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Social and Political Implications of Science

Nature volume 143, page 551 (01 April 1939) | Download Citation



CONTINUOUS survey and co-ordination of teaching and research work of the University in the natural and social sciences in terms of its relation to the political and social problems of the day—such was the task undertaken in 1933 by a group of faculty members of the University of Wisconsin. They established an organization known as the “Science Inquiry” which has had the effect of concentrating the attention of much of the University staff on scientific problems facing the State and the nation. A guiding principle has been that attacks upon such problems should be comprehensive rather than departmental so that instead of fragmentary findings “there may emerge at least the beginnings of integrated programmeswith unproved perspective and balance and with the application of these problems to State needs kept to the front”. Among its publications are bulletins on the regional approach to conservation of natural resources, on transportation, and on the fight against crime; also (in preparation) international relations, public utility and power regulations, technological unemployment, communications, and consumption from the points of view of the producer and consumer. It is claimed on behalf of “Science Inquiry” that it has “evolved a group consciousness on the part of the faculty of common human problems which already is having a notable influence on the direction and emphasis of individual activities in teaching aswell as research at the University”.

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