The Defence Research Committee, 1963–72
in Scientific governance in Britain, 1914–79
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The Defence Research Committee (DRC) was the successor to the Defence Research Policy Committee (DRPC). This paper traces the history of the DRC and its influence on UK defence research programmes. The DRC, like the DRPC, conducted major reviews of the defence research programme, balancing inter-service demands, responding to new strategic guidance, and searched for cuts as projects overran budgets and the national economy struggled. The DRC acted as gatekeeper, proceeding with some projects while ending others. The DRC paid attention to some topics that the DRPC had not, including the balance between civil and military research, the human sciences and Northern Ireland. Influential individuals, such as John Kendrew and Hermann Bondi, are identified. Finally the transition to the current defence advice structure, involving both the DRC and a new Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC) is discussed.


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