeared, it had almost a subversive quality for most scientists. This is a measure of the profound change which the large‐scale application of science to war, to providing energy in abundance and to exploring space has brought about. How deeply the United States Government is involved becomes clear when one realizes that it spent over eight thousand million dollars on research and development in 1960, which is about 10 per cent of the federal budget. (According to recent OECD estimates British expenditure is comparable, since in 1962 Britain spent about 2·5 per cent of her gross national product on research and development as against 3 per cent in the USA.) Thus increasingly and inevitably governments are concerning themselves with documentation and the communication of scientific information.
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