American Notes: The Uses of Adversity

"We have always experienced times," said Glenn T. Seaborg, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, "when we have been dissatisfied, unhappy with ourselves and our conditions, and lamented them profoundly before we took new steps to change them." Seaborg, testifying before a House subcommittee on a bill for the arts and humanities, argued that triumphant technology is now prompting man to question what is being done with his discoveries.

Perhaps, suggested Seaborg, "the despair and negativism of the time" will be succeeded by a new examination of values and purposes. "I believe," he said, "that one of the characteristics of...

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