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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/40

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dealt with by scientific men, and the presence of one or two such in each branch of that body would be of decided advantage to the whole country. In the nature of things, opportunities for such representation will be rare, but when they occur they must not be suffered to escape.

Finally, if the conclusions reached in the foregoing should be thought wise, and should any young man at the threshold of his scientific career determine to be guided by them in establishing his relations with the general public, he will find splendid examples among the distinguished leaders of all departments of science. Should he desire to present the results of his labors in such a way that they may be understood by intelligent people, he may imitate Franklin, whose literary style, as to simplicity and clearness, commanded the highest praise from literary men; or Faraday, who was able to give expression to the most involved conceptions in simple English; or Tyndall, the appearance of whose Heat considered as a Mode of Motion was an epoch in the history of physical science in its relation to an intelligent constituency, without which it can not thrive. He will learn that there is no discredit in "popularizing" science; that popularizing what is not science is the thing that is to be shunned and prevented. The arrogance of genius is not less disagreeable than that of riches, although it is less common.

Should he wish to cultivate modesty in estimating his own attainments, he need only follow Newton, Darwin, and, in fact, the whole list of distinguished men of science down to the present time, with a few rare and unexplainable exceptions, the existence of which serves, like a whistling buoy, to point out what should be avoided.

Should he aspire to be of some use to the world and to leave it better because of his life, he will be encouraged by the fact, already considered, that in the long run those discoveries are most highly esteemed, and justly so, which are the most potent in their influence upon civilization and society by ameliorating the condition of the people, or by enlarging their opportunities, and that all really great men of science have not lost sight of this fact; that "science for the sake of science" does not represent the highest ideal, nor can the "almighty dollar" ever be bartered for the "divine afflatus."

All of these questions will serve to enlarge his interest in public affairs, because he will come to recognize that he is himself but a part of the public. He will remember the delight of Faraday, when near the end of his life he saw a huge dynamo illuminating the tower of a lighthouse. That which he had given to the world as an infant, in his splendid discovery of induction, had, through the fostering care of others, grown to a brilliant man-