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When a violent revolution occurs amongst a highly civilized people, it can not fail to give a sudden impulse to their feelings and ideas. This is more particularly true of democratic revolutions, which stir up at once all classes of the people, and at the same time beget high ambitions in the breast of every citizen. The French made surprising advances in the exact sciences at the very time when they were completing the destruction of the remains of their former feudal society; yet this sudden fecundity is not to be attributed to democracy, but to the unexampled revolution which attended its Tocqueville, Democracy in America.

The most brilliant period in the history of science in France followed close on the heels of the Revolution. In the stirring days of the First Empire, the Paris Academy of Sciences comprised in its membership the strongest group of investigators ever assembled. The intellectual life of the nation had been quickened to its depths, and in spite of the devastation of the Terror, which included Lavoisier among the victims of the guillotine, science attained a prestige far higher than it had ever known during the tranquil days of the old régime. The nation instinctively turned to the Academy for advice and assistance in the initiation of many new enterprises, and ministers, parliaments, administrators and state assemblies often sought its aid and accepted its decisions. The leaders of the Revolution, and subsequently Napoleon himself, reëstablished the old Academy on firmer foundations, and accorded it privileges never experienced under the monarchy. The distinguished company of scientific investigators included in the expedi


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tion to Egypt proved that Bonaparte, who was soon to attain supreme power, fully recognized the value of science to the state.

The establishment of our own National Academy of Sciences during the Civil War, and its activities in the study of military and industrial problems for the Government, affords another illustration of the effect of war in promoting scientific research. The chief events of this period have been sketched in an address before the National Engineering Societies, and need not be repeated here. Nor is this the place to enter into a discussion of the relationship between science and war. Suffice it to say that de Tocqueville's statement quoted above probably applies, not merely to revolutions, but also to such wars as that of the present day. The intellectual stimulus accompanying great upheavals, however they originate, finds expression in unusual achievements in science.

At the present moment we are confronted by a fact which requires no general demonstration to bring it into view: throughout the civilized world the national importance of science and research is appreciated as never before. Even if there had been no intellectual stimulus, the present great war would have forced science to the front. In the first days of the conflict, the nations of the Entente were faced by problems soluble only through the aid of scientific research. Statesmen whose exclusively classical training had afforded them little or no means of appreciating the significance of science were compelled to summon investigators to their aid in order to overcome difficulties demanding instant solution. The question of manufacture, serious as it was, frequently held second place to the necessity for research. Thus in England it was evidently impossible for the glass factories to produce the special kinds of optical glass needed for periscopes, gunsights, field glasses, and many other military instruments, until the methods of making these glasses, previously worked out in Germany, had been rediscovered by British investigators. So with scores of other problems forced upon the nation under the stress of war. Scientific research was the first requisite, and both men and funds must be provided without delay.

No intelligent statesman, however, could meet such a situation without appreciating its obvious implications. Successful research demands trained investigators, and these cannot be produced in a day. It also demands adequate provision of funds, not merely during the feverish moments of war, but throughout those long periods of calm, when the foundations that underlie the success or failure of a nation are laid. The British people, in spite of wholly inadequate appreciation of science by former leaders of their government, have never failed to produce

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