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area of the State, and 100,000 acres more than in the previous year. South Australia was at one time the granary of Australia, but here, as elsewhere, there is a strong tendency for other branches of husbandry to be taken up, and for wheat to lose in relative importance. The exports of wool were nearly 51 million pounds, again a considerable increase on the previous year. The acreage under barley and oats is the highest on record, while the fruit industry has made very rapid progress. Perhaps the best indication of improvement in method is found in the increasing use of artificial manures. Not many years ago the use of artificial manures was practically unknown. In 1897 it is estimated that 3000 tons were used for cereal crops; the consumption then steadily increased, and has been uniformly greater every year; in 1906 no fewer than 59,000 tons were used. In another article there is an account of the Roseworthy Agricultural College, an institution which not only provides instruction for those intending to be farmers, but also conducts investigations in the

area it serves.

A FRIENDLY, and for the most part favourable, criticism of forest practice is provided by an American forester, Mr. B. Moore, in an article on the forests of northern India and Burma, published in the April and May numbers of the Indian Forester. He expresses a very decided opinion in favour of a regulated fire policy for forests of young teak and sal where the forests are situated in a moist climate, as in Assam. He also agrees with those who consider that Indian foresters in training should gain their practical experience in India.

A SERIES of papers by Dr. B. L. Robinson, Miss A. Eastwood, and Mr. H. H. Bartlett, describing chiefly new or little-known Mexican and Central American plants, are collected in vol. xliv., No. 21, of the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The most important is the synopsis of Mexican species of Castilleja, with diagnoses and clavis compiled by Miss Eastwood; seventeen new species contribute to a total of fifty-four species for the genus. Dr. Robinson furnishes a revision of the genus Rumfordia with six species, and diagnoses of various tropical American phanerogams. New identifications are presented by Mr. Bartlett in a synopsis of American species of Litsæa and other articles.

MR. G. MASSEE is responsible for two articles in the Kew Bulletin (No. 5), the one being a list of exotic fungi, the other a note on witches' broom of cacao. The latter is produced by a Colletotrichum receiving the specific name luxificum. Both vegetative and flowering branches are attacked, with the consequent production of hypertrophied shoots and flowers and diseased pods. The fungi are all new species of Boletus-except one Strobilomyces-collected by Mr. Ridley in Singapore. Another article in the bulletin is devoted to notes, by Richard Spruce, on the vegetation of the Pastasa and Bombonasa rivers, providing a description supplementary to chapter xvii. of the second volume of "Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes."

WE have been favoured with a copy of the address delivered by Prof. J. W. Moll before the members of the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen te Amsterdam when presenting the dissertation of Dr. K. Zijlstra on the transport of carbon dioxide in leaves. Prof. Moll presents an excellent summary of the investigations, which prove that, to a limited extent, the transport of carbon dioxide is possible through the intercellular spaces; but it is obvious that such transport, if it takes place under natural conditions, is of no appreciable advantage to the

plant, and could not enable the plant to absorb carbor dioxide from the soil. Thus the primary conclusion of Prof. Moll's original investigations is confirmed.

THE prosperity of Egypt depends largely on the successful cultivation of the particular types of cotter known as 66 Egyptian." During the last twelve years, however, the yield of cotton has steadily and appreciably diminished, the loss amounting at current rates to about 51. per feddan (1.109 acres). Many causes have bee suggested as contributing to this result, and in “Cotter Investigations in 1908 (Cairo Scientific Journa! February, 1909) Mr. W. Lawrence Balls puts forward th view, for which there is some direct evidence, that a ri in the water-table in Egypt has been an important factor. Owing to improvements in irrigation, the supply of water in Egypt is greater than formerly, whilst the natural loss remains more or less constant. Artificial drainage is lacking, and in his view Egypt is in danger of becoming water-logged, in which condition the soil is rendered impervious to the roots of most plants. The remedy advocated is extension of the drainage system, an expensive proceeding, but justifiable if the reduced yield is due to the rise in level of stagnant water. Another important matter dwelt on in Mr. Balls's paper is the depreciation of cottons grown in Egypt owing to the hybridising of the Egyptian varieties by the less valuable "American Upland" races, cultivated because of their heavy yield. To combat this he proposes the breeding of a cotton bearing flowers in which the stigma is buried deeply amongst the stamens, thus reducing to a minimum the risk of natura! crossing. The report is accompanied by a photograph of a section of such a synthesised flower. Egypt is leading the way in the practical application of Mendel's discoveries, for 1909 has seen the establishment by the Khedivial Agricultural Society of a Mendelian experiment station.

