Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/437

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low and blue light of the spectrum itself furnishes not green but white light. There are also other points of almost equal importance where the old theory is at variance with the facts of Nature; some of them will be noticed further on, but, for the present, in summing up this matter, we may say that, while the old theory answers tolerably—only indifferently well for mixture of pigments on the painter's palette—it quite fails when applied with any exactitude to the explanation or study of effects of color in Nature.




YOU are well aware that it is not by virtue of any special claims as an investigator in sanitary science, or as a student in it to any great extent, that I now address you. But, when I was invited to speak, it seemed a good opportunity to make one more point in behalf of certain great, manly studies in our system of public instruction, and especially in our institutions for advanced instruction, and therefore an opportunity not to be neglected.

The generations that come after us will doubtless wonder at what this age has done, but I think they will wonder far more at what it has not done. There will be wonder at discoveries, inventions, reforms—at all our conquests in the realms of mind and matter; but I think the wonder will grow when notice is taken of the utter neglect, in great systems of education, of the most important subjects which occupy us, either for material purposes or for mental and moral advancement. Look, first, at the neglect of political studies. Here is a great Republic, dependent, as all confess, upon the knowledge of those who live beneath its sway. And yet you may go from one end of the country to the other and hardly find the slightest provision for any real instruction in Political Science, whether it be in political economy or political history. If, during the war of our rebellion, any thoughtful American wished to find out what that history was in which the germs of that great struggle were planted and developed, he had to go for such knowledge to the public lecture-room of Laboulaye at Paris, or the private lecture-room of Neumann at Berlin.

The case is still worse in regard to that great class of studies comprehended under the designation of Social Science. Every year our national Legislature and some forty State and Territorial Legislatures, and a vast number of county and town boards, are brought face to face with the most vital social problems. They are called upon to

  1. Read at the recent meeting of the American Public Health Association.