Throughout the course of the history of science the scientist individually has had to exist on sufferance; he worked, inevitably, for ignorant patrons who could not understand even what he was trying to do, and if they had they would have had little wish to further it. Now, with the scientists’ growth in numbers and importance, this attitude is no longer necessary and will soon be no longer possible. Scientists also recognize their weaknesses, a lack of contact, not so much with the seats of power as with the people who can be the real beneficiaries of science. When that contact is renewed and improved we can hope to have a world where science ceases to be a threat to mankind and becomes a guarantee for a better future.

J.D. Bernal The Social Function of Science (Preface to the second edition, ‘After twenty-five years’, 1964)