Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/694

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

COLLEGE WOMEN AND THE NEW SCIENCE.
By CHARLOTTE SMITH ANGSTMAN.

IT is only after many years of earnest work on the part of comparatively few that it is beginning to be understood that domestic science is something definite, reducible to forms, capable of being studied comprehensively, and worthy of a place beside the other sciences in the curriculum of important universities and colleges.

Women have gone to college and heard lectures on physiology in an atmosphere of eighty-five degrees, heavy with carbonic-acid gas, and then passed to others where the thermometer read sixty-five degrees and the chill air from without blew upon their heads, wondering that such things could be side by side with perfect theoretical instruction.

They have gone from new knowledge of bacteria to a certainty of the existence of unwholesome germs in the improperly-cared-for furnishings of their student apartments.

They have learned the composition of the blood, bone, and muscle of human beings, and what substances contain their chemical elements, and then have asked what better use could be made of this knowledge than in securing diets which should perfectly nourish.

They have studied political economy and sociology, and have returned to reflect and observe that their principles are applicable to the social and domestic problems which are now before their eyes.

In the study of mathematics they have learned that nothing wrong can be righted without going to its root, and so have naturally turned their minds to the causes of the complications in domestic machinery which are apparent on every hand.

The study of history has made them realize that any plan for improvement in any condition of things, in order to rest upon a sure foundation, must be based upon a knowledge of the past.

Returned to find herself face to face with practical problems and having her logic still in mind, the college woman asks why such a foundation as she finds has been laid by Miss Juliet Corson in a knowledge of toothsome cookery should not be utilized as a foundation for scientific cookery.

In a four-years' contact with professors and students, she has learned the value of definite knowledge, and now sees as few else could its necessity in order to make any headway with the vexed questions lying nearest her, for to her especially belongs the solution of home problems through daily contact with their minute details, through her woman's nature which nothing can efface, and on account of her special opportunities.