Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/205

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

University in its earlier years largely by fellowships and using laboratory methods of investigation will bear comparison better than Dr. Jordan seems to think with the earlier group of naturalists of the school of Agassiz.

The addresses of the vice-presidents of the association maintained high standards and were in most cases of general interest. Thus Professor Minot, of Harvard, treated the method of science; Professor Brown, of Yale, the relation of Jupiter with the asteroids; Dr. Bauer, of the Carnegie Institution, research in terrestrial magnetism; Professor McPherson, of Ohio State University, the production of carbohydrates in plants; Director Brock, of the Canadian Geological Survey, northern Canada, and Professor Ritter, of the University of California, mechanism and vitalism. The addresses before the special societies and the discussions and papers of more than ordinary interest can not even be mentioned by title in a short note.

Dr. Charles E. Bessey, professor of botany at the University of Nebraska, dean and on several occasions acting president, distinguished for his contributions to science and for establishing in a western university a center of botanical teaching and research whose influence has extended over the whole country, was elected president of the American Association to preside over the meeting to begin at Washington on December 27, 1911.

While the American Association and a large group of national scientific societies were meeting at Minneapolis, other societies were meeting elsewhere. At Ithaca the American Society of Naturalists under the presidency of Dr. D. T. MacDougal had an interesting program devoted to problems of experimental evolution. With them met the eastern zoologists and the bacteriologists. The geologists, geographers and paleontologists met in Pittsburgh, the physiologists at New Haven, the mathematicians in New York and the anthropologists in Providence. There are scientific and social advantages both in a large convocation-week gathering o£ all men of science and in smaller meetings of groups devoted to a single science. Probably the best results are obtained by adopting different plans on different occasions.


There are at least three objects attained by attendance at scientific meetings. The papers and discussions are the official occasion, and are certainly of importance. They exhibit contemporary and common interests in a way that is not otherwise possible, and they often serve as a stimulus to research work both before and after the meeting. Of scarcely less consequence are the personal acquaintances and renewed friendships. The third advantage of migratory meetings is the opportunity to visit different parts of the country and to see their scientific and educational institutions. The more distant the place of meeting, the more interesting they are likely to be. So men of science are repaid for their journeys in direct proportion to their length.

A long trip would be well rewarded by the opportunity to see the University of Minnesota. The development of our state universities is probably the most significant movement in higher education, and nowhere are the opportunities and problems exhibited on a more comprehensive scale than in Minnesota. The adjacent states of Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota possess four of our greatest universities. For many years Michigan led the way; more recently Wisconsin has made the most rapid advances, both in the standards reached in its faculties and in its influence in the state. Illinois and Minnesota, established later, are now likely to press forward in friendly rivalry for leadership. The state of Illinois has two private universities—one of them