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those who criticize the present methods for emphasizing the virtues of obedience and discipline and for failing to promote independence, and impulse, and constructive doubt, and spontaneous enquiry.
Undoubtedly modern educators substitute largely passive acceptance for creative thought, a substitution that is deadening rather than stimulating, and it is to the credit of Sigma Xi that thirty years ago it was founded to do its part in persuading students to see and to think for themselves and to make deductions, based on their own studies.
The old-fashioned teacher says that by the old régime was bred a sense of obligation, a respect for authority, a readiness to respond to the call of duty, traits that are sadly missed in the rising generation; while the opposition claim that these good qualities need not be sacrificed in the modern attempt to arouse individuals to mental alertness and self-reliance.
A few years ago, one of the former members of this chapter came to be in charge of a class in applied mechanics in a western university and he tried an experiment. Instead of teaching general laws by lecture and recitation, he gave out practical prob lems on pressures and on strength of beams and guided the students into a knowledge of the laws by which that particular problem could be solved. He reports a greater understanding of the principles than ever before and an unheard of enthusiasm for the subject. With so many of us teachers, why should not we turn our scientific minds on to the problems of effective teaching? It can not of course be altogether mechanical. We can not invent any adequate system of gauging the intelligence, or of regulating hours of study, of composing syllabi or of imposing quizzes, until work goes on with the pressure and dispatch of an engine room, the product accurately measured in
kilo-watts or in foot-pounds. But we may properly make investigations into the subject with a view of getting the greatest return for the energy expended.
The questions of foundation and fundamental subjects needed in professional work is both delicate and important. Shall an engineering student spend twelve hours or five hours on analytics and calculus in preparation for civil engineering? is a question to be solved only by turning the technical school into a laboratory and experimenting on the subject. Shall physics be taught as theory or as a laboratory exercise and how many elementary principles of physics does an engineer really need? is another most pertinent question. Why does the engineer need to spend three years in his preparatory school on a modern language that apparently has no further bearing on his college course? is another perplexing question perhaps not so easily adjusted to laboratory tests. But experiments on inducements to study, on stimuli and incentives might be carried on almost without number. The general faculty have been considering inducements for the improvement of scholarship, all based on scholastic rank, on marks, an extraordinary spectacle that the faculty especially of arts, burdened with the task of imparting culture and mental discipline should think that scholarship can be compared and measured by numerical grades. What our society could do is to determine experimentally the best methods of teaching, the best methods of competition to compel students to rouse themselves and develop their ambition to excel. Once mothers gave their children in the spring nauseous doses of sulphur and molasses to purify their blood. and for many years that magic phrase was sufficient justification for the practise. Is there not something of the same sort going on in educational matters, and how shall
the truth be known unless we, who have educational laboratories at our hands, make use of them.
May I then express the hope that among you, the newly elected members, there may be some who will find the subjects for their future experimental work, not in abstract research, without thought of reward, carried on in the sole interest of science, but rather in modern practical applications, in attempted solutions of the many insistent problems of labor, industry and of education, that the existence of the university may be more fully justified and the purpose of the Society of Sigma Xi the better realized.
H. N. OGDEN
INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND NA-
I HAVE no justification for expressing views about scientific and industrial research except the sympathetic interest of an observer for many years at rather close range. One looking on comes to realize two things. One is the conquest of practical life by science; there seems to be no department of human activity in which the rule of thumb man has not come to realize that science which he formerly despised is useful beyond the scope of his own individual experience. The other is that science like charity should begin at home, and has done so very imperfectly. Science has been arranging, classifying, methodizing, simplifying everything except itself. It has made possible the tremendous modern development of the power of organization which has so multiplied the effective power of human effort so as to make the differences from the past seem to be of kind rather than of degree. It has organized itself very imperfectly. Scientific men are only recently realizing that the
1 A statement made by the Honorable Elihu Root at the initial meeting of the Advisory Committee on Industrial Research of the National Research Council, held in New York on May 29, 1918.
principles which apply to success on a large scale in transportation and manufacture and general staff work apply to them; that the difference between a mob and an army does not depend upon occupation or purpose but upon human nature; that the effective power of a great number of scientific men may be increased by organization just as the effective power of a great number of laborers may be increased by military discipline.
