America and German Science


    WE have already, on more than one occasion, directed attention to the effect exerted by the war on American opinion concerning German science and on the marked change it has brought about in the attitude of American men of science towards their German confrères. The change is the more remarkable in that it is contrary to what might have been anticipated from the leaven of Teutonism which exists in the United States, and from the possible influence of German university-trained men on American education and on American technology. It is well known that the German Government confidently counted upon this element to restrain America from participating in the world-wide struggle upon which it had embarked. As usual, it miscalculated. The “hyphenated” American, who had thrown in his lot with his adopted country, and learned to know and to appreciate its institutions and its ideals, had, with comparatively few exceptions, no real sympathy with Germany's unscrupulous designs to dominate the world and to impose its “Kultur” upon mankind. Where it was well with him, there was his country. Of course, there were traitors, for the most part controlled and instigated from Berlin, but, looking back upon the past, it is remarkable how small their influence was in modifying American opinion, or in thwarting American action.

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    America and German Science . Nature 102, 446–447 (1919).

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