Science and technology in the United States | Wikipedia audio article
The. United, States of America, came into being around the age of enlightenment. 1685. To 1815. An era, in Western, philosophy in. Which writers and thinkers rejecting. The perceived, superstitions. Of the past instead chose, to emphasize the, intellectual. Scientific. And cultural life, centered. Upon the 18th, century, in which reason, was advocated. As the primary source for legitimacy, and authority. Enlightenment. Philosophers. Envisioned, our republic. Of science, where. Ideas would, be exchanged. Freely, in useful knowledge would improve the lot of all citizens. The. United, States Constitution, itself. Reflects, the desire to encourage, scientific. Creativity. It. Gives the United States Congress, the power to. Promote the progress of, science and, useful arts, by, securing for. Limited times, to, authors and. Inventors the, exclusive right. To their respective writings. And. Discoveries. This. Clause formed, the basis, for the u.s. patent, and copyright systems. Whereby, creators. Of original, art and technology. Would get a government granted. Monopolies, which after, a limited period, would, become free to all citizens thereby. Enriching, the public domain. Topic. Early. American, science. In. The early decades of, its history, the United, States was relatively, isolated from. Europe and also rather poor, at. This stage America's. Scientific. Infrastructure. Was still quite primitive compared. To the long-established, societies. Institutes. And universities in. Europe. Two. Of America's, founding, fathers, were scientists, of some repute. Benjamin. Franklin, conducted. A series of experiments, that deepened, human understanding of, electricity. Among. Other things he, proved what had been suspected. But never but, or shown that lightning, is a form of electricity. Franklin. Also invented. Such conveniences. As bifocal. Eyeglasses. Franklin. Also conceived. The mid room furnace, the Franklin. Stove. However. Franklin's. Design, was flawed in that his furnace, vented, the smoke from its base because, the furnace, lacked a chimney, to draw. Fresh. Air up through the central, chamber the fire would soon go out, it. Took David our Rittenhouse. Another, hero, of early Philadelphia. To improve, Franklin's, design, by adding an l-shaped, exhaust, pipe that drew air through the furnace and vented its smoke up and along the ceiling then, into an intramural, chimney, and out of the house Thomas. Jefferson. 17:43. To. 1826. Was, among the most influential. Leaders in, early America, during the American, Revolutionary. War. 1775. 283, Jefferson. Served in the Virginia, legislature, the, Continental. Congress was. Governor, of Virginia, later serving, as US minister. To France u.s., secretary of, state vice. President. Under John Adams. 1735. To, 1826. Writer, of the Declaration. Of Independence and the third u.s. president. During. Jefferson's. Two terms in office, 1801. To 1809, the. U.s. purchased, the Louisiana, territory and, Lewis and Clark explored the, vast new acquisition. After.
Leaving Office he retired, to his Virginia, plantation. Monticello. And helped, spearhead the University. Of Virginia. Jefferson. Was also, a student of Agriculture. Who introduced, various, types of rice olive, trees and grasses, into, the new world he, stressed. The scientific. Aspect, of the Lewis and Clark expedition. 1804. 206. Which, explored, the Pacific, Northwest, and detailed. Systematic. Information. On the region's, plants, and animals was one of that expedition's. Legacies. Like, Franklin, and Jefferson most. American, scientists. Of the late 18th, century were, involved, in the struggle to win American, independence. And forge a new nation. These. Scientists. Included, the astronomer, David, Rittenhouse, the medical, scientist, Benjamin, Rush and the natural, historian, Charles, Wilson, Peale during. The American, Revolution. Rittenhouse, helped, design the defenses, of Philadelphia. And built telescopes and, navigation. Instruments, for the United, States military, services. After. The war Rittenhouse. Designed, road and canal systems, for the state of Pennsylvania. He. Later returned, to studying, the Stars and planets and gained a worldwide, reputation, in, that field, as United. States Surgeon, General, Benjamin Rush, saved countless lives, of soldiers during, the American, Revolutionary. War by, promoting, hygiene, and public health practices. By. Introducing, new, medical, treatments. He made the Pennsylvania. Hospital in, Philadelphia an. Example, of medical, enlightenment. And after, his military