Science and Government


No one will contest the principle that it is in every way desirable that the State should support liberally such kinds of scientific work as are beyond the means of private institutions or individuals. It is, for example, a scandal that the relatively small sum is not forthcoming which would bring our Ordnance Survey into touch with modern geodesy; but the importance of such matters will not be appreciated until the literary atmosphere in which our statemen and officials are reared is penetrated by a scientific, way of thinking. Nor is there at present any widely spread educated opinion which might react on the Government. A member of the House of Commons stated in his place that the sooner coal is exhausted the better, as electricity will do its work. One of our important journals thinks it plausible that the Jamaica earthquake should have been predicted in Europe by the “weather plant,” and that telegony may have some bearing on marriage with a deceased wife's sister.

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