Chatto and Windus: London, 1927.
The essays collected in this book have mostly, but not all, appeared in print. In Europe they have appeared in the Rationalist Annual, the Bermondsey Book, the Nation, the Daily Mail, the World To-Day, the Manchester Guardian, the Graphic, the Weekly Dispatch, Discovery, Modern Science, and the Haagsche Maandblad. In America they have been published by Harper's Magazine, the Forum, the Century Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and the New Republic. They have been written in the intervals of research work and teaching, to a large extent in railway trains. Many scientific workers believe that they should confine their publications to learned journals. I think, however, that the public has a right to know what is going on inside the laboratories, for some of which it pays. And it seems to me vitally important that the scientific point of view should be applied, so far as is possible, to politics and religion. In such spheres the scientific man cannot, of course, speak with the same authority as when he is describing the results of research; and in so far as he is scientific he must try to suppress such of his own views as have no more scientific backing than those of the man in the street.
Some of these essays are on medical topics. As I do not hold a medical degree I can speak more freely than a qualified physician. But if a doctor cannot answer questions with regard to individual cases which he has not examined, an unqualified person is still less able to do so. I have rarely written on a medical subject without receiving letters from would-be patients. It is obvious that I cannot answer such communications. The essays in the first part of this book deal mainly with matters of fact. Those which follow are more speculative. In scientific work the imagination must work in harness. But there is no reason why it should not play with the fruits of such work, and it is perhaps only by so doing that one can realize the possibilities which research work is opening up. In the past these results have always taken the public and the politicians completely by surprise. The present disturbed condition of humanity is largely the result of this unpreparedness. If the experience is not to be repeated on a still greater scale it is urgent that the average man should attempt to realize what is happening to-day in the laboratories.
|On Being the Right Size||18|
|Man as a Sea Beast||57|
|Food Control in Insect Societies||64|
|Water Poisoning and Salt Poisoning||76|
|The Fight with Tuberculosis||96|
|The Time Factor in Medicine||103|
|On being one’s own Rabbit||107|
|What Use is Astronomy?||120|
|Kant and Scientific Thought||124|
|Thomas Henry Huxley||130|
|The Future of Biology||139|
|Nationality and Research||154|
|Scientific Research for Amateurs||162|
|Should Scientific Research be Rewarded?||176|
|Science and Politics||182|
|Eugenics and Social Reform||190|
|When I am Dead||204|
|The Duty of Doubt||211|
|Science and Theology as Art Forms||225|
|Some Enemies of Science||249|
|The Last Judgment||287|