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Vice President Lyndon Johnson asks [May 31], "What American wants to go to bed by the light of a Communist moon?" Well, that is 239,000 miles away. Would it be any worse than letting the Communists get permanent, irretrievable control of an island 90 miles away?
CHAS. HAMILTON Lansing, Mich.
I agree with Mr. Weaver that a whole generation of young scientists and engineers could be better employed in more practical fields than in the man-on-the-moon project.
Just think of the precious time that has been lost in the bee field. With a larger crew of technicians working around the clock, we could have learned the bee dance in 1957. While we're wasting talent and money on the moon project, the Russians are probably teaching their bees to count.
MRS. W. BANDEMER Clairton, Pa.
It grieves me to take issue publicly with Warren Weaver, but it grieves me more to see his list. He expressed $30 billion in terms of foundations, medical schools and colleges. The list has no direct relevance to the pros and cons of the space program, nor is it a serious alternative program.
The list is heavy on education, but it is modest compared with the total cost of education: we spent perhaps $200 billion on education during the 1950s, and some of us viewed the results dimly. We will spend more during the 1960s, perhaps $300 billion, and we want better results. Now the space program is a fire to temper the education system. The cutting edge is being improved-more trained youngsters and knowledge-by the heat of Sputnik and the subsequent space program.
J. D. WILLIAMS The Rand Corp. Santa Monica, Calif.
Mathematician Weaver's most serious error is in his estimation of the motivation of the scientific mind. You simply cannot interest these highly trained minds in slum clearance or social work, chiefly because the variables there are so ill defined. They can, however, be interested in weapons systems and were rapidly sharpening the world's knives with their intellect before space became fashionable.
LEE C. THOMAS
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Mass.
Mr. Shoriki feels quite honored to have TIME report [May 24] on his activities. We noticed, however, two grave errors:
First, if you should check the records, you would find that Mr. Shoriki had passed the higher civil service examination in 1912. Furthermore, because of his outstanding service, Mr. Shoriki won promotion after promotion at a speed unprecedented in the history of the Board.
Second, Mr. Shoriki was never a supporter of Tojo, either before or during the war. It is true that under wartime conditions Mr. Shoriki was compelled at times to follow the orders of the Tojo military clique. But as the records of his activities show, he had actually fought the military clique in order to preserve the freedom of the press.