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Introduction to a Series of Articles in The Scientific Monthly.

December 23, 1932

[Released December 23, 1932. Dated November 28, 1932]

THE INSATIABLE curiosity of the human mind to probe the mysteries of Nature through scientific research into the operation of natural laws has resulted in such wealth of new inventions and new products, so satisfying to material needs of the people, that the world is irrevocably committed to an eternal quest of further truth, with certainty of endless and ever more rapid change as new knowledge is translated into new conveniences and comforts. The social relations of mankind have already been altered by these changes beyond the utmost imagination of our forefathers. Further and more revolutionary changes will be wrought.

As government is the art of social relations under recognized authorities set up by the will of the people, any change wrought by scientific advance quickly produces new problems of government. The Federal Government itself long ago sensed the potentialities of science when it gave official status to the Smithsonian Institution. From that pioneer body has flowed a stimulation to scientific research of the most valuable character, both directly in its own discoveries and indirectly through its leadership and inspiration of private institutions. Science is also recognized and encouraged by the Federal Government in the researches of the Department of Agriculture in biology, entomology, and other fields; and similarly in other Departments which promote research. Thus the Government still does, and increasingly should, lead the way by example toward the discovery of new knowledge to free mankind from ignorance, superstition, needless fears and poverty. Nor should it be unremarked that a spiritual value accrues in all this labor, for science requires a degree of unselfishness and devotion which calls out the finest qualities of the human spirit, and, since its goal is truth, the noblest aspirations of mankind.


Note: The President's introduction was printed in the magazine's January 1933 issue. The series of articles was entitled "The Scientific Work of the Government of the United States."

Herbert Hoover, Introduction to a Series of Articles in The Scientific Monthly. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207909

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