Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/63

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CHEMISTRY AND PHARMACY.

to look forward to as brilliant a future for animal-tar as has been the past and is the present of coal-tar. Both substances, offensive as they are, are necessarily prepared in large quantities. The coal-tar is a result of the manufacture of gas; the animal-tar is produced in the manufacture of bone-black or animal-charcoal, which is used to such an enormous extent for the purification of sugar. Had it not been for the untiring and unselfish labors of scores of scientific investigators, who worked for no other object than to increase knowledge for the sake of knowledge, we would to-day be in ignorance of the beautiful and valuable possibilities of these two unattractive substances.

I might multiply examples indefinitely, but the time at my disposal is limited. I have endeavored to show, gentlemen, that while Pharmacy did a great deal to build up the science of Chemistry, Chemistry in her turn, when she reached maturity, began to pay back the debt she owed and pay it back with interest. It is to the science of Chemistry that Pharmacy must look for future advancement, and even the most obscure and most unintelligible of the many chemical investigations which are being carried on at present may eventually prove to be important steps in some line of reasoning which will have the enriching of pharmacy as its result. Nothing in science is too insignificant for notice. We can not tell what the simplest observation may lead to, and it behooves every one whose daily occupation brings him in contact with chemical substances to be ever on the alert and, in true scientific spirit, to follow up, independently of any direct practical result, the slightest observations. Many of you, gentlemen, will have the opportunity to add materially to human knowledge. You will have laboratories at your disposal, and you have been well instructed in chemistry. If you have the desire, you may do much to help your profession. Your chances of success will be better, if you keep yourselves interested in the scientific as well as in the purely practical side of your calling. There is enough work to be done. In certain directions chemistry has only just begun to advance, and there are vast regions still entirely unexplored. Many an arctic sea of chemistry, with its fascinating north pole, awaits the first expedition. An eminent mathematician once said that a new problem in mathematics might easily be furnished for every man, woman, and child in this vast country, and there would then be plenty left for foreigners. A similar remark might be made concerning chemistry. As I have, then, attempted to show that you must look to science for the advance of your calling, I desire above all to leave upon your minds the impression that each of you, if you will, can do something for the common cause. If, in after-years, it shall be my privilege to hear that one among you has really been led to enrich the domains of science, I shall look back upon my part in this evening's proceedings with feelings of great satisfaction.