SDIS Projects

The American Frontier Project

In 2013 three of us, Wayne Fanebust, Sam Gusman and Gerry Horwitz, joined together to write about the American Frontier as an SDIS “Project.”  This soon evolved into a decision that we should each write separately on the subject but present our three essays together to SDIS, each covering an aspect of the topic. Now the project is done and we are pleased to send these three essays herewith to SDIS. 

The Science Legacy of World War II:
Book Reviews and Oral Histories

THE SCIENCE LEGACY OF WW II was a series of six individual book review sessions, each focusing on a scientist or scientific contribution essential for the Allies' victory in WW II. The audience was invited not only to discuss the book, but to share any involvement, direct or indirect, of their participation in a scientific endeavor in WW II. Too many of these stories have been lost with the passing of these unheralded warriors. The proceedings of the meetings were recorded, transcribed, and published. SDIS is dedicated to the publication for posterity of what can be retrieved of this oral history.

The meetings were held on the first Tuesday of each month, starting September 3, 2013. Email invitations to participate were sent to SDIS members. Non-members of SDIS who wished to participate were welcomed. 

In contrast to the stylized military maneuvers of the past, WW II was a war like no other in the history of the world: the vastness of the geographical areas involved reaching from one end of the earth to the other provided a glimpse of future globalization; the alliances of disparate nations in the conflict had not occurred before; the scale of military personnel and materiel involved in both sides of the conflict had never been imagined in previous centuries; and the use of science and technology to undermine and defeat the strategies and tactics of the enemy was unprecedented.

This SDIS Project explored the scientific contributions that ensured the Allies victory in WW II. It invites not only review and discussion of books on the subject but also the sharing by project attendees of personal stories about those days and those achievements.

This project has ended.  See the Scholars Notebook March 2014 in the Archives for a copy of the letter of gratitude that was sent to Bea Rose, who so masterfully organized this great series of lectures.