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AAAS and the Maturing of American Science: 1941-1970

The Second World War brought vast changes in American science. AAAS responded, evolving from an organization primarily concerned with promoting communication among its members to one with a strong professional staff committed to the advancement of science and the relations between science and society. The postwar years saw many milestones for the Association: the acquisition of Science following the death of James Cattell; the construction of AAAS's own building; a new constitution; and the 1951 Arden House meeting, which laid the foundation for today's AAAS. The Association focused renewed attention and resources on science education. Scientific freedom became a major preoccupation as the Cold War intensified and McCarthyism reared its head. Out of the traditions and organizational culture established during the late 1940s and 1950s came AAAS's activism of subsequent decades on social issues such as racial justice, the environment, and the war in Vietnam.

"Science belongs to all the people."
Warren Weaver, 1955 presidential address in Atlanta.