Vannevar Bush

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B.A. Tufts College 1913

Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974; pronounced /væˈniːvɑr/ van-NEE-var) was an American engineer and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political role in the development of the atomic bomb as a primary organizer of the Manhattan Project, the founding of Raytheon, and the idea of the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer which is somewhat analogous to the structure of the World Wide Web. More specifically, the memex worked as a memory bank to organize and retrieve data. As Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Bush coordinated the activities of some six thousand leading American scientists in the application of science to warfare.[1]

Bush was a well-known policymaker and public intellectual during World War II and the ensuing Cold War,[2] and was in effect the first presidential science advisor. Bush was a proponent of democratic technocracy and of the centrality of technological innovation and entrepreneurship for both economic and geopolitical security.

Seeing later developments in the Cold War arms race, Bush became troubled. "His vision of how technology could lead toward understanding and away from destruction was a primary inspiration for the postwar research that led to the development of New Media." [1]


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