The Science of Man in the World Crisis

The Science of Man in the World Crisis

The Science of Man in the World Crisis

The Science of Man in the World Crisis

Excerpt

The present crisis in world affairs has resulted in a flood of books. Most of these are concerned with plans for world reorganization. The purpose of the present volume is much less ambitious. Everyone recognizes that such planning will require all the aid which science can give. At the same time, the problems involved are complex and many sided and can only be solved by collaboration between workers in many different fields of scientific research. It has been observed that it usually takes about a generation for the new discoveries and techniques of one science to become a part of the regular working equipment of other sciences. It takes considerably longer for such findings to become familiar to the layman and to exert any significant influence upon his thinking. The present book is an attempt to shorten this time interval. It is directed both to scientists and planners and to the general public without whose coöperation no plan can succeed.

The science of man is so new and its fund of knowledge has been increasing so rapidly that many of its findings have not yet reached scientific workers in other fields, let alone the man in the street. At the same time, some of these findings are of the utmost importance both for the intelligent planning of the new world order which now appears inevitable and for the implementation of any plans which may be made. The builders of such an order are foredoomed to failure unless they understand the potentialities and limitations of their human material. Scarcely less important is a knowledge of those trends which operate over long periods of time and of the problems which the specialist can foresee before they arise or can recognize before they become acute enough to call for drastic action. Lastly, even plans which take all these factors into account cannot succeed without the use of adequate techniques. At all these points the science of man can provide some aid.

In the preparation of the present volume the editor has been confronted with certain wartime limitations with regard to both space and personnel. A very large proportion of the younger scientists in this field are engaged in government service, many of them with the armed forces. After due consideration it was decided to make this book a . . .

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