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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/195

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

dents trained in the recent foundations for technical scientific instruction have remained ignorant of essential subjects of general education.

"The bodies which can do most to promote and encourage improvement in these matters are the universities, through the influence which they are in a position to exert on secondary education. This improvement will not, however, be brought about by making the avenues to degrees in scientific or other subjects easier than at present. Rather, the test of preliminary general education is too slight already, with the result that a wide gap is often established between scientific students careless of literary form and other students, ignorant of scientific method.

"It may be suggested that the universities might expand and improve their general tests, so as to make them correspond with the education, both! literary and scientific, which a student, matriculating at the age of 19 years, j should be expected to have acquired; and that they should themselves make provision, in cases where this test is not satisfied, for ensuring the completion of the general preliminary education of their students, before close specialization is allowed.

"In particular, it appears desirable that some means should be found for giving a wider range of attainment to students preparing for the profession of teaching. The result of the existing system is usually to place the supreme control of a public school in the hands of a headmaster who has little knowledge of the scientific side of education; while the instructors in many colleges have to deal with students who have had no training in the exact and orderly expression of their ideas.

"Our main intention is not. however, to offer detailed suggestions, but to express our belief that this question of the adaptation of secondary education to modern conditions involves problems that should not be left to individual effort, or even to public legislative control; that it is rather a subject in which die universities of the United Kingdom might be expected to lead the way and exert their powerful influence for the benefit of the nation."

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS.

We regret to record the deaths of M. Emile Duclaux, director of the Pasteur Institute; of Sir Clement Neve Foster, professor of mining in the Royal College of Mining, London; of Professor A. W. Williamson, the eminent British chemist; of Sir Henry Thompson, the distinguished surgeon; and of Sir Henry M. Stanley, the African explorer.

At the recent meeting of the National Academy of Sciences members were elected as follows: Professor William Morris Davis, Harvard University Professor William Fogg Osgood, Harvard University; Professor William T. Councilman, Harvard Medical School; Professor John U. Nef, University of Chicago. The foreign associates elected were: Professor Paul Ehrlich, Frankfurt; Professor H. Rosenbusch, Heidelberg; Professor Emil Fischer, Berlin; Sir William Ramsay, London; Sir William Huggins, London; Professor George H. Darwin, Cambridge; Professor Hugo de Vries, Amsterdam; and Professor Ludwig Boltzmann. Vienna. The Draper gold medal was presented to Professor George E. Hale, of the Yerkes Observatory, Wisconsin, for his researches in astrophysics.

The trustees of the British National Portrait Gallery have received by bequest from the late Mr. Herbert Spencer a portrait of himself, painted by J. B. Burgess, R.A., and a marble bust of himself by Sir J. E. Boehm.—The certificate of incorporation has been filed of the Walter Reed Memorial Association for the purpose of securing funds to erect a monument in Washington City to the memory of the late Walter Reed, major and surgeon U. S. Army. Dr. Daniel C. Gilman is presi-