Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/135

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125
EDITOR'S TABLE.

regard for others which bring Salvationists into the streets with their drums and tambourines. But the opportunity would be thrown away, and the movement would assume a thoroughly commonplace and almost mercenary character, if it were to be fed with the proceeds of taxation. We trust that the leaders of the movement will resolve to have nothing to do with politics save to purify and elevate them by the direct action of sound instruction on the public mind. It will not help our politics a bit to have university extension hanging round the Capitol for an appropriation.



A GROUP OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS.

The meeting of the American Association was held this year in the midst of the meetings, beginning August 11th and closing September 1st, of a number of societies cultivating special fields of science, which have grown up out of and around it. The multiplication and division of societies in this way is a natural result of the increasing expansion and specialization of scientific studies in the United States, and one of the most certain signs of them. The fields which one society was able to cultivate have become too large and too many to be adequately tilled by it alone, and it has been found convenient to distribute the details among separate workers, while the old Association remains the central organization and chief, under which the whole is unified. This grouping of meetings promises to be a permanent feature, and to make our annual scientific convention an event of larger and growing interest. The meetings held in advance of the larger meeting were those of the American Microscopical Society, the Society of Official Chemists, the Association of Agricultural Colleges, the Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, a body which is limited to forty members; and the Association of Economic Entomologists. The discussions in these assumed, to a large extent, a practical shape, and aimed directly or indirectly at the advancement of agricultural interests. Among the important features of the meetings were the arrangements that were made for the fusion of the chemical societies of the United States into a single body. Eight societies were represented in the Union, viz.: The American Chemical Society, the Washington Chemical Society, the Association of Official Chemists, the Chemical Societies of Cincinnati, the Brooklyn Institute, the Franklin Institute, the Association of Manufacturing Chemists, and the Louisiana Association of Sugar Chemists. Under the terms of union, which have yet to be approved by the societies separately, the new organization will be called the American Chemical Society, and each local society will retain its identity as a branch. The name of the general society is the best that could be chosen for a body representing the whole country, and gives, besides, a fitting recognition to the oldest and one of the most efficient and active of our chemical associations.

The meeting of the American Association itself was one of the largest and best that have been held in recent years. The number of members reached 653, and was greater than had been recorded since the New York meeting of 1887, when 729 members were registered. Three hundred and seventy-one new members were elected, and 235 papers were entered to be read. Permanent Secretary Putnam has been quoted as saying that the papers read were above the average in interest and importance, and this opinion appears to be well founded. Among the subjects informally talked of as things to which the Association should give the support of its approval and influence were those of the establishment of a fund for the encouragement of scientific research, which was supported by Prof. Brashears and President Prescott; the with-