In 2006, I sent an email to the author of this book, Ann Finkbeiner, asking her who had been the original Jason.
She wrote back, informing me that there never had been a person named Jason.
The Jasons: The Secret History of Science’s Postwar Elite eBook: Ann Finkbeiner
Finkbeiner talks about book, The Jasons: The Secret History of Science’s Postwar Elite
Microsoft Research (Published on Sep 7, 2016)
Working in secrecy to solve highly classified problems for the Department of Defense, CIA, and NSA is an elite group of scientific advisors who provide the government with analyses on defense and arms control and they call themselves Jason. Named for the hero in Jason and the Argonauts, the group grew out of the Manhattan Project and counts as its members scientists such as Freeman Dyson and Murray Gell-Mann. Of the roughly one hundred Jasons over time, 43 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, eight have won MacArthur awards, one a Field’s Medal, and 11 have won Nobel Prizes. Its members have gathered every summer since 1960, working in absolute secrecy and with unparalleled freedom. The Jasons’ work poses vital questions: what role should the government play in scientific research? At what point is the inventor accountable for the hazards of the invention?