, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 115–146 | Cite as

Of `Small Men', Big Science and Bigger Business: The Second World War and Biomedical Research in the United States

  • Nicolas Rasmussen


The Second World War is commonly said to have ushered in theera of `big science' in the United States. However, at least inpractically-oriented biomedical research, the American governmentadopted modes of sponsorship that were commonplace between scientistsand industry before the war. Furthermore, many life scientistsleading wartime projects were already familiar with industrialcollaboration. This essay argues that the new federal regimes introduced in the late 1940s and 1950s were more important than wartime experience in shaping the character of biomedical `big science' in the United States during the second half of thetwentieth century.


Biomedical Research Federal Regime Wartime Experience 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Rasmussen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of History and Philosophy of Science/Science and Technology StudiesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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