Man's physical universe




essentially socio-centric.

The objectives of general education require

that we raise such questions as "What are the consequences?" and

"What difference does it make, or is it making?"

The text often savors of dogmatism; but this is the price to be paid

for the conciseness and clearness which I have attempted. I have

no doubt that a purist will be able to find statements in this book which

require qualification or extension. Some of these shortcomings may

have crept in through inadvertence or ignorance, but others are

inherent in the method of presentation. For, while I have wanted to

be accurate, I have been even more desirous of being understood.

This book is not intended for "snap" courses, but it has been

"de-technicalized" as far as possible. I have taken Dr. Paul Monroe's

definition of a high-standard course for my own: "A high standard

course is one which stimulates its students to further self-propelled

study in its field."

Well-known trade names and some of the important manufacturing

companies of the United States have been deliberately referred to, in

spite of the fact that many teachers will feel that this text is thus

"contaminated by advertising" and at the risk of displeasing these

and other manufacturers whose products I may have overlooked.

This text is designed to show the relation between Science and modern

technology in the United States and to present information which

will be of practical value to the student. Furthermore, I believe

that credit should be given where credit is due, and no one should

discount the tremendous contributions of many industrial research

laboratories to the treasure-house of Science as well as to more abundant


This text is divided into units and sections for pedagogical reasons.

Each section is intended to be used as the assignment for one lesson and

constitutes a complete topic in itself. If one section is assigned for

each day, with the exception of a few days reserved for hour examinations

over the units, it will be found that a course which meets three

times a week during the year or five times a week during a half-year

will be able to cover the material presented. I shall be glad to offer

suggestions concerning the selection of Units and Sections for shorter

courses to teachers who send for such suggestions.

Survey courses must not submerge the individual. Some method

must be found to provide for individual differences as a part of the

technique of handling large groups of students, which is so often

necessary in

these days when so many young people come to college

seeking a general education. I have solved this problem in part by

allowing the students to read current magazine articles and books,

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