« PreviousContinue »
close of the meeting, Vienna was chosen by organise and undertake the publication of these results unanimous vote as the place of meeting of the next the expedition, under the editorship of the director of the general' assembly. A complete protocol of the pro- museum. ceedings of the assembly has been drawn up, and will
The laborious duty of arranging for the reduction and be issued before the end of this year. Other matters publication of the magnetic and meteorological observations referred to in the report are the African geodetic arc,
made by the expedition has been undertaken by the Ruru
Society, Two special expert committees have term the international congress of aëronautics held at St. Petersburg in August, the international laboratory of appointed, and are already dealing with these two dasta physiology on Monte Rosa, the Royal Society “ Cata- As regards the magnetic observations, the Hydrogr.ph logue of Scientific Papers,” the “ International Cata- Department of the Admiralty has undertaken the redurtina logue of Scientific Literature," the Government grant of about one-third of the material, and the remaining ta for scientific investigations, and the expenses of special thirds, consisting of the slow-run magnetograms, reriais Government inquiries.
to be dealt with. The committee for magnetism har: The Royal Society is frequently requested by accordingly arranged that these observations shall be on various departments of the Government to advise upon,
duced, under the superintendence of Dr. Chree, their soteor in some cases to undertake the supervision and con
tary, in the observatory department of the National Physica! trol of, and in others the entire responsibility for, sponsibility for the cost of these reductions, to the exten
Laboratory; and the Royal Society has undertaken in scientific investigations of national importance, but no
of 400l., by an advance from the donation fund, in the full provision has been made by Government to meet ex
hope that this expenditure will be refunded out of the propenses to which the Society has been put in acceding ceeds of the sale of the Discovery. to these requests. As the result of pointing out this Committees have been arranged for dealing with other unsatisfactory position, H.M. Treasury has approved observations. The reduction of the meteorological observof an alteration in the regulations for administering ations has been undertaken by the Meteorological Council the Government grant of 4000l. for scientific purposes with the aid of a sum of 5ool. guaranteed by the Royal which will permit a sum to be set aside out of the Geographical Society in anticipation of the sale of the reserve fund of the grant for printing and office ex
Discovery. It is hoped that the publication of these results penditure incurred "in undertaking, controlling,
will be undertaken by H.M. Stationery Office. supervising or advising upon matters which the Presi
The committees are working as far as possible in concert
with the authorities engaged in the reduction of the obsery. dent and Council may, at the request of the Govern
ations of the German and Scottish Antarctic Expeditions, ment, undertake, control, supervise or advise upon. which in part covered the same period of time. That is to say, the Royal Society is graciously per- It is proposed that the special scientific results of the mitted by the Treasury to use a part of the annual expedition shall be published in a uniform series of volumes Government grant for scientific investigations to meet similar to the published records of the Challenger Expedition. expenses incurred in answering Government inquiries. Mention is also made in the report of the radium
Mediterranean Fever. research grant of the Goldsmiths' Company, the
In February last a letter was received from the Colonial Treasury inquiry into the Meteorological Office, and
Office asking whether the Royal Society would be willing the letter on scientific education sent by the council of supervising investigations into Mediterranean fever to
to appoint an advisory board in this country for the purpose to all British universities last January. The following be carried out by a commission representing the Navy, the extracts from other parts of the report of the council
Army, and the Civil Government of Malta. are of interest :
The matter was referred to the tropical diseases comSleeping Sickness.
