A Mid-century Appraisal: PRODUCTION

In M.I.T.'s Rockwell Cage, a huge, airy gym standing apart from the columned halls where man's spirit was under investigation, the scientists discussed man's material condition. In the panel on "the Problem of World Production," Fairfield (Our Plundered Planet) Osborn once more raised his familiar Malthusian bogy of ever-shrinking resources, ever-increasing population.

Vannevar Bush, wartime director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development—and an optimist who tries to grow potatoes among New Hampshire's rocks—tore into Osborn's gloomy theories. His main point: population increases, all right, but the world's living standard increases first. When "a lid is removed," both science and...

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