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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/186

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

THE NEW BUILDINGS OF CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY.

On the first of March four new buildings were opened at Cambridge by King Edward. One of these is a law school; the others are for the natural sciences—a medical school, a botanical laboratory and a geological museum. The great English universities have found difficulties in meeting the requirements of modern science. The colleges were richly endowed, though unequally; and they have suffered in recent years from the depreciation in the rents of agricultural lands. The lecturers and coaches of the colleges could give the instruction needed in the languages and in mathematics, and to a certain extent in other subjects such as the political and mental sciences, but they could not provide laboratories for the natural sciences. The universities were almost without endowments, and they have been very slow in coming either from the state or from private gifts. In 1882 a commission required the colleges to contribute toward the support of the university. In 1897 special efforts were made at Cambridge to secure an endowment fund, which resulted in gifts amounting to about $350,000, rather a modest sum, according to American ideas, but sufficient with the other resources at hand to warrant the erection of four new buildings.

Geology at Cambridge had its beginnings in the bequest of Dr. John Woodward, who in 1727 drew up a will leaving to the university his cabinet of fossils and an income of £150, from which a lecturer was to be paid to read at least four lectures every year in defense of the doctrines of the founder. It appears that lecturers were duly appointed who did not lecture, until in 1818 the office was assigned to Adam Sedgwick. In the following fifty-five years, Sedgwick made Cambridge a great geological center. After his death in 1873, a committee collected a fund ultimately amounting to about $125,000, to which the university added about $100,000, and the Sedgwick Memorial Museum has been built from designs by Mr. T. G. Jackson. Professor Hughes, Sedgwick's successor in the Woodwardian chair, says of the building: "Skilfully designed, and carefully executed, it will enable us to display the finest educational collection in the world. This was what Woodward aimed at in his day of small beginnings, and what Sedgwick worked for during his whole j academic career. The great museum occupies the first floor of both wings, and amid the long series of specimens which scientific geology has revealed | to us, Woodward's ancient cabinets are piously preserved in a small enclosure I special to themselves. On the ground floor are the products of the earth's crust which are of economic value, with a large lecture-room. On the second floor are class-rooms, and private rooms for the different teachers, with the noble library, the fittings for which were provided by the liberality of the late master of Trinity Hall. In the attics are more rooms for research, and large store-rooms where specimens can be unpacked, sorted, and determined before they are placed in the museum." The building for the botanical school is less imposing than the Sedgwick Museum, but appears to secure good effects by its proportions. So far as can be judged by the illustrations and ground plans, it presents a good type of laboratory building, with ample light and convenient arrangements. The build-