Field and Laboratory

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In the introduction to the unabridged edition of his Study of History (1933), Toynbee comments on the invasion of the field of scientific investigation by the Industrial System: the working up of raw materials ("data") by many individual workers ("scientists") into finished products ("papers," or as so commonly designated, "the literature"), according to more or less standardized methods of mass production ("Research"). Toynbee leaves it an open question whether this is not after all the best manner in which scientific investigation should be conducted in the present stage of development of western science. Certainly the magnitude of the task makes a division of labor inescapable.

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