Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/315

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293
A FITTING RECOGNITION OF AMERICAN SCIENCE.

action of light, supported in a great measure by his own experiments, and proving conclusively, and, as we believe, for the first time, that rays of all wave-lengths are capable of producing chemical changes, and that too little account has hitherto been taken of the nature of the substance in which the decomposition is produced.

10. Finally, Dr. Draper has recently published researches on the distribution of heat in the spectrum, which are of the highest interest, and which have largely contributed to the advancement of our knowledge of the subject of radiant energy.

And now, in the absence of Dr. Draper, unable at this inclement season to execute a fatiguing journey, it gives me pleasure to recognize you, Mr. Quincy, as his worthy and competent representative.

I pray you, in receiving these two medals on his behalf, in accordance with the terms of. the original trust, to assure him, on the part of the Academy, of the high satisfaction taken by all its Fellows in doing honor to those who, like him, take a prominent rank in the advance of science throughout the world.

Mr. Quincy, on receiving the medals, said:

Mr. President: In the name and on the behalf of Dr. Draper I have the honor to receive the Rumford medals in gold and silver, which the Academy has been pleased to award to him, and I will have them safely conveyed to him to-morrow, together with the assurances of the satisfaction of the Academy in this action which you wish me to communicate to him. In common with yourself, sir, and all the Fellows present, I regret that that eminent person is unable to attend this meeting and receive the medals himself. And, personally, I regret the absence of Dr. Wolcott Gibbs, who had promised to perform this grateful service for his friend, and who would have been able to make a more suitable reply to the able discourse with which you have accompanied the presentation of the medals, and to have done more justice to the claims of Dr. Draper to this distinction than I can pretend to do. Dr. Gibbs having also been unavoidably prevented from being present this evening, I have now the honor to read a communication from Dr. Draper to the Academy, in acknowledgment of this testimony to his services to science.

Mr. Quincy then read the following letter:

To the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Your favorable appreciation of my researches on radiations, expressed to-day by the award of the Rumford medals, the highest testimonial of approbation that American science has to bestow on those who have devoted themselves to the enlargement of knowledge, is to me a most acceptable return for the attention I have given to that subject through a period of more than forty years, and I deeply regret that through ill-health I am unable to receive it in person.
Sir David Brewster, to whom science is under so many obligations for the discoveries he made, once said to me that the solar-spectrum is a world in itself, and that the study of it will never be completed. His remark is perfectly just.
But the spectrum is only a single manifestation of that infinite ether which