Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/227

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The annual stated meeting of the National Academy of Sciences was held in Washington in the third week in April. Professor Wolcott Gibbs, one of the two surviving founders of the Academy and the distinguished dean of American men of science, having resigned the presidency a year ago, Mr. Alexander Agassiz, of Cambridge, was elected to the office. It may almost be said that Mr. Agassiz assumed the presidency by right, as he exactly represents the hereditary distinction and aristocratic preeminence of a small and select National Academy. It is possible that such an institution belongs to the past rather than to the democracy of the twentieth century, but there is perhaps less danger in America from the preservation of precedents than from their abolition. Mr. Asaph Hall remains vice-president and Mr. Charles D. Walcott treasurer of the Academy, while the vacancy in the foreign secretaryship, caused by Mr. Agassiz's elevation to the presidency, was filled by the election of Prof. Ira Remsen, whose former office of home secretary is now occupied by Mr. Arnold Hague. Five new members were elected: George F. Becker, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C; J. McKeen Cattell, professor of psychology, Columbia University, New York City; Eliakim H. Moore, professor of mathematics. University of Chicago, Chicago, 111.; Edward L. Nichols, professor of physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., and T. Mitchell Prudden, professor of pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. An improvement has recently been made in the manner of election to the Academy. The members have been divided into six standing committees, and a nominee must be endorsed by the committee having an expert knowledge of his qual having an expert knowledge of his qual. [In] 1899 only thirteen new members were elected, although twenty-seven vacancies occurred through death, whereas during the past three years fourteen new members have been elected. Eight foreign associates were elected: MM. Janssen, Loewy, Bornet and Cornu, of France; Professors Kohlrausch and van't Hoff, of Germany; Professor Kronecker, of Switzerland, and Sir Archibald Geikie, of Great Britain. The Henry Draper medal was awarded to Sir William Huggins, president of the Royal Society, for his investigations in astronomical physics. In the scientific sessions of the Academy eleven papers were presented, as follows:

'The Climatology of the Isthmus of Panama': Henry L. Abbot.

'The Effects of Secular Cooling and Meteoric Dust on the Length of the Terrestrial Day': R. S. Woodward.

'The Use of Formulæ in demonstrating Relations of the Life History of an Individual to the Evolution of its Group': Alpheus Hyatt.

'Artificial Parthenogenesis and its Relation to Normal Fertilization': E. B. Wilson.

'Simultaneous Volumetric and Electric Graduation of the Condensation Tube': Carl Barus.

'Table of Results of an Experimental Enquiry regarding the Nutritive Action of Alcohol, prepared by Prof. W. O. Atwater, of Middletown, Conn.': Presented by J. S. Billings.

'The Significance of the Dissimilar Limbs of the Ornithopodous Dinosaurs': Theo. Gill.

'The Place of Mind in Nature,' 'The Foundation of Mind': J. W. Powell.

'Conditions Affecting the Fertility of Sheep and the Sex of their Offspring': Alexander Graham Bell.

'The New Spectrum': S. P. Langley.

During the same week that our National Academy was meeting at Washington, the recently established Interna-