“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Harvey Brooks was the Benjamin Pierce Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Emeritus; the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Emeritus; and the Founder and Director Emeritus of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School. He passed away on May 28, 2004..
Dr. Brooks served on science advisory committees in the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
He was president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in the 1970's and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Council on Foreign Relations.
He was the author of many articles in professional journals and wrote ''The Government of Science'' (1968), which explored the relationship of science and government.
He graduated from Yale and studied at Cambridge before receiving a doctorate in physics from Harvard in 1940.
He helped to develop the acoustic homing torpedo during World War II, and later worked for General Electric on a project to use nuclear-powered reactors in submarines. In 1950, he joined Harvard's Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and was its dean from 1957 to 1975. In 1976, he founded and was the first director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He officially retired in 1986, but continued to teach and to advise.Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017, 12:57pm