The President's Page: The need for scientist statesmen


  • Homer E. Newell


Above and beyond the tremendous practical values that ultimately stem from scientific research, there is a charm and a poetry in science, in showing the order of the universe, and revealing the beauty that underlies creation. This aspect of science is a major factor in drawing many of its practitioners into the field. Through the disciplined curiosity of the scientist, man has come to understand better and to appreciate more fully the universe and man's place in it. Men in the world of Copernicus and Kepler thought, wrote, and acted differently from those of earlier centuries. Men of the space age, following the Apollo expeditions to the moon, have been profoundly affected by their expanded view of their home in space. In such ways science contributes to satisfying a basic human need: man's innate curiosity. This fundamental drive to explore, to know, to understand has shaped the course of human history and has flowered in our times in the marvelous accomplishments of modern science and engineering.