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Full text of "Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science"

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J ens 



BRITISH ASSOCIATION 

FOR THE ADVANCEMENT 
OF SCIENCE 



REPORT 



OF THE 



CENTENARY MEETING 




LONDON— 1931 

SEPTEMBER 23—30 



LONDON 

OFFICE OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION 
BURLINGTON HOUSE, LONDON, W. 7 

1932 



lU 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Officers and Council, i 93 i -32 v 

Sectional Officers, Centenary Meeting, i 93 i ix 

Annual Meetings : Places and Dates, Presidents, Attendances, 
Receipts, Sums Paid on account of Grants for Scientific 
Purposes (1831-1931) xii 

Narrative of the Centenary Meeting xvi 

Report of the Council to the General Committee ( 1 930-3 1 ) . . . . xl 

General Treasurer's Account ( 1 930-3 1 ) xlv 

Research Committees (1931-1932) Hv 

Resolutions and Recommendations (Centenary Meeting) lix 

The Presidential Address : 

The Scientific World-Picture of To-day. By Gen. the Rt. Hon. 

J. C. Smuts 1 

Sectional Presidents' Addresses : 

A. — Growth in Opportunities for Education and Research in 

Physics. By Sir J. J. Thomson 19 

B. — Michael Faraday and the Theory of Electrolytic Conduction. 

By Sir H. Hartley 31 

C. — Problems of Geology contemporary with the British Associa- 
tion. By Prof. J. W. Gregory 51 

D.— A Hundred Years of Evolution. By Prof. E. B. Poulton 71 

E. — The Human Habitat. By the Rt. Hon. Sir H. Mackinder 96 

F. — The Changed Outlook in regard to Population, 1831-1931. 

By Prof. E. Cannan 110 

G. — Power. By Sir Alfred Ewing 122 

H. — The Present Position of Anthropological Studies. By Prof. 

A. R. Radcliffe-Brown 141 

a2 



iv CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

I.— The Biological Nature of Filtrable Viruses. By Dr. H. H. Dale 172 

J.— The Nature of Mind. By Dr. C. S. Myers 181 

K.— The Advancement of Botany. By Prof T. G. Hill 196 

L. — Educational Development, 1831-1931. By Sir C. Grant 

Robertson 215 

M. — The Changing Outlook in Agriculture. By Sir E.John Russell 231 

Reports on the State of Science, etc 253 

Sectional Transactions 327 

Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies 530 

Evening Discourses 539 

References to Publication of Communications to the Sections 566 

Appendix. Discussion on the Evolution of the Universe 573 

Index ^ 611 



ritxslj l^ssariatinn for tjie |.bban;rentciil 

ai Science, 



OFFICERS & COUNCIL, 1931-32. 



PATRON. 
HIS MAJESTY THE KING. 

PRESIDENT, CENTENARY MEETING, 1931. 
Gen. the Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts, P.O., C.H., D.Sc, F.R.S. 

PRESIDENT, 1932. 
Sir Alfred Ewing, K.C.B., D.Sc, F.R.S. 

VICE-PRESIDENTS FOR THE CENTENARY MEETING. 



H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., 
F.R.S., ex-president.* 

His Grace The Lord Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Most Rev. Cosmo Lang, 
D.D. 

His Grace, The Lord Archbishop of 
York, Most Rev. William Temple, 
D.D. 

The Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. J. 
Ramsay Macdonald, P.C, F.R.S.* 

The Lord President of the Council, 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Parmoor, 
K.C.V.O.* 

The Secretary of State for the 
Dominions, The Rt. Hon. J. H. 
Thomas.* 

The Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, The Rt. Hon. Lord Pass- 
field.* 

The President of the Board of 
Education, The Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- 
Smith.* 

The First Commissioner of Works, The 
Rt. Hon. George Lansbury.* 

The High Commissioner for Aus- 
tralia, Major-Gen. the Hon. Sir 
Granville Ryrie, K.C.M.G.* 

The High Commissioner for Canada, 
Hon. G. H. Ferguson.* 

The High Commissioner for South 
Africa, C. T. te Water.* 

The High Commissioner for New 
Zealand, Hon. Sir T. M. Wilford, 
K.C.M.G. 



The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of 
London, Sir W. Phene Neal.* 

The Rt. Hon. the Lord M\yor of York, 
Aid. Sir W. A. F. Todd. 

The Chairman of the London County 
Council, Ernest Sanger. 

His Worship the Mayor of the City 
of Westminster, Capt. J. F. C. 
Bennett.* 

His Worship the Mayor of Kensing- 
ton, Coun. A. G. Bird.* 

The Chancellor of the University 
OF London, The Rt. Hon. Earl 
Beauchamp, K.G.* 

The Vice-Chancellor of the Univer- 
sity OF London, Rev. John Scott 
Lidgett, D.D.* 

The Chairman of the Education Com- 
mittee, London County Council, Sir 
John Gilbert, K.B.E. 

The Chairman of the British Broad- 
casting Corporation, The Rt. Hon. 
J. H. Whitley.* 

The Chairman of the Port of London 
Authority, The Rt. Hon. Lord 
Ritchie of Dundee.* 

The President of the Royal Society, 
Sir F. Gowland Hopkins, F.R.S. 

The President of the Royal Insti- 
tution, The Rt. Hon. Lord Eustace 
Percy, P.C. 

The President of the British Academy, 
The Rt. Hon. H. A. L. Fisher, 
F.R.S. 



•Members of the London Committee (see following pages). 



VI 



OFFICERS AND COUNCIL. 



Vice-Presidents for the Centenary Meeting — continued. 



The Director of the British Museum, 

Dr. G. F. Hill. 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Ashfield.* 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Athlone, 

Governor-General of the Union of 

South Africa, 1929. 
The Rt. Hon. Stanley Baldwin, P.C, 

F.R.S.* 
The Lord Bishop of Birmingham, The 

Rt. Rev. E. W. Barnes, D.D. 
Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S., President, 

1930-31.* 
Sir William Bragg, O.M., K.B.E., 

F.R.S., ex-president.* 
G. Buckston Browne, F.R.C.S., F.S.A.* 
Major-Gen. Sir David Bruce, K.C.B., 

F.R.S., ex-president {d. Nov. 1931). 
Sir Frank Dyson, K.B.E., F.R.S., 

Astronomer Royal.* 
Sir Arthur Evans, F.R.S., cx-president. 
Sir Alfred Ewing, F.R.S. 
Sir Ambrose Fleming, F.R.S. 
The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, O.M., 

P.C* 
Dr. E. H. Griffiths, F.R.S. 
Sir Robert Hadfield, Bart., F.R.S.* 



Sir Thomas Holland, K.C.S.I., 
K.C.I.E., F.R.S., ex-president. 

Sir Arthur KeitHjF.R.S., ex-president.* 

Prof. Sir Horace Lamb, F.R.S., ex- 
president. 

Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., ex-president. 

The Rt. Hon. Viscount Novar, Gover- 
nor-General of Australia, 1914. 

Prof. E. B. PouLTON, F.R.S. 

Sir David Prain, F.R.S.* 

The Rt. Hon. Lord Rutherford of 
Nelson, O.M., F.R.S., ex-president. 

Sir Arthur Schuster, F.R.S., ex- 
president. 

Dr. D. H. Scott, F.R.S. 

Sir Edward Sharpey-Schafer, F.R.S., 
ex-president. 

Sir Charles Sherrington, O.M.,G.B.E., 
F.R.S., ex-president. 

SirF.E.SMiTH,K.C.B.,C.B.E.,Sec.R.S.* 

Sir J. J. Thomson, O.M., F.R.S., ex- 
president. 

The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles P. Tre- 
velyan, P.C. 

The Rt. Hon. Lord Wakefield.* 

Sir Alfred Yarrow, F.R.S. 



•Members of the London Committee (see following pages). 



VICE-PRESIDENTS ELECT FOR THE YORK MEETING, 1932. 



The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of 

York, 1931-32 (Alderman R. H. 

Vernon Wragge, J. P.). 
The Recorder of York (The Rt. Hon. 

Sir Herbert Nield, K.C, M.P.). 
The Sheriff of York, 1931-32 (Arnold 

S. Rowntree). 
His Grace the Lord Archbishop of 

York. 
The Most Honourable the Marquess of 

Zetland, P.C, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., 

F.B.A. 
The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Chester- 
field, K.G., P.C, B.A., J.P., 

G.CV.O. 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Irwin, K.G. 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Danesfort, K.C. 
The Lord Lieutenant of the West 

Riding of Yorkshire and the City 

OF York (The Rt. Hon. the Earl of 

Harewood, K.G., D.S.O., T.D.). 
The Lord Lieutenant of the East 

Riding of Yorkshire (The Rt. Hon. 

Lord Deramore, T.D.). 
The Lord Lieutenant of the North 

Riding of Yorkshire (The Hon. 

Geoffrey Howard). 



The High Sheriff of Yorkshire (J. W. 
Coulthurst) . 

Lieut.-Gcneral the Hon. Sir J. F. 
Gathorne-Hardy, C.B., C.M.G., 
D.S.O. 

Roger Lumley, M.P. 

F. G. Burgess. 

The Very Rev. the Dean of York, D.D. 

Sir Wilfrid Thomson, Bart., J. P. 

W. H. St. Quintin, D.L., J.P. (Presi- 
dent of the Yorkshire Philosophical 
Society) . 

Frank Green. 

The Lord Mayor of York, 1930-31 
(Alderman Sir W. A. Forster Todd, 
J.P.). 

The Sheriff of York, 1930-31 (William 
Cooper). 

The Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Uni- 
versity (Sir James B. B.mllie, O.B.E., 
LL.D.,J.P.). 

The Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield 
University (A. W. Pickard-Cam- 
bridge, D.Litt.). 

The Principal, Hull University Col- 
lege (Prof. A. E. Morgan). 



OFFICERS AND COUNCIL. 



VU 



GENERAL TREASURER. 
Sir JosLAH Stamp, G.B.E., D.Sc. 

GENERAL SECRETARIES. 



Prof. J. L. Myres. O.B.E., D.Sc, 
D.Litt., F.S.A., F.B.A. 



Prof. F.J. M. Stratton, D.S.O., O.B.E., 
M.A. 



Prof. P. G. H. BoswELL, O.B.E., D.Sc, F.R.S. 

SECRETARY. 
O. J. R. HowARTH, O.B.E., M.A., Burlington House, London, W.i. 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY. 

H. WOOLDRIDGE, B.Sc. 

ORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL. 



Dr. F. A. Bather, F.R.S. 

Dr. J. Dre\'t;r. 

Sir Henry Fowler, K.B.E. 

Prof. W. T. Gordon. 

Sir Richard Gregory, Bart. 

Prof. T. E. Gregory. 

Prof. Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, 

G.B.E. 
Dr. A. C. Haddon, F.R.S. 
Sir Daniel Hall, K.C.B., F.R.S. 
Dr. H. S. Hele-Shaw, F.R.S. 
Sir James Henderson. 
A. R. HiNKS, C.B.E., F.R.S. 
Dr. G. W. KiMMiNS. 



Col. Sir H. G. Lyons, F.R.S. 

G. G. T. Morison. 

Sir P. Chalmers Mitchell, C.B.E, 

F.R.S. 
Prof. E. B. PouLTON, F.R.S. 
Prof. A. O. Rankine. 
Dr. C. Tate Regan, F.R.S. 
Prof. A. C. Seward, F.R.S. 
Dr. N. V. Sidgwick, F.R.S. 
Dr. G. C. Simpson, C.B., C.B.E. , 

Prof. j. F. Thorpe, C.B.E., F.R.S. 
H. T. TizARD, C.B., F.R.S. 
Prof. A. M. Tyndall. 



EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL. 

Past-Presidents of the Association, the President for the year, the President 
and Vice-Presidents for the ensuing Annual Meeting, past and present General 
Treasurers and General Secretaries, past Assistant General Secretaries, and the 
Local Treasurers and Local Secretaries for the Annual Meetings immediately 
past and ensuing. 



PAST PRESIDENTS 
J. Thomson, O.M., F.R.S. 



Sir J 

Sir E. Sharpey-Sghafer, F.R.S 

Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S. 

Sir Arthur Schuster, F.R.S. 

Sir Arthur Evans, F.R.S. 

Prof. Sir C. S. Sherrington, O.M., 

G.B.E., F.R.S. 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Rutherford of 

Nelson, O.M., F.R.S. 



OF THE ASSOCIATION. 
Prof. Sir Horace Lamb 



F.R.S. 
of Wales, 



K.G., 



H.R.H. The Prince 

D.C.L., F.R.S. 
Prof. .Sir Arthur Keith, F.R.S. 
Prof. Sir William H. Bragg, O.M., 

K.B.E., F.R.S. 
Sir Thomas H. Holland, K.C.I.E., 

K.C.S.I., F.R.S. 
Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S. 



PAST GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION 

Sir E. Sharpey-Sghafer, F.R.S. 
Dr. D. H. Scott, F.R.S. 
Dr. J. G. Garson. 



Dr. E. H. Griffiths, F.R.S. 
Sir F. E. Smith, K.C.B., C.B.E., Sec. 
R.S. 



HON. AUDITORS. 
Prof. A. BowLEY. I Prof. A. W. Kirkaldy(</. Dec. 1931). 

HON. CURATOR OF DOWN HOUSE. 
Sir G. Buckston Browne, F.R.C.S., F.S.A. 



Vlll 



THE LONDON COMMITTEE. 

The General Committee of the Association appointed as a London Committee 
the Vice-presidents indicated by asterisks in the preceding list, together with the 
following : 

The President and General Officers. 

The Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of London, A. F. W. Ingram, D.D. 
The Very Rev. the Dean of St. Paul's, W. R. Inge, D.D. 
The Very Rev. the Dean of Westminster, W. Foxley Norris, D.D. 
The President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference, Rev. H. B. Workman, 

D.D. 
The Sheriffs of the City of London, Sheriff Collins, Aid. and Sheriff Maurice 

Jenks. 
The Education Officer of the L.C.C, G. H. Gater, C.M.G. 

Their Worships the Mayors of : 



Battersea, Coun. J. Hendrick. 
Bermondsey, Coun. G. S. Tingle. 
Bethnal Green, Coun. R. E. Pearson. 
Gamberwell, Aid. H. W. Smyth. 
Chelsea, Coun. Lady Phipps. 
Deptford, Coun. Arthur Aplin. 
Finsbury, Coun. C. R. Simpson. 
FuLHAM, Aid. W. J. Waldron. 
Greenwich, Coun. Lt.-Col. M. C. 

Matthews. 
Hackney, Coun. C. F. Williamson. 
Hammersmith, Aid. E.J. B. Spearing. 
Hampstead, Coun. H. Baily, M.B.E. 
HoLBORN, Coun. P. Hill. 
Islington, Aid. F. L. Sargent. 



Lambeth, Aid. J. Williams. 
Lewisham, Coun. W. J. Creagh. 
Paddington, Aid. L. T. Snell. 
Poplar, Coun. T. J. Blacketer. 
St. Marylebone, Coun. Lieut. -Col. 

R. Q. Henriques. 
St. Pancras, Coun. C. Harvey. 
Shoreditch, Aid. Mrs. H. Girling. 
Southwark, Aid. J. T. Greenwood. 
Stepney, Coun. M. H. Davis. 
Stoke Newington, Coun. Sir H. J. 

Ormond. 
Wandsworthj Coun. Lieut. -Col. A. 

Bellamy. 
Woolwich, Coun. Miss G. E. Walters. 



The Town Clerk of Westminster, Parker Morris. 

The Town Clerk of Kensington, F. Webster. 

The Director of the British Museum (Natural History), Dr. C. Tate Regan, 

F.R.S. 
The Director of the Imperial Mycological Institute, Dr. E. J. Butler, F.R.S. 
The Director of the Imperial Institute, Lt.-Gen. Sir William Fursc, K.C.B. 
The Director of the London School of Economics, Sir William H. Beveridge, 

K.C.B. 
The Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Sir A. W. Hill, K.C.M.G., 

F.R.S. 
The Director of the Royal College of Art, Prof. Sir William Rothenstein. 
The Director of the Royal College of Music, Sir Hugh P. Allen, K.C.V.O. 
The Director of Scientific Research and Experiment, The Admiralty, Dr. C. V. 

Drysdale, O.B.E. 
The Director of Scientific Research, The Air Ministry, H. E. Wimperis, C.B.E. 
The Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, E. R. D. Maclagan, C.B.E. 
The Headmaster, City of London School, F. R. Dale. 
The Headmaster, Merchant Taylors' School, Spencer Leeson. 
The Headmaster, Westminster School, Rev. Harold Costley-White, D.D. 
The High Master, St. Paul's School, John Bell. 
The Master of the Mercers' Company, Squad. Leader R. C. Lane. 
The Master of the Clothworkers' Company, Dr. Arthur Bousfield. 
The Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company, The Rt. Hon. Lord Blanesburgh. 
The Principal of Bedford College for Women, Miss G. Jebb. 
The Principal of Birkbegk College, Dr. George Senter. 
The Principal of King's College, Dr. W. R. Halliday. 
The Principal of London Day Training College, Sir Percy Nunn. 
The Principal of East London College, John L. S. Hatton. 
The Principal of the Royal Holloway College, Miss E. C. Higgins. 
The Principal of the University of London, Dr. Edwin Deller. 



OFFICERS OF SECTIONS, 1931. 



IX 



The London Committee — continued. 



The Principal of Westfield College, Dr 
The Provost of University College, Dr. 
The Rector of the Imperial College of 
C.B., F.R.S. 

Sir Arthur Balfour, K.B.E. 

Prof. V. H. Blackman, F.R.S. 

Sir W. H. Davison, K.B.E., M.P. 

Prof. F. G. DoNNAN, C.B.E., F.R.S. 

E. C. Grenfell, M.P. 

Col. Sir W. Weston Jarvis, C.M.G. 

Sir William Larke, K.B.E. 

Sir David Milne- Watson. 

Dr. F. A. Bather, F.R.S. 

Prof. W. E. Dalby, F.R.S. 

Dr. H. H. Dale, C.B.E., Sec. R.S. 

Prof. C. LovATT Evans, F.R.S. 

Sir Walter Fletcher, K.B.E., F.R.S. 

Sir John Flett, F.R.S. 

Prof. George Forbes, F.R.S. 

Prof. A. Fowler, F.R.S. 

Sir Richard Glazebrook, F.R.S. 

Sir Richard Gregory, Bt. 

E. C. Grenfell, M.P. 

Prof. Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan. 

Sir Daniel Hall, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Sir Sidney Harmer, K.B.E., F.R.S. 

Dr. H. S. Hele-Shaw, F.R.S. 

Sir James Henderson. 



. Eleanor Lodge. 

Allen Mawer. 

Science and Technology, H. T. Tizard, 

A. R. Hinks, C.B.E., F.R.S. 

Sir E. G. Graham Little, M.P. 

Sir Henry Lyons, F.R.S. 

Sir G. A. K. Marshall, C.M.G., F.R.S. 

Sir P. Chalmers Mitchell, C.B.E., 

F.R.S. 
Prof. G. T. Morgan, O.B.E., F.R.S. 
Prof. Karl Pearson, F.R.S. 
Sir Joseph Petavel, K.B.E., F".R.S. 
A. T. Pike.J.P. 
Prof. A. O. Rankine. 
Sir John Reith. 
Dr. A. B. Rendle, F.R.S. 
Sir Robert Robertson, K.B.E., F.R.S. 
The Rt. Hon. Lord Rothschild, F.R.S 
Sir Napier Shaw, F.R.S. 
Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. 
Dr. G. C. Simpson, C.B., C.B.E., 

F.R.S. 
Sir William Simpson, C.M.G. 
Prof. G. Elliot Smith, F.R.S. 
Prof. A. Smithells, C.M.G., F.R.S. 
Prof. J. F. Thorpe, C.B.E., F.R.S. 



LOCAL HON. SECRETARIES FOR THE YORK MEETING. 

Dr. W. E. Collinge, Keeper of the Yorkshire Museum. 
P. J. Spalding, Town Clerk of York. 

LOCAL HON. TREASURER FOR THE YORK MEETING. 
Sir Wilfrid Thomson, Bart., J. P. 



SECTIONAL OFFICERS. 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 



President. — Sir J. J. Thomson, O.M., F.R.S. 
Vice-Presidents.— Sir F. W. Dyson, K.B.E., F.R.S. 



Prof. A. R. Forsyth, F.R S. ; 



Prof. A. Fowler, F.R.S. ; Prof. G. H. Hardy, F.R.S. ; Sir F. E. Smith, 

K.C.B., C.B.E., Sec. R.S. 
Recorder. — Dr. Allan Ferguson. 
Secretaries. — Capt. F. Entwistle ; W. M. H. Greaves ; Dr. Ezer Griffiths, F.R.S. ; 

Prof. E. H. Neville. 
Local Secretary. — Prof. A. O. Rankine, O.B.E. 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 

President. — Brig. -Gen. Sir Harold Hartley, C.B.E., F.R.S. 
Vice-Presidents.— Dr. W. H. Mills, F.R.S. ; Prof. G. T. Morgan, 

Prof. R. Robinson, F.R.S. ; H. T. Tizard, C.B., F.R.S. ; Dr. 

F.R.S. 
Recorder.— Prof. C. S. Gibson, O.B.E., F.R.S. 
Secretaries. — Prof. T. S. Moore ; Prof. F. J. Wilson. 
Local Secretaries. — A. A. Eldridge ; J. Davidson Pratt, O.B.E. 



O.B.E., F.R.S. ; 
M. W. Travers, 



OFFICERS OF SECTIONS, 1931. 



C— GEOLOGY. 



President.— ?Toi. J. W. Gregory, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— ?Toi. P. G. H. Boswell, O.B.E., F.R.S. ; Prof. A. P. Coleman, 

F R S ; Prof. W. G. Fearnsides ; Prof. E. J. Garwood, F.R.S. ; Prof. G. 

HiCKLiNG ; Prof. O. T.Jones, F.R.S. ; Dr. L. j. Spencer, F.R.S. ; Prof. W. W. 

Watts, F.R.S. 
Recorder. — I. S. Double. 

Secretaries.— Bt. H. C. Versey ; Dr. A. K. Wells. 
Local Secretaries.— M&ioT ]. G. C. Leech ; Dr. S. W. Wooldridge. 

D.— ZOOLOGY. 

President.— VtoL E. B. Poulton, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— Dr. W. T. Calman, F.R.S. ; Prof. C. Gravier ; Prof. H. F. Osborn ; 

Dr. C. Tate Regan, F.R.S. ; Dr. C. Zimmer. 
Recorder.— G. Leslie Purser. 
Secretary. — Prof. W. M. Tattersall. 
Local Secretaries. — G. C. Robson ; Dr. G. M. Vevers. 

E.— GEOGRAPHY. 

President. — The Rt. Hon. Sir Halford J. Mackinder, P.G. 

Vice-Presidents.— Sir C. Close, K.B.E., F.R.S. ; Prof C. B. Fawcett ; Admiral Sir 
W. Goodenough, G.C.B., M.V.O. ; Dr. H. R. Mill ; Prof. G. Taylor. 

Recorder. — R. H. Kinvig. 

Secretaries. — H. King ; A. G. Ogilvie. 

Local Secretaries. — R. O. Buchanan ; J. H. Reynolds. 

F.— ECONOMICS. 

Ptesident. — Prof. E. Cannan. 

Vice-Presidents.— Sir R. Waley Cohen, K.B.E. ; Prof. T. E. Gregory ; R. G. 

Hawtrey ; Prof. A. Plant ; Prof Lionel Robbins ; B. Seebohm Rowntree ; 

Prof. A. J. Sargent. 
Recorder. — R. B. Forrester. 

Secretaries.— Dr. J. A. Bowie ; Dr. K. G. Fenelon. 
Local Secretary. — G. J. Ponsonby. 
A Department of Industrial Co-operation, Chairman, Dr. J. A. Bowie ; Secretary, 

R.J. Mackay, Management Research Groups, 23, Bloomsbury Square, W.C.i, 

is arranging a special programme in connection with this and other Sections. 

G.— ENGINEERING. 

President.— Sir J. A. Ewing, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents. — Asa Binns ; Sir John Cadman ; Lt.-Col. E. Kitson Clarke; Prof. 
E. G. CoKER, F.R.S. ; A. R. Cooper ; T. Peirson Frank ; Sir Robert 
Hadfield, Bart., F.R.S. ; Sir George Humphreys ; Sir Ernest Moir, Bt. ; 
C. C. Paterson ; Sir Joseph Petavel, F.R.S. ; H. T. Tizard, C.B., F.R.S. 

Recorder.^. S. Wilson. 

Secretaries. — Prof. G. Cook ; Dr. S. J. Davies. 

Local Secretary. — J. E. Montgomrey. 

H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 

President. — Prof. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown. 

Vice-Presidents. — H. Balfour, F.R.S. ; Dr. H. S. Harrison ; Dr. D. Randall- 

MacIver ; Prof. C. G. Seligman, F.R.S. ; Prof. G. Elliot Smith, F.R.S. ; 

Dr. H. S. Wellcome. 



OFFICERS OF SECTIONS, 1931. xi 

H.—ANTHROPOLOGY~{continued.) 
Recorder. — Miss R. M. Fleming. 
Secretary. — L. H. Dudley Buxton. 
Local Secretary. — L. W. G. Malcolm. 

I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 
President.— Br. H. H. Dale, C.B.E., Sec. R.S. 
Vice-Presidents.— Frof. Y. Henderson ; Prof. A. V. Hill, O.B.E., F.R.S. ; Prof. 

A. B. Macallum, F.R.S. ; Prof. G. H. F. Nuttall, F.R.S. ; Prof. H.S. Raper, 

C.B.E., F.R.S. ; Prof. H. E. Roaf, 
Recorder. — Dr. M. H. MacKeith. 

Secretaries. — Prof. R. J. Brocklehurst ; F. J. W. Roughton. 
Local Secretaries. — Prof. A. C. Chibnall ; Dr. G. P. Crowden. 

J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 
President.— Br. C. S. Myers, C.B.E., F.R.S. 
Vice-Presidents. — Dr. F. Aveling ; Dr. H. Banister ; Dr. J. McK. Cattell ; Prof. 

Beatrice Edgell ; E. Farmer ; Prof. C. W. Valentine. 
Recorder. — Dr. Shepherd Dawson. 
Secretary. — Dr. Mary Collins. 
Local Secretaries. — R. J. Bartlett ; Dr. Victoria Hazlitt. 

K.— BOTANY. 

President.— YroL T. G. Hill. 

Vice-Presidents.— Sir A. W. Hill, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. ; G. W. E. Loder ; J. Rams- 
bottom ; Miss A. Lorrain Smith ; Prof. J. Walton ; Sir Alexander Rodger, 
O.B.E. 

Recorder. — Prof. H. S. Holden. 

Secretaries. — Dr. B. Barnes ; Dr. E. V. Laing ; Miss L. I. Scott ; G. Taylor. 

Local Secretary. — Dr. F. Y. Henderson. 

L.— EDUCATION. 
President. — Sir Charles Grant Robertson, C.V.O. 
Vice-Presidents. — Sir J. Adamson ; Prof. F. Clarke ; Dr. E. Deller ; G. H. Cater, 

C.M.G. ; Rev. J. Scott Lidgett ; G. H. T. Malan ; Dr. R. P. Paranjpye ; 

The Rt. Hon. Lord Eustace Percy, P.C. ; Sir John Gilbert, K.B.E. ; Dr. 

Michael P. West. 
Recorder. — G. D. Dunkerley. 
Secretaries. — H. E. M. Icely ; G. W. Olive. 
Local Secretaries. — C. E. Browne ; A. Clow Ford. 

M.— AGRICULTURE. 
President. — Sir John Russell, F.R.S. 
Vice-Presidents. — Prof B. T. P. Barker ; Dr. C. Crowther ; T. S. Dymond ; Sir 

Robert Greig ; Sir A. Daniel Hall, K.C.B., F.R.S. ; R. R. Robbins ; F. A. 

Stockdale, C.B.E. ; Sir Arnold Theiler, K. C.M.G. 
Recorder. — Prof. G. Scott Robertson. 

Secretaries. — Dr. E. M. Crowther ; W. Godden ; D. Akenhead. 
Local Secretary. — A. G. Pollard. 



CONFERENCE OF DELEGATES OF CORRESPONDING SOCIETIES. 
President. — Sir A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S. 
Secretary. — Dr. C. Tierney. 



xu 



ANNUAL MEETINGS. 



TABLE OF 




Where held 



1831, Sept. 27... 

1832, June 19 

1833, June 25 

1834, Sept. 8 

1835, Aug. 10 

1836, Aug. 22 

1837, Sept. 11 i 

1838, Aug. 10 

1839, Aug. 26 

1840, Sept. 17 1 

1841, July 20 

1842, Juue 23 

1843, Aug. 17 ' 

1844, Sept. 26 

1845, June 19 

1846, Sept. 10 

1847, June 23 

1848, Aug. 9 

1849, Sept. 12 

1860, July 21 

1861, July 2 

1852, Sept. 1 

1863, Sept. 3 

1864, Sept. 20 

1865, Sept. 12 

1856, Aug. 6 

1867, Aug. 26 

1868, Sept. 22 

1859, Sept. 14 

1860, June 27 

1861, Sept. 4 

1862, Oct. 1 

1863, Aui. 26 

1864, Sept. 13 

1865, Sept. 6 

1866, Aug. 22 

1867,Sept. 4 

1868,Aug. 19 

1869, Aug. 18 

1870, Sept. 14 

1871, Aug. 2 

1872, Aug. 14 

1873,Sept. 17 

1874, Aug. 19 

1878,Aug. 25 

1876,Sept.6 

1877,Aug. 15 

1878, Aug. 14 1 

1879, Aug. 20 ! 

1880, Aug. 25 ■■ 

1881, Aug. 31 

1882, Aug. 23 

1883, Sept. 19 

1884, Aug. 27 

1886, Sept. 9 

1886, Sept. 1 

1887, Aug. 31 ,...'. 
1688, Sept. 5 .... 

1889, Sept. 11 

1890, Sept. 3 

1691, Aug. 19 ' 

1892, Aug. 3 ' 

1893, Sept. 13 ; 

1894, Aug. 8 1 

1895, Sept. 11 j 

1896, Sept. 16 ... . ; 

1897, Aug. 18 ! 

1898, Sept. 7 1 

1899, Sept. 13 



Presidents 



York Viscount Milton, D.O.L., F.R.S. 

0.xford ' The Rev. W. Buokland, F.R.S. .. 



Cambridge 

Edinburgh 

Dubliu 

Bristol 

Liverpool 

Newcastle-on-Tyne. , 

Birmingham 

Glasgow 

Plymouth 

Manchester 

Cork 

York 

Cambridge 

Southampton 

Oxford 

Swansea 



The Rev. A. Sedgwick, F.R.S. 
Sir T. M. Brisbane, D.C.L., F.R.S. 
The Rev. Provost Lloyd,LL.D., F.R. 
The Marquis of Laus'downe, F.R.S. 

The Earl of Burlington, F.R.S 

The Duke of Northumberland, F.R. 
The Rev. W. Verncin Harcourt, F.R. 
The Marquis of Breadalbane, F.R. 

The Rev. W. WheweU, F.R.S 

The Lord Francis Egerton, F.G.S. 
The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S. .. 
The Rev. G. Peacock, D.D., F.R.S. 
Sir John P. W. Herschel, Bart., F.R. 
Sir Roderick I. Murchisou,Bart.,F.R. 
Sir Robert H. Inglis, Bart., F.R.S. 
TheMarquis of Northampton, Pres.R, 



■S. 
Birmingham | The Rev. T. R.Robinson, D.D., F.R.S. 



Edinburgh 

Ipswich 

Belfast 

Hull 

Liverpool 

Glasgow 

Cheltenham 

Dubliu 

Leeds 

Aberdeen 

Oxford 

Manchester 

Cambridge 

Newoastle-on-Ty ne. . 

Bath 

Birmingham 

Nottingham 

Dundee 

Norwich 

Exeter 

Liverpool 

Edinburgh 

Briglitou 

Braiiford 

Belfast 

Bristol 

Glasgow 

Plymouth 

Dublin 

Sheffield 



Sir David Brewster, K.H., F.R.S. 

G. B. Airy, Astronomer Royal, F.R. 

Lieut.-General Sabine, F.R.S 

William Hopkins, F.R.S 

The Earl of Harrovvby, F.R.S. 

The Duke of Argyll, F.R.S. 

Prof. 0. G. B. Daubeny, M.D., F.R.S. 

The Rev. H. Llovd, D.D., F.R.S 

Richard Owen, M.D., D.O.L., F.R.S. 

H.R.H. The Prince Consort 

The Lord Wrottesley, M.A.; F.R.S. . 

William Fairbairn, LL.D., F.R.S. 

The Rev. Professor WiUis,M.A.,F.R. 

SirWiUiam G. Armstrong.O.B., F.R.; 

Sir Charles Lyell, Bart., M.A., F.R. 

Prof. J. Phillips, M.A., LL.D., F.R.I 

William R. Grove, Q.O., F.R.S 

The Duke of Bviocleuch, K.O.B.,F.R.: 

Dr. Joseph D. Hooker, F.R.S. 

Prof. G. G. Stokes, D.C.L., F.R.S. 

Prof. T. H. Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Prof. Sir W. Thomson, LL.D., F.R. 

Dr. W. B. Caroeuter, F.R.S. .. . 

Prof. A. W. W'illiamson, F.R.S. 

Prof. J. Tyndall, LL.D., F.R.S 

Sir John Hawkshaw, F.R.S. 

Prof. T. Andrews, M.D., F.R.S. 

Prof. A. Thomson. M.D., F.R.S. 

W. Spottiswoode, M.A., F.R.S. 

Prof. G. J. AUmau, M.D., F.R.S 

Swansea I A. 0. Ram.say, LL.D., F.R.S 

York Sir John Lubbock, Bart.. F.R.S 

Southampton Dr. 0. W. Siemens, F.R.S. 

Southport Prof. A. Cayley, D.O.L., F.R.S. .'.'.'.'.,'. 

Montreal ' Prof. Lord Rayleigh, F.R.S 

Aberdeen ! Sir Lyon Playfair, K.O.B., F.R.S 

Birmingham Sir J. W. Dawson, O.M.G., F.R.S.,.]! 

Manchester Sir H. E. Roseoe, D.O.L., F.R.S. .] 

Bath Sir F. J. Bramwell, F.R.S ..' 

Newoastle-on-Tyne...| Prof. W. H. Flower, O.B., F.R.S. 

Leeds ! Sir F. A. Abel, O.B., F.R.S. 

Cardiff I Dr. W. Huggins, F.R.S 

Edinburgh 1 Sir A. Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S 

Nottingham i Prof. J. S. Burdou Sanderson, F.R. 

Oxford i The Marquis of SaUsbury,K.G.,P.R. 

Ipswich ' Sir Douglas Galton, K.C.B., F.R.S. , 

Liverpool Sir Joseph Lister, Bart., Pres. R.S. , 

Toronto Sir John Evans, K.C.B., F.R.S. . . 

Bristol Sir W. Crookes, F.R.S 

Dover Sir Michael Foster, K.C.B., Sec.R.S. 



. ...I 



Old Life 


New Life 


MemberB 


Members 


169 


66 


303 


169 


109 


28 


226 


150 


313 


36 


241 


10 


314 


18 


149 


3 


227 


12 


235 


9 


172 


8 


164 


10 


141 


13 


238 


23 


194 


33 


182 


14 


236 


15 


222 


42 


184 


27 


286 


21 


321 


113- 


239 


16 


203 


36 


287 


40 


292 


44 


207 


31 


167 


25 


196 


18 


204 


21 


314 


39 


246 


28 


245 


36 


212 


27 


162 


13 


239 


36 


221 


36 


173 


19 


201 


18 


184 


16 


144 


11 


272 


28 


178 


17 


203 


60 


236 


20 


225 


18 


314 


25 


428 


86 


266 


36 


277 


20 


259 


21 


189 


24 


280 


14 


201 


17 


327 


21 


214 


13 


330 


31 


120 


8 


281 


19 


296 


20 



> Ladies were not admitted by purchased tickets until 1843. 



t Tickets of Admission to Sections only. 
[ Continued on p. xiv. 



ANNUAL MEETINGS. 



XIU 



ANNUAL MEETINGS. 





Old 
Aunual 


New 
Annual 


Abso- 
ciates 


Ladies 


Foreigners 


Total 


Amount 
received 

for 
Tickets 


Sums paid 
on account 
ofGrants 


Year 




Members 


Members 








for Scientific 
Purposes 











— 


— 


— 


353 


1831 










— 


— 


— 





— 


— 


1832 



















900 








1833 



















1298 





£20 


1834 

























167 


1835 













_ 





1350 





438 


1836 













— 





1840 





922 12 6 


1837 




— 








IIOO* 





2400 





932 2 2 


1838 













_ 


34 


1438 





1895 11 


1839 













— 


40 


1353 





1846 16 4 


1840 




46 


317 


— 


60* 




891 


— 


1238 10 11 


1841 




76 


376 


33t 


331» 


28 


1316 


_ 


1449 17 8 


1842 




71 


186 





160 











1868 10 2 


1843 




4t 


190 


9t 


260 


_ 


— 





981 12 8 


1844 




94 


22 


407 


172 


35 


1079 





831 9 9 


1845 




66 


39 


270 


196 


36 


867 


— 


688 16 


1846 




197 


40 


495 


203 


63 


1320 


— 


208 5 4 


1847 




64 


26 


376 


197 


15 


819 


£707 


278 1 8 


1848 




93 


33 


447 


237 


22 


1071 


963 


189 19 6 


1849 




128 


42 


510 


273 


44 


1241 


1085 


345 18 


1850 




61 


47 


244 


141 


37 


710 


620 


391 9 7 


1881 




63 


60 


510 


292 


9 


1108 


1085 


304 6 7 


1852 




66 


67 


367 


236 


6 


876 


903 


205 


1853 




121 


121 


768 


524 


10 


1802 


1882 


380 19 7 


1884 




142 


101 


1094 


543 


26 


2133 


2311 


480 16 4 


1855 




104 


48 


412 


346 


9 


1115 


1098 


734 13 9 


1856 




156 


120 


900 


669 


26 


2022 


2016 


507 15 4 


1857 




111 


91 


710 


609 


13 


1698 


1931 


618 18 2 


1888 




126 


179 


1206 


821 


22 


2564 


2782 


684 11 1 


1859 




177 


69 


636 


463 


47 


1689 


1604 


766 19 6 


1860 




184 


125 


1589 


791 


16 


3138 


3944 


1111 5 10 


1861 




160 


67 


433 


242 


25 


1161 


1089 


1293 16 6 


1862 




1S4 


209 


1704 


1004 


25 


3335 


3640 


1608 3 10 


1863 




182 


103 


1119 


1058 


13 


2802 


2965 


1289 18 8 


1864 




216 


149 


766 


508 


23 


1997 


2227 


1891 7 10 


1866 




318 


105 


960 


771 


11 


2303 


2469 


1780 13 4 


1866 




193 


118 


1163 


771 


7 


2444 


2613 


1739 4 


1867 




326 


117 


720 


682 


46: 


2004 


2042 


1940 


1868 




229 


107 


678 


600 


17 


1856 


1931 


1622 


1869 




303 


195 


1103 


910 


14 


2878 


3096 


1872 


1870 




311 


127 


976 


754 


21 


2463 


2875 


1472 2 6 


1871 




280 


80 


937 


912 


43 


2633 


2649 


1288 


1872 




237 


99 


796 


601 


11 


1983 


2120 


1688 


1873 




233 


86 


817 


630 


12 


1951 


1979 


1151 16 


1874 




307 


93 


884 


672 


17 


2248 


2397 


960 


1875 




331 


185 


1265 


712 


26 


2774 


3023 


1092 4 2 


1876 




238 


69 


446 


283 


11 


1229 


1268 


1128 9 7 


1877 




290 


93 


1285 


674 


17 


2578 


2615 


726 16 6 


1878 




239 


74 


629 


349 


13 


1404 


1425 


1080 11 11 


1879 




171 


41 


389 


147 


12 


. 915 


899 


731 7 7 


1880 




313 


176 


1230 


614 


24 


2557 


2689 


476 8 1 


1881 




263 


79 


616 


189 


21 


1253 


1286 


1126 1 11 


1882 




330 


323 


952 


841 


5 


2714 


3369 


1083 3 3 


1883 




317 


219 


826 


74 


26&60H.5 


1777 


1888 


1173 4 


1884 




332 


122 


1053 


447 


6 


2203 


2286 


1385 


1885 




428 


179 


1067 


429 


11 


2463 


2532 


995 6 


1886 




610 


244 


1985 


493 


92 


3838 


4336 n 


1186 18 


1887 




399 


100 


639 


509 


12 


1984 


2107 


1511 5 


1888 




412 


113 


1024 


579 


21 


2437 


2441 


1417 11 


1889 




368 


92 


680 


334 


12 


1775 


1776 


789 16 8 


1890 




341 


162 


672 


107 


35 


1497 


1664 


1029 10 


1891 




413 


141 


733 


439 


50 


2070 


2007 


864 10 


1892 




328 


67 


773 


268 


17 


1661 


1683 


907 15 6 


1893 




436 


69 


941 


451 


77 


2321 


2178 


583 15 6 


1894 




290 


3) 


493 


261 


22 


1324 


1236 


977 18 5 


1898 




383 


139 


1384 


873 


41 


3181 


3228 


1104 6 1 


1896 




286 


126 


682 


100 


41 


1362 


1398 


1089 10 8 


1897 




327 


96 


1051 


639 


33 


2446 


2399 


1212 


1898 




324 


68 


648 


120 


27 


1403 


1328 


1430 14 2 


1899 



X Including Ladies. § Fellows olthe American Association were admitted as Hon. Members for this Meeting. 

