Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/187

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183
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE CONVOCATION WEEK MEETINGS

The meetings of the American Association for the Advancement, of Science and of the twenty-one national scientific societies affiliated with it, held in New York City from December 26 to January 2, exhibited convincingly the great progress that has taken place in this country in scientific research and in scientific organization. Twenty years ago Brown Goode, who was better informed than any other in regard to the history of science, in America, estimated that our scientific men numbered about five hundred. There were about 2.500 scientific men at the New York meeting and about 800 scientific papers were presented before the sections of the association and the special societies. The growth of our scientific institutions and the increase in the number of our scientific men appear to be in a geometric ratio. There are now at least 5,000 scientific men in the United States, and it is by no means impossible that twenty years hence the number will be 50,000. And this is but as it should be. There are 100,000 physicians and 500,000 teachers in the country, and one half of the physicians and one tenth of the teachers might to advantage engage in scientific research. The nation can certainly afford to devote one tenth of its resources and one tenth of its people to ideal ends, and in the case of science the conditions are favorable also on the economic side, for the more we give to science the-more we receive from it.

It seems almost impossible to select from the hundreds of scientific addresses, papers and discussions any for special mention. Some people are disappointed because no great discovery is announced at such a meeting. As a

PSM V70 D187 Edward Kasner.jpg
PSM V70 D187 Clifford Richardson.jpg
Edward Kasner, Professor of Mathematics in Columbia University, Vice-president for the Section of Mathematics and Astronomy. Clifford Richardson, Director of the New York Testing Laboratories, Vice-president for the Section of Chemistry.