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    Naturevolume 119pages327331 (1927) | Download Citation



    DURING the past few days, considerable prominence has been given in the Press to the appeal issued by the National Union of Scientific Workers to all men and women in Great Britain qualified in science to state their views on the possibility and desirability of building up a body which can claim to be fully representative of their varied interests. They are not asked to join the existing organisation, although they are being given an opportunity of stating if they believe that around the existing nucleus such a body can be built up. The appeal is issued over the signatures of eminent scientific workers, leaders in industry, and public men of differing political views. In addition to the principal signatories, a hundred men and women, representative of every branch of science and nearly every scientific institution in Great Britain, are giving their support to the movement. Such support should go far to remove some of the prejudices which have arisen against this body, mainly due to the title which was chosen by its founders. The words “National Union” are sufficient to arouse in some minds the fear that members of such a body must necessarily contemplate the ultimate use of the strike weapon in enforcing their demands. It is well, therefore, that it is definitely stated in the appeal that recourse to this method of redressing the grievances of scientific workers would be ineffective and absurd. What the society does hope to do, however, if it becomes fully representative, is to mould public opinion to bring about a greater appreciation of potentialities of science and thereby create a greater demand for scientific services, and also to instil the knowledge that this demand can only be met adequately by making the conditions of service sufficiently attractive to bring to the pursuit of science the highest intellectual types in Great Britain. Above all, it aims at producing in scientific workers themselves a consciousness of their functions as citizens, to the end that they will endeavour to take a more active part in the control and the direction of the affairs of a type of civilisation for the evolution of which science is chiefly responsible.

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