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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/860

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Editor's Table.

 

MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION AT DETROIT.

THE American Association for the Advancement of Science had a very pleasant meeting at Detroit. Socially it was all that could be desired, and was perhaps in this respect among the best in the history of the body. The people of Detroit, who call their town "the Convention City," and are proud of the hospitality they show to the assemblies that visit them, strove to outdo themselves in entertaining their guests, and, what with the lunches they served and the receptions and excursions they gave, made the occasion a brilliant one. The high-school building, in which the association met, was one of the best it has occupied, for it amply accommodated all the meetings and furnished room for doing all the work under one roof.

The association suffered from the absence of its designated president. Prof. Wolcott Gibbs, who was kept at home by illness. His presence would have lent it much dignity, and would have recalled its older and best days. His place was taken by Vice-President McGee, who discharged the executive and administrative duties of the office satisfactorily. A happy feature in the opening meeting was the felicitous address of General Palmer, who, although not a man of science, evidently appreciated its value, and knew well how to fit his remarks to the occasion. The memorial address on Prof. Cope, by Prof. Theodore Gill, was perhaps the feature of the whole meeting which most deserves notice and will be remembered longest. The president's address and the addresses of the chairmen of the sections were well-wrought-out presentations of their several subjects, creditable to the speakers and to the association. Of the papers, the majority appear to have been technical. Of the others, some were very good, and some, we are constrained to say, should have no place in the proceedings of such a body as the association ought to be.

The attendance was not large; the whole number of registered members being only two hundred and ninety-one.

An important new step was taken in making the nomination of officers by the council and its nominating committee valid without further proceedings. Heretofore the nominations have been subject to approval by the association. The joint meetings of affiliated societies with sections of the association, of which there were several, were a feature to be commended.

The meeting made more prominent the fact which has been evident for many years, that our strongest and most experienced men of science are losing their interest in the association. They seem to have all the field for work and distinction they want in their own separate organization, which does not reach the people at all; while this field, in which they could gain quite as much repute, add fully as much to knowledge, and contribute vastly more to its diffusion, they neglect. It is hard to conceive a nobler or more desirable way in which the student of Nature can contribute to the instruction and elevation of his fellow-men than by giving his support to this body which courts the sym-