The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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GREAT enterprise in the world of science applied for the benefit of the general public is too apt to become public property without the recognition of those individuals who made the achievement possible. Science has become popularized, but the tireless scientist receives meagre memorial. The journalistic Paul de Kruif has rescued many of these names from oblivion in his "Microbe Hunters" and later his "Hunger Fighter", published in 1928. Dr. Harvey W. Wiley has told his own story, and has presented a picture, human and authoritative, which ranges from the log cabins of pioneer Indiana, to Harvard College in the seventies, German student life under the old regime, and the White House from the time of Harrison to Taft.
His thirty years as Chief Chemist in the Department of Agriculture have been marked by a continuous fight against adulterants in food and patent medicines, a fight which culminated in the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Like Roosevelt, a fighting personality, he also was opposed to the Trusts and more especially food industries founded on products injurious to public health.
Nurtured on ""Uncle Tom's Cabin" and the Calvinistic faith, the long panorama of Dr. Wiley's life unrolls its most colorful chapter at the beginning, where early American life grows into school and college from the backwoods struggle for existence. Graduated from Harvard in 1873 he received his diploma from Dr. Charles William Eliot, then known as the "Boy President", was stimulated by the parting lectures of Louis Agassiz, and witnessed the first Harvard-Yale baseball game.
History becomes alive in this auto-biography, history tinged and amplified by the personality of a man who, today, has realized his ambition: to benefit mankind.
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