The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs : America'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 (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) mixes military officers with sneaker-wearing scientists, seeking paradigm-shifting ideas in varied fields--from energy, robotics, and rockets to doctorless operating rooms, driverless cars, and planes that can fly halfway around the world in just a few hours. Michael Belfiore was given unprecedented access to write this first-ever popular account of DARPA. "The Department of Mad Scientists" contains material that has barely been reported in the general media--in fact, only 2 percent of Americans know much of anything about the agency. But as this fascinating read demonstrates, DARPA isn't so much frightening as it is inspiring--it is our future.