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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/191

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FOREIGN ASSOCIATES OF NATIONAL SOCIETIES

FOREIGN ASSOCIATES OF NATIONAL SOCIETIES, III
By Dr. EDWARD C. PICKERING

DIRECTOR OF THE HARVARD COLLEGE OBSERVATORY

A PAPER entitled "Foreign Associates of National Societies" was published in The Popular Science Monthly, Volume 73, page 372. A second paper on the same subject is contained in Volume 74, page 80. Lists were prepared of those who had been elected as associate members in the physical and natural sciences, by the seven leading societies of the world. To secure impartiality, the great nations of the world were arranged in the order of population. Omitting China and Japan they are Russia, United States, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, France, Italy, and are here designated by the letters, E, U, G, A, B, F, I. The societies are the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, the National Academy, the Royal Prussian Academy, the Royal Academy of Sciences in Vienna, the Royal Society of London, the Institute of France, and the Royal Academy of the Lincei. All the foreign members of a society are regarded as foreign associates. The list already published contained all persons who were foreign associates of two or more of these societies. It may be claimed that this is the most unprejudiced list of eminent men ever selected. It would seldom happen that any person, not worthy of the honor, could be elected into one of these societies. The chance that he could be elected into two is so small that it may be neglected. The first list was published in 1908, and since then more than a third of the members have died. Moreover, under existing conditions, it will probably be impossible for many years to secure an unprejudiced election of foreigners into these societies. It appears, therefore, to be the last chance to prepare an impartial list of the men most eminent in the physical and natural sciences, in the opinion of their contemporaries.

Table I. contains, in successive columns, the names of each man selected as described above, his residence, his department of work, date of birth, age on election into each of the societies and, if not living, his age at the time of his death. The date of the list is January 1, 1914, but the last column is probably complete to January 1, 1915. The letter a is added to indicate those men elected since 1908. It will be noticed that, in three cases, men have been elected and died during the last six years.

Table I. may be discussed in a variety of ways. The numbers may be grouped according to the societies, countries or sciences. Examples of some of the conclusions which may be derived are given below.