Science and human welfare have always risen and fallen together. We find this generalization borne out in all recorded history, and even farther back in the dim horizons of prehistory. From the first attempts at counting and measuring, observation of the precision of the periodic recurrence of the seasons, forging of metal tools and weapons, domestication of animals, planting and harvesting of crops, we see that the slow advance of the status of man in his world has been accompanied or even preceded by the advance in science. In the earlier stages, of course, we find art, culture, and the more spiritual phases of life largely rudimentary in their development, and confined at that to a very small fraction of the human race, the elite who were only enabled to maintain their relatively high type of life at the expense of the forced labor of millions. It is a commonplace of history that the abolition of slavery has never been accomplished by purely moral or humanitarian or even religious influences, but in so far as slavery has disappeared, it has been under the impulse of developing industrialism and technology, making free labor more efficient and hence in the long run more economical than slave labor. And even though today we must recognize that far too many human beings are still what may be called "wage slaves" we can none the less see that the hope for betterment of these conditions, the hope for further progress in other words, lies first of all in the continued advance of science, in its more complete understanding and conquest of the fields it already occupies, and in its extension into ever new and broader realms.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 1940 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
McClenon, R. B.
"The Address of the President: Science and Progress,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 47(1), 49-55.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol47/iss1/7