Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Remembering Ronald Reagan

PostedJune 11, 2004

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Ronald Reagan's science advisor John McTague says the President was no science and technology buff.  But he did feel a kindred bond with engineers, seeing them as the quintessential optimists who constantly demonstrated that imagination could overcome assumed technical limitations.  McTague says this was behind Reagan's controversial Strategic Defense Initiative, which asked engineers to find a way to make nuclear weapons obsolete. McTague also says Reagan faced strong pressure to keep much basic research quiet during the Cold War.  But, instead, he signed an order to encourage creativity through open collaboration.  It's this legacy that the current administration says is still the country's guiding principle.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.