Science and a World Foundation


    ON several occasions, attention has been directed in NATURE to the important work undertaken by the Committee on Science and its Social Relations, set up by the International Council of Scientific Unions, and views have been expressed upon the desirability of establishing an organization for the study of the social relations of science (see Supplement to NATURE of April 23, 1938). Briefly, the function of the former is to survey the scientific work done in certain fields, with a view to the issue at intervals of a report, with bibliography, concerning the influence of science on human society and the reaction of scientific study to the social environment ; while the latter body would seek to advance knowledge on these matters by research and by the discussion and publication of papers, as well as in other ways. It is generally agreed that both bodies should be careful to avoid propaganda and endeavour to be strictly impartial in the exercise of their judgment. Scientific workers are rightly jealous of the high reputation they have earned for their purely objective approach to the questions they study, and it would be lamentable if any ill-considered action resulted in the devaluation of so precious a heritage.

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    Science and a World Foundation. Nature 142, 227–229 (1938).

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