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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 8 July, 3, 1946

Neglect by Society

Neglect by Society

But the very fact that capitalist society only uses those portions of a scientist's work which promises quick economic returns has led to neglect of science and lack of recognition of its benefits.

Most scientists are too pre-occupied with their fascinating technical problems to recognise the unpleasant fact that they are frequently starved for funds. Yet there are few who would not admit that increased finance and more assistants would allow them to tackle new problems of great importance, Lord Rutherford's research team used to boast that they could make all their equipment themselves, but the consequent loss of valuable time was enormous. Science is as frustrated in bourgeois society as are the arts, literature and music. It Is significant that the Soviet Union, on a basis of national income, spends ten times as much on scientific research as Great Britain.

The relative neglect by society has led scientists to ignore and despise those who merely apply their knowledge to practical matters. The purist approach of "ars gratia artis" is all too common among scientific workers, who fail to recognise that they are an integral part of society, quite apart from their function as taxpayers, and that their discoveries have important repercussions on the "outside world."