Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/134

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126
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

been grasped by too few in England; our rivals in Germany and America know it well, and the first aim of the laboratory is to bring its truth home to all, to assist in promoting a union which is certainly necessary if England is to retain her supremacy in trade and in manu- facture, to make the forces of science available for the nation, to break down by every possible means the barrier between theory and practice, and to point out plainly the plan which must be followed, unless we are prepared to see our rivals take our place.

"Germany," an American writer,* who has recently made a study of the subject, has said, "is rapidly moving towards industrial supremacy in Europe. One of her most potent factors in this notable advance is the perfected alliance between science and commerce existing in Ger- many. Science has come to be regarded there as a commercial factor. If England is losing her supremacy in manufactures and in commerce, as many claim, it is because of English conservatism and the failure to utilize to the fullest extent the lessons taught by science, while Ger- many, once the country of dreamers and theorists, has now become intensely practical. Science there no longer seeks court and cloister, but is in open alliance with commerce and industry." It is our aim to promote this alliancg in England, and for this purpose her National Physical Laboratory has been founded.

It is hardly necessary to quote chapter and verse for the assertion that the close connection between science and industry has had a predominant effect on German trade. If authority is wanted I would refer to the history of the anilin dye manufacture, or to take a more recent case, to the artificial indigo industry in which the success of the Badische Company has recently been so marked. The factory at Ludwigshaven started thirty-five years ago with thirty men. It now employs over 6,000, and has on its staff 148 trained scientific chemists. And now when it is perhaps too late the Indian planters are calling in scientific aid and the Indian government is giving some £3,500 a year to investigation.

As Professor Armstrong, in a recent letter to the 'Times,' says: "The truly serious side of the matter, however, is not the prospective loss of the entire indigo industry so much as the fact that an achieve- ment such as that of the Badische Company seems past praying for here."

Or, to take another instance, scientific visitors to the Paris Exhibi- tion last year must have been struck by the German exhibit of apparatus. German instrument makers combined to produce a joint exhibit; a strong committee was formed. Under the skilful editor- ship of Dr. Lindeck of the Eeichsanstalt a catalogue was compiled, in which by a judicious arrangement of cross references it was easily

  • Professor H. S. Carhart.