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corporation, while Peruvian planters obtain enforcement of any broad and effective plan of the most valuable fertilizer at a price which protection of guano birds was confronted ten our American farmers would consider aston- or twelve years ago with obstacles which one ishingly low.
might fairly have considered insurmountable: Now, in the words of Captain Cuttle, “The foreign obligations with their customary diffibearings of this observation lays in the appli- culties of adjustment; national agricultural cation on it.”
demands so exceeding the yearly production In the first place, one of the essential prin- as to make temporary curtailment most aggraciples upon which this scheme of protection vating to Peruvian agriculturists; restive is founded is that of closure of breeding political conditions such as usually demand grounds in rotation for periods of years. the service of the present rather than of the This principle must be distinguished from the future. How do such difficulties compare common measures of protection through closed with those which confront the protection of
or the establishment of permanent fresh-water mussels or the development of the sanctuaries. While the latter is in many oyster industry in the Chesapeake Bay, for cases an ideal method of protecting animals, example? Surely, as Dr. Murphy has approit is of course impracticable of application in priately suggested, credit is due primarily to the case of guano birds and many objects of the patriotic and far-sighted citizens of Peru chase or fishery.
who accepted the preliminary sacrifices and Closed seasons of a few months produce did what was evidently needed to be done. good results in many cases, but such a prin- When we consider that the conservation ciple of protection has the defect (often un- measures cited were so promptly and fruitappreciated) of being based upon an assump
fully executed in one of our sister republics tion that nothing essential to reproduction south of the equator it ought to "give us takes place except when the reproductive pause
or else it should stimulate us to stop activities are externally evident. It seems pausing and proceed to take like care of some sometimes to be assumed that destruction or of our own natural resources. disturbance of an animal before it spawns
R. E. COKER makes no difference. The closed season of BUREAU OF FISHERIES months has, to be sure, its proper place, and is often the only feasible measure.
NATIONAL TEMPERAMENT IN SCIENThe second application is that the plan of
TIFIC INVESTIGATIONS temporary sanctuaries, as applied to guanoproducing birds, has evidently worked and
We have too long adjusted our scientific produced the desired results in high degree.
thought to the temperature of a European The annual production has been trebled in ten
atmosphere. It should not be necessary years. Why then can not the plan be more
to guard the voice of our scientists against generally applied in the case of natural ob
the unnatural accent of the parrot. What jects requiring protection? It seems to be
was true of literature when Emerson read based upon a proper appreciation of physio- before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at logical, “social” and ecological conditions as
Cambridge his celebrated oration on “The affecting successful reproduction. This is the
American Scholar" is now true of scientific principle, by the way, which for eight years
investigation in the United States. “We has been advocated for the preservation of the
have listened too long to the courtly muses of fresh-water mussel resources of our interior Europe.” We have too much taken our probstreams, but which is as yet being given effect lems from European investigators and have in a small way in only two states.
too little allowed nature to ask her own quesA final application to be made in this con
These problems we have treated nection is not the least in importance. The too much in the spirit of European and
tions of us.
especially of German) investigation. Too little have we allowed rein to our own individuality in the choice of subject and the development of method.
Let it be granted that the people of Europe have attacked the problems and developed the methods best suited to their needs and their temperament. This seems to be true. The several important groups, following their own native inclinations, have marvelously succeeded in organizing nature in useful ways and have made conquests of the forces of the environment never approached by any other peoples. They have acted upon the realization that the best truth which any mind or any nation can create or discover is that which comes to it in the course of spontaneous activity. When we so proceed that our thinking is a natural expression of our native bent our discoveries will become typical of ourselves and we shall render into the whole worth of mankind a good which we can not attain by following the lead of another people. “ He is great who is what he is from nature and who never reminds us of others."
Let us not run after the ways of another people. Let us also not run from the ways of another people. Let us follow our ideals; let us develop our own spirit in the search for truth; let us be just to our own temperament. Our civilization is based on our European origin. We can not escape that fact. There is no need to try to run away from the nature which we have inherited. But there is a fundamental necessity that our thought shall not try to follow in the way pointed out by European thinkers of to-day; just as it is important that Europe shall continue to think in her own way and not seek to be guided by us.
We are a combination of social units which have not existed together before and are not now to be found together elsewhere. In some measure and in some phases we have developed our own national intellectual spirit; the present progress in American poetry, for instance, is not inspired by European models but is a native product arising from the basic foundation inherited from our European an
cestry. But in scientific matters we still have a great tendency to attack problems set by European investigation rather than to follow our own more spontaneous activity and so find that truth which our temperament makes it possible for us to discover more easily than any other people.
Our attitude in this respect is strongly contrasted with that of the great nations of Europe. They have proceeded in ways of their own.
Though science is cosmopolitan the scientific work of the greater groups in Europe is national in spirit. Notwithstanding the close interactions of the modern world and the systematic exchange of scientific knowledge, national traits find spontaneous expression in the researches of different countries.
