Scientists Are Lonely Men -Oliver La Farge
“It is not so long ago that, even in my dilettante study of the science of ethnology, I corresponded with men in Ireland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Yucatan, and had some discussion with a Chinese.
One by one these interchanges were cut off; in some countries the concept of science is dead, and even in the free strongholds of Britain and the Americas pure science is being - must be - set aside in favor of what is immediately useful and urgently needed. It must hibernate now; for a while all it means is likely to be forgotten.
It has never been well understood. Scientists have never been good at explaining themselves and, frustrated by this, they tend to withdraw into the esoteric, refer to the public as “laymen,” and develop incomprehensible vocabularies from which they draw a naive, secret-society feeling of superiority.
What is the special nature of a scientist as distinguished from a soda-jerker? Not just the externals such as a trick vocabulary, but the human formation within the man. ...
The inner nature of science within the scientist is both emotional and intellectual. The emotional element must not be overlooked, for without it there is no sound research on however odd and dull-seeming the subject. ...
To an outsider who does not know of this emotion, the scientist suggests an ant, putting forth great efforts to lug one insignificant and apparently unimportant grain of sand to be added to a pile, and much of the time his struggle seems as pointless as an ant’s. ....
.... McGarnigle went among the independent Indians of Icaiche because he had heard of a skull kept in one of their temples which, from a crude description, seemed to have certain important characteristics.
All his risks and his maneuverings with those tough, explosive Indians centered around the problem of gaining access to that skull. When he tries to tell an attractive girl about his experiences he not only understates, but can’t keep from stressing the significance of a skull with a healed, clover-leaf trepan. -1942 From: A Treasury of Science (1958, Harper & Brothers)
What is the significance of a healed cloverleaf trepan, on a skull kept in one of their temples ?
Proverbs 29:12-12 If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked.