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research has resulted in the formation of numerous
research associations, each in connection with a


group of trades or industries, totally outside the
universities, and taking from them some of their best
brains. The Carnegie Trust is in real danger of
being absorbed into this great central scheme.
Badly as the governing bodies of our universities
have exploited the passion for research and the
necessities of those who wish to be able to prosecute
it, in Germany under State control matters have
probably been much worse. So there is every reason
to fear that in future the exploitation of research
workers will be taken in hand directly and unblush-
ingly by the State.

It is not too much to claim that the universities
owe entirely to modern science the conception that
they are something more than professional and
technical training schools, and the permanent homes
of the learning and culture which has survived in
the world the conception that their highest function
is creative rather than imitative or didactic. It is
the conception of all best worthy of preservation
as the basis upon which to build, and I have merely
followed here its necessary logical development in
attempting to extend it beyond science to the innate
aspirations of mankind after beauty and virtue.
But little is it yet valued. A motley horde of
interests, like the money-changers of old, invade
the temple of learning, and each year seems to
make the creative element therein more of an
intruder, and the seeker after knowledge for its
own sake out of place. The creative element in
science will never lack a home. Industry and com-
merce will house it in a noble and spacious prison
with bars of solid gold, even if the universities
reject it.

But there could be no finer memorial to the great
dead than to accept frankly and without reservation
the fact, of which they themselves are the most con-


vincing witnesses, that the years 1914-1918 form the
climax in the annals of the human race, and the
implications that follow therefrom in our outlook on
the world. We shall look for greatness not in the
past but in the present, and for the sources of great-
ness not to our ancestors but to the creative element
and the spirit of science in ourselves. The scientific
spirit of honest and unprejudiced inquiry for the pure
love of truth is not to be confined to concrete things.
It is as essential to the proper understanding of the
laws of God and man as it is to those of Nature, for
they also are the continuously growing and developing
expressions of the conceptions which are practically
summed up, so far as they are living, by the word
Duty. But when we leave the past behind, as
children leave their youth, and press forward to the
discovery and apprehension of the new, we create
and join forces with the other great creative agency
of Art. After a chequered career of successive
patronage by kings and courts, priests and patricians,
municipalities and millionaires, creative Art still
wanders in the world, a vagabond without a home.
Its rightful place is in the university alongside of
science. And for the inscription of our ideal uni-
versity, upon which the actual universities of the
future will be founded, we might do worse than to
alter, if it is permissible, the words of Keats in
accord with the spirit of modern science and modern

" Beauty and Truth and Duty that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

In taking leave of the Scientific Association I
have now inflicted upon you, I suppose for the last
time, what I notice have come to be referred to in
the press as my well-known views, and it only
remains for me to bid you farewell. I hope and

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expect that you will continue to grow in numbers
and usefulness. I have tried to show that as a
Scientific Association you stand for the ideals upon
which the universities of the future will be built, and
which need not fear comparison with the noblest that
have been paramount in the great periods of onrush
of human thought. They are safe in your hands.
For the love of truth and the passion for its advance-
ment are the ideals of youth and hope, and so long
as the tide of youth annually rejuvenates our univer-
sities there at least they cannot wholly die.

It is the birth-right of youth to start anew. Once
to burst out from the coffin of the past and survey
the world with clear and open eyes. The vision
may fade. The cloud-capped towers and gorgeous
palaces may dissolve and leave not a rack behind.
But not for you !

You come here, ostensibly to "get on" how I
loathe the words to win for yourself position, power
and importance in the world that calls itself great, to
train for this or that profession or calling, to enable
you to hew your way and distance your competitors
in the race of life. But what have these tawdry
ideals of bygone far-off unhappy days to do with
your Alma Mater or with you ? Leave them, at
least, until you are out in the world that calls itself
great, and, while you are here, live in the world that
is great, in the realm of expanding ideas and the
rapidly widening horizons of truth !

Were all the powers of darkness in dominion over
her, yet is the university a holy place, where year by
year congregate pilgrims in the greatness and
generosity of youth, "to learn what none may teach,
to seek what none may reach," to perpetuate the
vision of youth after youth itself is sped. When
this ceases to be true, then and then only will the
ancient universities have grown old.



MR ANDREW CARNEGIE, on ;th July 1901, signed a
trust deed bequeathing 2,000,000 to the Scottish Uni-
versities, which was recorded in the Books of Council
of Session on 9th July 1901. The Trust Deed opens
as follows :

" I, Andrew Carnegie, of New York, and of Skibo,
in the County of Sutherland, having retired from active
business, and deeming it to be my duty and one of my
highest privileges to administer the wealth which has
come to me as a trustee on behalf of others, and entertain-
ing the confident belief that one of the best means of my
discharging that trust is by providing funds for improving
and extending the opportunities for scientific study and
research in the Universities of Scotland, my native land,
and by rendering attendance at these Universities and
the enjoyment of their advantages more available to the
deserving and qualified youth of that country to whom
the payment of fees might act as a barrier to the enjoy-
ment of these advantages ; and having full confidence
in the Noblemen and Gentlemen afternamed, . . ."

