Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

ment and extension of the opportunities for scientific study and research, that this criticism is concerned.

In a document signed by Mr Carnegie, entitled “ Constitution of the Trust referred to in the foregoing Trust Deed,” the two objects of the Trust are referred to under Clauses A and B respectively, and a third clause, C, provided for any surplus income.

Clause A opens

“One-half of the net annual income shall be applied towards the improvement and expansion of the Universities of Scotland, in the Faculties of Science and Medicine; also for improving and extending the opportunities for scientific study and research, and for increasing the facilities for acquiring a knowledge of History, Economics, English Literature, and Modern Languages, and such other subjects cognate to a technical and commercial education as can be brought within the scope of the University curriculum, by the erection and maintenance of buildings, laboratories, class-rooms, museums, or libraries, the providing of efficient apparatus, books and equipment, the institution and endowment of Professorships and Lectureships, including post-graduate Lectureships and Scholarships, more especially Scholarships for the purpose of encouraging research, or in such other manner as the Committee may from time to time decide...."

The two passages cited from the official copy, issued by the Carnegie Trust, of the Trust Deed and the Constitution of the Trust referred to in the foregoing Trust Deed, respectively, contain all that is germane to the present criticism.

But a reasonable interpretation, and the one initially followed in the two larger of the Scottish Universities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, would seem to be that the money was given for the primary purpose of encouraging scientific study and research, including, of course, medicine, and that history and other subjects cognate to a modern education were legitimate ancillary beneficiaries under the Trust, and, lastly, that the older subjects of a classical education were entirely excluded from participating.

CRITICISM OF THE CARNEGIE TRUST

209

Thus over the first period of ten years and nine months, up to 30th September 1913, covered by the first two quinquennial and interim distributions, in Edinburgh 62 per cent, and 15 per cent., and in Glasgow 67 per cent. and 19 per cent. of the total sums received were allocated by the Trustees to what have been termed the primary and ancillary objects respectively. The remaining 23 per cent. and 14 per cent. in the two institutions have gone mainly to the maintenance of the libraries and other purposes in which the two sides share more or less indefinitely. In neither institution was any money given definitely to benefit what have been termed the classical group of studies.

If this had been the interpretation adopted generally, and subsequently to 1913, by the Carnegie Trustees, certainly no one would have been disposed to criticise them, or submit the legality of their operations to the test of the powers responsible for the observance of the Trust Laws of Scotland. Neither would there have been any disposition to examine with a microscope the exact apportioning of the moneys between the two sides. If they had secured a broad common sense distribution among the primary and ancillary objects, the gift was handsome enough in amount not to necessitate the making of fine distinctions. But this interpretation has not been followed, either universally, or subsequently to 1913. In the University of Aberdeen for the whole period up to 30th September 1918, covering the first three quinquennial and interim distributions, only 23 per cent. has been allocated to the primary object, while 46 per cent has gone to the ancillary object. The maintenance of the Library has taken 12 per cent., and there remains 19 per cent. This has been allocated for the erection of new buildings and examination hall for Arts subjects and an extension of the Library, objects which, in so far as they are not illegitimate, are ancillary. So also, since 1913, it is in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The former is given 90 per cent of its total allocation for five years to

Buildings for Faculty of Arts and Department of Zoology," and Edinburgh 65 per cent. to “Chemical Department and Arts accommodation.” As regards St Andrews and Dundee, the position in the main is between that of Aberdeen on the one hand, and Edinburgh and Glasgow on the other. But the practice of slumping legitimate and questionable expenditure under one head, illustrated above in the case of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the payment of debts previously incurred, make a detailed analysis difficult to the outsider.

