Popular Science Monthly/Volume 87/August 1915/The Progress of Science

PSM V87 D208 John Burroughs.png

John Burroughs.

This bust of the naturalist by the sculptor C. S. Pietro has recently been presented to the American Museum of Natural History, New York, by Mr. Henry Ford.



The first meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science west of the Rocky Mountains is an event of more than usual importance for science in America. It signifies both the development of a great scientific center on the Pacific Coast and the unity of the scientific interests of the country. It is also the case that the disastrous events in Europe will probably give the United States the leadership in scientific research and in the application of science to the advancement of civilization, and in a sense this new position and responsibility will date from the Pacific Coast meeting of the American Association and its affiliated societies.

It will be remembered that the March issue of The Popular Science Monthly was devoted to the scientific work of the Pacific Coast and at that time there were given accounts of the organization of the Pacific Division of the American Association and of the national meeting to be held this summer in California. It is now needful only to remind readers of these events, and to urge the importance of a large attendance from all parts of the country.

The opening session for the presentation of the addresses of welcome, for announcements and for the presidential address by Dr. W. W. Campbell, director of the Lick Observatory, will be held in San Francisco at 10:00 o'clock, Monday morning, August 2, in the Scottish Rite Auditorium, corner Sutter Street and Van Ness Avenue. The social reception to visitors will occur on Monday evening in the reception rooms of the California Host Building, Exposition Grounds. The general sessions of the association, including three lectures on Pacific region subjects, will be held in San Francisco in the Scottish Rite Auditorium on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. The sessions of the association and of the affiliated societies on Wednesday, August 4, will be at Stanford University. It is expected that a special train will leave San Francisco at a convenient hour Wednesday morning for Palo Alto and return to San Francisco late in the afternoon. All other sessions of the week will be held at the University of California, in Berkeley.

The general headquarters of the association during convocation week, August 2 to 7, will be in the Hearst Mining Building, on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Secondary offices will be maintained: in San Francisco from Saturday noon, July 31, to Friday noon, August 6, in the Palace Hotel; in San Francisco on Monday forenoon, August 2, in the Scottish Rite Building, Sutter Street and Van Ness Avenue; and in Stanford University on Wednesday, August 4. Members will secure badges and programs upon registration. Mail addressed in care of the Hearst Mining Building, University of California, will be delivered as promptly as possible to those who have registered.

Several of the affiliated societies have announced selections of hotel headquarters as follows:

American Astronomical Society and the American Mathematical Society, Hotel Claremont, Berkeley.
American Physical Society, Hotel Claremont, Berkeley.
Geological Society of America, Paleontological Society of America and Seismological Society of America, Hotel Shattuck, Berkeley.
Botanical Society of America, Hotel Carlton, Berkeley.
Zoological Society of America and the Biological Society of the Pacific, Hotel Carlton, Berkeley.
Entomological Society of America, Hotel Claremont, Berkeley.
American Anthropological Association, Hotel Carlton, Berkeley.
American Genetic Society, Hotel Claremont, Berkeley.
American Psychological Association, Hotel Plaza, San Francisco, Post and Stockton Streets.
Archeological Institute of America, Hotel Bellevue, San Francisco, Geary and Taylor Streets.

Round trip special Exposition railway tickets at greatly reduced rates are available from all points to San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego as the destination. The price of tickets from points east of the Rocky Mountains is the same whether the destination be San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego. The trip going and returning may be by the same route or by different routes, but the routes described on the tickets must be followed. Tickets from Chicago and farther east are valid going or returning via New Orleans. Tickets via Portland, Seattle, etc., involve a supplementary charge, concerning which the local railway representatives should be consulted. The baggage of those who intend to stay in Berkeley should be checked directly to Berkeley, California (by either the Southern Pacific or Santa Fe routes) instead of to San Francisco. All round trip tickets require validation for the return trip.

Railway rates have been greatly reduced, the cost of a round trip being $62.50 from Chicago and $94.30 from New York.

Special lines of steamers advertise passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Coast by way of the Panama Canal at rates varying between $135 and $198 (one way).

Stop-overs for side trips can be arranged either going or returning. Round trip rate from San Francisco to Hawaiian Islands and return by either of several lines of steamers from $110 up. Yellowstone National Park is reached from Livingston on the Northern Pacific (to Gardner and return $3.20). A six-day trip in the park from Gardner costs $40 and another of 53/4 days $53.50. Yellowstone Park may also be reached from Ogden on the Union Pacific by a branch to Yellowstone (round trip $9.25). From here a five-day trip in the park costs $35 and a six-day trip $40.

The Yosemite National Park is reached by Southern Pacific or Santa Fe lines, stopping at Merced, Cal. Round trip from Merced to Valley $18.50. Both hotels and comfortable camps may be found at the camp. Several groves of Big Trees may be visited from the Valley. One grove very much visited is only six miles from Santa Cruz (on the Southern Pacific).

Alaska may be visited by steamer trip from Seattle or Vancouver. Round trip from Seattle $66 and up. From Prince Rupert (on Grank Trunk) a trip to Alaska may be made at an additional expense of about $30.

Attention may be called to two publications which will add to the scientific interest of the trip. The Pacific Coast Committee of the American Association has compiled a guide book entitled "Nature and Science on the Pacific Coast," which contains a large number of articles by leading men of science. The United States Geological Survey has prepared four guide books covering railway routes west of the Mississippi. These books, which contain full descriptions and excellent maps, may be obtained by sending one dollar for each to the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.


