Letter | Published:

Germany's Aims and Methods

Nature volume 96, page 650 (10 February 1916) | Download Citation



THOSE of us whose educational experience has taught us to see behind the scenes of English official life in scientific matters for the last two or three decades will be prepared to endorse the scathing indictment brought against English officialdom by Sir William Ramsay in his article in NATURE of January 27, on “Germany's Aims and Methods”. My own experience, extending over eighteen years as the senior science master of Wellington College, led me to form conclusions which were put forward in the 'eighties and the 'nineties through the editorial courtesy of NATURE, and are therefore easily accessible. To give pointed illustration of this, I may quote a remark made more than twenty years ago to me in a letter from, a professor at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, where cadets were trained for the artillery, and (prospectively) for the Royal, Engineers. He spoke with just indignation of science being treated as the “fifth wheel of the coach”. Germany has made it the first wheel of her coach, and has startled the British public by the discovery that the Germans seem to be very clever people, as the scales have fallen from unwilling eyes, and the academical nose has learned that experimental chemistry and research are something more than “Stinks”.

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  1. Bishop's Stortford, January 31.

    • A. IRVING


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