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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 7.djvu/379

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To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly:

DEAR SIR: Last summer, at the Hartford meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a new constitution was adopted, and, under its provisions, a permanent subsection of "chemistry, chemical physics, chemical technology, mineralogy, and metallurgy," was organized.

Prof. S. W. Johnson, of Yale College, was elected chairman of the new subsection for the ensuing year, and the undersigned was deputed to make the necessary efforts to insure a full attendance of chemists and others interested in the application of chemistry. The meeting for the summer will be held at Detroit, commencing the 11th of August, and continuing about a week. It is very desirable that there should be a full attendance in the new subsection, in order to make it a success. Will you be so kind as to call the attention of your readers to the subject, either by printing this card, or by an editorial notice?

Any one who is interested in chemistry, mineralogy, or in any application of these sciences, will be welcome. Hitherto, chemistry has been but little represented in the proceedings of the Association, and the time now seems to have arrived in which some good work can be done.

F. W. Clarke.



THE so-called "Association for the Promotion of Social Science" held its last meeting in May, in Detroit. It is reported as a satisfactory session, there having been a good attendance, much interest, and a full invoice of papers upon the varied topics which it is the habit of the body to consider. That the Association performs a useful function in securing the discussion of grave public questions, and in disseminating information, more or less useful, concerning them, we are not at all disposed to question; but we miss (as we did a year ago) any thing in the proceedings answering to the definite object of the organization as put forth in its title. The name of the Association is entirely misleading: it avows one object, and pursues others; it professes to do a certain work of very great public importance, and then, by totally neglecting it and doing something else under its name, it produces a mischievous confusion in the public mind, and becomes detrimental to the very purpose which it distinctly professes to advance.

As judged by its title, the Association was instituted to do an explicit thing, that is, to promote a certain science. Now what does this imply? It implies doing for the particular branch of science chosen, just what other associations do for the promotion of other branches of science. It implies, first, a branch of knowledge capable of assuming a scientific shape, and of definition and limitation in its objects; secondly, it implies efforts and measures for the elucidation of the subject, the extension of observations upon it, the generalization of its facts, by the same patient processes and cautious method that are adopted in other sciences with the single and supreme object of arriving at the truth; and, lastly, it implies men who will devote themselves to the cultivation of the subject in the true scientific spirit, men trained to original