This attitude follows naturally from the demand of true scienific work for individual concentration and isolation. The sequence, however, is not necessary or laudable. Your isolated and concentrated scientist must know what has gone before, or he will waste his life in doing what has already been done, or in repeating past failures. He must know something about what his contemporaries are trying to do, or he will waste his life in duplicating effort. The history of science is so vast and contemporary effort is so active that if he undertakes to acquire this knowledge by himself alone his life is largely wasted in doing that his initiative and creative power are gone before he is ready to use them. Occasionally a man appears who has the instinct to reject the negligible. A very great mind goes directly to the decisive fact, the determining symptom, and can afford not to burden itself with a great mass of unimportant facts; but there are few such minds even among those capable of real scientific work. All other minds need to be guided away from the useless and towards the useful. That can be done only by the application of scientific method to science itself through the purely scientific process of organizing effort. It is a wearisome thing to think of the millions of facts that are being laboriously collected to no purpose whatever, and the thousands of tons of printed matter stored in basements never to be read-all the product of unorganized and undirected scientific spirit. Augustus De Morgan denying the divinity of Francis Bacon says "What are large collections of facts for? To make theories from, says Bacon to try ready made theories by, says the
history of discovery; it is all the same, says the idolator; nonsense, say we." Whichever it may be, the solitary scientist is likely to put a great part of his life into the pathetic futilities illustrated by De Morgan in the "Budget of Paradoxes." He needs chart and compass, suggestion, direction, and the external stimulus which comes from a consciousness that his work is part of great things that are being done.
This relation of the scientific worker to scientific work as a whole can be furnished only by organization. It is a very interesting circumstance that while the long history of science exhibits a continual protest against limitations upon individual freedom, the impulse which has called in the power of organization to multiply the effectiveness of scientific and industrial research to the highest degree is the German desire for military world dominion, supported by a system of education strictly controlled by government. All the world realizes now the immense value in preparing for the present war, of the German system of research applied at Charlottenburg and Grosslichterfelde. That realization is plainly giving a tremendous impetus to movements for effective organization of scientific power both in England and in the United States, countries whose whole development has rested upon individual enterprise. It remains to be seen whether peoples thoroughly imbued with the ideas and accustomed to the traditions of separate private initiative are capable of organizing scientific research for practical ends as effectively as an autocratic government giving direction to a docile and submissive people. I have no doubt about it myself, and I think the process has been well begun in England under the Advisory Council of the Committee of the Privy Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and in the United States under the National Research Council. I venture to say two things about it. One is that the work can not be done by men who make it an incident to other occupations. It can be encouraged of course by men who are doing other things, but the real
work of organization and research must be done by men who make it the whole business of their lives. It can not be successful if parcelled out among a lot of universities and colleges to be done by teachers however eminent and students however zealous in their leisure hours. The other thing is that while the solution of specific. industrial problems and the attainment of specific industrial objects will be of immense value, the whole system will dry up and fail unless research in pure science be included with its scope. That is the source and the chief source of the vision which incidently solves the practical problems. We are thinking now mainly of science as applied to war; but practically the entire industrial force of mankind is being applied to war, so that our special point of view takes in the whole field. It is quite certain that if the nations on either side in this war had been without a great fund of scientific knowledge which they could direct towards the accomplishment of specific things in the way of attack and defense, transportation and supply of armies, that side in the war would long since have been defeated. Germany had the advantage at the start, because she had long been consciously making this kind of preparation with a settled purpose to bring on the war when she was ready. It would be the height of folly for the peaceable law-abiding nations of the earth ever to permit themselves to be left again at a disadvantage in that kind of preparation. Competency for defense against military aggression requires highly developed organized scientific preparation. Without it, the most civilized nation will be as helpless as the Aztecs were against Cortez.
We are not limited, however, to a military objective, for when the war is over the international competitions of peace will be resumed. No treaties or leagues can prevent that, and it is not desirable that they should, for no nation can afford to be without the stimulus of competition.
In that race the same power of science which has so amazingly increased the productive capacity of mankind during the past cen
tury will be applied again, and the prizes of industrial and commercial leadership will fall to the nation which organizes its scientific forces most effectively.
MAXIME BOCHER was born in Boston on August 28, 1867. His father, Ferdinand Bôcher, came to this country from France at the age of fifteen. His mother was Caroline Little, of Boston, a descendant of Thomas Little, who came to Plymouth in the early of the colony and in 1633 married Anne Warren, the daughter of Richard Warren, who came in the Mayflower. Ferdinand Bôcher was the first professor of modern languages at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; called to Harvard shortly after Mr. Eliot became president. Thus Maxime grew up under the shadow of the college, attending various schools in Boston and Cambridge; but it was chiefly by the stimulating influence of his parents, he tells us in the vita of his dissertation, that his interest in science was awakened.
