deeply the interests of science would be affected, that further remarks on my part would be superfluous.
The Opinions of Various Authorities in Science on the Proposed Marine Observatory.—Carl Vogt, the veteran biologist of Geneva, the friend and scientific colleague of the late Prof. Louis Agassiz, and the pioneer advocate of marine observatories in Europe, sets forth the aims and the importance of marine biology in the following letter:
University of Geneva, January 25, 1892.
Dear Sir: You ask my opinion concerning the utility of a marine biological laboratory with a view to enlarging and perfecting the one already established, on a plan too modest and limited, at Woods Holl.
I will not begin my letter with a word-quibble. But I believe that, in the actual state of science, institutions like the one you contemplate are not only of great and undoubted utility, but absolutely necessary. Neither theoretical and abstract science, nor the application of science to highly important practical ends, can achieve results of value without seriously and systematically supporting marine biological stations.
As you very truly remark in your letter, my convictions on this subject are not of recent date. I have entertained them for more than forty years—in fact, ever since the days when I devoted myself, alone and without other resources than my own activity, to biology, and carried on my studies for several consecutive years on the shores of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. For many years I vainly attempted to get the governments of maritime countries and trained biologists to carry out my ideas and projects. Some could not comprehend them, and to others they seemed eccentric. After years of fruitless attempts on my own part, I was happy to see the efforts of my friends who shared my views meet with success, and I continue to feel a pleasant satisfaction when I hear of the establishment of new stations whenever it is seriously undertaken. And I maintain that you are very fortunate in living in a country where the citizens are accustomed through their own private initiative to found institutions of interest to the public, where they know how to endow their institutions liberally, and often magnificently; whereas in our old continental Europe we can do nothing without the good will of the governments, which interest themselves in every undertaking, and lavish the better part of their revenues in sterile bounties on an unproductive military class.But let us come down to facts. I maintain that marine stations are necessary for biological science, since nowhere but in the sea can there be found a host of types whose study is indispensable if one desires to form a clear and concise idea of the ensemble of the organic world, of which we ourselves are members. Now, the greater part of these organisms, vegetable as well as animal, are so delicate that, notwithstanding our improved methods of preservation, we can not acquire even an approximately correct idea of their characters unless they can be studied in their natural medium—the sea. We now enumerate along the coast of continental Europe almost as many laboratories as universities. Would these have been founded, often at great trouble and expense, if the need of them had not been urgently felt? And to mention only one branch of biological science—morphology—would this have reached the position which it occupies to-day were