„Francis Bacon, in his New Atlantis, could charge his elite scientists in Salomon’s House with practicing self-censorship to avoid publicizing dangerous knowledge. Here is how the Father of Salomon’s House describes their practice: “We have consultations, which of the inventions and experiences which we have discovered shall be published, and which not: and take all a oath of secrecy for the concealing of those which we think fit to keep secret: though some of those we do reveal sometime to the State, and some not.” Bacon, the first prophet of the new relation between science and society and of the “conquest of nature for the relief of man’s estate,” knew better than we that knowledge is dangerous, that publication is a public and politically relevant act, and that self-censorship on the part of scientists is necessary and desirable. The passage is also remarkable for its wonderful ambiguity regarding whether scientists or the State has ultimate authority over dangerous knowledge“

Forbidding Science: Some Beginning Reflections (2006)

Leon R. Kass photo
Leon R. Kass20
American academic 1939

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„As long as scientists are free to pursue the truth wherever it may lead, there will be a flow of new scientific knowledge to those who can apply it to practical problems.“

—  Vannevar Bush American electrical engineer and science administrator 1890 - 1974

As quoted by George H. W. Bush in remarks while presenting National Medals of Science and Technology http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/papers/1990/90111300.html (13 November 1990). This might be a paraphrase of statements from his introduction to "Science The Endless Frontier" (1945), rather than a direct quote. (see below)

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„The question therefore now comes forward, To what other objects shall these surpluses be appropriated, and the whole surplus of impost, after the entire discharge of the public debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of war shall not call for them? Shall we suppress the impost and give that advantage to foreign over domestic manufactures? On a few articles of more general and necessary use the suppression in due season will doubtless be right, but the great mass of the articles on which impost is paid are foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to afford themselves the use of them.
Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of Federal powers. By these operations new channels of communications will be opened between the States, the lines of separation will disappear, their interests will be identified, and their union cemented by new and indissoluble ties. Education is here placed among the articles of public care, not that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal, but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which though rarely called for are yet necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the improvement of the country and some of them to its preservation.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

Thomas Jefferson's Sixth State of the Union Address (2 December 1806). Advising the origination of an annual fund to be spent through new constitutional powers (by new amendments) from projected surplus revenue.
1800s, Second Presidential Administration (1805-1809)

Charles A. Beard photo
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Karl Pearson photo
Peter Medawar photo
Mark Twain photo
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„A scientist has the additional responsibility that comes with being a specialist: explaining science to the public, advising of its usefulness and benefits, and warning of its dangers and disadvantages. This is the responsibility of any specialist.“

—  Larkin Kerwin Canadian physicist 1924 - 2004

in The Role of Canadian Science, edited by [Bernard Ostry, Janice Yalden, Visions of Canada: the Alan B. Plaunt memorial lectures, 1958-1992, McGill-Queen's Press, 2004, 0773526625, 492]

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„The first essential in determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. In the interest of the public, the Government should have the right to inspect and examine the workings of the great corporations engaged in interstate business. Publicity is the only sure remedy which we can now invoke.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

1900s, First Annual Message to Congress (1901)
Contexto: The first essential in determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. In the interest of the public, the Government should have the right to inspect and examine the workings of the great corporations engaged in interstate business. Publicity is the only sure remedy which we can now invoke. What further remedies are needed in the way of governmental regulation, or taxation, can only be determined after publicity has been obtained, by process of law, and in the course of administration. The first requisite is knowledge, full and complete—knowledge which may be made public to the world. Artificial bodies, such as corporations and joint stock or other associations, depending upon any statutory law for their existence or privileges, should be subject to proper governmental supervision, and full and accurate information as to their operations should be made public regularly at reasonable intervals.

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