Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/11

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Science and Citizenship


What is the relevance of all this for science? There are two dominant moods or manifestations of science: the cosmic, the naturalistic or geographical mood, on the one hand; and on the other, the humanist, the historical, the idealist mood. In the former, the cosmic mood, the scientist feels a relatively slight interest in the human race and its doings. There are so many more impressive phenomena in the field of observation! Are there not one hundred thousand species of beetles compared with a single species of man? The entomologist bulks larger in science than the sociologist, simply because the boy is father to the man. The scientist in his cosmic mood is a stereotyped, a perpetual boy. The curiosity of the boy about the wonders of nature ceases, from the moment when his collection of curiosities fills the last of his pockets. But the pockets of the scientist take the form of extensible museums; and hence the temptation to go on collecting, until the habit determines his life, and in course of time he finds himself unable to feel either the cosmic or the human emotion.

As the boy sometimes grows into the man, the cosmic scientist may grow into the humanist one. He no longer observes the phenomena of nature as a mere series of sequences and co-existences following each other in endless succession; he looks upon nature as a reservoir of resources for the use of man. He seeks out the potencies of