Chapter 1

The early years 1787–1860

Abstract

This chapter examines the historical beginnings of science and technology policy in America, starting with the example of the first minted coin in 1792, which bore the slogan “Liberty, Parent of Science and Industry.” The scientific reputations and interests of several founding fathers are highlighted, showing how they made science and technology a federal priority from the beginning of the nation’s history. The chapter provides detailed background on the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson’s launching of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which illustrates the crucial intersection of science policy with both politics and foreign affairs. Other relevant early events discussed are the Wilkes Expedition, ...

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