Local Scientific Societies at the British Association

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    Abstract

    DURING the Dublin meeting of the British Association the conference of delegates held two meetings under the chairmanship of Prof. H. A. Miers, F.R.S. At the opening meeting, held on September 3, the chairman read an address on the educational opportunities of local scientific societies. In this he reviewed the growth of such bodies, some of which dated back nearly a hundred years. In these cases they did pioneer work, and helped to create a general scientific atmosphere. With the birth of the British Association, which, he said, might be regarded as a magnified society of the same character changing its yearly habitat, a great stimulus was supplied, as at that time scientific work was supplemented in a very inadequate manner by the publishers and the Press. After this date the growth of local scientific societies and cheap elementary text-books, which stimulated a desire for sound knowledge, was very rapid. Gradually, however, the early manuals, containing perhaps a whole science, have been supplanted by the educational text-book used in schools and the specialist treatise for the advanced student. Thus the amateur nowadays is almost in danger of being placed in the position of his predecessor of sixty-five years ago. He has no time to go through a course of special reading in text-books of various grades, and without that, although perhaps quite learned in one branch of science, can get no adequate insight into modern advances through needless technicalities and their expression in a language which he cannot understand.

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    Local Scientific Societies at the British Association . Nature 78, 683–684 (1908) doi:10.1038/078683a0

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