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May 2, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(18):1359-1360. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660440045012

Any one familiar with the history of mental achievement is not likely to underestimate the value of the traditional knowledge that has been inherited from our ancestors. Before the days of experimental science in its modern form, unaided observation and the "half-conscious education which results from mere experience" were responsible for slow advances. In discussing the part played by science in the life of a nation, Lord Moulton has presented the case of empiric versus experimental procedures in a way that is well worth considering in the present period of "educational unrest." He remarks that in the earlier ages there appeared from time to time men who in a rude and unsystematic way carried out true experimental research. At the present day we can no longer wait for the slow results of casual discovery. The aim of those who would encourage research, Moulton continues, is to advance our knowledge of