ABSTRACT

the publicity attending the advances in science during the last five years have made unnecessary any defence of research. Radar, that guides homing planes, directs guns, locates enemy aircraft and may all but replace the sight of blind men; penicillin, the inexplicable, antibiotic 129offspring of a fungus that has already made commonplace, cures that would have been miracles five years ago; D.D.T., which after concealing its existence modestly for half a century within the pages of scientific reference books, broke forth to free armies of the plague of lice and, at its first essay, a city from the scourge of typhus; these are the advertisements of scientific research, more potent than neon lights, high-pressure salesmanship or the staid pens of defensive scientists. The whole world is aware of the forces that may be released by research. It has become a magic word, the ‘open sesame’ of the new age. Ten years ago Sir Henry Tizard said: 1 “Everyone believes in scientific research without knowing quite what it means. Thirty years ago a Member of Parliament advocating the need for scientific research would as likely as not have emptied the House; to-day, I should be inclined to say of the House of Commons that it is not sufficiently critical of expenditure on research, because its faith is greater than its understanding.” If that was true ten years ago, how much more so to-day.