Tuesday, February 28, 2023

But One Coward

Finally, the necessity must again be emphasized of keeping clearly before students the object of all science, amid the turmoil and intense feeling that clouds the discussion of a burning social question.  We live in a day when in spite of the brilliant accomplishments of a remarkable century, there is current much flippant criticism of scientific work; when the truth-seeker is too often pictured as devoid of human sympathy, and careless of human ideals.  We are still prone in spite of all our culture to sneer at the heroism of the laboratory while we cheer the swagger of the street broil.  At such a time true lovers of humanity can only hold higher the pure ideals of science, and continue to insist that if we would solve a problem we must study it, and that there is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.

-- William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 - 1963), American civil rights activist, sociologist, and educator, The Study of the Negro Problems, paragraph 51, in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. XI (January 1898)

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