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Make It RainState Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America$
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Kristine C. Harper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226437231

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226437378.001.0001

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The Meteorologists: Corralling the Research Agenda

The Meteorologists: Corralling the Research Agenda

(p.129) Chapter 5 The Meteorologists: Corralling the Research Agenda
Make It Rain

Kristine C. Harper

University of Chicago Press

This chapter addresses the work of meteorologists during the 1950s as they focused on understanding the underlying physics of precipitation processes. The weather control juggernaut, however, threatened to discredit the scientific reputation that meteorologists had earned during World War II, and so these scientists were pulled from their data and equations into science policy. The American Meteorological Society, for example, produced a policy statement and attempted to influence congressional efforts to regulate weather control. But meteorologists were not in agreement; some supported weather control research and others considered it a waste of time and money. Consequently, the weather control research agenda—within and outside the United States—took two separate paths: one attacked cloud physics and precipitation mechanisms while developing viable theoretical underpinnings, while the other looked for practical methods of controlling the weather. The Advisory Committee on Weather Control then took those results and recommended that the National Science Foundation become the overseer of US research efforts and that the US Congress fund them to do so.

Keywords:   meteorologists, science policy, regulation, weather control, research agenda, Advisory Committee on Weather Control, National Science Foundation, US Congress

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