The Australian Meeting of the British Association

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PART I.—MELBOURNE. THE outstanding feature of this meeting must be the fact that we are here—in Australia. It is the function of a president to tell the association of advances in science, to speak of the universal rather than of the particular or the temporary. There will be other opportunities of expressing the thoughts which this event must excite in the dullest heart, but it is right that my first words should take account of those achievements of organisation and those acts of national generosity by which it has come to pass that we are assembled in this country. Let us, too, on this occasion, remember that all the effort, and all the goodwill, that binds Australia to Britain would have been powerless to bring about such a result had it not been for those advances in science which have given man a control of the forces of nature. For we are here by virtue of the feats of genius of individual men of science, giant-variations from the common level of our species; and since I am going soon to speak of the significance of individual variation, I cannot introduce that subject better than by calling to remembrance the line of pioneers in chemistry, in physics, and in engineering, by the working of whose rare—or, if you will, abnormal—intellects a meeting of the British Association on this side of the globe has been made physically possible.


  1. 1

    De l'Espce et des Races dans les tres Organis s, 1859.

  2. 2

    On the Variation of Species, 1856.

  3. 3

    Pope and Read, Trans. Chem. Soc., 1914, 105, 811.

  4. 4

    Ibid., 1912, 101, 519.

  5. 5

    Pope and Peachey, Trans. Chem. Soc., 1899, 75, 1127.

  6. 6

    Perkin, Pope, and Wallach, Trans. Chem. Soc., 1909, 95, 1789; Perkin and Pope, Trans. Chem. Soc., 1911, 99, 1510.

  7. 7

    Trans. Chem. Soc., 1910, 97, 1866.

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BATESON, W. The Australian Meeting of the British Association . Nature 93, 635–649 (1914) doi:10.1038/093635a0

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