Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/478

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work on so grand a scale and with such immense effect. The results obtained each year reflect the highest credit on the management of the work and on the development of the vast field of economical interests charged to its care. The presence of such a powerful plant as this at Woods Holl adds very materially to the advantages of the situation.

The fact remains, however—and this is now conceded on all sides—that a marine biological observatory, devoted exclusively to research, must be independent of any control or interference on the part of the General Government, and rest on an endowment furnished by private initiative. This point has been strongly urged by Huxley, Carl Vogt, Herbert Spencer, and many others, and it may be put down as a settled fact. Of course, it does not follow that such an observatory may not receive support from the Government. Such support is, in fact, as important as it is fitting, as has been seen in the history of the station at Naples. The essential thing is that the observatory have an independent organization, and be able to direct its work to the ends of science, regardless of whether they coincide with those pursued by a commission of fish and fisheries. Although all biological investigation may, in fact must, minister directly or indirectly to the higher interests of humanity, its course must not be dominated or handicapped by utilitarian considerations. As I have said on another occasion: "A biological station should be a purely scientific affair from beginning to end. It should have no other aim than to advance science, and its whole organization should be directed to this one great end. We are urged by every consideration of the present, and every regard for the future of biological science in America, to keep this object steadily in view, and to allow nothing to block the way to its attainment" (first Report). Our course at Woods Holl in providing for instruction, as I hope time will demonstrate, is consistent with the end we are seeking.

The history of efforts to make Woods Holl a center for marine research, and the location there of the National Fish Commission, with resources that make it an ally of the greatest importance, are so much in favor of the place. Woods Holl is not, of course, the only available locality for our purpose, but it offers many natural advantages, and every summer's work has strengthened the conviction that we have been fortunate in our choice of position. Our experience simply confirms the opinion of the late Prof. Baird, that Woods Holl is the place of all the places on our coast for a marine station. It is easily reached by rail or by boat from New York, Boston, Providence, Fall River, or New Bedford. With Vineyard Sound in front, Buzzard's Bay behind, the beautiful Elizabeth Islands extending to the southwest, Martha's Vine-