Editorial | Published:

The Edinburgh University Festival


    THE brilliant celebration of its three hundredth anniversary by the University of Edinburgh last week suggests some reflections on the connection between University progress and the growth of Science. One of the most remarkable features in these festive proceedings has been the preponderance given to the recognition of the claims of scientific research to University distinction. A hundred years ago and less, had such a gathering been thought of, the great men who would have been invited to receive the highest academic honours would have been learned scholars, eminent professors of the mediaeval branches of education, with perhaps a few distinguished medical men and doubtless a good many candidates whose only claim would have been the possession of a hereditary title of nobility. But now a new host of competitors has arisen, and upon them have the laurels of the University been mainly bestowed. Physicists, chemists, physiologists, botanists, geologists, and other representatives of modern science have almost elbowed the older philosophies out of the field. In the pæan sung at every meeting of the festival the brilliance of scientific discovery, the prowess of scientific discoverers, and the glory shed on the University by its connection with both have been the chief themes.

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