[ Continued on p. xv. 



XIV 



ANNUAL MEETINGS. 



Table of 



Date of Meeting 



1900, Sept. 5 

1901, Sept. 11 

1902, Sept. 10 .. . 

1903, Sept. 9 ... . 

1904, Aug. 17 

1905, Aug. 15 

1906, Aug. 1 

1907, July 31 

1908, Sept. 2 

1909, Aug. 25 

1910, Aug. 31 ... . 

1911, Aug. 30 

1912, Sept. 4 

1913, Sept. 10 

1914, Jaly-Sept. . 

1915, Sept. 7 

1916, Sept. 5 .. 
1917 

1918 

1919, Sept. 9 ... 



1920, Aug. 24 

1921, Sept. 7 

1922, Sept. 6 

1923, Sept. 12 , 

1924, Aug. 6 , 

1925, Aug. 26 

1926, Aug. 4 

1927, Aug. 31 

1928, Sept. 5 . 

1929, July 22. 

1930, Sept. 3 

1931, Sept. 23. 



Where held 



Bradford 

Glasgow 

Belfast 

Southport 

Cambridge 

South Africa 

York 

Leicester 

Dublin 

Winnipeg 

Sheffield 

Portsmouth 

Dundee 

Birmingham 

Australia 

Manchester 

Newcastle-on-Tyne 

(No Meeting) 

(No Meeting) 

Bournemouth 



Cardiff 

Edinburgh . 
Hull 

Liverpool ... 

Toronto 

Southampton 
Oxford 

Leeds 

Glasgow 

South Africa 

Bristol 

Loudon 



Presidents 



Sir William Turner, D.O.L., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. A. W. RUcker, D.Sc, SecJR.S. ... 

Prof. J. Dewar, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Sir Norman Lookyer, K.O.B., F.R.S. 
Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P., F.R.S. 
Prof. G. H. Darwin, LL.D., F.R.S. ... 
Prof. E. Bay Lankester, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Sir David Gill, K.O.B., F.R.S 

Dr. Francis Darwin, F.R.S. 

Prof. Sir J. J. Thomson, F.R.S 

Rev. Prof. T. G. Bonuev, F.R.S 

Prof. Sir W. Ramsay, K.O.B., F.R.S. 

Prof . E. A. Schafer, F.R.S 

Sir Oliver J. Lodge, F.R.S 

Prof. W. Bateson, F.R.S 

Prof. A. Schuster, F.R.S 

Sir Arthur Evans, F.R.S 

Hon. Sir C. Parsons, K.O.B., F.R.S.. 



Prof. W. A. Herdman, C.B.E., F.R.S, 

Sir T. E. Thorpe, O.B., F.R.S 

Sir C. S. Sherrington, G.B.E., 
Pres. R.S 



Sir Ernest Rutherford, F.R.S. 

Sir David Bruce, K.C.B., F.R.S.... 

Prof. Horace Lamb, F.R.S 

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, K.G., 

F.R.S 

Sir Arthur Keith, F.R.S 

Sir William Bragg, K.B.E., F.R.S. 
Sir Thoma.s Holland, K.O.S.I., 

K.O.I E., F.R.S 

Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S 

Gen. the Rt. Hon. J. 0. Smuts, P.O., 

C.H., F.R.S 



Old Life 
Members 



267 
310 
243 

250 
419 
115 
322 
276 
294 
117 
293 
284 
288 
376 
172 
242 
164 



235 



288 
336 



228 



326 
119 

280 

358 
249 
260 

81 
221 

487 



New Life 
Members 



13 

37 
21 
21 
32 
40 
10 
19 
24 
IJ 
26 
21 
14 
40 
13 
19 
12 



47 



11 

9 



13 



12 

7 



9 
9 

10 

1 
6 

14 



' Including 848 Members of the South African Association. 

- Including 137 Members of the American Association. 

'■' Special arrangements were made for Members and Associates joining locally in Australia, see 
Report, 1914, p. 686. The numbers include 80 Members who joined in order to attend the Meeting of 
L'Association Prangaise at Le Havre. 

" Including Students' Tickets, 10». 

' Including Exhibitioners granted tickets without charge. 



ANNUAL MEETINGS. 



XV 



Annual Meetings — (continued). 



Old 
Annual 
Members 


New 
Annual 
Members 


Asso- 
ciates 


Ladies 


Foreigners 


Total 


Amount 
received 

for 
Tickets 

£1801 


Sums paid 
ou account 1 

of Grants 
for Scientific 

Purposes 

E1072 10 


Year 
1900 


297 
374 
314 
319 
449 


45 


801 


482 


9 


1915 


131 


794 


246 


20 


1912 


2046 


920 9 11 


1901 


86 


647 


306 


6 


1620 


1644 


947 


1902 


90 


688 


365 


21 


1764 


1762 


846 13 2 


1903 


113 


1338 


317 


121 


2789 


2650 


887 18 11 


1904 


937' 


411 


430 


181 


16 


2130 


2422 


928 2 2 


1905 


356 
339 
465 


93 


817 


352 


22 


1972 


1811 


882 it 


19U6 


61 


659 1 251 


42 


1647 


1561 U 


757 12 10 


1907 


112 


1166 ' 222 


14 


2297 


2317 


1157 IH 8 


1908 


290" 


162 


789 90 


7 


1468 


1623 


1014 9 9 


1909 


379 


57 


663 123 


8 


1449 


1439 


963 17 


1910 


349 


61 


414 81 


31 


1241 


1176 


922 


1911 


368 


95 


129S 359 


88 


2604 


2349 


845 7 6 


1912 


480 


149 


1287 1 291 


20 


2643 


2766 


978 17 1 


1913 


139 


4160" 


639' i — 


21 


5044' 


4873 


1861 16 4" 


1914 


287 


116 


628' 141 


8 


1441 


1406 


1569 2 8 


1915 


250 


76 


251* 1 73 


— 


826 


821 


985 18 10 


1916 

















677 17 2 


1917 






~ 3 











326 13 3 


1918 


254 


102 


688* 1 153 


3 


1482 


1736 


410 


1919 




Annual Members 






Old 
Annual 




Transfer- 
able 


Students 












Regular 
MemberB 


Meeting 

and 
Report 


Meeting 
only 


Tickets 


Tickets 












136 


192 


571 


42 


120 


20 


1380 


1272 10 


1251 13 0' 


1920 


133 


410 


1394 


121 


343 


22 


2768 


2599 15 


618 1 10 


1921 


90 


294 


767 


89 


236' 


24 
Compli- 
mentary' 


1730 


1699 5 


772 7 


1922 


123 


380 


1434 


163 


550 


308 


3296 


2735 15 


777 18 6" 


1923 


37 


520 


1866 


41 


89 


139 


2818 


3165 19'»1197 6 9 


1924 


97 


264 


878 


62 


119 


74 


1782 


1630 6 


1231 


1925 


101 


453 


2338 


169 


225 


69 


3722 


3542 


917 1 6 


1926 


84 


334 


1487 


82 


264 


161 


2670 


2414 5 


761 10 


1927 


76 


554 


1835 


64 


201 


74 


3074 


3072 10 


1269 10 


1928 


S4 


177 


1227" 


161 


83 


1754 


1477 15 


1838 2 1 


1929 


68 


310 


1617 97 


267 


64 


2639 


2481 16 


683 5 7 


1930 


78 


656 


2994 157 


454 


449 


5702'= 


4792 10 


1146 7 6 


1931 



' Including grants from the Oalrd Fund in this and subsequent years. 

■ Including Foreign Guests, Exhibitioners, and otliers. . , , ^ , 

• The Bournemouth Fund for Research, initiated by Sir 0. Parsons, enabled grants ou account of 

scientific purposes to be maintained. ..... j u * „„„,» 

■> Including grants from the Caird Gift for research in radioactivity in this and subsequent years 

"> siibscriptiona paid in Canada were $5 for Meeting only and otliers pro rata ; there was some 
gain on exchange. 

" Including 460 Members of the South African Association. -,1,1 

" Including 413 tickets for certain meetings, issued at 5s. to London Oouuty Council school- 
teachers. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY 

MEETING. 



The Reception Room and Offices were established in the University 
of London, Imperial Institute Road. 

The President's Installation and Address. 

On Wednesday afternoon, September 23, in the Albert Hall (Faraday 
Centenary Exhibition^), at 3.0 p.m., Gen. the Right Hon. J. C. Smuts, 
P.O., C.H., F.R.S., assumed the Presidency of the Association in suc- 
cession to Prof. F. 0. Bower, F.R.S., and received the invited Delegates 
of Societies and Institutions, and of Universities, Colleges, and Cities in 
which the Association had held meetings in the past. 

A humble Address was forwarded to His Majesty The King, Patron of 
the Association : — 

' On the occasion of the centenary of the foundation of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, we, the Members assembled 
at the first meeting held in London, desire to express our humble respects 
and loyal devotion to Your Majesty. 

' To this Centenary Meeting have also come representatives of Science 
from the Dominions and other parts of the Empire, who join with their 
British colleagues in giving an Imperial character to this great occasion. 

' We recall with gratitude the words of encouragement which Your 
Majesty has repeatedly addressed to our Association, as well as the Royal 
Charter of Incorporation with which you have honoured us. We also 
bear in grateful memory the services rendered to our Association by the 
Prince Consort as the President of its Meeting at Aberdeen in 1859, and 
by the Prince of Wales as the President of its Meeting at Oxford in 1926. 

' And we desire to express to Your Majesty our loyal determination to 
devote our future efforts to the advancement of Science and to the 
application of its teachings to the welfare and prosperity of Your 
Majesty's peoples and the world at large.' 

The following gracious Reply was received, and was communicated to 
the Members at the evening meeting referred to below : — • 

Balmoral Castle. 
General The Right Honble. J. C. Smuts, F.R.S., 

President, Centenary Meeting, British Association 
for the Advancement of Science. 

' At the Centenary Meeting, under your Presidency, of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science, I warmly thank all those 
present for their loyal message. It gives me much pleasure to learn that 
many representatives from all parts of my Empire are with you on this 
great occasion. 

* The Faraday Centenary Exhibition was open from 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. on 
Wednesday, September 23, for private view by Members of the Association, thanks 
to the kind co-operation of the authorities concerned. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xvii 

' A hundred years ago your first meeting was held in York. Ever since 
that memorable September evening the British Association has steadily 
advanced, and you can truly say that the roll of its members is bright 
with names that the world will never forget. Although we live in times 
fraught with difi&culties, scientific progress does not slacken, and I know 
that the contributions to all branches of Science made by your world- 
renowned members of the past are continued to-day by many distinguished 
men.' 

George R.I. 

At the Inauguration of the President the following speeches were 
delivered : — 

Prof. F. 0. Bower, Sc.D., D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S. 

' It falls to me, as President in the himdredth year of the British Asso- 
ciation, to perform the last act of a vanishing century. It is usual for an 
outgoing President on vacating office, in the name of the Council and of 
the General Committee to invite his successor to take the Chair. To-day 
we stand on the border-line not merely of two official years, but between 
two centuries of scientific activity. Naturally, we shall be looking forward, 
but for a moment we should also look back. During the past century the 
Association has done a great work for Science and for Mankind. In its 
earlier days it moved only within the narrow circle of the British Isles : 
but as the years passed, and the evolution of the Empire progressed, it 
began to cultivate a wider field, by meeting occasionally in one or aiiother 
of the great Dominions. In this the Association was gradually assuming 
an Imperial rather than an insular function. In preparing for this Cen- 
tenary Meeting the General Committee and the Council desired to mark 
their sense of widening aspirations by looking overseas for their new 
President. By a general consensus of opinion the choice fell upon one 
who represents the Dominion of South Africa, and whose name carries 
great weight in varied fields. I have now the honour of asking the 
Right Honourable Jan Christiaan Smuts^awyer, soldier, statesman, and 
philosophical exponent of scientific theory — to take the Chair : and in so 
doing to inaugurate a new century of existence of the British Association.' 

Gen. The Rt. Hon. J. C. Smuts, P.C, C.H., D.Sc, F.R.S. 

' I very much appreciate the extreme Idnduess with which Professor 
Bower has inducted me to this Chair. I feel a special pleasure and 
pride in following him here. For half a lifetime I have followed him as a 
foremost exponent of the science which we both love above all others ; 
and though it is not botany that has brought me here, there is this bond 
between us, which will be strengthened by the events of to-day. 

' But how could I adequately thank this Association for the honour 
they have conferred on me of presiding over this historic Meeting ? The 
Presidenc}^ of the British Association is justly one of the most highly 
coveted distinctions of British science, and it has been held by the greatest 
scientists of the last hundred years. The uniqueness of this occasion only 
adds to the distinction. I am consoled by the thought that I did not 
covet this lofty eminence, and as Lord Melbourne said of another form of 
1P81 " h 



xviii NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

honour, there was no personal merit implied in my election. I stand here 
in a representative capacity. My being thus singled out can stir no 
feehug of envy, and only calls for syrajjathy on the part of those who 
know the difficulties confronting an amateur in this exalted i)osition. 

' May I be y)ersonal a moment longer ? This day, forty years ago, I 
sailed from South Africa to continue my studies at a British University. 
What floods of history have since poured over the world ! Much has 
happened in my own personal life. But nothing can equal this occasion 
where, in your desire to mark the Imperial character of this Centenary 
Meeting, you have chosen me as a Dominion representative to preside 
over it. It is the crowning honour of niy life. South Africa looks upon 
this as an honour done to herself and as part of the romance of her own 
story. The sister Dominions appreciate this act of courtesy iu which they 
all share. The British Empire has given yet another instance of that 
breadth of conception and human sympathy which has made it the 
greatest and most beneficent political society that has ever existed. 

' Your Association has, during the century now passed, run a course 
not unlike that of the Empire on a smaller scale. The saj^ling, which was 
planted at York a hundred years ago, has gro^^'n into the great tree 
Yggdrasil whose roots penetrate all the continents, whose branches cover 
the Empire overseas. Your Association has become the parent of similar 
science associations in most of the Dominions, and this Centenary Meeting 
has truly become a great family reunion. The parent Association has 
spared no effort or expense in making this a representative gathering of 
British Science from all parts of the world. This wonderful Meeting is a 
proof of its success. I extend a special welcome to my fellow-citizens 
from the Dominions and the outer marches of the Empire. For them as 
for me, this Mill be one of the golden memories of our lives. 

' I also extend a cordial and warm welcome to the many distinguished 
foreign scientists from Europe, Asia and America, who have honoured us 
with their presence. Science knows no poUtical boundaries. More and 
more it is becoming a collective collaboration among the scientific workers 
of all nations for the common good of mankind. Science is universal and 
recognises no frontiers except those of reason and fact. And it is destined, 
perhaps more than any other form of human activity, to draw the nations 
together, to reconstitute their broken unity, and to give form and sub- 
stance to that ideal of mankind as one human family, which science has 
itself done most to reveal as a fact. 

' What shall I say on this introductory occasion ? My main address 
will be given to-night. The circumstances of the inception of this 
Association a century ago I shall more appropriately refer to at York next 
Saturday — the place and date of the first Meeting. Time does not permit 
of a statement to-day of the great advances of science during the century 
that has elapsed since. I may, however, be permitted to say a few words 
here on the general situation out of wliich the Association arose a hundred 
years ago, and contrast it with that of to-day. And it is also fitting for 
me to refer to the special function which this Association has performed 
in the advancement of science during that century. 

* Like to-day, 1831 was a time of grave economic and political confusion 
and unsettlement. The situation sixteen years after the Napoleonic Wars 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xix 

was not very different from the situation now, thirteen years after the 
Great War, although the mischiefs of to-day reach farther and go much 
deeper. It was, like ours, a time of transition from one era, from one 
order of things to another, with all the dislocation and unrest and social 
suffering which such a transition implies. Men could not then foresee 
the great Victorian era on whose threshold they were already standing, 
and they were filled with fears and dark forebodings of the future. The 
agitation which led to the great Reform Act the following year had 
reached its climax. The prospects of British science no less than of British 
industry appeared sombre even to those best informed. Sir David 
Brewster, perhaps the leading figure in the British science of that day, 
painted in that year a gloomy picture — of England alone among the 
nations lagging behind in the race of recovery and reconstruction, of 
artisans quitting her shores and service, of machinery and inventions 
being exported to distant markets, and of the best arts and industries of 
England being lost to other nations. 

' But the situation was not really as black as it was painted : it seldom 
is. In the first j^lace, in the Reform Act of 1832 was found the master 
key of democracy, which was to open and render possible the orderly 
political evolution of the Victorian age. In the second place, science was 
definitely coming on the scene as a force to be reckoned with. At the 
very time of Brewster's jeremiad, Michael Faraday was successfully 
solving the principle of the dynamo, and thereby opening up a source of 
power which was to revolutionise the industries of the future. In that 
year also, and largely on the initiative of Brewster himself, this Association 
for the Advancement of Science was founded. At the darkest hour before 
the dawn Science thus came forward as the new reinforcement, the great 
new factor in the economic reconstruction of the world, and the immense 
material progress of the nineteenth century has been largely due to it. 
Drawing the parallel for to-day, one may hesitate about the next step in 
political development, but there is no room for doubt that science, now 
even more than in 1831, is the dominant factor in the industrial and 
economic revival, and that in the penetration of science into all avenues 
of human activity lies our main hope of future advance. 

' The British Association was founded on a successful German model 
and had for its two main objects the fostering of intercourse among workers 
in science, and the creation of a platform for propaganda purposes from 
which the progress and discoveries in science could be brought to the 
notice of the public. Several of our great expert scientific societies were 
already in existence, but something more was wanted, which would bring 
their members together in a common association and co-operation, and 
would at the same time link them up with the large lay public which was 
more and more becoming interested in science and its discoveries. It was 
in a sense a reahsation of Bacon's prophetic vision in the New Atlantis, 
of some future philosophical academy of the pioneers and researchers in 
knowledge, which would foster the spread of science by arranging 
' circuits or visits of the divers cities of the Kingdom.' Like all novel 
ideas, it met with a good deal of active or covert opposition ; the press 
laughed at it, and famous writers like Dickens poured ridicule on it. But 
the idea was sound and met a real need, and it could count from the first 

62 



XX NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

on tlie active support of many of the leading men in British science. It 
was, therefore, bound to succeed. Men like Brewster, Dalton, Robert 
Brown, Faraday, Lj'ell, Murchison, Whewell, Sedgwick and Forbes, took 
a prominent part in its proceedings and gave prestige to the infant 
Association. At a later date, most of the great figures in British science 
took an active part in its work ; and with a few exceptions, the list of 
Presidents reads like a roll-call of all that is most distinguished in British 
science. The Association has served its purpose admirably as an effective 
sounding board of the scientific advance. Here were fought out great 
controversies, like that over Darwin's theory of descent, and the din of 
battle helped to give impetus to the new views. Here great discoveries 
were announced ; here Joule explained his epoch-making researches into 
the mechanical equivalent of heat ; here Rayleigh and Ramsay announced 
the discovery of argon which led to the discovery of the other inert 
elements ; here Fitzgerald first announced Hertz's verification of Clerk 
Maxwell's theory of electro-magnetic waves ; here Sir Oliver Lodge gave 
the first public demonstration of wireless ; most epoch-making of all, 
here Sir Joseph Thomson announced his discovery of the electron. I could 
greatly extend this list of famous discoveries announced or proclaimed at 
meetings of the Association, but the foregoing will suffice. 

' Nor has the Association been content to cater for science in these islands 
only. From the eighties of last century onw-ard, it has extended its 
mission to the Dominions, having visited Canada four times, South Africa 
twice, and Australia once. These Dominion visits have not been among 
the least fruitful and valuable meetings of the Association. Dominion 
workers have thereby been inspired and stimulated in a way which 
would not have been possible otherwise ; lines of research in the Dominions 
have been suggested and started which have led to fruitful results. British 
men of science, again, have come into contact with the wider problems 
presented by Dominion conditions, and have had to adjust their views to 
new and larger situations. The exchanges of science at these Dominion 
meetings have thus been mutually helpful, and apart from the purely 
scientific results, these meetings have served a useful purpose in stimulating 
the sense of fellow-feeling and comradeship in the Empire as a whole. 
The response is seen in this great gathering, which in a sense represents a 
return visit of the Dominion Associations to the Mother Association, and 
a symposium of Empire science in the widest sense. 

' Is it too much to hope that from this great gathering of science will go 
forth a new message of hope to this Empire and to a world distracted and 
labouring in unprecedented troubles ? Science has come to represent 
the growing point of the human advance. It stands for the new forces 
which are reshaping this world of ours. It faces the future with a bold 
and confident spirit. It has an invincible faith in truth at all costs ; and 
in that faith it is embarked on the endless adventure which carries the 
future of the human race. May its confident spirit and sublime faith 
bring new inspiration to the peoples, and give them courage and strength 
for the grave tasks ahead.' 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 



XXI 



Delegates were iDvited and received from the following Universities, 
Cities and Institutions : — 



The University of Aberdeen. 

Tlie University of Adelaide. 

The University of Alberta. 

The Queen's University, Belfast. 

The University of Birmingham. 

The University of Bristol. 

The University of Cambridge. 
♦The University of Cape Town. 

The University of Edinburgh. 

The University of Glasgow. 

The University of Leeds. 

The University of Liverpool. 

The University of London. 

The Univer.sitj' of Manchester. 

The L^niversity of Manitoba. 

The Universitv of Melbourne. 
*The McGill University, Montreal. 

The University of Oxford. 

The Universitj-- of Reading. 
*The University of St. Andrews. 

The University of Saskatchewan. 

The University of Sheffield. 
*The University of South Africa. 

The Uiuversity of Stellenbosch. 

The University of Sydney. 

The University of Toronto. 

Th€' L'niversity of Wales. 
*The University of the Witwatersrand. 

Armstrong College, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne. 

The University College, Hull. 

The University College, Leicester. 

The University College, Nottingham. 

The L^niversitv College, Southampton . 



The Universitji- of Durham, College 
of Medicine, Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne. 

Trinity College, Dublin. 

The City of Aberdeen. 

The City of Adelaide. 

The City of Bath. 

The City of Belfast. 

The City of Birmingham. 

The Town of Bournemouth. 

The Town of Brighton. 

The Citv of Bristol. 

The City of Cape Town. 

The Town of Cambridge. 

The City of CardiflE. 

The Town of Cheltenham. 

The City of Edinburgh. 

The City of Glasgow. 

The City of HuU. 

The Town of Ipswich. 
*The City of Johannesburg. 

The City of Leeds. 

The City of Leicester. 

The City of Liverpool. 

The City of Manchester. 

The Citj' of Newcastle. 

The City of Nottingham. 

The City of Oxford. 

The City of Plymouth. 

The City of Portsmouth. 

The Town of Southampton. 

The Town of Swansea. 

The City of Toronto. 

The City of York. 



Academia Romana. 

Assoeiacao Portuguesa para o Progresso das Sciencias. 

Ceska Akademie ved a Umeni. 

Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. 

Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi. 

Die Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien. 

Die Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. 
*Die Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Aertze. 

Die Sachsische Akademie der Wissenschaften. 
*rinska Vetenskaps-Societeten. 

Jugoslavenska Akademija Znanosti i Umjetnosti. 

Koninklijke Akademie van Wettenschappen te Amsterdam. 
*Kungl. Svenska Vetenskapsakademien. 

L'Academie des Sciences (lustitut de France). 

L' Academic Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et dea Beaux-Arts de Belgique. 

L' Association Franijais pour I'Avancement dea Sciences. 

La Rcale Acoademia D'ltaUa. 

La Societa Itahana per il Progresso Delle Scienze. 

Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia. 

The Academy of Athens. 

The African Society. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

The Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 



XXU NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

The Association of Economic Biologists. 

The Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. 

The Biochemical Society. 

The British Academy. 

The British Astronomical Association. 

The British Medical Association. 

The British Ornithologists' Union. 

The British Science Guild. 

The Chemical Society. 

The Entomological Society of London. 

The Eugenics Society. 

The Faraday Society. 

The Foli-lore Society. 

The Geographical Association. 

The Geological Society of London. 

The Imperial Academy of Japan. 

The Incorporated Association of Headmasters in Secondary Schools. 

The Incorporated Association of Headmistresses in Secondary Schools. 

The Incorporated Association of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools. 
*The Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain and Ireland. 

The Institute of Fuel. 

The Institute of Metals. 
The Institute of Physics. 
*The Institution of Civil Engineers. 
The Institution of Electrical Engineers. 
The Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. 
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 
The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. 
The International Research Council. 
The Iron and Steel Institute. 

The Japanese Association for the Advancement of Science. 
The Linnean Society of London. 
The London Mathematical Society. 

The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 
The Mineralogical Society. 
The Museums Association. 
The National Academy of Sciences. 
The National Institute of Industrial Psychology. 
The National LTnion of Teachers. 
*The New Zealand Institute. 
The North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, 
The Optical Society. 
The Physical Society of London. 
The Phjsiological Society. 
The Royal Aeronautical Societj\ 

The Royal Agricultural Society of England. ^ 

The Ro3'al Anthropological Institute. 
The RoA'al Astronomical Society. 
The Roj'al Canadian Institute. 
The Royal College of Physicians. 
The Royal College of Surgeons of England. 
*The Royal Dubhn Society. 
The Roj'al Economic Society. 
The Royal Empire Society. 
The Royal Geographical Society. 
*The Royal Horticultural Society. 
The Royal Institution of Great Britain. 
The Royal Irish Academy. 
The Royal Meteorological Society. 
The Royal Microscopical Society. 
The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow. 
The Royal Sanitary Institute. 
The Royal Society. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xxiil 

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 
The Royal Society of Arts. 
The Royal Society of Canada. 
The Royal Society of Edinburgh. 
The Royal Society of Medicine. 
The Royal Society of New South Wales. 
The Royal Society of Queensland. 
The Royal Society of South Africa. 
The Royal Society of South Australia. _ 

The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hj'giene. 
The Royal Society of Victoria. 
The Royal Statistical Societj-. 
The Smithsonian Institution. 

The Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire. 
The Society of Antiquaries of London. 
The Society of Chemical Industry. 
*Tlie South African Association for the Advancement of Science. 
The Textile Institute. 

The Universities Bureau of the British Empire. 
The Zoological Societ3' of London. 

The Council had intimated that addresses of congratulation were not 
to be regarded as obligatory, but those Institutions and Cities which are 
marked with an asterisk above kindly forwarded addresses, together with 
the following : — 

Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften. 

Delegates from the following Universities and Institutions were also 

present : — 

The Columbia University of New York. 
The Swarthmore College. 
The Muslim University of Aligarh. 
The University of Andhra. 
The LTniversity of Dacca. 
The University of Delhi. 
The University of Helsingfors. 
The University of Lucknow. 
The University of Madras. 
. The University of the Punjab. 
La Societe Chimique de France. 
Sociedad Espanola de Fisiska y Quimica. 
The Asiatic Society of Bengal. 
The Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay Branch. 

On Wednesday evening, September 23, in the Central Hall, West 
minster, at 9.0 p.m., General Smuts delivered the Presidential Address, 
entitled ' The Scientific World-Picture of To-day,' for which see p. ] . 
The Address was relayed to three other halls in the same building 

The President sent the following message to the audiences in the 
relay halls : — 

' My successors at the Bi-Centenary Meeting in 2031 will no doubt be 
not only heard but also seen by whatever audience may desire to see and 
hear him (or her), without being compelled to come to any particular 
place for the purpose. To those whom I shall not have the pleasure of 
facing to-night while giving the Presidential Address, I can only express 
ray regret that Science has not so far advanced as to jjermit the Officers 
of the Associati6n to make better provision on this occasion. They had 



xxiv NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

no choice but to accommodate you here, and I know that no one is more 
painfully conscious of the fact than they. May I recommend those of you 
who may be disappointed on this or any other occasion during the meeting, 
to study the voluminous programme in the hope that if you are denied 
your first choice you may yet be able to enjoy the second.' 

The President visited the audiences in the relay halls at the con- 
clusion of the proceedings. 

The Address was broadcast, and a part of it was recorded, and, with 
the kind co-operation of the Gramophone Company, records have been 
placed on sale by the Association. 

An organ recital M'as given in the Central Hall from 8.20 to 9 p.m. by 
Mr. A. L. Harris, A.R.C.O. 

A vote of thanks for the Address was proposed by Sir F. Gowland 
Hopkins, President of the Royal Society. Sir Josiah Stamp, G.B.E., 
General Treasurer of the Association, announced the number of tickets 
issued for the Meeting, and referred to the Centenary Fund. 

Sectional Meeting-rooms. 

The normal meeting-rooms of the Sections are listed below ; but 
certain sessions were held in the Great Hall of the University of London 
and in Jehanghir HaU, and the discussion on the Evolution of the Universe 
in Section A was held in the Central Hall, Westminster. 

Section 

A {Math, and Phys. Sciences) Imperial College of Science and Tech- 
(Main Section) nology (main building), Physics Theatre. 

(Department of Mathe- Do., Astrophysics Room. 

matics, A*) 
(Department of Cosmical Do., Small Physics Theatre. 
Physics, Af) 

B {Chemistry) . . . Imperial CoUege of Science and Technology 

(main building). Chemistry Lecture Theatre. 

C {Geology) . . . Royal School of Mines, Room 253. 

D {Zoology) . . . Natural History Museum, Reptile Gallery. 

E {Geography) . . . Royal Geographical Society, new Hall. 

F {Economic science and City and Guilds Engineering College, 
Statistics) Room 215. 

Do. (Dept. of Industrial Royal School of Mines, Room 160. 
Co-operation, F*) 

G {Engineering) . . . City and Guilds Engineering College, 

Room 04. 

H {Anthropology) . . Royal College of Science. 

/ {Physiology) . . . Royal School of Mines, Room 53. 

J {Psychology) . . . City and Guilds Engineering College, 

Room 17, and Room 15 when Section 
divided. ^ 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. XXV 

Section 

K (Botany) . . . Royal School of Mines, Room 153, and City 

and Guilds Engineering College, Room 128, 

when Section divided . 

Do. (Dept. of Fore.itry,K*) Botany Dept., Prince Consort Road. 
L [Educational Science) . Victoria and Albert Museum. 

M {Agriculture) . . • Imperial College of Science and Technology 

(main building). Physical Chemistry Lecture 
Theatre. 
Do. (Subsection of Horti- Organic Chemistry Lecture Theatre. 

culture, M*) 
The Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies met in 
Jehanghir Hall. 

Evening Discourses, Public Lectures, etc. 
Evening discourses to Members were given as follows : 

Thursday, September 24. 

Prof. W. A. Bone, F.R.S., ' The Photographic Analysis of Explosion 
Flames.' In the hall of the Royal Geographical Society, 9 p.m. 

Sir P. Chalmers Mitchell, C.B.E., F.R.S., '"Zoos" and National 
Parks.' In the hall of the Royal College of Music, 9 p.m. 

Saturday, September 26. 

Sir Arthur Keith, F.R.S., ' The Construction of Man's Family Tree.' 
In the hall of the Royal Geographical Society, 9 p.m. 

Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., ' A Retrospect of Wireless Communication.' 
In the haU of the Royal College of Music, 9 p.m. 

Sir J. Arthur Thomson, ' Biology in the Service of Man.' In the Great 
Hall of the University of London, 9 p.m. 

Tuesday, September 29. 

Sir James Jeans, F.R.S., ' Beyond the Milky Way.' In the Central 
Hall, Westminster, 9 p.m. 

Dr. S. Kemp, F.R.S., ' Oceanography in the Antarctic' In the hall 
of the Royal Geographical Society, 9 p.m. 

Mr. H. E. Wimperis, C.B.E., ' High-speed Flying.' In the cinemato- 
graph theatre of the Imperial Institute, 9 p.m. 

Bramwell Trust Lecture.— Bk Frederick Bramwell in 1903 made pro- 
\'ision for the preparation of a lecture ' dealing with the whole question 
of the prime movers of 1931, and especially with the then relation between 
steam engines and internal combustion engines,' to be given at the 
Centenary Meeting. The Presidential Address to Section G (Engineering) 
given by Sir Alfred Bwing, K.C.B., F.R.S., in the hall of the Royal 
Geographical Society on Friday, September 25 at 5 p.m., was also the 
BramweU lecture. 

PuUiG Lectures. — A public lecture was given by Mr. Angus Macrae on 
•Guidance in the Choice of an Occupation,' at 3.30 p.m. on Monday, 



xxvi NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

September 28, in the London School of Economics, Houghton Street, 
Aldwych (by kind permission of the Director). 

The following public lectures were given at certain Polytechnics during 
the period of the Meeting : — • 

Thursday, September 24. 

Dr. L. C. Martin, ' Optics, the Servant of Science and Humanity.' At 
Northampton Polytechnic Institute, St. John Street, B.C. 1, 8 p.m. 

Prof. I. M. Heilbron, F.R.S., ' The Fat-soluble Vitamins.' At the 
North-Western Polytechnic, Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, 
N.W. 5, 7.30 p.m. 

Tuesday, September 29. 

Prof. G. W. 0. Howe, ' Michael Faraday, the Man and his Work.' At 
the Borough Polytechnic, Borough Road, S.E. 1, 7.30 p.m. 

Dr. Alexander Wood, ' The Planning of Buildings for Good Acoustics.' 
At the Northern Polytechnic, Holloway, N. 7, 7.30 p.m. 

Receptions. 

Thursday, September 24. 

A reception was given at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington , 
in connection with the visit thereto on Thursday afternoon, September 24 ; 
see Excursions and Visits, below. 

A reception was given at Bedford College for Women, Regent's Park, 
N.W. 1, by kind invitation of the Principal, on Thursday afternoon, 
September 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. Misses E. W. Gardner and G. Caton- 
Thompson arranged exhibits from their season's work at the Kharga 
Oasis. 

A reception was given by the Royal Society to invited Delegates, in 
connection with the Faraday Centenary Celebration, on Thursday evening, 
September 24. 

Friday, September 25. 

A reception was given by H.M. Government in the Imperial Institute 
on Friday evening, September 25, beginning at 9 p.m. 

A reception was given by the founder and director of the Wellcome 
Historical Medical Museum, on Friday evening, September 25, beginning 
at 8.30 p.m., in the Museum, 54 Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square, W. I. 

Saturday, September 26. 

A visit to Hampton Court Palace took place on Saturday afternoon, 
September 26, by the kind invitation of Mrs. Antrobus (see page xxxiv). 

Monday, September 28. 

A reception was given by the Chancellor, the Court and the Senate of 
the University of London on Monday evening, September 28, in the 
University. 

A reception was given at the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 
as above (Friday). 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xxvii 

Tuesday, September 29. 

A reception was given at tlie Forum Women's Club, 6 Grosvenor 
Place, Hyde Park Corner, on Tuesday afternoon, September 29. 

Wednesday, September 30. 

A reception was given by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor and Cor- 
poration of the City of London, on Wednesday evening, September 30, at 
Guildhall. 

A reception was held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, on 
Wednesday evening, September 30, by the kind permission of the Director, 
Sir Henry Lyons, F.R.S., who, with Lady Lyons, received Members on 
arrival. The President, General Smuts, took farewell of the Members 
present. 

Exhibitions. 

Museums aod other institutions which were the objectives of Excursions 
and Visits are referred to under that general heading on later pages. 

British Broadcasting Corporation : Educational Broadcasting— A 
B.B.C. exhibition was arranged in the East Gallery of the University 
dealing principally with the educational side of broadcasting. 

The main part of the hall contained a publications counter, where 
B.B.C. publications were on sale, special displays dealing with adult 
education, listening groups and school broadcasting. 

To enable visitors to see the conditions under which broadcasting takes 
place, two models of different types of studios were on view, also a model 
of the London Control Room. 

At the end of the hall there was a demonstration room, where 
demonstrations of wireless reception took place. Special demonstrations 
illustrating the contrast between satisfactory and unsatisfactory reception 
were given each day. 

Chemistry Section (B).— Exhibits were arranged during the Meeting, 
adjacent to the Section Room, as indicated among the Sectional Trans- 
actions later in this volume. 

Arrangements were made for the Department of Chemical Technology, 
Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, to be on view to Members from 
2 to 5 p.m. daily, except Saturday and Sunday, during the Meeting, when 
demonstrations and exhibits relating to the following researches were 
given : — 

(i) Gaseous Combustion and Explosions at High Pressures, 
(ii) Catalytic Reactions at High Pressures, 
(iii) The Photographic Analysis of Explosion Flames, 
(iv) Gaseous Combustion in Electric Discharges, 
(v) The Chemical Constitution of Coal, 
(vi) Blast Furnace Reactions, 
(vii) Chemical Engineering Problems. 

Professors W. A. Bone, F.R.S., and G. J. Finch and the staff of the 
Department were in attendance to receive visitors and explain the exhibits. 
Faraday Centenary Exhibition.— The private view for Members on 
Wednesday, September 23, has been referred to above (page xvi.). 



xxviii NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

Forestry, Department of (K*). — The British Wood-preserving Associa- 
tion arranged an exhibit of wood- preservation in connection with com- 
munications to the Department on Thursday, September 24. The exhibit 
remained open throughout the Meeting. 

Geological Exhibits. — Special exhibits and demonstrations were 
arranged at (a) the Museum of Practical Geology and Survey Offices, 
27 Jermyn Street, Piccadilly, where an extensive series of maps and 
specimens illustrating the Geology of London and the Home Counties 
were on view ; and (b) the British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell 
Eoad, South Kensington. Here the following special exhibits were on 
view : — 

1. A History of palseontology (with special Guide). 

2. Palaeontology and evolution. 

3. Fossil reptiles. 

4. Recent work on the anatomy of fossil Brachiopoda. 

5. Trends in fossil corals. 

6. Problematic fossils. 

7. Palseontological methods in the workshop. 

There was also an exhibition of majDS and memoirs by the Geological 
Survey in the De la Beche Laboratory, Royal School of Mines. 

Geophysical Instruments, &c. — An exhibit of geophysical instruments 
and survey methods was shown in the Science Museum, through the 
courtesy of Sir Henry Lyons, F.R.S., during the period of the Meeting, 
and in connection with the discussion on Geophysical Methods of 
Prospecting in Section A, Friday morning, September 25. 

King's College of Household and Social Science, Campden Hill Road, 
W. 8. — The Biological, Chemical and Physiological Laboratories were 
open to inspection on Friday, September 25, Monday, September 28, and 
Tuesday, September 29, from 2.30 to 5 p.m. 

