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The Money Value of a Scientist

Condensed from The World's Work (September, '26)

French Strother

ICHAEL FARADAY, the English

M Scientist, in 1831 rotated a copper

core between the ends of a magnet, and proved that this simple operation induced an electric current that flowed through a wire attached to the core. To the scientists of the world, this was a precious new truth of nature. To them, and to Faraday himself, who was a devoutly religious man, it was another revelation to man of the divine principles that govern the universe.

Twenty-five billion dollars of capital are now invested in Faraday's simple experiment, for it made possible the entire electrical industry of the world. Working with this new bit of "mere truth," Faraday later invented the dynamo, and without the dynamo there would be no electric lights, no electric railways, no electrically driven machinery. Uncounted other billions are invested in other industries that would be impossible without the dynamo-the gasoline-driven automobile, for example, which requires a little dynamo to keep charged the batteries that ignite the gas in the cylinders.

Herbert Hoover has recently said that the entire banking fraternity does not perform the service to mankind in a year that Faraday, long since dead, performs every day, through that one experiment, for Faraday has not only given profitable continuons employment to more money than the United States spent in the war, and to three times as many men as we sent to France, but he has also placed at the service of man 20 million horsepower of continuous and tireless energy.

But Faraday was not interested in money; he was interested in truth. His whole life was spent as a pensioner upon the wise bounty of the British Government, which was far

seeing enough to know that the small sum spent upon his scientific genius would be returned to the nation ten thousandfold.

After Faraday, the seeker after truth for its own sake, came the inventors, who used the truth he found as the basis of their inventions-Siemens, Gramme, Edison, and the rest, with their improved dynamos, central stations, and other practical devices for the use of electricity in industry. After the great inventions had been put on the market, there followed a host of industrial researches into means for improving them.

This distinction between pure science and the inventions that follow upon pure science, and the technical research that follows upon invention, needs to be kept clearly in mind. With out invention, there is nothing for technical research to do. Without pure science, there is no basis for invention.

Industry, then, as we know it today, rests absolutely upon the work of dreamers like Faraday and Galileo. Curiously enough, many business men who realize clearly that this is true, nevertheless have the idea that industry can now go on expanding indefinitely without further development of pure science. They think we already know enough about the laws of nature to keep the inventors and industries going until the end of time. No idea could be more erroneous.

Scarcely an important industry exists today that is not being held back from greater profits by the lack of new knowledge in pure science. Builders of steam engines, for example, are anxious to use extremely high pressures that are now impossible, but they cannot do so until scientists in astronomical observatories finish their study of the origin of the craters on

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thority on stained glass windows; the passion of a professor of medicine is sketching; an eminent jurist combines travel and geology as his forms of recreation; the Governor of Fiji fills his free time with art photography; Sir Robert Hart softens the rigors of official life in the Orient by enthusiastic acquisition of a knowledge of Chinese embroideries and lacquers; Tyndall becomes a mountain climber; a great financier finds music the solace of his idle hours.

How can our people be helped to sweeten their days and better their lives by the acquisition of hobbies? The schools would find it difficult to accomplish the task unaided, for a hobby is like a disease, most readily acquired by contact with one already infected. Fortunately some teachers ride hobbies of their own, and others pursue their specialties with such "zeal and delight" that they can qualify as inspirers to hobby riding as they follow their vocations. The community has its amateur enthusiasts, sufficiently unprofessional to give courage to the timid, who must be impressed into the service, invited to speak in the schools, urged to form clubs of young people to exchange stamps, or collect rocks, or practice decorative book binding, or press weeds, or study the constellations, or make marionettes, or design book plates, or hunt for Indian remains, or learn the spider webs, or study rug patterns, or make paintings of the eggs of birds.

These potential teachers of our illequipped heirs of leisure are all about us. The private secretary who culti vates dahlias; the stenographer who makes fairy gardens in a flower pot; the banker who keeps bees in his attic; the minister who corrects his social theories hy observations on his glasscovered hill of ants; the salesman who raises goldfish in the back parlor and dreams of developing a new type of fantail to display at the fish show; the tanner who uses his daily walk to the tannery as his opportunity to learn the songs of the birds in every

season; the lumberman who hunts with a camera; the lawyer who collects carvings of elephants in every ma terial and from every quarter of the globe: these are the men and women who have priceless gifts to give the children in our schools. No one in the world is so generous with his enthusi. asm as the amateur. You have to pay men to talk about their vocations, but it is hard to prevent them from talking about their hobbies.

