Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/38

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hope its contents also, will be worthy of the first scientific body in the empire; and, in order to afford to the mathematico-scientific circle of readers the part of the substance of the reports most nearly interesting them in a more acceptable form, the Physico-mathematical Section has decided to prepare an extract from these reports under the title of "Mathematical and Scientific Communications."

Rarely do important and accessible questions, at least in natural science, now remain long unworked. The system of the putting of prize questions, and the coronation of the best answer, is therefore less adapted to our time than that of rewarding excellent, already published efforts, which is usual with the practical English. Partly on account of the tenor of the bequests to which the means for many of its prizes are due, partly for other reasons, the Academy has adhered essentially to the former way of awarding prizes. It will simply hereafter offer higher prizes at longer intervals, and it reserves the right, in case a prize question is not satisfactorily answered, to award the amount of the prize as a testimonial of honor to the author of a meritorious essay, not more than three years old, upon the same subject. It is determinative of the character of the Academy that it is under the protection of the state, and its authority is supported by that of the state so far as such a thing is conceivable and desirable in scientific matters. The state thus demonstrates the sympathy which it has with science, as such, with ideal efforts. It expresses this immediately by the means which it puts at the disposition of the Academy for scientific purposes. It has been too little recognized, amid the tumult of the great events of the time, that one of the first applications which the Prussian state made of its lately enlarged resources was to increase the annual subsidy of the Academy. Through the turn for the better thereby effected in the circumstances of the Academy were produced the works which now appear almost yearly on all branches of science with our support; the researches of all kinds, from epigraphic and diplomatic to micrographic and paleontological studies, for which we supply means; and the steamboat of the zo├Âlogical station at Naples, the expense of which we share with the state. Around the Academy are crystallized several literary enterprises, the fame of which is reflected upon it, as well as endowments and institutes, whose resources accrue to its benefit so far as it has the more or less immediate disposition of them. Hardly ever are we without travelers who are making collections in remote parts of the world in our name and by our order, or interrogating Nature or the monuments of antiquity on the spot. The names of the travelers of the Humboldt Stiftung, to speak only of them, Hensel, Schweinfurth, Buchholtz, Hilderbrandt, Sachs, are in the mouths of all experts, and are associated with extremely important results. The Academy will shortly hear, in accordance with our new order of business, the reports which are now to be brought in concerning the progress of those investigaions and the work of a part