The Scientific Scrapbook
Armed with a fifty page report, a committee of the American Association of Scientific Workers, headed by Bart Jan Bok, associate professor of Astronomy, will throw down the gauntlet to the rapidly increasing tens of thousands of astrologers in this country today. This is the result of six months of exhaustive research by astronomers at Harvard.
Everybody does not know that astrology is the bunk, the report shows. At the news stands where Harvard men buy their magazines, in Harvard Square, you can buy thirteen different astrological periodicals in ten minutes. The Boston Herald Traveler and the Boston American both run columns on astrology.
Quoting an article in Time magazine last fall, Dr. Bok said that enough money is spent on astrology in the United States each year to finance the building of fifteen 200 inch telescopes, such as the one now being built at a cost of eight million dollars. This telescope will double the range of present instruments. "Money spent on astrology helps nobody," Dr. Bok pointed out.
Psychologists, Sociologists Agree
Gordon W. Allport '19, associate professor of Psychology, supported by the Executive Council of the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues made the statement that there is not the slightest benefit from, or grounds for believing in astrology.
He further explained that in times of depression or war, when moral habits are weakened, belief in the occult increases. Pitirim A. Sorokin, professor of Sociology, supported this view by declaring last night that in times of disintegration of society, like the present and like the time of the decay of the Roman Empire, a growing interest in astrology is likely to be one of the manifestations of the social and cultural disintegration.
Astrology Is Condemned by the Courts
The report prepared by the committee points out in detail that many states have laws prohibiting the practice of astrology and shows that in very few cases have these laws been enforced. The committee plans to attack astrologers wherever possible by means of existing laws and recommends the enactment of more effective and uniform laws. The Federal Communication Commission, it points out, has ruled astrologers off the air as a result of protests by the American Astronomical Society and the American Society of Magicians.