Author Ann Finkbeiner examines the history and activities of JASON. The JASON Defense Advisory Group is a group of university scientists, mostly physicists, who gather every summer to work on specific problems for the government. These problems are often military, and often classified. The group began in 1960, and counted Manhattan Project alums as some of its early members. Now, they are responsible for such innovations as the electronic battlefield, the laser guide star, a three-dimensional mapping system of the ocean's temperatures, which is used for oceanography studies and to chart global warming, and Star Wars (or Startegic Defense Initiative), the attempt to find a countermeasure for hostile ICBMs. The group is completely independent in its decision-making and in the choosing of its members, though it is funded largely by government organizations.