each science consists of contributions made over a long period of time and from widely separated places. One of the evil results in the universal disaster of this mad war is that the orderly progress of science is interrupted. Each week men of science are killed on the field of battle, and young men from whom science must be recruited die by the thousands. The universities of Oxford and of Cambridge boast that each has sent some 8,000 men to the war, and the average life of a British officer after he reaches the front is said to be thirty days. Almost as serious as the sacrifice of men is the loss of the wealth needed for scientific research, and perhaps more disastrous than either is the inevitable distraction of interest and unbalancing of judgment.
There is a marked disposition at present for the scientific men of England and France to disparage work which has been done in Germany, and conversely. It is consequently pleasant to read a discussion of this subject such as is contributed to a book on "German Culture" (Jacks; 1915) and to Knowledge by Professor J. Arthur Thomson of the University of Aberdeen, whose recent article on "Eugenics and War" in this journal will be remembered by its readers. He argues that Britain, France and Germany run neck and neck in their contributions to science, and illustrates this by a series of corresponding names which are here reproduced. It will be noted that the British names are arranged alphabetically and that for each is given a French and German.
|Thomson, J. J.||Lagrange||Cantor|
It is easy to criticise any such selection. If we go back to Harvey, Newton should surely be credited to England, and if Kepler is included for Germany, there is no reason why Kant rather than Lotze should not be taken as its representative philosopher. The three contemporary zoologists and the two physiologists credited to England are scarcely among the world 's great men of science. But Professor Thomson only claims to use a rough and ready method. His sets of names may be studied to advantage. As he remarks, if we could, as we can not, represent the merits of three counterparts—British, French and German—by the three sides of a triangle, the lengths would now be in favor of Britain, again in favor of France, and again in favor of Germany; yet a superposition of a number of triangles sufficiently large to get rid of conspicuous inequalities would yield a not very irregular figure.
We take from the London Times a sketch and some description of the new Science Museum which is to be erected in London between the Natural History Museum and the Imperial College of Science. This building and the one at Munich are the first buildings to be especially constructed for museums of