Early education and exposure to field; attends Duke University; graduate work at California Institute of Technology; Caltech environment; work with Smythe; develops interest in spectroscopy. Accepts position at Bell Laboratories; shift from research to engineering; attempts to pursuade Bell Labs to become involved in microwave spectroscopy. Impact of war on development of spectroscopy and physics in general. Interest in astronomy. Accepts I. I. Rabi's job offer at Columbia; work conditions at Columbia versus Bell Labs. Forms advisory committee on millimeter waves; on Navy committee for infrared radiation; feelings about committee work. Work on service advisory committees prior to position as director of research at the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA). Involvement in Office of Naval Research (ONR) committees on millimeter waves and infrared radiation; purpose and outcome of work, including development of maser concept; participation in non-service advisory committees; work at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Acceptance of IDA position; circumstances and considerations involved; views on direction of IDA. Involvement in establishing JASON?establishing clearances, convincing Pentagon. JASON organizational structure; selection of projects and members; extent of Townes' own involvement in projects; impact of JASON on government advising and social policy.