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The Smithsonian Scientific Series is intended to enlighten and interest the general reader. It does not represent an attempt to summarize all science, or even all branches of science on which the Smithsonian can speak with authority. It will, however, acquaint the reader with the organization, history, and activities of the scientific institution which has grown up with the nation and fostered the nation's scientific activities. It is an introduction to the workings and achievements of the scientific method over a large field, and may open doors to some branches of science.
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