Page:Science and Citizenship.djvu/9

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Science and Citizenship

paper that the ideals of science, always implicit, are now actually in process of being explicitly formulated, and that these ideals give promise of a policy of city development. And once to see and feel this movement of science is to participate in it, to forward and direct it.


In a first rough approximation it may be taken that the middle term between Science and Policy is Potency. The conception of Potency presents itself to us with a reality and a force proportional to the frequency and intensity of our first-hand immediate and direct contacts with nature. The conception doubtless reaches a vanishing point in the minds of that urban breed of domesticated animals which are cut off from nature by continuous confinement in the cages called town houses; this variety of animal degenerates into a sort of subnatural species, with supernatural cravings. The city in its evolution is of course a natural phenomenon; but within the city, the barriers between man and nature are numerous and formidable. Amongst the dwellers in cities, it is probable that the only persons who are in habitual contact with nature are mothers and poets. To the mother the infant is an embodiment and epitome of all the potencies of nature. The baby, as has been well said, is a bundle of potencies. Its development through adolescence to maturity is the realisation of its potency for evolution or