« AnteriorContinuar »
REPORT OF THE BRITISH SCIENCE GUILD 221
thus increasing the number of scientific representatives from none to three.1 Some adjustments in favour of scientific study and research may therefore be expected; but the Guild is of the opinion that the Trustees should consist chiefly of representatives of the scientific and other interests involved in proper proportions to ensure that the original intentions of the founder of the Trust are carried out justly.
With regard to the commercial interests, it seems probable that their representatives have been thoroughly awakened by the war to the necessity for better education. It is desirable, however, that these interests should not be satisfied at the expense of, but in addition to, those of science; and for this reason the British Science Guild, believing that Mr Carnegie's intentions admit of no dispute, desires to support Professor Soddy's claims that future allocation of the Trust Funds should be made more liberally, specifically, and inalienably for purposes of scientific study and research than has been the practice hitherto,
1 See footnote, p. 212.
CARNEGIE TRUST FOR THE UNIVERSITIES
IN the December 1917 number of the Journal was printed a Report of a Special Committee of the Guild on an article by Prof. F. Soddy, F.R.S., dealing with the Carnegie Trust and Scientific Research.
This report was forwarded to the Board of Trustees, and the following excerpt from the Minutes of a meeting of the Board, 7th January 1918, was communicated to the Guild in reply:
"A letter from the Executive Committee of the British Science Guild, dated 6th November 1917, as also the 'Report of the Special Committee of the Guild appointed to consider the whole matter of the Financial Operations of the Carnegie Trust as set forth by Prof. Soddy, F.R.S., in his article published in Science Progress for January 1917,' were fully considered.
"In the letter and Report criticisms of the application made by the Trustees of the half of the Trust Income under Head A. are put forward. These criticisms may be divided under two heads, and it was resolved to reply for the information of the Guild as follows:
"(1) As to the first, the Executive Committee altogether decline to admit the contention that the purposes to which one-half of the Income of the Trust falls to be applied can
1 Twelfth Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the British Science Guild, July 1918.
REPLY OF CARNEGIE TRUST
be assorted into 'primary' and 'ancillary.' The direction in the Trust Deed as to the application of the half of the Income under Head A. is quoted in the Report of the Special Committee of the Guild; and it only requires to be read with care to show that the idea of any distribution between subjects to be favoured and subjects to be subordinated is wholly without warrant. The Executive Committee regret that the Special Committee of the Guild commit themselves to the statement that there has been a 'diversion of the funds from their main purpose.' The Executive Committee can see no justification for this statement.
"(2) The other criticism is to the effect that the Trustees are not men who are professionally and actively engaged in scientific work, or have had experience of research. The Guild may be reminded that the members of the Trust were chosen by Mr Carnegie himself; and it is therefore obvious that they are men whom he considered capable of interpreting his wishes. In so far as vacancies in the Trust have occurred, consequent on deaths among the Trustees, it is the fact that these have been for the most part supplied by the appointment of men eminent in various branches of Science."
On the 28th February 1918, in reply to this, the following Resolution was sent to the Board of Trustees by the Guild:
"The Executive Committee of the British Science Guild notes with regret that the Excerpt from the Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Carnegie Trust on the 7th January 1918, shews some misapprehension, which need not be pursued at the present time, of the position of the Guild in putting before Mr Carnegie's Trust the communication from Prof. F. Soddy. The Guild, however, cannot accept the views of the Carnegie Trustees indicated in the Minute which seem to involve self-imposed restrictions on the exercise of their powers and discretion, with respect to the promotion of scientific education."
The following is a further communication from Prof. F.
Soddy, regarding the "Excerpt" from the Minutes of the Board of Trustees :
Remarks by Professor Soddy on the Minute of the Executive Committee of Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 7th January 1918, communicated to the British Science Guild.
I merely suggested as a reasonable interpretation of the Trust Deed of Mr Carnegie that the subjects included could be divided into primary and legitimate ancillary, those not included being for the purpose termed illegitimate. The interpretation may or may not be capable of strict defence. By concentrating on this single point the Executive Committee of the Trust seek to evade the real criticism, fairly summed up and endorsed by the British Science Guild.
Substantial and undenied examples were brought forward of just the same neglect of, contempt for, and unfair discrimination against, science, which, operating during the past century mainly through educational channels, have now brought about the position of national insecurity and peril, manifest to all, and which the founder of the Trust himself stigmatised in the heartiest manner in 1906.
In an address entitled "Modern Needs in Universities," delivered at the opening of the new Carnegie buildings of the Natural Philosophy and Engineering Departments of the University of Edinburgh (Nature, 1906, 74, 648), Mr Carnegie, after referring to the millions being devoted to science and practical studies and the progressive influences at work in the universities of America and Canada and of the five principal English cities, continued :—
"Scotland has to keep marching on. The progress of scientific departments in British Universities, considerable as it has recently been, of which the schools we are about to open here to-day are gratifying evidence, yet has not kept pace with the startling progress of science itself and
REMARKS BY PROFESSOR SODDY
the wonderful discoveries that threaten to revolutionise human conceptions."
"The older branches of learning in our Universities may well welcome the newer branch, cap in hand, not only as the foundation of material progress, but also as one of the very highest agencies in the imaginative domain."
"This mighty force of our day-science-has hitherto been the Cinderella of the sisterhood of knowledge, but the Prince has appeared at last and taken her by the hand. It is now the turn of the elder sisters to greet the once neglected princess. She will more than justify the millions that are being showered upon her in most progressive lands. Thus has the University developed to the present all-embracing type through the successive reigns of scholasticism, theology, and ancient classics, always behind the age, conservative in the highest degree. Science has arisen and established her claim to equality. We have long had the Republic of Letters; we now hail the Republic of Knowledge."
These quotations do not appear to admit of much doubt as to what the founder's own view of the purpose of his benefaction was. They are refreshingly clear and frank, with a point capable even of penetrating the admitnothing, dispute-everything defence which the advocate unable to face facts invariably puts up. It is an especially curious commentary on the cry that it is now the turn of Arts, heard at the last quinquennial distribution, and which, in the University of Aberdeen, has been the interpretation of the gift from the beginning, that what Mr Carnegie actually said was: "It is now the turn of the elder sisters to greet the once neglected princess."
If the legal instrument, which Mr Carnegie signed to give effect to his intentions, were being administered by a body of men of like mind to himself, in a broad and sympathetic spirit, without any desire to strain it beyond its natural interpretation and twist it to serve ends not intended, legal questions as to its exact meaning could scarcely arise.
But if, unfortunately, at any time that should not be