In "The Idea of Research" President Harry Pratt Judson examined
what makes a university a university. The goal of such institutions,
he argued, should be to attain new truths. These truths, he continued,
can have practical results, pointing to attempts to "eliminate
malaria and yellow fever in the way of preventative medicine."
Researchers benefit from teaching, he argued, because a researcher
can "test what he is doing" and is a more "inspiring teacher from
the fact that he is not giving information that he has acquired
in a routine way, but that he is always speaking and working from
the point of view of one who is himself a productive scholar."
Marking Chicago's 60th anniversary, anthropology professor Robert
Redfield, AB'20, JD'21, PhD'28, spoke on "The Dangerous
Duty of the University." Commenting on the McCarthy investigations
of subversive activities and professors on Chicago's campus, Redfield
said, "It cannot be denied that there is a considerable opinion
outside the University which sees us as a place of dangerous ideas
and dangerous men." But Redfield did not view that reputation
as something of which to be ashamed. Instead, he argued, "I put
forward the view that this reputation for dangerous radicalism
is an evidence that the University is doing its duty. It shows
that the University is engaged in defending the very liberties
which its detractors believe it to be endangering."
Chicago lost its status as the site of the world's first sustained
release of nuclear energy. A paper in Scientific American reported
that in Gabon, West Africa, "a rich vein of uranium ore, a natural
'reactor,' it appears, once went critical, consumed a portion
of its fuel, and then shut itself down-in Precambrian times, almost
2,000,000,000 years ago." Also in the news, Paramount Pictures
was considering a movie based on A River Runs Through It by English
professor Norman F. Maclean,
PhD'40. A film version of the book would not appear
until 1992, directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt.
The October issue looked back at the first century of University
history. One article chronicled "the quest by a group of College
faculty as they created their Centennial Syllabus, a 'common core'
for the University's 100th year." In the philosophy category,
Plato's The Apology made the cut, while Darwin's On the Origin
of the Species was required reading in science. Among the events
noted on a centennial timeline were the 1901 publication of "Style
Book," the precursor to The Chicago Manual of Style; the 1940
establishment of the Institute of Military Studies with courses
in basic training, military theory and law, as well as marksmanship;
and the 1981 merger of the 650,000-volume John Crerar Library
with the University's science holdings, bringing the total volume
count to more than 1 million.-Q.J.