Now that the last guest has left Cambridge, now that the Tiger and the Bulldog have returned to their haunts, it is meet to take stock of the second Conference on Public Affairs. To the members of the faculty who participated we had hoped some benefit would accrue. To the guests who came we had hoped the discussion would be, if not useful, at any rate interesting. In each case comments indicate that our hopes were fulfilled.
But whatever the attitude of faculty and guests, it is to the undergraduate delegates that the dailies must turn for judgment as to whether or not results justified the expenditure of time and effort. By and large the discussions were of undoubted value to the students who attended. The sense of reality given by prominent men to problems which, in textbooks, seem entirely "academic", the importance with which these problems are invested by the willingness of industrial and governmental leaders to come to Cambridge to discuss them, the stimulation attendant upon new facts and divergent points of view; all these are obvious benefits. But more important still is the feeling which conferees must have had that no theory offered by professors, no method advocated by intrenched groups was infallible. All must have seen that a tremendous state of flux surrounded the problems. With this comes the realization that the solution or solutions lies open to all. In a round table each student feels an equality with professors and guests, perhaps illusory, but nonetheless stimulating for it instantly removes the problems from academic shoulders. Interest being in inverse proportion to distance, much is gained thereby. For these, and other reasons, the Conference technique seems a valuable addition to the educational armory which goes far toward filling up the gaps in collegiate education.
To the University for the freedom from interference which it allowed and the support which it gave, to the guests for their time and interest, to the professors for their constant assistance, to graduates who gave money, and to those students who worked to make the Conference a success, the "Crimson" extends its official and sincere thanks. May Yale be as fortunate in finding such happy circumstances next year.