Science and Citizenship
Now, if we apply the four-fold sociological formulæ above indicated to the present and future phases of science, considered as a spiritual power, what inferences may we legitimately draw? The existing groups of science, whether or not organised in definite societies, are comparable, we have seen, to the various sects of the religious community. Now these numerous and varying sects, like their more archaic religious types, have their rivalries, jealousies, feuds and bickerings. The mathematicians, for instance, are apt to form an exclusive caste apart, holding no converse with groups which know not their particular shibboleths. Again, the spectacle might have been seen, at a recent meeting of the British Association, of rival biological factions warmly anathematising each other. A momentous and historic instance of scientific sectionalism is seen in a work now in progress, which is probably the largest co-operative enterprise yet undertaken by modern scientists. A few years ago the Royal Society convened in London a great gathering—a sort of Council of Trent—of scientific fathers, representing all the leading academies and societies of Europe and America. The purpose of this great gathering was to decide upon an authorised canon of the
and functional aspects. And every city has for the sociologist its corresponding problems of factual observation, of historical analysis, and of scientific interpretation. All these again, to be sure, assume their place as specialist researches within the larger problems of general sociology.