Social and International Relations of Science


    THE widespread interest in the social relations to science, which in Great Britain is witnessed, for example, by the founding of the new Nuffield College at Oxford, and of the National Institute of Economics and Social Research, London, and elsewhere by the institution last year of the Committee on Science and its Social Relations by the International Council of Scientific Unions, and which has since received striking manifestation at the Indianopolis meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has largely been stimulated by the growing anarchy in the international sphere, whether economic or political. The threat to freedom of thought inherent in the totalitarian States, the existence of which is indeed only possible through the application of scientific knowledge, provides one of the main stimulants. The profound concern engendered everywhere by the increasing scale on which national energies and resources are being devoted to preparations for warfare, even to the detriment of standards of living, however, provides another source of such interest, both in the ranks of scientific workers themselves and in the population generally.

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    Social and International Relations of Science. Nature 142, 310–311 (1938).

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