service, rush, established. The first free, clinic, in the United States. Charles. Wilson, Peale is, best remembered as an artist, but he also was, a natural, historian. Inventor. Educator. And politician. He. Created, the first major museum, in the United, States the, Peale Museum, in Philadelphia, which housed the young nation's, only collection. Of North American. Natural, History, specimens. Peale. Excavated. The bones of an ancient Mastodon. Near West Point New York, he spent three months assembling. The skeleton, and then displayed, it in his museum, the. Peale museum, started, an American, tradition, of making the knowledge of science interesting, and available, to the general public. Topic. Science, immigration. American. Political, leaders, enthusiasm. For knowledge also helped, ensure a warm welcome, for scientists. From other countries, a. Notable. Early immigrant. Was the British chemist Joseph. Priestley, who was driven from his homeland, because, of his dissenting, politics. Priestley. Who, went to the United, States in. 1794. Was the first of thousands, of talented, scientists. Who emigrated, in search of a free creative, environment. Other. Scientists. Had come to the United States to take part in the nation's, rapid, growth. Alexander. Graham Bell, who arrived, from Scotland by, way of Canada, in 1872. Developed, and patented the telephone, and related, inventions. Charles. Steinmetz, who came from Germany, in 1889. Developed. New alternating. Current, electrical, systems, at General, Electric Company, and Vladimir's, where I can an immigrant, from Russia in, 1919. Arrived, in the States bringing, his knowledge or x-rays, and cathode, ray tubes, and later won his first patent, on a television, system. He invented. The. Serbian nikola tesla went to the United States in, 1884. And would later adapted, the principle, of rotating. Magnetic, field in, the development, of an alternating, current induction. Motor and polyphase. System, for the generation. Transmission distribution. And. Use of electrical, power into, the early 1900's. Europe. Remained the center of science, research, notably. In England and Germany. From. The 1920s. Onwards, the, tensions, heralding, the onset, of World War two spurred, sporadic. But steady scientific. Emigration. Or brain, drain in Europe. Many. Of these immigrants, were Jewish scientists. Fearing, the repercussions of, anti-semitism. Especially. In Germany, and Italy and sought, sanctuary in, the United, States.
One. Of the first two so was Albert, Einstein, in. 1933. At. His. Urging, and often, with his support, a good percentage, of Germany's, theoretical. Physics community, previously. The best in the world left for the US. Enrico. Fermi, came from Italy in 1938. And, led the work that produced, the world's first self-sustaining, nuclear, chain, reaction. Many. Other scientists. Of note moved, to the u.s. during, this same emigration. Wave including. Niels Bohr Victor, Weisskopf, Otto Stern and Eugene, Wigner several. Scientific. And technological. Breakthroughs. During, the Atomic Age with a handiwork of such immigrants. Who recognized, the potential, threats and uses of new technology. For. Instance, it was the German professor, Einstein, and his Hungarian, colleague. Leo C yard who took the initiative and convinced, President, Franklin, D Roosevelt to. Pursue the pivotal, Manhattan, Project. Many. Physicists. Instrumental. To the project, were also, European. Immigrants, such as the Hungarian. Edward Teller father, of the hydrogen, bomb and German, Nobel laureate, Hans bethe. Their. Scientific. Contributions. Combined. With allied resources. And facilities helped. Establish, the United, States during, World War two as an unrivaled, scientific. Juggernaut. In. Fact, the Manhattan, projects. Operation. Also zin its components. While not designed, to recruit European, scientists. Successfully, collected. An evaluated. Access military, scientific. Research, at the end of the war especially that, of the German nuclear energy project, only, to conclude, that it was years behind its American, counterpart. When. World War two ended the, US the UK and the Soviet, Union were all intent, on capitalizing. On Nazi, research, and competed, for the spoils, of war, while. President, harry s truman refused. To provide sanctuary. To ideologically. Committed members. Of the nazi, party the Office of Strategic Services. Introduced. Operation. Paperclip, conducted. Under the Joint Intelligence objectives. Agency. This. Program, covertly, offered, otherwise ineligible. Intellectuals. And technicians. Whitewashed, dossiers. Biographies. And employment. Ex-nazi. Scientists, overseen. By the jaoa had. Been employed, by the US military since. The defeat of the Nazi, regime in project, overcast, but, Operation. Paperclip ventured. To systematically. Allocate, German, nuclear, and aerospace. Research, and scientists. To military. And civilian, posts, beginning, in August. 