D. Allan Bromley, one of the world's leading nuclear physicists, was The Assistant to President George Bush for Science and Technology Policy from August 1989 to January 1993. He was the first Science Advisor to have this Cabinet-level rank.
In this engrossing memoir of his years at the White House, Bromley brings the unique perspective of a scientist to the political realities of policy making with the President and his other Senior Assistants. Bromley recalls his efforts to rebuild the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, organizations that develop science policy and that oversee the federal agencies responsible for the science and technology enterprise of the United States; the Bush Administration initiatives to improve the global environment, the health and quality of life of all Americans, national security, international science and technology, and funding of U.S. science and technology; and the landmark reports prepared under his supervision that called for a revamping of the science and mathematics curricula in U.S. precollege education and a rethinking of the relationships between the research intensive universities and the federal government. He discusses the people with whom he interactedGeorge Bush, John Sununu (Bromley's strongest ally in the White House), Richard Darman, Senator Al Gore, and many othersand he includes provocative anecdotes about his attemptsmany successfulto foster closer cooperative scientific ventures with other countries.
Bromley's memoir is both a broad overview of the role of science and technology in the Bush Administration and an insider's account of the ambiance, personalities, and politics that mold specific policy decisions in Washington. It is fascinating and thought-provoking reading.