THE PITTSBURGH MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science held its fifty-first annual meeting at Pittsburgh on the last day of June and the first three days of July. There was a registration of 435 members, and some 350 addresses and papers were presented before the several sections and affiliated societies. As the number of papers so nearly equaled the number of members, it is evident that those present were chiefly working men of science. It must also be remembered that some members of the affiliated societies are not members of the Association, so that the gathering of scientific men numbered about 600. They were almost entirely different from the 300 students of the natural sciences who met in Chicago last winter. At the next meeting of the Association to be held in Washington during convocation week, the two groups will come together, and the meeting will probably exceed in size and importance any similar congress of scientific men held outside of Germany.
The address of the retiring president of the Association, Dr. Minot, of the Harvard Medical School, is printed above. Though admirably expressed and on a topic that should be of general interest, it must be confessed that the relations of consciousness to organic evolution and the material world is a subject outside the range of the consciousness of the ordinary man. The addresses of the vice-presidents maintained a high scientific standard, but were in most cases addressed to specialists, whereas it seems that there should be at the meetings of the Association some addresses and discussions that appeal to all scientific men and to those who take an intelligent interest in science. Of this character were the interesting evening addresses by Professor D. S. Kellicott and Dr. Robert T. Hill, but otherwise the programs were addressed to specialists. Indeed the sectional meetings tend to be too special even for the specialists. Some method should be adopted for the presentation of scientific papers that will make attendance more interesting and profitable. A distinction should be made between small groups of men interested in a common topic and larger numbers who even within the limits of their own science should not be expected to listen to papers that they would not read. Several amendments to the constitution were adopted tending to strengthen the organization of the sections and the permanence of administration. The council will hereafter elect each year three members at large who will doubtless add to the efficiency of that body, and the sectional committees will become more nearly sub-councils, while the term of office of the secretaries is extended from one to five years. The membership of the Association has considerably increased during the year, being now about 3,500, and the finances are in excellent condition, the permanent secretary, Dr. Howard, having handed over $2,000 from current income to the permanent fund.
Professor Asaph Hall is succeeded in the presidency by Dr. Ira Remsen, the eminent chemist, president of the Johns Hopkins University. The vice presidents are, for mathematics and astronomy, Professor George Bruce Halsted, of the University of Texas; for physics, Professor E. F. Nichols, of