I have tried to show why I believe that the biologist is the most romantic figure on earth at the present day. At first sight he seems to be just a poor little scrubby underpaid man, groping blindly amid the mazes of the ultra-microscopic, engaging in bitter and lifelong quarrels over the nephridia of flatworms, waking perhaps one morning to find that someone whose name he has never heard has demolished by a few crucial experiments the work which he had hoped would render him immortal. There is real tragedy in his life, but he knows that he has a responsibility which he dare not disclaim, and he is urged on, apart from all utilitarian considerations, by something or someone which he feels to be higher than himself. [...]
I suspect that as it becomes clear that at present reason not only has a freer play in science than elsewhere, but can produce as great effects on the world through science as through politics, philosophy, or literature, there will be more Darwins. Such men are interested primarily in truth as such, but they can hardly be quite uninterested in what will happen when they throw down their dragon's teeth into the world.I do not say that biologists as a general rule try to imagine in any detail the future applications of their science. The central problems of life for them may be the relationship between the echinoderms and the brachiopods, and the attempt to live on their salaries. They do not see themselves as sinister and revolutionary figures.
Кроме столь близкой моему сердцу теме романтизации науки, эта цитата помогает понять почему Халдейн (и он не единственный пример тому) был сталинистом, поддержавшем Лысенко. Для него Лысенко был именно примером нового ученого, живущего не на мизерную зарплату, и более того, активно влияющего на судьбы мира. А то что Лысенко порол чушь - то ему уже было не столь важно.
Почему ученый, работающий за нормальную зарплату на капиталиста им в будущем не предполагался, я не знаю... Он видел только противоборство между мракобесием церкви и светлой зарей социализма.
Ну и хотел бы упомянуть в связи с цитатой свой недавний пост О подслащивании маленькой зарплаты