1945. Until. The. Program's, termination. In 1990. Operation. Paperclip was said to have recruited, over. 1600. Such employees, in a variety of professions. And disciplines. In. The first phases of Operation. Paperclip these, recruits, mostly, included, aerospace. Engineers. From the German, v2 combat. Rocket, program, experts, in aerospace, medicine. And synthetic, fuels. Perhaps. The most influential. Of these was Wernher von Braun, who, had worked on the aggregate rockets, the first rocket, program, to reach outer space, and chief, designer of the v2, rocket, program. Upon. Reaching US, soil, von Braun first, worked on the US Air Force ICBM. Program before. His team was reassigned, to NASA. Often. Credited as the father of rocket, science, his work on the redstone, rocket and, the successful. Deployment of, the Explorer, 1 satellite as. A response, to Sputnik, 1 marked, the beginning, of the American, space program and. Therefore, of the space race. Von. Braun's subsequent. Development. Of the Saturn, V booster for NASA in the mid to late 60s, resulted. In the first manned moon landing, the Apollo 11, mission in. 1969. In. The post-war, era the u.s. was left in a position of unchallenged. Science, leadership. Being one of the few industrial. Countries, not ravaged, by war. Additionally. Science, and technology. Was seen to have greatly, added to the Allied War victory, and was seen as absolutely. Crucial in, the Cold War ii-era, this. Enthusiasm. Simultaneously. Rejuvenated. American, industry, and celebrated. Yankee, ingenuity, instilling. A zealous, nationwide. Investment. In big. Science. And state-of-the-art. Government-funded. Facilities. And programs, this. State patronage, presented. Appealing, careers, to the intelligentsia. And further, consolidated. The scientific.
Preeminence, Of the United, States as, a result. The, US government, became for the first time the largest single supporter. Of basic, and applied scientific. Research. By. The mid-1950s. The research. Facilities. In the US were second, to none and scientists. Were drawn to the US for this reason, alone the. Changing. Pattern can be seen in the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics and chemistry. During. The first half century, of Nobel, Prizes, from 1901. To 1950. American, winners were in a distinct, minority in. The science, categories. Since. 1950. Americans. Have won approximately. Half of the Nobel prizes, awarded in the sciences. See. The list of Nobel, laureates by. Country. The. American Brain. Gain continued. Throughout the Cold War as tensions, steadily, escalated. In the Eastern, Bloc resulting. In a steady trickle of defectors, refugees. And immigrants. The. Partition, of Germany, for one, precipitated. Over three and a half million, East Germans the. Republic, flag telling to cross into West Berlin by, 1961. Most. Of them were young well, qualified. Educated. Professionals. Or skilled, workers, the intelligentsia. Exacerbating. Human, capital, flight in the GDR. The benefit, of Western, countries, including. The United, States. Topic. American. Applied Science. During. The 19th, century Britain. France, and Germany were at the forefront of new ideas in, science and mathematics. But. If the United, States lagged, behind in, the formulation, of theory, it excelled, in using, theory to solve problems, applied, science. This. Tradition. Had been born of necessity, because. Americans. Lived so far from, the Wellsprings, of Western, science and manufacturing. They often had to figure out their own ways of doing things. When. Americans. Combined, theoretical. Knowledge with, Yankee. Ingenuity. The. Result, was a flow of important, inventions, the. Great American, inventors, include, Robert Fulton, the steamboat, Samuel. Morse the Telegraph, Eli, Whitney the cotton gin Cyrus. McCormick, the Reaper, and Thomas, Alva Edison the. Most fertile of, them all with more than a thousand, inventions, credited, to his name. Edison. Was not always the first to devise a scientific. Application. But he was frequently, the one to bring an idea to a practical, finish. For. Example, the British engineer. Joseph Swan built, an incandescent, electric lamp, in 1860. Almost, 20, years before Edison. But. Edison's, light bulbs, lasted, much longer than, swans, and they could be turned on and off individually.