Mathematical and Physical Sciences {Section ^).— During the Meeting, 
Prof. Kerr Grant exhibited in the Physics Laboratory, adjacent to the 
Section room, a simple static voltmeter, a surface tension meter, a model 
of inertia coupled oscillators, and a contrivance for demonstrating the law 
of errors. 

Mechanical Aids to Learning.- — ^The second exhibition of Mechanical 
Aids to Learning was held from Tuesday, September 22, to Tuesday, 
September 29 inclusive, at South Kensington. Arrangements were made 
by the British Institute of Adult Education, through a joint organising 
committee on which the British Association, through its Education 
Section (L), and the Commission on Educational and Cultural Films, were 
represented. The exhibition comprised (a) exhibits of apparatus con- 
nected with broadcasting, television, the film, the gramophone, the 
epidiascope, and other similar inventions, with demonstrations of their 
working ; (b) a series of lectures, discussions and demonstrations of the 
use of these types of apparatus under class-room and lecture-room con- 
ditions. The exhibition was housed in the Imperial Institute, the Institut 
Fran9ais (1-7 Cromwell Gardens), and the Lecture Theatre of the Science 
Museum. Members were admitted without charge. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. XXIX 

PublisJieri Association. — An exhibition of scientific books published 
by leading firms was arranged in the West Gallery of the University. 

ScJiool Nature Study Union.— The President and Executive of the 
School Nature Study Union extended to Members of the Association an 
invitation to visit the Nature Study Exhibitioii held at the London Day 
Training College, Southampton Row, on Saturday, September 26, from 
2.30 to 6 p.m. 

Science Museum.— In addition to the daily public lectures given and 
tours conducted by the official lecturers, the officers of the Museum 
generously offered to show the collections in their charge to any Members 
who desired to make a closer study of any object or objects than is 
possible in a tour with a party. See, further, Geophysical Instruments, 
above. 

Shipping, Engineering atid Machinery Exhibition.— This exhibition, in 
Olympia, Kensington, was freely open to Members, and a special visit in 
connection with Section G (Engineering) was arranged. 

Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, Wigmore Street, W. 1.— In 
addition to the receptions arranged for the evenings of Friday, September 
25, and Monday, September 28, the following special exhibitions of 
archaeological, ethnological, and folk-lore interest were held in the 
museum :— 

1. Egypt Exploration Society. Jewellery and antiquities from the 
excavations at El Amarna and Armant. 

2. English Folk-Dance Society. Historical folk costumes, &c. 

3. Mr. Duggan-Cronin. Photographs of native life from South Africa. 

4. Mr. H. W. Seton-Karr. Stone artefacts from Somaliland. 

5. Dr. R. Broom, F.R.S. Collection of crania from South Africa. 

6. Prof. L. Cipriani. Photographs and casts of African natives. 

7. Miss Blackman. Tatu designs from modern Egypt. 

St, Paul's Cathedral. 

On Sunday, September 27, accommodation was reserved for Members 
at the service in St. Paul's Cathedral at 10.30 a.m. Preacher, the Right 
Rev. the Lord Bishop of Southwark. 

Excursions and Visits. 
A geological excursion to East Anglia took place before the Meetnig, 
with the following time table : — 
Wed., Sept. 16 Older Red Crag, London to Colchester by train. Motor 

coach to Walton, Beaumont and Little Oakley. To 

Ipswich in evening. 
Thur., Sept. 17 Coralline Crag, Newer Red Crag, Chillesford Beds, &c. 

From Ipswich to Newbourn, Ramsholt, Sudbourne, 

Orford, by motor coach. Back to Ipswich. 
Fri., Sept. 18 Chalk, Eocene and Glacial. From Ipswich to Bramford 

and Clavdon, bv motor coach. Drive to Norwich. 



XXX NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

Sat., Sept. 19 Norwicli Crag, Older Glacial. From Norwich by motor 

coach via Thorpe to Lowestoft, Gorton and Hemsby. 
Return via Sprowston to Norwich. 

Sun., Sept. 20 Chalk, Late Pliocene, Glacial. From Norwich by motor 
coach to Happisburgh and Trimmingham, &c. East 
end of Cromer section. Stay at Cromer. 

Men., Sept. 21 Chalk, Late Pliocene, Glacial. Cromer to Weybourn 
and Hunstanton by motor coach. 

Tues., Sept. 22 Carstone, Red Chalk, Chalk, Glacial. Hunstanton. 
Return to London by train in evening. 

Thursday, September 24. 

X2 National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. 

Visitors were given the opportunity of inspecting the laboratory and 
the gardens of Bushy House. Special demonstrations were arranged 
in connection with Section G (Engineering). Tea was provided by 
kind invitation of the Director. 

{Section C, Geology.) 

CI Charlton and Dartford Heath. 
C2 Denham and Harepield. 

{Section D, Zoology.) 

Dla University College, Gower Street (Depts. of Zoology and 
Human Anatomy). 
Special demonstrations of zoological interest were given. 

Dlb London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel 
Street, Gower Street. 

A special demonstration of zoological interest was arranged, and tea 
was provided by the School. 

{Section E, Geography.) 
El Imperial Institute. 

{Section H, Anthropology.) 

HI London Museum. 

Parties were conducted by members of the staff, and tea was pro- 
vided by kind invitation of the Trustees. 

{Sedition I, Physiology.) 

II University College, Gower Street (Physiology Dept.) and 
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 
Special demonstrations were arranged, and tea was provided by kind 
invitation of the Board of Management and the Council of the School 
of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

(Section K, Botany.) 

Kl Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 

Parties were conducted round the Herbarium, Library and other 
places of interest by members of the staff. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. XXxi 

{Department K*, Forestry.) 

K*l Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough. 
The visitors were shown round the Laboratory by guides, visiting 
the Sections of Wood Structure, Wood Chemistry, Timber Physics, 
Timber Mechanics, Seasoning, Wood Preservation, Mycology, 
Entomology, Utilization and Woodworking. Tea was provided at 
the Research Station by kind invitation of the Director. 

(Section L, Educational Science.) 

L7 Middlesex Hospital Medical School, Mortimer Street, W. I. 

The party were conducted over the teaching parts of the Hospital 

and were the guests of the School for lunch and tea. 
LI London Museum, Lancaster House, St. James, S.W. L 
L2 Harrow School. 

Tea was provided at the School by kind invitation of the Headmaster 

who also led the party. 

L3 Morley College for ^A'orkixg Men and W^omen, 61 Westminster 
^ Bridge Road. 

L4 Monotechnic, The School of Building. Ferndale Road, 
Brixton. 

L5 Downham Central School, Goudhurst Road, Bromley. 

L6 Open-air Nursery School, Old Church Road, Commercial 
Road, E. 

Friday, September 25. 

Morning. 

(Section, Educational Science.) 

L8 FuRZEDOWN Training College and Streatham County School. 
Lunch was provided at the Furzedown Training College by kind 
invitation of the Principal. 

Afternoon. 
X3 Whipsnade Park (Zoological Society of London). 

X4 Down House, the home of Darwin from 1842 to 1882, maintained 
by the Association as a national memorial. The Donor and 
Honorary Curator, Mr. G. Buckston Browne, F.R.C.S., F.S.A., 
kindly attended during the afternoon. 

(Section A, Mathematical and Physical Scietices.) 
Al Royal Observatory, Greenwich. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Astronomer Royal, Sir 

F. W. Dyson, K.B.E., F.R.S. 

(Section C, Geology.) 

C3 Croham Hurst and Worms Heath. 

C4 Hertford, Ware and Broxbourne. 



xxxii NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

(Section D, Zoology.) 

D2 Royal College of Surgeons. 

Parties were conducted round the Hunterian Museum by Sir Arthur 
Keith, F.R.S., and Mr. R. H. Burne, F.R.S. Tea was provided by 
kind invitation of the President and Council of the College. 

[Section E, Geography.) 

E2 Meteorological Office, South Kensington. 

E3 Science Museum. 

{Section G, Engineering.) 

G4 Members connected with the Engineering Section were invited to 
visit the Shipping and Engineering Exhibition at Olympia during 
the afternoon. Tea was provided by kind invitation of the 
Exhibition authorities. 

{Section H, Anthropology.) 

H2 Miss Canziani's Studio and collection of folk-lore objects, mostly 
of Italian origin (Abruzzi) but with some Piedmontese and others 
from Savoy. Tea was provided by kind invitation of Miss Canziani. 

H3 Messrs. Bryant and May's Fire-iiaking Museum. 

{Section I, Physiology.) 

12 Royal College op Physicians. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the President and Council. 

{Section J, Psychology.) 

Jl University College, Gower Street (Psychology Dept.). 

A demonstration was arranged, by kind permission of Prof. 
Spearman. 

J2 King's College, Strand (Psychology Dept.). 

A demonstration was arranged by kind permission of Dr. Aveliug. 
J3 Bedford College for Women (Psychology Dept.). 

A demonstration was arranged by kind permission of Prof. Edgell. 

{Section K, Botany.) 

K2 Natural History Museum, to view a selection of the historical 
collections of specimens, manuscripts and drawings in the Depart- 
ment of Botany. 

{Department K*, Forestry.) 

K*2 Messrs. W. W. Howard Bros. & Co.'s Timber Wharves, Canning 
Town. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of Mr. Alexander L. Howard, 
J.P. 

{Section L, Educational Science.) 

L9 Brixton Day Continuation School. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the School Staff. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xxxiii 

LIO The Charterhouse and St. John's Gate. 

Tea was provided at St. John's Gate by kind invitation of the Order 

of St. John of Jerusalem. 
LI 1 University College, Gower Street. 

After inspection of the College premises, tea was provided by kind 

invitation of the Provost. 
L12 Stowey House Open-air Day School, Clapham Common. 

LI 3 Marvels Lane L.C.C. School, Grove Park, S.B. 

LI 4 School of Engineering and Navigation, High Street, Poplar. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Principal. 
L15 St. Paul's Girls' School, Brook Green, Hammersmith, W. 6. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the High Mistress. 

Saturday, September 26. 
Morning. 
XI York. 

A party including the President and invited Officers and Members 
visited York, the birthplace of the Association in 1831, on Saturday 
and Sunday, September 26, 27. On Saturday afternoon General 
Smuts was admitted a freeman of the City of York, and opened the 
Hospitium in the JMuseum grounds. In the evening the Lord Mayor 
of York entertained the visiting Members and a distinguished local 
company to dinner. On Sunday morning the Lord Mayor and 
Corporation and the visitors attended service in the Minster, when 
the preacher was Canon Raven. 

{General and Section G, Engineering.) 

XGl New Ford Motor AVorks, Dagenham, and Lower Reaches of 
the Thames. 

{Section B, Chemistry, a)id Section G, Engineering.) 

BG Gas Light and Coke Company : Works and Laboratories. 

The party inspected the research laboratories and works of the Gas 
Light and Coke Company at King's Road, Fulham, and lunch was 
provided at the head offices of the Company by kind invitation of 
the Governor and Directors. 

{Section C, Geology.) 

C5 Chiltern Hills (Western Area). 

Lunch was provided at Reading University by kind invitation. 
C6 Guildford District. 

{Section E, Geography.) 
E4 Romney Marsh. 

{Section H, Anthropology.) 

H4 Colchester. 

By kind permission of the Royal Archseological Listitute, members 
connected with Section H (Anthropology) were allowed to take part, 
upon the same footing as the Institute's own members, in the 
Institute's excursion to Colchester. 
1931 c 



xxxiv NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

{Section K, Botany.) 

K3 ROTHAMSTED EXPERIMENTAL STATION, HaRPENDEN. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Director and the Lawes 
Agricultural Trust Committee. 

{Department K*, Forestry.) 

K*3 Bedgebury. 

This excursion was to a tract of land under the control of H.M. 
Forestry Commission, and the party studied the problems latent in 
afforestation work, and was conducted round the arboretum. 

{Section L, Educational Science.) 

L41 Heritage Craft Schools, Hospitals and Homes for Cripples, 

Chailey, and the Seaside Branch at Tidemills, Bishopstone, 

near Newhaven. 

Tea was provided by the kind invitation of Dr. and Mrs. C. W. 

Kimmins. 
LI 6 Christ's Hospital, West Horsham. 

Limch and tea were provided by kind invitation of the Headmaster 

and Governors. 
L17 Pitman's College and The Intensive Business Course (Marl- 
borough Gate). 
L18 Royal Naval College and Royal Observatory, Greenwich. 

Lunch was p^o^^ded at the College by kind invitation of the 

President. 

{Section M, Agriculture.) 

Ml ROTHAMSTED EXPERIMENTAL STATION, HaRPENDEN. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Director and the Lawes 
Agricultural Trust Committee. 

{Section M, Agriculture, sub-section of Horticulture.) 
M*l East Malling Research Station. 

Tea was provided by land in%atation of the Director and Mrs. T. G. 

Hatton. 

Afternoon, 
X5 Hampton Court Palace (by the kind invitation of Mrs. Antrobus). 
Opportunity was given to inspect tbe Palace and the flower gardens, 
and tea was provided. Some of the ladies resident in the Palace 
kindly assisted to receive the party. 

{Section D, Zoology.) 

D3 Zoological Society's Gardens, Regent's Park. 

Parties were formed to visit the Reptile House, Aquarium, Sana- 
torium and Laboratories. Col. A. E. Hamerton and Dr. S. 
Zuckerman gave demonstrations during the afternoon. Tea was 
provided at 4.30 p.m. in the new Restaurant by kind invitation of 
the President and Council of the Zoological Society. 

{Section F, Economics.) 

Fl Welwyn Garden City. 

This excursion was arranged in relation to Prof. Unwin's paper on 
' The Town-planning of Greater London.' The party visited the 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. XXXV 

St. Pancras House Improvement Society's Slum Clearance Scheme, 
Ossulston Street Tenement Dwellings (L.C.C.), Hampstead Garden 
City and WatUng Cottage Estate (L.C.C.) on the outward journey 
and Becontree Housing Estate (L.C.C.) on the return. 

{Section H, Anthropology.) 

H5 Verulamium (St. Albans). 

The party was conducted over the recent extensive excavations of 

prehistoric and Roman sites. 

(Section J, Psychology.) 

J4 Bethlem Royal Hospital. 

By kind permission of the Governors and the Physician-Super- 
intendent, the party were able to study the work of the hospital in its 
various branches. 

{Section L, Educational Science.) 

L19 School of Architecture, Bedford Square. 

An exhibition of students' work was arranged at the School, and tea 
was provided by kind invitation of the Council of the Architectural 
Association. 

L20 Public Record Office, Chancery Lane. 

L21 The School of Pharmacy, Bloomsbury Square. 

Tea was provided at the School by kind invitation of the Pharma- 
ceutical Society. 

L22 Westminster School and Westminster Abbey. 

Tea was provided at the School by kind invitation of the Head- 
master. 

L23 London County Council : County Hall and Education Library. 
Tea was proAaded at the County Hall by kind invitation of the 
Education Officer, Mr. G. M. Gater, C.M.G., D.S.O. 

L24 Shirley Residential School, Croydon. 

Sunday, September 27. 
Morning. 
{Section C, Geology.) 
C7 Chiltern Hills, Eastern Area. 
C8 Godstone, Tonbridge and Redhill. 

{Section D, Zoology.) 

D4 Tring Museum (by kind permission of Lord Rothschild) and 
Whipsnade Park. 

{Section K, Botany.) 

K4 Tring and Neighbourhood. 

{Department K*, Forestry.) 

K*4 Rendlesham. 

This is one of the Forestry Commissioners' areas. An opportunity 
was given to see the work in all its phases, including nurseries where 
the trees are grown for planting out, plantations of different species, 
but principally Scots and Corsican pines, in different stages of 
growth. 

c2 



XXXVi NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

(Section M, Agriculture.) 

M2 Imperial Chemical Industries' Research Station, Jealott's 
Hill. 

The party was conducted over the Station, which has been set up by 
the Agricultural Research and Advisory Department of the Imperial 
Chemical Industries, Ltd. Lt.-Col. W. R. Peel, D.S.O., gave an 
account of the work of the Economics section of the Agricultural 
Research Department on ' Small Holdings.' Lunch and tea were 
provided by kind invitation of the Director. 

X6 London Air Park, Feltham. 

Headquarters of the Hanworth Club, one of the largest light aero- 
plane clubs in the country. During the course of the afternoon 
there were demonstrations of motorless flying and power flying, and 
facilities for the inspection of the hangars and workshops were 
provided. 

{Section E, Geography.) 

E5 The River Thames. From Chelsea Pier to Greenwich and back to 
Westminster Pier. 

(Section H, Anthropology.) 

H6 Cranmore Museum, Chislehurst. 

Mr. H. Beasley conducted the party over his ethnographical col- 
lection, and entertained them to tea. The museum was founded 
for the specialised study of the material culture of the races of the 
Pacific, with particular reference to Maori culture. Additional 
series have been formed along the same lines, dealing with the art 
of Benin, West Africa, and of the Eskimo and peoples of the North- 
West coast of America. 

Monday, September 28. 

Morning. 
(Section L, Educational Science.) 
L25 No. 2 School of Technical Training (Apprentices), Royal Air 

Force, Halton, Bucks. 

Lunch and tea were provided at the school by kind invitation of the 

Air Ministry. 

Afternoon. 
(Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies.) 
Z7 Down House. 

(Section A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences.) 

A2 General Electric Co.'s Laboratory, Wembley. 

Facilities were afforded for inspection of the many branches of the 
Company's work in electrical research, visits being paid to the 
Research Laboratories and the Osram G.E.C. glass and lamp works. 
Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Company. 
A2 Kew Observatory, Meteorological Office. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Air Ministry. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xxxvii 

{Section C, Geology.) 

C9 Claygate and Oxshott. 

CIO Dorking. 

{Section D, Zoology.) 

D5 Farnham Royal Laboratory and Entomological Field Station, 
Slough. 

About an hour was spent in inspecting the Farnham Royal Laboratory 
(by kind permission of the Director of the Imperial Bureau of 
Entomology). The party then proceeded to the Field Station of the 
Entomological Department of the Lnperial College of Science and 
Technology. The laboratory and grounds were open for inspection, 
by kind permission of Prof. J. W. Munro. 

{Section F, Economics, and Section G, E)igineering.) 

F G Works of the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., and the 

London Underground Group of Companies. 

Tea was provided at Chiswick by kind invitation of the Companies. 

{Section G, Engineering.) 

G2 London Electric Railways, Tube Extension Works, Southgate. 
Tea was provided by kind invitation of the London Electric Railways. 

{Section H, Anthropology.) 

H7 British Museum. 

OflBcers connected with the departments of Egyptian and Ass}T:ian 
Antiquities, British and Mediaeval Antiquities, and Ceramics and 
Ethnography conducted parties through their departments. 

{Section I, Physiology.) 

13 Royal College of Surgeons. 

Parties were conducted round the Hunterian Museum. Tea was 
provided by kind invitation of the President and Council of the 
College. 

{Section J, Psychology.) 

J 5 National Institute of Industrial Psychology. 

Films were exhibited illustrative of the Institute's factory and 
vocational guidance work, together with graphs and diagrams of 
results, and jneces of research work. Tests and other methods of 
vocational guidance and selection were demonstrated. Tea was 
provided by kind invitation of the Principal. 

{Section K, Botany, and Department K*, Forestry.) 

K5 RoY'AL Horticultural Society's Gardens, Wisley. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Royal Horticultural 

Society. 

{Section L, Educational Science.) 

L26 Acre Lane Residential School for Mentally Defectives, 

Brixton. 
L27 Borough Polytechnic, Southwark. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Principal. 



XXXviii NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. 

L28 School Clinic, Highgate New Town. 

L29 James Allen's Girls' School and Botany Gardens, Dulwich. 
Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Head Mistress. 

L30 Royal Holloway College, Englefield Green. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Governors and Principal. 

L31 Chelsea College op Physical Education, Manresa Road, 
S.W. 3. 

An open afternoon was arranged to enable visitors to see demonstra- 
tions of the three-years' course. 

L32 Violet Melchett Infant Welfare Centre ; and Chelsea 
Physic Garden. 

L33 Special Curriculum School, Chaucer Street, Borough. 

{Section M, Agriculture.) 

M3 National Institute for Research in Dairying, Shinfield. 

(Section M, Agriculture, subsection of Horticulture.) 

M*2 Messrs. Lowe & Shawyer's Nurseries, Uxbridge. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of Mr. George Shawyer. 

Tuesday, September 29. 

X7b Antarctic Research Ship Discovery II, St. Katherine's Dock, 

Tower Bridge. 
X8b Air Port of London, Croydon. 
X9 Port of London Authority, Docks. 

(Section A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences.) 

A4 London Docks and a Modern Ocean Liner. 

The party inspected the Tobacco Warehouse and the Cold Store at 
the Victoria and Albert Docks (by kind permission of the Port of 
London Authority) and then proceeded to the M.V. Highland Princess, 
where tea was provided by the kind invitation of the Nelson Line, 
and opportunity was given for looking over the ship and machinery 
(both main and refrigeratory). 

A5 Radio Research Station, Slough. 

Tea was provided at the Admiralty Compass Observatory, which 
was open for inspection. 

[Section C, Geology.) 

Cll Swanscombe. 

C12 DuNTON Green and Sevenoaks. 

(Section D, Zoology.) 

D6 Zoological Departments open for Insjiection. 

By kind permission of the Professors and College Councils, the 

Departments of Zoology in the following Colleges and Institutes 

were open for inspection by members of the Association : — 

King's College, Strand. 

Imperial College of Science and Technology. 

Bedford College for Women. 

BiRKBECK College. 



NARRATIVE OF THE CENTENARY MEETING. xxxix 

King's College of Household and Social Science. 
Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. 

(Section E, Geography.) 

E6 Circuit of the City of London. 

{Sections E, Geography ; F, Economics ; G, Engineering.) 
EFG Poet of London Authority, Docks. 

A special launch and tea were provided by kind invitation of the 

Chairman and Council of the Authority. 

(Section G, Engineering.) 

G3 British Broadcasting Corporation, London Regional Station. 
Brookman's Park. 
Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Corporation. 

[Section H, Anthropology.) 

H8 HoRNiMAN Museum, Forest Hill. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of Mr. Emslie J. Horniman. 

(Section J, Psychology.) 

J6 London Child Guidance Clinic. 

J7 Child Guidance Clinic, Spitalfields. 

[Section K, Botany.) 
K6 Down House. 
K7b John Innes Horticultural Institution, Merton Park. 

Tea was provided by kind in\'itation of the Council of the Institution. 

[Section L, Educational Science.) 

L34 National Training School of Cookery and Domestic Science. 

Tea was provided at the School by kind invitation of the Principal. 
L35 School of Arts and Crafts, and London Day Training College. 
L36 Institute of Historical Research. 
L37 Royal Academy of Music. 
L38 Bec Secondary School, Tooting. 

Tea was provided by kind invitation of the Headmaster and staff. 
L39 City op London College. 

Wednesday, September 30. 

Afternoon. 
X7 ' Discovery II,' St. Katherine's Dock, Tower Bridge. 
X8 Air Port of London, Croydon . 

(Section K, Botany.) 

K7 John Innes Horticultural Institution, Merton Park. 

Down House. — The President, General Smuts, and the Hon. Curator 
Mr. G. Buckston Browne, received a party of guests. 



REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1930-31. 



Obituary. 
I. — The Council lias had to deplore the loss by death of the following 
office-bearers and supporters : — 

Mr. M. A. Giblett. 

Prof. W. D. Halliburton. 

Mr. C. T. Heycock. 

Dr. A. Holt. ■ 

Sir Charles Lucas. 

Prof. W. C. Mcintosh (a life member since 

1867). 
Mr. H. W. Monckton. 
Prof. C. E. Moss. 
Sir Francis Grant Ogilvie. 
Hon. Sir C. Parsons (ex-president and bene- 
factor). 
Sir Harrj' Reichel. 
Sir Richard C. Temple, Bart. 

The Association was represented by the President, Prof. F. 0. Bower, 
at the memorial service in Westminster Abbey for the Hon. Sir Charles 
Parsons. 

Representation. 

II. — Representatives of the Association have been appointed as 
follows : — 



Dr. H. M. Ami. 

Dr. T. Ashby. 

Dr. T. V. Barker. 

Prof. A. Barr. 

Mr. H. 0. Beckit. 

Sir Hugh Bell. 

Dr. H. Borns. 

Dr. Florence Buchanan. 

Prof. H. Wildon Carr. 

Mr. T. F. Chipp. 

Prof. H. B. Dixon. 

Prof. W. E. Dixon. 

Dr. A. R. Dwerryhouse. 

Dr. J. W. Evans.' 



Royal Geographical Society, Centenary 
National Committee on Geographj' 
National Committee on Geodesy and Geo- 
physics ...... 

Deputation to H.M. First Commissioner of 
Works on preservation of the Roman Wall 
Deputation on withdrawal of grants from 
public funds in Australia to the Anthropo- 
logical Dept., University of Sydney. 
Congress of Universities of the Empire 
(London Meeting) 
Ditto (Edinburgh Meeting) 
Ditto, Reception Committee 
British National Committee of Folk Art 
Association Franjaise pour I'Avancement des 
Sciences (Nancy) ..... 

Joint Committee for Anthropological Research 
and Teaching (Royal Anthropological Insti- 
tute) ....... 

British Commonwealth Education Conference 
Royal Dublin Society, Bicentenary 
Sir Charles Parsons Memorial Committee 
(Royal Society) ..... 

Faraday Centenary Celebrations 



The Secretary. 
Prof. H. J. Fleure. 

Dr. F. J. W. Whipple. 

Prof. J. L. Myres. 

Dr. A. C. Haddon. 

Prof. P. G. H. Boswell. 
Prof. Sir Edward Schafer. 
The Secretary. 
Prof. J. L. Myres. 

Mr. T. Sheppard. 



Dr. A. C. Haddon. 
Dr. C. W. Kimmins. 
The President. 
Prof. J. L. MjTes and 
Sir Henry Fowler. 
Sir Charles Sherrington. 



Resolutions from Bristol Sleeting. 

III. — Resolutions referred by the General Committee at the Bristol 
Meeting to the Council for consideration, and , if desirable, for action, were 
dealt with as follows : — 

(a) On the recommendation of Section A (Mathematical and Physical 
Sciences) it was resolved that the mathematical tables prepared as stated 



REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1930-31. xli 

in the report of the Mathematical Tables Committee (Bristol Meeting) be 
printed at a cost not exceeding £200. 

(b) A resolution from Section A (Mathematical and Physical Sciences) 
expressing condolence on the death of Prof. H. H. Turner, and the hope 
that his death would cause no discontinuity in the astronomical and 
seismological work carried on at the University Observatory, was adopted 
by the Council and forwarded to the Board of Visitors of the observatory. 

(c) A resolution from Section H (Anthropology) supporting the 
establishment of a National Open-air Folk Museum in London, and a 
resolution from Section K (Botany) urging the importance of continuing 
provision for botanical research on part of the grounds of the Royal 
Botanic Gardens, Regent's Park, which were proposed as the site for such 
a museum, were considered together by a committee of Council. The 
Council received and adopted a report from this committee to the efEect 
that such a museum was desirable, that it would best fulfil its objects if 
established in or close to London, and that the site in Regent's Park should 
be considered, provided that this could be done without interfering with 
the ground used for the scientific work of botanical departments of the 
University of London. 

{d) A resolution from Section H (Anthropology) on the desirability 
of anthropological training for officials charged with native administration 
in Australia, and of preventing the extinction of the aborigines, was 
adopted and communicated to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of 
State for the Dominions. 

(e) A resolution from Section H (Anthropology) dealing with the 
activity of unauthorised persons on archasological sites in South Africa 
and the Rhodesias, was adopted and communicated to the Secretaries oi 
State for the Dominions and for the Colonies. 

(/) A resolution from the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding 
Societies urging the establishment of nature reserves in connection with 
national parks in Great Britain was adopted and forwarded to the National 
Park Committee. 

Centenary Meeting. 

IV.— In connection with preparations for the Centenary Meeting, the 
Council have received unstinted help from all the authorities which they 
have had occasion to approach. These will more appropriately receive 
the thanks of the Association at the Meeting ; but the Council wishes 
now to record their gratitude to the Lord Mayor, Sir W. Phene Neale, for 
permitting the London Committee to meet in Guildhall on April 21, and 
himself taking the chair. 

Presidency. 

V. — Sir Alfred Ewing, K.C.B., F.R.S., has been unanimously nominated 
as President of the Association for the year 1932 (York Meeting). 

VI.— The Council recommend the following change in Statute VI, 1, 
for adoption by the General Committee subject to the approval of H.M. 
Privy Council. 

The present Statute provides that : — 

The President shall assume office on the first day of the Annual Meetiny, 



xlii REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1930-31. 

when he shall deliver a Presidential Address. He shall resign office at the 
next Annual Meeting, when he inducts his successor into the Chair. 

The amendment recommended provides that : — 

The President shall assume office on the first day of January next following 
the Annual Meeti-ng at which he is appointed. He shall deliver a Presidential 
Address at the Annual Meeting during his year of offi^ce, and shall vacate 
his office on the thirty-first day of December next following that meeting. 

The Council has carefully considered this important amendment, 
which was proposed by one of the ex-presidents of the Association and 
approved bv a large majority of the remainder. It is recommended on 
these grounds : — 

(1) That the President would be responsible administratively for the major part 
of the preparation of arrangements for the Annual Meeting over which he is elected 
to preside, and his influence could be more directly brought to bear upon them. 

(2) In particular, he would take the chair at the joint meeting of Organising 
Sectional Committees in the January preceding the Annual Meeting, which has now 
become a regular and principal part of the mechanism of preparing the programme. 

(3) As a point of minor but still recognisable importance, he would arrive at the 
place of the Annual Meeting as President, not as President-elect, and possible confusion 
in the local public mind would be avoided. 

(4) After the Annual Meeting he would still be in office to preside over those 
meetings of the Council at which matters arising out of the Annual Meeting are 
principally dealt with. 

The objection that the ceremony of installing the new President at the Inaugural 
Meeting would be lost, may be discounted, as it would still be possible for, e.g., the 
immediate ex-president to introduce the President to the first general meeting over 
which he would preside, but the existing Statute VI, 1, has proved to be unworkable 
on occasions, sometimes because of the unavoidable absence of the outgoing President. 

Down House. 

VII. — The following report for the year 1930-31 has been received 
from the Down House Committee : — 

The number of visitors to Down House during the year ending June 6, 1931, has 
been 5210, compared with 11,000 in the previous year. As this was the first, 
a diminution was to be foreseen, especially as in the earlier period a number of societies 
sent parties. The public interest appears to those in residence to be as great as could 
be expected, having regard to the geographical position of the house. 

Thanks have been tendered on behalf of the Committee for a number of gifts or 
loans, of which three call for special notice. The magnificent gift of shrubs and 
herbaceous plants from the Director of Kew Gardens, which in a measure repeats 
history, since the garden in Darwin's time was certainly indebted to Hooker, will 
go far, in due .season, to rehabilitate the grounds. The decision of Prof. A. C. Seward, 
F.R.S., to deposit the major part of the Darwin Library at Down House on loan 
(the library having been bequeathed by Sir Francis Darwin ' to the professor of 
Ijotany in the University of Cambridge for the time being ') has already been gratefully 
acknowledged by the Council. The important series of letters from Darwin to Fritz 
Miiller in Brazil, which, as the Council are aware, was acquired by Prof. H. Fairfield 
Osborn from Miiller's family for presentation to the Association, has now been 
received, together with a series of photostat facsimiles, contained in portfolios 
specially made and inscribed. 

The contents of the memorial rooms have been valued and insured against loss 
by fire. 

A catalogue of the exhibits has been prepared and printed for sale to visitors. 

The hon. curator, Mr. Buckston Browne, has arranged that the rooms shall be 
open to the public throughout the year, except on Christmas Day and Good Friday, 
between 10 and 6 o'clock from April to September, and between 11 and 4 o'clock 
from October to March. 



REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1930-31. xliii 

The rating of the property is still in dispute, the rating authority holding that 
unless ' complete severance ' is efiEected between the public and residential portions 
of the house, the whole must be rateable. Further legal opinion is being obtained ; 
but it is pertinent to observe that none of the Committee's advisers has as yet adduced 
an approximately parallel case which would carry conviction to both parties. 

The income from dividends upon the endowment fund, rents, sales and donations 
during the calendar year 1930 amounted to £1,150, and the expenditure on running 
costs during the same year was £1,210. ' Capital ' expenditure by the Association 
since the acquisition of the property amounts to £2,500, with certain further commit- 
ments in view and exclusive of the second mortgage of £700 granted to the outgoing 
tenant. The estimates given in last year's report of the Committee were therefore 
not far from the results of a complete year's experience ; but the Committee's hope 
then expressed that additional financial support would be forthcoming in connection 
with the Centenary Fund has not yet been realised. 

Finally, the Committee would wish to share the gratification which the Council 
has already expressed for Mr. Buckston Browne's munificent gift to the Royal College 
of Surgeons to enable the establishment of a research farm on land adjoining the 
Down House property. 

With reference to the above report, the Council have deposited the 
originals of the Miiller letters in the British Museum on permanent loan. 

Proposed Visits to Chicago and Neiv Zealand. 

VIII. Chicago. — The Council hav? received from Dr. Henry Crew, on 
behalf of the Administration of the Chicago World's Fair, 1933, in 
co-operation with the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science, a generous invitation to the Association to form a party of some 
twenty leading British representatives of science to visit Chicago during 
the period of the fair, and to take part in scientific proceedings. A subsidy 
is offered in connection with ocean travel. The Council understand that 
a formal invitation will be presented to the General Committee, and they 
recommend that it be accepted. The principle of organising such a party 
additionally to the ordinary annual meeting of the Association would be 
new, but there is no statutory bar to it, and the Council consider that it 
would be a proper and desirable extension of the Association's activities. 

IX. New Zealand. — H.E. the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lord 
Bledisloe, indicated that he hoped for the visit of a representative party 
from the Association during his period of office (which terminates in 1934), 
and that such a party would be assured of a warm welcome. The Council 
appointed a committee to consider the proposal, and in its recommendation 
authorised Sir Thomas Holland and the General Officers to enter into 
communication upon the proposal with the Governor-General, the Prime 
Minister, and the High Commissioner. From the last of these it was 
understood that, in view of the present financial situation in New Zealand, 
no good purpose would be served by pursuing the proposal further at 
present. 

Finance. 

X. General Treasurer's Account. — The Council has received reports 
from the General Treasurer throughout the year. His accounts have 
been audited and are presented to the General Committee. His prefatory 
statement deals with the position of the Centenary Fund. Every contribu- 
tion and promise have been acknowledged on the Council's behalf, and a 
list will be issued at the Centenary Meeting. 



xliv REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 1930-31. 

Under the will of the late Sir Charles Parsons, already, as is well known, 
the Association's generous benefactor, the Association is a beneficiary in 
the sum of £2,000. 

General Officers, Council, and Committees. 

XI. — The General Officers have been nominated by the Council as 
follows : — • 

General Treasurer, Sir Josiah Stamp. 

General Secretaries, Prof. J. L. Myres, Prof. F. J. M. Stratton, and Prof. 
P. G. H. Boswell. 

Prof. Stratton offered his resignation to the Council, since considera- 
tions of health have prevented him from taking full part in the preparations 
for the Centenary Meeting. He had also made it clear, when first 
appointed, that he would be absent from the meeting in 1932. The 
Council did not accept Prof. Stratton's resignation, but appointed Prof. 
Boswell as a third (acting) general secretary, and now make the nomina- 
tions stated above. 

XII. Council. — The retiring Ordinary Members of the Council are 
Dr. F. C. Shrubsall, Prof. A. L. Bowley, Prof. C. Lovatt Evans, and 
Mr. F. C. Bartlett, together with Dr. H. Clay, who resigned owing to 
inability to attend. 

The Council nominates the following new members : Dr. J. Drever, 
Prof. T. Gregory, Prof. B. B. Poulton ; leaving two vacancies to be filled 
by the General Committee without nomination by the Council. 

The full list of nominations of Ordinary Members is as follows : — 

Dr. F. A. Bather. Col. Sir H. G. Lyons. 

Dr. J. Drever. C. G. T. Morison. 

Sir Henry Fowler. Sir P. Chalmsrs Mitchell. 

Prof. W. T. Gordon. Prof. E. B. Poulton. 

Sir Richard Gregory. Prof. A. 0. Rankine. 

Prof. T. Gregory. Dr. C. Tate Regan. 

Prof. Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan. Prof. A. C. Seward. 

Dr. A. C. Haddon. Dr. N. V. Sidgwick. 

Sir Daniel Hall. Dr. G. C. Simpson. 

Sir James Henderson. Prof. J. F. Thorpe. 

Mr. A. R. Hinks. Mr. H. T. Tizard. 
Dr. C. W. Kimmins. 

XIII. General Committee. — The following have been admitted as 
members of the General Committee : Mr. N. K. Adam, Mr. J. H. Awbery, 
Dr. W. N. Bond, Dr. E. M. Crowther, Dr. G. A. Dunlop, Dr. H. G. Fourcade, 
Mr. A. Home, Mr. Alexander Howard. 

XIV. Corresponding Societies Committee.— The Corresponding Societies 
Committee has been nominated as follows : The President of the Associa- 
tion (Chairman ex-officio), Mr. T. Sheppard (Vice-Chairman), Dr. C. Tierney 
(Secretary), The General Treasurer, the General Secretaries, Mr. C. 0. 
Bartrum, Dr. F. A. Bather, Sir Richard Gregory, Mr. J. V. Pearman, 
Sir David Prain, Sir John Russell, Prof. W. M* Tattersall. 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT 

1930-31. 



In the balance sheet there appears the sum received on account of 
donations to the Centenary Fund down to June 30, 1931. I have con- 
veyed the thanks of the Council to all the subscribers, who at that date 
numbered over 500. Certain additional donations have been promised. 
But in view of the general financial situation and the experience gained 
from other public appeals at the present time, it was clearly inopportune 
to press the appeal for the Centenary Fund as strongly as it might have 
been pressed in favourable circumstances, and for the present it would 
seem that the Association can aim at little more than covering its com- 
mitments in respect of the Centenary Meeting itself. Even this object 
has not yet been achieved, for the statement in the balance sheet needs 
amplification. It shows only one-half of the grants for Imperial delegates 
(which will total £3,000) as having been paid, and only a small sum 
(£141 7s.) on accoimt of deposit for the hire of the Central Hall, West- 
minster, and additional clerical assistance, which had been paid down to 
June 30. The income and expenditure account shows increases both in 
receipts from membership subscriptions, and in expenditure upon stationery, 
postages, and general expenses, which are directly attributable to the 
forthcoming meeting ; but the bulk of the expenditure in connection with 
that meeting will fall within the ensuing financial year. It may, indeed, 
be hoped that next year's accounts will again show a substantial increase 
in membership receipts, for the same reason ; but the expenses neces- 
sarily to be incurred must also show an advance which will justify a 
further appeal for an endowment fund as soon as circumstances become 
more favourable. The activities land liabilities of the Association have 
increased, and further endowment will be essential to consolidate the 
position it has attained at the close of its first century. 

The direct comparison between the expenditure for printing during the 
past year (£1,638) and the preceding year (£1,060) is misleading, because 
some of the payments on this account which normally would have fallen 
within the year 1929-30 had been made in the year before, when the 
expenditure on printing was shown as £2,882. The figure for the present 
year, therefore, should be compared with the average for the two pre- 
ceding years, £1,971, from which it wiU be realised that actually some 
saving has been effected. 

J. C. Stamp, 
General Treasurer. 



xlvi 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



Balance Sheet, 



Corresponding 
Figures 
June 30, 

1930. 
£ s. d. 

10,942 19 I 


LIABILITIES. 

To General Fund — 

As at July 1, 1930 
As per contra ...... 

(Subject to depreciation in value of 
Investments) 


£ 


s. 


d. 


£ 
10,942 


s. 
19 


d. 

