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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/207

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

THE SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS AT BALTIMORE

The meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the affiliated national scientific societies held at the Johns Hopkins University during convocation week brought together more than two thousand scientific men and their programs contained the titles of more than one thousand scientific papers. Such a gathering has not occurred elsewhere or hitherto, and it is encouraging to see demonstrated in this public way the fact that this country is now taking the place in scientific research warranted by its population and its wealth. The meeting is not only an exhibition of what has been accomplished; it is also a stimulus in further efforts. The scientific men who come together from all parts of the country to present and discuss the results of the year's work return to their institutions with more knowledge and renewed zeal. It would be worth the while for each of our thousand colleges—and the smaller and more remote they are the more worth the while—to pay the expenses of delegates to a meeting of this kind. This would be no less useful or profitable than to supply books or apparatus. Dartmouth, College set this year a precedent, making an appropriation of $300 to send nine representatives to the meeting.

The arrangements by the local committee worked so smoothly and the meeting places of the groups were so separated that it was difficult to realize fully the magnitude of the meeting except by reference to the program. In it one found some seventy pages devoted to a mere list of the papers to be presented and a great array of general meetings, public lectures, dinners, smokers, etc. From this vast mass of material only a few events can be selected for mention.

At the opening meeting on the morning of December 28, the retiring president. Dr. E. L. Nichols, professor of physics at Cornell University, introduced the president of the meeting, Dr. T. C. Chamberlin, professor of geology at the University of Chicago, and the association was welcomed to Baltimore by the mayor of the city, by Dr. Ira Remsen, president of the Johns Hopkins University, who presided at the first convocation week meeting in Washington six years ago, and by Dr. William H. Welch, chairman of the local committee and professor of pathology in the Johns Hopkins University, who presided at the New York meeting two years ago.

In the evening the retiring president gave his address, which was an admirable survey of the place of science in modern civilization and an impressive plea for more research work and greater freedom in our universities. All the vice-presidential addresses before the sections of the association and the presidential addresses before the special societies maintained high scientific standards, and some of them were of broad general interest. Among the lectures may perhaps be selected for mention the addresses by Mr. G. K. Gilbert, of the U. S. Geological Survey, on earthquake forecasts, which had a sad and dramatic timeliness; by Major Squier. U.S.A., on the remarkable recent progress in navigating the air by means of dirigible balloons and aeroplanes; by Mr. Bryan, on Mt. Kilauea, whose address was beautifully illustrated and of special interest in view