While Swans, bulbs, could be used only in a system, where several lights were turned on or off at the same time. Edison. Followed, up his improvement. Of the light bulb with the development, of electrical. Generating, systems. Within. 30 years his, inventions. Had introduced, electric, lighting into millions, of homes. Another. Landmark, application. Of scientific, ideas. To practical, use was the innovation, of the brothers, Wilbur, and Orville Wright. In. The 1890s. They became fascinated with, accounts, of German glider experiments. And began their own investigation. Into the principles, of flight. Combining. Scientific. Knowledge and mechanical, skills. The Wright brothers built. And flew several gliders. Then. On December. 17th. 1903. They. Successfully. Flew the first heavier than air mechanically. Propelled airplane. An. American. Invention, that was barely noticed, in. 1947. Went on to usher in the Information, Age in. That year John Bardeen, William, Shockley and Walter, Brattain of Bell Laboratories drew. Upon highly, sophisticated. Principles. Of quantum physics to, invent the transistor a, small, substitute. For the bulky, vacuum tube. This. And a device invented, ten years later the integrated. Circuit, made it possible to package, enormous, amounts, of electronics. Into tiny containers. As a, result. Book sized computers. Of today can outperform room, sized computers. Of the 1960s. And there has been a revolution, in the way people live in how they work study, conduct, business and engage in research. Part. Of America's, past and, current, preeminence, in Applied Science has been due to its vast research, and development, budget which at four hundred and 1.6. Billion dollars in 2009. Was more than doubled out of China's. 150. 4.1. Billion dollars, and over 25%. Greater, than the European, Union's, two hundred and ninety seven point nine billion dollars. Topic. Otama Cajun, big, science. One. Of the most spectacular, and. Controversial. Accomplishments. Of us technology, has, been the harnessing. Of nuclear, energy. The. Concepts. That led to the splitting of the atom were, developed, by the scientists.
Of Many countries but, the conversion, of these ideas, into the reality, of nuclear, fission was accomplished, in the United, States in the early 1940s. Both, by many Americans. But also aided, tremendously. By the influx, of European, intellectuals. Fleeing, the growing, conflagration. Sparked, by Adolf, Hitler, and Benito Mussolini. In Europe. During. These crucial years, a number, of the most prominent, European, scientists. Especially. Physicists. Emigrated. To the United, States where. They would do much of their most important. Work these included, hans better, Albert, Einstein, Enrico. Fermi, Lee ocr'd. Edward Teller Felix. Bloch Emilio. Segura, and Eugene, Wigner among, many many others. American. Academics. Worked hard to find positions at, laboratories. And universities. For their European, colleagues. After. German. Physicists. Split a uranium, nucleus, in 1938. A number, of scientists, concluded. That a nuclear, chain reaction. Was feasible and possible. The. Einstein, C yard letter to President, Franklin D Roosevelt warned. That this breakthrough would permit the construction of. Extremely. Powerful, bombs, this. Warning, inspired, an executive. Order towards, the investigation. Of using, uranium as, a weapon, which later was superseded. During, World War two by the Manhattan Project the. Full Allied effort, to be the first to build an atomic bomb, the. Project, bore fruit when the first such bomb was exploded in, New Mexico, on July 16th, 1945. The. Development. Of the bomb in its use against, Japan, in August. 1945. Initiated, the Atomic, Age a time of anxiety, over weapons. Of mass destruction, that has lasted, through the Cold War and down to the anti proliferation. Efforts of today, even. So the Atomic, Age has also been, characterized. By peaceful, uses of nuclear power. As in the advances, in nuclear, power and, nuclear medicine. Along. With the production of the atomic, bomb World War two also, began an era known as big. Science. With. Increased, government patronage, of, scientific. Research, the. Advantage, of a scientifically.