1 


9,582 16 


3 


,, Caird Fund — 

As at July 1, 1930 
As per contra ...... 

(Subject to depreciation in value of 
Investments) 

,, Caird Fund Revenue Account 

Balance at July 1, 1930 .... 


364 


12 


6 


9,582 


16 


3 


364 12 


6 


Add Excess of Income over Expendititre 
for the Year as per contra 


34 


8 


7 


399 

84 


1 
4 


1 

7 


80 4 


2 


„ Sir F. Bramwell's Gift — 

For enquiry into Prime Movers, 1931^£50 

Consols now accumulated to £165 12s. lOrf. 

As per contra ..... 








10,000 





,, Sir Charles Parsons' Gift — 

As per contra ..,,,. 

„ Sir Alfred Yarrow's Gift — 

As per last Account . . . , , 


9,055 








10,000 





I) 


9,055 





Less Transferred to Income and Expendi- 
ture Account under terms of the Gift . 


348 








8,707 












,, Life Compositions — 

As per last Account . , , , , 


1,727 


2 


2 




2 


Add received during year . 

Less Transferred to Income and Expendi- 
ture Account ..... 

Aq TIOT* /^ r» Tl t T> Q 


240 








1,952 


2 




1,727 2 


1,967 
15 


2 




~2 




•* 






.£1.15 IfCl CUllLldi — 

„ Toronto University Presentation Fund — 

As per last Account 


182 


18 


10 






10 


Add Dividends ..... 
Less Awards given .... 


8 


15 





182 


IS 




1S2 IS 


191 

8 


13 
15 


10 



1(1 






X1.0 yVL CUllLlct — 

,, Lt.-Col. A. J. C. Cunningham's Bequest — 

For the preparation of New Tables in the 
Theory of Numbers. 

As per last Account .... 


2,943 


14 


9 




9 


Add— 

Dividends . . . 110 11 2 
Income Tax Recoverable . 16 6 
Profit on Sale of Coneols . 7 4 10 


134 


2 





2,904 


14 






Less Grant made .... 

As r»PF onnirft 




i.943 14 


3,077 
173 


16 
2 


9 



9 


200 





.0.0 pel i^uxitfia — 

,, South African Association Medal Fund — 

As per last Account ..... 
Less Paid to South African Association 

Carried forwan 


200 
200 












i . 




£ 




45,079 7 


9 


44,755 


16 


"9 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



June 30, 1931. 



xlvii 



Corresponding 

Figures 

June 30, 

1930. 



10,942 19 1 



9,SS2 16 3 



364 12 6 



80 4 2 
10,000 .0 



9,055 



1,727 2 2 



1S2 IS 10 



ASSETS. 



By General Fund — £ 
£4,651 10s. bd. Consolidated 2i per cent. Stock 

at cost 3,942 

£3,600 India 3 per cent. Stock at cost . . 3,522 
£879 14s. 9d. Great Indian Peninsula Railway 

'• B " Annuity at cost .... 827 
£52 12s. Id. War Stock (Post Office Issue) at 

cost . . . . .' . . 54 
£834 16s. 6d. 4J per cent. Conversion Stock at 

cost 835 

£1,400 War Stock 5 percent. 1929/47 at cost . 1,393 
£94 7s. Od. 4i per cent. Conversion Stock 

1940/44 at cost 62 

£326 9s. lOd. 3 J per cent. Ditto at cost . . 250 

Cash at Bank ..... 54 

(£8,069 18s. Id. Value of Stocks at date, £8,274 18s. 



■J,943 14 9 
200 



45,079 7 9 



s. d. £ s. (/, 

3 3 
2 6 

15 
5 2 

12 4 

16 n 

15 



8 11 
-- — - 10,942 19 1 
lOd.) 



C'aird Fund— 

£2,627 Os. lOd. India 3i per cent. Stock at cost 2,400 13 3 
£2,100 London, Midland & Scottish Railway 

Consolidated 4 per cent. Preference Stock at 

cost 2,190 4 3 

£2,500 Canada 3i per cent. Registered Stock 

1930/50 at cost 2,397 1 6 

£2,000 Southern Railway Consolidated 5 per 

cent. Preference Stock at cost . . . 2,594 17 3 



(£.6,872 9s. lid. Value at date, £6,404 lis. lOrf.) 

Caird Fund Revenue Account — 

Cash at Bank ...... 

Sir F. Bramwell's Oift— 

£158 13s. 3d. Self Accumulating Consolidated 

Stock as per last Balance Sheet 80 4 2 

6 19 7 Add Accumulations to June 30, 

1931 4 5 

£165 12 10 (Value at date, £99 7s. 8d.) 

Sir Charles Parsons' Gift — 

£10,300 4i per cent. Conversion Stock at cost 
(£10,171 5s. Od. Value at date, £10,609) 

Sir Alfred Yarrow's Gift — 

£9,055 5 per cent. War Loan as per last 

Account 9,055 

Less Sale of £348 Stock under terms of 

the Gift 348 

(Value at date, £8,968 4s. 2d.) — 

Life Compositions — 

£2,949 12s. 4d. Local Loans at cost . . 1,923 12 2 

(Value at date, £2,064 14s. 8d.) 

Cash at Bank 28 10 



Toronto University Presentation Fund — 
£175 5 per cent. War Stock at cost 
(£180 13s. 9d. Value at date, £180 5s. 
Cash at Bank .... 



Od.) 



178 



Lt.-Col. A. J. C. Cunningham's Bequest — 

£1,187 6s. lOd. 2i per cent. Consolidated Stock 
£300 Port of London 3 J per cent. Stock 

1949/99 

£100 Commonwealth of Australia 4| per cent. 

Stock 

£100 New Zealand 5 per cent. Stock . 
£800 India 6 per cent. Stock at cost . 
£1,274 4s. lOd. Local Loans 3 per cent. Stock 

at cost ....... 

Cash at Bank ...... 



653 

216 

93 
103 
801 

836 
201 



(Value of Stocks at date, £2,816 17s. 6d.) 

South African Association Medal Fund — 

Cash at Bank ...... 

Carried forward 



9.682 16 3 

399 1 1 

84 4 7 

10,000 

8.707 



11 4 

7 6 



1,952 



182 18 10 



9 







12 

6 5 

15 7 



2,904 14 9 



£44,755 16 9 



xlviii 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



Balance Sheet, 



Corresponding 
Figures 
June 30, 

1930. 
£ s. d. 
ii,079 7 9 



20,000 



LIABILITIES— con/inwed. 



Brought forward 

To Down House Endoicmeni Fund- 
As per contra 



REVENUE ACCOUNT— 
Sundry Creditors . 

Do. Do. (Down House) 



„ Income and Expenditure Account- 
Balance at July 1, 1930 
Add Excess of Income over 
Expenditure for the year. 



9,231 S 4 



£ s. d. & s. d. 

44,755 IC U 



20,000 



£ s. d. 
8,755 16 4 

531 1 6 



■265 15 11 
14 4 10 

280 9 



9,286 17 10 



9,566 18 7 



,, Centenary Meeting — 








Sundry Donations 


. 


, 




Less Hire of Hall, 








Salaries, &c. . 


141 


7 





Grants for Im- 








perial Delegates 


1,500 









£2,208 5 6 



1,641 7 



566 18 6 



10,133 17 1 



4,310 16 1 



£74,889 13 10 



I have examined the foregoing Account with the Books and Vouchers and certify the sam« 

and the Investments and have inspected the Deeds of Down House and the Mortgage or 

Approved. 

ARTHUR L. BOWLEY 



July 30, 1931. 



A. W. KIRKALDY 



A%iditors. 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



xlix 



June 30, 1931 — continued. 



Corresponding 
Figures 
June 30, 

1930. 
£ s 

45,079 7 



d. 

9 



ASSETS — continued. 

£, 
Brought forward ...... 

By Mr. G. Buckston Browne's Gift in memory of 

Darwin — Down House, Kent .... Not valued. 

Do. F.ndowment Fund — 

£5,500 India 4 J percent. Stock 1958/68 ateost 5,001 17 

£2,500 Australia 5 per cent. Stock 1945/75 

at cost ....... 2,468 19 

£3,000 Fisharuard & Rosslare Railway 3J per 

cent. Guaranteed Preference Stock at cost. 2.139 17 
£2,500 New South Wales 5 per cent. 1945/65 

Stock at cost ...... 2,467 7 

£2,500 Western Australia 5 per cent. 1945/75 

Stock at cost ...... 2,472 1 

£3,340 Great Western Railway 5 per cent. 

Guaranteed Stock at cost . . . 3,436 7 

£2,500 Birkenhead Railway 4 per cent. Con- 
solidated Stock at cost .... 2,013 9 



£ s. d. 
44,755 16 9 



{£1S,4S6 12s. Od. Value at date, £17,303 10s. OcZ.) 

REVENUE ACCOUNT— 
Investments : — 

£2,098 Is. 9d. Consolidated 2i per cent. Stock 

at cost ....... 1,200 

£4,338 6s. 2d:. Conversion 3 J per cent. Stock 

at cost ....... 3,300 

£400 5 per cent. War Loan Inscribed Stock at 

cost 404 16 



(£4,9:>o 16s. Sd. Value at date, £5,358 8s. 4d.) 4,904 16 
Second Mortgage on Isleworth House, Orping- 
ton 700 

Down House Suspense Account — 

As per last Account . . . . .938 7 

Purchase of Land adjoining Down House . 275 
Down House — Income and Expenditure Account 
Balance at July 1, 1930 . £1,566 4 
Jdd Excess of Expenditure 

over Income for the year 315 16 6 



Sundry Debtors and Payments in advance . 

Do. (Down House) 

Cash at Bank ...... 

viz ; General Account . . £3,639 14 3 

Less Down House — Charges 

met out of General Fund . 3,330 18 3 



1,882 
733 9 
249 15 
308 16 



£308 16 



Cash in Hand 



20,000 



141 12 6 



10,133 17 1 



£74,889 13 10 



to be correct. I have also verified the Balances at the Bankers 
[slcwurth House. 



W. B. KEEN, 
Clicirtered Accountant. 



1931 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



Income and 

FOR THE Year Ended 



Correspon 


ling 
















Figures 
Juao 30 




EXPENDITURE. 














1930. 


















€ s. 


d. 




& 


s. 


d. 


€ 


s. 


d. 


20 10 


4 


To Heat, Lighting and Power 


24 


19 


1 








84 3 


6 


,, Stationery ...... 


157 





9 








1 





„ Rent 


1 














167 12 


10 


„ Postages ...... 


263 


11 


8 








lis 10 


5 


,, Travelling Expenses .... 
,, Exhibitioners ..... 


216 
37 


5 
14 


8 
11 








229 IS 


6 


„ General Expenses 


278 


6 


1 








621 15 


7 


978 


18 


2 




1,499 1 


n 


„ Salaries and Wages .... 


1,794 


7 











75 





„ Pension Contribution .... 


75 














1,060 5 


11 


,, Printing, Binding, &c. .... 


1,638 


2 


11 


4,486 


8 


1 


3,256 2 


ii 
















52 3 


10 




















,, Zimbabwe Loan Exhibition 








122 


1 


5 






,, Grants to Research Committees : — 


















Fossil Plants at Fort Gray Committee . 


16 


8 


7 












South African Liverworts Committee . 


2 


6 















Transplant Experiments Committee 


25 


















East African Lakes Committee 


200 


















GalUee Caves Committee 


25 


















Western Desert of Egypt Committee . 


85 


















South African Desert Plants Committee 


60 


















Overseas Training Committee 


8 


















Mycorrhiza in relation to Forestry Committe 


i 40 


















Teaching of General Science in Schools Com 


















mittee ...... 


12 


2 


5 












Macedonia Committee 


25 


















Plymouth Laboratory Committee 


50 


















British Somaliland Committee 


50 


















,, Kleinia Articulata Committee . 


40 


















,, Chemical Analysis of Upland Bog Waters Com 


















mittee ...... 


8 


















,, Freshwater Biological Station Committee . 


40 


















,, Human Geography of Tropical Africa Committe 


3 2 


13 















,, Vocational Tests Committee 


40 














431 1 


9 


,, Education and Documentary Films Committee 


1 


17 


6 


731 


7 









,, Balance, being excess of Income over Expenditur< 








2,437 8 




1 


for the year ..... 
Note. — The Net Excess of Income for the Year i 


3 






531 


1 


6 


6,176 16 


£5,870 


18 


6 




^** 




~~' 


~~ 






£215 5s. Od., as follows : — 


















Balance as above . . . . . 


531 


1 


6 












Less Down House Deficiency . 


315 


16 


6 










£215 


5 



















Gaird 






EXPENDITURE. 














£ s. 


d. 


To Grants paid — 

Seismology Committee 
Bronze Age Implements Committee 
Mathematical Tables Committee . 
Zoological Record Committee 


£ 

200 
50 
65 
50 


s. 







d. 







£ 


s. 


d. 


200 





Naples Tables Committee . . . . 


50 








415 












,, Balance being excess of Income over Expendi 








163 S 


s 


ture for the Year . . . . . 






- 


34 


8 


7 


363 S 


8 


£449 


8 


7 



GENERAL TREASURER'S AGCOUNT. 



li 



Expenditure Account 

June 30, 1931. 



Corresponding 


Fig 


ires 




Juno 30 




1930. 




£ 


s. 


d. 


149 








1,252 


5 





27-3 








10 








S7 


10 





1,023 


5 


1 


15 


19 





1 


17 


6 


70 


9 





551 


16 


S 


227 


1 


9 


264 


3 


9 



I 



1,379 10 10 



312 17 
28 



6,176 16 1 



INCOME. 



By Annual Regular Members (including £51 , 1931/32) 
Annual Temporary Members (including £069, 

1931/32) 

Annual Members with Report (including £331 lOs., 

1931/32) 

Transferable Ticl:ets (including £26 5s., 1931/32) 
Students' Tickets (including £25 10s., 1931/32). 
Life Compositions Anioimt transferred 
XJnexpended Balance of Donations in aid of 

Expenses of South Africa Meeting . 
Donation ....... 

Zivihabwe Loan Exhibition — Sate of Calaloi/vcs, drc. 

Lift Rent 

Interest on Deposit ..... 

Sale of Publications ..... 

Advertisement RcTenuc ..... 
Income Tax Recoverable .... 

Unexpended balance of grants returned 
Liverpool Exhibitioners ..... 



Di^'^dends : — 

Consols ...... 

India 3 per cent. .... 

Great Indian Peninsula Railway ' B ' Amiiiit 

'li per cent. Conversion Loan 

Do. Sir Charles Parsons' Gift 

Local Loans ..... 

War Stock 

War Stock (Series A), Sir A Yarro^\ 's Gift 
3} per cent. Conversion Loan 



Sir Alfred Yarrow's Gift — 

Proceeds of Sale of £348 War Loan in accord- 
ance with the terms of the Gift . 
Profit on Sale ...... 



130 
83 
26 
33 

359 
69 
76 

444 

126 



34 8 
13 



Interest on Mortgage 



15 

14 

12 

7 

4 

6 

17 

1 

10 



£ 


s. 


(/. 


158 








898 


5 





634 


10 





138 


15 





150 


10 


(1 


15 

















9 18 

578 15 10 

275 7 5 

227 17 2 

31 13 1 

22 10 



1,340 8 5 



361 6 1 
27 2 6 



£5,870 18 6 



I 



Fund. 



s. d. 



290 15 

72 13 S 



363 S 8 



INCOME. 

By Dividends — 

India 3 i per cent. Stock . . . . 

Canada 3 J per cent. Stock . . . . 

London, Midland & Scottish Railway Con- 
solidated 4 per cent. Preference Stock 

Southern Railv>ay Consolidated 5 per cent. 

,» Preference Stock ..... 

'-a 
,, Income Tax Recoverable .... 

,, t'nexponded Balance of Grants rcturnid 



s. d. 



71 5 
67 16 







65 2 

77 10 



£ s. d. 



281 13 2 

72 13 8 

95 1 9 

£449 8 7 



d2 



lii 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



Down House, 



Corresponding 
Figures 
June 30, 
1930. 
£ s. d. 
754 17 11 
140 2 7 



115 

27 



a 6 



15 12 



6 2 
3 4 
1 9 

7 11 

8 



l,15j 


12 


4 


201 


2 


5 


4S2 


4 





183 


4 





S66 


10 


5 



EXPENDITURE. 



To Wages of Staff 
, Rates, Insurance, etc. 
, Heat, Light and Drainage 
, Repairs and Renewals 
, House and Garden Sundries 
, General Expenses . 
, Printing 
, Photo Postcards 



A-. rf. 



a 


.V. 


<l. 


788 


10 





no 


8 


3 


182 


12 


o 


31 


IT) 


7 


36 


Ifi 


f> 


(>9 


14 


11 


21 


4 


7 


2 


3 


G 



To Balance brought down ..... 

House and Garden Equipment, Rcpairn. Re- 
newals and Alterations to Buildings, Walls, 
Paths, etc. . . . . . • . 

Law Costs. 

Costs re Rates Appeal ..... 

Cost of Inventory and Valuation 



7 19 
25 2 9 



£1,243 5 8 

115 5 5 

107 9 4 

33 1 9 

£315 16 6 



Memorandum Account 



To Sundry Creditors .... 
,, E.xpondituro met from General Fund 



£ s. d. 

14 4 10 

3.330 18 3 



s. (I. 



3,345 3 1 



£3,345 3 1 



GENERAL TREASURER'S ACCOUNT. 



liii 



June 30, 1931. 



Corresponding 
Figures 
Jnne 30, 
1930. 
£ s. d. 
S6 16 8 
55 2 



790 18 11 

14 17 9 

6 14 7 

201 2 5 



1,155 12 



S66 10 



INCOME. 

By Rents Receivable ..... 

,, Income Tax Recoverable 

,, Dividends — 

4} per cent. India Stoclv 

Fishguard and Rosslare Railway 3 i percent 

Stocli 

New South Wales 5 per cent. Stock 
Great Western Railway 5 per cent. Stock 
Australia 5 per cent. Stock 194.5/7.5 
Western Australia 5 per cent. Stock 
Birkenhead Railway 4 per cent. Stock . 

,, Donations ...... 

,, Sale of Postcards, etc. .... 

„ Balance carried down .... 



By Balance being excess of Expenditure over Intonic 
for the Year ...... 



s. (7. 



191 16 


4 


81 7 


fi 


i)6 17 




129 8 




9(3 17 




90 17 




77 10 


(1 







£ .s. cl. 
142 :i 4 
203 11 1 



770 14 10 

1 11 

10 10 1 

11.5 .5 5 



£1,243 5 8 



315 Ifi G 



806 10 5 



£315 16 6 



of Down House. 



£ s. d. 



I 



By Suspense Account — 

Compensation paid to outgoing tenant and 

Redemption of Tithe . . . . 938 7 
,, Purchase of Land adjoining Down House . . 275 
,, Sundry Debtors 249 15 7 



Income and Expenditure Account — 

Balance at July 1, 1930 . 1,506 4 

Add Excess of Expenditure 
over Income for year as per 
separate Income and Ex- 
penditure Account . . 315 16 6 



1,463 



1,882 6 



£3,345 3 1 



RESEARCH COMMITTEES, Etc. 

APPOINTED BY THE GENEEAL COMMITTEE, MEETING IN 

LONDON, 1931. 

G-rants of money, if any, from the Association for expenses connected 
with researches are indicated in heavy type. 

SECTION A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 

Seismological Investigations. — Dr. F. J. W. Whipple (Chairman), Mr. J. J. Sliaw 
{Secretary), Mr. C. Vernon Bovs, Dr. J. E. Crombie, Sir F. W. Dyson, Sir R. T. 
Glazebrook, Mr. Wilfred HaU, Dr. H. Jeffreys, Sir H. Lamb, Prof. H. M. Mac- 
donald. Prof. E. A. Milne, Mr. R. D. Oldham, Prof. H. C. Plummer, Prof. A. O. 
Rankine, Rev. J. P. Rowland, S.J., Prof. R. A. Sampson, Mr. F. J. Scrase, Sir 
Napier Shaw, Capt. H. Shaw, Sir F. E. Smith, Mr. R. Stoneley, Sir G. T. Walker. 
£250 (including £100, Caird Fund grant). 

Calculation of Mathematical Tables. — Prof. E. H. Neville (Chairman), Dr. L. J. 
Comrie (Secretary), Prof. A. Lodge (Vice-Chairman), Dr. J. R. Airey, Dr. R. A. 
Fisher, Dr. J. Henderson, Dr. J. O. Imin, Dr. E. S. Pearson, Mr. F. Robbins, 
Dr. A. J. Thompson, Dr. J. F. Tocher, Dr. J. Wishart. £93 (Caird Fund grant). 

SECTION B.— CHEMISTRY. 

To Collect and Tabulate all available data on the Parachors of Chemical Compounds 
with a view to their subsequent publication. — Dr. N. V. Sidgwick (Chairman), 
Dr. S. Sugden (Secretary), Dr. N. K. Adam. £10. 

SECTION C— GEOLOGY. 

To excavate Critical Sections in the Palaeozoic Rocks of England and Wales. — Prof. 
W. W. Watts (Chairman), Prof. W. G. Fearnsides (Secretary), Mr. W. S. Bisat, 
Dr. H. Bolton, Prof. W. S. Boulton, Dr. E. S. Cobbold, Prof. A. H. Cox, Mr. 
E. E. L. Dixon, Dr. Gertrude Elles, Prof. E. J. Garwood, Prof. H. L. Hawkins, 
Prof. V. C. Illing, Prof. 0. T. Jones, Prof. J. E. Marr, Dr. F. J. North, Mr. J. 
Pringle, Dr. T. F. Sibly, Dr. W. K. Spencer, Prof. A. E. Trueman, Dr. F. S. WaUis. 
£20. 

The Collection, Preservation, and Systematic Registration of Photographs of 
Geological Interest. — Prof. E. J. Garwood (Chairman), Prof. S. H. Reynolds 
(Secretary), Mr. C. V. Crook, Mr. E. G. W. Elliott, Mr. J. F. Jackson, Mr. J. 
Ranson, Prof. W. W. Watts, Mr. R. J. Welch. 

To investigate Critical Sections in the Tertiary and Cretaceous Rocks of the London 
Area. To tabulate and preserve records of new excavations in that area. — Prof. 
W. T. Gordon (Chairman), Dr. S. W. Wooldridge (Secretary), Mr. H. C. Berdinner, 
Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, Miss M. C. Crosfield, Mr. F. Gosling, Prof. H. L. Hawkins, 
Prof. G. Hickling. £10. 

The Stratigraphy and structure of the Palaeozoic Sedimentary Rocks of West Cornwall. 
— Mr. H. Dewey (Chairman), Mr. E. H. Davison ((Secretory), Mr. H. G. Dines, Miss 
E. M. LiQd Hendriks, Mr. S. Hall, Dr. S. W. Wooldridge. 

To investigate the Travertmes of the Kharga Oasis, Africa. — Dr. Gertrude L. Elles 
(Chairman), Miss E. W. Gardner (Secretary), Mr. W. N. Edwards, Dr. W. F. 
Hume. £20. 

To consider and report upon Petrographic Classification and Nomenclature. — Mr. W. 
Campbell Smith (Chairman), Dr. A. K. Wells (Secretary), Prof. P. G. H. Boswell, 
Prof. A. Holmes, Prof. A. Johannsen, Prof. P. Niggh, Prof. H. H. Read, Prof. 
S. J. Shand, Dr. H. H. Thomas, Prof. C. C. Tillej', Dr. G. W. T\Trell. 



RESEARCH COIIMITTEES. Jv 

SECTIONS C, U. E, H.— GEOLOGY. ZOOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, 
ANTHROPOLOGY. 

Expedition to investigate the Biology, Geology, and Geography of Lakes Baringo and 
Rudolf, Northern Kenya and Lake Edward, Uganda. — Prof. J. S. Gardiner 
(Chairman), E. B. Worthington and J. T. Saunders {Secretaries), Dr. VV. T. 
Caiman, Prof. J. W. Gregory^ Prof . R. N. Rudmose Brown, Dr. L. S. B. Leakey. 

SECTIONS C, D, E, K.— GEOLOGY, ZOOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, BOTANY. 

To organise an expedition to investigate the Biology, Geology, and Geography of the 
Australian Great Barrier Reef. — Rt. Hon. Sir M. Nathan {Chairman), Sir E. H. 
Macartney {Treasurer), Prof. J. Stanley Gardiner and Mr. F. A. Potts (Secretaries), 
Dr. W. T. Caiman, Dr. C. M. Yonge. 

SECTION D.— ZOOLOGY. 

Zoological Bibliography and Publication. — Prof. E. B. Poulton (Chairman), Dr. F. A. 
Bather (Secretary), Mr. E. Heron-Allen, Dr. W. T. Caiman, Sir P. Chalmers 
Mitchell, Mr. W. L. Sclater. 

To nominate competent Naturalists to perform definite pieces of work at the Marme 
Laboratory, Plymouth. — Prof. J. H. Ashworth (Chairman and Secretary), Prof. 
H. Graham Cannon, Prof. H. Mum'o Fox, Prof. J. Stanley Gardiner. £50. 

To co-operate with other Sections interested, and with the Zoological Society, for 
the purpose of obtaining support for the Zoological Record. — Sir Sidney Harmer 
(Chairman), Dr. W. T. Caiman (Secretary), Prof. E. S. Goodrich, Prof. D. M. S. 
Watson. £50 (Caird Fund grant). 

On the Influence of the Sex Physiology of the Parents on the Sex-Ratio of the Offspring. 
■ — Prof. J. H. Orton (Chairman), Mrs. Bisbee (Secretary), Prof. Carr-Saunders, 
Miss E. C. Herdman. £10. 

To consider the position of Animal Biology in the School Curriculum and matters 
relating thereto. — Prof. R. D. Laurie (Chairman and Secretary), Mr. H. W. 
Ballance, Dr. Kathleen E. Carpenter, Mr. O. H. Latter, Prof. E. W. MacBride, 
Mi.ss M. McNicol, Miss A. J. Prothero, Prof. W. M. Tattcrsall, Dr. Ethel N. Miles 
Thomas. 

SECTIONS D, I, K.— ZOOLOGY, PHYSIOLOGY, BOTANY. 

To aid competent investigators selected by the Committee to carry on definite pieces 
of work at the Zoological Station at Naples. — -Prof. J. H. Ashworth (Chairman 
and Secretary), Prof. J. Barcroft, Prof. E. W. MacBride, Dr. M. Knight. £50 
(Caird Fund grant). 

SECTIONS D, K.— ZOOLOGY, BOTANY. 

To try to arrange for the observation and recording of changes in the Flora and Fauna 
of St. KUda since its evacuation. — Prof. J. Ritchie (Chairman), Prof. F. A. E. 
Crew (Secretary), Dr. A. Bowman, Prof. J. Graham Kerr, Dr. C. H. O'Donoghue, 
Dr. Lloyd Praeger, Prof. J. Walton. 

To aid competent investigators selected by the Committee to carry out appropriate 
types of work at the Freshwater Biological Station, Wray Castle, Windermere. — 
Prof. F. E. Fritsch (Chairman), Mr. J. T. Saunders (Secretary), Dr. B. M. Griffiths, 
Miss P. M. Jenkin, Dr. C. H. O'Donoghue. £75. 

SECTION E.— GEOGRAPHY. 

To co-operate with the Ordnance Survey in the production of a Population Density 
Map (or Maps) of Great Britain and to endeavour to get this pubUshed as soou 
as the 1931 Census is available ; and, further, to examine the possibility of making 
similar Maps of the Empire, utihsing the International Map (1 : 1,000,000) as 
the base. — Brig. H. St. J. Winterbotham (Chairman), (Secretary), 

Mr. J. Bartholomew, Mr. P. Debenhara, Prof. C. B. Fawcett, Prof. H. J. Fleure, 
Mr. H. King, Mr. R. H. Kinvig, Prof. A. G. Ogilde, Prof. O. H. T. Rishbeth, 
Prof. P. M. Roxby, Mr. A. Stevens, Capt. J. G. Withycombe. 



Ivi RESEARCH COMMITTEES. 

To inquire into the present state of Knowledge of the Human Geography of Tropical 
Airica, and to make recommendations for furtherance and development. — Prof. 
P. M. Roxby (Chairman), Prof. A. G. Ogilvie (Secretary), Prof. C. B. Fawcett, 
Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. E. B. Haddon, Mr. R. H. Kinvig, Mr. .J. McFarlane, 
Mr. R. U. Sayce, Rev. E. W. Smith, Brig. H. St. J. Winterbotham. £25. 

To ascertain the place which Geography occupies in the Curricula of the Universities 
in the various Dominions of the Empire. — Prof. C. B. Fawcett (Chairman), 
Dr. L. Dudley Stamp (Secretary), Mr. L. J. Burpee, Prof. F. Debenham, Dr. C. 
Fenner, Prof. Griffith Taylor, Prof. J. H. WeUington. 

SECTIONS E, K.— GEOGRAPHY, BOTANY. 

To consider the possibility of publishing the series of sixteen Maps of England and 
Wales prepared by Mrs. Treleaven to Ulustrate the distribution of Woodland and 
Marsh before the alterations effected during historic times and originally presented 
by her to Section E at the Hull Meeting (1922). — Sir John Russell (Chairman), 
Prof. P. M. Roxby (Secretary) ; Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. R. H. Kinvig (Acting 
Secretary), Prof. A. G. Ogilvie (from Section E) ; Dr. E. J. Salisbury, Dr. T. W. 
Woodhead (from Section K). 

SECTIONS E, L.— GEOGRAPHY, EDUCATION. 

To report on the present position of Geographical Teaching in Schools, and of Geography 
in the training of teachers ; to formulate suggestions for a syllabus for the teaching 
of geography both to Matriculation Standard and in Advanced Courses and to 
report, as occasion arises, to Council through the Organising Committee of 
Section E upon the practical working of Regulations issued by the Board of 
Education (including the Scottish Education Department) affecting the position 
of Geography in Schools and Training Colleges. — Prof. Sir T. P. Nunn (Chairman), 
Mr. L. Brooks (Secretary), Mr. A. B. Archer, Mr. J. N. L. Baker, Mr. C. C. Carter, 
Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. 0. J. R. Howarth, Mr. H. E. M. Icely, Mr. J. McFarlane, 
Rt. Hon. Sir Halford J. Mackinder, Prof. J. L. Myres, Dr. Marion Newbigin, 
Prof. A. G. Ogihae, Mr. A. Stevens, Prof. C. B. Fawcett (from Section E) ; Mr. 
C. E. Browne, Sir R. Gregory, Mr. E. R. Thomas, Miss 0. Wright, Prof. Godfrey 
Thomson (from Section L). 

SECTION G.— ENGINEERING. 

Earth Pressures.— Mr. F. E. Wentworth-Sheilds (Chairman), Dr. J. S. Owens 
(Secretary), Prof. G. Cook, Mr. T. E. N. Fargher, Prof. A. R. Fulton, Prof. F. C. 
Lea, Prof. R. V. SouthweU, Dr. R. E. Stradhng, Dr. W. N. Thomas, Mr. E. G. 
Walker, Mr. J. S. Wilson. 

Electrical Terms and Definitions. — Prof. Sir J. B. Henderson (Chairman), Prof. F. G. 
Baily and Prof. G. W. 0. Howe (Secretaries), Prof. W. Cramp, Dr. W. D. Dye, 
Prof. W. H. Eccles, Prof. C. L. Fortescue, Sir R. Glazebrook, Prof. A. E. KenneUy, 
Prof. E. W. Marchant, Sir F. E. Smith, Dr. W. E. Sumpner, Prof. L. R. 
Wilberforee. 

Stresses in Overstrained Materials. — Sir Henry Fowler (Chairman), Dr. J. G. Docherty 
(Secretary), Prof. G. Cook, Prof. B. P. Haigh, Mr. J. S. Wilson. 

SECTION H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 
To report on the Distribution of Bronze Age Implements.— Prof. J. L. Myres 
(Chairman), Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Secretary), Mr. A. Leslie Ai-mstrong, Jlr. H. 
Balfour, Prof. T. H. Bryce, Mr. L. H. Dudley Buxton, Prof. V. Gordon Childe, 
Mr. 0. G. S. Crawford, Prof. H. J. Fleure, Dr. Cyril Fox, Mr. G. A. Garfitt. £25 
(Caird Fund grant). 

To excavate Early Sites in Macedonia.— Prof. J. L. Myres (Chairman), Mr. S. Casson 
(Secretary), Dr. W. L. H. Duckworth, Mr. M. Thompson. £25. 

To report on the Classification and Distribution of Rude Stone Monuments. — Mr. 
H. .J. E. Peake (Chairman.), Miss M. A. Murray (Secretary), Mr. A. L. Armstrong, 
Mr. H. Balfour, Prof. V. Gordon Childe, Dr. Cyril Fox, Mr. T. D. Kendrick, 
Mr. R. V. Sayce. 



RE8EARCH COMMITTEES. Ivii 

To report on the probable sources of the supply of Copper used by the Sumerians. — 
Mr. H. J. E. Peake [Chairman], Mr. G. A. Garfitt (Secretary), Mr. H. Balfour, 
Mr. L. H. Dudley Buxton, Prof. V. Gordon Childe, Prof. C. H. Desch, Prof. H. J. 

Elcurc, Sir Flinders Petric, Mr. Rastall. 

To conduct Archseological and Ethnological Researches in Crete. — Prof. J. L. Myres 
(Chairman), Mr. L. Dudley Buxton (Secretary), Dr. W. L. H. Duckworth, Sir A. 
Evans, Dr. F. C. Shrubsall. 

The Investigation of a hill fort site at Llanmelin, near Caerwent. — Dr. Willoughby 
Gardner (Chairnnm), Dr. Cyril Fox (Secretary), Prof. H. J. Fleure, Mr. H. J. E. 
Peake, Prof. H. J. Rose, Dr. R. Slortimer Wheeler. £25. 

To co-operate with the Torquay Antiquarian Society in investigating Kent's Cavern. — 
Sir A. Keith (Chairman), Prof. J. L. Myres (Secretary), Mr. M. C. Burkitt, Dr. 
R. V. FaveU, Mr. G. A. Garfitt, Miss D. A. E. Garrod, Jlr. Lacaille. 

To co-operate with a Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute in the explora- 
tion of Caves in the Derbyshire district. — Mr. M. C. Burkitt (CAairmare), Mr. G.A. 
Garfitt (Secretary), Mr. A. Leshe Armstrong, Mr. E. N. Fallaize, Dr. R. V. Favell, 
Prof. H. J. Fleure, Miss D. A. E. Garrod, Dr. J. Wilfrid Jackson, Dr. L. S. Palmer, 
Mr. H. J. E. Peake. £50. 

To investigate processes of Growth in Children, with a view to discovering Differences 
due to Race and Sex, and further to study Racial Differences in Women. — Sir 
A. Keith (Chairynan), Prof. H. J. Fleure (Secretary), Mr. L. H. Dudley Buxton, 
Prof. A. Low, Prof. F. G. Parsonsi, Dr. F. C. ShrubsaU. 

To report on the progress of Anthropological Teaching in the present century. — 
Dr. A. C. Haddon (Chairman), Prof. J. L. Myres (Secretary), Prof. H. J. Fleure, 
Dr. R. R. Marett, Prof. C. G. Seligman. 

To make a preliminary survey of some reported archaeological sites in British Somali- 
land. — Dr. A. C. Haddon (Chairman), Mr. R. U. Sayce (Secretary), Prof. J. L. 
Myres. 

To co-operate with Miss Caton-Thompson in her researches in prehistoric sites in the 
Western Desert of Egypt. — Prof. J. L. Myres (Chairman), Mr. H. J. E. Peake 
(Secretary), Mr. H. Balfour. £100. 

To co-operate with Mr. Burton Brown in archaeological researches in Asia Minor. — 
Prof. J. L. MjTes (Chairman), Prof. V. Gordon Childe (Secretary). £10. 

To report to the Sectional Committee on the question of re-editing ' Notes and Queries 
in Anthropology.'— Mrs. B. Aitken (Chairman), Dr. A. I. Richards (Secretary), 
Mr. L, Dudley Buxton, Prof. C. Daryll Forde, Dr. A. C. Haddon, Capt. T. A. 
Joyce, Prof. C. G. Seligman, Mrs. Seligman, Miss C. Wedgwood. 

To inquire into bibliographical and cataloguing arrangements already in existence 
in the subjects of Anthropology and Archaeology with a view to providing such 
supplements as may be deemed necessary. — Mr. H. J. E. Peake (Chairman), 
Mr. L. W. G. Malcolm (Secretary), Mr. M. C. Bui-kitt, Prof. V. Gordon Childe, 
Mr. K. de B. Codrington, Mr. A. M. Hoeart, Dr. E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Prof. C. G. 
Seligman. 

SECTION I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 

Colour Vision. — Prof. Sir Charles Sherrington (Chairman), Prof. H. E. Roaf (Secretary), 
Dr. Mary Collins, Dr. F. W. Edridge Green, Prof. H. Hartridge, Dr. J. H. Shaxby. 

The supply of Oxygen at high altitudes. — Prof. J. Barcroft (Chairman), Mr. N. E. 
Odell, Mr. G. S. Adair, Dr. Raymond Greene, Major J. A. Sadd. £5. 

To deal with the use of a Stercotatic Instrument. — Prof. J. Mellanbv (Chairman), 
Mr. F. R. Curtis (Secretary). 

SECTION J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 

The factors involved in Mechanical Ability. — Dr. C. S. Myers (Chairman), Dr. G. H. 
Miles (Secretary), Prof. C. Burt, Mr.' F. M. Earle, Dr. LI. Wynn Jones, Prof. 
T. H. Pear. £32. 



Iviii RESEARCH COMMITTEES. 

The Reliability of the Criteria used for assessing the value of Vocational Tests. — Prof. 
J. Drever (Chairman), Mr. Eric Farmer (Secretary), Dr. William Brown, Prof. C. 
Burt, Dr. J. O. Irwin, Dr. C. S. Myers. £8. 

An inquii-y into (a) the occupations for which a training in Psychology is necessary 
or desirable, (b) the place Psychology should occupy in the curricula for University 
Degrees in Ajts, Science, Medicine, Education. Economies and other subjects. — 
Prof. F. C. Bartlett (Chairman), Mr. A. Res Knight (Secretary), Dr. F. Aveling, 
Dr. W. Brown, Prof. J. Drever, Prof. B. EdgeU, Mr. C. A. Mace, Prof. T. H. Pear, 
Dr. R. H. Thouless, Prof. C. W. Valentine, Mr. A. W. Wolters. 

SECTION K.— BOTANY. 

Transplant Experiments. — Sir A. W. Hill (Chairman), Dr. W. B. Turrill (Secretary), 
Prof. F. W. Oliver, Dr. E. J. Salisbury, Prof. A. G. Tansley. £10. 

To consider and report on the provision made for Instruction in Botany in courses of 
Biology, and matters related thereto.— Prof. V. H. Blackman (Chairman), Dr. 
E. N. M. Thomas (Secretary), Prof. M. Drummond, Prof. F. E. Fritsch, Sir A. W. 
Hill, Prof. S. Maugham, Mr. J. Sager. £5. 

Mycorrhiza in relation to Forestry. — Mr. F. T. Brooks (Chairman), Dr. M. C. Rayner 
(Secretary), Mr. W. H. Guillebaud. £25. 

Fossil Plants at Fort Gray, near East London. — Dr. A. W. Rogers (Chairman), Prof. 
K. S. Adamson (Secretary), Prof. A. C. Seward. 

The Morphology and Systematica of certain South African Liverworts and Ferns. — 
Prof. R. S. Adamson (Chairman), Prof. H. S. Holden (Secretary), Prof. R. H. 
Compton, Mrs. M. R. Levyns, Mr. N. S. PUlans. £4 4s. (Unexpended balance.) 

To investigate the effect of conditions on the growth, structure and metabolism of 
Kleinia articulata. — Prof. D. Thoday (Chairman), Jlr. N. Woodhead (Secretary), 
Dr. F. F. Blackman. £25. 

SECTION L.- EDUCATIONAL SCIENCE. 

