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The Work of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; The Interallied International Scientific Organization; Scientific Items



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Barber's First Course in

General Science

By FREDERICK D. BARBER, Professor of Physics in the Illinois State Nor-
mal University, MERTON L. FULLER, Lecturer on Meteorology in the
Bradley Polytechnic Institute, JOHN L. PRICER, Professor of Biology in
the Illinois State Normal University, and HOWARD W. ADAMS, Professor
of Chemistry in the same. vii+588 pp. of text. 12mo. $1.25.

A recent notable endorsement of this book occurred in Minneapolis. A Committee on General Science, representing each High School in the city, was asked to outline a course in Science for first year High School. After making the outline they considered the textbook situation. In this regard, the Committee reports as follows:

"We feel that, in Science, a book for first year High School use should be simple in language, should begin without presupposing too much knowledge on the part of the student, should have an abundance of good pictures and plerof material to choose from.

Barber's First Course in General Science seems to us to bes. meet these requirements and in addition it suggests materials for home experiments requiring no unusual apparatus, and requires no scientific measurements during the course. We recommend its adoption."

Other Interesting Opinions on the Book Follow:

SCHOOL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS:-It is one of the very best books on general science that have ever been published. The biological as well as the physical side of the subject is treated with great fairness. There is more material in the text than can be well used in one year's work on the subject. This is, however, a good fault, as it gives the instructor a wide range of subjects. The book is written in a style which will at once command not only the attention of the teacher, but that of the pupil as well. It is interesting from cover to cover. Many new and ingenious features are presented. The drawings and halftones have been selected for the purpose of illustrating points in the text, as well as for the purpose of attracting the pupil and holding his attention. There are 375 of these illustrations. There is no end to the good things which might be said concerning this volume, and the advice of the writer to any school board about to adopt a text in general science is to become thoroughly familiar with this book before making a final decision.

WALTER BARR, Keokuk, Iowa:-Today when I showed Barber's Science to the manager and department heads of the Mississippi River Power Co., including probably the best engineers of America possible to assemble accidentally as a group, the exclamation around the table was: "If we only could have had a book like this when we were in school." Something similar in my own mind caused me to determine to give the book to my own son altho he is in only the eighth grade.

G. M. WILSON, Iowa State College:—I have not been particularly favorable to the general science idea, but I am satisfied now that this was due to the kind of texts which came to my attention and the way it happened to be handled in places where I had knowledge of its teaching. I am satisfied that Professor Barber, in this volume, has the work started on the right idea. It is meant to be useful, practical material closely connected with explanation of every day affairs. It seems to me an unusual contribution along this line. It will mean, of course, that others will follow, and that we may hope to have general science work put on such a practical basis that it will win a permanent place in the schools.

Henry Holt and Company










OMEWHAT more than a year ago it was my privilege to

S address the Philosophical Society of Washington on the

subject, "Science and Warfare in France," in which I endeavored to indicate in some small measure the rôle science was playing in the war we all hope has just been brought to a close.

At this time may we not consider the transition period into which we are entering and ask ourselves what will be the effect of war on science, the men of science, and in the relations of science to the community and the state? What are some of the lessons this war has taught? And what plans have been made here and elsewhere to apply them?

A scientific man would hardly be so rash as to pose as a prophet, yet he may nevertheless try and assemble and pass in review some of the tendencies of the time; and it is only by an intelligent examination of the underlying changes which are being produced in science and in its relation to society that he is enabled to see his way ahead a little more clearly into the mist of the future; and he may thereby be enabled, at least in some small degree, to chart his course and take advantage of the various currents that have been set in motion by the war.

The question may here be asked, can we not see from previous wars what this war will bring forth, or at least the broad lines along which progress will be made, in science and in its relation to mankind? But with what previous war shall we compare this? Surely not with the short Franco-German war of 1870 in which but two nations were engaged; and if with the world-wide wars of the French revolution and Napoleon

1 Address of the President of the Philosophical Society of Washington, January 4, 1919.

2 SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY, October, 1917.


we have a duration of twenty-five years as compared with four; and if any war prior to that epoch is considered the development of science was hardly in a state to form a basis of comparison.

Again you may be asked, does war, did this war, stimulate scientific progress? Viewing the wealth of application of science in modern warfare, you will probably unhesitatingly say "Yes," but if you undertake to make a list of fundamental, new scientific principles developed as a war reaction I believe you will be embarrassed to name even a few of them, although there have been, of course, hundreds, nay, thousands, of applications of known scientific principles to new uses. It is still too soon, however, to estimate the scientific advance during the war and as caused by the war and such, even though I were competent, is not my purpose here. It will evidently be impossible to treat adequately the subject of "Science and the After-War Period" except in a most summary manner and I shall have to limit myself to certain phases in which I have been interested, paying particular attention to the physical sciences and the relation of science to industry.

What is the effect of the war on scientific production, is not an easy question to answer. Many men have been killed, including a few who are scientific producers, and many more young men who might have become distinguished in science; furthermore, not a few scientific centers have been destroyed. Thus viewed, there would appear to be a net loss to science in the world, but at the same time there have been stimulated to greater endeavor a considerable number of men of scientific ability and many new laboratories established. I believe that, for the United States, the effect of the war will not be detrimental to scientific production, as our losses in young men of scientific attainments have been relatively insignificant, and also I firmly trust the country has in part learned the lesson of the advantage to the nation of generously supporting research.

For a country such as France, which has borne the brunt of the fighting for four years, and not until after the first battle of the Marne was any effort made to conserve her scientific men, the matter appears to be much more serious; but who dares to predict that the United States, with nearly three times her population, will lead France as a producer of original ideas in science a generation hence? It is well to remember that many of the master minds in science of the nineteenth century were born during the Napoleonic wars, and that it is quality and not quantity that counts in scientific progress.

Finally one may ask, is the after-war period to be one of great scientific activity or one of relative quiet, and what will be the lines along which development will take place? This brings us to a consideration of the nature and permanence of war activities in science. Never before have science and scientific men been used to such an extent, both relatively and absolutely, as the servants of war both in the military establishments proper and in the not less important industrial supports. It is evident that what is beneficial in these relations should be maintained. In addition to the advancement in scientific knowledge, much of which is not yet generally available, brought into being by the war there has also been worked out for war purposes, in a more or less satisfactory way, schemes of cooperation of scientific men with each other, with the state, with industry and with the military. Some of these are transitory in character, others are serviceable for both peace and war, and some have been devised especially for the after-war period.

One might perhaps expect a certain relaxation of effort, even among scientific workers, following the strenuous efforts of the war, but one must not forget the natural zest of the scientific man to get back to his chosen field, which he will want to cultivate in his own way and not under the more or less arbitrarily imposed conditions of military requirements. Although much of the scientific work of the war has been done individually, probably by far the greater part has been by collective efforts of groups of workers usually under the guidance of some responsible committee or executive. Although this is no new phenomenon in scientific research, yet this cooperative method of attacking difficult problems has been, under the stress of war, developed to a hitherto unheard of degree. It is probable that the naturally individualistic traits of scientific men will tend to cause a lessening of this type of common endeavor, although in the distribution of investigation, between groups or individuals, there will probably be a greater number of groups than before the war, the habit of working together having been fostered, and its advantages appreciated in certain cases. For scientific research carried out in the interest of industry, this group method will very likely be greatly developed.

One of the fundamental factors of the greatest economic importance, which the exigencies of the war have brought repeatedly to the fore both in battle and in workshop, is what one might almost call the crusade of standardization. This has

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