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coveries in chemistry relating to its applications to the arts; none on any of the great manufacturing interests of our country, which require so much real science to conduct and carry on; none on civil or mechanical engineering; none on practical mining; none on shipbuilding; none on any of the useful arts whatever."
The twenty-sixth Annual Meeting of the British Association was held at Cheltenham in August, 1856, Dr. Daubeny in the Chair. The attendance was not large, but the papers presented were more practical and valuable than usual. The meeting for 1857 was appointed to be held at Dublin, Dr. Lloyd, of Trinity College, Dublin, being the President elect.
The following were among the resolutions adopted by the Association, which we publish as indicative of the proposed fields of scientific research to be occupied :
That Prof. Buckman and Prof. Voelcker be requested to continue their researches into the effects of external agents on the growth of plants.
That a Deputation be named to wait upon her Majesty's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to urge the desirableness of sending out an Annual Expedition to the Niger, at the period of the rising of the waters of that river (which has been proved to be the most healthy season), as proposed by Dr. Baikie, supported by the Royal Geographical Society, and advocated by persons deeply interested in establishing a regular commercial intercourse with the inhabitants of that portion of Africa.
That a memorial be presented to the Admiralty, praying for the complete publication, in a minute form, of the results of the trials of Her Majesty's steamships.
That Mr. Rennie be requested to prosecute his experiments on the velocity of the screw propeller.
That the Earl of Harrowby, and other gentlemen, be requested to continue their efforts for amending the patent system of England, so that the funds arising may be available to the reward of meritorious inventors.
That Mr. Henderson, and others, be requested to consider the best mode of improving the system of measurement for tonnage of ships, and the estimation of the power of steam engines.
Mr. Fairbairn was requested to complete his report on boiler explosions; Mr. Thompson, his report on the measurement of water by weir boards; and these two gentlemen to concur in experiments on the friction of disks in water, and on centrifrugal pumps.
A donation of $100 was voted to Madame Ida Pfeiffer to aid her proposed exploration of Madagascar.
In the Geological section an exciting debate occurred between Prof.
H. D. Rogers, of Boston, Mass., and Sir R. I. Murchison, the latter
The Institute of France held its Annual Meeting on the 14th of
August, at Paris, under the presidency of M. Berenger, President of
the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. What is called the
Institute, consists of five great Academies of France-Française, Fine
Arts, Sciences, Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, and Moral and Political
Sciences-which during the year meet apart, and pursue their respec-
tive walks with little or no communication with another. The annual
meeting of these learned bodies united is generally an affair of great
interest, and this year it was not less so than usual. M. Berenger, as
President, delivered a long harangue, in which he touched on a multi-
plicity of subjects, literary, scientific, economic, governmental, &c.
Amongst other things, he stated that the different academies are in
possession of a capital producing £6,000 sterling a year, for distribu-
tion in prizes, without counting £1,200 which the government gives
them to disburse in the same way. He said that the Academy of
Sciences, in the course of last year, received not fewer than 165 manu-
script treatises on scientific problems proposed by it for public com-
petition; the Académie Française a far greater number on literary
subjects which it proposed; and the Academy of Moral and Political
Sciences thirty-four, most of them of great length, for a Manual of
Political Economy, which it demanded. The great prize of £1,200,
offered by the Emperor for the new work or discovery best calculated
to do honor to the country, was awarded to M. Fizeau, for his import-
ant and interesting experiments on the rapidity with which light
The German Association for the Promotion of Science held their
Annual Meeting at Vienna, September 15th, Prof. Haidinger, Director-
At the opening of the Congress the following sections were formed:
In the course of the meeting several sections subdivided themselves
The Anniversary Meeting of the Ray Society was held during the
the Report of the Council that they have now published their two great serial works, Agassiz & Strickland's Zoological and Geological Bibliography, and Alder & Hancock's beautiful work on the Naked Marine Mollusca. The report announced that the next work to be published is one by Prof. Allman, of Edinburgh, on the Fresh Water Polyps of Great Britain. Several other works were also announced on various departments of British Natural History. Amongst them are Prof. Williamson's British Foraminifera, Mr. Bowerbank's British Sponges, and Mr. Blackwall's British Spiders.
The American Pharmaceutical Association held their third Annual Meeting in Baltimore in September. During the three days in which the Association was in session, much interesting matter was discussed, in regard to the professions of the pharmaceutist and druggist, and their relations to the physician and public in general. Committees were appointed to report at the meeting to be held next year in Philadelphia, upon home adulterations, a standard for weights and measures, statistics of pharmacy, scientific papers, and regulations in regard to the sale of poisons.
During the past summer the Dudley Observatory, at Albany, has been formally inaugurated, and now takes its place as one of the best endowed and furnished observatories in this country or Europe. The Dudley Observatory originated in the munificence of Mrs. Dudley, of Albany, lady of the late Charles E. Dudley, of that city, formerly member of Congress. Her donations to its foundation and support have been as follows:-for its building, $12,000; instruments, $14,500; endowment, $50,000; total, $76,500. In addition to the above, Mr. Thomas W. Olcott, of Albany, has given $10,000; Hon. Erastus Corning a superb astronomical clock and other instruments, while liberal subscriptions have been also made by Mr. De Witt, J. H. Rathbone, and others. Mr. Rathbone, also, in addition to the liberal sums previously tendered by him, has recently given the amount requisite for the purchase of the celebrated calculating engine of Mr. George Scheutz, of Stockholm, which was on exhibition at the Palace of Industry at Paris in 1855. In addition to the above, twelve gentlemen of Albany have pledged themselves to defray the future expenses of publishing Gould's Astronomical Journal.
