Chapter 3

The Gilded Age 1870–1900


For American science and technology policy, the Gilded Age was one of profound transformation and disruption. As discussed in this chapter, the military shed its responsibilities in managing research and exploration programs, science bureaus began to proliferate elsewhere in the federal government, and private institutions and individuals began to vie for a larger piece of the scientific action. At this time, no effective federal structures existed for managing competing interests, avoiding unnecessary duplication of activities, preventing political considerations from trumping scientific judgment, and ensuring that federal funds were being used wisely. As one example, the chapter studies the controversies ...

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