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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/675

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

before the section of mechanical science Sir Alexander Binnie traced the historical development of science; before the section of anthropology Prof. John Rhys dealt with the ethnology of the British Isles, with special reference to language and folk-lore; before the section of botany Prof. Sidney H. Vines reviewed the development of botany during the present century. In addition to these addresses, evening discourses were given by Prof. Francis Gotch on 'Animal Electricity,' and by Prof. W. Stroud on 'Range Finders.' The usual lecture to workingmen was given by Prof. Sylvester P. Thompson, his subject being 'Electricity in the Industries.'

 

Bradford is situated in the coal regions, and is an industrial center devoted especially to the manufacture of textiles. More attention was paid to local interests than is usual at the meetings of the American Association. An exhibit was arranged to show the development of the elaborate fabrics from the unwashed fleeces, and another consisting of a collection of carboniferous fossils found in the neighborhood. A joint discussion was arranged between the sections of zoology and botany on the conditions which existed during the growth of the forests which supplied material for the coal, and there were a number of papers devoted to the coal measures and the fossils which they contain. Another subject connected with the place of meeting was the report of the committee on the underground water system in the carboniferous limestone. By the use of chemicals the course of the underground waters has been traced, including their percolation through rock fissures, and excursions were made to the site of the experiments. The local industries received treatment from several sides. Among other discussions of more than usual interest was that on 'Ions' before the physical section and on 'What is a Metal?' before the chemical section. Features of popular interest were accounts of adventures in Asia, Africa and the Antarctic regions, by Captain Deasy, Captain George and Mr. Borchgrevinck, respectively, and Major Ross's paper on 'Malaria and Mosquitoes.'

 

The French Association met at Paris in the month of August, with the numerous other congresses. General Sebert, in his presidential address, reviewed the progress of the mechanical industries during the century and devoted the last third of his time to a discussion of international bibliography, but without mentioning the International Catalogue which now seems to be an accomplished fact. The secretary of the Association, in his review of the year, devoted special attention to the joint meetings of the British and French associations last summer at Dover and Calais. The treasurer was able to make a report that the treasurers of other national associations will envy. The capital is over $250,000, and the income from all sources about $17,000, of which about $3,000 was awarded for the prosecution of research and to defray the cost of publication of scientific monographs. The national association for the advancement of science of Germany— the 'Gesellschaft deutscher Naturforscher und Aerzte'—held its annual meeting at Aachen toward the middle of September. An account of the proceedings has not yet reached us, but the congresses are always largely attended and the combination of addresses of general interest, of special papers before the numerous sections and of social functions, is perhaps more effective than in any other society. It also appears to be a considerable advantage for medical men and scientific men to meet together.

 

While from the scientific point of view the present century has been notable for the development of national associations for the advancement of science, its latter decades have witnessed a growth of international scientific meetings which may be expected to become dominant in the twentieth century. There are at least one hundred