A list of Trustees follows, to whom the donor under-
takes to entrust "Bonds of the United States Steel
Corporation of the aggregate value of Ten Million Dollars,
bearing interest at 5 per cent, per annum, and having
a currency of fifty years."

It is only with the first of these objects, the improve -
1 Published in Science Progress, January 1917.


ment and extension of the opportunities for scientific
study and research, that this criticism is concerned.

In a document signed by Mr Carnegie, entitled
" Constitution of the Trust referred to in the foregoing
Trust Deed," the two objects of the Trust are referred
to under Clauses A and B respectively, and a third clause,
C, provided for any surplus income.

Clause A opens :

" One-half of the net annual income shall be applied
towards the improvement and expansion of the Universities
of Scotland, in the Faculties of Science and Medicine ;
also for improving and extending the opportunities for
scientific study and research, and for increasing the
facilities for acquiring a knowledge of History, Economics,
English Literature, and Modern Languages, and such
other subjects cognate to a technical and commercial
education as can be brought within the scope of the
University curriculum, by the erection and maintenance
of buildings, laboratories, class-rooms, museums, or libraries,
the providing of efficient apparatus, books and equipment,
the institution and endowment of Professorships and
Lectureships, including post-graduate Lectureships and
Scholarships, more especially Scholarships for the purpose
of encouraging research, or in such other manner as the
Committee may from time to time decide. . . ."

The two passages cited from the official copy, issued
by the Carnegie Trust, of the Trust Deed and the Consti-
tution of the Trust referred to in the foregoing Trust
Deed, respectively, contain all that is germane to the
present criticism.

But a reasonable interpretation, and the one initially
followed in the two larger of the Scottish Universities,
Edinburgh and Glasgow, would seem to be that the
money was given for the primary purpose of encouraging
scientific study and research, including, of course, medicine,
and that history and other subjects cognate to a modern
education were legitimate ancillary beneficiaries under
the Trust, and, lastly, that the older subjects of a classical
education were entirely excluded from participating.


Thus over the first period of ten years and nine
months, up to soth September 1913, covered by the first
two quinquennial and interim distributions, in Edinburgh
62 per cent, and 15 per cent, and in Glasgow 67 per cent
and 19 per cent of the total sums received were allocated
by the Trustees to what have been termed the primary
and ancillary objects respectively. The remaining 23
per cent and 14 per cent, in the two institutions have
gone mainly to the maintenance of the libraries and other
purposes in which the two sides share more or less in-
definitely. In neither institution was any money given
definitely to benefit what have been termed the classical
group of studies.

If this had been the interpretation adopted generally,

and subsequently to 1913, by the Carnegie Trustees,

certainly no one would have been disposed to criticise

them, or submit the legality of their operations to the

test of the powers responsible for the observance of the

Trust Laws of Scotland. Neither would there have been

any disposition to examine with a microscope the exact

apportioning of the moneys between the two sides. If

they had secured a broad common-sense distribution

among the primary and ancillary objects, the gift was

handsome enough in amount not to necessitate the making

of fine distinctions. But this interpretation has not been

followed, either universally, or subsequently to 1913. In

the University of Aberdeen for the whole period up to

30th September 1918, covering the first three quinquennial

and interim distributions, only 23 per cent has been

allocated to the primary object, while 46 per cent has

gone to the ancillary object. The maintenance of the

Library has taken 12 per cent, and there remains 19 per

cent. This has been allocated for the erection of new

buildings and examination hall for Arts subjects and an

extension of the Library, objects which, in so far as they

are not illegitimate, are ancillary. So also, since 1913,

it is in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The former is given

90 per cent, of its total allocation for five years to


" Buildings for Faculty of Arts and Department oi
Zoology," and Edinburgh 65 per cent, to "Chemical
Department and Arts accommodation." As regards St
Andrews and Dundee, the position in the main is between
that of Aberdeen on the one hand, and Edinburgh and
Glasgow on the other. But the practice of slumping
legitimate and questionable expenditure under one head,
illustrated above in the case of Glasgow and Edinburgh,
and the payment of debts previously incurred, make a
detailed analysis difficult to the outsider.

In addition to payments to the four universities, and
relatively small grants to technical colleges and other
institutions, the Carnegie Trustees administer themselves
a scheme for the endowment of research. Of a total in
round figures of some 621,400 spent under Clause A to
3Oth September 1915, 86,000 or some 14 per cent, have
been spent on the research scheme, that is, 27,000 on
Fellowships, 30,000 on Scholarships, 21,000 on Grants
in Aid, and some 8000 on a Research Laboratory of
the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. One
might fairly have expected that something more than
14 per cent, would have been spent on the research
scheme. The answer may be that initially Scotland was
ill-equipped with scientific laboratories, and these had
first to be provided. But now that these laboratories
have been provided, the money is going to provide
buildings for Arts subjects to a very questionable extent,
instead of to promoting scientific study and research.

