Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/322

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

a general rule I should like an earlier hour, nine or ten in the morning, which definitely brings a man early in the day to the laboratory, and gives me a better chance of getting a good day's work out of him. These lectures will be designed rather for those who have already some knowledge of physiology than for beginners; for so many instruments have not yet arrived, and so many arrangements are necessarily as yet imperfect, that it seems better for the present only to invite men who are more or less fitted by previous training to overcome such occasional difficulties and inconveniences as may from time to time arise from such causes. When I say that the lectures will be rather adapted for advanced students than beginners, I do not mean, however, that I shall omit elementary but important facts, but that, in addition to those, I shall from time to time discuss at more or less length points which are still sub judice. The lectures will be illustrated by no experiments: partly because, on account of the rapid changes which go on in living tissues, physiological-lecture experiments are likely to be the reverse of successful (a frog's muscle which has been lying on the table since the commencement of a lecture is very apt to contract abnormally when the lecturer wants it); but mainly because I want each student to make the illustrative observations and experiments for himself—except in cases of unusual difficulty, when demonstrations will be given at such hours as may be found most convenient to the majority. In the lectures I shall presuppose the possession by each present of such a knowledge of anatomy as is necessary for physiological work, and, starting with the structure of blood, go regularly on through the histology and physiology of the tissues and organs of the animal body. These lectures will continue until the spring vacation, and then I mean to set to work specially for more elementary students, and put them through such a course of general biology as I have already described; but possibly either Dr. Brooks or myself will give at that time some instruction in embryology of a more advanced character.

As regards physiological research, several gentlemen have already consulted me with reference to undertaking investigations in different directions, and of course there is plenty of work to be done should others qualified for it present themselves. One difficulty which I have met with is that many seem to consider that a physiological investigation can be carried on by devoting to it an hour or two at irregular intervals: I feel quite sure that no good work is likely to be done in that way, and am not inclined to encourage such workers. Some, at least, of those engaged in investigation will be able to have accommodation in the special rooms, apart from the general laboratory, which have been provided for that purpose.

On the zoölogical and morphological side no arrangements have as yet been made for a lecture and laboratory course this year, nor so far as I know has any such demand as would render it advisable