October 27, 1950
Memorandum to the File
Conversation with Mr. Gordon Dean, Chairman, AEC
I spent about an hour this morning in a general discussion of my study with Mr. Dean. He already had a copy of the "Memorandum for the President" so that he was aware of the subject matter. He had no specific recommendations to make at this time. He recognized that there was no overall supervision, except to the extent that the Bureau of the Budget is able to provide it, of the research and development activities of the Department of Defense, the AEC, the NACA, the Bureau of Standards, etc. He thought that some kind of OSRD organization would probably be necessary because he thought that many scientists would not work for the military. He inclined to the idea of appointing a scientific adviser to the President, a scientist of outstanding reputation and leadership. As he put it, a Sidney Souers of science. He thought that a kind of general advisory committee for the overall scientific efforts of the Government might also be a good idea. I asked him about his impression of the general attitude of scientists to Government and military work and he said that the spirit at Los Alamos is excellent, as I had observed a few months ago, and that Norris Bradbury was doing an excellent job and was an excellent individual for running such a lab. He then spoke of Dr. Teller's difficulty about a year and a half ago in recruiting some 250 young scientists for his program. He had found in the universities a great deal of pacifism and a general unwillingness to work for the AEC or any Government-Military organization and therefore had some difficulty although he did eventually acquire all the staff that he needed.
Mr. Dean suggested that others I should see at the AEC include Dr. Smyth, Ken Pitzer, Larry Hafstad and Jim McCormick. He asked if he might send around the Memorandum for the President to inform them of the subject matter. I might then call them to make appointments at my convenience. He said that those individuals could readily bring me up to date on the status of the AEC's functioning.
We agreed to talk again later on.
Memoranda of William T. Golden: Main Page