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Social Relations of Science

Nature volume 143, page 550 (01 April 1939) | Download Citation



FOR many years past, the columns of NATURE have borne witness to the growing importance of science in everyday life, and the corollary that men of science should interest themselves actively in the social implications of their discoveries has been frequently urged. That they are not indifferent to the movement was apparent from the discussion on the subject in NATURE of April 23, 1938, and from the decision, taken by the General Committee of the British Association at the Cambridge meeting last summer, to establish a Division for the Social and International Relations of Science. The circumstances of the formation of the Division are stated in NATURE of August 27, 1938, p. 380. It was very appropriate that the first chairman of the new Division should be Sir Richard Gregory, whowas editor of NATURE when the subject was discussed in these columns, and it was equally appropriate that he should open the first public meeting of the Division, held in the University of Reading on March 28, when various aspects of the utilization and production of milk were described by half a dozen leading authorities. The highly controversial subject ofpasteurization received a considerable amount of attention, and rightly so, for it is with such problems, involving scientific, economic and even political issues, that the Division may be expected to deal. Indeed, one of the prime reasons for the existence of the Division, namely, the need, in controversial issues, for propaganda based on scientific facts rather than personal points of views was well exemplified by this first meeting. It was announced that further meetings of the Division are beingarranged to be held in London in May and in Manchester in June.

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