Pauling and the other members of the Palmer Committee met only a handful of times
before drafting a recommendation to Bush. The committee concluded that no existing
federal agency would be able to assign grants without some degree of bias according
to specialization. As a result, Palmer's group advocated the creation of a new agency
supporting scientists from different fields of medicine and governed by medical experts
spanning multiple fields.
Bush was troubled by the committee's assumption that a separate organization should
be created to oversee and fund medical research. Bush's career had been severely
complicated by the lack of cooperation between Washington's many bureaucracies. His
role in the OSRD, in fact, had been almost entirely devoted to managing cross-agency
communication and support, a task that often required him to go toe-to-toe with politicians,
scientists, and military men alike. As a result, he was wary of adding yet another
cog to an already complicated system of organizations. Bush saw science as a unified
field with each area deserving attention and funding. A single, independent medical
organization didn't fit into his vision and so he took the best of the Palmer Committee's
ideas - the governing body of experienced researchers - and combined them with his
own ideas and those of his other colleagues and created a document that effectively
changed the future of science.
In July 1945, Bush completed his final draft of "Science: The Endless Frontier."
In his treatise, Bush argued that World War II had ushered in a new era for science.
The government funding of large-scale research, now known as big science, had made
apparent a new way to approach scientific problems. Better funding and bigger staffs
meant fast results. It was an exciting thought. Researchers at universities across
the country had traditionally spent much of their time scrambling for grants and struggling
to beat out competing researchers for what little money there was. World War II had
demonstrated to them just how far government support could take a project. In the
post-war era, the world had a new understanding of just how much scientists could
President Roosevelt, at whose behest Bush had originally created the document, passed
away in June of that year. Undeterred, Bush delivered his findings to Roosevelt's
successor, Harry S. Truman, recommending the creation of a National Research Foundation