McCrimmon, having gotten Grierson's attention, continued: "A breakthrough, you say? If it's in economics, at least it can't be dangerous. Nothing like gene engineering, laser beams, sex hormones or international relations. That's where we don't want any breakthroughs. " (Galbraith, 1. K. (1990) A Tenured Profes sor, Houghton Miffiin; Boston. ) To judge [astronomy] in this way [a narrow utilitarian point of view] demon strates not only how poor we are, but also how small, narrow, and indolent our minds are; it shows a disposition always to calculate the payolIbefore the work, a cold heart and a lack of feeling for everything that is great and honors man. One can unfortunately not deny that such a mode of thinking is not uncommon in our age, and I am convinced that this is closely connected with the catastro phes which have befallen many countries in recent times; do not mistake me, I do not talk of the general lack of concern for science, but of the source from which all this has come, of the tendency to everywhere look out for one's advan tage and to relate everything to one's physical well-being, of the indilIerence towards great ideas, ofthe aversion to any elIort which derives from pure enthu siasm: I believe that such attitudes, if they prevail, can be decisive in catas trophes of the kind we have experienced. [Gauss, K. F.: Astronomische An trittsvorlesung (cited from Buhler, W. K. (1981) Gauss: A Biographical Study, Springer: New York)].
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