Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/491

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

world, also bears the mark of highest skill in both chemical and mineralogical sciences; for this element was detected in a very rare and always very thin coating of a silver ore occurring in but very few localities. Notwithstanding the exceeding scantness of the material, Winkler established the chemical character of the new element solidly by a complete study of its compounds and the production of the real element in the free state. Some of his original samples of this noted work could be seen in the German Chemical Exhibition at St. Louis this summer.

Clemens Winkler was born at Freiberg, Saxony, December 26, 1838; he became professor of chemistry there in 1873. and continued in this work with great success till his health failed in 1902. when he removed to Dresden, where he died after great suffering on October 8, 1904.

 

GREEK AT THE ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES.

The ancient English universities are just now much concerned over the tide of modern culture that is surging about their borders. Oxford has voted to sit Canute-like, while at Cambridge the decision is yet to be made. The question has passed beyond the limits of the universities and is being actively discussed in the newspapers and magazines. The proposal that was rejected by a small majority at Oxford was to exempt from the entrance examination in Greek candidates for honors in mathematics and natural science, while at Cambridge the syndicate has recommended making Greek optional in the 'little go.' The teachers at Cambridge would probably vote for the change, but the question must be decided by convocation, the masters of arts who consist largely of country clergymen. There is no doubt as to the ultimate outcome, as the medical men and others having a scientific education will soon be more numerous than those who take orders. It should indeed be remembered that the English universities are, on the whole, less conservative in this direction than our own, for while they demand a classical school education for entrance, they do not require any study of Latin or Greek at the university for the degree of bachelor of arts.

In America we are concerned with the decision of Oxford, owing to the Rhodes scholars, who are now passing their first year of residence there. At the examination of the College Entrance Examination Board last year the largest number taking a paper in Greek was 176, whereas there were 351 in physics, 661 in French, 693 in German, 1,033 in English and 1,060 in mathematics. The selection of Rhodes scholars must be made from that one sixth of the students entering college who have studied Greek, unless the language is crammed for the examination. Of the representatives of the forty-three states now at Oxford, six teen have entered for languages, thirteen for law and only three for science.

While the discrimination in favor of the classical languages and against the sciences at Oxford and to a lesser extent at Cambridge can not be approved by a scientific journal, and will probably be abolished in the near future, something may be urged in its favor. There is too great a tendency for our universities to lose individuality by making them places where everybody can learn anything. The newer English universities, such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham, are largely schools of science, and it might be wise to maintain one university based on classical learning. A home of lost causes and impossible loyalties exerts a certain commanding fascination over those who are subdued to its influence. From a wider point of view, there is something provincial in the attitude of a man such as Professor Jebb, who looks with contempt on the New Zealanders, because they are supposed to speak of 'Cupid and Sich,' while he himself is doubtless completely ignorant of the socialistic movement among