Museums and the State


THE relation of the State to the national museums, and of the latter to each other, discussed in NATURE for March 11, is a matter calling for very careful consideration at the present time. A Ministry of Learning and Research, such as is there suggested, would render very useful service if it could (1) see that the governing body of each institution was composed of persons duly qualified for their work; (2) define the scope of each institution, so as to diminish the risk of competition for desirable specimens, and to provide each with a definite piece of work for the benefit of the community; (3) provide each institution with a due proportion of financial assistance; and (4) arrange such a scale, of salaries as would ensure the appointment and retention of the brains best adapted for the purpose in view. At this point central control should cease, and each governing body be left to do its own work, with the assistance of its staff.

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HOYLE, W. Museums and the State. Nature 105, 69–70 (1920).

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