Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/291

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The efforts to secure a convocation week for the meetings of scientific and learned societies have met with gratifying success. It may be remembered that a note in a former issue of this magazine called attention to the appointment of a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science which secured the cooperation of the Association of American Universities. Most of our leading institutions have now decided to set apart for these meetings the week in which the first of January falls. In some cases no change in the calendar was required, in others it has only been decided that officers may have leave of absence, but in many the Christmas holidays have been lengthened by a few days. The movement has met with practically universal approval, both on the part of institutions of learning and on the part of scientific societies, and represents a gain for science, the importance of which can scarcely be overstated. The advancement and the diffusion of science depend largely on the meetings of our societies. It is of the utmost importance for scientific men to come together and discuss their common interests. Only so can a high and uniform standard be maintained throughout the country, only so will an eager interest in advanced work and research be maintained, only so will men find their proper places and the work they are best able to do, only so will science be adequately recognized and supported by the community. Hitherto the scientific meetings have been divided between summer and winter. The American Association has met in the summer holidays and with it the societies devoted to the physical sciences. In midsummer it is impossible for many to attend the meetings, and those who do suffer great personal inconvenience; the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is too short, breaking into Christmas time and being interrupted by Sunday. This year, for the first time, the week after that in which Christmas falls has been recognized as convocation week, and affords a convenient time for the meetings.

The council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meets at Chicago on January 1, and the Section of Anthropology of the Association holds a winter meeting at Chicago. The Association will hold a summer meeting at Pittsburgh next year, but will hold a winter meeting in Washington in the following convocation week. The American Society of Naturalists meets at Chicago on December 31 and January 1, in conjunction with the Western Naturalists, and the national societies devoted to morphology, bacteriology, anatomy, physiology and psychology will meet at the same place and on the same days and on the days immediately preceding and following. Other societies meet elsewhere this winter; but it is expected that they will all meet at Washington next year, and that it will be possible hereafter to bring together at least once in three years the great majority of those engaged in scientific work in America.


President Roosevelt's message to the Congress has been more widely read and more generally approved than any other recent document of this kind.