Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/611

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

Association that this week—that in which the first day of the new year falls—will hereafter be devoted to the purpose designated. The meeting of the American Association next year will be at Pittsburg at the beginning of July, and will be presided over by the great astronomer, Professor Asaph Hall. It will undoubtedly be large and important; while the meeting at Washington will probably be the greatest scientific congress ever held in America.

There was published in this Journal for July last an article on the American Association for the Advancement of Science calling attention to the great importance and responsibility of this institution for the development of science. Trusts and trade unions are an integral part of our present civilization, and it is our duty not to protest against them, but to direct them for the common good. Those interests that are most important for civilization should have the strongest organization, and it is gratifying to find that under the auspices of the American Association a union is being effected that will adequately represent the scientific interests of the country. There was a period of disintegration when the development of the special sciences required the formation of special societies, but we are apparently now in the midst of a movement toward such a concentration of authority as will not interfere with local autonomy. Herewith is given a curve showing the total membership of the American Association and the attendance at the meetings since that in Washington in 1891, when the membership reached its maximum. It will be noticed that there was a tendency for the membership gradually to decrease, broken only by an accession at the large Brooklyn meeting of 1894. The curve, however, rises in a remarkable way for the New York and Denver meetings. This has doubtless been largely due to the arrangement with 'Science,' mentioned above, and to the efficiency of the present permanent secretary. Dr. L. O. Howard, in bringing the desirability of membership in the Association before the scientific men of the country. These, however, are only incidents that have hastened the development of a movement demanded by modern conditions.

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MORTALITY STATISTICS.

A bulletin issued from the census bureau at the end of August gives vital statistics of more than usual interest. The death rates of 1900 and 1890 are compared both as regards different regions and as regards different causes of death. It appears that careful registration of deaths is undertaken in ten States and in a large number of cities, including about twenty-nine million of the inhabitants of the country.