The Scientific War Work of Linus C. Pauling Narrative  
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Planning Ahead
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After the discontinuation of the oxypolygelatin program, there was little war research left on Pauling's plate. He continued to serve as responsible investigator for the oxygen meter, handling contractual agreements between the NDRC, Caltech, and Beckman Instruments, but his work with the program had become cursory. Frustrated and dismayed by the CMR's abandonment of the oxypolygelatin program, he was not interested in being tasked with yet another OSRD project. Pauling spent the remaining months of the war in his laboratory, working on his own research problems and only occasionally acting on OSRD business.

Following D-Day and the United States' forward progress in the Pacific theater, President Roosevelt began to look ahead to a post-war America. In late 1944 Roosevelt contacted Vannevar Bush. He wanted a report on the future of science in the United States with an emphasis on the federal funding of civil research projects. Ultimately, he told Bush, he wanted a recommendation.

Bush could have put together a brief overview of post-war science with a few minor suggestions and then washed his hands of the assignment. Instead, he set out to create an expansive plan for developing American dominance in the international scientific community. Vannevar Bush, like any good researcher, prided himself on his ability to collect, analyze, and present data. Having overseen the large-scale cooperation between government and civil scientists for several years, Bush knew how the two sectors interacted. But he wanted to know more than that - he wanted to know what the scientists on the ground and in the labs needed. What sort of an organization, Bush wondered, would give the average scientist the tools be an effective researcher?

In order to answer this question, Bush went straight to the source. Through the OSRD, he began calling in the aid of researchers he knew and trusted, forming them into committees that would analyze post-war funding and then advise him according to their findings. Along with dozens of others, Linus Pauling was selected to serve on one of these advisory committees.

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See Also: Letter from Linus Pauling to W. W. Palmer. January 19, 1945. 

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Vannevar Bush at the inauguration of Lee A. DuBridge as president of Caltech. 1946.

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Copy of a letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Vannevar Bush. November 17, 1944.

"I will feel that the study of this subject is well started, and that fully appropriate steps for meeting the President's wishes have been taken, if the group selected can be brought together promptly, and I hope I may soon have indication of your willingness to serve in this connection."

Vannevar Bush
January 5, 1945
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