Library of Congress CCN 67-10417
Wbere does the motivation for this kind of activity come from? Why
do we start these programs at all? Is there some secret behind the national
scene giving the motive for our whole picture? Let us look bchind these
programs for clues to the human forces motivating these programs. Let
us then relate the discussion to the present status of the interspecics
The spiritual side of man seems to be used as a major
driving force behind science as well as behind religion. It is definitely
used behind industry. In the face of the vastness of the unknown, some
of us have awe and reverence. In most discussions in science, this factor
is neglected. We discuss curiosity, intellect, intuition, genius, truth,
power, support, facilities, and facts. Most scientists neglect the inner
wellsprings of our own beings in their chosen profesoion. When questioned,
they usually make a joke of it. It is as if this reverence and awe are
left for an embarrassed consideration in church on Sundays only.
In my education at the California Institute of Technology, this split was obvious. Awe and reverence were delegated to the Humanities Department. If anyone dared mention them in the scientific departments (and some did) they were met with yawns or biting sarcasms depending on thc listener. The professors, assistant professors, and teaching instructors did not have time for this kind of a discussion. And yet, practically every student that I knew well said he was there because of these two factors.
We should be concerned with the driving forces in the young people going into science. We should be concerned with their ethics, their morals and their motivations. The whole future of our civilization is in their hands. (At least I hope that we turn it over to them without destroying it.)
Unless we aid the youngsters to see the necessity of awe, reverence, and respect, they can become dangerously callouscd and cynical, not only in their scientific work, but in the application of their scientific work to technology. With more reverence for all of life, with more awe in the face of the inside unknown and the ontside unknown, with deeper experiences with other human beings from the far side of the planet, maybe the bombs would never have been needcd amd hence not made or planned.