Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/209

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE CONVOCATION WEEK MEETINGS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science together with a large number of national scientific societies affiliated with it held at Philadelphia, as had been anticipated, a meeting of more than usual magnitude and interest. The University of Pennsylvania is always a generous host, and not only placed at the disposal of the visiting scientific men its laboratories and lecture halls, but was able to provide in Houston Hall an admirable headquarters for registration, council meetings and informal gatherings, while the luncheon served daily in the gymnasium and the evening reception given by Provost and Mrs. Smith in the Museum, offered further opportunities to meet old acquaintances and to form new ones.

Dr. Charles W. Eliot, president emeritus of Harvard University, gives distinction to any meeting over which he presides, and the address of the retiring president, Dr. Edmund B. Wilson, professor of zoology in Columbia University, supported the thesis that scientific eminence is likely to be associated with literary and artistic skill. The program of the meeting, consisting mainly of titles of addresses and papers, filled a volume not much smaller in size than a number of The Popular Science Monthly, and it is obviously impossible to refer even by title to such a series of papers, summing up a great part of the scientific work accomplished in this country during the past year. As there were some two thousand scientific men in attendance and a considerable number of visitors from the city, good audiences were provided even when twenty or thirty meetings were being held simultaneously.

A new feature of the meeting was a session of the Committee of One Hundred on Scientific Research appointed a year ago. Professor E. C. Pickering presided, and reports were presented by subcommittees on research funds, the attitude of colleges and universities to research, the better recognition and greater encouragement of research, the selection and training of men for research, and the research work of industrial laboratories. Committees were appointed on research work under the government, research work on the Pacific coast and the use of the research funds of the association, which latter committee is timely, in view of the fact that Mr. Colburn, one of the fellows of the association, last year made to it a bequest which may amount to over one hundred thousand dollars.

The association will meet next summer in San Francisco and the neighboring universities and next winter at Columbus. Dr. W. W. Campbell, director of the Lick Observatory, was elected president, and most of the vice-presidents were elected from among the scientific men residing on the Pacific coast, their names and work indicating how actively that region is engaged in important scientific research.

The societies devoted to physiology, anatomy and biological chemistry met this year at St. Louis, the geographers, historians and philosophers at Chicago, and the economists and sociologists at Princeton. It is planned to have once in four years a special convocational week meeting in which all scientific men and scientific societies will be invited to join, the first to be in New York two years hence.

After the close of the other meetings, there was held in New York City on January 1 and 2 a gathering of university professors, who organized a new society to be known as the American Association of University Professors, intended to accomplish for teachers in our higher institutions of learning the objects attained in kindred professions by the American Med-