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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/571

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY

The scientific meetings held at Washington and Philadelphia during the third week of April offered programs of interest and were pleasant events for those able to attend them. Neither of these societies is exactly in touch with democratic institutions or is able to adjust itself to the differentiation of science, but they have shown in recent years more vitality than might have been expected. The National Academy has taken steps to make its scientific programs of greater general interest and has enlarged its membership, so that instead of at most five new members elected annually there may now be ten. The American Philosophical Society has within the past few years resumed to a certain extent the national character which it possessed when Philadelphia was the chief scientific center of the country. Its annual general meetings bring together a considerable group of men of science from different parts of the country, and the meeting two years ago to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Franklin, its founder, was probably the most elaborate and successful scientific celebration ever held in this country.

At the meeting of the National Academy in Washington there were twenty papers on the program, twelve by members and eight on introduction. Several of the papers were elaborately illustrated with the lantern, the most noteworthy slides being the extraordinary enlargements of photographs of cells, showing the chromosomes on which the determination of sex depends, made by Professor E. B. Wilson, of Columbia University. Other illustrated papers were presented by Professor W. M. Davis, of Harvard University, showing standard land forms for a proposed international atlas; by Professor W. B. Scott, of Princeton University, on the age of certain beds in Patagonia, with restorations of Santa Cruz mammals by Mr. C. R. Knight, of the American Museum of Natural History, and by Professor E. L. Mark, of Harvard University, on the Bermuda Biological Station at Agar's Island. Mr. Alexander Agassiz gave an account of the pelagic fauna of Victoria Nyanza and of the elevated reefs of Mombasa and the adjacent coast, and Professor T. C. Chamberlin, of the University of Chicago, described atmospheres supplementary to the one ordinarily considered. Then there were more technical papers. That such papers can be made attractive was shown by the account by Professor W. G. MacCallum, of the Johns Hopkins University, of the parathyroid glands in their relation to tetany and calcium metabolism, and by the paper of Professor F. R. Moulton, of the University of Chicago, on the application of periodic solutions of the problem of three bodies to the motion of the moon. Other events of the meeting were a visit to the newly constructed and admirably equipped geophysical laboratory of the Carnegie Institution, an illustration of which was shown in a recent issue of the Monthly, and a lecture on solar research, given under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution by Professor George E. Hale, of the Mt. Wilson Solar Observatory.

The new members elected were: Edwin Brant Frost, director of the Yerkes Observatory, University of Chicago; William E. Storey, professor of mathematics, Clark University; Edward F. Nichols, professor of physics,