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Michael Polanyi and His GenerationOrigins of the Social Construction of Science$
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Mary Jo Nye

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226610634

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610658.001.0001

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Scientific Freedom and the Social Functions of Science

Scientific Freedom and the Social Functions of Science

(p.182) (p.183) SIX Scientific Freedom and the Social Functions of Science
Michael Polanyi and His Generation

Mary Jo Nye

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the outrage Michael Polanyi felt at Bernal's book The Social Function of Science, which led to him joining other scientists, as well as historians and philosophers, in establishing the Society for Freedom in Science (SFS). Polanyi's commitment to the work of the SFS was rooted in the experiences of his scientific career, and in his economic and political views, but also in his emotionally charged reactions to the arrests and persecutions of family members and scientific colleagues in the Soviet Union. In trying to get support for activities and publications aimed against the pro-Soviet “Bernalists,” Polanyi appealed successfully to the Rockefeller Foundation, and worked in the 1950s with pro-democracy and anti-totalitarian intellectuals in the international Congress for Cultural Freedom.

Keywords:   pro-democracy, anti-totalitarian, Bernal, SFS, Soviet Union, Bernalists, Rockefeller Foundation, CCF

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