The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 160 pages of information about The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes.

In the absence of this foundation it would, of course, be possible to make a reasonably satisfactory beginning on the work which has been outlined in the following less expensive manner.  A working plant might be established, on ground rented or purchased at a low figure, for about ten thousand dollars; the salary of a director, assistants, a clerical helper, and combined mechanic and laborer might be estimated at the same figure; the cost of animals and of maintenance of the plant would approximate five thousand dollars.  Thus, we should obtain as an estimate of the expenditures for the first year twenty-five thousand dollars.  Without expansion, the work might be conducted during the second year for fifteen thousand dollars, and subsequently it might be curtailed or expanded, resources permitting, according as results achieved and in prospect justified.

An institute established on such a modest basis as this still might render largely important scientific service through its own research and through organized cooperation with other existing research establishments.  Thus, for example, supposing that behavioristic, psychological, sociological, and genetic inquiries were conducted in the institute itself, animals might be supplied on a mutually satisfactory basis to institutes for experimental medicine, for physiological research, and for anatomical studies.  Under such conditions, it is conceivable that extremely economical and good use might be made of all the available primate materials.  But it is not improbable that even cooeperative research would prove on the whole more profitable, except possibly in the case of morphological work, if investigators could conduct their studies in the institute itself rather than in distant laboratories.  In any event, the idea of cooeperation should be prominent in connection with the organization of a research station for the study of the primates.  For thus, evidently, scientific achievement in connection with these important types of animal might be vastly increased over what would be possible in a single relatively small institution with a limited and necessarily specialized staff of workers.

Despite the fact that biologists generally recognize the importance of the work under consideration and are eager to have it done, it is perfectly certain that we shall accomplish nothing unless we devote ourselves confidently, determinedly and unitedly, with faith, vision, and enthusiasm, to the realization of a definite plan.  Our vision is clear,—­if we are to gather and place at the service of mankind adequate comparative knowledge of the life of the primates and if we are to make this possible harvest of scientific results count for human betterment, we must bend all our efforts to the establishment of a station or institute for research.



BREHM, A. Tierleben.

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The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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