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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/387

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

Dartmouth College; for chemistry, Professor Charles Baskerville, of the University of North Carolina; for mechanical science and engineering, Professor C. A Waldo, of Purdue University; for geology and geography, Professor W. M. Davis, of Harvard University; for zoology, Professor Charles W. Hargitt, of Syracuse University; for botany, Dr. F. V. Coville, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture; for anthropology, Dr. G. M. Dorsey, of the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago; for social and economic science, H. T. Newcomb, of Philadelphia, and for physiology and experimental medicine, Professor W. H. Welch, of the Johns Hopkins University.

 

FUNDS FOR THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH.

The appropriations for 1 research made by the American Association are very small compared with those of the British and French Associations. The British Association has a large income from local members, who pay fees for the meeting, and the French Association has a large endowment which is continually increased by bequests; each of these associations appropriates about $5,000 annually for research. The permanent funds of the American Association are slowly increasing, chiefly by savings from income, and now amount to about $12,500. The income from this fund, however, only permitted making at Pittsburgh five small grants, $75 each to committees on blind vertebrates, on the relation of plants to climate and on the velocity of light, and $50 each to committees on anthropometry and on the atomic weight of thorium.

It was announced at a general meeting of the Association that the Botanical Society of America has set aside the sum of $500 from its yearly income, this year and every succeeding year, to be used in making grants in aid of investigations. The funds of the Botanical Society consist of the accumulated dues and interest paid in by the members, and the grants in question probably constitute the only series ever offered in America, the money for which has been contributed wholly by a body of scientific workers. Should the members of the American Association be equally self-sacrificing there would be available an annual income of $35,000 for research. It must, however, be said that the more important demands for funds for research are pretty well met. The National Academy administers funds large enough to meet all pressing needs, the Elizabeth Thompson Science Fund has a fair income at its disposal, and all other funds are of course overshadowed by the great endowment of the Carnegie Institution. Some disappointment was expressed at Pittsburgh that no officers of the Carnegie Institution were present, and that the plans of the institution have not been more freely made public. But it is certainly the part of wisdom for those responsible for the conduct of the institution to take ample time before coming to any final decision. Ample opportunity for public discussion will doubtless be afforded before the institution commits itself to any definite policy.

 

NATIONAL LEGISLATION.

The government of a nation is becoming increasingly a problem of applied science. Opinion and the rule of thumb are gradually being superseded by knowledge and the direction of the trained expert. This is clearly shown by the more important measures passed by the recent congress. The destructive activities of warfare are becoming less important than the commissariat and the medical department; but they rest equally on the applications of science. This is indicated by the usual superiority of the navy over the army, and by the place in the army taken by West Point graduates as compared with the amateur volunteer. Fortunately war is no longer the chief busi-