British science is characterized by the spontaneity and individuality of the workers, with consequent large power in fundamental conceptions, so that a greater measure of dominant ideas in the science of to-day goes back to them perhaps than to those of any other people. They do not congregate in distinct schools and institutions. They are not localized in definite centers. No army of well-trained intellectual workers exists among them. No compact body of pupils there develops the work and ideas of any master. The self-reliant strength of natural genius dominates the scientific spirit. The British have produced a disproportionate number of new ideas and great departures. They have no university eager to nurse and develop new talent, so that the new thinker becomes de voted to nature. He lives close to the heart of things and nature rewards his independence of other thinkers.
German science is remarkable for the or ganization of the investigators and the resulting wealth of detail in developing the conso quences of fundamental ideas once introduced and in preparing indexes and summaries of the current literature of discovery. The universities of Germany form the most characteristic institution of the German mind and afford the most perfect expression of its essential character, especially as regards sci
entific work. These universities form one of nature, having special tools to be sure and the greatest intellectual agencies of the modern confining attention to a particular range of world. Among them arose the now universal subject matter not too vast for him, but prehabit of looking upon private study and re- eminently Man. The individual, in order to search as
a necessary qualification of the possess himself and to orient his work in the teacher. They teach not only knowledge but general activity of mankind, “must sometimes also research. To them largely is due the return from his own labor to embrace all fact that German investigators stand under other laborers." Man should not be the generalship of a few great leading minds. minutely divided and peddled out as to be They, more than any other single force, spilled into drops that can not be gathered should be credited with the fact that so many
up again. persons in Germany are devoted to the pure The more universal is the character of the ideal of knowledge for its own sake.
national temperament the more difficult it is It is true that this ideal had been somewhat to single out its peculiar traits. Striking dimmed, even before the Great War, by the characteristics are more readily recognized incessant demands of utilitarian motives; than highly developed features of central imbut it is to be hoped that it will again come portance. Whether from this fact or from into the ascendency and once more renew some other it is not so easy to determine the faith in the importance of the more ideal characteristics of French thought as of British values.
or German, when one confines his attention to There is danger that the ideal of knowledge the present generation of thinkers. But if for its own sake may dull the sense of values one looks into the history of the past century and lead one to a practise of treating trivial he will have no occasion of doubt as to the things with the same care as the matters of way in which the scientific spirit has manigreat moment. Indeed it seems that the Ger- fested itself in France. Its flower can be many of the past has suffered in this respect. easily recognized to-day in the elegance and
finish, sense of proportion and importance, In no country has so much time and power been
careful emphasis of the greater matters, which frittered away in following phantoms, and in systematizing empty notions, as in the Land of the
are characteristic of the work of the French. Idea.
Intimately connected with this and inter
acting with it to the advantage of both is the Emerson somewhere employs a beautiful fact that France has done more than other fable of antiquity, pregnant with rich truth,
countries to popularize science a thing which that “the Gods in the beginning divided
must be recognized as affording a very valuMan into men that he might be more helpful able and powerful stimulus to the growth of to himself, just as the hand was divided into
the scientific spirit. fingers the better to answer its end." In our In the first decades of the last century the day Man has been broken into smaller pieces home of the scientific spirit was in France. than ever before to make the men of the gen
Paris was the capital of the republic of exact eration, a process which has been carried fur
truth. Interest in scientific discovery and ther in Germany perhaps than anywhere else.
creation was widespread among her people. We have specialists instead of Man special. The spirit of literature flourished alongside izing. We have scientists instead of Man in
the spirit of exact researches and both found vestigating nature. We go much further than
place in the same creative intellect. Out of that; we have the geologist, the biologist, the this union of elements, too much separated in entomologist instead of Man intensely study- other countries, there grew up a tradition of ing earth formations, living things, insects. literary excellence in scientific exposition which Instead of having the mere specialist of a par- abides to the present and contributes in no ticular sort we should have Man investigating small way to the comfort and delight which
every one must feel in reading a French sci- render to the science of other countries a entific book or memoir.
measure of support commensurate with that The profound use of analytical methods which it receives in turn in the mutual coand the reduction of scientific truth to rigor- operation of all in the discovery of truth. ous yet pleasing mathematical form is char- Up to the present we in America have not acteristic of the French. The mechanical developed either a national spirit or a national view of nature arose among them. They were tradition in scientific investigation. Research the first to set out to see how far science and was not native to our soil and was not introreasoning can go while disregarding the prin- duced by the first settlers. Along with the ciple of individuality. Among them science other portions of our European civilization first became “truly conscious of its true meth- our scientific attitude has come to us by inods, its usefulness, its most becoming style, heritance. But we have now come to the time its inherent dignity, its past errors, its present
when American scientists may begin to protriumphs, the endless career which lies before ceed from an intellectual center of their own it, and the limits which it can not transgress.” and make contributions in a characteristic
Of the three countries which have led in spirit to the intellectual worth of mankind. scientific development it seems to be the im
R. D. CARMICHAEL partial verdict of history that we
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS France the largest number of works perfect in form and substance and classical for all
SCIENTIFIC EVENTS time; that the greatest bulk of scientific work,
THE PROPOSED NEW CHALLENGER at least in more recent decades, has been pro
EXPEDITION duced in Germany; but that the new ideas Nature announces that the council of the which have fructified science, in earlier times British Association has reluctantly decided and also in the nineteenth century, have that the organization of a new Challenger exarisen more frequently in Great Britain than pedition, such as was suggested by Professorin any other country.