In addition to payments to the four universities, and relatively small grants to technical colleges and other institutions, the Carnegie Trustees administer themselves a scheme for the endowment of research. Of a total in round figures of some £621,400 spent under Clause A to 30th September 1915, £86,000 or some 14 per cent. have been spent on the research scheme, that is, £27,000 on Fellowships, £30,000 on Scholarships, £21,000 on Grants in Aid, and some £8000 on a Research Laboratory of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. One might fairly have expected that something more than 14 per cent. would have been spent on the research scheme. The answer may be that initially Scotland was ill-equipped with scientific laboratories, and these had first to be provided. But now that these laboratories have been provided, the money is going to provide buildings for Arts subjects to a very questionable extent, instead of to promoting scientific study and research.

But even what has been done has not been done for research so much as for the teaching of research, a highly important and worthy object enough, but only to be confounded with scientific research by those who have never done any or even been taught the methods. Research Scholarships and Fellowships are excellent in themselves, and will be even more so if, as a result of the war, something less like starvation awaits the holders at the end of their research training. Grants in aid of research are again excellent, and would be more so if

CRITICISM OF THE CARNEGIE TRUST

211

they were given when they were wanted; whereas, to suit the conditions laid down by the Trustees, the money has to be applied for before a definite date in the year before it is wanted. But of the three indispensable requirements for getting research done, these two, the training of the apprentice and the provision of money for instruments, are preliminary. The third indispensable, letting the trained man with the instruments do the research, is the one this country has not yet thought much about.

At the bottom of the ladder, the Research Scholar or Fellow at the end of his training has had to abandon the work for which he was training and seek a livelihood. If he is lucky he will get a teaching position, and if, again, he is lucky he may find odd moments to continue his researches. If he is not so lucky he has to begin late in life the study of the art of earning a living. The Professor at the top, nowhere more than in Scotland, finds that he must now be content to do his research by deputy, and the most he can hope for is to train clever apprentices. Some subjects, naturally, lend themselves to this requirement very much better than others, and what is possible in them is not possible in general. The real business for which the Professor is paid, again nowhere more than in the land to which Mr Carnegie gave his millions, is to teach. Instead of being treated as a life-business, requiring years of devoted training and study for the preparation, and equally devoted and uninterrupted application for its pursuit, research is treated as a hobby to be followed by busy teachers in the intervals of their regular duties. This is not the way to foster perhaps the most important and repaying of all the State's numerous activities. The Carnegie Trustees have not even attempted to meet this difficulty.

The Annual Reports issued by the Carnegie Trust do not contain the names of the Trustees. The original list in the Trust Deed consists of fourteen nominated members, two of them, Lord Kelvin and Sir Henry Roscoe, having in the past contributed to the advancement of natural knowledge, four ex-officio members (the Secretary of State for Scotland, and the Lord Provosts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dunfermline for the time being), and four members elected by the universities. The vacancies in the nominated members are filled up by the Trustees remaining.

The nominated Trustees apparently hold office for life, and consist almost entirely of eminent public men, more or less universally known, many of them distinguished in History, Literature, Philosophy, and the Law, that is, in the ancillary or illegitimate rather than the primary group of studies. Moreover, the branches of the ancillary subjects in which they are distinguished are not those cognate to a technical or commercial education. The two original scientific members are dead, as also is Sir Arthur Rucker, who replaced one of them. In the case of all three, their career of active scientific investigation had practically closed before they were appointed. In no case, so far as the writer is aware, has an active scientific investigator been a Trustee. At the present time there does not appear to be a single scientific man on the Trust.1 Of the four Trustees elected by the universities, two are distinguished members of the medical profession; a third, Sir William Turner, having lately died.

The legal profession, past and present Cabinet Ministers, and public administrators supply the whole of the present nominated members. Sir Henry Roscoe's death removed the only scientific member. The others are: Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Earl of Rosebery, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Lord Kinnear of Spurness (ex-Senator of the College of Justice), Lord Reay of Reay, Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, Viscounts Bryce and Morley, Lord Shaw, Rt. Hon. H. H. Asquith, and W. J. Dundas (Crown Agent for Scotland). It is mere hypocrisy to expect from a body 60 constituted,

1 Between the time of writing and publication Sir Alfred Ewing became a member of the Trust, as the representative of the Edinburgh University Court.

« AnteriorContinuar »