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James Harvey Robinson – remember that there’s a whip

June 13, 2014

(from his address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS] at its June 1922 meeting in Salt Lake City, in part responding to recent speeches by William Jennings Bryan)

“An Association for the Advancement of Science, representing theoretical knowledge and some of its multiform practical applications, should not confine itself merely to forwarding the progress of research; coordinating, systematizing and applying the discoveries made. It must assume the further responsibility, in the juncture in which mankind now finds itself, of cultivating and spreading an appreciation of our best knowledge of man and his world among those now indifferent or actively hostile to it. We have every reason to dread unintelligence, but are as yet altogether too considerate of the unintelligent, for we know that they usually have the whip-hand. How shall we escape from this unworthy bondage?”

(published in The Humanizing of Knowledge [1923])

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