30 JANUARY 1942, Page 20

Shorter Notices

Endeavour. Vol. I. No. i. (Imperial Chemical Industries. 5s.)

THE appearance of a new scientific quarterly review at this moment may appear to require some justification, but Endeavour, designed to record " the progress of the sciences in the service of mankind," is a valuable and admirably conceived venture, judging by its first number. We are just at a point when the prestige of science—so deservedly great for centuries—has begun to suffer from popularisation and the introduction by " scientists " into their work of the human weaknesses they share with their fellow-citizens. The scientific search for truth seems even in danger in some quarters of- being abandoned for the very un- scientific assertion of dogma. For this reason it is good to find among other admirable articles in Endeavour one by Dr. John Read on Ferguson's Bibliotheca Chemica, from which it is impossible to resist quoting these words : " Let not the modern

student of science imagine that he and his work will escape the universal doom. His discoveries, his theories, the most recent, the most comprehensive and progressive, sooner or later will become mere archaeological data, to be included, or, just as likely, omitted, in a historical review of this time. . . . The history of chemistry, as indeed of all science, is but a succession of epitaphs upon forgotten men and 'forgotten discovery. . . . It was to mitigate this fate . . . that this gathering of -writings of bygone thinkers and workers was made."

Here is the true scientific spirit which it is to be hoped the Editor of Endeavour will do all in his power to promote and spread abroad.