Think of our allowing the artists sole suzerainty in the field of art, when each one of us should be a joy. ous sketcher of the changing face of nature. Why should only the musically trained be expected to sing when every man's child of us can get pleasure out of near-harmonies and a sense of rhythm? Why should wood carving be confined to the specialists, when any hand can use a tool, and every human being feels joy in seeing a purposed shape emerge from a block of wood?

The hope of the physical directors in some of our colleges is to train young men who will no longer get their exercise and their fun sitting on the bleachers, but will find rowing, cross country runs, quoits, squash and volley ball, horseback riding, golf, tennis, swimming, skating, skiing, adapted to undergraduate needs and suitable to carry on into middle age as some of the accessory joys of life.

We can judge whether we are a truly civilized nation, recognizing fundamental values in life and satisfying other needs than the purely material, when we are as eager as the British to know not only how our distinguished men work but how they play; when our schools place training for hobbies at least on a par with training for vocations; and when the achievement of the amateur becomes of moment to each of us, since we all desire a standing in that unexacting but joy-inducing fellowship of free explorers in a world of wonders and delights.

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The Money Value of a Scientist

Condensed from The World's Work (September, '26)

French Strother

ICHAEL FARADAY, the English

M scientist, in 1831 rotated a copper

core between the ends of a magnet, and proved that this simple operation induced an electric current that flowed through a wire attached to the core. To the scientists of the world, this was a precious new truth of nature. To them, and to Faraday himself, who was a devoutly religious man, it was another revelation to man of the divine principles that govern the universe.

Twenty-five billion dollars of capital are now invested in Faraday's simple experiment, for it made possible the entire electrical industry of the world. Working with this new bit of "mere truth," Faraday later invented the dynamo, and without the dynamo there would be no electric lights, no electric railways, no electrically driven machinery. Uncounted other billions are invested in other industries that would be impossible without the dynamo-the gasoline-driven automobile, for example, which requires a little dynamo to keep charged the batteries that ignite the gas in the cylinders.

Herbert Hoover has recently said that the entire banking fraternity does not perform the service to mankind in a year that Faraday, long since dead, performs every day, through that one experiment, for Faraday has not only given profitable continuons employment to more money than the United States spent in the war, and to three times as many men as we sent to France, but he has also placed at the service of man 20 million horsepower of continuous and tireless energy.

But Faraday was not interested in money; he was interested in truth. His whole life was spent as a pensioner upon the wise bounty of the British Government, which was far

seeing enough to know that the small sum spent upon his scientific genius would be returned to the nation ten thousandfold.

After Faraday, the seeker after truth for its own sake, came the inventors, who used the truth he found as the basis of their inventions-Siemens, Gramme, Edison, and the rest, with their improved dynamos, central stations, and other practical devices for the use of electricity in industry. After the great inventions had been put on the market, there followed a host of industrial researches into means for improving them.

This distinction between pure science and the inventions that follow upon pure science, and the technical research that follows upon invention, needs to be kept clearly in mind. With out invention, there is nothing for technical research to do. Without pure science, there is no basis for invention.

Industry, then, as we know it today, rests absolutely upon the work of dreamers like Faraday and Galileo. Curiously enough, many business men who realize clearly that this is true, nevertheless have the idea that industry can now go on expanding indefinitely without further development of pure science. They think we already know enough about the laws of nature to keep the inventors and industries going until the end of time. No idea could be more erroneous.

Scarcely an important industry exists today that is not being held back from greater profits by the lack of new knowledge in pure science. Builders of steam engines, for example, are anxious to use extremely high pressures that are now impossible, but they cannot do so until scientists in astronomical observatories finish their study of the origin of the craters on

the moon, which, when complete, promise so to extend our knowledge of the laws of viscous movement-including the effect of extremely high pressures that such knowledge, applied to steam engineering, will make these new engines possible. The telephone industry, as another example, alone spends nine million dollars a year on technical research, but it, too, is crying aloud for more work in pare science research, without which its vast technical labors cannot be continued.

