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Fossil Ice Crystals An Instance of the Practical Value of "Pure Science"   By:

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University of Texas Bulletin No. 1821: April 10, 1918

Fossil Ice Crystals

An Instance of the Practical Value of "Pure Science"

[Illustration: university emblem]

Bureau of Economic Geology and Technology Division of Economic Geology J. A. Udden, Director of the Bureau and Head of the Division

Published by the University six times a month and entered as second class matter at the postoffice at AUSTIN, TEXAS

Publications of the University of Texas

Publications Committee:

F. W. GRAFF J. M. BRYANT D. B. CASTEEL FREDERIC DUNCALF R. H. GRIFFITH J. L. HENDERSON I. P. HILDEBRAND E. J. MATHEWS

The University publishes bulletins six times a month, so numbered that the first two digits of the number show the year of issue; the last two the position in the yearly series. (For example, No. 1701 is the first bulletin of the year 1917.) These comprise the official publications of the University, publications on humanistic and scientific subjects, bulletins prepared by the Department of Extension and by the Bureau of Municipal Research and Reference, and other bulletins of general educational interest. With the exception of special numbers, any bulletin will be sent to a citizen of Texas free on request. All communications about University publications should be addressed to the Chairman of the Publications Committee, University of Texas, Austin.

University of Texas Bulletin No. 1821: April 10, 1918

Fossil Ice Crystals

An Instance of the Practical Value of "Pure Science"

[Illustration: university emblem]

Bureau of Economic Geology and Technology Division of Economic Geology J. A. Udden, Director of the Bureau and Head of the Division

Published by the University six times a month and entered as second class matter at the postoffice at AUSTIN, TEXAS

The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.

Sam Houston

Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy.... It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge and the only security that freemen desire.

Mirabeau B. Lamar

FOSSIL ICE CRYSTALS

BY J. A. UDDEN

AN INSTANCE OF THE PRACTICAL VALUE OF "PURE SCIENCE"

The practical value of the service of the geological profession is, with every year, being more and more appreciated, especially among people who are developing the mineral resources of our country. Nevertheless, we still hear men who speak of geologists as theorists that render our profitable industries but little assistance. It is true that much of the work that geologists do has but a remote bearing on practical questions. The fact is that in geology, as in other sciences, one can never know when a purely scientific observation may turn out to have a practical application. Paleontologists who study the minutest details of fossils have been held up as impractical people, even though their science has more than once proved to be of the greatest practical importance for the finding of valuable natural deposits. Certainly those who have been most prominent in the promotion of paleontology as a science have seldom, if ever, had any economic motive in the pursuit of their work. I think the same is true of our leading petrographers. I believe that the men who have advanced the science of geology most, have seldom contributed much to the practical application of the principles they have discovered. Much scientific work naturally appears unprofitable or useless to the uninitiated. I shall here relate a case that suggests how entirely wrong it may be to regard as of no economic value any geologic fact, however insignificant it may appear.

In the summer of 1890 I took occasion to make a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota in order to profit, as I could, by a few weeks' tramping in this interesting region... Continue reading book >>




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