But even what has been done has not been done for
research so much as for the teaching of research, a highly
important and worthy object enough, but only to be
confounded with scientific research by those who have
never done any or even been taught the methods.
Research Scholarships and Fellowships are excellent in
themselves, and will be even more so if, as a result of
the war, something less like starvation awaits the holders
at the end of their research training. Grants in aid of
research are again excellent, and would be more so if


they were given when they were wanted ; whereas, to
suit the conditions laid down by the Trustees, the money
has to be applied for before a definite date in the year
before it is wanted. But of the three indispensable
requirements for getting research done, these two, the
training of the apprentice and the provision of money
for instruments, are preliminary. The third indispensable,
letting the trained man with the instruments do the
research, is the one this country has not yet thought
much about.

At the bottom of the ladder, the Research Scholar or
Fellow at the end of his training has had to abandon the
work for which he was training and seek a livelihood. If
he is lucky he will get a teaching position, and if, again,
he is lucky he may find odd moments to continue his
researches. If he is not so lucky he has to begin late in
life the study of the art of earning a living. The Professor
at the top, nowhere more than in Scotland, finds that he
must now be content to do his research by deputy, and
the most he can hope for is to train clever apprentices.
Some subjects, naturally, lend themselves to this require-
ment very much better than others, and what is possible
in them is not possible in general. The real business for
which the Professor is paid, again nowhere more than in
the land to which Mr Carnegie gave his millions, is to
teach. Instead of being treated as a life-business, requir-
ing years of devoted training and study for the preparation,
and equally devoted and uninterrupted application for its
pursuit, research is treated as a hobby to be followed by
busy teachers in the intervals of their regular duties.
This is not the way to foster perhaps the most important
and repaying of all the State's numerous activities. The
Carnegie Trustees have not even attempted to meet this

The Annual Reports issued by the Carnegie Trust do
not contain the names of the Trustees. The original list
in the Trust Deed consists of fourteen nominated members,
two of them, Lord Kelvin and Sir Henry Roscoe, having


in the past contributed to the advancement of natural
knowledge, four ex-officio members (the Secretary of
State for Scotland, and the Lord Provosts of Edinburgh,
Glasgow, and Dunfermline for the time being), and four
members elected by the universities. The vacancies in
the nominated members are filled up by the Trustees

The nominated Trustees apparently hold office for life,
and consist almost entirely of eminent public men, more
or less universally known, many of them distinguished in
History. Literature, Philosophy, and the Law, that is, in
the ancillary or illegitimate rather than the primary group
of studies. Moreover, the branches of the ancillary subjects
in which they are distinguished are not those cognate to
a technical or commercial education. The two original
scientific members are dead, as also is Sir Arthur Rucker,
who replaced one of them. In the case of all three, their
career of active scientific investigation had practically
closed before they were appointed. In no case, so far as
the writer is aware, has an active scientific investigator
been a Trustee. At the present time there does not
appear to be a single scientific man on the Trust. 1 Of the
four Trustees elected by the universities, two are
distinguished members of the medical profession ; a third,
Sir William Turner, having lately died. The legal
profession, past and present Cabinet Ministers, and public
administrators supply the whole of the present nominated
members. Sir Henry Roscoe's death removed the only
scientific member. The others are : Earl of Elgin and
Kincardine, Earl of Rosebery, Lord Balfour of Burleigh,
Lord Kinnear of Spurness (ex-Senator of the College of
Justice), Lord Reay of Reay, Rt, Hon. A. J. Balfour,
Viscounts Bryce and Morley, Lord Shaw, Rt. Hon. H. H.
Asquith, and W. J. Dundas (Crown Agent for Scotland).
It is mere hypocrisy to expect from a body so constituted,

1 Between the time of writing and publication Sir Alfred Ewing
became a member of the Trust, as the representative of the Edinburgh
University Court.


to the majority of whom the words science and scientific
research mean little more than the letters out of which
the words are composed, an equitable balance between
science and the other subjects cognate to a technical or
commercial education. Either they should be totally
neutral as regards the two competing beneficiaries, or they
should be reconstituted to give a representation to each
side in accordance with the intentions of the founder of
the Trust.

In the general awakening to the national importance
of giving fair play to science, and especially to scientific
investigation in the universities, it is to be hoped that
the composition of the Carnegie Trust and its record of
work under Clause A will not escape unchallenged.

