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The Future of Science


A CONSPICUOUS feature in any such review is bound to be the realisation of the accelerated pace at which development proceeds once the science has advanced well beyond its nursing stage. The pace of these developments is disturbing only because man is ethically unprepared for the bounty which engineering science has brought him. The world has been made practically instant in its interchange of thought, and international co-operation and brotherhood has become much more than a dream, were man fit for the tremendous moral responsibility which the new gifts and potentialities of life entail. Due to the slow evolution of morals, he has, however, not yet learnt to command himself, to relinquish old habits of thought, sovereignty, independence, which are inconsistent with the command of Nature now put into his hands. If the future is uncertain, at least those whose labours have brought such riches to man may be concerned but not despondent. They cannot but believe with Sir Alfred Ewing that the creative ingenuity which has brought these gifts will yet stir man to achieve in the future the better distribution of leisure and labour and the fruits of labour, which are essential to the continued enjoyment of his new powers. So we find the engineer man of science of the present century voicing the ideals of the great biologist of two or three decades ago.

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The Future of Science. Nature 130, 337–338 (1932).

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