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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/577

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

founded on basic discoveries made by English chemists, but which had never been properly developed in the land of their birth.

The explanation of this 'disastrous phenomenon' Professor Dewar gave in three words: 'Want of education.' He said it was the failure of schools to turn out, and of manufacturers to demand, properly trained men which explained Great Britain's loss of valuable industries and the country's precarious hold upon others. 'To my mind,' said he, 'the really appalling thing is not that the Germans have seized upon this or the other industry, but that the German population has reached a point of general training and specialized equipment which it will take us two generations of hard and intelligently directed educational work to attain.'

 

THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE STUDY OF THE SEA.

This Council was constituted at Copenhagen on July 22 by delegates from Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland. According to the report in the September number of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, the principle of simultaneous observations four times a year as the basis of a system of regular observations of temperature, density and plankton was adopted, and the share to be taken in the work by each of the participating nations was practically settled. The two ships which the British Government has voted for the work will undertake periodical trips in the Færoe-Shetland channel and across the northern end of the North Sea, working from a central harbor in Shetland, and also simultaneous trips in the western part of the English channel. The southern half of the North Sea will be investigated by the Dutch, the northern half by the German ships. Denmark undertakes the sea between Færoe and Iceland, while Norway has the heavy task of making observations in the North Atlantic off the extensive western sea-board of Scandinavia. Russia has undertaken similar work along the Murman coast and across Barents Sea to Novaya Zemlya, while the Baltic will be studied in detail by Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Russian and German ships. While the periodical oceanographical trips are the framework of the whole system of observations, they are intended to be connected and completed by observations at fixed stations, such as light-ships and by the cooperation, as far as surface observations are concerned, of regular lines of steamers crossing the North Sea and the Atlantic.

The biological work of the council has been limited, by the conditions which most of the governments concerned have attached to their grants, to the investigation of special problems of urgent practical importance to fisheries. Two such problems were selected. A committee has been charged with the duty of investigating the migrations of such fish as the cod and herring, and another with the investigation of the whole question of over-fishing in the parts of the North Sea most frequented by trawlers.

The organization of the central bureau of the Council was also determined, Dr. Herwig being appointed as president. The seat of the bureau is in Copenhagen, and the chief assistant will be Dr. Knudsen, lecturer on physics in the Polytechnic school there. All the publications of the council will be issued by the bureau, which will also form the medium of communication between the various national organizations, the special committees and others.

The international laboratory has been established in Christiania, with Dr. Nansen as honorary director and Dr. Walfrid Ekman as assistant for physical work; an assistant for chemical work is also about to be appointed.