The universities do most to foster pure science the discovery of the general laws of nature, as distinguished from the practical application of those laws. The government supports a vast deal of scientific research, and the industries support some--although in both cases the research is largely technical rather than broadly scientific. Some means must be found to select those men in science who are endowed with genius, to lighten their routine duties, provide them with the apparatus they need, and allow them to concentrate their work upon the discovery of new laws.

has been

Such an organization called into being. The National Academy of Science, organized by President Lincoln, and comprising the most distinguished scientists of America, is a government-fostered honor society, membership in which is the highest recognition available in America to the worker in science. This body, at its meeting last year, formed a special board of trustees, to collect and administer a national fund for the support of research in pure science. Herbert Hoover is chairman, and the members include Elihu Root, Andrew W. Mellon, Charles E. Hughes, John W. Davis, Edward M. House, Julius Rosenwald, Owen D. Young, Felix Warburg, and a dozen of our most distinguished scientists.

This committee is raising a fund of twenty million dollars. Industry is asked to supply it. No corporation can afford not to contribute, for no corporation is so small or so large that it will not surely receive benefits from

the discoveries that will be hastened by this means.

The most amazing benefits to industry have often come from the most "impractical" scientific investigations. Réaumur spent a lifetime studying the habits of wasps. Surely nothing could be deemed less useful than such a study as that. But he learned from it the secret of the manufacture of the wasp's nest, that piece of light but tough paper in which he makes his home. Réaumur discovered that the wasp makes this paper by chewing up pieces of wood and other bits of vege table matter. Inventors, following up his discovery, produced paper from wood-pulp, so that the entire newspaper, magazine, and book industry (except for a few de luxe books) today depends for its supply of paper upon Réaumur's "queer" interest in wasps.

Dr. Heyl, of the Bureau of Standards, is redetermining "the constant of gravitation," with the purpose of increasing its precision tenfold-a purely scientific undertaking. But when he is through, it will be possible with much more accuracy to determine the time and height of tides in all the ports of the world, years in advance, to the enormous practical advantage of everybody engaged in shipping.

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Higher mathematics have made possible most of our industries-the kind of mathematics that is commonly described as "of no earthly use." But without exactly that sort of mathemathics, the insurance business would be impossible, for the safety of your insurance rests absolutely upon the mathematical determination square root of minus one, which is a purely imaginary quantity, but without which it is impossible for insurance companies to compute hazards and rates. Abstruse mathematics underlies the design of all machines, bridges, and electrical equipment. Rob any engineer or chemist of his logarithms, tables of permutations, Fourier series, and other mathematical "moonshine," and you would stop the progress of the world dead in its tracks.

How Wars Will Come to An End

Condensed from The Forum (August, '25)

Alfred Nobel

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NOBEL: My heart is heavy. Today I talked with some gentlemen of the French war office on high explosives. You are aware of my plans and ideals. While working to improve the fabrication of dynamite I have always had in mind the peace of the world. My hope was that the terrible effects of dynamite would keep men from war, but now I see to my utter dismay that my life work amounts to nothing. Everywhere inventors are bent on the adaptation of high explosives to the aims of mutual destruction. Everywhere the spirit of imperialism is rampant. High explosives will not deter men from waging war. As a matter of fact, the number of victims in future wars will be greater, and the

tax payers will have an even larger burden. Nobody will profit by my invention except manufacturers of war materials, some generals, admirals, and diplomats.

Mr. S-B: It seems to me that you are too pessimistic. You have been perfecting high explosives in the hope that you could deter mankind from war. That's sound logic. Why not persevere?

NOBEL: Suppose future generations perfect aerial navigation so 38 to be able to steer the course of an airship and throw from it hundred weights of explosives one hundred times as destructive as dynamite. What will be the result? Great havoc will be wrought, and they will kill thousands of innocent women and children. But they won't deter nations from fighting. A ton of dynamite thrown from an airship on Versailles may tear an ugly hole in the lawns of the great park without doing any harm to Paris. The Parisians will continue to loaf on their boulevards, while making fun of airships and of dynamite. No, my good friend, the action of high explosives is too much limited by space to be efficacious.

Mr. S-B: But suppose you invent a rifle which inflicts only death or dangerous wounds?

NOBEL: There are two ways of making a rifle wound in most cases deadly. Either poison it or make it much heavier than the modern rifle bullet. Quite recently I mentioned the subject to a British officer, and I asked him about the moral effects of such an invention on the soldiers. "If war means certain death," said he, "the soldiers may say: Give us at least the right to vote 'No.' Possibly also they may suggest that the matter should be fought out by the gentlemen

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