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Botany at the British Association

Nature volume 74, pages 575577 (04 October 1906) | Download Citation



THE work of Section K was not characterised by the announcement of any discovery of very exceptional interest, nor by any sensational feature. As has been usual in recent years, an effort was made to group the papers presented so that those dealing with allied topics were taken at the same session. The whole number of papers read was not large, and no less than three morning sessions were devoted to discussion of definite topics, the proceedings being opened in each case by one or more papers giving an account of the present position of the subject to be discussed, or presenting facts and conclusions likely to lead to debate. These discussions were to some extent organised beforehand; that is to say, the members most likely to contribute usefully to the discussion of a given topic were informed of the intention to hold the discussion some time before the meeting, and were invited to contribute, abstracts of the opening papers being distributed to them as early as possible, so that they were in possession of the lines to be taken before the meeting. Such of these members as were present and had signified their willingness to speak were called upon in succession by the chairman as soon as the papers were over, the discussion being afterwards open to any member of the section. Although it is true that very good discussions often arise quite spontaneously after papers which are not expected to provoke debate, it is believed that on the whole the best results are obtained by the method of semiorganised discussion described, though it is neither possible nor desirable to limit the sectional meetings entirely to proceedings of this type.

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