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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 74/January 1909/Foreign Associates of National Societies II

< Popular Science Monthly‎ | Volume 74‎ | January 1909

FOREIGN ASSOCIATES OF NATIONAL SOCIETIES. II.
By Professor EDWARD C. PICKERING

HARVARD COLLEGE OBSERVATORY

A HISTORY of the sciences and of scientific men during the last two centuries, by M. Alphonse de Candolle, was published in 1873. A table is given showing the foreign membership in various societies for the four epochs, 1750, 1789, 1829 and 1869, at intervals of about forty years. Since another interval of forty years has now elapsed, it may be of interest to compare the results with those at the present time. The earlier part of Table I. is taken from M. de Candolle's volume, page 176. The country is given in the first column. Scandinavia includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Austria includes Hungary. Russia includes Poland. Spain includes Portugal. A few scattering names are similarly included. The percentages of membership in the various countries are given in the following columns, the year being given in the first line of the headings and the letters designating the various societies being given in the second line. F, B, G and R denote the Institute of France, the Royal Society of London, the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, respectively. Since only foreign membership is included, dashes are inserted in the case of home societies. Thus, in the first line, dashes are inserted in the column headed G, since no Germans could be foreign members of the Prussian Academy. Some of the results to be derived from Table I. will be found in

 

Table I.

Country. 1750 1789 1829 1869 1908
F B G F B G F B G F B G R F B G R
Germany 14 15 8 14 36 27 42 45 45 33 39 37
France 46 43 36 33 38 41 33 38 23 18 21 15
Great Britain 17 12 15 ... 29 14 29 26 16 20 17 16
Scandinavia 14 1 7 10 10 3 7 8 12 1 4 9 5 11 9 17 8
Italy 20 14 12 15 16 19 10 8 18 4 2 3 ... 7 9 7 8
United States ... ... ... 3 2 3 1 ... ... ... 2 3 8 7 11 10 4
Austria ... ... ... 3 ... ... 1 2 ... ... ... ... ... 3 2 17 5
Holland 6 7 10 10 3 8 3 2 ... ... 2 3 ... 7 7 7 ...
Russia ... 1 2 8 3 6 1 2 8 10 2 6 5 2 2
Switzerland 17 12 12 13 10 19 7 8 6 9 8 8 5 3 2 ... 3
Belgium ... ... ... 3 3 ... 3 ... 2 4 2 4 1 3 ... 2 1
Spain 11 4 2 13 4 8 ... 4 ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Table II. The country is given in the first column, as in Table I. The percentages of the entire membership of each country in the years 1750, 1789, 1839, 1869 and 1908 are given in the next five columns. As the tenths of a per cent, are omitted, the sums are not exactly 100. The seventh column gives the difference found by subtracting the numbers in the second column from those in the sixth. If positive, it indicates an increase, if negative, a decrease in membership during the one hundred and fifty-eight years. These twelve differences may be divided into three groups of four each, including the countries showing a large increase, those remaining nearly the same, and those showing a large decrease. The results are given in the last three lines of the table. It may now be of interest to compare the results of this discussion with that published in The Popular Science Monthly. LXXIII., 372. A list is there given of the eighty-seven persons who were foreign associates of two or more national societies, in 1908. The percentage of these members and of their membership is given in the eighth and ninth columns. They are derived from Table III. of that paper. The tenth column gives the percentage of the eighty-seven members who were born in each country.

 

Table II.

Country. 1750 1789 1829 1869 1908 Diff. M. S. B.
Germany 12 9 24 35 31 +19 34 35 32
France 36 29 30 25 16 -20 14 14 13
Great Britain 12 6 17 19 15 +3 15 17 17
Scandinavia 6 6 7 4 10 +14 10 8 11
Italy 12 14 9 2 7 -5 3 4 3
United States . . . 2 . . . 2 7 +7 7 8 3
Austria . . . 1 1 . . . 6 +6 5 5 3
Holland 6 6 1 1 4 -2 5 4 6
Russia 1 5 3 4 3 +2 3 2 3
Switzerland 11 12 5 6 2 -9 2 1 5
Belgium . . . 2 1 2 1 +1 1 1 2
Spain 5 7 1 . . . . . . -5 . . . . . . . . .
Increasing 18 18 32 41 54 +36 56 56 49
Stationary 19 19 22 26 23 +4 24 24 28
Decreasing 64 62 45 33 25 -38 19 19 21

The most remarkable change, shown in Table II., is that of Germany, which passed from the fourth place in 1789 to the first place in 1869, and nearly quadrupled its percentage of membership during that time. The diminution of membership in France is almost equally striking, while the change in Great Britain is slight. The four countries grouped in the last line but two and the corresponding differences are: Germany, + 19; United States, + 7; Austria, + 6; Scandinavia, + 4. The increase in Austria is largely due to recent membership in the Prussian Academy, as shown in Table I., and is perhaps affected by proximity and a common language. The second group in which the change is small consists of Great Britain, +3; Russia, +2; Belgium, +1; Holland, -2. The third group, in which the percentage diminishes, contains: Italy, -5; Spain, -5; Switzerland, -9; France, -20. Evidently this grouping is not accidental, but is due to a common cause. The first and second groups include, in general, central and northern Europe, the Germanic, English and Slavonic races, and the Protestant countries. The third group includes in a marked manner southwestern Europe, the Romanic races and the Roman Catholic countries. The results for the German, English and French groups of countries, represented by the last three lines of the second to the fifth columns of Table II., are shown in the accompanying figure. Horizontal distances represent times and vertical

PSM V74 D086 Foreign associates of national societies.png

German Group. English Group. French Group.

distances, percentages of membership. In the first group the percentage of membership has increased about three times, in the last group it has diminished nearly two thirds. The numbers in the eighth and ninth columns, headed M and S, closely correspond to those in the sixth column, headed 1908.

The grouping according to country may be studied in four ways. First, place of birth, to determine the effect of heredity or nationality. Second, education, as indicating the relative efficiency of different colleges or universities. Third, residence, indicating perhaps the best opportunities for work. Fourth, occupation, showing which universities have attracted the greater number of men of eminence. The third form of grouping only was considered in the former paper and is given there in Table III. Three of the European members, represented in Table II., have called my attention to the importance of the first form of grouping. It is not always easy to determine the place of birth, and in a few cases the nationality has been assumed to be the same as that indicated by residence. The most striking case of change is that of the United States. Of the six residents, members of 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 3 of the seven national societies, the three members of 7, 6 and 4 societies were born in other countries. The argument in the former paper, that better opportunities for advanced work should be furnished in this country, is thus greatly strengthened. Three of the residents in England were born in Scotland, or as many as in the entire United States. Holland is increased from three to five. The order accordingly becomes: Prussia, 18 members; England and France, 11 each; Holland, 5; Sweden and Switzerland, 4 each; Austria, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Russia, Saxony, Scotland and United States, 3 each.

The fourth method of grouping is easily made. Fifty-five of the eighty-seven members are given in Minerva as officers of one of twenty-six universities. Of these, Berlin has 9 members; Paris, 8; Bonn, Göttingen and Leipzig, 3 each; Cambridge, Christiania, Copenhagen, Erlangen, Harvard, London, Munich and Vienna, 2 each; Amsterdam, Berne, Bologna, Chicago, Heidelberg, Jena, Johns Hopkins, Leiden, Liège, Rome, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Zurich, 1 each.