Soddy, Frederick – Soddy's role as prophet - 07 Science must speak the truth though the heavens fall
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Frederick Soddy in 1920:
[The public] should require that its universities and learned societies should no longer evade their responsibilities and hide under the guise of false humility as the hired servants of the world their work has made possible, but do that for which they are supported in cultured release from routine occupations, and, speak the truth though the heavens fall.
Let it not be forgotten that science is a communism, neither theoretical nor on paper, but actual and in practice. The results of those who labour in the fields of knowledge for its own sake are published freely and pooled in the general stock for the benefit of all. Common ownership of all its acquisitions is the breath of its life. Secrecy or individualism of any kind would destroy its fertility.
Some thought science had already made war impossible. As it has not, it may be concluded that no future development of science, however world shattering, will of itself have that effect.
[as to the] problem of transmutation and the liberation of atomic energy... we are advancing ... at a rate which makes it probable that one day will see its achievement. Should that day ever arrive, let no one be blind to the magnitude of the issues at stake, or suppose that such an acquisition to the physical resources of humanity can safely be entrusted to those who in the past have converted the blessings already conferred by science into a curse. As suddenly and unexpectedly as the discovery of radioactivity itself, at any moment some fortunate one among the little group of researchers engrossed in these enquiries might find the clue and follow it up. So would be diverted into the channels of human consciousness and purpose the full primary function of natural energy at its source, for use or misuse by men, according as to whether the long and bitter lessons of the painful past and present have even yet been really learned.
Frederick Soddy: The Scientist as Prophet – Professor Mansel Davies [May 1991]
The last two quotations in particular show 'one of the chosen few' of Calvinism speaking out 'though the heavens fall'. This twentieth-century prophet expresses a strength of conviction with a clarity reminiscent of the Biblical type.