It would indeed be strange if out of between one-half
and three-quarters of a million pounds interest available
for the promotion of scientific study and research, science
had not benefited at all. That of course is not alleged.
But the almost total lack of representation of living science
on the Trust, and the over-representation of the humanistic
element, has made for fatal timidity and lack of imagina-
tion and originality in the application of the moneys, so
far as the primary object of the benefaction is concerned.
There is no automatic retiral of members annually, or
provision making them ineligible for re-election till after
an interval, which has been found to be necessary, from
experience, for good and effective management. Of a
body so constituted, probably the best and worst that
could be said is that they were given a unique opportunity
to promote scientific study and investigation, and even if
they had had the best will towards science in the world,
they could not have grasped it, because that is a branch
of human endeavour which the overwhelming majority
had not explored for themselves. In these circumstances
a secretary who had some acquaintance with scientific
study and investigation might have been of service to

No doubt their difficulties were enormous in connection

2 F


with the peculiar relations to the universities in which
they were thrown, but the difficulties have proved the
master. The nation should look for something more real
in the promotion of scientific study and research in the
future from the million pounds which Mr Carnegie gave
for the purpose.

It would not be fair to saddle the Carnegie Trustees
with the responsibility, at least before it has been pointed
out to them ; but their attention and that of the public
may be directed to a very important cognate question.
How much of the grants from the Carnegie Trust
nominally given to science is diverted from that object?
Special information, not contained in every case in the
financial statements of the universities presented to
Parliament, is needed in this inquiry, and this must
excuse the writer's inability to consider any but his own
university, and indeed little more than his own depart-
ment, of which naturally he has the fullest information.

The one scientific post in Aberdeen endowed by the
Carnegie Trust is the Lectureship in Geology. The
endowment, 12,632, and an annual grant of 1000
towards equipment of the laboratories, practically exhaust
the Trust's scientific allocations in this university. In
the early years a total sum not exceeding 2500 in
addition went in small increases of from 75 to .50 in the
salaries of some half-dozen science lecturers and assistants.
In the published accounts, the interest of the Geology
endowment to the extent of 400 is stated to have gone
to the payment of the Lecturer's salary, and the part
payment of that of an assistant. But, taking 1913-14, the
year before the war, the students' class fees, 505
mainly derived from the second Carnegie million,
administered under Clause B alone, without counting
an equivalent proportion of examination and degree fees,
more than paid the total salaries of the Geology staff,
475. If the examination and degree fees are included
and the external examiner's salary deducted, there remains
a balance of 173, which is more than enough to wipe out


the item of ^128 which the department is credited with
receiving from the Carnegie Trust out of the annual grant
of ;iooo for equipment. Thus so far as the main
provision for science by the Carnegie Trust in Aberdeen
is concerned, the money is diverted to other purposes.

The Chemistry Department, when the writer was
appointed to the Professorship, was credited in the
1913-14 accounts with the receipt of 534 of public
money that is, ,149 from the Carnegie Trust out of the
annual 1000 grant for equipment, and 385 from the
Exchequer. Nevertheless, counting in an old endowment
which brought in 194, it was entirely supported by the
class and examination fees paid by the students taught,
without this 534, which was diverted to other purposes.

By the Act of 1889 all financial control and responsi-
bility was taken out of the hands of the Professors and
vested in the University Court, who were enjoined by
Ordinance 26, Clause V, to keep a separate account of the
fees, distinguishing those drawn from each class, and by
Clause XI, in providing for the educational needs of the
several Faculties, to have due regard, inter ah'a, to the
contributions made by the Faculties respectively to the
funds of the University.

Latterly the accounts have ceased even to attempt to
conform with the first of these obligations, and for lack
of this information it is impossible to say where the
moneys nominally given to Chemistry and Geology really
go. It is not suggested that they go to Arts or Law, or
any particular Faculty, specially. The Court alone can
give the necessary information.

A questionable system seems to be in vogue, euphem-
istically known as " saving the General Fund," whereby
grants of public money are given not directly only to
such departments as are spending more than they earn,
but even to those like Chemistry, which'are earning what
they spend. The Court is under obligation to report to
the Government and the Carnegie Trust annually the
manner in which the grants have been expended, and the


nominal purpose reported is not in all cases the real one.
It is not a question of principle, whether a flourishing
department ought to support one that is not, but of
straightforward bookkeeping. Moneys are given to a
department A, the effect of which is to transfer the
equivalent amount of fees to another department B. A
is credited in the annual statements with the receipt of
the money, but B gets it. Why is not B given the money
directly instead of A, and the transaction recorded in the
accounts ? The answer is that though A, by the terms
of the gift, is necessarily a proper recipient, B may or
may not be.

Whatever may have been the abuses of the regime
before the Act of 1889, the fact that such a subject as

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Online LibraryFrederick SoddyScience and life: Aberdeen addresses → online text (page 16 of 18)