IN the June number of Folk-lore Mr. T. C. Hodson, author of a valuable monograph on the Meithei tribe in Manipur, describes the custom of head-hunting among the hill tribes of Assam. The custom is, in the first place, ancillary to and a part of the funeral rite, which is affected by the social status of the deceased and the manner of his death. The funeral of a Kuki chief is incomplete without the head of a victim. The corpse is placed within the trunk of a tree, where it remains until it is sufficiently desiccated to allow of the preservation of the bones. The heads, again, are presented before piles of stones, the abode of the Lai, a powerful, mysterious entity, not always or necessarily anthropomorphised. The rite of deposition of the head of the victim is thus partly piacular, intended to propitiate the spirit of the deceased: partly religious, inasmuch as it is devoted to the vaguely conceived tribal spirit. The custom has also its socia! side, as success in a raid is held to be a proof of manliness, marking the transition from adolescence to maturity. It is also protective, because the spirit of the owner of the head becomes guardian of the village; and hence, as a necessary corollary, the head of a stranger is most highly valued, because, being ignorant of its surroundings, it is less likely to escape from the village of which, perforce, it has become protector.

AN account of the life and philosophical doctrines of Henri Poincaré is given in the Revue des Idées for June 15 by M. Jules Sagret.

PROF. GARBASSO, writing in the Atti della Società italiana per il progresso della Scienza (Rome: G. Bertero, 1909), discusses the structure of the atom, and gives a brief account of the theories of Briot, Kirchhoff, Bunsen, Helm

holtz, Hertz, Lockyer, Kayser and Runge, Rydberg, Puccianti, Stoney, and J. J. Thomson.

IN the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, cxvii., 8, 9, Dr. Philipp Forchheimer discusses certain mathematical solutions of the problem of underground flow of water in a homogeneous stratum bounded by a plane impervious floor, the equation of continuity in this case being the ordinary two-dimensional form of Laplace's equation, with the square of the depth as the dependent variable.

THE theory of the polar planimeter is treated in a novel way by Dr. Gabriele Torelli in the Rendiconto of the Naples Academy, xiv., 8-12 (1908). The author finds that the treatment of the subject given in text-books is far from convincing, and he proposes an alternative treatment based on the use of Jacobians. Those who have worked with planimeters in this country will fully agree with the author as to the need of a more satisfactory investigation of their principle, and if such a need exists in the case of the polar planimeter it is still more necessary for the so-called "hatchet planimeter," which is usually worked by rule, with little attempt, if any, to explain its principle.

AN important contribution to our theories of wave-propagation in wireless telegraphy is given by Prof. A. Sommerfeld in the Annalen der Physik, xxviii., pp. 665-736 (1909). The investigation, while taking account both of surface waves and of waves distributed in space, tends to support the view that we have to deal with waves propagated along the surface of the earth in accounting for the transmission of Marconi signals. Prof. Sommerfeld, further, in his analytical results obtains analogues of properties associated with electrodynamic waves in wires and certain optical phenomena (Brewster's law).

IN the Rassegna contemporanea for May, 1908, Mr. Gino Cuchetti discusses the project for anti-seismic houses, due to Prof. Giuseppe Torres, of Venice. This project is based on the view that circular structures are the best calculated to withstand earthquake shocks, and in the designs shown in the illustrations each building consists of several circular turrets of different diameter communicating with each other, an arrangement having considerable artistic merits, though wasteful of space. In the succeeding number of the Rassegna Dr. Enrico Pantano discusses the problem of "internal colonisation" as applied to Italy, and we note with considerable interest the important bearing on this problem of the campaign against malaria.

A REPORT on the resistance of rivets is presented by M. Ch. Fremont to the Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement for April. It is pointed out that the resistance of riveted plates to statical forces or shocks should be borne as much as possible by the adhesion of the plates and as little as possible by shearing of the rivets themselves, and the author emphasises the necessity of standardising the heads of rivets and of regulating the maximum temperature during the process of heating, so as not to destroy the elastic qualities of the rivet. The increased efficiency obtained by the application of continued pressure during the riveting is also mentioned.