The teaching of General Science in Schools, with special reference to the teaching of 
Biology.— Prof. Sir T. P. Nunn (Chairman), Mr. G. W. Olive (Secretary), Mr. C. E. 
Browne, Dr. Lilian J. Clarke, Mr. G. D. Dunkerley, Mr. S. R. Humby, Dr. E. W. 
Shann, Mr. E. R. Thomas, Mrs. Gordon Wilson, Miss von Wyss. £20. 

Educational and Documentary Films : To enquire into the production and distribu- 
tion thereof, to consider the use and effects of films on pupils of school age and 
older students, and to co-operate with other bodies which are studying those 
problems. — Sir Richard Gregory (Chairman), Mr. J. L. Holland (Secretary), 
Mr. L. Brooks, Mr. A. C. Cameron, Miss E. R. Conway, Mr. G. D. Dunkerlev, 
Mr. A. Clow Ford, Dr. C. W. Kimmins, Prof. J. L. Myre's, Mr. G. W. OHve, Hon. 
S. Rivers-Smith, Dr. Spearman, Dr. H. Hamshaw Thomas (Section K), Dr. F. W. 
Edridge Green (Section I). £45. 

SECTIONS M, E.— AGRICULTURE, GEOGRAPHY. 

To co-operate with the staff of the Imperial Soil Bureau to examine the soil resources 
of the Empire.' — Sir John Russell (Chairman), Mr. G. V. Jacks (Secretary), Dr. 
E. M. Crowther, Dr. W. G. Ogg, Prof. G. W. Robinson (from Section M), Prof. 
C. B. Fawcett, Mr. H. Iving, Mr. A. Stevens, Dr. S. W. Wookhidge (from section E). 



CORRESPONDING SOCIETIES. 

Corresponding Societies Committee. — The President of the Association (Chairman 
ex-officio), Mr. T. Sheppard ( Vice-Chairman), Dr. C. Tierney (Secretary), the General 

' Committee authorised by Council, December 4, 1931. 



RESEARCH COMMITTEES. IJX 

Secretaries, the General Treasurer, Mr. C. 0. Bartrum, Dr. F. A. Bather, Sir 
Richard Gregory, Mr. J. V. Pearman, Sir David Prain, Sir John Russell, Prof. 
W. M. Tattersall. 

Committee to take cognisance of proposals relating to National Parks by the Govern- 
ment and other authorities and bodies concerned, and to advise the Council as 
to action if desirable. — Dr. Vaughan Cornish (Section E, C'/mirman), Dr. C. Tierney 
(Secretary), Prof. P. Abercrombie, Mr. T. Sheppard, Prof. W. M. Tattersall 
(Corresfondivg Societies), Prof. A. H. Cox (Sectiori C), Sir Chalmers Mitchell 
(Section D), Dr. H. S. Harrison (Section H), Sir D. Prain (Section K). 



RESOLUTIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS. 



The following resolutions and recommendations were referred to the 
Council by the General Committee (unless otherwise stated) for con- 
sideration and, if desirable, for action : — 

From Section D. 

That the British Association, although recognising that the Government 
of Uganda has put the Gorilla on its absolutely protected Ust, feels that 
such individual protection is an insufficient safeguard for these animals, 
and urges the Colonial Office to comply with the request of the Government 
of Belgium, the Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire 
and the Zoological Society of London, and place a small area in Uganda, 
marching with the Pare National Albert, on the same permanent footing 
as a National Park. 

From Section E. 

That the Council be asked to represent to the Registrars General for 
England and Wales and for Scotland the urgent need for the inclusion 
in the Reports of the 1931 Census of maps showing the distribution and 
density of the population. 

It is understood that such maps can be made available by the Ordnance 
Survey. An experimental sheet showing the distribution of population in 
Hampshire is submitted. 

(Aj)proved by the General Committee for immediate action.) 

From Section H. 

That the Organising Committee of the International Congress for 
Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences be asked to make provision, if pos- 
sible, at its Congress in 1932, for : — 

{a) An exhibition and lecture demonstration of the Bronze Implements 

Catalogue of the British Association. 
(b) An exhibition and lecture demonstration of the Megalithic 
Catalogue of the British Association. 



]x RESOLUTIONS AND RECOIVIMENDATIONS. 

From Section H. 

The Derbyshire Caves Committee, having considered the question of 
the ultimate disposal of the finds from the Creswell Caves, and the request 
of the authorities of the County Museum, Derby, that the collection be 
placed therein, in view of an undertaking to keep the collection together 
and to display it in proper cases, recommends that the offer of the County 
Museum be accepted and that the whole of the artefacts be deposited there 
with the exception of the engravings. It recommends that the engraved 
bones should be presented to the national collection, and that casts 
should be made for distribution to the museum at Derby. 

From the Covference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies. 
{Amended by the Committee of Recommendations.) 

The Delegates of Corresponding Societies in Conference on September 
24, 1931, in London, desire to impress on the editors of all scientific 
publications, especially those issued by the Corresponding Societies, the 
importance of printing at least a limited issue of those publications, both 
text and plates, on a durable paper (such as those designated Grades 1 
and 2 by the Library Association in its recent Report (1930), and request 
the Council of the British Association to communicate this resolution with 
its endorsement to all publishing societies with which it is in corres- 
pondence. 




BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 



THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD-PICTURE OF 

TO-DAY. 

BY 

GENERAL THE RT. HON. J. C. SMUTS, P.O., C.H., F.R.S. 

PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION, 



After what I said at the opening this afternoon it is vumecessary for nle 
to emphasise further the significance of this Centenary Meeting of our 
Association. It is a milestone which enables us to look back upon a 
hundred years of scientific progress, such as has no parallel in history. 
It brings us to a point in the advance from which we can confidently look 
forward to fundamental solutions and discoveries in the near future, which 
may transform the entire field of science. In this second and greater 
renaissance of the human spirit this Association and its members have 
borne a foremost part, to which it would be impossible for me to do justice 
to-night. I shall therefore not attempt to review the achievements of 
this century of science, but shall content myself with the simpler under- 
taking of giving a generalised composite impression of the present situation 
in science. The honour of presiding over this historic meeting, which was 
not of my seeking, and for which I was chosen on grounds other than my 
personal merits, is indeed an almost overwhelming one, and I confidently 
appeal for your indulgence in the difficult task which awaits me to-night. 

I am going to ask the question to-night : What sort of world-picture 
is science leading to ? Is science tending towards a definite scientific 
outlook on the universe, and how does it differ from the traditional outlook 
of commonsense ? 

The question is not without its interest. For our world-view is closely 

connected with our sense of ultimate values, our reading of the riddle of 

the universe, and of the meaning of life and of human destiny. Our 

scientific world-picture will draw its material from all the sciences. Among 

1931 B 



2 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

these, physical science will — in view of its revolutionary discoveries in 
recent years — be a most important source. But no less important will 
be the contribution of the biological sciences with their clear revelation 
of organic structure and function as well as of organic evolution. And 
last, not least, the social and mental sciences will not only supply valuable 
material, but especially methods of interpretation, insights into meanings 
and values, without which the perspectives of our world-picture would be 
hopelessly wrong. 

Can we from some reunion or symposium of these sciences obtain a 
world-picture or synoptic view of the universe, based on observation and 
calculation, which are the instruments of science, but reaching beyond the 
particular phenomena which are its immediate field to a conception of the 
universe as a whole 1 

That was how science began — in the attempt to find some simple 
substances or elements to which the complex world of phenomena could 
in the last analysis be reduced. The century over which we now look 
back, with its wonderful advance in the methods and technique of exact 
observation, has been a period of specialisation or decentralisation. Have 
we now reached a point where science can again become universal in its 
ultimate outlook ? Has a scientific world-picture become possible ? 

Of course there can be no final picture at any one stage of culture. 
The canvas is as large as the universe, and the moving finger of humanity 
itself will fill it in from age to age. All the advances of knowledge, all 
the new insights gained from those advances will from time to time be 
blended into that picture. To the deeper insight of every era of our 
human advance there has been some such world- picture, however vague 
and faulty. It has been continually changing with the changing know- 
ledge and beliefs of man. Thus, there was the world of magic and animism, 
which was followed by that of the early nature gods. There was the 
geocentric world which still survives in the world of commonsense. 
There is the machine or mechanistic world-view dominant since the time 
of Galileo and Newton, and laow, since the coming of Einstein, being 
replaced by the mathematician's conception of the universe as a symbolic 
structure of which no mechanical model is possible. All these world-views 
have in turn obtained currency according as some well-defined aspect of 
our advancing knowledge has from time to time been dominant. My 
object to-night is to focus attention on the sort of world-picture which 
results from the advances of physical, biological and mental science during 
the period covered roughly by the activities of our Association, 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 3 

Science arose from our ordinary experience and commonsense outlook. 
The world of commonsense is a world of matter, of material stuff, of real 
separate things and their properties which act on each other and cause 
changes in each other. To the various things observable by the senses 
were added the imperceptible things — space and time, invisible forces, 
life and the soul. Even these were not enough, and the supernatural was 
added to the natural world. The original inventory was continually being 
enlarged, and thus a complex empirical world-view arose, full of latent 
contradictions, but with a solid basis of actual experience and facts 
behind it. 

Speaking generally, we may say that this is substantially still the 
commonsense view of the world and the background of our common 
practical beliefs. How has science dealt with this commonsense empirical 
world-view ? The fundamental procedure of science has been to rely on 
sense observation and experiment, and to base theory on fact. Thus the 
vast body of exact science arose, and all entities were discarded which 
were either inconsistent with observed facts or unnecessary for their strict 
interpretation. The atomic view of matter was established. Ether was 
given a status in the physical order, which is now again being questioned 
in the light of the conception of space-time. New entities like energy 
emerged ; old entities like forces disappeared ; the principle of the 
uniformity of nature was established ; the laws of motion, of conservation, 
and of electro-magnetism were formulated ; and on their basis a closed 
mechanistic order of nature was constructed, forming a rigid deterministic 
scheme. Into this scheme it has been difficult, if not impossible, to fit 
entities like life and mind ; and the scientific attitude has on the whole 
been to put them to a suspense account and to await developments. As 
to the supernatural, science is or has been agnostic, if not frankly sceptical. 
Such, in very general terms, was the scientific outlook of the nineteenth 
century, which has not yet completely passed away. It will be noticed 
that much of the fundamental outlook of commonsense has thus survived, 
though clarified and purified by a closer accord with facts. This scientific 
view retained unimpaired and indeed stressed with a new emphasis the 
things of commonsense, matter, time and space, as well as all material or 
physical entities which are capable of observation or experimental 
verification. Nineteenth-century science is, in fact, a system of purified, 
glorified commonsense. Its deterministic theory certainly gave a shock 
to the common man's instinctive belief in free will ; in most other respects 
it conformed to the outlook of commonsense. It is true that its practical 

B 2 



4 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

inventions have produced the most astounding changes in our material 
civilisation, but neither in its methods nor in its world-outlook was there 
anj-thing really revolutionary. 

But underneath this placid surface, the seeds of the future were 
germinating. With the coming of the twentieth century, fundamental 
changes began to set in. The new point of departure was reached when 
physical science ceased to confine its attention to the things that are 
observed. It dug down to a deeper level, and below the things that 
appear to the senses, it found, or invented, at the base of the woyld, so-called 
scientific entities, not capable of direct observation, but which are neces- 
sary to account for the facts of observation. Thus, below molecules and 
atoms still more ultimate entities ajjpeared ; radiations, electrons and 
protons emerged as elements which underlie and form our world of matter. 
Matter itself, the time-honoured mother of all, practically disappeared 
into electrical energy. 

' The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces. 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself : ' 

yea, all the material forms of earth and sky and sea were dissolved and 
spirited away into the blue of energy. Outstanding among the men who 
brought about this transformation are two of my predecessors in this 
Chair : Sir J. J. Thomson and Lord Rutherford. Like Prospero, like 
Shakespeare himself, they must be reckoned among the magicians. 

Great as was this advance, it does not stand alone. Away in the last 
century, Clerk Maxwell, following up Faraday's theories and experiments, 
had formulated his celebrated equations of the electro-maguetic field, which 
applied to light no less than to electro-magnetism, and the exploration of 
this fruitful subject led Minkowslri to the amazing discovery in 1908 that 
time and space were not separate things, but constituent elements in the 
deeper synthesis of space-time. Thus time is as much of the essence of 
things as space ; it enters from the first into their existence as an integral 
element. Time is not something extra and superadded to things in their 
behaviour, but is integral and basic to their constitution. The stufi of 
the world is thus envisaged as events instead of material things. 

This physical concept or insight of space-time is our first revolutionary 
innovation, our first complete break with the old world of commonsense. 
Already it has proved an instrument of amazing power in the newer physics. 
In the hands of an Einstein it has led beyond Euclid and Newton, to the 
recasting of the law and the concept of gravitation, and to the new relativity 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 5 

conception of the basic structure of the world. The transformation of 
the concept of space, owing to the injection into it of time, has destroyed 
the old passive homogeneous notion of space and has substituted a 
flexible, variable continuum, the curvatures and unevennesses of which 
constitute to our senses what we call a material world. The new concept 
has made it possible to construe matter, mass and energy as but definite 
measurable conditions of curvature in the structure of space-time. 
Assuming that electro-magnetism will eventually follow the fate of 
gravitation, we may say that space-time will then appear as the scientific 
concept for the only physical reality in the universe, and that matter and 
energy in all their forms will have disappeared as independent entities, 
and will have become mere configurations of this space-time. This will 
probably involve an amplified concept of space-time. Einstein has 
recently indicated that for further advance a modification in our space- 
time concept will become necessary, and that the additional element of 
direction will have to be incorporated into it. Whatever change may 
become necessary in our space-time concept, there can be no doubt about 
the immense possibilities it has opened up. 

I pass on to an even more revolutionary recent advance of physics. The 
space-time world, however novel, however shattering to commonsense, is 
not in conflict with reason. Indeed, the space-time world is largely a 
discovery of the mathematical reason and is an entirely rational world. 
It is a world where reason, as it were, dissolves the refractoriness of the 
old material substance and smoothes it out intx) forms of space-time. 
Science, which began with empirical brute facts, seems to be heading for 
the reign of pure reason. But wait a bit ; another fundamental discovery 
of our age has apparently taken us beyond the bounds of rationality, 
and is thus even more revolutionary than that of space-time. I refer to 
the Quantum theory. Max Planck's discovery at the end of the nineteenth 
century, according to which energy is granular, consisting of discrete 
grains or quanta. The world in space-time is a continuum ; the quantum 
action is a negation of continuity. Thus arises the contradiction, not 
only of commonsense, but apparently also of reason itself. The quantum 
appears to behave like a particle, but a particle out of space or time. 
-A-s Sir Arthur Eddington graphically puts it : a quantum of light is large 
enough to fill the lens of a hundred-inch telescope, but it is also small 
enough to enter an atom. It may spread like a circular wave through the 
universe, but when it hits its mark, this cosmic wave instantaneously 
contracts to a point where it strikes with its full and undivided force. 



6 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

Space-time, therefore, does not seem to exist for the quantum, at least 
not in its lower multiples. Nay, more : the very hitting of its mark 
presents another strange puzzle, which seems to defy the [irinciples of 
causation and of the uniformity of nature, and to take us into the realm 
of chance and probability. The significant thing is that this strange 
quantum character of the universe is not the result of theory but is an 
experimental fact well attested from several departments of physics. In 
spite of the strange Puck-like behaviour of the quantum, we should not 
lightly conclude, with some prominent physicists, that the universe has 
a skeleton in its cupboard in the shape of an irrational or chaotic factor. 
Our macroscopic concepts may not fit this ultra-microscopic world of the 
quantum. And our best hopes for the future are founded on the working 
out of a new system of concepts and laws suited to this new world that 
has swum into the ken of science. The rapid development of wave 
mechanics in the last four years seems to liave brought us within sight of 
this ideal, and we are beginning to discern a new kind of order in the 
microscopic elements of the world, very different from any type of law 
hitherto imagined in science, but none the less, a rational order capable of 
mathematical formulation. 

We may summarise these remarks by saying that the vastly improved 
technique of research has led to physical discoveries in recent years which 
have at last completely shattered the traditional commonsense view of 
the material world. A new space-time world has emerged which is 
essentially immaterial, and in which the old-time matter, and even the 
scientific mass, gravitation, and energy stand for no independent entities, 
but can best be construed as configurations of space-time. And the 
discovery of the quantic properties of this world points to still more 
radical transformations which loom on the horizon of science. The 
complete recasting of many of our categories of experience and thought 
may ultimately be involved. 

From the brilliant discoveries of physical science we pass on to the 
advances in biological science which, although far less revolutionary, have 
been scarcely less important for our world-outlook. The most important 
biological discovery of the last century was the great fact of organic 
evolution ; and for this fact the space-time concept has at last come to 
provide the necessary physical basis. It is unnecessary for my purpose 
to canvass the claims and discuss the views represented by the great names 
of Lamarck, Darwin and Mendel, beyond saying that they represent a 
progressive advance in biological discovery, the end of which has by 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 7 

no means been reached yet. Whatever doubts and differences of 
opinion there may be about the methods, the mechanism, or the causes, 
tliere is no doubt about the reality of organic evolution, which is one 
of the most firmly established results in the whole range of science. 
Palaeontology, embryology, comparative anatomy, taxonomy, and geo- 
graphical distribution all combine to give the most convincing testimony 
that throughout the history of this earth life has advanced genetically 
from at most a few simple primitive forms to ever more nimierous and 
highly specialised forms. Under the double influence of the internal 
genetic and the external environmental factors life has subtly adapted 
itself to the ever-changing situations on this planet. In the process 
of this evolution not only new structures and organs, but also new 
functions and powers have successively appeared, culminating in the 
master key of mind and in the crowning achievement of human personality. 
To have hammered the great truth of organic evolution into the conscious- 
ness of mankind is the undying achievement of Charles Darwin, by the 
side of which his discovery of natural selection as the method of evolution 
is of secondary importance. 

The acceptance of the theory of evolution has brought about a far- 
reacliing change in our outlook on the universe and our sense of values. 
The story of Creation, so intimately associated with the groundwork of 
most religions, has thus come to be rewritten. The unity and inter- 
connections of life in all its manifold forms have been clearly recognised. 
And man himself has had to come down from his privileged position among 
the angels and take his proper place in the universe as part of the order 
of Nature. Thus Darwin completes the revolution begun by Copernicus. 

Space-time finds its natural completion in organic evolution. For in 
organic evolution the time aspect of the world finds its most authentic 
expression. The world truly becomes process, where nothing ever remains 
the same or is a duplicate of anything else, but a growing, gathering, 
creative stream of unique events rolls forever forward. 

But while we recognise this intimate connection between the concep- 
tions of space-time and organic evolution, we should be careful not to 
identify the time of evolution with that of space-time. There is a very 
real difference between them. Biological time has direction, passes from 
the past to the future, and is therefore historical. It corresponds to the 
' before ' and ' after ' of our conscious experience. Physical time as an 
aspect of space-time is neutral as regards direction. It is space-like, and 
may be plus or minus, but does not distinguish between past or future. 



8 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

It may move in either direction, backwards or forwards, while biological 
time, like the time of experience, knows only a forward flow. Hence 
cosmic evolution, as we see it in astronomy and physics, is mostly in an 
opposite direction to that of organic evolution. While biological time 
on the whole shows a forward movement towards ever higher organisation 
and rising qualities throughout the geological ages, the process of the 
physical world is mostly in the opposite direction^ — towards disorganisa- 
tion, disintegration of more complex structures, and dissipation of energy. 
The second law of thermodynamics thus marks the direction of physical 
time. While the smaller world of life seems on the whole to be on the 
up-grade, the larger physical universe is on the down-grade. One may say 
that in the universe we witness a majority movement downward, and a 
minority movement upward. The energy which is being dissipated by 
the decay of physical structure is being partly taken up and organised into 
life structures — at any rate on this planet. Life and mind thus appear 
as products of the cosmic decline, and arise like the phoenix from the 
ashes of a universe radiating itself away. In them Nature seems to have 
discovered a secret which enables her to irradiate with imperishable glory 
the decay to which she seems physically doomed. 

Another striking point arises here. Organic evolution describes the 
specific process of what we call life, perhaps the most mysterious phe- 
nomenon of this mysterious universe. When we ask what is the nature 
of life we are curiously reminded of the behaviour of the quantum referred 
to. I do not for a moment wish to say that the quantum is the physical 
basis of life, but I do say that in the quantum the physical world offers an 
analogy to life which is at least suggestive. The quantum follows the all-or- 
nothing law and behaves as an indivisible whole : so does life. A part of a 
quantum is not something less than a quantum ; it is nothing or sheer 
nonentity : the same holds true of life. The quantum is perhaps most 
easily symbolised as a wave or combination of waves, which can only exist 
as a complete periodicity, and whose very concept negatives its existence 
as partial or truncated. In other words, it is a specific configuration and 
can only exist as such : the same holds true of life. The quantum does not 
fall completely within the deterministic causal scheme : the same seems true 
of life. Significant, also, is the fact that quantum phenomena underlie 

' No doubt there are exceptions to this broad generalisation. In astronomy stars 
and solar systems and galaxies are probably still being formed, while in physics 
syntheses of elements may possibly still be going on. In the same way we find in 
organic evolution minor phases of regression, degeneration and parasitism. 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 9 

secondary qualities such as colour and the like, which the older science 
in its mechanistic scheme ignored, but which are specially associated 
with life and consciousness. Apparently the quantum does not fall com- 
pletely within the causal deterministic scheme : the same is true of life. 
Life is not an entity, physical or other. It is a type of organisation ; it is 
a specific principle of central or self organisation. If that organisation is 
interfered witli we are left, not with bits of life, but with death. The 
nature of living things is determined, not by the nature of their parts, but 
by the nature or principle of their organisation. In short, the quantum 
and life seem to have this in common, that they both behave as wholes. 

I have before now endeavoured to explore the concept of life in the 
light of the more general concept of the whole. A whole is not a sum of 
parts, or constituted by its parts. Its nature lies in its constitution more 
than in its parts.. The part in the whole is no longer the same as the part 
in isolation. The interesting point is that while this concept of the whole 
applies to life, it is according to the recent physics no less applicable to 
the ultimate physical units. Thus the electron within an atom is no 
longer a distinct electron. There may be separate electrons, but when 
they cease to be separate they also cease to be. The eight electrons 
which circulate in an oxygen atom are merged in a whole in such a way 
that they have lost their separate identity ; and this loss of individuality 
has to be taken into account in calculations as to the physical behaviour 
of the atom. The physicist, in fact, finds himself unable to look upon 
the entity which is one eighth of eight electrons as the same thing as a 
single electron. At the very foundation, therefore, of physics, the 
principle or category of the whole applies no less than in the advanced 
structure of life, although not in the same degree. In the ultimate 
analysis of the world, both at the physical and the biological level, the 
part or unit element somehow becomes shadowy and incoherent, and the 
very basis of mechanism is undermined. It would almost seem as if the 
world in its very essence is holistic, and as if the notion of individual 
parts is a practical makeshift without final validity in the nature of 
things. 

The general trend of the recent advances in physics has thus been 
towards the recognition of the fundamental organic character of the 
material world. Physics and biology are beginning to look not so utterly 
unlike each other. Hitherto the great gulf in nature has lain between the 
material and the vital, between inorganic matter and life. This gulf is now 
in process of being bridged. The new physics, in dissolving the material 



10 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

world of commonsense and discovering the liner structure of physical 
nature, has at the same time disclosed certain fundamental features which 
it has in common with the organic world. Stuff-like entities have dis- 
appeared and have been replaced by space-time configurations, whose 
very nature depends on their principle of organisation. And this 
principle, which I have ventured to call holism, appears to be at bottom 
identical with that which pervades the organic structures of the world of 
life. The quantum and space-time have brought physics closer to biology. 
As I have pointed out, the quantum anticipates some of the fundamental 
characters of life, while space-time forms the physical basis for organic 
evolution. Physics and biology are thus recognised as respectively 
simpler and more advanced forms of the same fundamental pattern in 
world-structure. 

The older mechanistic conception of nature, the picture of nature 
as consisting of fixed material particles, mechanically interacting with 
each other — already rudely shaken by the relativity theory — is now being 
modified by the quantum physics. The attack on mechanism, thus 
coming from physical science itself, is therefore all the more deadly. 
Even in physics, organisation is becoming more important than the 
somewhat nebulous entities which enter into matter. Interaction is 
more and more recognised to be not so much mechanical as organic or 
holistic, the whole in some respects dominating not only the functioning 
but the very existence of the entities forming it. The emergence of this 
organic view of nature from the domain of physics itself is thus a matter 
of first-rate importance, and must have very far-reaching repercussions 
for our eventual world-view. 

The nature of the organic whole is, however, much more clearly recog- 
nised in its proper sphere of biology, and especially in the rapidly 
advancing science of physiology. Here, too, the correct view has 
been much obscured by the invasion of mechanistic ideas from the physics 
of the nineteenth century. A crude materialism all but swamped biology 
for more than a generation. At the Belfast session of this Association in 
1874 a famous predecessor of mine in this Chair gave unrestrained 
expression to this materialistic creed. All that is passing, if not already 
past. It must be admitted that up to a point mechanism has been useful 
as a first approximation and fruitful as a convention for research purposes. 
But if even in physics it has lost its savour, a fortiori has it become out of 
place in biology. The partial truth of mechanism is always subtended by 
the deeper truth of organicity or holism. So far from biology being 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 11 

forced into a physical mould, the position will in future be reversed. 
Physics will look to biology and even to psychology for hints, clues, and 
suggestions. In biology and psychology it will see principles at work in 
their full maturity which can only be faintly and fitfully recognised in 
physics. In this way the exchanges of physics, biology and psychology 
will become fruitful for the science of the future, and lay the basis for a 
new scientific monism. 

A living individual is a physiological whole, in which the parts or 
organs are but differentiations of this whole for purposes of greater 
eiticiency, and remain in organic continuity throughout. Tliey are parts 
of the individual, and not independent or self-contained units which 
covipoie the individual. It is only this conception of the individual as a 
dynamic organic whole which will make intelligible the extraordinary 
unity which characterises the multiplicity of functions in an organism, 
the mobile, ever-changing balance and interdependence of the numerous 
regulatory processes in it, as well as the operation of all the mechanisms 
by which organic evolution is brought about. This conception applies 
not only to individuals, but also to organic societies, such as a beehive 
or an ants' nest, and even to social organisations on the human level. 

As the concept of space-time destroys the purely spatial character of 
things, so the concept of the organic whole must also be extended beyond 
the spatial limits of the organism so as to include its interaction with its 
environment. The stimuli and responses which render them mutually 
interdependent constitute them one whole which thus transcends purely 
spatial aspects. It is this overflow of organic wholes beyond their ajaparent 
spatial limits which binds all nature together and prevents it from being 
a mere assemblage of separate interacting units. 

It is time, however, that we pass on to the world of mind. From 
matter, as now transformed by space-time and the quantum, we pass 
step by step through organic nature to conscious mind. Gone is the time 
when Descartes could divide the world into only two substances : extended 
substance or matter, and thinking substance or mind. There is a whole 
world of gradations between these two limits. On Descartes' false 
dichotomy the separate provinces of modern science and philosojihy were 
demarcated. But it is as dead as the epicycles of Ptolemy, and ultimately 
the Cartesian frontiers between physics and philosojjhy must largely dis- 
appear, and philosophy once more become metaphysic in the original sense. 
In the meantime, under its harmful influence, the paths of matter and mind, 
of science and philosophy, were made to diverge farther and farther, so that 



1'2 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

only the revolution now taking place in thought could bring them together 
again. I believe, however, tlieir reunion is coming fast. We have seen 
matter and life indefinitely approaching each other in the ultimate 
constituents of the world. We have seen that matter is fundamentally a 
configuration or organisation of space-time ; and we have seen that life 
is a principle of organisation whereby the space-time patterns are arranged 
into organic unities. The next step is to show that mind is an even more 
potent embodiment of the organising whole-making principle, and that 
this embodiment has found expression in a rising series, which begins 
practically on the lowest levels of life, and rises ultimately to the conscious 
mind which alone Descartes had in view in his classification. I have no 
time to follow up the matter here beyond making a few remarks. 

Mind is admittedly an active, conative, organising principle. It is for 
ever busy constructing new patterns of things, thoughts or principles out 
of the material of its experience. Mind, even more than life, is a principle 
of whole-making. It differentiates, discriminates and selects from its 
vague experience, and fashions and correlates the resulting features into 
more or less stable, enduring wholes. Beginning as mere blind tropisms, 
reflexes and conditioned reflexes, mind in organic nature has advanced 
step by step in its creative march until in man it has become nature's 
supreme organ of understanding, endeavour and control— not merely a 
subjective human organ, but nature's own power of self -illumination and 
self-mastery : ' The eye with which the universe beholds itself and knows 
itself divine.' 

The free creativeness of mind is possible because, as we have seen, the 
world ultimately coiisists, not of material stuff, but of patterns, of organisa- 
tion, the evolution of wliich involves no absolute creation of an alien world 
of material from nothing. The purely structural character of reality thus 
helps to render possible and intelligible the free creativeness of life and 
mind, and accounts for the unlimited wealth of fresh patterns which mind 
freely creates on the basis of the existing physical patterns. 

The highest reach of this creative process is seen in the realm of values, 
which is the product of the human mind. Great as is the physical universe 
which confronts us as a given fact, no less great is our reading and evalua- 
tion of it in the world of values, as seen in language, literature, culture, 
ci\alisation, society and the state, law, architecture, art, science, morals 
and religion. Without this revelation of inner meaning and significance 
the external physical universe would be but an immense empty shell or 
crumpled surface. The brute fact here receives its meaning, and a new 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 13 

world arises which gives to nature whatever significance it has. As against 
the physical configurations of nature we see here the ideal patterns or 
wholes freely created by the human spirit as a home and an environment 
for itself. 

Among the human values thus created science ranks with art and 
religion. In its selfless pursuit of truth, in its vision of order and beauty, 
it partakes of the quality of both. More and more it is beginning to make 
a profound aesthetic and religious appeal to thinking people. Indeed, it 
may fairly be said that science is perhaps the clearest revelation of God 
to our age. Science is at last coming into its own as one of the supreme 
goods of the human race. 

While religion, art and science are still separate values, they may not 
always remain such. Indeed, one of the greatest tasks before the human 
race wiU be to link up science with ethical values, and thus to remove 
grave dangers threatening our future. A serious lag has already developed 
between our rapid scientific advance and our stationary ethical develop- 
ment, a lag which has already found expression in the greatest tragedy of 
history. Science must itself help to close this dangerous gap in our 
advance which threatens the disruption of our civilisation and the decay 
of our species. Its final and j^erhaps most difficult task may be found 
just here. Science may be destined to become the most effective drive 
towards ethical values, and in that way to render its most priceless human 
service. In saying this I am going beyond the scope of science as at 
present understood, but the conception of science itself is bound to be 
afiected by its eventual integration with the other great values. 

I have now finished my rapid and necessarily superficial survey of the 
more prominent recent tendencies in science, and I proceed to summarise 
the results and draw my conclusions, in so far as they bear on our world- 
picture. 

In the first place we have seen that in the iiltimate physical analysis 
science reaches a microscopic world of scientific entities, very different 
in character and behaviour from the macroscopic world of matter, space, 
and time. The world of atoms, electrons, protons, radiations, and quanta, 
does not seem to be in space-time, or to conform to natural law in the 
ordinary sense. The behaviour of these entities cannot be understood 
without the most abstruse mathematics, nor, apparently, without resort 
to epistemological considerations. We seem to have passed beyond the 
definitely physical world into a twilight where prophysics and metaphysics 
meet, where space-time does not exist, and where strictly causal law in the 



14 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

old sense does not apply. From this uncertain nebulous underworld there 
seems to crystallise out, or literally to materialise, the macroscopic world 
which is the proper sphere of sensuous observation and of natural laws. 
The pre-material entities or units condense and cohere into constellations, 
which increase in size and structure until they reach the macroscopic 
stage of observation. As the macroscopic entities emerge, their space- 
time field and appropriate natural laws (mostly of a statistical character) 
emerge pari passu. We seem to pass from one level to another in the 
evolution of the universe, with different units, different behaviours, and 
calling for different concepts and laws. Similarly, we rise to new levels 
as later on we pass from the physical to the biological level, and again 
from the latter to the level of conscious mind. But — and this is the 
significant fact — all these levels are genetically related and form an 
evolutionary series ; and underlying the differences of the successive 
levels, there remains a fundamental unity of plan ot organisation which 
binds them together as members of a genetic series, as a growing, evolving, 
creative universe. 

In the second place let us see how commonsense deals with this 
macroscopic world. On this stage commonsense recognises three levels 
of matter, life and mind as together composing the world. But it places 
them so far apart and makes them so inherently different from each 
other, that relations between them appear unintelligible, if not impossible. 
The commonsense notions of matter, life and mind make any relations 
between them, as well as the world which they form, an insoluble puzzle. 
The older science therefore attempted to reduce life substantially to 
terms of matter, and to put a question mark behind mind ; and the result 
was a predominantly materialistic view of the world. The space-time 
relati^^ty concept of the world has overcome the difficulty by destro}ing 
the old concept of matter, and reducing it from a self-subsistent entity 
to a configuration of space-time — in other words, to a special organisation 
of the basic world-structure. If matter is essentially immaterial structure 
or organisation, it cannot fundamentally be so different from organism 
or life, which is best envisaged as a principle of organisation ; nor from 
mind, which is an active organiser. Matter, life, and mind thus translate 
roughly into organisation, organism, organiser. The all-or-none law of the 
quantum, which also applies to life and mind, is another indication that 
matter, life, and mind may be but different stages or levels of the same 
activity in the world which I have associated with the pervading feature 
of whole-making. Materialism has thus gone by the board, and the 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 15 

unintelligible trinity of commonsense (matter, life, inind) has been 
reinterpreted and transformed and put on the way to a new monism. 

In the third place, the iron determination of the older science, so 
contrary to direct human experience, so destructive of the free activity of 
life and mind, as well as subversive of the moral responsibility of the 
individual, has also been materially recast. It was due to the Newtonian 
causal scheme which, as I have indicated, has been profoundly shaken by 
recent developments. Relativity reduces substance to configuration or 
patterns, while quantum physics gives definite indications of indeterminism 
in nature. In any case, life through the ages shows clearly a creative 
advance to ever more complex organisation, and ever higher qualities, while 
mind is responsible for the creation of a whole realm of values. We are thus 
justified in stressing, along with natural necessity, an increasing measure 
of freedom and creativeness in the world, sufficient at least to account for 
organic evolution and for the appearance of moral law and endeavour. 
This liberation of life and spirit from the iron rule of necessity is one of 
the greatest gains from the recent scientific advances. Nature is not a 
closed physical circle, but has left the door open to the emergence of life 
and mind and the development of human personality. It has, in its 
open flexible physical patterns, laid the foiindation and established the 
environment for the coming of life and mind. The view, to which Huxley 
once gave such eloquent and poignant expression, of a dualism implanted 
in the heart of nature, of a deadly struggle between cosmic law and moral 
law, is no longer justified by the subsequent advances of science. 

But, in the fourth place, another dualism of a wider reach has appeared, 
which makes the universe itself appear to be a house divided against 
itself. For while the stream of physical tendency throughout the universe 
is on the whole downward, toward disintegration and dissipation, the 
organic movement, on this planet at least, is upward, and life structures are 
on the whole becoming more complex throughout the course of organic 
evolution. From the viewpoint of physics, life and mind are thus singular 
and exceptional phenomena, not in line with the movement of the universe 
as a whole. Recent astronomical theory has come to strengthen this view 
of life as an exceptional feature off the main track of the universe. For the 
origin of our planetary system is attributed to an unusual accident, and 
planets such as ours Avith a favourable environment for life are taken to be 
rare in the universe. Perhaps we may even say that at the present epoch 
there is no other globe where life is at the level manifested on the earth. 
Our origin is thus accidental, our position ia exceptional, and our fate is 



16 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

sealed, with the inevitable running down of the solar system. Life and 
mind, instead of being the natural flowering of the universe, are thus 
reduced to a very casual and inferior status in the cosmic order. A new 
meaning and a far deeper poignancy are given to Shakespeare's immortal 
lines : 

' We are such stuff 

As dreams are made of ; and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep.' 

According to astronomy, life is indeed a lonely and pathetic thing in this 
physical universe— a transient and embarrassed phantom in an alien, if 
not hostile, universe. 

Such are some of the depressing speculations of recent astronomical 
theory. But in some respects they have already been discounted in the 
foregoing. For even if life be merely a terrestrial phenomenon, it is by 
no means in an alien environment if, as we have seen reason to think, 
this is an essentially organic universe. In its organic aspects the universe 
is on the way to life and mind, even if the goal has been actually 
reached at only one insignificant point in the universe. The potencies 
of the universe are fundamentally of the same order as its actualities. 
The universe might say in the words of Rabbi Ben Ezra : — 

' All I could never be. 
All man ignored in me, 
This I was worth to God.' 

Then again, the very possibility of perception, of knowledge and 
science depends on an intimate relation between mind and the physical 
universe. Only thus can the concepts of mind come to be a measure for 
the facts of the universe, and the laws of nature come to be revealed 
and interpreted by nature's own organ of the human mind. Besides 
science we have other forms of this inner relation between the mind and 
the universe, such as poetry, music, art and religion. The human spirit is 
not a pathetic wandering phantom of the universe, but is at home, and meets 
with spiritual hospitality and response everywhere. Our deepest thoughts 
and emotions and endeavours are but responses to stimuli which come 
to us, not from an alien, but from an essentially friendly and Idndred 
universe. So far from the cosmic status of life and mind being degraded 
by the newer astronomy and physics, I would suggest an alternative 
interpretation of the facts, more in accord with the trend of evolutionary 
science. We have seen a macroscopic universe born or revealed to 



THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 17 

consciousness out of a prior microscopic order of a very different character. 
Are we not, in the emergence of life and mind, witnessing the birth or 
revelation of a new world out of the macroscopic physical universe ? I 
suggest that at the present cosmic epoch we are the spectators of what is 
perhaps the grandest event in the immeasurable history of our universe, 
and that we must interpret the present phase of the universe as a mother 
and child universe, still joined together by a placenta which science, in 
its divorce from the other great values, has hitherto failed to unravel. 

Piecing together these clues and conclusions we arrive at a world- 
picture fuller of mystery than ever. In a way it is closer to commonsense 
and kinder to human nature than was the science of the nineteenth 
century. Materialism has practically disappeared, and the despotic rule 
of necessity has been greatly relaxed. In ever varying degree the universe 
is organic and holistic through and through. Not only organic concepts, 
but also, and even more so, psychological viewpoints are becoming neces- 
sary to elucidate the facts of science. And while the purely human concepts, 
Buch as emotion and value, purpose and will, do not apply in the natural 
sciences, they retain their unimpaired force in the human sciences. The 
ancient spiritual goods and heirlooms of our race need not be ruthlessly 
scrapped. The great values and ideals retain their unfading glory and 
derive new interest and force from a cosmic setting. But in other respects 
it is a strange new universe, impalpable, immaterial, consisting not of 
material or stuff, but of organisation, of patterns or wholes which are 
unceasingly being woven to more complex or to simpler designs. In the 
large it appears to be a decaying, simplifying universe which attained to 
its perfection of organisation in the far-distant past and is now regressing 
to simpler forms — perhaps for good, perhaps only to restart another cycle 
of organisation. But inside this cosmic process of decline we notice a 
smaller but far more significant movement— a streaming, protoplasmic 
tendency ; an embryonic infant world emerging, throbbing with passionate 
life, and striving towards rational and spiritual self-realisation. We see 
the mysterious creative rise of the higher out of the lower, the more from 
the less, the picture within its framework, the spiritual kernel inside the 
phenomenal integuments of the universe. Instead of the animistic, or 
the mechanistic, or the mathematical universe, we see the genetic, organic, 
holistic universe, in which the decline of the earlier physical patterns 
provides the opportunity for the emergence of the more advanced vital 
and rational patterns. 

