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Synthetic Study of Man

Nature volume 134, pages 193195 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



TO the contemplative mind any considerable gathering of men of science drawn from a variety of countries affords ample food for thought; but when that gathering is composed of anthropologists, as was the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences which met in London on July 30-August 4, there seems to be a peculiar propriety in its international character. It affords a working model, as it were, of the process of coming to an understanding of an alien point of view and mode of thought, which, we are told, it is one of the aims of certain branches of anthropological studies and their application in practical affairs to attain. If the good-fellowship, which was such a conspicuous feature in this anthropological congress, affords any criterion, either the discipline is eminently successful in attaining this one of its objects, or the anthropologist is exceptionally fortunate in temperament. For it must be recorded that this first meeting of the newly constituted Congress was, from every point of view, scientific or social, one of the most successful of the scientific congresses that have been held in London in recent years. To have gathered together for a week's discussion more than a thousand members drawn from forty-two countries—so far afield as Japan, China and South America, from every corner of Europe, as well as from the remotest parts of the Empire—was in itself no small achievement.

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