The Tragedy of American Science
From the Cold War to the Forever Wars
Published by: Haymarket Books
Imprint: Haymarket Books
The tragedy of American science is that its direction is determined by private profit rather than by the desire to improve the human condition. As a result, Conner argues, Big Science has been irredeemably corrupted by Big Money. This corruption threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the medicines we take.
The Tragedy of American Science explores how the U.S. economy’s addiction to military spending distorts and deforms science by making it overwhelmingly subservient to military interests. The primary motive driving American science and technology has become the search for new and more efficient ways to kill people. This transforms science from the classic ideal of a creative force for the advancement of humankind into its destructive and antihuman opposite. That those trillions of dollars in resources and scientific talent are not devoted to solving the problems of poverty, disease, and environmental destruction is one of the greatest tragedies of our times.
While the underlying problems may appear intractable, Conner compellingly argues that replacing the current science-for-profit system with a science-for-human-needs system is not an impossible, utopian dream. But to get there, we’ll need to grapple with this important history.
Table of Contents
PART 1: THE CORPORATIZATION OF AMERICAN SCIENCE
1 The Big Fat Lie
2 The Green Revolution
3 From Green Revolution to Gene Revolution
4 The Tobacco Strategy
5 Fraudulent Pharma
6 Spitting in the Well We Drink From
7 Atoms for Peace?
8 The Academic-Industrial Complex
9 Think Tanks and the Betrayal of Reason
10 The Dismal Science is Certainly Dismal, but is it Science?
PART 2: THE MILITARIZATION OF AMERICAN SCIENCE
11 Science Harnessed to the Chariot of Destruction
12 A-Bombs and H-Bombs
13 Non-nuclear Technologies of Death
14 Bombers, Missiles, and Antimissiles
15 Video-Game War
16 Lethal Autonomy
17 Is Cyberwarfare Really a Thing?
18 American Exceptionalism and the Ultimate Perversion of the Behavioral Sciences
PART 3: HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS…
19 The Explosive Birth of Big Science
20 Operation Paperclip: The Nazification of American Science
21 The RAND Corporation: From "Fuck You, Buddy" to Doomsday
PART 4: ...AND THE ONLY WAY OUT
22 Is a Science-For-Human-Needs Possible?
Suggestions for Further Reading