Association Affairs

Strengthening the Basis of National Security

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Science  10 Dec 1954:
Vol. 120, Issue 3128, pp. 957-959
DOI: 10.1126/science.120.3128.957


Those charged with safeguarding the United States have sought to minimize the danger of internal subversion through the screening of government employees and persons having access to classified information. This program is necessary, but it poses a serious dilemma: the more completely we succeed in reducing the danger that information now in our possession may leak to a potential enemy, the more risk we run of interfering with scientific progress and of reducing the technologic superiority and the moral and physical strength upon which victory in the ultimate test would depend. The inherent dangers of this dilemma can be lessoned and our strength enhanced by changing our basic concept of internal security from one that attempts almost exclusively to minimize our losses to one that places greatly increased emphasis on maximizinig our gains.

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