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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/316

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PSM V81 D316 Old gresham college.png

Old Gresham College, in which the meetings of the Royal Society were first held.

their administration is not a benefit conferred on the society by the state, but a service conferred on the state by the society." It is not clear why these sentiments should have been applauded by those present. In the first place they are not strictly correct. The society received £1,300 from King Charles and tried hard to get more. Indeed, the king granted them a share in the confiscated Irish estates, but the money failed to reach them. Apart from the annual grant of £4,000 to be awarded for scientific research, the government provides £1,000 for publications and the rooms in Burlington House. But why should the society be congratulated because it has received no government support? It was scarcely an advantage that Newton presented his resignation because he was unprepared to pay a shilling a week as dues, or that the society could not have made possible Darwin's work if he had needed assistance. The presidents of j the society preceding Sir Archibald Geikie, Sir William Huggins and Lord Rayleigh, have been able to make their great contributions to science owing to their inherited wealth. The prime minister has been instrumental in paying members of parliament, because the old aristocratic methods no longer suffice. The fellows of the Royal Society contribute equally to the welfare of the state, and deserve equally to be paid for their services.



The First International Eugenics Congress has just been held in London. Its sittings ran from July 24 to July 30, and were better attended and more animated at the end than at the beginning. That is, their interest, both to delegates and general public, grew rather than diminished, which is an excellent augury for the next meeting.

This first congress can be truthfully called a success. Its organization and conduct, thanks to the London committees and its helpers, the sympathetic but firm presiding of Major Leonard Darwin, and the extraordinarily effective secretarial work of Mrs. S. Gotto, were wholly good. Delegates and readers came from eight nations, audiences of fair size attended all the sessions, and the London press reports were unexpectedly full and sympathetic. The hospitality shown the attendant delegates and readers of papers was of the best English type, than which there is admittedly no better. It is of interest to note, however, that of the largest and most elaborate three receptions tendered the delegates two