And Technologically. Sophisticated, country. Became, all too apparent during, wartime and in the ideological, Cold, War to follow the importance, of scientific, strength. In even peacetime, applications. Became, too much for the government, to anymore leave to philanthropy, and private, industry, alone, this. Increased, expenditure. On scientific. Research and education propelled. The United, States to the forefront, of the international, scientific community, an. Amazing. Feat for a country, which only a few decades, before still, had to send its most promising, students, to Europe for extensive, scientific, education. The. First u.s., commercial, nuclear, power plant, started, operation. In Illinois in, 1956. At. The time, the future, for nuclear energy in, the United States, looked bright, but. Opponents criticized. The safety, of power plants, and questioned, whether safe disposal, of nuclear waste could, be assured a. 1979. Accident. At Three Mile, Island in, Pennsylvania. Turned many Americans. Against, nuclear, power the, cost. Of building a nuclear power, plant escalated. And other more economical. Sources, of power began, to look more appealing. During. The, 1970s. And 1980s, plans. For several, nuclear, plants, were canceled and the future, of nuclear power, remains, in a state of uncertainty. In the United, States. Meanwhile. American. Scientists. Have been experimenting, with other renewable. Energy, including, solar power. Although. Solar power generation. Is, still not economical. In much of the United States, recent. Developments. Might make it more affordable. Topic. Telecom, and technology. For the past 80 years the United, States has, been integral, in fundamental. Advances. In, telecommunications. And technology. For. Example, AT&T. S Bell Laboratories. Spearheaded. The American, technological. Revolution. With a series, of inventions, including, the first practical, light emitted, diode, LED the. Transistor. The C programming, language and the UNIX, computer operating. System. Sri. International. And Xerox, PARC in Silicon, Valley helped. Give birth to, the personal, computer, industry while. Our per and NASA funded, the development of, the ARPANET and the internet. Herman. Hollerith was, just a 20-year old engineer, when he realized the need for a better way for the US government, to conduct their census, and then proceeded. To develop electromechanical. Tabulators. For, that purpose. The. Net effect of the many changes from, the 1880. Census. The larger, population. The data items, to be collected, the Census, Bureau headcount, the scheduled, publications. And the use of Hollerith. Electromechanical. Tabulators. Was, to reduce the time required to process, the census, from 8 years for the 1880. Census, to 6 years for the 1890. Census, that. Kick-started. The tabulating. Machine, company, by. The 1960s. The company, name had been changed, to International. Business Machines and, IBM, dominated. Business, computing. IBM. Revolutionized. The industry by bringing out the first comprehensive. Family, of computers, the system. 360. It. Caused many of their competitors to either merge or, go bankrupt leaving. IBM. In an even more dominant position. IBM. Is known for its many inventions, like the floppy disk introduced. In 1971. Supermarket. Checkout products. And introduced. In. 1973. The IBM. 3614. Consumer. Transaction. Facility, an early, form of today's automatic. Teller machines.
