Science Advances

J. B. S. Haldane

George Allen and Unwin: London, 1947.

PDF facsimile.

The majority of these essays have appeared in the Daily Worker, one in the New Statesman and Nation, one in Science and Society, while the final article was published in Nature. In so far as one theme runs through them, it is the growth of pure and applied science. I have described some old and new discoveries and inventions, and the way in which they are being, or could be, used for the benefit of humanity or otherwise. I anticipate two criticisms. I have sometimes repeated the same statement in several articles. This was inevitable, since they were written over a period of over four years, and also because the same facts are of importance in different contexts. And I shall be told that I have dragged in Marxism like King Charles's head. This is again inevitable if the writer thinks, as I do, that Marxism is the application of scientific method to the widest field so far achieved by man. If Marxism were taken for granted, or even if its general principles were widely understood in this country, such emphasis would be unnecessary. But the facts which I describe fit into a general framework, and Marxism is the best account of this framework which I know. If other writers on science can fit them into a better framework, by all means let them do so. But they are not isolated from one another, or from ordinary life, and it is a mistake to present them as if they were so. I must thank colleagues who have helped me with facts, and readers of the Daily Worker who have criticized the articles and suggested topics. For this book is definitely a social product rather than the efflorescence of my own mind.

October 1944