Popular Science Monthly/Volume 63/October 1903/The Progress of Science



For the first time in many years there has been this summer no meeting of the American Association. It will be remembered that the Association held a winter meeting at Washington during convocation week and adjourned to meet at St. Louis a year later. The lack of a summer meeting is in some ways to be regretted. For the presentation of scientific work by specialists to specialists, the most business-like meetings can be held in the winter; but for social intercourse and especially for the bringing of those not specially engaged in scientific work in contact with men of science, a summer meeting with a certain amount of open-air leisure seems to be desirable. Many of our societies continue to meet in the summer, and it seems that the American Association should provide a center. For example, this year the American Mathematical Society met in Boston, the American Chemical Society in Cleveland, the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education at Niagara Falls, etc. For a general meeting of scientific men, we must, however, turn this summer to the congresses in France, Germany, Great Britain and other foreign countries.

The British Association met at Southport, beginning on September 9, under the presidency of Sir Norman Lockyer, known for his contributions to astronomy and as editor of Nature. In the latter capacity, he has been much interested in the endowment of research work, which he treated in the presidential address from which we quote below. In addition to this address evening lectures were given by Dr. Robert Monroe on man as artist and sportsman in the paleolithic period; by Dr. Arthur Roe on the Old Chalk Sea and some of its teachings, and by Dr. J. S. Flett on the volcanic eruptions in the West Indies. Then there were the usual addresses before the sections—Professor W. Noel Hartley, before the section of chemistry, reviewed the work of spectroscopy of the last twenty-five years and discussed especially its relation to the investigation of the composition of matter and of chemical theory; Professor W. W. Watts, before the section of geology, laid special stress on the value of geology as an educational subject; Professor Sydney J. Hickson, before the section of zoology, reviewed the question of the influence of environment in the production of variation in animals with special reference to the coelenterata; Captain E. W. Creak, before the section of geography, spoke of the connection between geography and terrestrial magnetism, explaining what has latterly been done in the direction of magnetic surveys and what is still needed; the subject of the address of Mr. E. W. Bradbrook before the section of economics was 'Thrift'; Professor J. Symington in addressing the anthropological section discussed the significance of variations in cranial forms with special reference to fossil man; Mr. A. C. Seward, before the section of botany, reviewed the geographical distribution of fossil plants. The programs of the sections contain the usual number of interesting papers. The International Meteorological Committee met at Southport in conjunction with the association; the papers included a survey of the relation of solar and terrestrial changes by Sir Norman Lockyer. The new discoveries regarding the constitution of matter and radiation, a scientific advance the far-reaching character of which we can scarcely appreciate, was naturally prominent in the physical section. The papers included one by Professor Rutherford, of Montreal, whose important investigations on the emanations from radium were described by Sir Oliver Lodge in a recent issue of the Monthly. The subject chosen for special discussion in the chemical section was 'Combustion.' The geological section conflicted with the International Congress of Geology at Vienna, but the program contained many papers. The subject of 'fertilization' was especially discussed in the zoological section. Professor E. B. Wilson, of Columbia University, being one of those taking part. The British Antarctic Expedition was naturally the subject of special interest to the geographers, while the fiscal questions brought forward by Mr. Chamberlain's proposed abandonment of free trade attracted the economists.

The association will meet next year at Cambridge under the presidency of Mr. Arthur Balfour, the prime minister; the following year the meeting will be in South Africa


The presidential address of Sir Norman Lockyer before the British Association was entitled 'The Influence of Brain Power on History.' The speaker laid special stress on the need of greater endowments for higher education and research from the government, and advocated duplicating the Navy estimates of 1888-9, £24.000,000. and devoting that amount to the in crease of Great Britain's brain power. He said: Our position as a nation, our success as merchants, are in peril, chiefly—dealing with preventable causes—because of our lack of completely efficient universities and our neglect of research.

What are the facts relating to private endowment in this country? In spite of the munificence displayed by a small number of individuals in some localities, the truth must be spoken. In depending in our country upon this form of endowment we are trusting to a broken reed. If we take the twelve English university colleges, the forerunners of universities unless we are to perish from a lack of knowledge, we find that private effort during sixty years has found less than £1,000,000; that is, £2,000,000 for buildings and £40,000 a year's income. This gives us an average of £166,000 for buildings and £3,300 for yearly income.

What is the scale of private effort we have to compete with in regard to the American universities? In the United States, during the last few years, universities and colleges have received more than £40,000,000 from this source alone; private effort supplied nearly £7,000,000 in the years 1898-1900.

