Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/139

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
135
ALPHEUS HYATT, 1838-1902

of a general marine laboratory, nor was Hyatt sufficiently interested in the minutæ of executive detail to make a good director of a permanent station, so after a few years the Annisquam project was abandoned and the laboratory was removed to Woods Hole, Hyatt being the first president of its board of trustees.

Hyatt was a great, generous-minded, altruistic man; who formed warm and enduring friendships with those about him. He was a teacher and a student rather than an executive, and his faith in young men was one of the beautiful sides of his character. Advocates of peculiar theories of their own making are commonly conceited or narrow-minded men, but Hyatt was the reverse of this, for his modesty was real, and his breadth of view, founded as it was in superior knowledge of science, and in interest and respect for those about him, was constantly expanding. Xo man could have been more approachable, and no educator of his generation was more highly esteemed for his kindly personal qualities than was Alpheus Hyatt.

His interests in educational affairs in Boston caused him to be appointed professor of zoology and paleontology in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a chair which he held for eighteen years. He was also professor of biology and zoology in the Boston University from 1877 until his death in 1902.

But it is as a teacher of teachers that he will be best remembered by the public of Boston. He loved to teach, but was never a pedant, for as he says:

Teacher and scholars should recognize that science is infinite, and they should work as companions learning from each other's observations. Better a child should learn to handle one animal, to see and know its structure and how it lives and moves, than to go through the whole animal kingdom with the best teacher.

His knowledge of invertebrate zoology was profound and extensive, and he had an apt manner in illustration which made his lectures popular and brought his pupils close to nature; as Agassiz said of him, "he possessed the essential element with which to engage the attention of an audience—knowledge thoroughly his own." In 1870 with support from Mr. John C. Cummings and the cooperation of many educational leaders and philanthropists, he organized the Teacher's School of Science and gave courses of lectures upon biology to the public school teachers of Boston. Between 1870 and 1902 more than 1,200 school teachers attended these lectures, and the school is still being successfully conducted by Professor George Barton. A good account of the origin and history of this school is given by Frances Zirngiebel in Popular Science Monthly, August and September, 1899.

Professor Goodale suggested that guide-books of a peculiar character should be written for the benefit of the teachers who might attend these lecture courses; accordingly, between 1878 and 1896, thirteen short