In this holistic universe man is in very truth the offspring of the 
1931 O 



18 THE PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS. 

stars. The world consists not only of electrons and radiations, but also 
of souls and aspirations. Beauty and holiness are as much aspects 
of nature as energy and entropy. Thus " in eternal lines to time it 
grows." An adequate world-view would find them all in their proper 
context in the framework of the whole. And evolution is perhaps the 
only way of approach to the framing of a consistent world-picture which 
would do justice to the immensity, the profundity, and the unutterable 
mystery of the universe. 

Such in vague outline is the world-picture to which science seems to 
me to be pointing. We may not all agree with my rendering of it, which 
indeed does not claim to be more than a mere sketch. And even if it were 
generally accepted, we have still to bear in mind that the world-picture 
of to-morrow will in all probability be very different from any which 
could be sketched to-day. 



SECTION A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 



THE GROWTH IN OPPORTUNITIES 

FOR EDUCATION AND RESEARCH 

IN PHYSICS DURING THE PAST 

FIFTY YEARS 

ADDRESS BY 

SIR J. J. THOMSON, O.M., Sc.D., D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



During the last year we have lost by the death of Proi. Albert Michelson 
a physicist whose work was of quite exceptional importance. The famous 
experiment known everywhere as the Michelson-Morley experiment has, 
since it is the basis of the Theory of Relativity, been largely responsible 
for the trend of physical thought during the present century. It is a 
very striking example of the great philosophical consequences which can 
result from what might seem the rather mechanical process of improving 
the precision of physical measurements ; the importance of the experiment 
depended entirely on the accuracy of the measurements being great 
enough to detect with certainty changes amounting only to one part in a 
hundred million. 

The additions to our knowledge of physical phenomena and the 
number of new ideas introduced into Physics since the last Anniversary 
Meeting have been so great and cover such a wide range that it would 
be impossible in the time at our disposal to give an account of them 
which would be at all adequate or even intelligible to those not 
already acquainted with them. There are, however, advances of another 
kind of great importance to the progress of Physics which lend themselves 
more readily to a less inadequate treatment in such an address as this. 
Such advances are the increase in the opportunities for teaching and re- 
search in Physics caused by the foundation of many new laboratories, the 
increase in the attention paid to the teaching of Physics in our schools, the 
endowment of research workers and the increase in the opportunities for 
these to obtain remunerative employment, the increased recognition of 
the importance of research in industry, and last but not least the improve- 
ments made in instruments used in research and the increase in the 
magnitude of the forces, mechanical, electric and magnetic, which are now 
at our disposal. The Physical Laboratories in the eighteenth century 
and the first half of the nineteenth were in the main collections of 
instruments suitable for experiments to illustrate the lectures of the 
Professor, and the trouble taken over these experiments was, I think, 
comparable with that taken now. Thus, WoUaston, who was Jacksonian 
Professor at Cambridge at the end of the eighteenth century, is said to 

c2 



20 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

have stown over 300 experiments in his annual course of lectures, and at 
a later period Stokes, in his lectures on Optics, showed experiments which 
have not been excelled, for beauty, for educational value, for simplicity 
or for certainty. 

In spite of the fact that until the end of the last century there were 
but few laboratories available for research much scientific work of the 
highest importance was accomplished. This, to a very great extent, was 
due to men who made their own laboratories and bore themselves the cost 
of the experiments. Thus, Joule made his experiments on the Mechanical 
Equivalent of Heat in his house at Manchester, Stokes like Newton made 
frmdamental experiments on Optics in his College rooms, Spottiswoode, 
Huggins, De la Rue, Lord Rayleigh, and one who has had a long and 
intimate connection with the British Association — Dr. E. H. Griffiths — 
also made in their own laboratories and at their own charges additions 
of great value to Physical Science. 

These men, like Kelvin and Maxwell, had not passed through any 
course of instruction in Practical Physics, for no such courses were avail- 
able ; they were in this respect self-taught. Most of them had learnt 
how to use their hands by having had when young some hobby, such as 
using a lathe, or dabbling in chemical experiments or photography. This 
training seems to have been effective for no one can say that their work is 
amateurish. This raises the important question, may not the present 
practice in which our advanced students spend a great deal of time in 
acquiring dexterity in the use of instruments of all kinds be a wasteful 
one, and could not the student who has learned how to use his hands, 
has a good knowledge of Physics and some practice in making 
accurate measurements be trusted to master in a short time the technique 
of any instrument he might require in a special investigation ? 

In the early 'seventies when I first began to study Physics at the 
Owens College, Manchester, there were only six Physical Laboratories 
in England — the Royal Institution, the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford, 
those at University and King's Colleges and the one at the Royal School 
of Mines in London, and one at Owens College, Manchester ; there were 
four in Scotland, one in Ireland and none in Wales. Now the number of 
Physical Laboratories at the Universities, University Colleges, Schools, 
and Institutes of Technology at which instruction is given in Physics, is 
considerably more than 300. Nearly the whole of this increase has 
occurred since our last Anniversary Meeting. The contrast between then 
and now would be even more marked if we took into account the size of 
the buildings. Some of the laboratories in those early days were very 
small affairs. Prof. Ayrton described Sir WiUiam Thomson's laboratory 
at Glasgow as consisting at one time of one room and an adjacent coal 
cellar. When I was at the Owens College, Manchester, though it was 
one of the first places where instruction was given in Practical Physics, 
there was no separate laboratory but only a few rooms and little 
apparatus. Though the laboratory was small, it was large enough for the 
few students who worked there, and these had much more freedom and 
more initiative than would be possible with the large number of students 
that have now to be provided for. We were allowed to choose our own 
experiments, we fitted up the experiments for ourselves and if they did 



p 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 21 

not work we tried again, we were not limited with respect to time and 
we could follow up any point of interest we happened to come across. 
This rather happy-go-lucky method would be quite impossible with 
large classes, but it was more interesting and, I think, a better training 
for research than the highly organised classes which large numbers necessi- 
tate. At any rate, I am glad that I came under the old and not under 
the new system. The new method, however, besides being inevitable has 
some very decided advantages. There are students who are quite immune 
when in the lecture room to infection from any physical idea, and only 
get a grip of physical principles when these come before them in the 
concrete form of an experiment which they make with their own hands ; 
these men learn their theoretical as well as their practical physics in the 
laboratory, and the nature of the experiments, their number and their 
sequence aie of first-rate importance ; all this requires a great deal of 
organisation. 

Science Teaching in Schools and Universities. 

The movement for including Science among the studies pursued in 
our Universities and Schools was born almost at the same time as the 
British Association and the men who took the most prominent jjart in it, 
Adam Sedgwick, Herschel and, above all, Whewell, were closely connected 
with the Association. It was some time before the movement led to 
definite results, but in 1849 the University of Cambridge determined to 
estabhsh a Natural Sciences Tripos. It was not at first an avenue to a 
degree, and the subjects were limited to those in which there were 
Professorships in the University, viz., Chemistry, Mineralogy, Human 
Anatomy and Physiology, Botany and Geology. The first examination 
was held in 1851. There were only six candidates, four were placed in 
the First Class with Prof. Liveing at the top. 

In 1853 the report of the Commissioners appointed to report on the 
studies at Oxford and Cambridge appeared and contained recommendations 
in favour of further opportunities for the study of Science at the 
Universities. In 1864 the Royal Commission appointed to report on the 
seven most important PubUc Schools recommended that aU the boys 
should receive instruction in Science during part at least of their school 
career. This was not before such a recommendation was needed. For 
Science in schools at that time has been described as being ' regarded 
with jealousy by the staff, with contempt by the boys and with 
indifference by the parents.' 

In 1866 there was a valuable rej^ort on the teaching of Science in 
Schools by a Committee of the British Association. In 1867 a Commission 
appointed to consider the education given in those schools not included 
in the reference to the first Commission reported in favour of including 
Science in the curricula of these schools. It should be mentioned that 
before the publication of these reports, J. M. Wilson, who died only a 
short time ago, had started Science teaching at Rugby where he was a 
master. 

The fight for the introduction of Science teaching in our Universities 
and Schools was long, and at times bitter ; for some time Uttle progress 
seemed to be made, but in 1881, the period of our last Jubilee, things 



22 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

began to go with a rush. Owens College obtained, in 1880, a charter as 
Victoria University and could give degrees to its students, and in the 
early 'eighties Mason's College, Birmingham, with Poynting as Professor 
of Physics, University College, Liverpool, with Lodge as Professor, 
Yorkshire College, Leeds, with Riicker as Professor, came into existence 
and later became Universities. 

The number of schools where Science was taught rapidly increased, and 
as a result of this so did the number of Science students coming to the 
Universities. Very clear evidence of this is the fact that in 1881, thirty 
years after the foundation of the Cambridge Natural Science Tripos, the 
number of candidates had only risen to twenty-five, while in 1891 the 
number was ninety-four, practically as great as any other Tripos in the 
L^niversity. 

It can now, I tliink, be claimed that some Science is taught in all schools, 
and a good deal in a great many ; this is a great advance and has practically 
all been made in the last fifty years. It cannot, however, be said that even 
now Science occupies in our systems of education a place commensurate 
with its ever-increasing influence on human thought and with its importance 
in the progress of civilisation. 

One defect of the present system is that the Entrance Scholarships 
ofiered by most of the great Public Schools have in practice the efiect of 
attracting the abler boys to Classics. In the examination for most of these 
Scholarships much greater weight is given to Classics than to any other 
subject, and a boy must have spent most of his time on Classics if he is to 
do well in the examination. Thus, when he goes to the School he is much 
further advanced in Classics than in anji^hing else and, naturally, takes it 
as his main subject. It may not, however, be the subject in which his 
strength really lies. For unlike Mathematics, in which marked proficiency 
is only attained by boys with a somewhat rare type of mind, in Classics 
most able boys can under skilful teaching acquire sufficient proficiency to 
give them a fair chance of getting an Entrance Scholarship at a Public 
School. These Scholarships may thus entice them along a path which 
does not lead to their true destination. That this actually occurs 
is, I think, shown by the figures given in the Report of the Committee 
on the Position of Natural Science in the Educational System of Great 
Britain, 1918. Of the Entrance Scholarships to Cambridge gained by 
boys from seven great Public Schools which give Entrance Scholarships, 
for one gained in Science, six were gained in Classics. This disproportion 
is far greater than the average for all Schools, showing that it is not due 
to the rarity of scientific talent as compared with classical, but is an 
artificial one due to the systems in force at these Schools. 

The last thing I wish to do is to disparage Classical Studies. I think 
that for some boys a course in which Classics predominates is the best,. 
and I tliink that in the early stages of the education of all boys Classics, 
should play a large, perhaps even the largest, part. What I think is. 
desirable is that the School Examination should not be so specialised as. 
it is now, and that the papers in Classics should not be so much more, 
advanced than those in any other subject. 

It is not enough to have introduced Physics into Schools, it is necessary 
to develop methods of teaching which will make its study produce its full 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 23 

educational effect. The problem is a difficult one, the teaching of Classics 
and Mathematics have long experience and tradition behind them. No 
such tradition exists for that of Physics. The methods have had to be 
evolved and it cannot be said there is yet anything like complete 
agreement as to which are the best. Science Masters are attacking the 
problem with the greatest vigour and enthusiasm, are trying out one 
method after another. I think there is perhaps too great a tendency to 
concentrate on the method to the exclusion of the personality of the 
teacher, a good teacher will soon find the method which in his hands 
gives the best results and will do better with that than with one imposed 
on him from outside. 

Post-Graduate Study and Research. 

Research is now an integral part of the training of a considerable 
number of our students and the importance of research for the welfare of 
the nation universally recognised. This, however, is quite a modern 
development. It had hardly started sixty years ago, and though a vigorous 
propaganda for the ' Endowment of Research ' was being carried on by 
Mark Pattison, Huxley, Roscoe, Lockyer, and others, it was some time 
before it began to produce much effect. 

Besides the apathy of the coixntry there were at that time three great 
obstacles to research : — 

1. The lack of Laboratories. We have already seen how this has been 
remedied. 

2. The lack of Scholarships to enable men to stay up at the University 
to research after taking their degree. 

3. A third obstacle was that there was hardly any chance of obtaining 
a livelihood by research alone, so that the only men who made it a 
career were those who had money or were so enthusiastic that they 
were reckless about monetary affairs. The case is very different 
now when research is a recognised profession and a fairly lucrative 
one. 

It is not a great exaggeration to say that in those early days there 
was neither room, money nor a career for those who wished to research. 

Things, however, soon began to mend and research gradually came 
to be regarded as a suitable subject for the award of Scholarships and 
Fellowships. I am glad to say that one of the first, if not the first, to 
take action in this matter was Trinity College, Cambridge, who in 1874 
determined to take into account for election to Fellowship any original 
work which the candidates might submit. Before this the elections had 
been determined solely on the results of an examination held by the 
College. They carried out the scheme in no half-hearted way, for at 
the first election under the scheme in 1874 they elected Francis Balfour, 
the great zoologist, though it was an open secret that if the examination 
alone had been taken into consideration another candidate would have 
been elected. The scheme has been remarkably successful. Many 
papers of absolute first-rate importance have been submitted by the 
candidates and now the College has abandoned the examination altogether 
and only takes into account the original work submitted by the candidates. 



24 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

In addition to awards for the results of successful research, Scholarships 
began to be founded to enable students who had just taken their degrees 
to get a post-graduate training in research. The rate of increase in the 
number of these was very slow in the last century, but this century it has 
got faster and faster and now grants for training in research are given 
by most of the Colleges, by some of the great City Companies, who have 
done so much for the promotion of Science and Education, by bodies 
like the Commissioners for the 1851 Exhibition, and, above all, by the 
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, who have in the last 
ten years made grants to students in training of £228,970, the average 
number receiving grants in each year being 184. 

In Cambridge the number of students doing post-graduate research 
increased rapidly after 1895 when a regulation came into force which 
enabled students who had graduated at other Universities to obtain a 
Cambridge degree after two years' satisfactory research work in Cambridge. 
This degree was at first the B.A. degree, but in 1920 a new degree, the 
Ph.D., was instituted by the University for which Cambridge men as well 
as graduates of other Universities are eUgible. There are now forty-five 
of these students in residence taking Physics. Of these, by far the 
greater number hold Scholarships or are in receipt of grants. Indeed, 
I think it can now be said that a really first-class man has an excellent 
chance of getting, if he is in need of it, sufiicient assistance to enable him 
to get a training in research. 

The problem of training a large number of students in research in 
Physics is by no means an easy one, many things have to be taken into 
consideration and provided for, otherwise the post-graduate course may 
do more harm than good. 

It is very necessary to remember that the importance of the research 
work done by these students lies not so much in the scientific results 
obtained as in the training it affords. On this point I should Uke to read 
an extract from the report of a Commission on the place of Science in 
Education, of which I was Chairman : — 

' The training afforded by the study of Natural Science will be in- 
complete unless the student undertakes some piece of research in which, 
relying as far as possible on his own resources, he apphes his knowledge of 
Science and of the methods of scientific investigation to the solution of 
some scientific problem. The effect of a year's work of this kind on the 
general mental development of the student is most striking. He gains 
independence of thought, maturity of judgment, self-reUance, his critical 
powers are strengthened, and his enthusiasm for science increased, in fine 
he is carried from mental adolescence to manhood. We think that 
whenever possible a year spent mainly on research should form part of 
the course at the University of those whose work in life will be concerned 
with the industrial applications of science as well as those who will devote 
themselves to research and teaching. It is important, however, that at 
this stage the teachers at the University should regard research mainly 
from the point of view of its value as an educational training and not as a 
means of getting within the year as many new scientific results as possible. 
The student should be encouraged to overcome his difl[iculties by his own 
efforts and the assistance given by the teacher should not be more than is 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 25 

necessary to keep him from being disheartened by failure and to prevent 
the work from getting on lines which cannot lead to success.' 

I should like to emphasise the last part of this quotation. A year or 
two spent on research under proper conditions is an educational training 
which cannot easily be overrated, but under others it may be positively 
harmful. It must always be borne in mind that the primary object of a 
University laboratory is not the same as that of a laboratory where there 
are no students in training, such as the National Physical Laboratory or 
the laboratory of a great firm. In such laboratories the main object is to 
get results, to discover as many new facts as possible. In a University 
laboratory the most important thing is to produce well-trained and well- 
educated men rather than to turn out the largest number of small papers. 
To get scientific results rapidly, the best plan is for the stafE to select the 
subject for investigation, to determine the kind of experiment to be made, 
to exercise daily supervision over the work and to leave to the student 
little besides the taking of the observations. The intellectual develop- 
ment of the student is injured rather than benefited by a training like 
this. You cannot without disaster apply methods of mass production to 
education. Even in University laboratories where the importance of 
affording mental training is fully realised, over-speciahsation is the great 
danger of these courses of research, and one that requires much care to 
avoid. The student gets so engrossed in his experiments that he grudges 
the time spent on going to lectures, or on reading books which are not on 
his own special subjects. He often spends too much time in making the 
experiments and too little in thinking about them. Sometimes, too, he 
neglects to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by a resident 
University for social intercourse with men of all shades of opinion and of 
experience. There is danger, too, of his getting into a groove and to go 
on working for the rest of his life on the particular subject on which he 
was first engaged. 

I think it helps one to get new ideas if the mind does not dwell too 
long on one subject without interrujjtion, and if every now and then the 
thread of one's thought is broken. It is, I think, a general experience 
that new ideas about a subject come when one is not thinking about it. 
I am not a psychologist and do not know the views held as to how new 
ideas originate, but to my mind there is considerable practical analogy 
between this process and one about which we have been hearing a good 
deal during the last few days, the induction of currents in a magnetic field. 
For this to occur change as well as the magnetic field is necessary. If a 
circuit is in such a field nothing happens as long as it is in repose, but if you 
disturb this repose, currents begin to flow through it. Now compare the 
circuit to the brain, the magnetic field to the state produced in the brain 
by long thought about a subject, the starting of a current to the starting 
of an idea. No ideas will come as long as the brain remains in the same 
condition without any change in its point of view, but if this changes, 
then currents or ideas are produced in the brain, the change as it were 
strikes sparks in the brain. This is one reason why I think it is desirable 
that the student should do a little teaching, another is that it would give 
him experience which may be valuable in after-Ufe and help him to obtain 
a post. 



26 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Careers for Research Workers. 
I now come to the subject of the careers open to men who liave had 
a training in research. Sixty years ago the only posts open to these were 
teaching posts in the few physical laboratories then in existence. The 
number of such posts increased very rapidly towards the end of the last 
century, as did also the demand for science masters for the schools ; but 
until then and indeed for some time after it may be said that roughly 
speaking the only posts open to research workers were posts associated 
with teaching. At the beginning of this century, however, the importance 
of research to our industries began to be realised. The most striking 
instance of this is the establishment, in 1901, of the National Physical 
Laboratory for research both in pure science and in subjects which have 
an immediate application to industry. The growth of this under Sir 
Richard Glazebrook and Sir Joseph Petavel has been phenomenal, there 
are now about 160 research workers employed in the laboratory and the 
Budget has increased twenty-fold. Other methods of linking up Science 
with industry are also being employed in this country. Probably the most 
efficient is for a firm to have its own laboratory where its own problems 
can be investigated, in this case the inducements for success are greatest 
and knowledge of the technique and processes involved most accessible. 

There are several such laboratories, each with a large staff in this 
country. They are, however, so expensive as to be beyond the reach of 
any but very large firms. To extend the benefit of research to the 
industries generally, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research 
was started by the Government in 1915. At the instigation raid with the 
aid of grants from the Department, the members of various industries 
have combined and formed Research Associations with laboratories 
suitably equipped for research in matters relating to the particular industry. 
There are now more than twenty of these Associations. They have had to 
contend with many difficulties, at first there was plenty of money but no 
well-trained men, now there are plenty of men but no money. There are, 
however, good reasons for thinking that in sj^ite of these difficulties the 
financial gain to the industries has far exceeded the expenses of the 
laboratories. In addition to granting aid to these Associations, the 
Department has established Boards for research in matters which concern 
all industries. There is the Fuel Research Board which deals with 
problems vital to the country on the production of power from coal 
and other fuels, there is a Food Research Board for research on the 
storage and transport of food, there are Boards for Building, Forest 
Products, Radio and Chemical Research. All these have laboratories 
and staffs of research workers, as have also the Research Departments of 
the Army, Navy and Air Services. 

I have tried to find how many workers are employed in these applica- 
tions of Science to industry, but have not been able to get any estimate 
which would be of any value ; one great difficulty is to draw the line 
between posts which seem adequate for those who have gone through a 
long and exjjensive training in research and those which do not. One 
thing, however, can be said, that the demand we have had in Cambridge 
for workers trained in research has, until this year of acute and long- 
continued dej)ressiou, exceeded the supply ; and although it is possible 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 27 

to have over-production in research workers, we do not at present seem 
to have reached that stage for normal times. 

In considering research as a profession, it must be remembered that 
especially in research of a pioneering land the worker may spend years 
without getting results of any very striking importance. He may get 
depressed, lose hope, and be inclined if he gets the chance to go into 
administration and organisation where there is a greater certainty of work 
yielding an adequate result. The researcher, if he is to have a happy life, 
must regard the game and not the score as the chief thing. In every 
research difficulties and apparently anomalous results are constantly 
turning up. To overcome these, to make clear and consistent what 
before was obscure and confused, is to some minds one of the keenest of 
pleasures and one which may be produced by discovering the source of a 
persistent leak in a discharge tube just as well as by finding a new ray. 
Experience shows that men with minds of this type are not very common. 
There are many who when they are young and just fresh from a laboratory, 
where there is an atmosphere of research and many research workers, are 
so enthusiastic about research that they think nothing else matters. 
Often, however, this enthusiasm soon fades and they become more 
interested in organisation and administration than research. Thus, those 
who begin by working in the Research Department of a firm tend to 
drift into the other departments. I think this, on the whole, is an advan- 
tage, for it diffuses the scientific spirit and outlook throughout the work 
of the firm, this may be as important as discoveries in the laboratory 
and quicker in its effects. 

The increase in the number of research workers has naturally led to a 
corresponding increase in the number of papers on physics. From one 
point of view this is very gratifying, from another it is embarrassing. 
' Science Abstracts ' for 1930 contains abstracts of 4,165 papers on physics, 
corresponding to very nearly a dozen a day. It is obvious that no one 
can read more than a small fraction of these. It is generally more than 
one can do to read even those in a particular branch of physics, this leads 
to great speciahsation. Volumes such as those of ' Science Abstracts,' 
which give the gist of a paper in a small space, are of great value, especially 
for looking up the literature of a subject over a definite period. For this 
purpose, however, the subject index is of vital importance, in making this 
index it is not enough to go by the title of a paper, the contents of a paper 
cannot all be got into its title. The makers of the index should have 
read the papers. This seems a council of perfection, but it would practi- 
cally be secured if the maker of the abstract were to send in with it cards 
for the subject index. This is work that requires great care and sound 
judgment. 

I do not think that abstracts alone are sufficient to cope with this 
avalanche of papers on physics. As far as I know we have nothing in 
physics corresponding to the annual reports issued by the Chemical Society 
on the progress of various branches of chemistry. I think it would be a 
very good thing if we had, and that it is a thing on which money and 
time might well be spent. In addition to these, there should, I think, be 
fuller and more critical reports issued regularly at a longer period, say 
quinquennially, of the character of those which from time to time have 



28 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

been published by the British Association and by the National Academy 
of Washington. Another minor suggestion is the pubUcation each 
month of the titles (without any abstracts) of the physical papers pubUshed 
in scientific periodicals and the Proceedings of Scientific Societies during 
the preceding month. This used to be a feature of Wiedemann's Beiblatter 
and I found it very useful. 

In addition to the advances we have been considering, the instruments 
and appliances in laboratories are very much better and more convenient 
than they used to be. The most vivid impression I have of my early 
work in the laboratory is that of Groves Cells, these had platinum foil 
immersed in nitric acid for one electrode, zinc in dilute sulphuric for 
the other, and what with the fumes which assailed one's throat and the 
acid which destroyed one's clothes, the assemblage of a battery of cells 
was a most disagreeable business. I have not seen a Groves Cell for 
forty years and do not want to see another. Now instead of making up a 
battery we just put a plug into a hole. Another instrument which was 
exasperating to work with was the old quadrant electrometer, this not 
infrequently refused to hold its charge and neither prayers nor imprecations 
would induce it to do so, it has, fortunately, been replaced by more 
sensitive and convenient instruments. With regard to galvanometers, 
I have the authority of Mr. Whipple in saying that one suitably selected 
for the purpose for which it is required may be at least ten thousand 
times more efficient than the instruments available fifty or sixty years ago. 
The extensive use of electrical instruments in connection with electrical 
Ughting and engineering has caused a great deal of attention to be paid 
to their design with the result that they are far more convenient and 
reliable than they used to be. The improvement of instruments is of 
first rate importance for the progress of Physics, a considerable increase 
in the efficiency of an instrument may open up a new region of physical 
phenomena. The most striking example of this is the effect produced by 
improvements in the methods of producing high vacua. Roughly speak- 
in", we may say that modern physics depends on our power of studying 
individual atoms and electrons and not merely large crowds of these 
particles. To do this, one atom must not be hit by another while under 
observation, as it would make more than ten thousand collisions in a 
centimetre if the pressure were atmospheric ; a very high vacuum is 
required. Until early in this century this had to be got by Sprengel 
pumps, which involved one raising and lowering a vessel filled with 
mercury for hours on end and getting what would now be considered a 
very poor result, but a vivid appreciation of the intensity with which 
Nature abhors a vacuum. All this was changed after Sir James Dewar 
introduced the method of producing high vacua by means of charcoal 
cooled by liquid air. This was not only much more rapid and convenient 
but produced verv much higher vacua and made it possible to make 
experiments and measurements which could not have been made before 
the introduction of this method and which have revolutionised our 
ideas of the structure of matter. If Science helps the industries they in 
return help Science. An illustration is that the need of a high vacuum for 
hot wire valves and electric lamps made its production a matter of com- 
mercial importance with the result that the physicist has now at his 



A.— MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES. 29 

command pumps so powerful that they can maintain an exceedingly high 
vacuum in spite of the influx into the vessel of a stream of the particles 
we wish to study; this is exceedingly important when investigating 
charged atoms and electrons. 

The hot wire valve is another instrument which has helped greatly 
research in physics ; the immense magnification of weak effects which can 
be produced by it enables us to detect with certainty phenomena wliich 
before its introduction were almost beyond our ken. Those who hke 
myself repeated, more than forty years ago, Hertz's experiments will 
contrast the difficulty we had in detecting electrical waves even when the 
source was only a few yards away with the ease with which modern 
methods using hot wire valves detect waves which have travelled thousands 
of miles. 

I have alluded to advances in the efficiency of the instruments. There 
is another advance in them which is not so gratif png, that is the advance 
in price. The cost of research in physics is much greater than it used to 
be. Before the war when about thirty research students were working 
at the Cavendish Laboratory, the cost of their researches was about £300 
per annum, now it would be at least five times that amount. To balance 
this there are now far greater sums available for research than there were 
in those days. 

I have in this address confined myself to what may be called the 
machinery of research in physics. I will now say a word or two about 
another point. The additions to our knowledge of physical phenomena 
and to physical conceptions made in the last sixty years have not been 
excelled by those made in any period of the history of the science, 
and yet I remember that at the beginning of this period the view was 
prevalent that all the fundamental principles of physics had been 
discovered and that the work of the future would be to develop and 
co-ordinate those principles and to measure more and more accurately 
the value of known physical constants. This view seems ludicrous when we 
know that within a few years Rontgen rays, the electron and radio- 
activity were discovered. The existence of these was quite unexpected, 
and no hint of the possibiUty of their existence was given by any of the 
physical theories then extant ; this view was, however, to my knowledge, 
held by some eminent physicists. The great generalisations expressed 
by the first and second Laws of Thermodynamics loomed so large in 
those days that it was thought that nothing was beyond their purview. 
This state of mind is apt to occur after a great discovery ; it occurred 
after that of universal gravitation ; there are signs that it exists now. 
Yet it has always been falsified by experience, and I think always 
will be. There are no signs that physics is approaching an asymptotic 
state in which the progress gets slower and slower as time goes on. The 
additions to our knowledge of physics made by our generation do not get 
smaller and smaller as one generation succeeds another, each great 
discovery is not a terminus but an avenue leading to new knowledge. An 
improvement in technique may, as we have seen, lead to fimdamental 
changes in our views of the nature of matter and of physical processes. 
There is far more in physics than is dreamt of in our theories ; and Nature 
herself, if we observe her carefully, is more suggestive of ideas than the 



30 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

minds of the most imaginative of us. The ideas which revolutionise 
Science are just those of which our theories give no indications. Theories 
are the very life-blood of Physics, most of the researches in our laboratories 
originate in an attempt to test a theory; theory, however, may be 
injurious if it makes us concentrate our attention exclusively on the 
particular problem it suggested, and to treat as an annoyance, to be 
avoided by a change in method, any anomaly in the experiment which 
interferes with our progress to the goal ; the anomaly may be the outcrop 
of a vein rich in new phenomena. After Rontgen had discovered X-rays, 
another physicist who had been working with somewhat similar apparatus 
said that he had noticed that any photographic plates near his tube got 
fogged and spoiled ; he moved his plates further away and left it at that. 
The discovery of argon by Lord Rayleigh arose from some vexatious 
discrepancies in a series of weighings. 

I do not think that there is any danger of the supply of new physical 
phenomena being exhausted and of Physicists joining the ranks of the 
imemployed. Rather do I believe that as each successive Centenary 
comes roimd the President of Section A will be able to say that the growth 
of Physics in the century which has just passed is comparable with that 
in any of its predecessors. 



SECTION B.— CHEMISTRY. 



MICHAEL FARADAY AND 

THE THEORY OF ELECTROLYTIC 

CONDUCTION. 

ADDRESS BY 

SIR HAROLD HARTLEY, C.B.E., M.C., F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



When you did me the honour of inviting me to preside over your Section 
at the hundredth meeting of the Association, it seemed to me almost 
inevitable that my address to you should be a retrospect, recalling to you 
some of the great achievements of chemists since 183L This week our 
guests from abroad have joined us in celebrating two centenaries, and I 
trust you will not find it inappropriate that my address should be a tribute 
to the memory of Michael Faraday and a sketch of the development 
through the century of the work which was his classic contribution to 
chemical science. It would be invidious to try to make any distinction 
between chemistry and physics, and Faraday himself would be no party 
to such a division. ' Such a difference,' he said, ' is a mere play upon 
words, and shows ignorance rather than understanding ' — and indeed he 
is the outstanding example of the essential unity of the two subjects. 
But we cannot forget to-day that Faraday was in a sense the discovery 
of a chemist, that he was trained in a chemical laboratory, that his early 
triumphs were in the field of chemistry, and that he was one of the 
great masters of chemical technique. 

He presided over this Section in 1837 at Liverpool and again in 1846 
at Southampton. There is, alas, no record of his addresses, but of the 
Liverpool meeting he wrote : ' To-day I think we made our Section rather 
more interesting that was expected, and to-morrow I expect will be good 
also ' — and with Faraday in the Chair, no doubt it was. 

I feel some hesitation in speaking to you of Faraday. It is almost 
impossible to say anything new of him or anything adequate to his great 
genius. To try and explain Faraday seems an impertinence, but my 
tribute to his memory, however inadequate, must be to tell again the 
story of the early years of his apprenticeship to chemistry, and to trace 
the steps which led him to the researches which still remain the foundation 
of electrochemistry. There is no time to speak of his early life. The 
first intimate glimpse we have of his amazing natural gifts and his love of 
science, is as a bookbinder's apprentice with only the rudiments of educa- 
tion, when at the age of nineteen he is writing long letters to Abbott 
describing his experiments in electricity and arguing convincingly about 



32 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

the true nature of chlorine. Then came the happy accident in 1813 that 
took him to the Eoyal Institution at the age of twenty-two to act as 
assistant to Davy, who was then at the height of his powers. Faraday 
was always mindful of the debt he owed to Davy, and doubtless he learned 
much from his skill and experience and from watching his decisive 
experimental methods. We can picture them working alongside one 
another in 1815 during those fourteen crowded days which elapsed between 
the arrival of samples of fire damp from the Northumberland mines and 
the discovery of the principle of the Davy Lamp — ' the result of pure 
experimental deduction — it originated in no accident.' Faraday soon 
began to carry out investigations himself, and from 1816 a constant stream 
of papers appears under his name. They form no connected series, and 
no general idea underlies them. Some come from suggestions from Davy, 
others arise from casual observations in the laboratory or from some new 
materials to be investigated, and later on there are investigations arising 
out of some practical need, such as those on optical glass and on alloys of 
iron when he attempted to produce rustless steel. The titles of some of 
the papers exhibit Faraday's wide range of interests and experience : — 

On the Escape of Gases through Capillary Tubes (1817), in which he 
appears as the forerunner of Graham ; On the Solution of Silver Com- 
pounds in Ammonia (1818) ; Combinations of Ammonia with Chlorides 
(1818) ; On two new Compounds of Chlorine and Carbon (1820), in which 
he isolates hexachlorethane and tetrachlorethylene ; On new Compounds 
of Carbon and Hydrogen (1825), in which he isolates benzene and butylene ; 
On the Condensation of Several Gases into Liquids (1823) ; On the Mutual 
Action of Sulphuric Acid and Naphthaline (1826), in which he prepares 
and separates the barium salts of the a and (3 naphthaleuesulphonic 
acids by means of their difierent solubiUties. These investigations show 
Faraday's capacity as a practical chemist, the neatness and simplicity of 
his experimental methods, the quickness and accuracy of his observation, 
and the completeness with which he treated a subject. It was Faraday's 
good fortune that so important a substance as benzene was in the gas oil 
given to him by Gordon to investigate, but the remarkable part of the 
work is his separation of benzene by fractional distillation and crystallisa- 
tion, and the accuracy both of his analysis made with the simplest means 
and of his vapour density determinations made by exploding a known 
volume with oxygen and measuring the contraction and the volume of 
carbon dioxide formed. For its date it is a little masterpiece of investiga- 
tion, although a modern examiner might quarrel with results .given to six 
places of decimals. Unlike his later work, these papers are mainly records 
of experiments ; they contain few references to theory, and owing to 
Faraday's scepticism as regards the atomic theory he seems to have taken 
Uttle interest in the problem of the atomic constitution of difierent sub- 
stances, which was just beginning to perplex chemists. New substances 
were discovered, purified, analysed and described and left almost without 
speculation as to their nature. Naphthaleuesulphonic acid is called 
' sulpho-naphthalic acid, which sufficiently indicates its source and nature 
without the inconvenience of involving theoretical views.' 

But in those years Faraday was gaining that first-hand acquaintance 
with the properties of many substances, which was to be invaluable to 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 33 

him in choosing the right materials for his experiments. He was also 
accumulating an unrivalled knowledge of chemical technique and gaining 
the confidence to which was due the boldness and directness of his experi- 
ments in the years to come. How many of you, I wonder, have read his 
Chemical Manipulation, published in 1827, in which he describes every 
kind of laboratory operation and device. The art of experimenting must 
almost necessarily be traditional, and I remember well how this was 
brought home to me by my tutor, Sir John Conroy, when he saw me 
committing one of the minor crimes of the laboratory. He looked rather 
sadly at me, and all he said was ' Harcourt would have told Dixon, Dixon 
would have told Baker, and Baker would have told you.' Faraday, 
however, wanted to make chemical manipulation less of an alchemical 
secret, ' taught only in the very depths of the laboratory to a highly 
privileged few.' The book is one of the most personal documents in 
scientific literature as each j^age is a record of his own experimental 
methods, showing how every detail of each operation had been thought 
out by him and reduced to its simplest and most efiective form. 

To take one example — nowhere else will you find the use of the mortar 
analysed in such a scientific manner as in Faraday's chapter on Com- 
minution. The nature of the substance to be powdered, the material of 
the mortar, the method of holding it to secure the quickest result with the 
minimum of fatigue, are all subjected to the most searching examination, 
and every page makes one realise the concentration of effort and thought 
that underlay all Faraday's experiments. 

There is an intensely personal quality about Faraday's work as it was 
all done with his own hands, and even if he used the result of others he 
repeated their experiments. ' I was never able to make a fact my own 
without seeing it. . . . If Grove, or Wheatstone, or Gassiot told me a new 
fact and wanted my opinion ... I could never say anything until I had 
seen the fact. For the same reason, I never could work, as some professors 
do most extensively, by students or pupils. All the work had to be my 
own. ' Faraday worked alone to the end of his life with no helper except the 
trusty Sergeant Anderson, who for almost forty years was his laboratory 
assistant. ' He and I are companions, in years, in work and in the Royal 
Institution.' Anderson deserves a place in our chemical hagiology beside 
BerzeUus' faithful cook, Anna, whose conservatism as regards the nature 
of chlorine was even greater than her master's. 

Throughout his life, Faraday had an intense interest in the applications 
of science to everyday problems, often making them the subjects of his 
Friday evening discourses at the Royal Institution. We are apt to forget 
that he was a skilful analyst and that for several years he made a con- 
siderable income as a consulting chemist by what he called his ' pro- 
fessional business,' until in 1831 he deliberately gave up this work lest it 
should interfere with his researches. But Government Departments were 
constantly seeking his help and advice, and for thirty years he was 
Scientific Adviser to Trinity House, where he gave his time unsparingly 
to such problems as lighting and ventilation, and even to the examination 
of water supplies and of samples of oils and paints. Quite late in life he 
had not lost his cunning as an analyst. In 1845 he was reporting to 
Trinity House on the adulteration of white lead, and in 1852 he made an 
1931 D 



34 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

analysis for the Board of Ordnance in two days of the contents of a French 
shell fired at Salee. 

In his description of the requisites of a laboratory, Faraday wrote, 
' A blank writing-paper book should be upon the table, with pen and ink, 
to enter immediately the notes of experiments. A chair may be admitted, 
and one will be found quite sufficient for all necessary purposes, for a 
laboratory is no place for persons who are not engaged in the operations 
going on there. . . . The practice of delaying to note until the end of a 
train of experiments or to the conclusion of a day, is a bad one, as it then 
becomes difficult accurately to remember the succession of events. There 
is a probability also that some important point which may suggest itself 
during the writing, cannot then be ascertained by reference to experiment, 
because of its occurrence to the mind at too late a period.' 

Faraday's own note-books are much more than a record of his experi- 
ments, as he jotted down in them in numbered paragraphs, which ran 
to 16,041, the ideas which flashed on him as he was working in the laboratory 
and his plans for new experiments, so that we can follow his progress from 
day to day and watch the interplay of ideas and experiments, and the 
swiftness and certainty with which he reached a decision. When a young 
man asked him the secret of his success as an investigator, Faraday 
answered, ' The secret is comprised in three words — Work, Finish, 
Publish.' What he meant by this we can see by following in his note- 
books the course of his researches in electrochemistry from 1831 to 1834. 

It is easy to see why Faraday had to work alone with nobody to distract 
him. In the period of his great achievements, his experiments were 
rarely continuous, the intervals between them suggesting the subconscious 
working of his mind. He waited until the impulse came and his ' prescient 
wisdom ' had planned the experiment and foreseen the result. As we 
read the pages of the note-books, discovery seems to follow discovery 
almost inevitably. Faraday always had a preconceived idea behind his 
experiments, and never were advances made with such economy of effort. 
Each new position was reached by a series of attacks delivered with 
amazing speed when everything was ripe for them. The eager intensity 
with which Faraday worked in the laboratory impressed all those who 
watched him — ' His motions were wonderfully rapid ; and if he had to 
cross the laboratory for anything, he did not walk at an ordinary step, 
he ran for it, and when he wanted anything he spoke quickly.' .... 
' The rare ingenuity of his mind was ably seconded by his manipulative 
skill, while the quickness of his perceptions was equalled by the calm 
rapidity of his movements.' 

The year 1831 was the turning-point of Faraday's career. There is no 
greater contrast in scientific literature than his earlier chemical papers, 
characterised by their essentially practical outlook and accomplishment 
and the brilliant flights of imagination which inspired his ' Experimental 
Researches in Electricity.' 

