May 1941

May 1941

After months of growing pressure from scientists in Britain and the U.S. (particularly University of California at Berkeley's Ernest O. Lawrence), Vannevar Bush at The National Defense Research Committee decides to review the prospects of nuclear energy further and engages Arthur H. Compton and the National Academy of Sciences for the task. The report is issued May 17 and treats military prospects favorably for power production, but does not address the design or manufacture of a bomb in any detail. At this same time, Bush creates the larger and more powerful Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), which is empowered to engage in large engineering projects in addition to research, and becomes its director.

Date Range: 
1941CE May