Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/339

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elected and appointed for merit, and for that alone. No person has ever been appointed on the scientific staff for any political reason or consideration.

It is impossible to look into the future. The Smithsonian Institution has a remarkable organization for the administration of funds for the promotion of science; yet amidst the great benefactions of the past quarter of a century relatively few have come to it. Its activities could be still further increased if it had greater means under its control, and the regents, because of the peculiarly independent position they hold, can be of great public service in suggesting the channel into which gifts for scientific purposes might be directed, even if they do not see their way clear to accepting such donations for the institution itself.

For the National Museum a great new building is a prime necessity. The museum has practically reached a point where it is physically impossible that it should grow under present conditions.

Secretary Langley has for several years past been urging upon the government the dispatch of several expeditions for capturing the species of large mammals so rapidly being destroyed in the United States and Alaska; but even without this, the National Zoological Park, with its relationships to the other great national parks, is destined to be one of the great collections of the world.

The Bureau of American Ethnology, which since its organization has devoted itself to the aborigines of this continent, may have new work to do in Porto Rico and in Hawaii.

Among still other activities, of which there is now but a premonition, a National Gallery of Art (provided for by Congress in the original charter) may be alluded to.

The past of the Smithsonian Institution is secure, its present is known to all men, and it looks forward to the future in the belief that it will worthily continue under whatever changing conditions to 'increase find diffuse knowledge among men.'