Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/516

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The chief scientific event of August is the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the present meeting is of more than usual significance. It is doubtless a mere coincidence that the fiftieth meeting of the Association and the first meeting of the twentieth century should be the first to be held in the western states. The meeting itself is, however, nearly as important an event for science in the west as was the original foundation of the Association for science in the east. It means that the scientific men of the western states have now become sufficiently numerous and influential to meet on terms of equality with those of the east. The development of scientific work in the central and western states during the past ten years has perhaps never been rivaled in the history of civilization. Of the twelve American universities having in their faculties the largest number of scientific men, seven are in this region—Chicago, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Stanford. Each of these universities has on its faculties twenty-five or more scientific men, apart from medicine and engineering, and other institutions—Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Texas, Washington and more—will soon be of the same rank. With a prejudice that is not unreasonable, we assume that the scientific intelligence of the country may be measured by the percentage of people that subscribe to this journal. Massachusetts would, by this criterion, stand first, but Colorado would have twice the intelligence of New Jersey, California nearly three times the intelligence of Pennsylvania and Arizona ten times the intelligence of Maryland. During the past ten years the population of the western half of the country has not increased appreciably more rapidly than that of the eastern half, but its educational and scientific development has been truly marvelous.

The meeting of the American Association at Denver, midway between Chicago and the Pacific coast, will be largely attended by those scientific men for whom it is the geographical center, and the excursion to Colorado is so attractive that the eastern states are certain to be well represented. The council holds a preliminary meeting on August 24, but the meeting really opens on the twenty-sixth. In the morning there is the usual formal welcome by the governor of the state, the mayor of the city and other officers, and the presidency is transferred by Professor Woodward, of Columbia, to Professor Minot, of Harvard. On Monday afternoon the addresses of the vice-presidents are delivered, and on Tuesday the retiring president gives Ms address, the subject being 'The Progress of Science.' During the week the Association meets in nine sections, and more or less closely affiliated with them are the meetings of nine special societies. The usual entertainments are offered by the citizens of Denver, and excursions of more than usual interest are planned to precede and follow the meeting. The geology, paleontology, flora, archeology and mining resources of the region are of peculiar interest to scientific men, and the scenic beauty of the state and of the surrounding states is known throughout the world.