Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/314

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310
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

institution for which Whitman cared the most and it remains his greatest monument. It is fortunate in its physical environment; still more so in the spirit of the place. More biological research is accomplished there during its season than in any other institution in the world. Both in its formal organization and in its real life it is more democratic than any other American institution devoted to education and research. The result has been, on the one hand, a share of dissensions and poverty; on the other hand, a rare exhibition of cooperation and loyalty. It is false to assume that a democracy should not have leaders. In an autocracy masters hold the reins of authority; in a democracy a leader is followed because he is recognized as such. For many years Whitman was the creative spirit which gave life to the Marine Biological Laboratory. In a note, printed here by permission of Mrs. Whitman, he wrote:

I have often been pleasantly commended for the development of ideal conditions at Woods Hole for cooperative teaching and research, and I think that most of the best friends and patrons of the Marine Biological Laboratory still credit me with qualities that tend to peace and good fellowship in scientific work.

I have, I am happy to say, endeavored to live by the same principles in Chicago. That is, I have done what I could to encourage the spirit of research and good fellowship in both teaching and research.

I have opposed all attempts to create interdepartmental kingdoms; I have left each member free to develop his work according to his own taste; have never monopolized any line of work, but have always welcomed synthetic cooperation. The seminar and the researches abundantly verify this.

One thing, from first to last, I have most cordially despised—that is the tendency to that disease, which we may distinguish as administro-citis. That disease is the peril of science, and the source of unwholesome strife. Our organization is of course largely at fault, for it certainly misleads many to imagine that the one sure road to precedence is to scheme for it through administrative dexterity.

PSM V79 D314 American geographical society building in nyc.png

 

THE AMERICAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY

The American Geographical Socieity, which was founded in New York City in 1852 and has now about 1,300 members, moved ten years ago to a building opposite the American Museum of Natural History. But it soon outgrew