Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/46

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course might be followed by one upon some special group of insects, or by one upon insects affecting a particular industry. A student who had taken such courses could on their completion readily find a position in some other museum or in a governmental station; and surely this would prove a better method of training systematists than the present way of acting as an assistant in a museum, for the work would be definitely planned from the start. Similar courses might be offered in mammalogy, ornithology and piscology, and in geology and paleontology, for all these subjects require large collections. Forestry might also be included in part. Without doubt universities would be glad to cooperate in such work, by advising students to attend such courses, and by crediting the work towards academic degrees.

This would be a new expansion, but logically a part of the work of museums, more important than public exhibition collections and far more important than vicarious evening lectures; though these evening lectures might be rearranged so as to compose a part of the courses. How important the matter is may be seen in the fact that the U. S. National Bureau of Entomology employs some 300 men, and finds it has to train most of them for the work; they would most gladly have other institutions undertake this training. The universities are attempting to present such courses, but they are greatly handicapped by the lack of suitable collections and of systematic entomologists. A university department of biology has to give courses, and direct research work, in histology, anatomy, embryology, physiology, animal behavior, inheritance and other analytical subjects, all of laboratory nature that require apparatus and living material rather than collections; it is too much to require that they should also present the taxonomic subjects. We should not attempt in an inland university to maintain large saltwater aquaria, but go to a marine laboratory for the sea organisms; and unless there is much ground around a laboratory, we do not attempt experimental breeding in a large scale, but go to some experiment station. Equally when a subject requires large taxonomic collections we and our students should go to a museum for them, and not try to amass other collections.

Since this was written I have learned that the Chicago Academy of Sciences now presents teaching courses which receive credit from universities. This seems to me to be one of the most promising fields of expansion of the usefulness of a museum. It would bring about a serviceable cooperation with other institutions, and thereby result in economy of expenditure and effort.

The second enlargement of the museum's service is increased research. Certain museums have been most prominent in research, as the British Museum which has surpassed the universities of its land. But few others approach this museum in this respect. To my mind a