PROF. VERNON L. KELLOGG, M.S. Secretary of the National Research Council
The fundamental basis of scientific research is not personal advantage nor even general utility, but is simply personal curosity in its best form. It is the wish and will to know, as contrasted with the willingness to accept the say-so of the nearest neighbor. The Germans have a special word for this best kind of curosity; they call it Wissbegier, common to but few persons, as contrasted with ordinary Neugier, common to everyone.
The fundamental seat of research in America is not in the laboratories of industry and invention, nor even in the special research institutions, but in the colleges and universities. For not only is the major part of American scientific investigation done in them but also practically all the training of new research workers.
Anything, therefore, which lessens the interest and activities of the universities in research threatens not merely immediate achievement in it but also the provision of the workers necessary for future achievement. And any lessening in American research now or lessening of the provision for research in the future threatens the American national strength and well-being.
Unfortunately, there are conditions in American life to-day which are a grave menace to research and research training in the universities. One of these conditions, curiously enough, arises from the great stimulus, in all other respects very welcome, given science by the war. This condition is, of course, the familiar present draining