Popular Science Monthly/Volume 73/August 1908/The Progress of Science

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Dartmouth College and the Surrounding Country



The American Association for the Advancement of Science in planning a special summer meeting had in view a visit to an educational institution of interest in a region attractive in the summer time, rather than a convenient place for the presentation of scientific papers. The meeting was j entirely successful from the point of view of place and environment, and the fact that the scientific programs were not extensive was scarcely a drawback. Nor did the small attendance interfere seriously with the pleasure of those present, though it seems a pity that only two of the eleven sections of the association organized and that but few of those interested in sciences other than physics and geology made the meeting an occasion to visit Dartmouth College and meet their friends.

It is perhaps true that the holidays are not the best time to visit a college, which should be regarded as its men and their work rather than as its buildings and equipment. But in any case it is not possible for a visitor to do more in a couple of days than obtain a general impression. Dartmouth is one of the oldest of our colleges and one of those which have grown most rapidly in recent years. It is in many ways a typical New England college, though its school of medicine and its graduate schools of engineering and affairs give it better warrant to bear the name of university than many institutions which assume this dignity.

Dartmouth College traces its origin to a school for the christian education of young Indians, opened in 1754; it received a charter with its present name in 1769. In 1819 a lawsuit between the trustees and the state of New Hampshire was decided which made the college independent of the state. Otherwise it might have been the University of New Hampshire, and this it may yet become. The reaction against state control which separated most of the eastern institutions from the state is not apparent west of the Atlantic seaboard, and it is by no means unlikely that through their colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts or by adoption of one of the privately controlled institutions there may yet Le state universities in each of the eastern states.

The Dartmouth Medical School began with the appointment of a professor of medicine in 1798. The Thayer School of Engineering was established in 1867 and the Amos Tuck School of Administration and Finance in 1900. These two schools are based on the college course, or rather, following the "Columbia plan," on the first three years, the last year of college and the first year of the professional school being identical. The college predominates, having 1,102 of the 1,219 students in the institution. In it the group system obtains and the possibility of completing the course in three years. Latin is required for the bachelor of arts degree, but not Greek. The students in the course leading to the bachelor of science degree, for which neither Latin nor science is required, are about half as many.

The catalogue says that the undergraduate life develops independence,
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Dartmouth Hall. Used for the opening exercises and public lectures

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College Hall. Headquarters of the association

originality, adaptability and broadness of mind, and probably uses with discretion "life" rather than "curriculum." The general spirit in the college is said to be excellent, and credit is given for this, as well as for the remarkable growth of the institution, to President Tucker.

As shown by the accompanying illustrations, the situation of Dartmouth among the New Hampshire hills is beautiful, and the campus and buildings make a pleasing impression. The original Dartmouth Hall, destroyed by fire, has been rebuilt effectively in brick. College Hall, a club house and commons, made excellent headquarters for the association. The scientific departments are well housed in the Butterfield Museum for the natural sciences, the Wilder Laboratory for physics, Culver Hall containing the chemical department and the Shattuck Observatory.


Science and commerce are breaking down the barriers between the nations. Commerce is at present competitive, having tariffs, navies and the rest as its adjuncts, but it will gradually become denationalized. Science is by its very nature cooperative, and international congresses advance in equal measure science and good will. Of somewhat unusual interest are the two international congresses which meet in Washington next month, one concerned with fisheries and one with tuberculosis. The fisheries are to a considerable extent subject to international control, and tuberculosis is the disease most likely to be mitigated by combined action against it.

The fisheries congress, which is the fourth to be held, opens on September 22, and after the sessions in Washington, special meetings will be held in New York, Boston, Gloucester and possibly in other places in New England. Other places which may be visited are Baltimore, the center 01 the oyster industry of Chesapeake Bay, and Chicago and other lake ports, where the fishery trade and methods of the great lakes, the most valuable fresh-water fisheries in the world, may be studied. Twelve governments have already accepted the invitation of the United States to be officially represented, and delegates have been appointed by the governors of many of the states. In view of the large number of persons who will attend as individuals or as representatives of important fishery societies, the congress promises to be important in its representative character, size and the value of its proceedings. The subjects included in the program are: Commercial fisheries; Matters affecting the fishermen and the fishing population; Legislation and regulation; International matters affecting the fisheries; Aquiculture; Acclimatization; Fishways; Biological investigation of the waters and their inhabitants; Diseases and parasites of fishes; Crustaceans, mollusks and other water animals; Angling and sport fishing.

The International Congress on Tuberculosis will meet on September 28, in the new building of the United States National Museum, where an extensive exhibit will be arranged. Six or seven hundred delegates from all nations of the world will be present, and the pathologists, physicians and students of social conditions will probably be numbered by the thousands. The members will include the most eminent students of the disease, and their discussions will lead to the diffusion of knowledge concerning causes and remedies and to renewed efforts to increase knowledge. The congress will also perform an important service by awakening "popular interest and concern. More than 6,000,000 of those now living in the United States will die of tuberculosis, yet it is essentially a preventable disease. Both of the political parties have pledged themselves to increase the national agencies for suppressing disease and promoting the public health, and public sentiment will doubtless be further awakened by this congress.

International scientific congresses are leading to permanent international bureaus. Thus an International Association for Cancer Research has been founded at Berlin, to promote the investigation of cancer and the care of cancer patients, the collection and publishing of international cancer statistics, and the establishment of an international center of information on all matters concerning cancer research. Other objects of the association are the publication of an international technical organ and the organization of international cancer conferences. So far, thirteen states, including all the great powers except Great Britain, have joined the association, the seat of which will be at Berlin.

The International Institute of Agriculture was formally opened on May 23 by the king of Italy, who has given it a building and an endowment yielding $60,000 a year. The new building in the gardens of the Villa Borghese in Rome is said to be admirably suited to the purposes of such an institution. All civilized nations have joined in this movement, inaugurated three years ago, and it promises much for the promotion of agriculture throughout the world.

Permanent international bureaus must have a local home, and in addition to the two new institutions noted here there are others in London, Paris and Berlin. There are none in this country, and it is but proper that we do our share. The fisheries and research in tuberculosis and propaganda for its suppression would be proper objects for our government to promote, and it may be hoped that the approaching congresses will lead to the establishment of international bureaus at Washington for one or both of these objects.


We regret to record the deaths of Mr. Henry Lomb, one of the founders of the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company; of Dr. Chamberland, subdirector of the Pasteur Institute; of Dr. Ostwald Seeliger, professor of zoology at Rostock, and of Dr. Rudolf Credner, professor of geography at Greifswald.

The Albert medal of the Royal Society of Arts has been awarded to Sir James Dewar.—Sir William Ramsay succeeds Lord Kelvin as a member of the Dutch Academy at Amsterdam.—Colonel W. C. Gorgas, eminent for his work on yellow fever, chief sanitary officer of the Isthmian Canal Zone, has been elected president of the American Medical Association.

Mr. Henry Phipps, of Pittsburg and New York, has made a large gift to the Johns Hopkins University for the founding of a Psychiatric Clinic. It provides for the construction of a hospital building, together with apparatus, and laboratories for the scientific investigation of mental abnormalities by pathological, chemical and psychological methods. Mr. Phipps will provide for the maintenance of a medical and nursing staff, including salaries for a professor of psychiatry and assistants and other expenses for a period of ten years. The total amount of the gift is withheld in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Phipps, but it is understood that it will considerably exceed half a million dollars. Dr. Adolf Meyer, director ot the Pathological Institute of the New York State Hospitals, has accepted the professorship of psychiatry and the directorship of the hospital and clinic.