mittee of the society, which had superintended the investi. The investigation of this disease in Uganda was con- gations into malaria and sleeping sickness, and upon their tinued after Colonel Bruce's return to England by Dr. advice the council decided to accede to the request of the Nabarro and -Captain Greig, of the Indian Medical Service. Colonial Office, provided that the appointment of investiA further report (No. 4) by Colonel Bruce has been pub- gators rested with the Royal Society, and that all experises lished, and its general conclusions, briefly stated in the last in connection with the investigation were borne by the report of the council-namely, that the sleeping sickness is Government. These conditions were accepted by the caused by the entrance into the blood and thence into the Government with a modification, which the council acceded cerebro-spinal fluid of a species of Trypanosoma (T. to at the particular request of H.M. Treasury, viz. that gambiense), and that these trypanosomes are transmitted the Royal Society should participate by defraving (out of from the sick to the healthy by a species of tsetse fly the Government Grant Reserve Fund) the cost of scientific (Glossina palpalis)-have been confirmed by subsequent equipment to an amount not exceeding, 2001. The advisory observations. The efforts of the observers are now being board was constituted as a subcommittee of the tropical directed to the attempt to discover a means of eliminating diseases committee, with Colonel Bruce, F.R.S., as chairthe trypanosomes from the blood and tissues of the infected Members of the commission of investigation were in the early stages, and before severe damage has been done nominated, with the approval of this committee, by the to the nervous centres. In the meantime the Royal Society Navy, the Army, and the Civil Government of Malta, and Committee has advised the Government to adopt such pre- Colonel Bruce himself went out to Malta on behalf of the ventive measures as are found practicable for protecting a committee to start the inquiry, which is now in active non-infected area where the carrier fly is found from the progress. incursion of emigrants from the infected areas.
National Physical Laboratory:
The National Physical Laboratory has continued its work
with success during the year, the last of the five for which The Antarctic ship Discovery;' accompanied by the relief the original annual grant of 4000l. was made by the ships Morning and Terra Nova, returned safety in March Treasury. last to Lyttelton, and a Summary of Proceedings" tas This fact has been prominently before the committee of forwarded thence by Captain Scott by post to the presidents its various 'meetings. In reply to an inquiry by the chair. of the Royal and Royal Geographical Societies. The man, a 'letter was received from Sir E. W. Hamilton to the Discovery arrived in England at the beginning of September, effect that while there was no idea of stopping the grant. 'when a joint letter of welcome from the president and the the question before H,M. Treasury was whether there should president of the Royal Geographical Society was dispatched be an increase in its amount, and suggesting that the com'to Captain Scott.
mittee should formulate " constructive proposals " with The natural history specimens and notes and drawings detailed estimates of the expenditure, both capital and rehave been sent to the British Museum (Natural History | curring, required to put the laboratory on a satisfactory 'Department), to be preserved there as part of the national footing. Accordingly this was done, and a memorandum collection, the trustees of the museum having agreed to on the future organisation and expenditure of the labor.
atory, which was drawn up by the executive committee on greater extent, from the fuller recognition by the GovernFebruary 19, was sent to the Treasury by the president ment and the public of the need for scientific advice and and council, who strongly supported the proposals of the direction in connection with many matters of national concommittee.
The main recommendations of the memorandum were It may not be 'inopportune, therefore, for me to say a few (1) that a sum of nearly 30,00ol. was required for capital words on the advisory relation in which the society has expenditure, and (2) that the annual grant should be raised come to stand to the Government, and to review very briefly in the course of four years to 10,000l. ; while, with a view the great work which the society has done, and is doing, to supporting these proposals, a request was made for an for the nation.' official inquiry into the work and organisation of the Among academies and learned societies the position of laboratory,
the Royal Society is, in some respects, an exceptional one. To this request the Financial Secretary of the Treasury In the British dominions it holds a unique position, not only replied, stating that the question of the increase must stand as the earliest chartered scientific society, but in its own over until the estimates for 1905–6 were under consider- / right, on account of the number of eminent men included in ation, and suggesting that meanwhile the executive com- its fellowship, and the close connection in which it stands, mittee should consider which of the new works were of the though remaining a private institution, with the Governinost pressing importance, and make application accord
The Royal Society is a private learned body, coningly.
