Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/318

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upon the natural gifts of those charged with the supervision of the laboratory, and the amount of money which those whose duty it is to decide on such matters see right to place at their disposal: for, however important we biologists may think ourselves, the fact remains that there are other studies to be provided for, and studies just as important as our own. For the present I can say, however, that we have at our disposal one large and well-lighted room for general work a room fitted up for physiologico-chemical investigations—and several smaller rooms for physiological and histological research. As regards instruments we have ordered, and in part received, a very excellent stock, including the most essential ones for every branch of physiological research—and I have no doubt that every year we shall receive grants to add to our stock, and keep up with the times.

The zoölogical and comparative anatomy departments differ from the physiological in not needing so many special instruments; what they mainly need are (besides work-rooms) material for examination and dissection, and books, especially monographs, and those we shall make it a point, to the best of our power, to obtain from time to time as they are wanted. It seems to me that it is not our duty to provide vast herbaria and museums containing every plant and animal under the sun—to provide such collections is the duty rather of the nation than of a university—nor do I think we should be wise to collect and store away things promiscuously, in the hope that some one will want them some time. We should rather concentrate our force on getting what is wanted for the time being. If some one wants to elucidate any point in the structure of the Echinoderms, for example, we should do our best to obtain specimens for him—even from all parts of the world; if some one else wants to work at the embryology of any fish or amphibian, we should again endeavor to get him the eggs in various stages of development, and so on; but I doubt the wisdom of sending out collectors with orders to store away everything they can catch, fish, flesh, and fowl, in spirit, and send it to us. We have nowhere to display such collections if we got them—the vastly greater part of them would never be used—and when reference to extensive collections is necessary, we have always at hand the admirable museum illustrating the fauna and flora of this State which is being brought together by the Academy of Sciences in this city, and the national collections at Washington are within an hour's journey of us. Bringing together from time to time such materials for special researches as I have indicated above, will naturally entail considerable expenditure, but I am sure that the trustees, if they see we mean work, will do all they can to supply our needs.

Now let us turn to the other part of our subject, biological teaching: from part of what I have already said you have doubtless gathered something of my views on this matter. If biology be the complicated study that I have endeavored to indicate, it is in the first