THE NEW BRAHMINS by Spencer Klaw


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Will success spoil American science? Can marriage to America's most wealthy and titled lord (the government) bring happiness? it has to many, Klaw, notes in this incisive study of scientists in today's culture. But not to all. Time was when the boys who studied math or physics were not the kind you wanted your sister to go out with. But now the new brahmins have risen to the top, command five figure salaries, and are consultants to government or industry at high per diems. But many question that dollars and power will attract the inferior, that science will bury itself under masses of worthless paper, that no amount of prowess with high-energy particles endows a man with insight into our policies on Vietnam. Klaw presents many species of the scientific personality, usually has selected three or more generic types (professor, private researcher, engineer, etc.) through one hundred interviews in which scientists talked freely about motivations, obligations and satisfactions in exchange for a measure of anonymity. The realities of competition and ambition, of in-fighting, of grantsmanship, are eloquently stated and the alarms sounded. However, insofar as scientists express concern about their position, there may be a self-correcting factor. . . . A fine overview.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow