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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 18. September 20, 1939

Science and the Citizen

Science and the Citizen

"Salient" suggested, to Dr. Millikan that at present science was losing favour in the eyes of the average man because of the fact that the war in which we were at present involved was being made more ghastly through the use of war materials which were essentially the result of scientific research and scientific advance.

Dr. Millikan assured us that, as long as man teas prepared to believe in authoritarianism, superstition and every unscientific and irrational brand of emotionalism, so long as he was prepared to believe in quacks, and faith-healers, tears could not be prevented. With the advancement of science in the fields of power machines and chemistry, if was only natural that scientific methods of making warfare would be used—it was not within the power of scientists to prevent their use—so wars must go on until the individual and the people as a whole are prepared to live a reasonable life—the ideal of Socrates—a life free of superstition, free of unscientific and irrational emotionalism; he must be able to reject the influences of vague -ologies and -isms which are propounded by people who have no knowledge at all, and he must be, able to distinguish between the right and, wrong answers. This is all [unclear: ba] on the education of man. He must not form opinions and try to find solutions which are based on hunch or emotion, but he must be educated to go to these sources of knowledge where he can obtain a true scientific answer to his particular problem. Not until such a state of education is achieved can we hope to eradicate the terror of war and organise a scientifically organised civilisation.