On Sunday, the President of the French Republic entertained the King at the Elysée at a dinner party, at which 120 guests were present. The guests included distinguished authors, artists, musicians, and other representatives of intellectual activity, almost exclusively members of the Institute of France. By inviting leaders of literature, art, and science to meet the King, graceful recognition was given of the high place occupied by the muses in the polity of the Republic. In the days when sheer muscular force was the mainstay of a nation, bodily strength and prowess were rightly regarded as recommendations for Court favours; but now that brain-power instead of muscle determines the rate of national progress, the State that desires to advance must foster all the intellectual forces it possesses. This principle is well understood in France, and is also clearly recognised in Germany, where every man who makes notable contributions to knowledge of any kind, assists industrial progress, or creates works of distinguished merit, whatever they may be, is sure to receive personal encouragement from the Emperor. The presence of these leaders of thought is a striking characteristic of the German Court; while, on the other hand, their absence, and the overpowering influence of military interests, are distinguishing features of Russian, and, let us add, of British Court functions.


Satisfactory progress and general prosperity form the key-note of the report of the Zoological Gardens at Giza for the past year. The report is illustrated by the reproduction of a most interesting photograph of an aard-vark, or ant-bear, slightly marred by the effect of a shadow by the side of the nose.

From Nature 4 May 1905.


“Mathematical Association Annual Meeting.” The first item in the afternoon session was a discussion of “The Disadvantages of a Mathematical Education”, led by Mr. W. O. Storer (Department of Education, University of Birmingham); Mr Storer thought that the logical training supposedly given by mathematics might be arid, and that mathematical insistence on accuracy might lead to intellectual arrogance. Some members were reluctant to accept these inferences.

From Nature 7 May 1955.