sisting of a voluntary and independent association of students In answer, a further memorandum was prepared, point- of science united for the promotion of natural knowledge at ing out that the question at issue was whether the labor- their own cost. atory is to be allowed to remain undeveloped in its present The Royal Society, while remaining a purely private incondition. With its limited powers and opportunities, or stitution for the promotion of natural knowledge, has been whether it is to be adequately developed, and ultimately regarded by the Government as the acknowledged national placed on a footing similar to that of the corresponding scientific body, the advice of which is of the highest authority institutions in other countries, and asking that the First on all scientific questions, and the more to be trusted on Lord of the Treasury would receive a deputation to support account of the society's financial independence; a body, the request already made, “ That an inquiry might be in- which, through its intimate relations with the learned socie. stituted into the work and organisation of the National ties of the Colonies, has now become the centre of British Phvsical Laboratory with a view to laying down the lines science. The society's historical position and the scientific that ought to be followed in its future development." eminence of its fellows have made it naturally the body which
In consequence of this request, a conference took place the scientific authorities of foreign countries regard as reearly in August at the House of Commons between the Prime presenting the science of the npire, and with which they Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the President are anxious to consult and to cooperate, from time to time, of the Board of Trade on the one hand, and Lord Rayleigh, on scientific questions of international importance. Sir F. Hopwood, the treasurer and senior secretary of the On their part, the fellows of the Royal Society, rememberRoval Society, with the director, representing the laboratory, ing that the promotion of natural knowledge is the great at which the matter was discussed.
object for which it was founded and still exists, and that The donations and subscriptions promised to the labor
all undertakings in the home and in the State, since they atory, in most cases for five years, have increased, and now are concerned with nature, can be wisely directed and carried reach a total of about 20ool.
on with the highest efficiency only as they are based upon a While the report is one of progress, the committee of the knowledge of nature, have always recognised the fundalaboratory feel that with adequate financial support they
mental importance of the society's work to national as well might do much more. It is not yet sufficiently recognised as to individual success and prosperity, and their how substantial is the assistance the laboratory can render
responsibility as the depositories of such knowledge. They to commerce and manufactures. The grant made by the have always been willing, even at great personal cost, Government is treated by them as one in aid of science itself, ungrudgingly to afford any assistance in their power. to although it is applied under the highest scientific direction
the Government on all questions referred to them which to facilitate the applications of science to manufacture.
depend upon technical knowledge, or which require the emThis distinction is an important one, which needs to be ployment of scientific methods. In particular the society emphasised; when it is fully grasped the progress of the has naturally always been eager to help forward, and even laboratory. as an aid to national industry, will be much to initiate, such 'national undertakings as voyages of more rapid.
observation or of discovery of any kind, or for the investi
gation of the incidence of disease, which have for their exIn his anniversary address the president referred at press object the increase of natural knowledge. first to the scientific careers of the thirteen fellows of At the same time, as the society is dependent upon the the Society lost by death since the previous anniver- voluntary help of its fellows, whose time is fully occupied r. He then gave a sketch of the work the
with their own work, the society may reasonably expect the society has done and is doing for the nation, and
Government not to ask for assistance on any matters of showed how the generous intentions of the founder, vided for.
mere administration that could be otherwise efficiently proCharles II., were never fulfilled. From this survey future, with increased official provision in connection with
The hope may be expressed that in the near of the history of the society, we have taken the follow- the recognition of science, the position of the society to the ing extracts, with the descriptions of the scientific Government may not extend beyond that of a purely work of this year's medallists :
advisory body, so that the heavy, responsibilities now resting
upon it, in respect of the carrying out of many public underDuring the last few years a very large amount, increasing takings on which its advice has been asked, may no longer Farh year, of work outside the reading, discussion, and press unduly, as they certainly do at present, upon the time printing of papers, of a more or less public character, has and energy of the officers and members of committees. The been thrown upon the Royal Society-so large indeed as at society regards this outside work, important as it is, as present to tax the society's powers to the utmost. A not extraneous, and therefore,as subordinate,, and would not be in considerable part of this work has come from the initiation justified in permitting such work to interfere with the strict by the criety itself of new undertakings, but mainly it has prosecution of pure natural science as the primary purpose consisted of assistance freely given, at their request, to of the society's existence, upon; which, indeed, the society's different departments of the Government on questions which importance as an advisory body ultimately depends. Proure expert scientific knowledge, and which involve no The society has accepted heavy responsibilities at the in$null amount of labour on the part of the officers and staff, stance of the Government in respeçt of the control of scienand much free sacrifice of time and energy from fellows, tific observations and research in our vast Indian Empire. in most cases living at a distance.
