STAR WARS: A Question of Initiative by Richard Ennals

STAR WARS: A Question of Initiative

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An attempt to explore the controversial Star Wars initiative. ""Attempt"" is used here very loosely--for this is a poor excuse for objective commentary. Ennals is a scientist who resigned his prestigious position with the British government's Alvey Program in Advanced Technology over Britain's support of SDI. Fair enough. But in this collection of formal papers, speeches, lectures, and articles, Ennuis comes off long on volume and short on ideas. The crux of Star Wars at present is that its fruition depends upon a new fifth generation of computer technology--loosely called logic programming. Admittedly, a tough nut to crack. But where Ennuis errs is in adopting a lazy approach to the research. It's too difficult, so why even try, he seems to say. Of all the arguments provided by many other current offerings, this is the most specious. Whatever happened to the spirit of scientific inquiry? Not to mention the question of spinoffs from the research? Ennuis' main concern seems to be that Britain not get sucked in and thereby sullied by America's military machine. To that end, he expends much energy fretting over the possible loss of academic freedom by British scientists involved with SDI research. This only highlights what this work really is--a provincial worry piece, insular in thought, application, and appeal.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1987
Publisher: Wiley