Toast – à l’autonomie de la science
Trust Merton for the sunny aspect of an account of science, its modes of stability and autonomy, its functional comfort.
Here in 1937, writing about the autonomy of science and the resistance of the « ethos of science » in view of the Nazi encroachment on « Jewish science » etc. (« Science and the Social Order », in Social Theory and Social Structure) :
A tacit recognition of this function may be the source of that possibly apocryphal toast at a dinner for scientist in Cambridge: To pure mathematics, and may it never be of use to anybody!