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Polish Science and Learning

Nature volume 150, page 117 (25 July 1942) | Download Citation



ATROCITY follows atrocity so rapidly on the continent of Europe that public conscience is only momentarily aroused by any fresh crime made in the name of the Nazi 'New Order' in Europe. The Polish nation has been the special object of German fury, and Polish scholars and men of science in exile feel it is their duty to remind others of what is at stake. Polish Science and Learning, which resembles Nauka Polska (Polish Science) that recorded during 1919-39 the trends and progress of general and natural science, has been founded by a group of Polish savants now working in Great Britain and representing seventeen universities, academies and research institutes. Its object is to record the continuation of their researches as well as to direct attention to events in their unhappy country, where all universities and colleges and indeed all educational establishments above primary schools have been closed. Of the hundreds of periodicals covering all branches of pure and applied science, not one is left. Practically the whole of the rich Polish literature is denied to the nation to-day. In 1940 the Germans issued a 49-page list of books banned from all libraries in Poland. It included the names of 1,500 authors and the number of works cited was about five thousand. Meanwhile, Polish university life is being maintained in Britain and the United States. Many professors and lecturers are carrying on researches at British universities and institutions, and an imposing list of publications has already resulted. In addition, a complete Polish Medical School was established at Edinburgh in 1941. Also, an autonomous Polish Institute of Science and Learning has been set up in New York to act as a publication centre and to arrange courses of lectures and discussions. There is thus a continuity of Polish scientific work, and a body of savants is ready to resume duties at home when their land is liberated.

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