Thursday, 29 December 2011

Once upon a time...

Louis Bromfield - from Wikipedia
...for the first time it occurred to her that science was honesty, and that honesty was a great liberator. It cut away romance and sentiment and a great deal of nonsense, but it left clean wounds which would heal quickly without scars, leaving life whole and sane and cured. It could make people less miserable because it dealt with hard realities, instead of the unwholesome putrescence of dead moralities, and the high sentimental purities which had ruined so many lives.

Louis Bromfield – Twenty-Four Hours 

Bromfield published Twenty-Four Hours in 1930 when the general perception of science and scientists was somewhat more idealistic than it is now. Arrowsmith (1925) by Sinclair Lewis and The Citadel (1937) by A J Cronin portrayed science in a similar, idealistic light.

In my view this is the starry-eyed ideal, however naive it may have been, that climate scientists, politicians, journalists and activists have largely destroyed. There is no going back to Bromfield's ideal.


Sam Vega said...

Don't despair!

They have, arguably, done the same with whatever goodness there was within Christianity, Patriotism, Marxism, Humanism, Romanticism and so on.

The inner principles live on for those who understand them, and are available for the use of independently minded individuals.

A K Haart said...

SV - I don't despair, but I do feel regret.