W. A. Herdman in his presidential address to Science is cosmopolitan and flourishes the association at Cardiff last August, on an under many skies. But the spirit of scientific adequate scale can not be profitably promoted work is national. Each great people manifest at the present time. their own characteristics. They develop truth In accordance with the resolution passed by by methods influenced by the peculiar bias the general committee at the Cardiff meeting, native to their temperament and institutions. the council appointed a special oceanographic No prime contributions to knowledge have committee to inquire into the details of the ever been made repeatedly through a long suggested project and to prepare a reasoned period of time by any people other than those statement as to the need for such an expediwho labored from a center situated at the tion and its probable scale, scope, equipment, heart of their life and social organization. and cost. This memorandum has now been The deep-lying unknown things in nature can completed, and is available for use when the be found out only by one who looks upon her occasion arises; but in view of the present with eyes of his own. A people who seek demand for economy in all national expendiguidance outside of themselves will never be ture, and after consultation with trustworthy led in the paths of high achievement. Only authorities, both scientific and administrative, during their minority can they afford to lean the council at a recent meeting adopted a upon the strength of others more powerful report by the general officers to the effect that, than they. On coming of age it is indis- while retaining the scheme under considerapensable that they shall work from a center tion, no further action should be taken until of their own.
circumstances seem more favorable for public American science should now begin to expenditure upon such an undertaking.
The oceanographic committee will remain in existence with a watching and organizing brief ready to revive the project whenever a favorable opportunity arises, and the council will doubtless report upon the whole matter to the meeting of the general committee of the association at Edinburgh next September. It is hoped that the proposed expedition is postponed only for a season, and that the interval may be usefully employed in perfecting plans and making other essential preparations.
ents from governmental employees and is an entering wedge for further legislation to empower the Trade Commission to receive patents from nongovernmental inventors or owners.
An exclusive license would have to be granted, at least for a few years, to induce any one to undertake the almost always necessary development expense, and the Trade Commission would surely be charged with favoritism in granting such a license. In order to protect its licensees, the Trade Commission would have to sue infringers, a most unfortunate activity for the government. The industries would close their doors to the gov. ernment employees fearing to disclose to them their secrets or unpatented inventions, and research by the industries would be discouraged for fear that government employees, using government facilities, might reach the result first and patent it.
THE NOLAN PATENT OFFICE BILL The American Engineering Council of the Federated American Engineering Societies will seek at the opening of the special session of Congress to have the Nolan Patent Office Bill passed.
Failure of the measure in the last session is attributed to the presence of the Federal Trade Commission section which Edwin J. Prindle, of New York, chairman of the American Engineering Council's Patents Committee in a report to L. W. Wallace, executive secretary of the council, asserts should not be enacted into law in any form even as a separate bill. The committee reports:
The bill for the imperatively necessary relief of the Patent Office, after passing the House of Representatives with satisfactory provisions for the Patent Office, failed to pass the Senate at the session just closed with those same provisions, solely because of the presence in it of an unrelated section known as the Federal Trade Commission Section.
The former opposition in the Senate to the Patent Office relief and that which forced the unacceptable reductions in salaries and numbers of examiners and clerks (which the Conference Committee was persuaded to set aside) is largely and seemingly almost wholly overcome.
But the oppo. sition in the Senate to the Federal Trade Section is determined and has expressed an intention to prevent the Patent Office from getting the desired relief unless the Federal Trade Section is removed from the bill.
More than preventing the Patent Office relief, however, the Federal Trade Section is believed to be a dangerous measure in itself. It provides that the Federal Trade Commission may receive assignments of and administer inventions and pat
THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
THE American Philosophical Society will hold its general meeting in the hall of the society on Independence Square on April 21, 22 and 23. The program includes the following discussions : The Application of the Method of the Interfer
ometer to certain Astronomical Researches: To astrophysical problems: HENRY NORRIS RUS
SELL, Ph.D., professor of astronomy, Prince
ton University. To the measurement of double stars: FRANK
SCHLESINGER, Ph.D., director, Yale University
Observatory. To the determination of stellar parallaxes:
JOAN A. MILLER, Ph.D., director, Sproul Ob
servatory, Swarthmore, Pa. Atomic structure: DAVID WEBSTER, professor of physics, Leland
Stanford University. WILLIAM DUANE, director of radium institute,
Harvard Medical School, Boston. BERGEN DAVIS, professor of physics, Columbia
University. On Friday evening there will be a reception in the hall of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, when Dr. James H. Breasted, professor of Egyptology and Oriental history, University of Chicago, will speak on “ Following the trail of our earliest ancestors ” illustrated by lantern slides.
Award will be made of the society's Henry M. Phillips Prize of two thousand dollars for