Man's physical universe



12. He Is Brave. True Science, like art, is the outcome of a personal,

creative ordeal.

The truth seeker fights all sham, deception, and falsehood which

stifle progress. The priceless ingredients of every achievement of

Science are the faithfulness and vigilant mental integrity in the use of

facts and conclusions and the courage of those who made possible the


The Scientific Attitude Requires Conscious Efifort for Its Cultivation.

The above attributes of the scientific attitude represent goals toward

which one should strive. No one is born with the scientific attitude.

Those who have acquired it have done so by conscious effort. No

scientist possesses all of these attributes to a degree that one could point

to him as an ideal example after which to pattern.

The spirit of the scientific attitude, as of other attitudes, is caught

perhaps more than it is taught. The spirit or the ideal may often be

caught from one's association with a person who has been unusually

successful in developing it in his own life; thus, the association with a

great teacher may be more valuable than any facts learned in college

because of the inspiration received from him. Such an experience is not

open to many students because teachers who apply the scientific atti-

However, there is

tude to all of the problems of daily life are so scarce.

open to every student the opportunity to read the biographies or,

better still, the writings of the world's greatest scientists, whose lives

exemplify the attributes of the scientific attitude. In reading these

biographies you will receive encouragement and renewed hope as you

see the human frailties of even the greatest scientists. You can profit

from their deficiencies and pattern after their strengths. In studying

the lives of these men, whom you will come to love just because they

are so human, you will see how successful the scientific attitude is as an

approach to the solution of problems, even when it is very imperfectly


You are strongly urged to

read some of the biographies of great

scientists listed in the Bibliography for this Unit at the end of the book.

The Life of Pasteur by Vallery-Radot or Madame Curie by Eve Curie

are especially recommended.

The scientific attitude grows with practice once its spirit has been


It requires deliberate, unrelenting effort to develop the scientific

attitude. It is a lifelong battle, but the rewards make it worth


Begin today, starting with the small, more easily solved problems, to

cultivate the characteristics of the scientific attitude. Some suggested

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