WHEN the President of the French Republic etered the main hall of the Sorbonne to take part in the opening of the 'Congres du Palais de la Dècouverte', many were struck by the civic simplicity of his appearance, contrasting strangely with that usually associated with assemblies in which the political heads of States take part. Even the accompanying sounds of the Marseillaise seemed merely to give an objective commentary on the political stuation: 'Contre nous de la tyrannie I'èandard sanglant est levè. . . .' The opening speeches of the Minister of Education, and of Jean Perrin, who acted as president of the Congress, echoed this anxiety. Both speakers affirmed their belief that the independent search for truth embodied in science is the best safeguard of civilization against threatening destruction. Jean Perrin went to the length of acclaiming science as the new supreme religion destined to reign over the happy future.