The Geological Record for 1874


THE late Sir Charles Lyell used to relate how, on the occasion of a visit which he paid to M. Deslong-champs at Caen, the eminent French palæontologist rose from the piles of books amid which he was working, and exclaimed, with a sigh of relief, “Let us devoutly thank Heaven that our lot is not cast with the next generation of geological workers!—for how they will manage to grapple with the ever-increasing literature of the science I am at a loss to conceive.” The difficulty which Deslongchamps thus playfully anticipated is now a present and pressing one, which, it is not too much to assert, is almost painfully felt by every scientific student and worker. While, on the one hand, it is absolutely impossible that any man can read everything that issues from the press relating even to his own department of science, yet, on the other, no one can afford to neglect the results which are being obtained by his contemporaries. It is sad to remember that a large part of the energy of the illustrious Dalton was wasted—owing to his not being able to make himself acquainted with what other chemists of his day were accomplishing—in solving problems which had been already completely disposed of. And we are persuaded that the painful questions of priority in discovery which frequently arise between the workers in the same branch of science ought to be referred, not to the existence of petty jealousies or of a disposition to take unworthy advantages, but to the difficulty which each investigator finds in consulting the latest published results of his fellow-workers in the same paths of inquiry.

The Geological Record for 1874.

An Account of Works on Geology, Mineralogy, and Palæontology, published during the year. Edited by William Whitaker, of the Geological Survey of England. (London: Taylor and Francis, 1875.)

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