1.4 "How Meteorology Became "Big Science" in Boulder: NAS, NSF, and the Creation of NCAR"

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 11:30 AM
Conference Center: Yakima 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Joseph P. Bassi, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Lompoc, CA

In the early Cold War era, US meteorology entered the world of "Big Science" with the creation of the National Center for Atmopsheric Research in the late 1950s. This presentation will discuss the complex context and political dynamics of this dramatic change, the people and organziations responsible for the creation of the nation's first government-sponsored meteorlogical research center, and how the center eventually wound up on a high mesa in Boulder, Colorado---far away from the established US science centers in the eastern US. This is not only a story of events and decisions made in Washington DC----this talk will also demonstrate how citizens of Boulder, who wanted to be part of the changing world of US scence, actually voted to help bring the new atmospheric science research center to Boulder. This study helps to illuminate the reasons for the rapid growth of US meteorology and atmospheric science in mid-20th century.
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