Miscellany | Published:


Nature volume 54, pages 596599 | Download Citation



OUR American contemporary, Science, suggests the formation of an International Association for the Advancement of Science, recent events having shown that members of the various national Associations regard co-operation in a cordial manner. The British Association meets in Toronto next year, and the American Association, after meeting at Detroit, on the Canadian frontier, will adjourn to Toronto to welcome our Association to the American continent. Another instance of community of feeling is afforded by the decision of the British Association to meet at Dover in 1899, in order to promote an interchange of visits between its members and those of the French Association, which will meet at Boulogne in the same year. These signs of fellowship indicate that the time has come when an international congress for the advancement of science may be profitably considered. Among the many subjects which would benefit by international co-operation are bibliography, nomenclature, definition of units, exploration, and science teaching. The amalgamation would also impress the collective weight of science upon the outside world, and would thus be able to claim a more adequate support and recognition of scientific progress. The proposal of our contemporary is that the first meeting of an international congress of this character should take place in Paris in the first year of the twentieth century. In considering the question of the amalgamation of Associations for the Advancement of Science, it must be remembered that great international congresses are often too unwieldy to be satisfactorily managed, and that the confusion of tongues at such gatherings is a constant factor working against success.

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