THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION.
The fifty-fourth meeting of the American Association was presided over by Professor William G. Farlow, the eminent botanist of Harvard University, who responded to the address of welcome tendered by Provost Harrison of the University of Pennsylvania. We are pleased that we are able to give here portraits of the vice-presidents who presided over the sections and of the permanent secretary and the secretary of the council. No report of the sectional meetings can be attempted, and only a brief account of the more important business proceedings. In some respects this is a critical period in the development of the association. With the increasing specialization of methods and of the sciences, a number of special societies of experts have arisen, which tend to replace, in a way, the older and more general association. Just what relation the latter should bear to the several societies affiliated with it is an important question of policy awaiting early solution. It is thought by some that the association should aim to serve as a central legislative body and to coordinate and represent to the public at large the common interests of the several special bodies, while yielding to these the sessions for the reading of technical papers. The Philadelphia convocation was notable