In a paper on the most general problem of uptics, published in the Proceedings of the Turin Academy of Sciences, Prof. Antonio Garbasso and Guido Fubini point out that little has been done in solving problems of propagation of light waves in a medium which is neither homogeneous nor isotropic. The authors propose a theory for the special case of a medium in which the ellipsoids of elasticity are of revolution having their axes parallel, and the lengths of these axes are the same at all points in a plane perpendicular to the axis of revolution. An illustra

tion of such a medium is afforded by a stratum of gelatin placed in contact with a solution of zinc chloride and subjected to pressure; the colours seen in such a medium under polarised light are shown in a plate accompanying the

paper.

WE have received part iii. of Klimatographie von Oesterreich," issued by the Meteorological Office of Vienna, in which the climatology of Styria is fully and ably discussed by Dr. Robert Klein. The treatment of the subject follows closely along the lines laid down by Hann in his “Handbuch der Klimatologie," and is, indeed, similar to that adopted by that author in the earlier parts of the work which deal with Austria proper. The book is a model of what the treatment of the special climatology of a restricted area should be. It gives for each region the probabilities of the occurrence of phenomena such as frosts of different degrees of intensity, heavy rainfall, and others. At the same time, the underlying principles are not lost sight of. Styria presents many features of special interest, as the altitudes included in its boundaries vary from about 200 metres to 4000 metres above sea-level. The cultivated region extends up to about 1500 metres. We have thus a great variety of meteorological conditions brought before us in the records from the stations of the second order which are discussed in the volume.

In the April number of Meteorologische Zeitschrift Mr. E. Alt gives an interesting account of the double daily oscillation of the barometer over the globe, especially with reference to the Arctic regions. He preludes his paper by a résumé of the efforts hitherto made to elucidate this intricate problem by harmonic analysis, by Lamont, Angot, Hann, and others, and gives useful explanations of the several terms of the series. The theory now generally accepted is that referred to by Lord Kelvin (Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin., 1882) and developed by Prof. Margules (Sitzungsber. Vienna Acad., 1890). Mr. Alt has discussed a large number of observations both on land and at sea, and has exhibited the synchronous distribution of the double wave of air pressure by a series of charts. With reference to the Arctic regions, observations taken mostly from the Challenger report show that the maxima of the oscillations occur, on an average, about 11h. 20m. a.m. and p.m., and of the minima, on an average, about 5h. 20m. a.m. and p.m. (G.M.T.). The amplitude is small, amounting, on the average, to about 1/10 mm. The investigations of several physicists, including Prof. Margules, point to the view that the synchronism of the oscillation in the polar region is due to the existence of a second half-daily oscillation of the atmosphere which occurs in the direction of the meridians.

WE direct attention to a very laborious and important work by Dr. H. Fritsche entitled "The Mean Temperature of the Air at Sea-level exhibited as a Function of Longitude, Latitude, and Period of the Year" (Meteorologische Publication I.). The author has, inter alia, calculated from the constants of the harmonic formula the resulting values of mean temperature for the whole surface of the earth, for each 10° of longitude and 5° of latitude, for twenty-four equidistant epochs of the year, and for the whole year, with maxima, minima, and phase times. But this general description in no wise gives an idea of the immense work covered by some 184 closely printed tables; these are rather difficult to follow, being, with the explanations in German, printed in facsimile lithography. The calculations are based mostly on Buchan's monthly and yearly isothermal charts ("Atlas of Meteorology," by Bartholomew and Herbertson). The mean yearly temperature of the globe is given as 14.6° C., and the amplitude

as 4.2°; the coldest period is at the end of January, 12.5°, and the warmest in the middle of July, 16.7°. The mean temperature of the northern hemisphere, 15.3° C., is nearly 10 higher than that of the southern. The work includes seven isothermal charts between 30° and 90° S. latitude for the year, for mid-January, and each alternate month.

THE Halbmonatliches Literaturverzeichnis of the Fortschritte der Physik, issue. under the auspices of the German Physical Society, still continues to furnish more promptly than any other periodical a list of the papers dealing with topics of interest to physicists which appear in the various journals and proceedings of societies. As instances of the promptness with which titles of papers are published, we may mention that the number for June 15 contains the titles of several papers read at the meetings of the Royal Society and of the Physical Society of London in April and May.

