In my recent essay on Christian intellectuals, I say that one way to measure the influence of such figures is by noting their presense on Time magazine covers, and I briefly mention the shift of cultural authority that happened in the Fifties that led to scientists like John von Neumann having the kind of sage-like status than Reinhold Niebuhr and C. S. Lewis had had somewhat earlier. Maybe this celebration of Vannevar Bush is an early example of that transition. This brilliant essay by Daniel Sarewitz tells the story of how Bush created a scientific culture that has been enormously productive and yet also has become deeply dysfunctional. I can’t recommend the essay too strongly.
Published by ayjay