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.