Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 84.djvu/521

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517
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

The report of the president. Dr. Osborn, reviews the general progress of the work of the museum, noting the establishment of a contributory pension system, according to which the employee contributes to the fund three per cent, of his salary and the trustees provide an equal amount. Among installations, the collection of bronzes made in China by Dr. Laufer is especially noted. Gifts include the Mason archeological collection from Tennessee by the late Mr. J. P. Morgan, the Angelo Heilprin Exploring Fund, established by Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Sachs, and numerous specimens from individuals and institutions.

The museum, however, must depend for its most valuable accessions on its own expeditions. The number and range of these expeditions in 1913 are shown on the chart. The expedition to Crocker Land, under Mr. McMillan, suffered from the stranding of the Diana, but has proceeded to the Arctic regions. Expeditions to the north in search of bowhead whales and to the south to secure the nearly extinct sea elephant were not successful, but other material was obtained including motion pictures of the life on the seal islands. The paleontological and ethnoogical expeditions in the west from which important collections and researches have resulted were continued. In South America Mr. Chapman and others have made ornithological surveys and collections, and the present expedition of Mr. Roosevelt is under the auspices of the museum. Africa has been explored by Messrs. Lang, Chapin, Rainsford and Rainey. Dr. Osborn, the president, has visited the French prehistoric caverns. Such expeditions not only increase in the most desirable wav the collections of a museum, but also contribute in large measure to the advancement of science.

 

THE MARVELS OF SCIENCE

It would perhaps be worth while to issue a number of The Popular Science Monthly consisting entirely of articles sent in by those who in Bishop Berkeley's phrase are "undebauched by learning." At first sight it might seem disquieting that there are so many people in the United States without the slightest training or appreciation of scientific methods who would like to publish their views on electricity, gravity, the ice age and similar topics, or have them endowed by the Carnegie Institution. But we may in fact regard it as a not altogether unsatisfactory symptom of universal education in a democracy, and of growing interest in science. The pseudo-science often exhibited in our daily papers and legislative halls will surely be eliminated by a comparatively small increase in education and the control of public sentiment by those who know, and we may then look to a notable advance in scientific research through the rewards and opportunities which a discriminating public would be able to bestow.

While it might be unfair to print some of the contributions sent in, it may not be amiss to quote two paragraphs which have just now been brought to our attention. The first is from a speech in the House of Representatives by Mr. Hobson of Alabama, which is being widely circulated under the congressional franking privilege. He said:

The last word of science, after exact research in all the domains, is that alcohol is a poison. It has been found to be a hydrocarbon of the formula , that is produced by the process of fermentation, and is the toxin or liquid excretion or waste product of the yeast or ferment germ. According to the universal law cf biology that the toxin of one form of life is a poison to all forms of life of a higher alcohol, the toxin of the low yeast germ, is a protoplasmic poison to all life, whether plant, animal or man, and to all the living tissues and organs.

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After long continued drinking, even though temperate, the microscope shows that the white blood corpuscles, with the serum which contains their vegetable food continually sucked up by the dehydrating toxin, become carnivorous, and begin to feed upon the tissues and organs, like disease germs. The favorite tissue food of