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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/497

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493
THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION MEETING.

and its influence, in large measure, in the social soil into which it sends its roots. Social influence is one of the most powerful factors in English life and one of the most powerful in politics. The British Association gains much of its prestige from its social and political setting, and in directing social and political power no one interest is so strong as that of the established church.

PSM V65 D497 Interior of trinity college hall.png

Interior of the Hall, Trinity College.

Looking at this great gathering from the standpoint of an interested outsider, the American who studies it can not but be impressed by its possibilities for usefulness in scientific and in national development. It is a fine thing to bring together the representatives of science, of politics, of religion and to have them meet face to face a large body of men and women drawn from the most intelligent homes in the kingdom. The general effect of all this is somewhat neutralized by the social machinery through which it works, but allowing for all this it still seems evident that such a gathering is a source of great intellectual stimulus both to the scientific men and to the public. It is no