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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/458

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448
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

school. It would be good business policy for school boards to send their teachers to the summer schools, except that the benefit might not be reaped locally, as each teacher would soon deserve a better position than he now has. It is, however, not only for teachers that university sessions during the summer are needed. The long vacation is largely a tradition from the time when boys were most usefully occupied on the farm during the summer. It is doubtful whether students now come back to college in the autumn in an improved physical or moral condition. They might spend their time to advantage, but are not likely to do so at the ordinary summer resort. It is admitted by everyone that young men are too old when they leave college and the professional schools. Reforms are needed in various directions, but an obvious one is not to take four years for three years' work. Though university professors, who for the general good need freedom from routine teaching for other work, should be allowed leave of absence for a part of the year, it does not follow that they should all be away at the same time. It seems probable that the example set by the University of Chicago, which holds four sessions extending through the year, will be followed by all our universities.

 

The third International Conference on a Catalogue of Scientific Literature was held in London on June 12th and 13th. It will be remembered by those who are interested in the organization of science that a conference on this subject was called by the Royal Society in 1896 at which it was proposed to undertake by international cooperation a catalogue of contributions to science. Certain details were arranged and others were left to a committee of the Royal Society. Under the auspices of this committee schedules of classification were drawn up and estimates of the cost secured. A second conference was held in 1898, and after various changes in the plans for the catalogue it was at the recent Conference definitely decided to proceed with its publication. It is estimated that the cost will be covered by the sale of three hundred sets, and different governments or national agencies have made themselves responsible for a certain number of sets, Germany and Great Britain for example, subscribing for forty-five sets, each costing £17. The Catalogue will be published in seventeen volumes devoted to as many sciences, and will be both an author's and a subject index. The collection of material is to commence from January 1, 1901. While all scientific men welcome improvements in cataloguing scientific literature, the arrangements proposed by the Royal Society and by the different conferences have met with some criticism. The serious mistake has been made of entirely ignoring the catalogues and bibliographies already existing for most of the sciences, and it is not certain that the elaborate and expensive machinery proposed will be as useful as some plan would have been for unifying the existing agencies. Still in the end there must be some international and uniform method for cataloguing scientific literature, and it is to be hoped that our Government will do its share toward supporting the present undertaking.