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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/481

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

fact no short stories such as those of Hawthorne and Poe. Weekly journals of literature have also declined. The Critic could not continue as a weekly and The Nation has become a compilation from the Evening Post.

Corresponding with the wide diffusion of physical comfort in a democracy we have an abundant supply of Sunday newspapers, illustrated magazines and current novels. These are well adapted to the readers for whom they are manufactured and demonstrate a degree and extension of intelligence which is all that could be expected, and is on the whole highly satisfactory. But there appears to be no intellectual development corresponding with the large fortunes accumulated by our captains or knights—as the case may be—of industry. As far as journals and reviews are concerned, we must frankly admit our inferiority to Great Britain and France. This does not, however, mean that we should or shall remain quietly or permanently in this position.

We are here especially concerned with science; but we do not admit that science and literature can be divorced. Science supplies to literature both method and subject matter, whereas clear and correct expression is essential to science. There are a few American men of science who have admirable command of the language they write, but the men with exceptional powers of expression are rarer and the average is lower than in France or in Great Britain. The treatment of science in the newspapers and magazines is also less satisfactory here than abroad. Articles of excellent quality are often published, but fads and charlatanism are exploited with equal apparent authority, and the reader must become entirely bewildered, having no means of discriminating one alleged scientific article from another, and the entire scientific miscellany is given about the same attention and credence as the columns devoted to the gossip from Saratoga. Some newspapers and magazines are better than others, but there appears not to be a single one of them that submits its scientific contributions to an expert. Hence while the literary taste of the community is mediocre, its scientific sense is practically nonexistent.

 

A GRADUATE SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE.

The Graduate School of Agriculture, which held a four weeks' session during the month of July at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, marks an important step of progress in agricultural science and education in the United States. This school was the outcome of a happy thought which came to Professor Thomas F. Hunt, dean of the College of Agriculture and Domestic Science of the Ohio State University, while he was attending the convention of the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations at San Francisco in 1899. Seeing how inadequate were the opportunities at such short conventions for the discussion of anything more than the most general problems of agricultural science and education it occurred to him that it would be a good plan to establish a summer school for advanced students of agriculture at which leading teachers and investigators from the agricultural colleges and experiment stations and the United States Department of Agriculture should present in some regular way summaries of the recent progress of agricultural science, illustrate improved methods of teaching agricultural subjects and afford a somewhat extended opportunity for the discussion of live topics drawn from the rapidly advancing science of agriculture. This idea received the cordial approval of President Thompson of the Ohio State University, and on the recommendation of these two men the board of trustees of the university voted to establish such a school