Topic. The, Space Age. Running. Almost in, tandem, with the Atomic, Age has been the Space Age. American. Robert Goddard, was one of the first scientists. To experiment. With rocket, propulsion systems. In. His small laboratory, in Worcester, Massachusetts, Goddard. Worked with liquid, oxygen and gasoline, to propel rockets, into the atmosphere and, in, 1926. Successfully. Fired the world's, first liquid-fuel rocket, which, reached a height of 12 point 5 meters. Over. The next 10 years, Goddard's rockets, achieved, modest, altitudes. Of nearly 2 kilometers, and interest, in rocketry, increased, in the United, States Britain, Germany, and, the Soviet Union as. Allied. Forces, advanced. During World War two both the American, and Russian forces. Searched, for top german scientists. Who could be claimed as spoils for their country. The. American, effort to bring home German, rocket technology in, Operation. Paperclip and the bringing of German, rocket scientist. Wernher von Braun, who would later sit at the head of a NASA Center stand. Out in particular. Expendable. Rockets, provided, the means for launching, artificial. Satellites, as well as manned, spacecraft. In. 1957. The Soviet Union launched. The first satellite Sputnik. I and the United, States followed, with Explorer, I in, 1958. The. First manned space, flights, were made in Earl 1961. First, by Soviet, cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin and, then by American, astronaut, Alan Shepard. From. Those first tentative steps to. The, 1969. Apollo, program, landing, on the moon and the partially, reusable space. Shuttle, the American, space program brought. Forth a breathtaking. Display of applied science. Communications. Satellites, transmit, computer. Data telephone. Calls and radio, and television. Broadcasts. Weather. Satellites. Furnish, the data necessary, to, provide early warnings, of severe, storms. Global, positioning satellites, were first developed, in the u.s. starting, around 1972. And, became, fully operational by. 1994. Interplanetary. Probes and, space telescopes. Began, a golden, age of planetary, science and advanced, a wide variety of astronomical. Work. Topic. Medicine. And healthcare. As. In. Physics and chemistry, Americans. Have dominated the, Nobel, Prize for Physiology. Or medicine since. World War two, the. Private, sector has been the focal, point for biomedical. Research in the United States, and has played a key role in this achievement as.
Of. 2004. Profit, industry, funded. 57%. Nonprofit. Private, organizations. Such as the Howard, Hughes Medical Institute, funded. 7%. And the tax funded, National, Institutes. Of Health NIH, funded. 36%. Of medical, research in, the u.s. however by. 2003. The NIH. Funded, only, 28%. Of medical, research funding. Funding, by private, industry increased. 102. Percent from. 1994. To 2003. The NIH, consists. Of 24, separate, institutes, in Bethesda, Maryland. The. Goal of ni, research. Is knowledge, that helps, prevent detect, diagnose. And treat, disease, and disability at. Any. Given time grants, from the NIH support. The research, of about. 35,000, principal, investigators. Five. Nobel, Prize winners, have made their prize-winning, discoveries. In NIH laboratories. NIH. Research. Has helped make possible numerous. Medical, achievements. For. Example, mortality. From heart disease. The, number one killer in the United States, dropped. 41%. Between, 1971. And, 1991. The. Death rate for strokes decreased. By 59, percent during the same period. Between. 1991. And, 1995. The cancer, death rate fell by nearly, 3 percent the, first sustained, decline since national, record-keeping. Began in the 1930s, and. Today. More than 70%. Of children who get cancer are cured. With. The help of the NIH, molecular. Genetics, and genomics research. Have revolutionized. Biomedical. Science. In. The 1980s. And 1990s. Researchers. Performed the first trial, of gene therapy in humans and are now able to locate, identify. And describe, the function, of many genes in the human genome. Research. Conducted. By universities. Hospitals. And, corporations. Also contributes. To improvement. In diagnosis. And treatment, of disease. NIH. Funded, the basic, research, on acquired, immune, deficiency syndrome. Aids, for, example, but many of the drugs used to treat the disease have, emerged from the laboratories, of the American, pharmaceutical. Industry, those drugs are being tested in research, centers, across the country. Topic. See, also. Science. Policy, of the United, States. Biomedical. Research, in the United, States. Technological. And industrial history. Of the United, States. Timeline. Of United States, inventions. Timeline. Of United States, discoveries. List. Of african-american. Inventors. And scientists. National. Inventors hall of, fame. United. States Patent, and Trademark Office. NASA. Spin-off, technologies. Yankee. Ingenuity.