Science and Social Problems

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THE first meeting in London of the British Association's new Division for the Social and International Relations of Science was held in the Eoyal Institution on May 25. Sir Richard Gregory presided and in his introductory remarks sketched the genesis and adumbrated the programme of the new movement. Co-operative work in the special sciences was carried out for sixteen years by the International Association of Academies, and then by the International Council of Scientific Unions, which was formed during the Great War and is still active. Two years ago, on the initiative of the Royal Academy of Amsterdam, an entirely new outlook was adopted by including within the scope of the Council the social significance of the applications of science, thus endorsing the conviction of many that scientific workers can no longer remain indifferent to the social consequences of their discoveries. No definite programme of work has yet been formulated, but the essential idea is to apply the scientific method of inquiry to problems arising from the interactions of natural science and society. The British Association, acting in co-operation with its sister association in America, and through its new Division, is well adapted to promote such inquiries, and with this object in view it is arranging to hold meetings not only at the time of the annual meeting of the Association but also at other times and places as occasion may arise.

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T., E. Science and Social Problems. Nature 143, 947–948 (1939) doi:10.1038/143947a0

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