Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/36

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Science and Citizenship

mind, does not stop short of the loftiest social and civic idealism. This tendency is abundantly illustrated in the lives of the great founders of modern geography. It is seen in Alexander von Humboldt, who continued and completed his geographical career as counsellor of state and coadjutor with his more humanist brother, Wilhelm, in the organisation of educational institutions. It is seen in Karl Ritter, who, as he progressed in the writing of his great work, was driven more and more to an emphasis of the historical factor. But it is seen most of all in the life and work of Elisée Reclus, whose recent loss we deplore, and whose place in the history of the science it is too soon to estimate, but there are those who believe it will be a culminating one. The eighteen massive volumes of his Géographie Universelle were but the preliminary training and preparation for his magnum opus, his "Social Geography," happily completed before his death, though as yet unpublished. But the general character of the work may be foretold by those who were familiar with his riper thoughts. It is safe to assert that his "Social Geography" will, more fully than ever before, demonstrate the continuity and correlation between, on the one hand, the destructive action of man on the surface of the planet, and on the other, the historical and the contemporary facts of human degeneration and civic degradation. But it will also, unless the work belies the character of its author, demonstrate also with unique experience and conviction a continuity of