The Dudley Observatory is to be placed under the charge of Dr. B. A. Gould, the well-known editor of the Astronomical Journal.
From the annual report of the Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, we learn that the Greenwich Observatory still maintains its pre-eminence for meridional and lunar observations, and the magnetical and meteorological observations are kept up with praiseworthy diligence. The galvanic method of recording transits succeeds to perfection; and the distribution of the time signals to different parts of the king
dom is continued, and promises to develope itself into an important branch of commercial astronomy. Two noteworthy facts are mentioned in the report: one is, that the hill on which the observatory stands is in a state of tremor, whereby the trough of mercury in which stars are observed by reflection, is so much agitated as to make observation impossible. To overcome the difficulty, a well ten feet deep was dug, and filled with "incoherent rubbish," on which the trough was placed, resting on stages suspended by strips of caoutchouc, "leaving the image practically," as Mr. Airy says, "almost perfect." The other is, that fluctuations were found to occur in the zero of the altazimuth circle, and simultaneously with a sudden and marked change of atmospheric temperature-a phenomenon which the Astronomer Royal cannot account for, "except by supposing that in sudden atmospheric changes the gravel rock of Greenwich Hill does suddenly change its position."
During the past year the trigonometrical survey of Great Britain, commenced in 1784, has been completed. The object which the government had chiefly in view in 1784 was the determination of the difference of longitude between the observatories of Greenwich and Paris. The geodetical problems have been satisfactorily solved, but the survey has assumed a wider scope as it advanced, and its important results, both in scientific and national points of view, are familiarly known.
In India, under the auspices of the British Government, a trigonometrical survey has been undertaken, and above fifty sheets of an Indian Atlas, based on the survey, have been already published.
In a discussion which took place at the Albany Meeting of the American Association, relative to the utility and comparatively small expenditure of the coast survey, Prof. Alexander stated that he had taken pains to compute the cost, square mile by square mile, of that work, and had found that its cost did not exceed that of the crude surveys of the public lands.
At the last Meeting of the American Association, Mr. W. P. Blake called attention to the very gross inaccuracies existing in a map recently published by M. Marcou, of France, of the geology of the region between the Mississippi and the Pacific. Mr. Blake enumerated several of the prominent errors, among them the representation of the rocks of San Francisco as granitic and metamorphic, they being tertiary, and making Fremont's Peak into a volcano, when in his official report it was clearly and fully stated to be granitic. Proofs were brought forward to show that the formation called Jurassic, &c., by M. Marcou was not so, but was cretacious. There was no evidence by fossils to show that the triassic formations were found under the cretacious; they might be, but no fossils had been obtained, and the age could not yet
be affirmed. M. Marcou had, however, made four great divisions of the strata, corresponding with those abroad, but this was entirely arbitrary, and a generalization beyond all these facts which had been obtained. Mr. Blake protested against the reception of the western portion of the map as a fair exhibition of the knowledge which had already been published, and stated that his criticisms were not upon local details of the map, but upon erroneous representations extending for hundreds of miles. Moreover, M. Marcou had not availed himself of the printed documents and reports upon American Geology in his possession, but his representations were in many cases directly opposite to those made by the explorers of regions where he had never been. The view taken by Mr. Blake was also sustained by all the geologists present.
The second annual report of the Geological Survey of North Carolina, by Prof. E. Emmons, has been presented to the Legislature of that state and published. The results of the survey, thus far, have been most interesting, and throw much light upon the age of the red sandstone rocks, extending from the Valley of the Connecticut to North Carolina. Some of the fossils described by Dr. Emmons most resemble those obtained from the Permian strata of Europe. Many new and undescribed species have, in addition, been brought to light, which, at present, it is difficult to classify. The final result when developed and worked out, as it will be by Dr. Emmons, will form one of the most valuable contributions ever made to American Science.
During the past year the first volume of the Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Victoria, published at Melbourne, Australia, has been received in this country. It is difficult to realize that a scientific and learned society should be in full and vigorous action in a land which so recently was considered a terra incognita, and which, at the present time even, is so far removed from European or American influences.
The following suggestion, which is especially worthy the attention of all friends of American scientific progress, was made at the last Meeting of the American Association by President Hitchcock :-So large a portion of our country has now been examined, more or less thoroughly, by the several State Governments, that it does seem to me the time has come when the National Government should order a survey-geological, zoological, and botanical—of the whole country, on such a liberal and thorough plan as the surveys in Great Britain are now conducted; in the latter country it being understood that at least thirty years will be occupied in the work.
Mr. Stainton, the well known Entomologist, of England, proposes to issue an "Entomologist Weekly Intelligencer," of eight octavo pages, as a medium among entomologists for the prompt registration and dis