Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/222

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then it is the duty of the university not only to teach known principles and methods, but to advance knowledge and methods by research.

It is futile to say that it is sufficient to teach and to utilize known methods for freeing peoples from difficulties, for the mere statement of such an attitude implies that an obligation exists to extend known methods or invent new ones in the hope of overcoming difficulties, acknowledged to be at present without remedy. The ethical force of this statement can not be denied. To teach a subject implies the attempt to diffuse the available knowledge of that particular subject matter among a number of people for their good as well as for the good of the community in which they live and work; equally true it is that such an attempt to teach available knowledge imposes upon the teacher the obligation to leave untried no means by which the knowledge of his subject may be increased. It is not the privilege of the teacher to leave this extension of knowledge to others. His profession of ability to teach a particular subject carries with it his obligation to the group or community he serves, of adding to his subject, knowledge of which they may avail themselves. If this applies to the individual teacher, how much more forcibly does it apply to the university with its ever-widening community and ever-increasing interests?

But ethics are frequently set aside in our practical, every-day world and even if they are not the great expense of maintaining laboratories and a hospital, an expense greatly increased if research is properly prosecuted, causes university presidents and trustees to ask what are the practical advantages of research to the university; and in those institutions which are supported, in part or entirely, by the state, this question must be squarely met.

In presenting the arguments in favor of research in the university, I will consider only conditions in this country and will not, though it would greatly strengthen the argument, utilize the experience of the German universities. One of the most important advantages, and one which should appeal to those controlling the policy of a university, is the influence on the student.

If one examines courses in the same subject in a number of schools, it is found that those which are best presented are under the control of men actively engaged in research work. Such men are alive to the advantages of new methods in their own subject and of new ways of applying old methods. Ever thinking and pondering about methods of acquiring new knowledge for themselves and their science, they appreciate better than does the non-investigator that which will aid the student to acquire knowledge, and in their teaching they bring to bear on the problems which the student has to face the same methods of attack which they use in their own researches. Under these men are assistants of the same point of view, who, ever enthusiastic about their