Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/277

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THERE is urgent need for more general and efficient association for popular scientific improvement. In politics, in religion, in philanthropy, in reform, and in the original extension of science, the key of influence and the secret of success are cooperation; and this is the agency to which we must look for the popular cultivation of science. The best form of associative action for the promotion of self-education in science is, undoubtedly, the field club, and we are gratified to observe that these excellent organizations are multiplying and doing admirable work. We called attention some months since to the proceedings of the Ottawa Club, and are glad now to be able to report the successful organization of a similar club in Buffalo. It is an outgrowth of the botany and geology classes in the Central High School of that city. These classes have for several years made excursions into the country surrounding Buffalo, under the direction of their able instructor, Professor Charles Linden. The working Field Club was organized in the spring of 1880, with over forty members, and proved successful from the beginning. Professor Linden, the director, is an ardent student and a skillful instructor, and seems to have imbued the members with much of his own enthusiasm for science. The field meetings have been attended on all occasions by a majority of the members. In order to systematize their work, the club is organized into sections in botany, geology, and entomology, and they are now busy in providing cases to arrange and preserve whatever has been collected in the field. Several members have nearly complete collections of the local flora and of geological specimens representing the formations of the vicinity; the entomological branch, which begins work this spring under the direction of Professor Kellicott, of the State Normal School, will no doubt make rapid progress during the coming season and contribute to the increasing success of the club.

Experience has shown that these organizations are only too often ephemeral, and are generally weakened by the prolonged interruption of winter when the excitement passes off, and they need to be freshly stimulated every spring. But there is interesting winter work as well as summer work in science. The Buffalo club has therefore held its meetings all along during the winter in the spacious library of the Society of Natural Sciences. At these semi-monthly meetings papers have been read before the club, followed by their discussion, and an exhibition of specimens necessary to illustrate all the main points upon which beginners are in relative ignorance. When needed, the calcium light and screen have been used to enhance the interest of illustration. The meetings have been well attended by the members, their friends, and local scientists; they have been profitable for instruction, and have kept up an unbroken solicitude for the success of the association.

The twelve papers read at the semi-monthly meetings in the past season were published in the Buffalo "Daily Courier," and were well worthy of being laid before the public. We have been favored with the reports, and have read them all with interest. They are, of course, not of equal merit, nor equally relevant to the strict objects of the club; but, as a whole and as a first