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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/636

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Cape Colony and Natal has been only too forcibly brought home" to the English. Expeditions sent out by Canadian surveys are constantly opening up new countries and producing maps of great geographical and industrial value. Mr. A. P. Low finds Labrador not quite so bleak and hopeless a country as had been generally believed. Sir Martin Conway has done some very creditable exploration in the Andes and in Tierra del Fuego, the scientific results of which are of considerable value. In Chile, Dr. Staffer and his colleagues have been exploring the wonderful fiords of the coast and the rivers that come down to them from the Andean range. Dr. Moreno has described the results of twenty-five years' exploration of the great Patagonian plains, and of the lakes and glaciers and mountains on the eastern face of the Andes. One of the most important scientific enterprises during the year, the London Times says, was the German oceanographical expedition in the Valdivia, under Professor Chum, which went south through the Atlantic to the edge of the antarctic ice, and north through the Indian Ocean to Sumatra, and home through the Red Sea.

 

Royal Society Medalists.—The Copley medal was conferred, at the recent anniversary meeting of the Royal Society, upon Lord Rayleigh for his splendid service to physics, his investigations, the president said in presenting the award, having increased our knowledge in almost every department of physical science, covering the experimental as well as the mathematical parts of the subject. "His researches, from the range of subjects they cover, their abundance, and their importance, have rarely been paralleled in the history of physical science." A summary account of the principal ones was given in the sketch of him published in the twenty-fifth volume of the Popular Science Monthly (October, 1884). At the same meeting of the Royal Society the Royal medals were conferred upon Prof. G. F. Fitzgerald, for his brilliant contributions to physics, and Prof. William C. Mcintosh, for his very important labors as a zoologist. Professor Fitzgerald's investigations have been in the field of radiation and electrical theory, and in a manner complementary to those of J. Clerke Maxwell. Among his works is a memoir presenting a dynamic formulation of the electric theory of light on the basis of the principle of least action, which concludes with a remark upon the advantage of "emancipating our minds from the thraldom of a material ether." Professor McIntosh was spoken of as "one of a distinguished succession of monographers of the British fauna, who, beginning with Edward Forbes, have, during the last fifty years, done work highly creditable to British zoölogy." He is author of a great monograph of the British Annelids, which is still in progress of publication by the Royal Society, and of an important contribution to the Challenger reports, and was the founder of the first marine biological station in Great Britain—the Catty Marine Laboratory at St. Andrews. The Davy medal was bestowed upon Edward Schunck for researches of very high importance in organic chemistry. These works include a remarkable series of contributions to the chemistry of the organic coloring matters, particularly those relating to the indigo plant and to the madder plant. Of late years he has studied, with distinguished success, the chemistry of chlorophyll.

 

Anglo-Saxon Superiority.—The question of the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race is at present interesting economists of other stocks, especially of the supposed Latin races. The fact of superiority seems-to be conceded. The problem is to account for it. A French writer, M. Dumoulins, attributes it to the superiority of Anglo-Saxon educational institutions. Signor G. Sergi, the distinguished Italian anthropologist, thinks it is a result of the mixture of ethnic elements of which the English people are made up, and he goes over the history of the colonizations which have overtaken Britain, to show how upon the first neolithic settlers of the Mediterranean stocks came a small emigration of the Asiatic Aryan or Indo-European peoples. Caesar's conquest brought in a Roman infusion with some African elements, which did not last long, but left their mark. Next the Anglo-Saxon tribes of northern Germany made the principal contribution to the formation of the English people. A portion of Scandinavian blood was added to