50 & 100 Years Ago

    50 Years Ago

    The emphasis on eugenics as the point of application of molecular biology overlooks the most immediate prospects for the understanding and then control of human development. To dramatize the antinomy, I propose the term 'euphenics' as the counterpart of 'eugenics' in the same sense that 'phenotype' is opposed to 'genotype' ... Man's control of his own development, 'euphenics', transmutes the means, and also the ends of eugenics, as have all the precedent cultural revolutions that have shaped the species: language, agriculture, political organization, the physical technologies.

    From Nature 4 May 1963

    100 Years Ago

    Practical men are at length beginning to realise that the utilisation of the store of potential energy in coal by more rational methods than have hitherto prevailed is a problem that has to be grappled with seriously if our supremacy in the chief manufactured products of the world is to be maintained ... Enormous economies might be effected if more scientific—that is, more common-sense—methods were employed in the consumption of coal ... It has been calculated that our annual consumption of coal is from 143 to 168 million tons per annum, of which from 30 to 36 million tons are used for domestic purposes. Of this huge amount it is estimated that from 40 to 60 million tons are practically wasted ... The subject, indeed, is admittedly of national importance, but the fear is that this country will only waken up to the full significance of that fact when the pinch of necessity has tightened to a real grip—so tight, indeed, that it will be too late to shake it off.

    From Nature 1 May 1913

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    50 & 100 Years Ago. Nature 497, 194 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/497194a

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