Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/863

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THE twenty-ninth annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which began on the 25th of August, in Boston, was in every respect a most successful affair, and will be memorable both in the history of the Association and to all who had the pleasure of attending it. A large amount of excellent scientific work was accomplished, as shown by the fact that no less than two hundred and eighty original scientific papers were entered for reading at the different sections. Many of these were able and valuable contributions to independent research, and they all evinced a strong and healthy activity of the spirit of investigation. The meeting was the largest ever held by this body. The session opened on Wednesday, and by the succeeding Tuesday evening nine hundred and seventy-nine persons were registered, and of these five hundred and ninety-five were new members. As a happy and novel consequence, there will now be some surplus funds for the Association to use in aid of important researches.

To say that Boston did justice to the occasion is not enough, for justice is a thing of degrees. Boston did splendid justice—redeemed every expectation, which is saying a good deal, and did that ample honor to science both in public and in private which science well deserves. Whatever could be done to facilitate the work of the Association and to make it pleasant for all its members was done. The hospitalities were cordial and profuse. The corporations of Boston and Cambridge and wealthy private citizens gave entertainments to the Association, which were luxurious, elegant, and in excellent taste. Free excursions were provided to all points of interest in the vicinity, and, when work was through, a large lot were sent off to the White Mountains in charge of the Apalachian Club. Every detail of preparation had been carefully attended to by numerous efficient committees, and the completeness of the smooth-working arrangements excited the admiration of all. It is hard to suit everybody, but we must say that this feat was for once accomplished. Even where idiosyncrasies were jostled, only smiles were elicited. Nine hundred and fifteen persons accepted the city's invitation to take a trip down the bay in a commodious steamer. A generous collation was provided in the cabin, and when the guests had partaken of it, as they passed to the deck above, each gentleman was presented with an envelope on which was stamped, "The City of Boston welcomes the American Association for the Advancement of Science." Each envelope contained three choice cigars, and we mention the fact merely to say that the most fanatical non-smokers benignly accepted the graceful attention, and either kept their little prize as a souvenir of the occasion, or enjoyed the cigars by presenting them to their favored friends. Whatever was interesting in Boston in the shape of institutions and attractive features was open to the members, and multitudes of them profited by the opportunity. Invitations were cordially extended to visit, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Society of Natural History, the Society of Decorative Art, the Warren Museum of Natural History, the Boston Public Library, the Athenæum Library, the commandant of the Charlestown Navy Yard, the