We strongly recommend to our readers this column by John Kay written for the British Financial Times of 9 October in response to the commentary of Michael Schrage which appeared in that journal two weeks earlier.
Michael Schrage’s thoughtful article is posted separately on our news page today. Columnist John Kay does an admirable job of underscoring ideas and developing the perspectives expressed in the September article while excoriating Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, for his chillingly technocratic outlook. In reading this, consider also the advanced perspective of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who saw the truest realization of the "consensus science" of eugenics at close hand, upon the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Everyone carries a memory of President Eisenhower’s valedictory speech, in which the former general warned about the dangers of the "military/industrial complex," but few have paid sufficient heed to this passage from it:
"The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."