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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/280

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268
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

would not do the work demanded, other universities had to be established more in harmony with the state of knowledge. Various institutions were organized, notably the University of London, which accepted more modern standards of scholarship, and gradually recognized the claims of science as a means of education and a basis of university honors. The conflict between ancient and modern studies has continued and is still rife, but there is no doubt as to how the battle is going. We gave an account not long ago of the newly-organized Mason College, in which the comprehensive educational scheme is based upon science, and the old learning is passed by. We observe that another important step is taken in the same direction by the reorganization of Owens College, which is now known as Victoria University. The students of this college have hitherto mostly taken their degrees at the London University. But the right to confer degrees is now granted to the new university, and in drawing up their plans of study the governing body have been guided by the most liberal and enlightened views of education. They have openly repudiated the old superstition that all minds are alike and ought to pursue the same studies, and they proceed, in the language of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Greenwood, "upon the fundamental notion that a man of capacity ought to be encouraged to devote himself with a certain amount of concentration to some particular or definite branch of arts or science study." Of course, students can come to Victoria University and take its best degrees without knowing Latin and Greek. There are various courses, and the standard of attainment is to be high and thorough, but Latin and Greek are no longer indispensable to the acquisition of university honors. We have been a long time arriving at the very common-sense view expressed by Mr. Jacob Bright in a discussion on the policy of the university in respect to classics, that "it seemed to him extraordinary if the whole field of science and learning of various kinds apart from Latin and Greek were not enough to form the basis of a sound education."

 

 

HELMHOLTZ'S FARADAY LECTURE.

On Tuesday evening, April 5th, Professor Helmholtz, of the University of Berlin, gave the Faraday Lecture before the Chemical Society at the Royal Institution. As might have been expected, he was greeted by a distinguished audience. Professor Roscoe presided, and, before introducing the eminent German physicist, presented him with the Faraday Medal. The address, notes of which were furnished by Professor Helmholtz to the London press, is reproduced in our pages, and will be carefully read by all interested in chemical physics. It is, perhaps, the most weighty and significant tribute to the genius of Faraday that has yet been made; and at the same time it is itself no slight contribution to physico-chemical theory. It was stated that Faraday, although not a mathematician, had anticipated with great sagacity the results of electro-chemical research by the trained mathematicians of the present generation. Professor Helmholtz's original speculations were thus referred to by Dr. Roscoe: "Upon Faraday's well known law of electrolysis he has founded a new electro-chemical theory which reveals to us chemists conclusions of the utmost importance. He tells us, as the result of the application of the modern theory of electricity to Faraday's great experimental law, that the atom of every chemical element is always united with a definite, unvarying quantity of electricity. Moreover—and this is most important—that this definite amount of electricity attached to each atom stands in close connection with the combining power of the atom which modern chemistry terms quantivalence. For, if the