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The Loan Collection

Nature volume 14, pages 2124 | Download Citation



THE Queen will on Saturday open to the public the magnificent collection of scientific instruments, the arrangement of which has for several months been tasking the energies of the Science and Art Department and of the eminent men of science who have generously volunteered their assistance. This event may justly be regarded as an “epoch-making” stage in the progress of science, not only in this country, but in the world at large; for, as our readers know, the collection is essentially an international one, the principal nations of the world having vied with each other in contributing to render it worthily representative of the present state of science, and of the progress of its methods from the time when man first began feebly to question Nature. England may well be proud that the idea of such a collection originated with the English Science Department, and that the first international scientific loan collection will be exhibited in her capital. It may be that this collection will not attract such a crowd of visitors as would flock to gaze on an exhibition of pictures, or musical instruments, or embroidery, or old china; but, if the British public still retains its normal amount of curiosity, surely the magnitude of the present collection, the historical interest attaching to many of the ot jects exhibited, the number and eminence of the contributors, and the fact that the principal governments of Europe have enthusiastically seconded the efforts of the British Government, ought to excite that curiosity to the utmost. A great deal of mystery still hangs about science and scientific men and scientific methods in the eyes of many; here then at last have people an opportunity of inspecting for themselves these mysterious instruments by means of which men of science have reached those results that are stirring the minds of all thoughtful men, and have revolutionised ideas and methods in all departments of human activity. Englishmen must be duller and more incurious than we take them to be, if they do not show a fair amount of interest in that scientific collection which her Majesty will open on Saturday.

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