50 Years Ago

Our society is crimogenic, in that our social structure produces most crime, which must therefore be regarded as one “normal” response to social stimuli. For an adequate understanding of its causation, and of appropriate remedial action, we must therefore rely primarily on sociology, with the assistance of psychology ... The author makes it clear that most crime is confined to the younger age groups, is predominantly against property and not too serious, and is amenable to containment and reduction by effective community action. His prescription mainly emphasizes the desirability of a restructuring and fuller integration of the educational service in the widest sense, embracing the schools, youth service and the corrective institutions for the young.

From Nature 21 October 1967

100 Years Ago

I have never seen the following phenomenon described; perhaps a physiologist can give the explanation. If the eye is fixed on a stream of water for twenty or thirty seconds, and is then turned on to a fixed object, the part of the field of view that had previously been occupied by the stream appears to move in a contrary direction to that in which the water had been moving; the apparent motion slows down rapidly and ceases in from five to ten seconds. This is seen not only with lateral motion, but also with up-and-down motion, as when a stream is looked down on from a bridge. The phenomenon is perhaps best seen with running water, but it may be observed with other bodies in motion—a passing train, for instance. The effect is very curious, as only part of the field of view appears to move.

From Nature 18 October 1917