In 1899, the India Office inquired whether the Royal There is little doubt that this largely-increased amount of Society would be willing to meet the wishes of the Indian pullir work has arisen, in part naturally from the greater Government by exercising a general control over the scienKientific activity of the present day, but also, and to a tific researches which it might be thought desirable to
institute in that country. A standing committee was ap- report was published at the time, and a full report has since pointed in consequence by the council for the purpose of appeared in the Transactions. giving advice on matters connected with scientific inquiry, Time forbids me to do more than mention the successive probably mainly biological, in India, which should be sup- expeditions sent out by the society, conjointly with the Royal plementary to the standing observatories committee which Astronomical Society, for the observation of total solar was already established at the request of the Government as eclipses; and the onerous work thrown upon the society for an advisory body on astronomical, olar, magnetic, and several years in connection with the National Antarctic Exmeteorological observations in that part of the Empire. pedition, undertaken jointly with the Royal Geographical
An investigation, onerous indeed, but of the highest Society, which has this year returned home crowned with scientific interest and of very great practical importance, success; but the society's labours are not at an end, for the has been carried on by a series of committees successively prolonged and responsible task of the discussion and pubappointed at the request of the Government for the consider- lication of the scientific results of the expedition is still betore ation of some of the strangely mysterious and deadly diseases them. of tropical countries. In 1896 a committee was appointed To the Royal Society is entrusted the responsible task of at the request of the Colonial Secretary to investigate the administrating the annual Government grant of 4000l, for subject of the tsetse-fly disease in South Africa.
the purpose of scientific research, and a grant of 1oool. in later Mr. Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, aid of the publication of scientific papers. requested the society to appoint a committee to make a In addition to these permanent responsibilities, which are thorough investigation into the origin, the transmission, always with the society, its advice and aid are sought from and the possible preventives and remedies of tropical time to time both by the Government and by scientific institudiseases, and especially of the malarial and " blackwater" tions at home and abroad, in favour of independent objects fevers prevalent in Africa, promising assistance, both on the of a more or less temporary character, of which, as erpart of the Colonial Office and of the Colonies concerned. amples, may be taken the recent action of the society for A committee was appointed, and, under its auspices, skilled the purpose of obtaining Government aid for the continuinvestigators were sent out to Africa and to India. In the ation through Egypt of the African arc of meridian, and case of the third committee the society itself took the initi- for the intervention of the Government to assist in securing ative. An outbreak in Uganda of the disease, appalling in the fulfilment of the part undertaken by Great Britain in its inexorable deadliness, known as sleeping sickness the International Astrographic Catalogue and Chart. having been brought to the knowledge of the society, a Upon the present fellows falls the glorious inheritance of deputation waited upon Lord Lansdowne at the Foreign unbounded free labour ungrudgingly given during two Office, asking him to consider favourably the dispatch of a centuries and a half for the public service, as well as of the small commission to Uganda to investigate the disease. He strenuous prosecution at the same time of the primary object gave his approval, and a commission of three experts, ap- of the society, as set forth in the words of the Charter : pointed on the recommendation of the committee, was sent the promotion of Natural Knowledge. The successive out to Uganda, bool. being voted out of the Government generations of fellows have unsparingly contributed of their grant towards the expenses of the commission.
