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Throughout the book, the Roach explores the contributions of individuals in the scientific community to the general health and well-being of military personnel. She considers discoveries made during conflicts as far back in American history as the Civil War, drawing clear connections between the scientists working then and those working in the aftermath of American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As she explores this side of the relationship between science and the military, she deepens the book’s consideration of the central theme — the idea that scientific research can lead to, benefit from, and be defined by heroic, sometimes self-sacrificing actions in the same way as military service.
Should we think about scientists as soldiers on the front lines of wars with disease, environmental decline, and a deeper understanding of the universe? If so, shouldn't we (as a nation) be allocating resources toward this pursuit? Where does scientific research and discovery line up with other national priorities?
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