Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/56

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46
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ambition and equal excitement to exertion, the white will surely surpass the black in any and every condition of life, and in the exercise of every function of mind and muscle; and there can be no political chain strong enough to bind the white in a subordinate position, provided he will avail himself of the advantages which Nature has given him in the division of the races of humanity.

 
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PENDING PROBLEMS OF ASTRONOMY.[1]
By Professor CHARLES A. YOUNG.

MR. PRESIDENT, Fellows and Members of the Association, Ladies and Gentlemen: Thirty-six years ago this very month, in this city, and near the place where we are now assembled, the American Association for the Advancement of Science was organized, and held its first meeting. Now, for the first time, it revisits its honored birthplace.

Few of those present this evening were, I suppose, in attendance upon that first meeting. Here and there, among the members of the Association, I see, indeed, the venerable faces of one and another, who, at that time in the flush and vigor of early manhood, participated in its proceedings and discussions; and there are others, who, as boys or youths, looked on in silence, and listening to the words of Agassiz and Peirce, of Bache and Henry, and the Rogers brothers and their associates, drank in that inspiring love of truth and science which ever since has guided and impelled their lives. Probably enough, too, there may be among our hosts in the audience a few who remember that occasion, and were present as spectators.

But, substantially, we who meet here to-day are a new generation, more numerous certainly, and in some respects unquestionably better equipped for our work, than our predecessors were; though we might not care to challenge comparisons as regards native ability, or clearness of insight, or lofty purpose.

And the face of Science has greatly changed in the mean time—as much, perhaps, as this great city and the nation. One might almost say that, since 1848, "all things have become new" in the scientific world. There is a new mathematics and a new astronomy, a new chemistry and a new electricity, a new geology and a new biology. Great voices have spoken, and have transformed the world of thought and research as much as the material products of science have altered the aspects of external life. The telegraph and dynamo-machine have

  1. Address of the retiring President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered at Philadelphia, September 5, 1884.