Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/30

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Science and Citizenship


In order to see our cities as they really are, we must first of all see them in geographical perspective; and in order to do this we must recover the use of existing towers. We must also begin building new ones, designed and equipped to aid us in seeing with the eye of the geographer. In the scientific vision the first element is the vision of the geographer; or, putting it in another way, in the complex chord which we call science the first note is a geographical one. This vision of the geographer, what is it? Whence comes it? How may we ordinary citizens acquire it? What use would it be to us if we did acquire it?

Our school initiation into geography acquaints us with a certain scheme of form and colour symbolism which we call a map. The impression which intimate familiarity with the maps of our childhood leaves on the mind is apt to be a picture of the country called France, which is little more than an octagonal red patch, of Spain a square brown patch, of Scandinavia an oblong green patch, of the Rhine a blue line running from a dark patch called Switzerland, to a blue patch called the German Ocean. The experience of reading, observation, and travel doubtless supplements and corrects these crude pictorial impressions; and, in proportion to the fulness of such later experience, we approximate more nearly to the vision of the geographer, who sees our globe as it really is, has been, and is becoming, in space