Next consider the amount of state aid to universities afforded in Germany. The buildings of the new University of Strasburg have already cost nearly £1,000,000; that is, about as much as has yet been found by private effort for buildings in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Sheffield. The government's annual endowment of the same German university is more than £49.000.

When we consider the large endowments of university education both in the United States and Germany, it is obvious that state aid only can make any valid competition possible with either. The more we study the facts, the more statistics are gone into, the more do we find that we, to a large extent, lack both of the sources of endowment upon one or other or both of which other nations depend. We are
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Nicholas Murray Butler

between two stools, and the prospect is hopeless without some drastic changes. And first among these, if we intend to get out of the present slough of despond, must be the giving up of the idea of relying upon private effort.


The endowment of a school of journalism at Columbia University by Mr. J. Pulitzer has been widely discussed by the press, which it so nearly concerns. There is much difference of opinion as to the value of such a school. It is argued that a newspaper man can get his training best in the office of a newspaper, and that the information of the editor, correspondent and reporter is too general and transient to be the subject of a course of study. On the other hand, it is pointed out that in the other professions there has been a transition from the apprentice method to the professional school, and that schools of journalism may become as essential as schools of law or medicine. It is certainly true that the technical equipment of the journalist is less extensive and definite than that of the physician, the lawyer or the engineer. Preparation for journalism seems, however, to parallel pretty closely preparation for the church or for teaching. The divinity student learns Greek, Hebrew, ecclesiastical history, systematic theology and the like, and it is well that he should do so as a matter of training, but the speedy oblivion that usually follows does not decrease the value of his services as a clergyman; on the contrary, the less he concerns himself with the book of Genesis and any definite system of theology the better. It is well for the clergyman to be a scholar, but Horace or the French Revolution will serve as well as the church fathers. The conditions are similar for the intending teacher. He must know the subject that he is to teach, but this is given in the ordinary college and university courses, as are also English, psychology and other subjects that should be studied. The history and principles of education are about as useful for the teacher as ecclesiastical history and systematic theology for the clergyman. A man can not be taught in a school either to preach or to teach. Yet theological schools and normal schools are on the whole useful institutions. Schools of journalism will probably soon be regarded as equally essential.

The uses of such schools are partly indirect. They serve for example as selective agencies. Men having talent and ambition frequent such schools, and those quite unfit are eliminated before graduation. Even supposing that four years in an engineering school give no better training than actual work in a shop, still those who graduate from the school are likely to be better men than those who do not—employers run less risk in choosing them. Graduates from the Columbia University School of Journalism will probably deserve advancement better and secure it more easily than those who spend the same years in a newspaper office. The coming together of a large number of men having similar interests and plans tends to encourage and stimulate them. When they form part of a great university, where investigation is continually in progress and high ideals of conduct and culture are maintained, they will insensibly conform to their surroundings.

But there are also certain direct uses of professional schools even in subjects such as teaching, commerce and journalism. The student may pursue the same studies as in the ordinary college course, but the quantity and emphasis are different. The intending journalist should study more English, history and political science than the intending physician, and should study them by somewhat different methods. Then there is a certain amount of technical information and skill, small in journalism as compared with medicine or engineering, but still deserving treatment in a systematic and broad manner, and more quickly and thoroughly' learned in special courses than in actual practice. It is especially the case in a large office that a man has but small opportunity of learning anything except the particular work assigned to him, although it would be for his advantage to know something of the work of other departments. In the case of teachers, summer schools at the universities have proved extremely useful. Similar short courses for journalists will doubtless be given in the new school. The combination of the theoretical study of general principles in a university with practical work under experts is probably the best kind of education for every profession.

Columbia University established the first university school for teachers. This has continually grown in students, in endowments and in efficiency, and has served as a model for other institutions. The school of journalism will doubtless repeat this history. It begins with a generous endowment, Mr. Pulitzer having given a million dollars and having conditionally promised a second million. A building to cost about $500,000 will be erected at once on the site shown in the plan. It will he directly on the right hand of the magnificent entrance to the library here illustrated.

President Butler, whose portrait is reproduced, was elected president of Columbia University on January 6,

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Plan of the Buildings and Grounds of Columbia University.
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Entrance to the Library of Columbia University.

