and extend social courtesies, if they were given in return the mental food in digestible form, with which the Association is so amply supplied.
It remains with the management to decide whether attendance shall be restricted to the few actively engaged in scientific pursuits, or whether it shall include the 1,200 and more who would be glad to avail themselves of the benefits of a programme suited to average scholarship and intellectual capacity.
There is no better medium for discussion of the above views than through the widely read pages of The Popular Science Monthly.
|M. E. D. Trowbridge.|
[The questions brought up by our correspondent have been carefully considered by all those who are interested in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. When the Association was founded fifty years ago there was no division into sections; the papers and discussions were intelligible and interesting to all members. At that time there were but few members, the scientific life of the country was small, and it was a privilege for a city to entertain the Association. But fifty years have brought changes in many directions. Specialization in science has become essential for its further progress, and it has been necessary to divide the Association into numerous sections and to found special societies. Hospitality can now only be provided at great expense, and Eastern cities no longer regard it as a privilege to entertain the numerous societies that gather within their hotels. The newspapers do not regard a meeting of the Association as an important event and will not devote space to it.
The Association must do the best it can to adapt itself to existing conditions. The recent meeting in New York had perhaps the largest attendance of scientific men of any in the history of the Association with the exception of the anniversary meeting two years ago, but New York City, especially in the month of June, is not a desirable place for social functions. It is not reasonable for a member interested in science as an amateur to expect to purchase for three dollars a week's entertainment. His dues secure reduced railway and hotel rates; he can meet his friends and become acquainted with scientific men; he can always find on the programme papers that are of interest; he receives the annual volume of 'Proceedings' and the weekly journal, 'Science,' the cost of which is five dollars per year. But apart from these direct returns, he is surely repaid for membership by knowing that he is one of those who are united for the advancement of science in America.—Editor, Popular Science Monthly.]
THE COLOR RED.
To the Editor of The Popular Science Monthly: Mr. Havelock Ellis, in your August number, in 'The Psychology of Red,' says, 'A great many different colors are symbolical of mourning .... but so far as I am aware, red never.' The following may possibly be of interest in this connection:
"Our English Pliny, Bartholomew Glantville, who says after Isydorus, 'Reed clothes ben layed upon deed men in remembrance of theyr hardynes and boldnes, whyle they were in theyr bloudde.' On which his commentator, Batman, remarks: "It appereth in the time of the Saxons that the manner over their dead was a red cloath, as we now use black. The red of valiauncie, and that was over kings, lords, knights and valyaunt souldiers; white over cleargie men, in token of their profession and honest life, and over virgins and matrons.'"—(Dr. Furness's Variorum. Merchant of Venice, p. 56.)
|Chas. E. Dana.|
|University of Pennsylvania.|