Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/521

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE NUMBER OF SCIENTIFIC MEN IN THE WORLD

The second edition of the international "Who's Who in Science" (edited by H. H. Stephenson, London, 1913) gives a classified index, from which can be counted up the number of scientific men in different countries and in different sciences. The compilation favors Great Britain in the first instance and the United States in the second, and is not very critical. It gives, however, some idea of the relative numbers of scientific men in other than English-speaking countries. The United States is given first place in the possession of scientific men of the degree of distinction proposed for admission to the book, the figures for leading nations being as follows: United States, 1,678; Great Britain, 1,472; German Empire, 1,280; France, 423; Austria-Hungary, 348; Italy, 215; Switzerland, 214; Holland, 155; Canada, 146; Sweden, 109; Russia, 97; Denmark, 93; Belgium, 90; Norway, 88. The German Empire has thus about three times as many scientific men as France, which nation is now but little superior to Austria-Hungary, or the three Scandinavian nations. Italy and Switzerland have each about one half as many scientific men as France. Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Belgium and Norway have each about a quarter as many.

About one half of our scientific men hold the doctorate of philosophy from American universities and about three fourths of those receiving this degree continue to do scientific work. According to the compilation printed annually in Science, the average number of degrees conferred in the natural and exact sciences from 1898 to 1907 was 124; from 1908 to 1912 it increased to 212. As the number of scientific men added each year is about 50 per cent, above those who receive this degree, the total number added to the ranks of scientific men in this country during the past fifteen years would be about 3,500. The number of degrees of doctor of philosophy given in the sciences by the 21 German universities to Germans in 1909-10 was 564, which probably about represents the increase in the number of scientific men. It follows that at present we are producing about half as many scientific men as Germany; twenty years ago it was in the neighborhood of one fourth as many.

If we make the assumption that the numbers of scientific men entered in the international "Who's Who in Science" for the continental nations should be increased fourfold to correspond with the entries for the United States and the United Kingdom and that there are 6,000 scientific men in the United States, the numbers for the different nations would be approximately: Germany, 18,000; France, 6,000; United States, 6,000; Great Britain, 5,000; Austria, 5,000; Italy, 3,000; Switzerland, 3,000; Holland, 2,000; Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Belgium and Norway, 1,500; Canada, Spain, Portugal, 500; Bulgaria, Roumania, 150; Servia, Greece, 25. For the other continents the figures would be roughly: Asia, 2,000; Central and South America, 500; Australia, 500; Africa, 300. The number of men now living who have made contributions to the advancement of science is consequently in the neighborhood of 60,000, of whom about one tenth live in the United States. The number of scientific men per million population in 1860 (the approximate average date of their birth) would be for the several countries: Switzerland, 1,200;