Toward a Better World

By Jan Smuts Christiaan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
SCIENCE FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN POINT OF VIEW

Field Marshal Smuts was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in its Centenary Year--1931-1932. He delivered the following address on July 6, 1925.

IN DIRECTING your attention tonight to some of our scientific and practical problems considered from a South African viewpoint, I can only do so in the most general way and in the broadest outlines. The subject is so vast and the time at my disposal so brief that I can do no more than sketch the standpoint which I wish to suggest and illustrate it by reference to some South African problems without discussing them in any detail. I shall be satisfied if I can convince this critical audience tonight that there is something valuable and fruitful for science in the South African point of view; that our particular angle of vision supplies a real vantage point of attack on some of the great problems of science; and that, so far from the South African viewpoint being parochial in science, it may prove helpful and fruitful in many ways to our workers in the field of scientific research and investigation.

In the first place, the South African point of view will liberate us from old preconceived ways of looking at many scientific problems. Most of our scientific workers have

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