The Scientific Basis of Modern Life


    THERE are few more distressing tokens of defective leadership than are to be found in the comparative failure of the Disarmament Conference and the obstacles with which the Conference has been continually beset. It is a significant piece of evidence of our incapacity to order our affairs in accordance with the demands of the new age—the machine power age—and to exercise the restraints inevitable in view of the immense powers now placed within our hands. It is true that the Disarmament Conference demanded a high order of political capacity—a breadth of vision, a length of foresight, a degree of detachment from our own interests, a sense of responsibility, a steadfastness of purpose, a sweep of imagination and a power of dealing with technical factors which are not easily acquired. Such qualities are largely the result of adequate training, and their absence at the Disarmament Conference is due less to the imperiousness of narrow nationalism than to our defective educational systems which fail to cultivate them, and on the contrary, often do more to suppress creativeness than to awaken it.

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    The Scientific Basis of Modern Life. Nature 134, 41–43 (1934).

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