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The American State and Household Science

Nature volume 96, page 680 (17 February 1916) | Download Citation



THE application of science to national life and industry in the United States proceeds apace, and affords a very interesting spectacle in its variety of methods and experiments. Undoubtedly great progress is being made amidst a great deal of talk, and America bids fair to rectify itself in relation to science much more quickly than we can do even under the stupendous impact of war and all that it threatens to us. In this process of rectification the United States Government appears to be taking a discreet and effective part. A Bureau of Standards sounds more like Berlin than Washington, but the name is misleading if it suggests bureaucracy and punctilious standardisation. The circulars of the Bureau are, in fact, very careful and admirable scientific publications conveying a vast amount of extremely useful information, usually written in a human way and having behind them nothing in the shape of an act of legislature or compulsory standardisation. The Government gives a lead, it shows you something of which you may avail yourself; you may take it or leave it, but, at any rate, it is there. It is a calamity that we cannot say as much for our own country, where a Board of Trade hardly seems to understand what you mean when you ask it to embody a scientific element.

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