The Department of Mad Scientists

  • by Michael Belfiore
  • Narrated by Michael Belfiore
  • 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first-ever inside look at DARPA - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - the maverick and controversial group whose futuristic work has had amazing civilian and military applications, from the Internet to GPS to driverless carsAmerica's greatest idea factory isn't Bell Labs, Silicon Valley, or MIT's Media Lab. It's the secretive, Pentagon-led agency known as DARPA. Founded by Eisenhower in response to Sputnik and the Soviet space program, DARPA mixes military officers with sneaker-wearing scientists, seeking paradigm-shifting ideas in varied fields - from energy, robotics, and rockets to peopleless operating rooms, driverless cars, and planes that can fly halfway around the world in just hours. DARPA gave birth to the Internet, GPS, and mind-controlled robotic arms. Its geniuses define future technology for the military and the rest of us.Michael Belfiore was given unprecedented access to write this first-ever popular account of DARPA. Visiting research sites across the country, he watched scientists in action and talked to the creative, fearlessly ambitious visionaries working for and with DARPA. Much of DARPA's work is classified, and this book is full of material that has barely been reported in the general media. In fact, DARPA estimates that only 2 percent of Americans know much of anything about the agency. This fascinating read demonstrates that DARPA isn't so much frightening as it is inspiring - it is our future.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Outstanding!

This is an outstanding book on the nature and past projects of DARPA. Thankfully it goes far beyond the tired "DARPA created the Internet" and spends the bulk of its time on much more interesting and more recent projects.
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- Roger Smith

government doing it right!

Hi energy story about the genesis and activities of DARPA. Just shows you how effective an organization can be when the people involved are so very interested in finding creative ways to solve problems and to seize opportunities.
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- Andy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-23-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio