J. D. Bernal (1901-1971) lived up to his soubriquet ‘The Sage’. He was a polymath, a visionary and brilliant scientist, a pacifist and fervent Marxist. During the Second World War he was a pioneer of Operational Research and made the first objective analyses of bombing on cities. He also played a crucial role in planning the D-Day landings. After the war, he became an international ambassador for Marxism, science and peace, and was one of the few men familiar with Downing Street, the White House and the Kremlin. C. P. Snow said of him, ‘Bernal is, quite obviously and with no fuss about it, a great man.’
Faber Finds are reissuing his The Social Function of Science and the illustrated four volume edition of his Science in History.