Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/487

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY

 

OCTOBER, 1904.




A TRAVELER'S VIEW OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION MEETING.
By Dr. HENRY S. PRITCHETT.

PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY.

THE meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science must always have great interest for Americans; and not alone for scientific men, but for all students of the larger national movements and sources of power in the two great English-speaking countries.

The meeting just closed (August 17-23), held in the old university town of Cambridge, brought together a large number of persons connected with or interested in the science of Great Britain. The registration reached nearly 3,000. In these days when the meetings of the American Association, even under the admirable efforts which have been put forth for some years, have shown a tendency to dwindle, this fact alone is one of interest and of significance to Americans. Two reasons combined to make the attendance at the Cambridge meeting unusually large, first the attractions which naturally belong to this charming old university town, and secondly the presence of the prime minister of Great Britain as president of the association.

To one familiar with the history of our American Association and with the conduct of scientific work in the United States this fact—the presence and active participation of the head of the government—was perhaps the most curious and interesting feature of the meeting. Science and politics have seldom had in our country that close association which one finds in England, Germany and most continental countries. Fancy President Roosevelt taking a week to preside over the meetings of the American Association, to deliver an address and