Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-author Avis Lang investigate the relationship between the military and astrophysicists — along with space scientists, aerospace engineers and others in broadly related fields — in depth in the book, Accessory to War.
Astrophysics is “a historical handmaiden” of war, they argue
Accessory to War traces an epic sweep of the scientific study of the cosmos, starting with the proto-astronomers of ancient Mesopotamia and proceeding through centuries of discovery and technological advance. With brutal honesty, Tyson and Lang reveal how looking at the stars has always been both ‘pure’ science and an adjunct of war-making. From star charts and chronographs to telescopes and satellites, the military has made use of astronomical instruments and inventions for hundreds of years; in turn, astrophysicists gained funding and strategic support. As they write, “each side is accessory to the other’s needs, interests, and resources”.
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