Sir Francis Galton’s Scientific Priesthood

Seth Roberts writes that:

[Doing experiments oneself] is what the Protestant Reformation was about: Speaking directly to God rather than waiting for “definitive studies” by experts that “quantify the risks and benefits”.

Consider Sir Francis Galton in English Men of Science (1873):

“As regards the future provision for successful followers of science, it is to be hoped that, in addition to the many new openings in industrial pursuits, the gradual but sure development of sanitary administration and statistical inquiry may in time afford the needed profession. These and adequately paid professorships may, as I sincerely hope they will, even in our days, give rise to the establishment of a sort of scientific priesthood throughout the kingdom, whose high duties would have reference to the health and well-being of the nation in its broadest sense, and whose emoluments and social position would be made commensurate with the importance and variety of their functions.” (p. 259)

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