Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/203

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE
SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS AT MINNEAPOLIS AND ELSEWHERE

The convocation week meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the affiliated scientific societies was held this year at Minneapolis beginning on the evening of December 27. The attendance of scientific men was in the neighborhood of 1,200. which is about half as large as at the recent meetings in eastern cities. Although the number of men of science in the central states is continually increasing, and the center of scientific population will soon coincide with the center of the general population, Minneapolis is in the far northwest of the region, and it is a considerable railway journey from the seats of other universities. It is well known that the distance from the east to the west is psychologically longer than the reverse. There were at Minneapolis about a hundred scientific men from the eastern seaboard.

The chemists had as usual the largest attendance and the most extensive program. Next came the zoologists and botanists. The geologists had a competing meeting elsewhere; the anthropologists did not meet, and the section of social and economic science had a very small attendance. The national societies devoted to these subjects and to engineering do not meet with the association and it is difficult to decide what should be done in such cases. Probably the best solution is to have no program of special papers, but to plan one or two sessions of general interest, such as the papers on aviation arranged this year by the officers of the section of mechanical science and engineering.

The number of papers on the program to be presented before each section of the association or the corresponding affiliated societies was as follows:

Mathematics and astronomy 34
Physics 40
Chemistry 178
Mechanical science and engineering 21
Geology and geography 24
Zoology 122
Botany 81
Anthropology and psychology 41
Social and economic science} 8
Physiology and experimental medicine 13
Education 30
 Total 592

At the opening session the retiring president, Dr. David Starr Jordan—distinguished equally as a zoologist, a university president, an advocate of peace and in other good causes—after introducing the president of the meeting, Professor A. A. Michelson, of the University of Chicago—one of the most eminent of living men of science—gave his address, entitled "The Making of a Darwin." Dr. Jordan argued that the fundamental elements in the making of an investigator are the original material, to which we may look to heredity alone; meeting nature at first hand and meeting her early and persistently, and the personal inspiration and enthusiasm derived from some great teacher. It was refreshing to hear a university president characterize at their true value the machinery and paraphernalia of the modem university. Perhaps the address was not so judicial as might have been expected in view of the double office held by the speaker, but it was none the less interesting on that account. The group of zoologists drawn to the Johns Hopkins