Art and religion, like language and customs, may be national, science is by its nature international. Each of the sciences and nearly every branch of each science consists of contributions made over a long period of time and from widely separated places. One of the evil results in the universal disaster of this mad war is that the orderly progress of science is interrupted. Each week men of science are killed on the field of battle, and young men from whom science must be recruited die by the thousands. The universities of Oxford and of Cambridge boast that each has sent some 8,000 men to the war, and the average life of a British officer after he reaches the front is said to be thirty days. Almost as serious as the sacrifice of men is the loss of the wealth needed for scientific research, and perhaps more disastrous than either is the inevitable distraction of interest and unbalancing of judgment.

There is a marked disposition at present for the scientific men of England and France to disparage work which has been done in Germany, and conversely. It is consequently pleasant to read a discussion of this subject such as is contributed to a book on "German Culture" (Jacks; 1915) and to Knowledge by Professor J. Arthur Thomson of the University of Aberdeen, whose recent article on "Eugenics and War" in this journal will be remembered by its readers. He argues that Britain, France and Germany run neck and neck in their contributions to science, and illustrates this by a series of corresponding names which are here reproduced. It will be noted that the British names are arranged alphabetically and that for each is given a French and German equivalant.

British French German
Balfour Lacaze-Duthiers Roux
Dalton Bunsen Darwin
Lavoisier Kepler Davy
Lamarck Weber Faraday
Legendre Clausius Fitzgerald
Fourier Hertz Foster
Becquerel Ludwig Galton
Claude Bernard Weismann Graham
Delage Liebig Green
Berthelot Gauss Hunter
Galois Gegenbaur Harvey
Cuvier Humboldt Hooker
Bichat Sachs Huxley
de Jessieu Haeckel Joule
Buffon Mayer Jenner
Carnot Behring Kelvin
Bordet Helmholtz Lankester
Laplace Johannes Müller Lister
Giard Lodge Pasteur
Virchow Maxwell Ampère
Ohm Ross Poincaré
Boltzmann Burdon-Sanderson Laveran
Koch Brown-Séquard Bois-Raymond
Spencer Smith, Wm. Bergson
Lotze Stokes Gaudry
Suess Thomson, J. J. Lagrange
Cantor Weldon Cauchy
Kirchoff Wright Quetelet
Zittel Richet Ehrlich

It is easy to criticise any such selection. If we go back to Harvey, Newton should surely be credited to England, and if Kepler is included for Germany, there is no reason why Kant rather than Lotze should not be taken as its representative philosopher. The three contemporary zoologists and the two physiologists credited to England are scarcely among the world 's great men of science. But Professor Thomson only claims to use a rough and ready method. His sets of names may be studied to advantage. As he remarks, if we could, as we can not, represent the merits of three counterparts—British, French and German—by the three sides of a triangle, the lengths would now be in favor of Britain, again in favor of France, and again in favor of Germany; yet a superposition of a number of triangles sufficiently large to get rid of conspicuous inequalities would yield a not very irregular figure.


We take from the London Times a sketch and some description of the new Science Museum which is to be erected in London between the Natural History Museum and the Imperial College of Science. This building and the one at Munich are the first buildings to be especially constructed for museums of
PSM V87 D212 London Science Museum.png

physical science. The building here shown will occupy about one third of the space, the remainder of which will be left for future extension. When complete the exhibition space will consist of three large roof-lighted halls, 200 by 100 feet, with surrounding galleries on the first and second floors lighted from the sides and from a large central well. It is intended to exhibit the larger and heavier objects, such as locomotives and engines, on the ground floor of the new building.

The museum has a great collection of objects illustrating the history of discovery and invention and the principles of experimental and mechanical science. These include: The earliest steam engines constructed by James Watt for industrial purposes, Stephenson's "Rocket" locomotive, Symington's steam engine, which was the first to propel a boat, and the engine of the "Comet" steamboat. Arkwright's original spinning machinery, Wheatstone's electric telegraph apparatus and other machines and instruments of vast importance contributed by Great Britain to civilization.

Science collections were first arranged in the South Kensington Museum in 1857, but of the early mechanical objects and models the most important are those which were brought together in the Patent Office Museum and handed over to the Department of Science and Arts in 1883. The collection of scientific instruments and apparatus took origin when certain of the objects included in the loan collection of 1876 were deposited in the museum. This collection already includes many illustrations of scientific investigation and inquiry that are of historic interest.


We record with regret the death of Mrs. Matilda Coxe Stevenson, for the last twenty-five years ethnologist in the Bureau of American Ethnology; of Lieut.-Col. Charles E. Woodruff, U. S. A., retired, known for his publications on the effects of sunlight and other subjects; of Dr. Hugo Müller, F.R.S., past-president of the British Chemical Society, and of Sir A. H. Church, F.R.S., formerly professor of chemistry in the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Amherst College at its recent commencement conferred its doctorate of laws on Professor Benjamin K. Emerson, class of 1865, for forty-five years teacher of geology in Amherst College. Wesleyan University has conferred the same degree on William North Rice, who was graduated from the institution fifty years ago.

Surgeon-General Rupert Blue, of the Public Health Service, was elected president of the American Medical Association at the recent San Francisco meeting.—Dr. Viktor von Lang, emeritus profesor of physics at Vienna, has been elected president of the Vienna Academy of Sciences.—Lord Fisher, former first sea lord of the British admiralty, has been appointed chairman of an "inventions board," which will assist the admiralty in coordinating and encouraging naval science.