Enlisting Social Scientists

The Minerva Consortium — named for the Roman goddess of wisdom — was introduced by Robert M. Gates, secretary of defense, in a speech before the Association of American Universities in April. Quoting the late historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who said after Sputnik's launch, in 1957, that the United States "must return to the acceptance of eggheads and ideas if it is to meet the Russian challenge," Gates declared his interest in establishing a project that would