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CREATIVE ASPECT OF MEDICINE
case is even more striking when we consider the professional Faculties of Medicine and Law. Here there is the most clearly marked distinction between. the interests of the country as a whole and of those who follow these professions. The worse the condition of the country the more must both these professions thrive, and, the more free from disease and litigation it is, the worse, financially, for these professions.
Until the most recent years there was nobody in this country primarily concerned with the scientific study and prevention of disease. The best and most energetic of the young doctors might, and often did, spend a few years in purely voluntary research into the scientific aspects of medicine, but so soon as their success in their profession grew, and their consultingrooms commenced to fill up, such investigations became more and more competitors with actual lucrative and bread-winning service. With the passing of the Health Insurance Act, the State, for the first time, became interested in the health of the people. At first its interest was purely a financial one, and was concerned with the solvency of the Insurance scheme, but, during the war, with the state of health revealed by recruiting statistics, its interest assumed also a military character. In consequence, just those aspects of medicine which are not of interest, financially, to the medical profession, the research aspect and the preventive aspect, are now receiving more consideration. It is clear that, from the national standpoint, it is more important to study, scientifically, the causes and character of disease with a view to its prevention and elimination than even to provide that disease, after it has been contracted and begun its work, should be properly treated. The prevention of disease is the creation of health, and modern uni
versities ought to be no mere professional schools of medicine, but primarily concerned with the research and creative aspect of their subject.
But is not the case of the Faculty of Law and its relation to the legal profession an even more forcible one? The study of the cause and character of social maladies with a view to their prevention, the elimination of the causes of dispute and litigation, the simplification and modernisation of our inherited codes with continual and timely regard to everchanging conditions, the tasks which, in an ideal university, I have assigned to the hypothetical research Faculty of Duty, to be pursued for its own sake, by students of the foundation of human law, is surely more in keeping with the real character of a university than even the training and qualification of professional lawyers. That is the true preventive medicine of social injustice and its attendant contempt for the law and tendency toward anarchy and Bolshevism. It is sad to ponder on the history of the great conflicts with which the advance in knowledge has inundated society, in which every change has been forced, as it were, at the point of the bayonet, against the existing law, and hardly a single one has been intelligently anticipated and forestalled by suitable legislation. No anomaly however glaring, no injustice however scandalous, is rectified without a wearing and demoralising political agitation. The principles of equity and justice and esteem for the higher values of life in general are, to-day, whatever was the case in the ancient world, indigenous to society and come into conflict rather with its rulers than with the masses.
Of modern times research in science has more and more been confined to universities, and the number of scientific amateurs, who once did so much good work, grows yearly less. For if it is not
THE RESEARCH TRADITION
pursued in the universities it can hardly be pursued anywhere. A mathematician, even a purely mathematical physicist, is under no such restriction, for he does not need a laboratory, and even in books his requirements are relatively modest. He is no more necessarily attached to a university than a poet, painter, preacher or musical composer. But an experimental physicist, chemist or biologist can hardly carry on research outside a university, for a laboratory is essential. It thus has come about, largely through the exigencies of the work, that experimental science, practically alone of the great creative activities, is necessarily almost wholly bound up with universities, and has thereby enlarged their whole raison d'être. There are many advocates for retaining and strengthening the connection, even at great sacrifice to the interests of research itself, because only can the teaching in science be living and up-to-date if research is being pursued.
But in Scotland and England alike the bond is weakening. Unintelligent "pseudo-democratic administration, increasing numbers of students and the never-ending expansion and multiplication of curricula and examinations, and the lack of any clear financial distinction between the dual functions of the university have brought serious research, in many institutions, practically to the point of extinction. On the other hand there is an evergrowing technical demand for research workers of the highest quality. Some of the finest research in pure physical science that is being produced in America to-day emanates from the General Electric Company's Research Laboratories at Schenectady, New York. In this country the Government scheme of scientific and industrial research has resulted in the formation of numerous research associations, each in connection with a
group of trades or industries, totally outside the universities, and taking from them some of their best brains. The Carnegie Trust is in real danger of being absorbed into this great central scheme. Badly as the governing bodies of our universities have exploited the passion for research and the necessities of those who wish to be able to prosecute it, in Germany under State control matters have probably been much worse. So there is every reason to fear that in future the exploitation of research workers will be taken in hand directly and unblushingly by the State.
It is not too much to claim that the universities owe entirely to modern science the conception that they are something more than professional and technical training schools, and the permanent homes of the learning and culture which has survived in the world-the conception that their highest function is creative rather than imitative or didactic. It is the conception of all best worthy of preservation as the basis upon which to build, and I have merely followed here its necessary logical development in attempting to extend it beyond science to the innate aspirations of mankind after beauty and virtue. But little is it yet valued. A motley horde of interests, like the money-changers of old, invade the temple of learning, and each year seems to make the creative element therein more of an intruder, and the seeker after knowledge for its own sake out of place. The creative element in science will never lack a home. Industry and commerce will house it in a noble and spacious prison with bars of solid gold, even if the universities reject it.
But there could be no finer memorial to the great dead than to accept frankly and without reservation the fact, of which they themselves are the most con
"BEAUTY AND TRUTH AND DUTY"
vincing witnesses, that the years 1914-1918 form the climax in the annals of the human race, and the implications that follow therefrom in our outlook on the world. We shall look for greatness not in the past but in the present, and for the sources of greatness not to our ancestors but to the creative element and the spirit of science in ourselves. The scientific spirit of honest and unprejudiced inquiry for the pure love of truth is not to be confined to concrete things. It is as essential to the proper understanding of the laws of God and man as it is to those of Nature, for they also are the continuously growing and developing expressions of the conceptions which are practically summed up, so far as they are living, by the word Duty. But when we leave the past behind, as children leave their youth, and press forward to the discovery and apprehension of the new, we create and join forces with the other great creative agency of Art. After a chequered career of successive patronage by kings and courts, priests and patricians, municipalities and millionaires, creative Art still wanders in the world, a vagabond without a home. Its rightful place is in the university alongside of science. And for the inscription of our ideal university, upon which the actual universities of the future will be founded, we might do worse than to alter, if it is permissible, the words of Keats in accord with the spirit of modern science and modern heroism
Beauty and Truth and Duty-that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
In taking leave of the Scientific Association I have now inflicted upon you, I suppose for the last time, what I notice have come to be referred to in the press as my well-known views, and it only remains for me to bid you farewell. I hope and