Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/228

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tional Association of Academies was holding its first regular session at Paris. This association was organized at Wiesbaden two years ago and held a preliminary meeting at Paris last year. It is composed of representatives of the great academies of the world—eighteen in all—and includes in its scope literature as well as science. The object of the Association is to promote international cooperation in scientific work; it represents a movement the importance of which is very great and the accomplishment of which is very difficult. It is probable that a more representative congress would better forward the ends in view, but it may be that such a congress can best be developed by beginning with a small meeting of eminent men. There seems, however, to be good reason to protest against the star chamber methods which the Association seems inclined to adopt. We are told of a dinner given by the municipal council of Paris, a reception by the president of the French Republic and a theatrical performance at the Comédie Française, but not the slightest information can be obtained regarding the secret sessions of the Academy, at which scientific plans were presumably considered. Questions to be taken up should be announced well in advance, and they should be carefully considered by scientific men and discussed in the scientific press. M. Darboux was acting-president for the meeting, and the honorary presidents were Dr. Mommsen, Dr. de Goeje, Sir Michael Foster, M. Berthelot and M. Gaston Boissier. We regret to learn that the delegate from the National Academy of Sciences, Prof. G. L. Goodale, was detained by illness at Geneva; otherwise all the academies were represented. The next meeting will be in London in 1904.

The Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held its spring meeting at Washington at the time of the sessions of the National Academy of Sciences. The report made by the permanent secretary was very gratifying. Over seven hundred new members have been elected within the past year; the membership is now larger than ever before and includes almost the whole body of scientific workers in this country. The sum of $1,300 has been saved from current receipts and turned over to the permanent fund for the encouragement of research. The arrangement by which the weekly journal 'Science' is sent free of charge to members is apparently giving perfect satisfaction and is helping the Association in many ways. Progress has been made towards securing an agreement among universities and other institutions to set aside a week after the Christmas holidays for the meetings of scientific and learned societies. The plan was unanimously approved by the Association of American Universities, and Columbia and Cornell have already taken action lengthening their vacations for this purpose. Progress was reported in the arrangements for the Denver meeting, a single fare on the railways west of Chicago having been secured. The meeting, the first to be held so far toward the West, promises to be of unusual importance. Readers of this journal who are not members of the Association may obtain information as to the conditions of membership by addressing the permanent secretary. Dr. L. O. Howard, the Cosmos Club, Washington, D. C.


The fifty-fourth annual report of the director of the Harvard College Observatory gives a clear idea of the activity which prevails at that institution. As the present year marks the beginning of a new century. Professor Pickering finds the time opportune for describing the present condition and needs of the Observatory. As stated in the previous annual report, the invested funds amount to something over $800,000. The annual income is about $50,000, but, owing to the continued diminution