From a View of the Grand Canyon
to a Vision of Science in the Twenty-first Century
When Vannevar Bush wrote of science as an "endless
frontier" at mid-century, John Firor had already staked his career claim. John
reflected on his last 50 years as a scientist, leader, and writer in the second Walter Orr
Roberts Distinguished Lecture, part of UCAR/NCAR's 40th anniversary celebration. He spoke
to a standing-room-only crowd on Tuesday evening, 19 October, at the Boulder Public
Library. John discussed his days in graduate school at the high-powered University of
Chicago, his years at the High Altitude Observatory, and his time in the late 1960s and
early 1970s as NCAR's second director, working closely with Walt Roberts. He also pondered
what new conceptions of science might replace Bush's "endless frontier" in a
world where science is no longer assumed to be a value-free, completely objective
enterprise. John's talk was flanked by two valued friends of NCAR: he was introduced by
former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth and followed by comments from Janet Roberts.
Photo by Carlye Calvin.
Article edited by Bob Henson for UCAR Staff Notes Monthly, November, 1999.