What was it that brought about this transformation ? It has been 
said that Faraday's powers were maturing gradually in readiness for that 
great outburst of intellectual activity in his fortieth year, but I believe 
that the change was due simply to the success of an experiment which 
Faraday had previously tried again and again without result. It was the 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 35 

discovery of electromagnetic induction that gave the new impulse to his 
mind and gave him confidence in the promptings of his imagination. 
What are the facts ? 

Electricity was one of Faraday's earliest scientific interests. Long 
before he went to Davy he was experimenting with home-made batteries. 
Already in 1816 we get a glimpse of his intuitive belief in the essential 
unity of the forces of nature, which was to influence so greatly the current 
of his researches. His first lecture to the City Philosophical Society was 
on the general properties of matter, and we find him speculating on the 
forces underlying material behaviour and on their inter-relation. ' That 
the attraction of aggregation and chemical afiinity is actually the same 
as the attraction of gravitation and electrical attraction, I will not 
positively affirm, but I believe they are.' In 1821, Faraday repeated the 
experiments of Oersted, Arago and Ampere on electro-magnetism and 
discovered the rotation of a wire carrying a current if free to move round a 
magnetic pole. Magnetism had been produced from electricity, and 
Faraday was convinced of the possibility of obtaining electricity from 
magnetism. In 1824 he was experimenting with a magnet in a helix 
connected with a galvanometer, without result, and similar experiments 
were made in 1825 and 1828. Either the galvanometer was too in- 
sensitive or he failed to notice the momentary deflection when the magnet 
was introduced. On August 29, 1831, the induced current was detected, 
and ten days of decisive experiment culminated in his paper on ' The 
Induction of Electric Currents ' which was to shape the future of electrical 
science and electrical industry. 

To us it is of special interest that on the very day of the discovery, the 
first test Faraday applied, after he had observed the motion of the magnetic 
needle due to the induced current, was to attach platinum wires to the ends 
of the coil and see if he could detect any decomposition in a drop of copper 
sulphate solution. The test was not delicate enough, but we find him 
returning again and again to the chemical power of magneto-electricity 
until on June 11, 1832, he found in bibulous paper moistened with 
potassium iodide and starch the most sensitive means of detecting the 
chemical action of an induced current. A sentence in his letter to 
Richard Phillips on November 29, 1831, describing his discovery of 
electro-magnetic induction shows how his mind was running on the 
problem of conduction in solutions — ■' I believe it will explain perfectly 
the transference of elements between the poles of the pile in decom- 
position.' 

His new discovery of magneto-electricity raised afresh in Faraday's 
mind the old and still disputed problem of the identity of electricities from 
different sources, and chemical action was one of the tests he applied 
to its solution. Having shown that common (frictional), voltaic, and 
magneto- electricity all produce similar physiological, magnetic, chemical 
and thermal effects, Faraday, on September 14 and 15, 1832, estabhshed 
quantitatively the identical nature of common and voltaic electricity by 
showing that such quantities of these two lands of electricity as produced 
equal effects on the needle of his galvanometer also liberated equal amounts 
of iodine, as judged by the intensity of the brown stain, when a piece of 
bibulous paper moistened with potassium iodide was placed in the circuit. 

152 



36 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

In the work that led up to these decisive results, Faraday had made many 
experiments on the chemical action produced by a current. In one of 
them he placed one end of a long piece of litmus paper moistened with 
sodium sulphate in contact with an electrical machine, while the other 
end was held opposite to the discharging points. On turning the machine 
Faraday saw that decomposition took place, the paper becoming red 
' where the positive electricity entered from the air.' This proved to him 
that the decomposition was not dependent on the presence of metallic 
poles in the solution, and on September 6 he wrote in his note-book, 
' Hence it would seem that it is not a mere repulsion of the alkah and 
attraction of the acid by the positive pole, etc. etc., but that as the current 
of electricity passes whether by metallic poles or not the elementary 
particles arrange themselves and that the alkali goes as far as it can 
with the current in one direction and the acid in the other. The metallic 
poles used appear to be mere terminations of the decomposable 
substance.' 

' The effects of decomposition would seem rather to depend upon a 
relief of the chemical afl&nity in one direction and an exaltation of it on 
the other rather than to direct attraction and repulsions of the poles.' 
Here we see the germ of Faraday's ideas on the nature of electrolysis. 

In October and November only two days were spent on electrical 
experiments, and the paper on ' The Identity of Electricities ' was not 
communicated to the Eoyal Society until December 10, an unusually long 
delay for Faraday. He was now convinced, it is true on rather slender 
evidence, that the amount of electro-chemical decomposition is a measure 
of the quantity of electricity, and the paper contains a statement of his 
First Law of Electrolysis. After describing the experiments with 
potassium iodide paper, he says, ' It also follows that for this case of 
electro-chemical decomposition, and it is probable for all cases, that the 
chemical power, like the magnetic force, is in direct proportion to the 
absolute qiia>itity of electricity which passes.' 

On December 24 he wrote, ' Can an electric current voltaic or not 
decompose a soUd body, ice. etc. etc. If it can does it give structure at 
the time. If it cannot what would fused gum, lac, wax, etc' A cold 
speU at the end of January enabled him to put this to the test, and he 
found that while ice would not conduct a voltaic current, conduction 
occurred immediately the ice melted. ' If ice will not conduct is it 
because it cannot decompose ? ' 

This led Faraday to examine the conductivity in the fused state of a 
number of substances which are solid at ordinary temperatures, and to 
study the products formed during electrolysis. It was a new field for 
him and he showed his usual experimental skill in devising simple methods 
for working at high temperatures, including even the use of the oxy- 
hydrogen blowpipe. He found that a number of substances resembled 
water in being insulators in the solid state and becoming good conductors 
if fused, when they were decomposed by the current, but that this 
phenomenon was by no means universal. He thus arrived at no general 
conclusion, but the experience he gained in working with fused salts was 
to prove invaluable later in the year in his work on electro-chemical 
equivalents. The experiments were finished on April 22, and on April 24 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 37 

they were communicated to the Royal Society with the title ' On a New 
• Law of Electric Conduction.' 

Faraday then turned his attention to the mechanism of conduction in 
a liquid. On May 2 he passes a strong current through a saturated solution 
of sodium sulphate and examines it with polarized light both across and 
along the direction of the current to see if he can detect signs of arrange- 
ment of the molecules, but without result. On May 20 he determines 
the transfer of sulphuric acid during electrolysis by measuring the changes 
in concentration in two vessels connected by moist asbestos, and on 
May 27 he shows that the transfer of sulphuric acid differs from that of 
sodium sulphate of equivalent concentration, ' very evident therefore 
that the transfer is dependant on the mutual action of the particles.' 
He summed up his views in a paper to the Royal Society on June 18, the 
main conclusion being ' that electro-chemical decomposition does not 
depend on the simultaneous action of two metallic poles,' and the effects 
of it ' are due to a modification, by the electric current, of the chemical 
afl&nity of the particles through or by which that current is passing, giving 
them the power of acting more forcibly in one direction than in another, 
and consequently making them travel by a series of successive decom- 
positions and recompositions in opposite directions, and finally causing 
their expulsion or exclusion at the boundaries of the body under decom- 
position.' 

On May 16 no experiments were recorded in the note-book but among 
the ideas he jotted down was — ' Is the law this (above a certain in- 
tensity, i.e. the one required for decomposition to take place at all) that 
whatever the size of plates or number intervening or constant section of 
decomposing matter, or variable section, or variable strength, or number 
of series in the battery : that . . . equal currents of electricity measured 
by the galvanometer evolve equal volumes of gas or effect equal chemical 
action in a constant medium.' A week later he writes down his plans for 
testing the law — ' By putting cups and expts. in succession and sending 
the same electrical current through both or aU am sure that each is sub- 
mitted to an equal force. Can try well this way whether the same quantity 
of different intensity does the same chemical work using same dilute 
sulphuric acid but different sized poles, and collecting gas, and that will 
tell — some poles mere wires, others large plates.' Three months elapsed 
before he actually carried out the experiment : on August 27 he wrote, 
' Pursue the investigation, whether the same quantity of electricity 
always produces an equivalent of chemical decomposition. . . .' On 
August 30 he found as he expected that the same amount of current 
liberated the same volume of gas irrespective of the concentration of the 
acid, the size of the electrodes or the intensity' of the current. He 
obtained the same results with solutions of various salts, and his comment 
was, ' Strange that with such different substances the same quantity of 
water should be decomposed by the same current.' These experiments 
were continued in September and Faraday was constantly puzzling over 
the effect of various substances in increasing the conducting power of 

' By intensity Faraday here means current density ; later he uses it in the sense 
of electromotive force. 



38 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

water. On September 17 lie showed tliat cells containing muriatic acid 
and sulpliuric had given the same volume of hydrogen when connected in 
series, and he was now busy constructing a simple apparatus to measure 
the quantity of electricity by means of the volume of gas produced by it. 
' The instrument offers the only (ictual measurer of voltaic electricity 
which we at present possess. ... I have therefore named it a volta- 
ELECTROMETER.'- Today, following Faraday, we define our practical 
unit of current by its electrolytic action, and we use his name to denote 
the fundamental unit of electrochemistry. 

On September 19, among his observations, he notes, ' Will not white 
hot diamond conduct. If so may perhaps crystallise carbon at white 
heat by power of the voltaic battery.' 

He had been worried by the contraction, on standing, of the mixture 
of oxygen and hydrogen obtained in the electrolysis of sulphuric acid. 
He traced this to the catalytic activity of the platinum electrode, and 
showed that the positive and not the negative was effective. This 
observation led him to spend some weeks investigating the conditions 
under which platinum and other metals would assist the combination of 
various gases, when he discovered the retarding effects caused by small 
quantities of gases such as olefiant gas, carbonic oxide and sulphuretted 
hydrogen. The results were commimicated to the Royal Society on 
November 30. 

Faraday then returned to the investigation of the amount of chemical 
action produced by the current, and as he recognised that in the electrolysis 
of aqueous solutions it was doubtful whether the elements liberated at the 
poles were to be regarded as primary or secondary products, he extended 
the inquiry to include fused substances, which would be free from this 
ambigmty. On December 17 he wrote in his note-book, ' Proceeded to 
decompose dry chlorides, oxides, etc. to ascertain if there also the 
decomposition was definite and what the equivalent numbers would be.' 
So quickly was the final stage in the investigation accompUshed that on 
January 9, 1834, the paper contaiaing the Laws of Electrolysis was 
communicated to the Royal Society. In the first ex^jeriment on 
December 17 fused stannous chloride in a glass tube was decomposed with 
platinum wire poles with a voltameter in series, and the weight of the 
tin hberated compared with the weight of water (0-26486 grain) 
decomposed in the voltameter. ' 1-76 of tin had been electro-chemically 
evolved at the exode and of course a corresponding portion of chlorine 
at the cisode. 

Now 0-26486 : 1-76 : : 9 : 59-805 the tin. 

The number for Tin is given 58, which is very near indeed for a first 
experiment, and shows that the electro-chemical equivalent is the same 
as the Chemical equivalent here.' Note Faraday's first efforts at a new 
terminology, exode and cisode. Later on the same day the word ' pole,' 
which suggests the idea of attraction or repulsion, was struck out and 
' electrode ' written above it for the first time. 

2 The name was contracted to voltameter five years later. 



B.--CHEMISTRY. 89 

Similar experiments continued all through December with a holiday 
on Christmas Day.^ Fused lead chloride, lead borate, and lead iodide 
gave confirmatory e\adeuce, but the work was difficult and often gave 
inconclusive results. Faraday was anxious to extend it to the deposition 
of metals from aqueous solutions, and he found that zinc deposited on a 
platinum electrode gave an electro-chemical equivalent of 3408, while 
the loss in weight of amalgamated zinc in contact with platinum compared 
with the weight of hydrogen evolved gave in two experiments equivalents 
of 30-2 and 32-31. ' Excellent,' writes Faraday after the latter result. 
These researches had strengthened enormously the evidence for his 
First Law of Electrolysis — ' The Chemical power of a current of electricity 
is in direct proportion to the absolute quantity of electricity which passes ' 
— and they had established the Second Law — ' Electro-chemical equiva- 
lents coincide, and are the same with ordinary chemical equivalents.' 

The paper itself is the most important of Faraday's contributions to 
electrochemistry, and in it he summarises aU his previous work. He 
begins by introducing the new terminology which he devised with the 
help of Whewell for the sake of greater precision of expression, and aU 
his new names — electrode, anode, cathode, ion, anion, and cation, 
electrolyte and electrolysis — we use to-day with the significance which 
Faraday gave to them. After a short account of the conditions necessary 
for electro-chemical decomposition, he describes his new volta-electrometer 
and the evidence that led him to the conclusion that the amount of chemical 
action is dependent solely on the amount of electricity that passes through 
it. • He next discusses whether the products of electrolysis are primary or 
secondary, and gives his evidence for the identity of chemical and electro- 
chemical equivalents. He goes on to consider the absolute quantity of 
electricity associated with the particles or atoms of matter, pointing out 
how enormous this must be since 800,000 charges of a Leyden battery 
each one of which would suffice to kill a cat, ' would be necessary to supply 
electricity sufficient to decompose a single grain of water ; or, if I am 
right, to equal the quantity of electricity which is naturally associated 
with the elements of that grain of water, endowing them with their mutual 
chemical affinity.' Finally he speaks of the experiments in which he 
showed the equivalence of the hydrogen liberated and the zinc dissolved 
when platinum and zinc amalgam are placed in contact in dilute acid. 
He writes : ' the results prove that the quantity of electricity which, being 

•' On December 19 no experiments are recorded, but a few extracts from the 
note-book show how busy he was, thinking and plaiming : — 
1192. ' With regard to intensity and its meaning, etc. Define intensity if possible 

and state its relation to quantity, time and conducting power.' 
1195-1200. ' Nervous agency of Electricity.' 
1207. ' In the table I mean Real Electro chemical equivalents not hypothetical for 

we shall else outrun fact and lose the information directly before us. ... I 

must keep my researches really Experimental and not let them deserve anywhere 

the character of hypothetical imaginations.' 

1212. ' Search for Fluorine by using a plumbago Pos. Pole acting on a fluoride.' 

1213. ' This process may finally give rise to some very good processes of analysis 
in determining weights or at least to some excellent modes of comparing weights 
of metals ... a good principle of analysis for it will hold probably in salts as well 
if properly selected and may use mercury electrodes when convenient.' 

A remarkable anticipation of modern methods of electrolytic analysis. 



40 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

naturally associated with the particles of matter, gives them their com- 
bining power, is able, when thrown into a current, to separate those 
particles from their state of combination ; or,' in other words, that 
the electricity which decomposes, and that which is evolved by the 
decomposition of a certain amount of matter, are alike.' 

In this way the theories of combination in definite proportions and of 
electro-chemical affinity were brought into harmony. 

Faraday pointed out that ' if we adopt the atomic theory or 
phraseology then the atoms of bodies . . . have equal quantities of 
electricity associated with them.' Had he been a believer in the atomic 
theory he might have made the deduction that electricity, like matter, 
is atomic in nature. ' I must confess,' he said, ' that I am jealous of the 
term atom ; for, though it is very easy to talk of atoms, it is very difficult 
to form a clear idea of their nature.' And it was left to Helmholtz, in his 
Faraday lecture of 1881, to point out this most startling result of Faraday's 
laws : ' If we accept the hypothesis that the elementary substances are 
composed of atoms, we cannot avoid concluding that electricity also, 
positive as well as negative, is divided into definite elementary portions, 
which behave like atoms of electricity.' 

As soon as the work for the great paper was ended Faraday returned 
to a topic that had constantly been in his mind, the long-disputed question 
of the source of electricity in the voltaic cell, whether it was due to chemical 
action or to the contact of dissimilar metals. The inquiry was linked with 
the question of the intensity, or, as we call it, the electromotive force, of 
the cell, and the relation of this to the power of cells to produce electrolysis. 

On January 18, 1834, he made some experiments when Daniell was 
present on the number of cells necessary to electrolyse suljahuric acid, 
which showed him ' that the number of decompositions which on the one 
hand excite or produce the current and on the other retard it constitute 
the essential point.' ' Beautiful,' he writes, ' I think I see it all, but 
must go on with fluorine first.' For three weeks he tried to isolate fluorine, 
and on February 10 thought he had obtained it by the electrolysis of fused 
lead fluoride. ' Must now lay this subject aside for a while and go to the 
trough.' On April 7, less than two months later, his paper ' On the 
Electricity of the Voltaic Pile ' reached the Royal Society. In it he 
presents fresh experimental evidence for the chemical theory of the voltaic 
cell, including a direct proof that a current may flow when there is no 
direct contact between the two metals, a sUp of paper moistened with 
potassimn iodide being interposed between them. In this paper Faraday 
first points out clearly the distinction he makes between the quantity of 
the current and its intensity, or electromotive force, and the relation of 
the latter to the chemical affinity of the reaction which is producing the 
current or opposing its passage. During the two months Faraday carried 
out a large number of experiments on the intensity required to produce 
electrolysis by varying the number of cells in the battery and seeing how 
many were required to produce and electrolyse various compounds in 
solution or in a fused state. On February 10 he notes ' The power of 
decomposing water a good unit of intensity in voltaic apparatus.' 

It is clear from his note-book that his mind was concentrated on the 
relation between chemical action and the production of electricity, and 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 41 

he quickly realised that whether a current passes or not depends on the 
relative magnitudes of the chemical affinities of the reactions taking place 
in the battery and in the electrolytic cells. On February 19 he wrote : 
' Affinity is active at both points, but is as it were connected or related 
by the current of electricity in the communicating wires, or in other 
words affinity is electricity and vice versa.' And three days later : ' Must 
make out what happens in cases of chemical action with no current.' 

' We seem to have the power of deciding in certain cases of chemical 
affinity (as of zinc with the oxygen of water) which of two modes of action 
of the one power shall be exerted. In the one mode we can transfer the 
power on it being able to produce elsewhere its equivalent of action 
in the other it is not transferred on but exerted at the spot. The first 
is the case of Voltaic Electric production, the other the ordinary cases of 
chemical affinity. But both are chemical actions and due to one power 
or principle.' 

In other words Faraday saw that a chemical reaction can be carried 
out in two ways, either by means of a voltaic cell in which the reactants 
are separated by an electrolyte, or by their direct contact, and further, 
he identified the electromotive force of the cell with the chemical affinity 
of the reaction. Half a century was to elapse before the conception of 
chemical affinity assumed a definite form in chemists' minds, but here 
Faraday anticipates our modern interpretation. His method of reasoning 
too, is an instinctive recognition of the Law of Conservation of Energy, 
and it was in connection with the chemical theory of the cell that he 
wrote in 1840, ' in no case ... is there a pure creation or production of 
power without a corresponding exhaustion of something to supply it.' 

It is difficult for us to-day to realise the effect of Faraday's work on the 
progress of electrochemistry, the clarity of ideas which came from his 
new nomenclature, the quantitative treatment of the problems which was 
made possible by his Laws of Electrolysis, the significance of his distinction 
between quantity of electricity and its intensity or potential, and his 
association of these two electrical quantities with the magnitude of the 
chemical change and of the chemical affinity respectively. 

Naturally, with so vast and complex a subject, so little understood, 
even Faraday made mistakes. He thought that in aqueous solutions 
hydrogen and oxygen were the ions that carried the current, other ions 
only appearing at the electrodes by secondary action, although in fused 
salts he knew that these secondary products acted as ions in his own sense 
of the word. Then, he supposed that only compounds containing one 
atom of each element coidd act as electrol}i;es, and he made rash state- 
ments about the existence of a binary oxide and sulphide of antimony. 
He thought, too, that an element could have only one electro-chemical 
equivalent, neglecting the different degrees of oxidation of metals. And 
he assumed that electrolytes possessed a certain measure of metallic con- 
ductivity subsidiary to their electrolytic conduction. 

It is interesting to read the criticism of Berzelius on Faraday's discovery. 
Berzelius was the foremost chemist of the day, a pioneer in electro- 
chemistry, a fine experimenter with encyclopajdic knowledge, but con- 
servative in outlook. In a letter to Wohler, Berzelius criticises the paper, 
and says Ihat it has diminished greatly his opinion of Faraday. He proved 



42 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

experimentally Faraday's error about the existence of a suboxide and 
sulphide of antimony, and he pointed out the difficulty respecting elements 
with more than one valency. But his main reason for criticising Faraday's 
Laws was the improbability that the same current would decompose 
equivalent quantities of substances such as the oxides of silver and of 
potassium which differ so greatly in chemical affinity. Here BerzeHus 
falls into the error of confusing what Faraday called the quantity and 
intensity of electricity, and we see how much clearer a view Faraday had 
of the relations between electricity and chemical action. It is amazing 
how Faraday's instinct guided him and kept him to the right path, 
enabling him to seize on the relevant evidence and neglect the apparent 
exceptions. Berzelius sees all the difficulties, all the apparent anomalies, 
detects infallibly any experimental errors, but fails to grasp the essential 
truth of Faraday's ideas which stand to-day without modification. 

There is something uncanny in Faraday's avoidance of pitfalls and 
his recognition of fundamental truths. As Kohlrausch said of him, ' Er 
riecht die Wahrheit' — he smells the truth: or in Tyndall's words, ' Faraday 
was more than a philosopher : he was a prophet.' 

During the century that has elapsed since Faraday's discoveries, the 
conduction of electricity in solutions has remained one of the central 
problems of chemistry and physics, and I propose now to trace briefly 
the steps by which we have arrived at our present position and to recall 
to you the chief landmarks in the history of the ionic theory. There 
have been three main phases in the development of the problem — Firstly, 
the discovery of the general relationships between the conductivity of 
solutions and the concentration and nature of the dissolved substances, 
due mainly to the work of Hittorf and Kohlrausch : secondly, the recog- 
nition of the relations of these facts to the general theories of chemistry 
in the classical ionic theory of Arrhenius ; and, lastly, the quantitative 
explanation of the properties of electrolytes in the mathematical theory 
due to Mibier, and to Debye and Hiickel. 

The direct successor to Faraday was Daniell, who studied in detail 
the changes in the concentration of electrolytes at the electrodes produced 
by electrolysis, which had first been observed by Faraday. His papers 
were pubHshed in three letters to Faraday in 1840-44, and their most 
important result was to show that the current in aqueous solutions is 
actually carried by the ions of the solute and not, as Faraday had supposed, 
by the ions of hydrogen and oxygen. Daniell failed to find any reasonable 
explanation of his transference data. 

Ten years later this aspect of electrolysis was the subject of a classical 
investigation by Hittorf on ' The Migration of Ions during Electrolysis,' 
which was of the greatest significance for the theory of solutions. Hittorf 
reahsed that the changes in concentration round the electrodes could 
only be explained on the assumption that the ions move with difierent 
velocities, and he showed how their relative speeds could be calculated 
from the change in concentration, a very remarkable achievement in 1853. 
Not only did Hittorf show great theoretical acumen, but he was an out- 
standing experimentalist. He devised the methods by which transport 
numbers are stiU determined, and so accurate and comprehensive were 
his results, that until recently they were the main source of our knowledge 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 43 

of transport numbers. Hittorf, like Faraday, thought that the trans- 
ference of the two ions through a solution was by means of a Grotthus 
chain, a view which now seems to us difficult to reconcile with the fact that 
the ions move at difierent speeds. 

Simultaneously, with the work on transference, a number of observers 
like Wheatstone, Wiedemann, and Beetz, were studying the conductivity 
of solutions in the light of Ohm's Law. Ohm's papers were actually 
published before Faraday's, but Faraday knew no German and we are 
left to speculate as to what would have been the efiect on him of realising 
the mathematical relationship between the factors that were so often in 
his mind. The problem was complicated by the polarisation of the 
electrodes, and progress was slow until Kohlrausch solved this difficulty 
by the use of alternating current. 

Kohlrausch must always remain the outstanding figure in the experi- 
mental study of the conductivity of solutions. For forty years his genius 
for exact measurement, his fine critical brain and his untiring industry 
were devoted mainly to this work. He devised the experimental methods 
we use to-day, and he surveyed for us with unerring accuracy the field of 
aqueous solutions. But his work went far beyond the mere collection 
of data. In 1876 he recognised the Law of the Lidependent Mobility of 
Ions. In 1878 he introduced that most convenient term, the equivalent 
conductivity of a solution, and he established the modern conception of 
ionic motion by calculating the mean velocities of the ions and showing 
that they were of the magnitude that would be expected if the ions were 
particles of molecular dimensions moving in accordance with the laws of 
hydrodyiiamics. In 1886, Lodge confirmed his calculation by measuring 
the actual velocities of the ions in a known field. 

Kohlrausch quickly realised the theoretical importance of work on 
dilute solutions, devising special methods for their study, and perhajjs it 
is only those who have tried to repeat his measurements both in this field 
and on the conductivity of pure water, who can really appreciate the 
experimental skill which attained such accuracy before the days of 
thermostats. To those of us who work in this field his papers are a 
constant source of inspiration, and may I acknowledge here my personal 
debt to him for the encouragement and the ready help which he gave so 
generously to an miknown beginner ? 

The evidence of Kohlrausch and Hittorf for the independent movement 
of the ions in dilute solutions was so clear that to us it seems surprising 
that the ionic theory as we know it to-day was not immediately forth- 
coming. As early as 1857 Clausius had pointed out that, since the 
resistance of a solution obeys Ohm's Law, no work can be done by the 
current in separating the molecules into ions, which must therefore be 
already in existence, as a result, he supposed, of collisions between 
molecules. But just as the a priori conceptions of chemists had prevented 
the acceptance of Avogadro's hypothesis for nearly half a century, until 
the chemical evidence in its favour was overwhelming, so again convergent 
evidence from difierent quarters, chemical as well as physical, was necessary 
before the idea that electrolytes might be largely dissociated into 
electrically charged ions was even entertained. The difficulty in chemists' 
minds was twofold — firstly, how could mere solution separate a molecule 



44 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

into the ions of elements with a great affinity for one another ; and 
secondly, how could the ions remain in presence of water without chemical 
action ? 

The next phase is almost too well known to need recalling. In 1883 
Arrhenius, working on dilute aqueous solutions, concluded that the 
equivalent conductivity increases with dilution because the proportion of 
conducting molecules increases. He then found a correspondence between 
the conductivities of acids and their strength as determined thermo- 
chemically by Berthelot, or by the method of displacement. This suggested 
to him that the molecules which are active as regards conductivity are 
active chemically, and it occurred to him that these active molecules are 
dissociated, since this would explain why the heats of neutralisation of all 
strong acids and bases are the same. He communicated this idea to 
Ostwald, who was then working on the catalytic activity of different acids, 
and they fomid that the catalytic activities of these acids was roughly 
proportional to their conductivities. In 1886 van't HofE pubhshed his 
memoir on the analogy between dilute solutions and gases, in which he 
drew attention to Raoult's measurements of the freezing-points of aqueous 
solutions, which showed that the influence of one molecule of an electrolj^te 
like potassium chloride was double that of a molecule of a non-electrolyte 
such as alcohol. ' After reading this memoir,' writes Arrhenius, ' it was 
quite clear to me that I might dare to say that all those substances which 
are active, that is all electrolytes, consist of two molecules and not of one ; 
that is, sodium chloride is composed of two moleciiles, the sodium ion and 
the chlorine ion. Then the theory of electrolytic dissociation was 
expressed without any restriction (1887). I had then a threefold basis 
for my conclusion, the chemical one and the electrical one, and then the 
thermodjmamical one, regarding the freezing-point. On a foundation of 
three points you may construct a very solid building.' 

It is interesting that both Planck and van 't Hoff put to Arrhenius the 
difficulty that if a salt is partially dissociated into ions, then the equilibriimi 
between the ions and molecules should be in agreement with Guldberg and 
Waage's Law of Mass Action, while they found by calculating the degree 

of dissociation by Arrhenius's formula a = —^ that this was not the case. 

A, 

Arrhenius suggested that a better test would be made by considering the 
dissociation of weak acids which varied over a much wider range and the 
results, as we know, confirmed his theory, and were embodied in Ostwald's 
Dilution Law. 

On its pubUcation in 1887 the ionic theory met with violent opposition, 
but, in the hands of Arrhenius, Ostwald, van 't HojS and Nerust, its value 
was quickly established in the most varied fields : the theory of concentra- 
tion cells and of liquid junction potentials, the behaviour of weak acids 
and bases and the hydrolysis of salts, the properties of indicators, the 
dissociation of water, and the theory of qualitative and quantitative 
analysis. Entirely fresh light was thrown on all these problems, and in 
many instances they admitted of quantitative explanation for the first 
time. It is true that the reason for ionisation and for the stability of ions 
remained unknown for many years, until the discoveries of Rutherford 
and Moseley had made possible Bohr's application of the quantum theory 



B.— CHEMISTRY. 45 

to the problem of atomic structure. Then the connection between 
electricity and chemical affinity, which chemists had been seeking since 
the days of Berzelius and Faraday, suddenly became clear, and we learnt 
the cause of ionisation and of the stability of ions in solution. Metalhc 
sodium reacts with water in order to give up an electron ; the sodium ion 
having already lost an electron is no longer reactive. 

But in spite of the many triumphs of the ionic theory, and its success 
so far as weak electrolytes are concerned, the discrepancy between the 
behavioiir of strong electrolytes and the mass law, pointed out by Planck 
and van 't HofE to Arrhenius, still remained. Kohlrausch had shown that 
in very dilute solutions the relationship between the equivalent con- 
ductivity and concentration of salts was expressed by the equation 

Ac= Ao — Jcci {k = constant) 

which is incompatible with the mass law. At the beginning of this century 
the outstanding problem of the ionic theory was this so-called anomaly of 
strong electrolytes. Up to this point the whole development of the ionic 
theory had come from the experimental side, and every advance had 
originated in some new discovery. But the solution of the final problem 
came not from experiment but from the mathematical physicists, who 
thus repaid to chemistry the debt which physics owed to Faraday. 

Faraday had often drawn attention to ' the enormous electric jDower of 
each particle or atom of matter,' i.e. the large size of the ionic charge. 
Helmholtz in 1881, in his Faraday lecture, made a calculation showing that 
the attractive force between the electrical charges associated with 
hydrogen and oxygen is 71,000 billion times greater than the gravitational 
attraction between their masses. It would seem obvious that forces such 
as these must affect the behaviour of ions, and from time to time sugges- 
tions came from chemists — van Laar in 1900, Bjerrum in 1906, Suther- 
land in 1907 — that strong electrolytes were completely dissociated, and 
that the variations of equivalent conductivity with concentration were 
due not to a change in the degree of dissociation, but to the varying effect 
of the interionic forces. Bjerrum had found that the molecular colour of 
chromium salts was independent of dilution in the absence of complex 
ions, and explained this on the basis of complete dissociation. 

One of the earliest supporters of the ionic theory was Nernst, who 
made very substantial contributions to it in his theory of concentration 
cells and of diffusion potentials. MiLner, working in his laboratory at 
Gottingen in 1898, was attracted by the problem of strong electrolytes, 
and attacked it from the point of view of the interionic forces. The 
mathematical difficulties were great, and it was not until 1909 that they 
had been overcome sufficiently to admit of the calculation of the change 
of total internal energy with dilution. Milner was the first to realise that 
the ions cannot be distributed at random in a solution since, owing to 
the Coulomb forces, there must be an excess of positive ions in the 
neighbourhood of a negative ion and vice versa. Thus each ion can be 
considered as surrounded by a spherical ionic atmosphere, the density of 
which decreases with the distance from the ion. The electrical potential 
at the surface of the central ion will therefore be affected by the ionic 
atmosphere, and by taking into account the changes of potential with 



46 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

dilution, Milner was able to calculate the freezing-point depression of an 
electrolyte at diflerent dilutions, assuming that it was completely 
dissociated. He did not, however, attack the problem of conductivity. 

Another ten years elapsed without further progress until a discussion 
at Zurich in 1921 of the ingenious, but erroneous, theory de^^sed by 
Ghosh attracted the attention of Debye to a field that was entirely new to 
him. That lucky accident tempts us to speculate on the potential value 
of a doubtful hypothesis, for how would the problem stand now if Ghosh's 
papers had not seen the light of day ? 

Debye, who at the time did not know of Milner's work, found a simple 
mathematical solution of the problem by applying Poisson's equation to 
the relation between the average potential and the density of charge at 
any point in the sphere surrounding the central ion, and he showed that 
the distribution of the charge in the ionic atmosphere depends on the 
square root of the concentration ; thus, explaining why such diverse 
properties of solutions as activity coefficients and equivalent con- 
ductivities are functions of c*. With the collaboration of Hiickel, the 
whole problem was attacked in detail, and in 1923 they succeeded in 
calculating the effect of the ionic atmosphere on the mobility of the ion. 

The conductivity of a solution depends on the number of ions that it 
contains and on their mobiUty. The classical theory of Arrhenius con- 
siders the effect of ionic dissociation on the former factor, whilst the 
Debye-Hiickel theory considers the effect of the interionic forces on the 
latter. 

When an ion moves under an external potential gradient, it has to 
build up continuously a fresh atmosphere in front of it while the atmo- 
sphere behind it has to die away, but since the ionic atmosphere takes a 
finite time to form or disperse, there will always be an excess of ions of the 
opposite sign in its rear, and consequently it will be subject to a retardation 
due to the dissymmetry of the atmosphere, which depends on the velocity 
with which it is moving. Further, as ions of opposite signs are moving in 
opposite directions and as both carry with them a certain amount of 
solvent, the viscous resistance to the motion of the ions will be greater 
than if the solvent were at rest. Thus, both these effects reduce the 
mobiUty of the ion below its value at infinite dilution, and Debye and 
Hiickel arrived at the following equation for the variation of the 
equivalent conductivity of a e-valent binary electrolyte in a solvent of 
dielectric constant D at a temperature T, 

in which the first and second terms on the right-hand side are the dis- 
symmetry and viscosity terms respectively, Kj and K.^ are universal con- 
stants, u\ and ^o,, are valency factors, and b is the average radius of the 
ions. This reduces to 

Ac^Ao — xVc (2) 

which is identical in form with the empirical equation of Kohlrausch. 
Comparison with experimental results shows that the coefficient of d in 



B.— CHEMISTRY. -17 

equation (1) is of the right order of magnitude if a value is assumed for 
the ionic radii of 10~* cm. in accordance with X-ray data. But if the 
value of b is calculated from the ionic mobilities at infinite dilution, 
assuming Stokes's law to hold, the observed and calculated coefficients are 
not in exact agreement, e.g. for potassium chloride solutions in water at 
25° they are 0'461 and 0*547 respectively. This difference is greater than 
the experimental error. 

Onsager, in 1926, pointed out that Debye and Hilckel in calculating 
the effect of the dissymmetry of the atmosphere around a moving ion, 
had neglected the Brownian movement of the ion and that a correcting 
factor of 2 — v/ 2 must be introduced on this account. His final equation 
has the same general form as Debye and Hiickel's, and when numerical 
values are inserted for the universal constants, it becomes for a z-valent 
binary electrolyte 



Ac = A, 



o 



• Q-986X10« ,- ,. . , _58:0_ 1 - 

(DT)5 (^ - ^ 2) 2 Ao + ^^^^^^ z\ vzzc . . (6) 



where t] is the viscosity of the solvent. 

For various solvents at 25° this equation becomes for uni-univaleut 
electrolytes : 

For water A, == A^ - (0-228 A^ + 59-8) Vc 

„ methyl alcohol A, = A^ - (0-957 A^ + 158-1) \/c 

„ ethyl alcohol A, = A„ - (1-256 A„ + 87-8) v'c 

For sodium chloride in each solvent these equations become : 

For water A^ = 126-4 - (28-8 + 59-8) \/c 

„ methyl alcohol A^ =: 97-0 - (93 + 158-1) v/c 
„ ethy! alcohol A^ = 43-0 - (54 + 87-8) \/c 

These equations show that the dissymmetry term and the viscosity 
term (the first and second coefficients of n/c respectively) are of the same 
order. Their relative magnitude varies, however, with the properties of 
the solvent and with the ionic velocities of the ions present. 

The fundamental idea of the new theory, the existence of an ionic 
atmosphere with a finite time of formation and dispersion, has now been 
definitely established by the work of Wien on conductivities at high 
electromotive forces, and of Debye, Falkenhagen and Sack on conductivities 
at high frequencies. With a sufficiently great ionic velocity the atmosphere 
would not have time to form, while with a high enough frequency its 
dissymmetry would vanish owing to the negligible displacement of the 
ion. In both cases the experimental results showed a satisfactory agree- 
ment with theory. 

The Debye-Hiickel-Onsager equation enables us to calculate the 
change in equivalent conductivity with dilution for any electrolyte in any 
solvent provided that we know the ionic mobilities and valencies involved 
and certain physical constants of the solvent, but in comparing the 



48 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

theory witli the results of conductivity determinations, the assumptions 
underlying it must be remembered, viz. : 

(1) That the electrolyte is completely dissociated into point ions and 
that all interionic forces except Coulomb forces can be neglected. 

(2) That corrections for the overlapping of ionic atmospheres can be 
neglected. 

(3) That the solvent between the ions retains the properties of the 
pure solvent. 

These conditions can only be fulfilled in dilute solutions, and a great 
deal of work has been done recently with uni-univalent electrolytes in a 
number of solvents to test the theory in the dilute range. 

The results show that there is a close approach to a linear relation 
between A^ and c*, as required by the theory, for strong electrolytes in 
solvents with a dielectric constant greater than 20. In water, methyl 
and ethyl alcohols, nitromethane and acetonitrile the slopes of the con- 
ductivity curves agree well with theory for a number of electrolytes, and 
any large deviations are such that they can be explained by ionic associa- 
tion. In fact, the body of evidence now available seems sufficient to 
justify the use of the Debye-Hiickel-Onsager equation to represent the 
behaviour of a perfect electrolyte in dilute solution and we have, therefore, 
a new means of judging whether an electrolyte is appreciably associated 
or not. 

The term ionic association marks the contrast between the old outlook 
and the new. Arrhenius thought of the act of solution as separating the 
molecules into ions. We know now that most salts are already ionised 
in the crystalline state, and the question that concerns us is whether the 
condition of complete ionisation persists on solution of the crystal. In 
many cases the conductivity of an electrolyte is less than we should 
expect from the Debye-Hiickel equation, indicating that some modification 
of the state of configuration of the ions has occurred which involves a 
decrease in the conductivity. This may be due either to the formation 
of a covalent linkage between the ions or to a modification of their dis- 
tribution leading in the extreme case to the formation of an ion pair as 
suggested by Bjerrum. The term ionic association is used to cover both 
possibilities. 

The influence of the solvent on the properties of an electrolyte is 
illustrated very clearly by a comparison of the behaviour of uni-ujiivalent 
salts in water and in non-aqueous solvents. In water they are all strong 
electrolytes with a surprisingly uniform behaviour, as shown in 
Kohlrausch's classic diagram in the Zeitschrift fiir Electrochemie for 1907. 
In non-aqueous solvents, however, Walden's comprehensive investigations 
have shown that individual differences begin to appear as the interionic 
forces increase and the sjiecific affinities of the ions are brought to light. 
The question naturally arises as to whether the extent of the ionic associa- 
tion is determined entirely by the interionic forces, i.e. by the dielectric 
constant of the solvent. This is clearly not the case, since a number of 
salts are strong electrolytes in methyl alcohol and weak electrolytes in 
nitromethane, which has a higher dielectric constant (37 as against 30-3). 
Walden and Ulich have pointed out that, in general, non-hydroxylic 
solvents such as the nitro-compounds and acetone accentuate the individual 



B — CHEMISTRY. 49 

differences between electrolytes, while the hydroxylic solvents suppress 
them. The reason for this is probably to be found in a difference in the 
nature of the solvation of the ions in the two classes of solvents. There 
is abundant evidence that the ions in solution have a number of solvent 
molecules attached to them either by co-ordinate linkages or as a result 
of the dipole character of the solvent, and these solvent atmospheres 
exert an important influence on the behaviour of the ions. For instance, 
the evidence of the ionic mobilities of the alkali metals and of "Washburn's 
transference experinie)its leaves no doubt that the effective size of the 
ion is determined by its diameter, including any envelope of solvent which 
it carries with it. 

