Conference of Corresponding Societies of the British Association


    THE annual conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies of the British Association was held in the Geological Society's rooms, Burlington House, on Thursday, July 4. At the morning session Dr. F. A. Bather gave his presidential address entitled “The Contribution of Local Societies to Adult Education.” In this Dr. Bather endeavoured to summarise the membership and estimate the strength of the various scientific societies in Great Britain, show the part they were playing in the adult education of the country, and make suggestions for the further usefulness of these societies. His statistics had been difficult to compile and were admittedly incomplete, but it was demonstrated that while some centres were well provided for in the way of natural history and allied science societies, there were many large areas which appeared not to be served by any societies of the kind. Discussion was invited, which lasted for the remainder of the morning. The general feeling was that, desirable as it is that everything should be done to increase the popularity and work of our scientific societies, the present time was inopportune, seeing that so many of the young and vigorous men were occupied with more important duties. In his. reply to the discussion the president attached particular importance to the remarks made by the delegate from Hull, in reference to the excellent work being accomplished in Yorkshire, where there are far more important societies than in any other county. It was pointed out that, notwithstanding the elaborate and systematic instruction in Nature-study in the schools, and the formation of Nature-study societies for teachers, the result was unquestionably that there was less apparent interest taken in natural history by young men and women, after leaving school y and even before the war the membership of the societies had shown an apoarent decrease. The conference decided to endeavour to prepare a list of all the scientific societies in the country.

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    Conference of Corresponding Societies of the British Association . Nature 101, 375–376 (1918).

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