From the beginning to the end of these pages, whether we read of the wilful destruction of the products and productivity of the soil, the aerial destruction of wealth by the thousand million pounds’ worth, created by somebody’s labour, the embarrassing fecundity of modern technology resulting only in every conceivable form of sabotage, the anomalous position of the conscientious medical practitioner. The refusal of women to bring children into such a world, the development of the art of spreading bacterial infection as a new war technique, or the frank abandonment by modern political movements of the hope of social progress that science renders possible – from the beginning to the end of these pages the reader will find elegant examples of the sort of ruling mentality now dominating the world.
Bitter, and justifiably so, as many of the critics of science are, surely nothing bitterer could be said of it than this, that its abundance has but enthroned the wastrel. Not is the solution exactly what one of the contributors rather naively suggests, that science should look for a new master. The solution is for the public to acknowledge its real master, and, for its own safety, insist on being ruled not by the reflection of a reflection, but direct by those who are concerned with the creation of its weather rather than of its debts. It should require that its universities and learned societies should no longer evade their responsibilities and hide under the guise of false humility as the hired servants of the world their work has made possible, but do that for which they are supposed in cultured release from routine occupations, and speak the truth though the heavens fall.