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Science in the Modern State

Nature volume 155, pages 8687 (20 January 1945) | Download Citation



MR. H. S. MORRISON'S L. T. Hobhouse Memorial Trust Lecture, which was read on his behalf by the Provost of University College, London, at Cambridge on May 9, 1944, has now been published under the title "Science and Administration in Modern Government" (London: Oxford University Press. Pp. 20. 2s. net). The lecture is concerned mainly with the part which science can and must play in our affairs after the War if we are to survive and progress as a community, and more especially with social research or social engineering. Mr. Morrison emphasized first the speed of scientific development at the present time and the scale upon which much of it proceeds. War-time experience seems to have established that there is no reason in the nature of things why Britain, admittedly a leader in fundamental research, should be any less good in the sphere of development and application; secondly, progress in the theoretical and practical solution of specific problems can be incredibly quick when 'all the brakes are off', and s the object is not to serve the status quo but to surpass it as rapidly and as far as possible; and thirdly, that science as a method can be applied to almost any problem, however unlikely, and almost any material, however apparently intractable.

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