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A NEW form of gearing, which has been invented Mr. Jules Lecoche, and is being introduced by the Angi Foreign Inventions Syndicate, Ltd., of 10 Camomile Street E.C., is illustrated in Engineering for July 2. The gear ing essentially consists of two wheels having spiral helical teeth which run out of contact, a mechanical clear ance of about 1/32-inch separating the tops of the teet! on the two wheels. One of the wheels is provided with field magnets in such a way that a magnetic flux i generated between its teeth and the corresponding teeth on the other wheel. The mechanical drive is obtained entirely by means of the magnetic flux, the form of the teeth being such that, when the wheels are running together, the tops of any two teeth in magnetic mesh :immediately one over the other, and follow each the same path. As two teeth leave each other, the magnetic flux will be transferred from the leaving teeth to the approach-I ing teeth, thus ensuring continuity of drive. As there is no contact there can be no friction; and as the power consumed in the field coils is only about 3 per cent. of the power transmitted, a gearing efficiency of about 97 per cent. is attainable. Another advantage lies in the high speed of transmission possible. Ball bearings are used for the spindles, an example at present being shown in London by the Albany Engineering Company, of Ossory Road, S.E., having a gearing loss of 1.79 per cent. an over-all efficiency of more than 90 per cent. applications. advantages of this gear should open a wide field for its

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THE prestige of the "principle of relativity for our treatment of electrodynamics in moving media has been increased by a preliminary communication made to the German Physical Society by Dr. E. Hupka, an account of which is given in the Verhandlungen of the society for June 15. Three or four months ago Dr. A. H. Bucherer announced that the results of his experiments on the inertia of the negatively charged particles of the B rays from radium were distinctly in favour of the principle as against its most formidable rival the " sphere theory.' Now Dr. Hupka, working with the electrons produced when light falls on negatively charged bodies, has shown that when these electrons are accelerated by the action of an electric field, and then deflected by passing through a magnetic field, the deflections observed are again in favour of the principle, which may be stated as follows:-The electro-subjects, maintains a laboratory and library, and conducts dynamic phenomena exhibited within two systems moving with respect to each other in a straight line will follow the same laws, provided that in each system the unit of time be so chosen that the velocity of light is expressed by the same number.

"SUPPLEMENTARY INVESTIGATIONS OF INFRA-red Spectra," by Prof. Wm. W. Coblentz (parts v., vi., vii.), has been received from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. This publication contains supplementary data on the doubtful points which arose in the author's preceding work, and also some additional observations on the emission

spectra of metal filaments and insulators, thus rounding up the subject as completely as possible at the moment. Although, as Prof. Coblentz goes on to say, the programme of investigation is completed, the subject is not exhausted-not even thoroughly initiated. The value and importance of the author's work in the infra-red region of the spectrum are too well known to need any further diploma of merit at this time; moreover, it is impossible to deal in detail with the account of the many new observations described in the present monograph. There are three separate lines of work, namely, infra-red reflection spectra, transmission spectra, and emission spectra. To these is added a valuable chapter on the instruments and methods used in the work. Two points of special interest may be noted, one of which is the relation between the maxima in the reflection spectra of the carbonates and the atomic weight of the metal, where the maxima steadily shift towards the red with increase in molecular weight. The second point of interest is the infra-red spectra of the colloidal metals in relation to the coloured glasses. There is no doubt that, quite apart from its general importance, Prof. Coblentz's work, owing to the range of spectrum dealt with, will have considerable bearing upon the relation between absorption and chemical constitution.

WE have received a copy of the report of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science for the year 1907. The association arranges courses of lectures upon scientific

an annual examination of candidates for prizes and medals. Interesting speeches were given at the annual meeting held last November, and altogether the association appears to be doing useful work in spreading a knowledge of and interest in science.

THE July number of the Fortnightly Review contains an article by Dr. Marie C. Stopes entitled "An Expedition to the Southern Coal Mines." Dr. Stopes was sent by the Royal Society for special palæobotanical work to Japan, where she spent a year and a half in close touch with the Japanese. In addition to devoting a large part of her stay to research work in the Imperial University, Dr. Stopes travelled widely on tours of inspection and investigation. She entered a great many of the coal mines in Japan, and penetrated to the heart of the country searching for interesting specimens. Her article is in the form of a diary, not written for scientific workers, but intended to supply a series of pictures of life in many parts of Japan.

OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

RADIAL MOTION IN SUN-SPOT VAPOURS.-Referring to some comments and queries, by Mr. Buss, in the Mav number, Mr. Evershed gives further details of the radial motion discovered in sun-spot vapours, in No. 411 of the Observatory. He has found that when the slit of the spectroscope does not bisect the spot symmetrically, but crosses the penumbra on the side of the spot nearer to the centre of the sun's disc, the lines are always convex towards the violet; whereas if the slit crosses the opposite side of the penumbra they are convex towards the red. That the line displacements are due solely to motion is shown by the change in position angle of the maximum shift as the spot traverses the disc. The maximum displacement is always such as to indicate that the maximum motion is along the radius, but the observations are not yet sufficiently delicate to disprove the existence of a superimposed,

relatively slow spiral motion; on the other hand, there is no direct evidence that such an outward spiral motion exists.

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Recent work shows that the radial motion is confined to the lower chromosphere-the "reversing layer.' In the higher chromosphere the absorption lines H,, K,, and probably Ha, are usually twisted in the opposite direction

to the other lines, thus indicating an inward movement of the vapours. This apparently agrees with Prof. Hale's observation of a dark flocculus moving towards the centre of the spot. There is still an apparent discrepancy between this radial movement and the vortex motions invoked by Prof. Hale to explain the Zeeman effect in sun-spot lines, and, according to Mr. Evershed's results, the vortex, if it exists, either above or below a sun-spot, does not affect the absorbing gases of the “reversing layer in the penumbræ of spots.

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THE KING ON INCREASED PROVISION FOR ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC INSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH.

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

THE King laid the first stone of the new buildings of the Imperial College of Science and Technology on Thursday, July 8. The plans exhibited were those of the Royal School of Mines and an extension of the City and Guilds of London Institute, which will occupy the block of ground at the corner of Exhibition and Prince Consort Roads, South Kensington, and extend as far west as the Royal College of Music. The Imperial College of Science and Technology consists at present of the Royal School of Mines, the Royal College of Science, and the City and Guilds of London Institute, and is administered by a Board of governors appointed by Royal charter, and under the

It is interesting to note that the first building to be erected by the governors of the Imperial College is the much-needed one for the Royal School of Mines, and that the funds for the purpose have been provided chiefly by the late Mr. Alfred Beit and Sir Julius Wernher, of the mining house of Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Co.

BINARY STAR ORBITS.-In No. 4. vol. xxix., of the Astro-presidency of Lord Crewe. physical Journal, Father Stein discusses the photometric observations of the binary star RZ Cassiopeia on assumption that it is an Algol variable. Assuming that the orbit is circular, and that the mean densities of the two components are equal, he finds that the mass of the system is 1002 the sun's mass, the mass of the bright body, the primary, being o'646 sun's mass; the radius of the bright body is 143, and that of the satellite 1-17 the sun's radius, the mean density of each body being 0-222 that of the sun's density. The centres of the two bodies are separated by

0.022 astronomical unit.

No. 13, vol. i., of the publications of the Allegheny Observatory, contains a discussion of the orbits of the spectroscopic components of 2 Lacertæ, by Mr. R. H. Baker. In spectrograms of this star taken on fine-grained plates, the lines of the components are, at certain epochs, separated, and it is interesting to note that the "blend " curve differs considerably from various parts of the primary curve, thus suggesting that for all spectroscopic binaries having a large range of velocities it is desirable that

spectrograms should be taken on the finest-grained plates obtainable at the epochs of maximum velocity. The measurement of such plates might, supposing the lines to be separated, considerably modify the results obtained from coarser-grained plates on which the component spectra are inseparable. Mr. Baker finds the period of this star to be 2.6164 days.

MICROMETRIC MEASURES OF DOUBLE STARS.-In No. 4336 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Mr. Phillip Fox publishes the measures of a number of miscellaneous double stars made with the 12-inch and 40-inch refractors of the Yerkes Observatory. The 40-inch is not used regularly for this work, but is employed when conditions are not suitable for securing parallax plates. Mr. Fox's observing-list is mainly made up of Holden double-stars, about half of which have now been observed, but these measures are reserved until the complete list is ready. The present publication includes the measures, made during 1907-8, of about 130 multiple

systems.

