Quotation by Vannevar Bush

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission.
If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.
Vannevar Bush (1890–1974), U.S. electrical engineer, physicist. "The Search for Understanding," Science Is Not Enough (1967).

Vannevar Bush was a zealous believer in the "missionary" function of science: during World War II, he led the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development, directing such programs as the development of the first atomic bomb.
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