The President’s Scientists


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Reminiscences of a White House Science Advisor

D. Allan Bromley

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D. Allan Bromley, one of the world's leading nuclear physicists, was The Assistant to President George Bush for Science and Technology Policy from August 1989 to January 1993. He was the first Science Advisor to have this Cabinet-level rank.

In this engrossing memoir of his years at the White House, Bromley brings the unique perspective of a scientist to the political realities of policy making with the President and his other Senior Assistants. Bromley recalls his efforts to rebuild the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, organizations that develop science policy and that oversee the federal agencies responsible for the science and technology enterprise of the United States; the Bush Administration initiatives to improve the global environment, the health and quality of life of all Americans, national security, international science and technology, and funding of U.S. science and technology; and the landmark reports prepared under his supervision that called for a revamping of the science and mathematics curricula in U.S. precollege education and a rethinking of the relationships between the research intensive universities and the federal government. He discusses the people with whom he interacted—George Bush, John Sununu (Bromley's strongest ally in the White House), Richard Darman, Senator Al Gore, and many others—and he includes provocative anecdotes about his attempts—many successful—to foster closer cooperative scientific ventures with other countries.

Bromley's memoir is both a broad overview of the role of science and technology in the Bush Administration and an insider's account of the ambiance, personalities, and politics that mold specific policy decisions in Washington. It is fascinating and thought-provoking reading.

D. Allan Bromley, the first Sterling Professor of the Sciences at Yale University, is the recipient of the 1988 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific award in the United States.

"A delightfully candid and deeply informed and reflective look at critical issues and events at a turning point in the history of government-science relations."—Bruce L. R. Smith, Brookings Institution

"Bromley has produced a work reflecting his unique combination of qualities—scholarship and pragmatism. His vast knowledge across the whole spectrum of science, his forthright analysis of policy and problems, and his writer's skill in capturing the politics and the players treat us continually to interesting and informative text. Scientists, politicians, historians, and thoughtful citizens are all beneficiaries of his work."—Congressman George E. Brown, Chairman, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

"Bromley has shaped the science policy of his country in an outstanding manner. His book demonstrates how decisions are developed between politics, science, and industry. Rich in information, it gains its convincing power from the commitment and wisdom of its author."—Heinz Riesenhuber, former Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Germany

"Bromley has much to say on the past and for the future: his reminiscences, nicely related, are full of lessons."—Hubert Curien, former Minister of Science and Technology, France

"Only Bromley could tell his story. His encyclopedic knowledge of the sciences carries him through an analysis of wide-ranging science issues. His scholarship is sound. The work is obviously important, the style is crystal clear, and the book is highly readable."—Kenneth W. Thompson, University of Virginia

"From the unique perspective of the only senior staff member in the Bush administration who reported both to the President and the Congress, Bromley gives us discerning new views on leading players in the Washington and world drama."—R. Gordon Hoxie, Editor, Presidential Studies Quarterly

"Allan Bromley has written a thoughtful account of his trials, tribulations, and accomplishments as Science and Technology Advisor to President Bush. If President Bush had been as well served by all his senior assistants as he was by Dr. Bromley, we Democrats mights still be trying to figure out how to capture the White House."—Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman, Senate Subcommittee on Armed Service Technology

"A meaningful and fascinating book."—Wataru Mori, former President of the University of Tokyo

"Bromley's book is important as much for its glimpses at how Washington operates as for its insights into science policy."—Library Journal

"This is a book very much worth reading to understand both the achievements and limitations in 'science in policy' and 'policy in science' during the Bush Administration."—Wolfgang K. P. Panofsky, Physics Today

"Remarkably candid. . . . Bromley makes some painfully accurate observations of how federal funding for science and technology works now, and what could be done to improve it."—William Happer, Department of Physics, Princeton University, and director of the Office of Energy Research in the Bush Administration, Physics World

"[Bromley] writes with candor, lucidity, and concision. . . . He provides lively vignettes of infighting and turf protection in the Executive Branch. The luminous text is enriched by a number of noteworthy group photographs of the dramatis personae. . . . Those who are interested in the history and future of government influence on science and technology will do well to read this sparkling commentary on the Bush/Bromley years. It is a major contribution to the growing literature on international science policy and organization at the highest levels of the U.S. and foreign governments."—William T. Golden, Presidential Studies Quarterly

"An exceptionally interesting book. . . . [for] those who are interested in science and public policy, and indeed to all those who want to hear about a good subject from a remarkable man."—Hermann Bondi, Times Higher Education Supplement

ISBN: 9780300060065
Publication Date: August 31, 1994
288 pages, 5 1/2 x 9 1/4
34 b/w illus.
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