time to the introduction and promotion, whenever the opporThe investigations in tropical diseases, promoted and
tunity was afforded them, of scientific knowledge and directed by these committees, have largely increased our
methods into the management of public concerns by depart. knowledge of the true nature of these diseases, and, what is of
ments of the Government. The financial independence of the highest practical importance, they have shown that their
the Royal Society, neither receiving, nor wishing to accept, propagation depends upon conditions which it is in the
State aid for its own private purposes, has enabled the power of man so far to modify, or guard against, as to
society to give advice and assistance which, both with the afford a reasonable expectation that it may be possible for
Government and with Parliament, have the weight and Europeans to live and carry on their work in parts of the
finality of a wholly disinterested opinion. I may quote here earth where hitherto the sacrifice of health, and even of life,
the words of a recent letter from H.M. Treasury : -" Their has been fearfully great. A general summary of the work
Lordships have deemed themselves in the past very fortunate already done on malaria, especially in regard to its pre
in being able to rely, in dealing with scientific questions, vention, and also on the nature of blackwater fever, has
upon the aid of the Royal Society, which commands not only been published in a Parliamentary paper, which records
the confidence of the scientific world, but also of ParliaMr. Chamberlain's acknowledgment to the Royal Society for its cooperation in the work undertaken by the Colonial
In the past the Royal Society has been not infrequently Office. The reports on sleeping sickness up to this time
greatly hampered in giving its advice by the knowledge form four whole numbers of the Proceedings, giving evi
that the funds absolutely needed for the carrying out of the dence in support of the view that this deadly disease is
matters in question in accordance with our present scientific caused by the entrance into the blood, and thence into the
knowledge would not be forthcoming. Though I am now cerebro-spinal fluid, of a species of Trypanosoma, and that
speaking on my own responsibility. I am sure that the these organisms are transmitted from the sick to the healthy society is with me, if I say that the expenditure by the by a kind of tsetse fly, and by it alone; sleeping sickness is,
Government on scientific research and scientific institutions, in short, a human tsetse-fly disease.
on which its commercial and industrial prosperity so largely In 1897, the council was requested to assist the Board of
depend, is wholly inadequate in view of the present state of Trade in drawing up schedules for the establishment of the
international competition. I throw no blame on the inrelations between the metric and the imperial units of
dividual members of the present or former Governments; weights and measures. A committee was appointed, which,
they are necessarily the representatives of public opinion, after devoting much time and attention to the matter, drew
and cannot go beyond it. The cause is deeper, it lies in up schedules which were accepted by the Board of Trade
the absence in the leaders of public opinion, and indeed and incorporated in the Orders of Council.
throughout the more influential classes of society, of a
sufficiently intelligent appreciation of the supreme import. Soon after the reports were received of the appalling vol
ance of scientific knowledge and scientific methods in all canic eruptions and the loss of life which took place in the
industrial enterprises, and indeed in all national under. West Indies in 1902, the council received a letter from Mr.
takings. The evidence of this grave state of the public Chamberlain to ask if the society would be willing to under- mind is strikingly shown by the very small response that take an investigation of the phenomena connected with the follows any appeal that is made for scientific objects in this eruptions. The council, considering that such an investi
country, in contrast with the large donations and liberal gation fell well within the scope of the objects of the society, endowments from private benefaction for scientific purposes organised a small commission of two experts, who left and scientific institutions which are always at once forthEngland for the scene of the eruption eleven days only after coming in the United States. In my opinion, the scientific the receipt of Mr. Chamberlain's letter, the expenses being deadness of the nation is mainly due to the too exclusively met by a grant of zool. from the Government Grant Com- mediæval and classical methods of our higher public schools, mittee. Six weeks were spent in the islands, including and can only be slowly removed by making in future the Martinique, by the commission, which was successful in teaching of science, not from text-books for passing an securing results of great scientific interest. A preliminary examination, but, as far as may be possible, from the study
SI PHILIPHARRIS & CO.LTD ITD
The number of Institutions in which we have fitted Laboratories is a record one. From among this number, we have selected one from each of the principal classes of Institution fitted, and give these herewith :Skinner's School, Tunbridge Wells; St. Mark's College, Chelsea; High School for Girls, Lincoln; Technical School, Louth; County School, Wrexham; Grammar School, Tamworth; The Oratory School, Edgbaston; Convent of the Sacred Heart, Seaforth.
WE ARE PREPARED TO QUOTE TO CUS-
144.EDMUND ST. BIRMINGHAM
JENA LABORATORY GLASSWARE.
COMPOUND TUBING (D.R.P.)
Crucibles, Muffles, Combustion Analysis, Kjeldahl's action of corrosive chemicals. Combustion Tubing for Elemen
Nitrogen Estimations, Assay Work, &c. tary Analysis. (Prone application.
Temperature easily regulated up to 2500° Centigrade ; if
heat resisting material can be found up to 3000° C. SCHOTT & GEN. Glassworks, Jena (GERMANY).
Arranged from 70 to 250 Volts.
Price List and full details on application.
