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The Advancement of Science in Schools


WHILE the leaders of Science are in session, and every topic of scientific interest can be brought before them with unusual force and most favourable publicity, we desire to urge the claims of one particular subject as lying at the foundation of all real scientific progress in this country. It is impossible that Science can take root amongst us, that it can inform the national mind or raise the national reputation, while it is excluded from the vast majority of our schools, and while the few schools which have ventured to introduce it are left to struggle unassisted against almost overwhelming difficulties. There are those who congratulate us on the advances made within the last two years, who point with pride to the Eton telescope and the Rugby laboratory, to the Botanical Garden of Clifton and the Scientific Society of Harrow. No doubt the evidence thus cited is most gratifying; no doubt the thanks of the community are due to the men whose individual wisdom and energy have made so admirable a beginning; but if their success is to produce in us only self-complacency, and to hide the enormous deficiencies which it ought to make more glaring and conspicuous, their efforts have been worse than vain.

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The Advancement of Science in Schools . Nature 4, 257–259 (1871).

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