Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/378

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ologists as averse as he to the doctrine of vital forces, and as eager to reduce physiology to applied chemistry, natural philosophy, and mathematics. He was also one of the founders of the Physical Society of Berlin, whose reports on the progress of natural philosophy are well known to every lover of science.

In 1867 Du Bois-Reymond was elected one of the secretaries of the Academy of Sciences of Berlin, and this office afforded him the opportunity of displaying, in the public addresses which it imposes on him to deliver, a new side of his genius. He generally chooses some subject in the history of science on which he knows how to throw a new and brilliant light, as in his essays on Voltaire and on Lamettrie, which have not yet appeared in English.

Du Bois-Reymond is considered one of the most successful teachers of the university, and the public lectures, in which he yearly alternates between "Anthropology" and "Some Recent Advances in Physical Science," are often dangerously crowded. Having been a good deal in England, and married a lady of English education, he commands the English language sufficiently to lecture in it. The late Dr. Bence Jones, of London, who had formed an intimate friendship with Du Bois-Reymond, and had published an abstract of his discoveries ("On Animal Electricity," etc., London, Churchill, 1852), engaged him repeatedly to lecture in the Royal Institution, where Dr. Faraday, and other eminent Englishmen of science, were much interested in his experiments. In 1855, in the theatre of the Royal Institution, he showed, and described in the Philosophical Magazine, the beautiful method of rendering the deflection of a galvanometer visible by a beam of light reflected from a mirror attached to the needle; of which method Sir William Thomson subsequently availed himself for the readings of the Atlantic Telegraph so successfully that it has ever since been attributed to that able physicist.

Du Bois-Reymond is a member of the Academies of Vienna, Munich, and Rome, and an associate of the Royal Societies of London, Göttingen, Upsala, etc. He has been employed these last three or four years in erecting in Berlin, at the expense of the German Government, the largest and finest physiological laboratory in existence. His new lecture-room is said to be the most beautiful and best appointed in the world.