THE IDENTITY OF COMETS 1908a AND 1908b (ENCKE).-In No. 4332 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Dr. Ebell discusses the question of the identity of comet 1908a with Encke's comet. It will be remembered that when 1908a was first discovered by Prof. Wolf, it was announced as being Encke's comet, but the latter was not discovered until May, 1908, when it was found by Mr. Woodgate at the Cape Observatory. Dr. Ebell finds that both the motion and the brightness of comet 1908a are against the theory of identity with Encke's, for the latter was, theoretically; much fainter, about 3'5 magnitudes, than the observed object. There still remains the question as to whether 1908a was a fragment of Encke's, split off by some accidental encounter or explosion, and this question is being investigated at Pulkowa.

COMET 1909a.-Photographs of comet 1909a (BorrellyDaniel) were obtained at the Greenwich Observatory, with the 30-inch reflector, on June 22 and 30, and the resulting positions are published in No. 4337 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. The same journal also contains a set of elements computed by Prof. R. T. Crawford, and elements and ephemeris calculated by Prof. Kobold.

The life of the Roval School of Mines has been one of many vicissitudes. Even from the time of its foundation in 1851, difliculty has been experienced in providing adequate accommodation. The move from Jermyn Street to South Kensington, which began in 1872, and, as was stated by Lord Crewe in his address to his Majesty, was not completed until 1880, furnished better accommodation for subjects such as chemistry, physics and mechanics; geology was probably in but little worse position than in Jermyn Street, and metallurgy had better laboratories than before, but mining, which was the last to move, has had but poor quarters. The demand for scientific education, however, has grown so rapidly that even the laboratories for chemistry and physics soon became too small, and the Royal College of Science has its chemical and physical fine buildings in Imperial Institute Road, in which the laboratories, have for the past two years received the students. The buildings now to be erected will comprise well equipped laboratories, museums, lecture- and classrooms, and drawing offices for the mining, metallurgical, and geological sections, and, in a one-storied building, 250 feet by 120 feet, under a separate roof, ore-dressing testing works and an experimental metallurgical laboratory are to be erected, the equipment being provided by the Bessemer Memorial Committee.

The extension of the City and Guilds of London Institute will include a laboratory for the study of hydraulics, equipped by Mr. G. Hawksley, but the extension is chiefly necessary on account of the number of students having already outgrown the space available, and the introduction of advanced courses on special subjects requiring more room. Here, again, top-lighted courts will allow the extension of the mechanical laboratories of the institute. The Goldsmiths' Company has provided a large sum towards this work.

In the course of his reply to the address delivered by Lord Crewe on behalf of the governors, professors, students, and staff of the Imperial College, the King said :

"The concentration of various associated colleges into one institution, which was effected by our Order in Council of July, 1907, has always seemed to me to be an admirable scheme for the furtherance of scientific instruction, which my dear father had so much at heart; and the names which appeared in the first list of the members of the governing body were sufficient in themselves to give the college a very high status in the educational world.

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"The purposes of the college, as stated in the charter, to give the highest specialised instruction and provide the fullest equipment for advanced teaching and research in various branches of science, especially in its application to industry. In recent years the supreme importance of higher scientific education has, I am happy to say. been fully recognised in England; and as time goes on I feel more and more convinced that the prosperity, even the very safety and existence, of our country depend on the quality of the scientific and technical training of those who are to guide and control our industries. The rapid

growth of knowledge makes it necessary for the teacher of any branch of applied science to be a specialist of a high order, and the most accomplished specialist cannot impart the full advantage of his knowledge without that complete provision of apparatus for research and instruction which this college will supply.

"The college has already given admirable results, and we may well look for a steady increase in the number of students and in the efficiency of the instruction provided. "The thanks of the country are due to those publicspirited donors through whose generosity a large portion of the funds have been provided for this great work, and I join in your appreciation of their munificence. I think it is especially fitting that the great discoveries of the late Sir Henry Bessemer, to which the remarkable development of the engineering industries in the last half-century is largely due, should be commemorated by the equipment of the new laboratories of this institution."

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM.

On July 7 the King and Queen, accompanied by the Princess Victoria, performed the opening ceremony of the new buildings of the Birmingham University. Inas much as the founding of the University on the initiative of Mr. Chamberlain has been effected almost entirely by means of money subscribed by the inhabitants of the Birmingham district, the occasion was appropriately made to partake largely of the nature of a civic function.