1902. In the short period that has elapsed the university has accomplished much, both on the educational and on the material side. In addition to the school of journalism, there have been various other large gifts, including a dormitory costing $300,000. Teachers College is erecting a building for physical education at a cost of over $250,000. Barnard College has been given the three blocks of land shown on the plan south of the college, which cost about $1,000,000; and the trustees of Columbia College have purchased, at a cost cf nearly if 2,000,000, the two large blocks south of the present site.


The Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics has published some rather interesting information in regard to the occupations of the sexes in the state. In 1900 there were 1,208,491 persons engaged in gainful occupations, 72.77 per cent, of whom were men and 27.23 per cent, women. Thirty years before the percentages were 77.87 for men and 22.13 for women. In 1870 the number of females employed in gainful occupations formed 17.03 per cent, of the total number of females of all ages, and in 1900 the percentage rose to 22.88. About one half of all females are under the age of twenty years, and although many of these are employed, there are many above that age who are invalids or the like. It appears that in a very general way it may be said that one third of all women able I to work were employed in gainful occupations in 1870 and one half in 1900. Should this increase be maintained, all women able to work would be engaged in earning money one hundred and twenty years hence.

The kind of work is analyzed in the report in great detail, the recapitulation being as follows:

Males. Females. Both Sexes.
The State. 786,454 292,636 1,079,090
Government 17,240 2,846 20,086
Professional 23,845 19,923 43,768
Domestic service 14,782 79,265 94,047
Personal service 25,724 19,762 45,486
Trade 129,875 24,142 154,017
Transportation 69,680 368 70,048
Agriculture 37,281 275 37,556
The Fisheries 8,813 18 8,831
Manufactures 349,546 142,951 492,497
Mining 2,367 —— 2,367
Laborers 98,758 207 98,965
Apprentices 5,320 567 5,887
Children at work 3,223 2,312 5,535

It will be noticed that very few women are employed in transportation, agriculture or as laborers. Indeed it seems somewhat remarkable that only 275 women should be engaged in agriculture, 207 as laborers, 18 in the fisheries and 3 as carpenters. Agriculture and out-of-door labor are the most healthful occupations, and would not affect the health of women, as do the sedentary occupations to which they are especially attracted. There are 15,830 female teachers, 11,357 bookkeepers, 6,412 clerks and copyists and 5,693 stenographers. There were in 1885 only 106 stenographers. Less than three per cent, of the teachers are married and about 5 per cent, of the clerks and bookkeepers.

The compilers of the report abstain from comments on the sociological significance of the figures they give, but they obviously have these in mind as statistics are added as to marriage, birth, death and divorce rates. In 1851, there were about 28 births per thousand of the population, about 23 marriages, and nearly 19 deaths. In 1901, the ratio of births fell to about 25, marriages to about 17, and deaths to nearly 17. There has been an extraordinary increase in the divorce rate, there having been one divorce to thirty-four marriages in 1882, one to twenty-seven in 1891 and one to eighteen in 1901. The decrease in the marriage and birth rates becomes much more significant when it is remembered that the proportion of native-born inhabitants has greatly decreased. In 1882, 55.74 per cent, of those married were native-born, in 1891, only 43.56 per cent. The foreign-born have much larger families, and the birth rate has decreased much more than three per thousand. How far the decrease is due to the increased employment of women in gainful occupations is a question that deserves serious consideration.


We note with regret the deaths of Dr. Frederick Law Olmsted, the eminent landscape architect; of Dr. Emmanuel Munk, associate professor of physiology at Berlin, and of Dr. C. K. Hoffman, professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at Harlem.

Among honors conferred on American men of science by foreign institutions we notice that Dr. E. C. Pickering, director of the Harvard College Observatory, has been given the doctorate of science by the University of Heidelberg, and Dr. E. B. Wilson, professor of zoology at Columbia University, has been elected a foreign member of the Accademia dei Lincei of Rome.

Dr. E. B. Copeland, instructor in bionomics at Stanford University, has been appointed chief botanist of the United States Philippine Commission.—Dr. William J. Holland, director of the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburg, has returned to the United States with the important paleontological collections of Baron de Briet, which the Carnegie Museum has recently acquired.—Dr. Emil Tietze, director of the Imperial Geological Institute of Austria, was chosen president of the Ninth International Geological Congress, which opened at Vienna on August 20.

The ship Terra Nova has now sailed from England to relieve the Discovery. The British government, which has appropriated £45,000 for the expedition, is acting without the advice of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society, which originally sent the expedition, assisted by a grant from the government.