He graduated at the Cambridge Latin School in 1883 and took the bachelor's degree at Harvard in 1888. Then followed three years of study at Göttingen, where he received the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1891, and at the same time the prize offered in mathematics by the philosophical faculty of the university. From 1891 till his death, which occurred at his home on September 12, he was a member of the department of mathematics. He married Miss Marie Niemann, of Göttingen in 1891. His wife and three children, Helen, Esther and Frederick, survive him.
He came to Göttingen at a time when Felix Klein was probably the most inspiring teacher of mathematics in the whole world. Breadth and accuracy of scientific knowledge and a true sense of proportion, combined with extraordinary powers of presentation, were characteristics of this great leader, whose scientific
1 Minute on the life and services of Professor Bôcher placed upon the records of the faculty of arts and sciences, Harvard University, at the meeting of October 22, 1918.
productivity had already secured for him high standing among mathematicians.
It was from this environment that Bôcher came to Harvard to take up the profession of mathematics. His skill as an expositor in the classroom, before a scientific audience, and on the printed page shone out from the beginning of his career, but the originality of his mind saved him from ever becoming a mere expositor. As a lecturer he was preeminent among American mathematicians.
It is not difficult in science to find important problems which can not be solved, or unimportant ones which can be. Bôcher was successful in discovering subjects on which the advanced student could work with a reasonable prospect of securing results of value. He did not foster research by excessive praise, and his pupils sometimes felt that he was unappreciative. But a scientific contribution of real merit never failed to secure his attention, and he had infinite patience in helping the student who was really making progress to develop his ideas, to see that which was new in its true perspective, and to put his results into clear and accurate language.
As a scientist Bôcher was highly critical. It was, however, the constructive work called for when criticism has exposed errors or disclosed deficiencies, not the destruction with which an unimaginative mind is content, that to him was the important thing. He had extraordinary powers of judgment, both within the domain of pure science, and in things relating to the policies of institutions. His judgment of men, too, was accurate. For these reasons he was unusually well qualified to take a leading part in the affairs of the American Mathematical Society, which came into existence at the beginning of his scientific career. He became its president, and he served with marked success on the editorial board of its Transactions. He also contributed in no small measure toward helping the university to build up a strong department of mathematics.
The decade in which Bôcher's career as a university teacher began was marked by an awakening of the science of mathematics in this country. His scientific contributions were
of a distinctly high order, and their volume was not small. He early took a stand among the foremost investigators of the country, and his work met with generous appreciation abroad. On invitation, he delivered an address at the St. Louis Congress in 1904 and a lecture at the Fifth International Congress of Mathematicians at Cambridge, England, in 1912, and he was exchange professor at Paris in 1913-14.
His life was lived within the academic walls, and while he took keen interest in current events of the world about him, his contact with men outside of university circles was not broad, and his judgment of them was sometimes severe. But when opportunity presented itself to help in time of trouble, he was quick to respond. He sought relaxation from scientific labor in literature, philosophy and music, rather than in social gatherings.
Those who stood nearest him will remember him best for the singleness of his purpose, the constancy of his effort, and the greatness of his ideals.
THE BALTIMORE MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
THE American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its seventy-first meeting in Baltimore from December 23 to 28, 1918. This will be the seventeenth of the Convocation Week meetings. The presence of war students at Johns Hopkins University and the necessary return to their home institutions of those taking part in the program has compelled a change from the normal dates.
The opening general session will be held on Thursday evening, December 26, in McCoy Hall, located at 311 West Monument Street. After a short address of welcome by Dr. Goodnow, president of the Johns Hopkins University, followed by general announcements concerning the meetings, the retiring president of the association, Dr. Theodore W. Richards, of Harvard, will deliver his address on "The conservation of the world's resources."
Regular meetings of the Sections of the Association will be held from Thursday morn
Section M.-Henry Jackson Waters. farmers' gain from the war."
The registration headquarters will be in the lobby at the main entrance of Gilman Hall and will open on Thursday, December 26, and succeeding days at 9 A.M. Arrangements will probably be made to attend to the registration of those who call after 4 P.M. on Wednesday at the Assistant Secretary's office in the Southern Hotel. All of the meetings will be held in the new buildings of the Johns Hopkins University at Homewood. The Baltimore City College, downtown, may be used by one of the sections. The council will meet on Friday and Saturday mornings at 9 o'clock at Gilman Hall. The meeting of the general committee for the election of officers for next year and for the selection of the time and place of the next meeting will be held at the Southern