||18 THE THIRTY-THIRD ANNUAL REYNOLDS LECTURE without trying to do historical research. In these cases a tradition of criticism can add something beyond purely passive involvement. Literary criticism can perhaps heighten one's awareness of literary accomplishment. A purely passive approach to science doesn't seem to lead anywhere. The student must construct the thing for himself. Every problem or laboratory exercise is a small research effort. It has become traditional to retrace historical developments in presenting many fields of physics. This requires a re-enactment of the process of discovery. For some reason, the role of the critic, the middle man between the creator and the passive appreciator, is not highly developed in the sciences. What fills the place of the critic is a more rudimentary and direct involvement. To push the analogy with music a bit further, a physics student is required to be an amateur performer and, to a lesser extent, an amateur composer. This creative aspect of learning science isn't always emphasized and it is, of course, certainly not absent in the study of other things. But science can be a refreshing contrast to a glut of spectator-sport-type learning. The second point is really part of the first. A big part of education is supposed to be contact with great ideas and great minds. Few teachers can offer what's needed here. Fortunately there's a historical supply. When physics is taught and learned by means of rebuilding and restructuring the arguments of great scientific innovators until they are clear to oneself, the contact with the minds of these scientists is unusually direct. Most usually, the presentation of scientific thought is usefully messy. The scaffolding is left on the structure so that we can see how it was put together in the first place. Frequently we will want to tear the thing to pieces and put it back together for ourselves. Every science student should then be able to add a bit more on the same principles. Knowing how Newton solved the problem of the form of the gravitational attraction between the earth and an object near its surface, the student should then be able to construct his own analysis of the related but rather different question of how an object would fall down a long mineshaft. He has learned enough from Newton to carry his arguments a bit further. As to the third point, the democratic nature of science: we must admit that we are fascinated and oppressed when confronted by genius. The student is continually asked to stand in awe, hat in hand, before Shakespeare, Plato or Goethe. The scientists are no less idolatrous and intimidated, but there is a difference. The history of science is encouraging to the ordinary man in that it shows that there is useful work for the peons, too.