The planning of pure and applied research, with its related questions of scientific information policy, has become an accepted commonplace even in countries where free enterprise is the dominant practice—a sort of general panacea. It is rather paradoxical that some of us who were pleading for this sort of approach in the late thirties may now be just a little disappointed. I would like to remind you that Bernal's The social function of science when it appeared in 1939 was considered revolutionary and Utopian by some and plain subversive by others. Some of the invective and abuse at the time, about the dangers of co‐ordination and control, were still echoing during the Royal Society's Scientific Information Conference in 1948.
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