The characteristic note of the proceedings may perhaps best be given by some quotations from the King's speeches. In replying to the address from the Corporation, after warmly commending the public spirit of the citizens, His Majesty said:" Great schemes such as that for providing. your city with pure water have been undertaken in the past, and have been brought to a successful issue; but none is worthier of support or more far-reaching in its scope than the establishment and extension of the great University in which you have taken so important a part." Later, in reply to an address from the Chamber of Commerce expressing the recognition by the commercial and mercantile classes of the value of the advancement of higher education, his Majesty said:-"I am glad to learn that the commercial community have been faithful and generous supporters of the University. I feel assured that your expectations of advantages to be derived from the Faculty of Commerce in training the future captains of industry will be realised." After a luncheon at the Council House, their Majesties drove, through roads lined with enthusiastic spectators, to the new buildings at Bournbrook, a distance of about three miles. The opening ceremony took place in the great hall of the University, which was occupied largely by members of the University and representatives of other educational bodies.

The University address was read by Sir Oliver Lodge, and the following characteristic passage may be quoted:"Guided by our Chancellor, whose inability to be present on this memorable occasion we deeply regret, we have made no attempt to give an appearance of finality to our present undertaking. Rather do we regard it as capable of indefinite expansion. Whilst the field of scientific research is ever widening, and its discoveries demand yearly a fresh application to the facts of life, the claims of the humaner studies become none the less imperative; and in both these branches of human activity, which can only flourish side by side, we realise the need of continual development. But we believe that the work which we have begun, upon which this day your Majesties set the seal of your Royal approbation, can confidently be entrusted to the generosity and to the devoted service of the generations that

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His Majesty, in replying, after paying a tribute to the Chancellor, proceeded: For the wonderful progress of higher education in the country we have largely to thank the great universities established in our principal cities, No nobler object for munificence can be found than the provision for the necessary equipment for such education; an equipment which, in view of the diverse and elaborate requirements of the modern schools of instruction, must be costly; but without which these schemes, however carefully designed, will prove fruitless. Such institutions as this are of paramount importance in enabling students to

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THE SCIENCE COLLECTIONS AT SOUTH KENSINGTON.

THE question of the worthy housing of the science collections at South Kensington has been brought before the Government on several occasions during the last thirty years or so. The object of a deputation which waited upon Mr. Runciman at the Board of Education on Tuesday was again to endeavour to obtain an assurance that the Government will provide the money for the building of a museum in which the science collections can be exhibited as satisfactorily as are those of art. The deputation included distinguished representatives of the leading scientific societies and institutions, and the memorial which was presented was signed by the president and officers of the Royal Society, all its living past-presidents, and 128 of its Fellows distinguished in physical science; the Chancellors of the Universities of Cambridge, London, Glasgow, and St. Andrews; the Vice-Chancellors of the British universities; the presidents of scientific societies and institutions; professors of chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and engineering in all the British universities, university colleges, and principal technical schools and polytechnics; the directors of the chief polytechnics in London and in the provinces; and a very large and distinguished body of persons eminent in and interested in British science and desirous of its promotion.

There can be no doubt, therefore, as to the opinion of representatives of physical science upon the urgent need of satisfactory provision for the housing of the science collections. As Sir William Anson said in introducing the deputation, "the museum, which represents the application of science to material, should be placed in the same position as art and natural history by the Government of the country."

The collections should be in a suitable building, with room for rearrangement and expansion. A site is available at South Kensington if the Government will come forward with the offer of funds for the actual building; but in spite of the memorial and the deputation, Mr. Runciman did not give an assurance that the money will be forthcoming. He was sympathetic, and promised to place the matter before the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and with this result we must be satisfied for a while. A useful purpose has certainly been served by bringing the subject into public view. We can now only hope that the Government will rise to the opportunity and offer to the physical sciences, which are closely connected with the industries of this country, the same advantages for its collections as are already possessed by natural history and by art.

From a full report of the deputation in Wednesday's Times we make the subjoined extracts.

The memorial presented by Sir Henry Roscoe was as follows:

"We, the undersigned, being deeply interested in the practice and progress of British science, desire to bring before you the importance of the proper housing of the Science Collections at South Kensington. The permanent buildings now erected provide accommodation for art collections only; to complete the scheme a suitable building for the science collections is a necessity. The formation of a science museum representative of all branches of physical science, both pure and applied, has long engaged the attention both of the Government and of British scientific men. So long ago as 1874 the Duke of Devonshire's Commission on Science strongly recommended the establishment of such

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