SOLE AGENTS FOR UNITED KINGDOM,
JAMES WOOLLEY, SONS &
Co., Ltd., Victoria Bridge. A. GALLENKAMP & CO., Ltd., J. George, Lid., Successors), 159
London. and roo Great Charles Street.
BAIRD & TATLOCK (London) 19-21 SUN STREET, FINSBURY, LONDON, E.C. PHILIP HARRIS & Co., Ltd.,
Ltd., 14. Cross Street, Hatton
(PATENT). Great Brunswick Street.
33 to 37_Hatton Wall, Hatton
Shows a magnificent display of scintillations,
showers of sparks, direct from the mineral Pitch. 179-Great Brunswick Street. Glasgow. 19 and 20 Sun Street, Finsbury,
blende, Radium, Polonium, Uranium, Thorium, or any
radio-active substance, even E.C.
Welsbach mantle conF. E. BECKER & CO. (W. and J. George, Ltd., Successors), 36 JOHN J. GRIFFIN & SONS,
rains sufficient Thorium to excite the very sensitive Ltd., 20-26 Sardinia Street, Renfrew Street.
screen of the Scintilloscope, which is far more sensi.
tive than the spinthariscope. The Scintilloscope Leods.
Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C. REYNOLDS & BRANSON, Ltd.,
rivals the most delicate Electroscope as a detector TOWNSON & MERCER, 34
of Alpha rays. 14 Commercial Street. Camomile Street, E.C.
The eye sees an inexhaustible shower of stars of PITCH BLENDE wbite light, giving a very realistic idea of the ceaseless
activity of these marvellous substances which are proPHOSPHORESCENT POWDERS
ducing the terrific bombardment causing this beautiful display.
Dr See NATURE, September 29, page 535 to Phosphoresce by Day
Glew's Scintilloscope Superior Lens, with Extra-sensitive Pitchblende and
Polonium Screens, giving brilliant effects, Complete, 75. 6d., Post sree, or Ultra-Violet Light.
U.K. Foreign Postage extra, weight 2 ounces. In neat Ebonite and Brass Boxes with
Pieces of Pitchblende mineral, ground flat and polished, with Şensitive
Screen attached, for use in Scintilloscope or with any strong pocket Mica Window.
magnifier, from 7s. 6d. each, according to size. Price 3/6 each, or 18/6 set of six.
Radio active supplies of every description, on Sale or Hire. Radium
Bromide, 1,800,000 units on hire for lectures. A. O. COSSOR, 54 Farringdon Road, E.C. F. HARRISON GLEW, Radiographer (Silver Medallist, Paris, 1900), TELEPHONE 10547 CENTRAL.
156 Clapham Road, London, S.W. Gold Medal awarded St. Louis Exhibition, 1904.
JAMES SWIFT & SON,
Designed for observing Solar Prominences, with Solar Reversing
£25, cost over £50.
best makers in the VARIOUS BRANCHES OF SCIENCE, Post Free to readers of NATURE. C. BAKER, 244 HICH HOLBORN, LONDON.
Thisis the latest STUDENT'S MICRO-
Prospectus free by post.
ROCK-SECTIONS FOR THE MICROSCOPE.
ALL BRANCHES OF BIOLOGY AND GEOLOGY.
Medical, Science and Civil-Service Students encouraged.
II ASPENLEA ROAD, HAMMERSMITH, LONDON, W.
N A T U RE
Substantial English Company desires to extend its business by acquiring the Rritish and Colonial rights of a
Of THURSDAY Next, DECEMBER 8, will contain the new Chemical Product which is likely to be used on a very large scale for Industrial purposes. Advertisers have exceptional facilities
INDEX TO VOL. LXX. for exploiting an invention of this kind. Offers, with full particulars, to be sent to Box 101, T. B. Browne's Advertising Offices, 163 Queen
ITS PRICE WILL BE ONE SHILLING. Victoria Street, E.C.
Advertisements intended for this number should reach TYPE-WRITING UNDERTAKEN BY the Publishers by Tuesday, December 6.
HIGHLY EDUCATED WOMEN ACCUSTOMED TO SCIEN.
OFFICE OF “NATURE,"
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON, W.C.