Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/480

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itself. If a purpose really worthy has prompted to union, if, avoiding faction, the best men have been put at the head, there is no reason why attractive and profitable meetings should not be held. On success here largely turns the success of the organization, for meetings should not only interest the membership, but also the general public from whom support is sought, from among whom recruits for active service must come. The judicious management of such gatherings is therefore a matter of some moment, and it well deserves more attention than it commonly receives.

Of scientific bodies in the United States, one of the oldest and in many respects the most typical is the American Association for the Advancement of Science, whose meetings in the main have been the most popular scientific assemblies held in this country. The association has suffered severely, and inevitably, by the establishment of many societies for the prosecution of branches of science, electrical, engineering, and what not, which scarcely had a name at the time of the association's nativity, fifty-three years ago. Then, too, the formation of the National Academy of Sciences has drawn off certain of the veterans who fail to recognize the claims of the association on their allegiance, who neglect the opportunity the association affords to repeat the last word of discovery to the people. A wide variety of societies for the promotion of this aim or the suppression of that evil have done well to follow the association's lead in one or two directions. First, in hospitality to all in sympathy with the object sought to be furthered, without asking the candidate for membership what he knows or what he has done. Of course, societies for advanced study, such as the Societies of Morphologists and Anatomists, can not set before everybody this open door, but bodies for work less specialized find their account in creating honorary or associate memberships which broaden their foundations in public sympathy and support; especially is this result desirable where the research promoted is, let us say, astronomical, and bears in the market-place no price.

The American Association, too, has set a good example in mi grating from place to place year by year, so as to kindle the widest possible interest. To cite a case where visits of this kind have borne fruit, Montreal has within the past ten years been enriched by benefactions for education which give her rank with the most highly favored cities of the continent. These foundations, and the local response to the opportunities they offer, are in no small measure traceable to the important scientific meetings held since 1881 in the Canadian metropolis. In Canada, as in the United States, there is much sound sentiment regarding the fast disappearing woodland wealth. This sentiment is largely to be