Bjerrum has considered the effect of ionic size on the probability of 
the formation of ion pairs, which would contribute nothing to the 
conductivity of a solution, and has shown that if the sum of the radii of 
the two ions is below a certain value, the number of ion pairs will increase 
rapidly. Hence, the solvation of ions may have an important effect in 
preventing the ions from coming near enough together to form ion pairs. 

Sidgwick has considered solvation from the electronic standpoint, and 
has emphasised the importance of the donor and acceptor properties of 
hydroxylic solvents in enabling them to form co-ordinate links with both 
anions and kations. Non-hydroxylic solvents, however, like nitromethane 
and acetone, can only form co-ordinate links with kations, leaving the 
anions chemically unsolvated, and it is very significant that in such 
solvents lithium salts are weak electrolytes, while in hydroxyUc solvents 
they are less associated than the salts of the other alkali metals. It 
would thus api^ear that the existence of a chemical link between the 
solvent molecules and both ions is of cardinal importance in preventing 
ionic association. This view of the protective action of hydroxylic solvent 
molecules is confirmed by the effects of small quantities of water on the 
conductivity of solutions in nitromethane and other nou-hydroxyUc 
solvents. For example, the conductivity of lithium thiocyanate, a weak 
salt, is increased 60 per cent, by the addition of 0-1 per cent, of water, 
while that of tetra-ethylammonium iodide, a strong electrolyte, is only 
increased 0-22 per cent, by a similar addition. 

Until recently, most of our ideas about electrolytic solutions were 
based on experience in water, and this gave quite a false impression of the 
simplicity of the problem, since in water, thanks to its high dielectric 
constant and to the protection afforded by the chemical solvation of 
both ions, all uni-uuivalent salts exhibit almost ideal behaviour. But a 
survey of non-aqueous solutions reveals at once a much more complex 
situation, in which the chemical nature of the solvent and the affinities 
of the ions are often the predominant factors. Thus, a purely physical 
theory {pace Faraday), like that of Debye and Hiickel, while invaluable 
in explaining and predicting the behaviour of an ideal electrolyte, is far 
from giving a complete picture of electrolytic solutions even in the dilute 
range, since it leaves out of account the chemical nature both of the ions 
and of the solvent molecules. 

Looking back over the century we see how the mechanism of electrolytic 
conduction has gradually been disclosed to us, and how in recent years 
the many-sided influence of the solvent has come more and more into 
1031 £ 



50 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

prominence. By its dielectric constant the solvent determines the magni- 
tude of the interionic forces. By its power of solvating the ions it exerts 
a decisive influence on the extent to which they form ion pairs or 
undissociated molecules. And lastly by its viscosity, as well as by the 
extent of solvation, it determines the mobilities of the ions. The task 
of the immediate future is to discover the precise nature and extent of 
the solvent atmosphere around the ions which exerts such an imjiortaat 
influence on their properties. And so to-day we find ourselves face to 
face with a new phase of the problem, and we can repeat with Faraday 
the words near the close of his great paper on electrolysis : ' Indeed, it is 
the great beauty of our science, chemistry, that advancement in it, 
whether in a degree great or small, instead of exhausting the subjects of 
research, opens the doors to further and more abundant knowledge, 
overflowing with beauty and utility, to those who will be at the easy 
personal pains of undertaking its experimental investigation.' 



SECTION C— GEOLOGY. 



PROBLEMS OF GEOLOGY 
CONTEMPORARY WITH THE BRITISH 

ASSOCIATION. 

ADDRESS BY 

PROF. J. W. GREGORY, LL.D., D.Sc, F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF. THE SECTION. 



I. Stratigraphy in 1831. 

II. The Fundamental Problems of 1831. 

1. Sea-Level and the Mobility of the Crust. 

2. The Fixity of Species. 

2b. Theological Influence on Geology. 

3. The Origin of Ore-Deposits. 

4. Elie de Beaumont's Classification of Mountains. 

5. Mountain Structure. 

6. ' The Dogma of Universal Formations.' 

III. Geology in Education. 

IV. The Geological Leaders of the four quarter-centuries. 

This morning our thoughts inevitably turn back to the first meeting of 
this Association a century ago, with feelings of proud and respectful 
homage to the geologists who, despite widespread distrust of the new 
institution, gave it their effective support. The largest sub-committee 
at the meeting was that of ' Geology and Geography,' and its twelve 
members — Buckland, Conybeare, Bgerton, J. D. Forbes, Greenough, 
Hutton, Murchison, J. Pliillips, Sedgwick, Wm. Smith, H. Witham 
(palseobotanist) and Jas. Yates (one of the secretaries of the Association 
and author on the older rocks of the Midlands) — were all geologists. This 
sub-committee next year, 1832, became the ' Committee on Geology and 
Geography ' with Greenough as President ; by 1836, Geography had 
become a sub-section with Murchison as its vice- President ; in 1838, 
Section C had two sets of officers, Lyell being President for Geology and 
Lord Prudhoe for Geography. In 1839 the name of the section was 
altered to ' Geology and Physical Geography.' Geography was separated 
as Section E in 1851. Our allied subject, Mineralogy, was at first an 
independent section, but was merged in Section B, ' Chemistry and 
Mineralogy,' in 1834. 

I. Stratigraphy in 1831. 

The geological problems of special interest in 1831 are shown by the 
contributions prepared at the request of the Association, with first amongst 
them W. D. Conybeare's ' Report on the Progress, Actual State and 

E 2 



52 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Ulterior Prospects of Geological Science' (1st Kept. B.A. 1831/2, 
pp. 365-414). Such a survey would now require fifty volumes instead 
of the fifty pages which sufi&ced then. There is only time in this address 
to notice the main problems considered by the Geological Section in 1831 
and glance at the progress achieved in regard to them. 

Conybeare's Report summarised the position in General Stratigraphy, 
which was still based on two divisions — the Primary and the Secondary. 
The Primary included the ' Primarized Slate ' of the Alps. The Secondary 
Group, thanks to the principles established by WiUiam Smith, had been 
classified into four Systems — the Carboniferous including the Old Red 
Sandstone, the New Red Sandstone (for which, owing to its variegated 
colouring, Conybeare then proposed the name PoeciUtic System), the 
Oolitic and the Cretaceous. All below the Old Red Sandstone was left as 
the Primitive and Transition series. The pre-Carboniferous and post- 
Cretaceous beds were stUl in confusion. Thus Philhps in 1829 in his 
' Geology of Yorkshire ' referred everytliing below the Carboniferous to 
the ' Slate Formation ' ; in 1837, his ' Treatise of Geology ' divnded the 
' Tertiary ' merely into the London Clay, the Freshwater Group, and the 
Crag. Conybeare's Report was illustrated by a geological section from 
the North of Scotland to the Adriatic near Venice ; it shows that the 
general succession had been established from the Tertiary to the Car- 
boniferous and Old Red Sandstone. The section illustrates the recurrence 
of geological hypotheses, for its representation of the schists of the 
Southern Highlands as the altered extension of the rocks of the Southern 
Uplands has been readopted in recent years by, amongst others. Dr. G. 
Frodin (1922) and Prof. F. E. Suess (1931). 

On the Continent stratigraphy was less developed and some of its 
leading exponents were working on lines that have not been followed. 
Alexandre Brongniart, in 1829, in his ' Tableau des Terrains qui composent 
rficorce du Globe,' divided geological history into two — the Periode 
Jovienne, the ' actual epoch ' or post-diluvian, and the Periode Saturnienne, 
anterior to ' the last revolution of the globe.' The stratified rocks he 
di\aded into foiir groups, the Clysmien or diluvial, the Izemien or 
sedimentary, the Hemilysian or transitional, and the Agalysmien or 
primordial ; the last included an upper di%asion the slates and killas, and 
a lower the schists. The sediments he classified into the Thalassic or 
Tertiary ; the Pelagic or Secondary (Cretaceous and Oolitic) and the 
Abyssal or Inferior, which ranged from the Lias to the Old Red Sandstone. 

England at that time unquestionably held the hegemony of the world 
in stratigraphy, as shown by the extent to which terms based on English 
names have permeated the general nomenclature. When the French 
Government decided on the construction of a national geological map, 
EUe de Beaumont and Dufrenoy were sent to England to study its classifica- 
tion and use it as a basis. So little progress had been made outside 
Europe that MaccuUoch^ declared in 1831 that ' the study of Arran alone 
has taught us more than Asia and America united.' 

The first great stratigraphical advance after 1831 was Lyell's classifica- 
tion in 1833 of the post-Cretaceous strata. In north-western Europe they 

» Spat. Oeol.,Yol. I, 1831, p. vii. 



C— GEOLOGY. 53 

lie in isolated basius and are variable in composition ; hence, they could 
not be correlated either by continuity in the field or by their lithology. 
Lyell classified them by the percentage of their species of fossils that are 
still living ; and this method, supplemented later by the use of type fossils, 
secured the world-wide recognition of his four Kainozoic Systems. 

Lyell's achievement was followed by the foundation of the Silurian 
System by Murchison. In 1831 all the rocks below the Carboniferous 
were included in the Primary Di^dsioUjOf which the upper part was known 
as the ' Grauwacke Group.' Murchison, in 1834, showed that the ' Upper 
Grauwacke Series ' included four fossiliferous series — the Builth and 
Llandeilo Flags, the Mayhill, the Wenlock and Dudley, and the Ludlow. 
In July, 1835,^ he introduced the name Silurian to cover these four series, 
which he then renamed the Llandeilo, Caradoc, AVenlock, and Ludlow. 
The underlying beds were left as the ' Slaty Grauwacke.' Sedgwick,' a 
month later, in a communication to the Association at its Dublin Meeting, 
founded the Cambrian System for the fossiliferous rocks below the 
Llandeilo and the schists of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire. 

The fundamental advance in Geology in the decade beginning 1830 
was Lyell's demonstration of the uniformity of geological dynamics. The 
first volume of his Principles was published in 1830, and Murchison, in 
1832, hailed it in his Presidential Address to the Geological Society as 
' beginning to unfold the true papyri of geological history.' Conybeare, 
in his Report to the Association, said it marked ' almost a new era in the 
history of our science.' 

A very different estimate was expressed by Adam Sedgwick, then the 
leader of British Geology, in his Presidential Address to the Geological 
Society in 1831 ; he declared that Lyell's championship of uniformitarian- 
ism violated sound reasoning on geological phenomena, and that ' warped 
by his hypothesis ... in the language of an advocate, he sometimes 
forgets the character of an historian.'* According to Sedgwick, if Lyell's 
views of the uniform order of physical events were correct, ' the earth's 
surface ought to present an indefinite succession of similar phenomena. 
But as far as I have consulted the book of nature, I would invert the 
negative in this proposition, and affirm that the earth's surface presents 
a definite succession of dissimilar phenomena. If this be true, and we 
are all agreed that it is ; and if it be also true, that we know nothing of 
secondary causes, but by the effects they have produced, then " the un- 
deviating uniformity of secondary causes," "the uniform order of physical 
events," " the invariable constancy in the order of nature," and other 
phrases of like kind, are to me, as far as regards the phenomena of geology, 
words almost without meaning. They may serve to enunciate the pro- 
positions of an hypothesis ; but they do not describe the true order of 
nature.' 

Sedgwick agreed with Brongniart that the Geological and Historical 
Periods were essentially distinct ; and he remarked regarding the recent 
appearance of man, ' were there no other zoological fact in secondary 

2 ' On the Silurian System of Rocks.' Phil. Mag., vol. VII, July, 1835, pp. 46-52. 
^ 5th Rep. B.A. for 1835-1836, Comm., pp. 60-61. 
* Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. I, 1831, pp. 303, 304-5. 



54 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

geology, I should consider this, by itself, as absolutely subversive of the 
first principles of the Huttonian hypothesis.' . . . ' The appearance of 
man is a geological phenomenon of vast importance, indirectly modifying 
the whole surface of the earth, breaking in upon any supposition of 
zoological continuity, and utterly unaccounted for by what we have any 
right to call the laws of nature.'^ 

Murchison, on the contrary, held that Lyell's demonstration of the 
unbroken transition between the Phocene and post-PUocene had com- 
pletely swept away the arbitrary demarcation between ' what had been 
termed the ancient and existing orders of nature.'* 

II. The Fundamental Problems of 1831. 

The geologists of 1831 worked under the handicap of three fundamental 
uncertainties — the variability of sea-level, the nature of species, and the 
processes that form mineral veins, while progress was hampered by 
theological tradition. 

1. Sea-Level and the Mobility of the Crust. 

The most disturbing doubt was as to the level of the sea. The first 
explanation of the occurrence of marine deposits on land was, by an 
obvious analogy, that the tides of some former era had had a longer 
period with a higher ebb and flow. The natural view that the former 
extension of sea over the land was due to a change in the sea was 
adopted by Dante, and was advocated in 1830 in the standard French 
textbook, d'Aubuison's ' Traite de Geognosie.'- D'Aubuison rejected the 
idea that sloping strata had been deposited as horizontal sheets and 
been subsequently tilted. He held that the bedded rocks are still in their 
original positions and their dip is due to deposition upon pre-existing 
slopes. According to him the sea once covered all the highest mountains 
and has been lowered by its reduction in volume instead of having 
been enlarged by water from the interior of the earth. 

The problem of sea-level so exercised the minds of the Geological 
Committee in 1831, that it asked Eobert Stevenson — the authority on 
coastal engineering and grandfather of R. L. Stevenson — to report upon 
the erosion of the English coast and ' the permanence of sea-level.' He'' 
replied that he had little to add to two previous papers (1816 and 1820). 
The eastern coast of England is still being worn back by the sea ; but the 
process is less alarming since it has been recognised that the country 
gains more land by accretion than is being lost by abrasion. The second 
section of the enquiry, the variability in sea-level, is of perennial interest 
as many issues depend upon it. The test case about 1830 was that of the 
Baltic. Celsius in the eighteenth century had remarked that the Baltic 
appeared to be receding along parts of the Swedish coast ; but as the 
sea-level along the German coast had undergone no change since Roman 
times the Swedish evidence was doubted. Leopold von Buch reconciled 
the two sets of observations by the hypothesis that the Swedish coast 

« Proc. Oeol. Soc, vol. I, 1831, p. 306. 

8 /6i(f.,1832, vol. I, p. 37.5. 

' Bep. B.A., 1831-2, pp. 582-3. 



C— GEOLOGY. 55 

might be rising about a pivot, while the German coast remained stationary. 
The facts for both sides of the Baltic were reaffirmed by a joint enquiry 
of the Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Russian Ministry of Marine ; 
but the inferred rise of the land was rejected by Lyell in the first volume 
of his Principles (1830, pp. 231-2). He attributed the recession of the sea 
to the accumulation of sediment and the movement of water in the Baltic 
by the wind ; the beds of shells, 200 ft. above the sea, as at Uddevalla, he 
thought an example of events that are. geologically modern being 
historically ancient. Lyell concluded that ' the phenomena do not lend 
the slightest support to the Celsian hypothesis, nor to that extraordinary 
notion proposed in our own times by Von Buch, who imagines that the 
whole of the land along the northern and western shores of the Baltic is 
slowly and insensibly rising ! ' 

LyelP fortunately examined the evidence for himself and after a tour 
in Sweden, in a paper read to the Association in 1834, accepted Von 
Buch's conclusion and the fact that parts of the Baltic coast are rising 
two to three feet in a century, while other parts are stationary. 

The Baltic, therefore, gives convincing testimony of the mobility of 
the land, which is accepted in an extreme form by some champions of 
isostacy. That principle was put forward from the geological evidence 
that the rate of the accumulation of sediments so often coincides with 
the rate of subsidence that the two processes must be dependent, the 
weight of the sediment being the cause of the subsidence. The correlative, 
that the unloading of an area by denudation causes its uplift, was adv-anced 
by Clarence King (1876). This cause of the rise and fall of land was 
maintained by Airy (1855) and Pratt (1855, 1859, 1871, &c.), when they 
found that the mass of the Himalaya is compensated by a deficiency of 
material in the foundations, and was supported by the gravity surveys 
of the United States by Hayford, and of the oceanic floors by Hecker and 
Duffield. The relief of the earth was attributed to the differences in the 
density of the crust, and the whole surface was regarded as maintained 
in hydrostatic equilibrium, the mountains rising above the general level 
because of the lightness of their foundations, as in the Arctic Sea icebergs 
and hummocks float higher than the floes. 

From this doctrine it is claimed that the subsidence of the crust to 
form oceanic basins, and its uplift into continental masses from oceanic 
depths are both impossible ; and that the oceans and continents have 
occupied approximately their present positions throughout the whole of 
geological time. That theory was of service as a reaction against the 
lightly assumed interchange, as pictured by Tennyson, of roaring streets 
and central seas ; but the form of isostacy that represents the earth's 
major relief as determined by the perfect hydrostatic equilibrium of the 
crust is opposed to weighty evidence. 

Geology has constantly suffered from the acceptance of views based 
on mathematical deductions. For a couple of decades during the past 
century geological progress was disturbed by the verdict that the age 
of the earth is somewhere between ten million and a hundred million years. 

** Ath Rep. B.A., pp. 652-4: repeated in his Bakerian Lecture to the Royal 
Society the following year. Phil. Trans., 1835, pp. 1-38. 



56 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Many eminent geologists bowed to authority and accepted that restriction. 
Huxley, with his usual insight, repudiated it as incredible and as due to the 
mathematical reasoning being based on an unsound foundation. Huxley's 
faith in geological observation has been fully justified and should encourage 
geology to apply the same test to isostacy. 

The mathematical data for the permanence of the ocean basins seem 
unreliable. The claim that the ocean floors consist of a continuous sheet 
of heavy material (sima) was supported by gravity determinations ; but 
the calculations are based on the assumption that the sea surface stands 
at the spheroid of reference ; they disregard all variations in sea-level due 
to differences in specific gravity, to the piling up of the water by wind 
and by the lateral attraction of the land. The observations by DuJG&eld 
during the voyage to Australia of the Association in 1914 did not fully 
confirm Hecker's results ; and the work of Meinesz is inconsistent with 
the views that the ocean bed is a sheet of basic rock, and that its level is 
determined simply by its specific gravity. 

A stronger argument was based on the claim that earthquake waves 
travel more quickly under the oceans than under the continents ; but the 
waves from the earthquake off the Newfoundland Banks on November 18, 
1929, went westward under North America to California at the same 
pace as under the Atlantic, even below two of its deeper basins, to Spain. 
That some parts of the crust are in such delicate isostatic equilibrium 
that the surface rises when material is removed by denudation and sinks 
when loaded with more sediment is well established ; but other parts 
of the surface have hot this delicate poise. Regions are worn down to 
low-lying peneplanes, without being automatically uplifted. Basins may 
be filled by sediment without the subsidence of the floor which may indeed 
be uplifted while it is receiving an additional load. Thus parts of 
Palestine appear to have stood aboA^e sea-level from pre-Cambrian to 
Middle Cretaceous times ; the country then sank below an open sea : 
sediments were laid down upon its floor, and show gradual shallowing 
Conditions, due to the sea having been displaced either by the material 
or by the uplift of the floor. After the Cretaceous Era the land emerged 
from the sea and subsequently the floor of the Jordan rift- valley subsided 
until the shore of the Dead Sea was 1,300 feet below sea-level. This 
subsidence was not due to a load of sediment, as only a thin sheet had 
been deposited over the sunken floor. Moreover, in parts of the world 
faults have a downthrow of 10,000 feet, and there is no evidence that 
their cause was sedimentation. The dependence of subsidence and 
sedimentation may be often true for the geosynclines which, owing to the 
rupture or instability of the crust in consequence of its deformation, are 
bands of long-continued weakness — or asthenostrophes (weak bands or 
belts). 

Reluctance to accept the hydrostatic equilibrium of all parts of the 
crust is not due to prejudice against isostacy. I supported that doctrine 
when those who thought that the removal of a few feet of rock could 
affect the level of the crust were chided for credulity, although the rise 
and fall of the shore in places with the ebb and flow of the tide already 
rested on accurate observation . That effect has since been fully established. 
But the extension of isostacy to the whole surface of the earth and the 



C— GEOl.OGV. 57 

claim that it proves the subsidence of an area to an oceanic depth to be 
a physical impossibility are contradicted by geological evidence which 
appear more reliable than calculations based on uncertain assumptions. 

2. The Fixity of Species. 

The second hindrance to geological progress in 1831 was the belief in 
the fixity and special creation of species, which was then entrenched by 
theological authority. 

The Geological Committee in 1831 asked J. Phillips to prepare a 
systematic catalogue of British Fossils — a simpler proposition in the days 
of fixed species than it appears now. The chief value of fossils was 
regarded as indices of the age of strata ; but their reliability for this 
purpose was not universally accepted, and led to the bout in 1832 between 
the two most forceful i^ersonaUties in British geology at that time. 
MaccuUoch — a Franco-Scot from the Channel Islands — was one of the 
most clear-sighted geologists of the early part of the nineteenth century 
and Lyell acclaimed" him as his greatest geological teacher. In 1831 
MaccuUoch published ' A System of Geology with a Theory of the Earth ' 
(2 vols.) which involved him in controversies that lasted until the tragic 
ending, four years later, of his rough and stormy life. He was a medical 
man by training, and a chemist by profession. But his main interest was 
Geology, at which he worked with whole-hearted devotion. The bias 
given by his expert knowledge of chemistry may be illustrated by his 
remark that geology is so dependent on chemical principles that it can 
make * scarcely a step without their aid.' He had roused Murchison's just 
wrath by the statement that in the ten years preceding 1831, ' Geology 
has scarcely received a valuable addition, and not a single fundamental 
one.' In repudiating this aspersion, Murchison denounced MaccuUoch 
for neglecting or deriding the value of fossils and claimed them as ' the 
very keystone of our fabric' The fact that MaccuUoch had not swept 
nto the palseontological day was not due to ignorance but to his recognition 
of the limitations in the interpretation of fossils. He pointed to the 
differences between the living faunas of the English Channel and of the 
Mediterranean as a warning that the correlation of beds by fossils is not 
so simple as some optimists then believed. In regard to some fossils, 
MaccuUoch was more correct than his critics. To him was due the 
memorable discovery at Loch Erriboll in the N.W. of Scotland of fossils 
intercalated in the Highland schists and gneisses. Sedgwick and 
Murchison^" rejected these fossils which, they said, ' we cannot regard as 
organic ' ; and the discovery was discredited until Salter described the 
larger collection made by the Cornish Customs officer, Charles Peach. 
MaccuUoch — guided only by lithological evidence^ — was also correct in his 
view that the Scottish Torridon Sandstone is a ' Primary Sandstone,' 
whereas Sedgwick and Murchison" had ' no hesitation ' in identifjang 
it as Old Red Sandstone. 

9 Proc. Oeol. Soc, 1836, vol. II, p. 359. 
10 Trans. Geol. Soc. (2), vol. Ill, 1829, pp. 155-6. 
" Proc. Oeol. Soc, vol. I, 1828, p. 79. 



58 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

The fixity of species had been attacked by Lamarck, but his view of 
the evolution of one species into another was emphatically rejected by 
British authorities. Bucklandj^^ who was the President of the Association 
at its first full meeting, denied that he was in any way disposed to favour 
Lamarck's theory of ' the derivation of existing species from preceding 
species by successive Transmutations of one form of organisation into 
another form, independent of the influence of any creative Agent.' 
Sedgwick^^ repudiated ' the doctrines of spontaneous generation and 
transmutation of species with all their train of monstrous consequences. ' 
The latter doctrine with all its momentous consequences was added to the 
principles of geology by a recruit of 1831. Early that year, Charles 
Darwin began the study of geology and on his return from his first long 
geological excursion, which he made with Sedgwick in North Wales, 
received the invitation to go as naturalist with the ' Beagle.' He sailed 
in her from Plymouth in December, 1831. 

Darwin's work on the voyage was mainly concerned with volcanic rocks, 
with gravity difierentiation in molten rocks, with uplifts accompanying 
earthquakes, and with the evidence of widespread areas of subsidence 
and uplift as proved by his luminous and now firmly established theory 
of Coral Islands. Darwin's work on crustal movements was of primary 
importance ; but by his doctrine of Evolution by Natural Selection, over 
which the tussle between Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce made the 
Oxford meeting of 1860 famous, Darwin was the most potent influence on 
the thought of the Victorian era. Darwinism gave palaeontology a guiding 
principle, which greatly enhanced the value of fossils, and relieved geologists 
of worry over such evidence as that in Chas. Moore's paper to the Associa- 
tion at the York meeting of 1881 (Rep. B.A., p. 610) on the occurrence of 
feathers in the Laurentian rocks. Evolution gave Geology the fresh 
interest of gradually unrolling the panorama of life, and to fossils the 
additional importance of being the positive evidence of the lines along 
which organisms have developed. 

It is true that many evolutionists have rejected Darwin's explanation 
of evolution as due to natural selection ; but according to the general 
interpretation of the geological record, evolution has been mainly con- 
trolled by the environment and has proceeded slowly during the long 
periods of relative quiescence and more quickly when the tumultuous 
heaving of the crust produced relatively rapid changes in the physical 
conditions, as in the depth of the sea, in the temperature of sea-water, and 
in climate owing to the altered distribution of land and water and relief 
of the land. 

Whatever the conclusion may be as to the motive force of evolution, 
Darwin's ' Origin of Species ' convinced the world of the fact of evolution, 
and that the successive faunas and floras were part of a progressive series 
and not a number of independent special creations. 

The influence of Darwin on the whole Philosophy of Geology was so 
helpful that he was the dominant factor in its progress during the second 
quarter-century of the Association's work. 

^'^ Bridgewater Treatise, vol. I, 1837, p. 585. 
" Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. I, 1831, p. 305. 



C— GEOLOGY. 59 

2b. Theological Influence on Geology. 

The invariability of species was a belief imposed on Geology in 1831 
by theological authority, which was still dominant, and many geologists 
sought peace by maintaining the agreement of Geology and Genesis. 
Thus, in 1833, Benjamin Silliman wrote on the ' Consistency of the Dis- 
coveries of Modern Geology with the Sacred History of the Creation and 
the Deluge,' and during the same decade was issued a library of such works 
as J. Pye Smith's ' The Relation between Holy Scriptures and some facts 
of Geological Science ' (1839 and many later editions)— the book recom- 
mended to me when I turned to Geology for an explanation of the erratic 
courses of Essex rivers. Dr. Chalmers repeated his ' geological argument 
on behalf of a Deity ' in his ' Natural Theology ' (1835, I, p. 229). The 
geological standpoint of the day was shown in Buckland's Bridgewater 
Treatise (1836, p. 414). He argued that living Zoophytes and their 
extinct predecessors ' all are so similarly constructed on one and the 
same general type and show such perfect Unity of Design throughout the 
infinitely varied modifications, under which they now perform, and ever 
have performed the functions allotted to them, that we can find no 
explanation of such otherwise mysterious Uniformity, than by referring 
it to the agency of one and the same Creative Intelligence.' He extended 
this argument to the whole organic world {ibid., pp. 581-2), as ' such a 
systematic recurrence of analogous Designs, producing various ends by 
various combinations of Mechanism, multiplied almost to infinity in their 
details of application, yet all constructed on the same few common 
fundamental principles which pervade the living forms of organised 
Beings that we reasonably conclude all these past and present contrivances 
to be part of a comprehensive and connected whole, originating in the Will 
and Power of one and the same Creator.' Hence, the persistence of the 
same structural plans and the absence of those freak animals, which 
might be expected if animals had arisen by special Creation — instead of 
being regarded as evidence of evolution — was by Buckland claimed as 
proof of special creation by one Creator ; and, therefore, as equal evidence 
against atheism and polytheism. The facts on Buckland's hypothesis 
indicate that the Almighty did all his designs Himself, and had no drawing 
and designing ofiice where angels of different grades planned organisms 
of different degrees of importance. 

Buckland admitted the considerable antiquity of the earth but 
defended the creation of man (ibid., p. 597) at 4004 B.C., and declared in 
regard to the six days of creation, ' I see no reason for extending the length 
of any of these beyond a natural day.' 

Buckland was, nevertheless, too heterodox for some members of the 
Association. His view that the earth is indefinitely older than the creation 
of man was vehemently attacked by Dean Cockburn, the Dean of York, 
in 1838, and at the meeting of the Association there in 1844. The general 
feeling was in support of Buckland, but it was not until about thirty years 
later that geology secured the independence claimed in 1832 by its 
doughty champion, Murchison,^* in his assertion of the ' entire dis- 
connexion of our science with the inspired writings.' 

" Proc. Qeol. Soc, vol. I, 1832, p. 377. 



60 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Theological prepossessions also maintained the faith of 1831 in the 
Diluvium as the relic of a world-wide flood. The phenomena of the drift 
were then quite unintelligible : but men were collecting and recording 
facts of which they could offer no explanation. Macculloch attributed 
the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy to a lake whose waters were lowered in 
stages by the breaching of a barrier at the mouth of the glen : and his 
inability to explain the barrier did not betray him as to the nature of the 
terraces, in which he was nearer the truth than Darwin who regarded them 
as sea beaches. Jas. Maxwell,^^ in 1832, recorded a granite boulder 42 ft. 
by 38 ft. at Appin on Loch Linnhe that appeared to him quite inexplicable. 
It was not until 1840 that Louis Agassiz' recognition of the glacial origin 
of the British diluvium provided the barrier for MaccuUoch's Glen Roy 
lake, the transport of Maxwell's boulder, and relieved Geology of the 
Noachian deluge. 

3. The Origin of Obe-Deposits. 

The third geological problem to which the Association directed atten- 
tion was the nature of ore-deposits ; and J. Taylor, who was Treasurer 
of both the Association and the Geological Society, at the meeting in 1833 
read a ' Report on the State of Knowledge respecting Mineral Veins.'^* 

The explanation of their formation was delayed by erroneous con- 
ceptions as to chemical possibilities. ' Never,' said Macculloch,^' ' has 
there been a science, unless it be physic, so encumbered with rubbish as 
geology,' and he complained that geology suffered great discredit owing 
to the extent to which some of its exponents ' obtruded their ignorant 
speculations to enthral the mind of the equally ignorant.' He could have 
justified his criticisms by some arguments on ore genesis. The classification 
of mineral veins had been begun in 1791 by Werner, who attributed most 
of them to the filling of fissures from solutions. Hutton, in 1795, declared, 
on the contrary, the deposition of native metals from solution a ' physical 
impossibility,' and that sulphide ores could only be formed at high 
temperatures ; and he concluded from the absence of any trace of the 
assumed solvent that mineral veins are igneous injections which solidified 
on the escape of the heat. In 1831, in reaction from such speculations 
as to genesis, the standard classifications relied on the form of the deposits ; 
thus, Waldung von Waldenstein in 1824 divided them into sheets, stock- 
works, and masses. Current opinion in England at the time may be seen 
from Taylor's Report. As the veins of Alston Moor contain lead where 
they traverse the limestone but not where they cross the shale, Taylor 
rejected their formation by igneous injection and attributed ordinary ores 
to sublimation. As it was realised that many mineral veins were too 
wide to have been formed by the infilling of open fissures, the electric 
deposition of the ores was advocated by R. W. Fox in papers to the 
Association^** and elsewhere. The sublimation hypothesis had been 

li Trans. Geol. Soc. (2), vol. Ill, pt. 3, p. 488. 

16 Eei). B.A. (1833), 1834, pp. 1-25. 

" Treatise, 1831, vol. I, p. vii. 

18 Rep. B.A. (1834), 1835, pp. 572-4 ; vol. VI (1837), pp. 133-7 ; for 1838, 
1839, Trans., p. 90 ; also Phil. Mag., XIV, 1839, pp. 145-6. Trans. Geol. Soc, 
ser. 2, vol. V, 1840, pp. 497-8. For modern discussion of electric activity on ore- 
deposits, V. R. C. Wells, Bvll. U.S.G.S., 548, 1914. 



0.— GEOLOGY. 61 

advocated by Ami Boiie in 1822 and in 1829 in bis ' Geognostisches 
Gemalde von Deutschland ' (p. 143), and supported by the general 
association of mineral veins and igneous rocks ; he held "that extensive 
ore-deposits are found only near ' Granite, Syenite, Porphyry and Trap- 
rocks ' (ibid., pp. 42-3). A. L. Necker"* also urged, despite a few 
apparent exceptions, the general ' connexion of igneous with metalliferous 
deposits.' 

In the same year the main alternative explanation — the connexion of 
mineral veins with great fractures- — was put forward by J. Fournet in a 
long memoir, ' fitudes sur les Depots Metalliferes,' published in Aniedee 
Burat's edition of d'Aubuison's ' Traite de Geognosie,' (vol. Ill, 1835, 
pp. 383-621). Fournet assigned the minor veins to the filling of shrinkage 
cracks, and small faults ; but he regarded the veins of most economic 
value, as deposited along the major faults due to the ' violent movements ' 
that accompany the upheaval of mountain chains. 

That the ores along these fractures were due to rising waters was 
rendered the more probable by the paper contributed by C. G. B. Daubeny'^"' 
at the 1836 meeting on ' Mineral and Thermal Waters.' The deep- 
seated source of the ores was strengthened in the famous memoir by filie 
de Beaumont on ' Les Emanations volcaniques et metalliferes ' in 1847, 
in which he showed the importance of pneumatolyic processes in the 
formation of some ores. Meanwhile, the theory that ores were derived 
from waters percolating through the rocks beside the veins had been 
revived by Bischof (1847), but was generally rejected until his disciples, 
Forchhammer (1855) and especially Sandberger (1882, 1885), found 
particles of the ordinary ore metals in all kinds of ancient rocks. 

The ascensionist views of the deep-seated source of ores was then 
eagerly replaced, owing to the preference for a tangible than for an 
inaccessible source — -by the lateral secretion theory, which was extended 
by Emmons and others of the American school. It was dominant for 
twenty years, until in 1893 the deep-seated source of most ores was 
advocated by Posepny in the paper that initiated the present stage of the 
ore genesis investigations. An intermediate view was advocated by J. D. 
Kemp and others who recalled attention to the general association of 
mineral veins with igneous rocks ; and the discovery therein of traces of 
various lode metals led to the view that the constituents of the lodes are 
derived from igneous rocks in which they are as primary components 
as the iron and magnesium in the ferro-magnesian silicates, and the 
manganese in the manganese silicates. 

That view is perhaps still the generally accepted theory ; but there are 
serious objections to it : for though there is no inherent improbability in 
the occurrence of small proportions of many metals in the igneous rocks, 
the quantity appears insufficient to have provided the metals of the lodes. 

The frequent association of igneous rocks and ores may be due to both 
having been introduced in consequence of crustal disturbances. Many 
areas with abundant igneous rocks are barren of ores, and such igneous 
rocks as contain the ordinary lode metals show evidence of alteration by 

'» Trans. Oeol. Soc. (2) III, 1835, pp. 497-8. 
^ 6th Rep. B.A. for 1836, 1837, pp. 1-96. 



62 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

agencies that probably introduced the ores. Many of the claims for the 
presence of metals as primary constituents of igneous rocks are invalid. 
Thus, the oft-quoted gold in the ' diorite ' of the Ayrshire Mine in 
Rhodesia is secondary.'"' In other cases the evidence may be wanting. 
The first gold recorded from Kenya Colony was in the nepheline-syenite 
of Mount Jombo, S.W. of Mombasa. The rock appeared quite fresh 
and for thirty-nine years there has been nothing to show that its gold 
was not a primary constituent. Miss McKinnon Wood in her second 
journey to the Kenya coastlands has recently found quartz-lodes con- 
taining copper, lead and zinc in neighbouring rocks ; and after that 
discovery there is no reason to regard the gold as an original constituent of 
the nepheline-syenite. 

The distribution of ores indicates their derivation from a layer below 
the igneous rocks. During earth-movements, masses of the subcrustal 
layer are forced upward, while metallic emanations rise up the fractures 
and on reaching the zone above that of the dissociation of water are dis- 
solved in superheated water ; the mineral solutions continue the ascent 
till they reach a zone where the ores are deposited in veins or impregnations. 

The primary ores of most metals, other than iron and manganese, 
appear of deep-seated origin ; but after the ore bodies have been exposed 
and attacked by the agents of denudation, they provide the detrital 
metallic particles of placer deposits. Where the rocks are permeated by 
alkaline or acid-charged water, the ore particles are removed in solution 
and thus placer ores are exceptional among the older rocks. Current 
opinion seems reluctant to recognise the extent to which ores have been 
distributed mechanically, and the process has been often disguised by 
their solution and redeposition in siiiA. In addition to such ores as the 
gold of the Rand, the copper shale of Mansfeld, and the lead sandstone 
of Commern being of placer origin, the scattering of ores in detrital grains 
must have happened frequently and the relics of this process may be more 
numerous than most authorities on ore-deposits are at present prepared to 
admit. 

4. Elie de Beaumont's Classification of Mountains. 

The deep-seated source of ore-deposits bears on the geology of the inner 
earth, which was exercising geologists in 1831. Appreciation of the help 
that physics and astronomy could give geology is shown by the inclusion 
in the Report of the Association (p. 407) for 1832, amongst subjects recom- 
mended for examination by geologists, of an ' accurate examination of the 
conclusions deducible from the known density of the earth, as to the 
solid structure and composition of its interior ' ; and ' the examination of 
the visible disk of the moon, with the view of extending our general 
knowledge of volcanic forces ' (p. 410). The ambition to explain the 
general plan of the earth inspired the early cosmographers, such as Burnet 
(1684) ; but he and his successors in the eighteenth century tried to build 
without bricks or straw, and their theories collapsed when confronted 
with elementary facts. 

After the foundation of Geology at the end of the eighteenth and early 

•"> Trans. Inst. Min. Eng., vol. XXXI, 1907, p. 85. 



C— GEOLOGY. 63 

in the nineteenth century and the discovery of the geographical outhnes 
of the hitherto unknown regions, the efforts to correlate the main 
structures in the relief of the earth were resumed. The most stimulating 
worker in this field was then filie de Beaumont. His correlation and 
classification of mountain chains were based on the view that the interior 
of the earth is slowly cooling and contracting so that the rigid outer shell 
undergoes alternate deformation and recovery of the spheroidal form 
when the crust again closely embraces the shrinking internal mass. £lie 
de Beaumont concluded tliat these crustal movements account for the 
mountain ranges and main relief of the earth. He realised that the crust 
is a unit which is affected as a whole by each of the orogenic episodes which 
upheaved mountain systems at the same date in even distant parts of 
the earth. He regarded these episodes as separated by long intervals of 
repose, and held that fold-mountain chains of the same orogeny are 
recognisable by their trend. He classified the mountains of Europe into 
four systems, upraised at different dates and each with a characteristic 
trend, and he claimed that all the members of each system are parallel, 
according to his use of that term. As the trends were determined by the 
fracture of a spherical or subspherical shell, he considered that they 
would be on a regular geometrical pattern, liable to merely local variations, 
for he treated the crust as practically uniform in strength. 

filie de Beaumont's views attracted earnest attention and at the first 
meeting of the Association Sedgwick and Conybeare were asked to report 
whether his maxim that mountain ranges with the same trend were of the 
same age holds true for the British Isles. The two authors'*'^ issued a 
brief report. Sedgwick declared that the older British strata are in strict 
accordance with filie de Beaumont's theory {ihid., p. 591) and expressed 
enthusiastic approval of it in his Presidential Address to the Geological 
Society. ' The steps,' said Sedgwick,'^' ' by which he reaches this noble 
generalisation are so clear and convincing as to be little short of physical 
demonstration. It forms an epoch in the history of our science ; and I 
am using no terms of exaggeration when I say, that in reading the 
admirable researches of M. de Beaumont, I appeared to myself, page 
after page, to be acquiring a new geological sense, and a new faculty of 
induction ; and I cannot express my feelings of regret, that during my 
recent visit to the Eastern Alps I did not possess this grand key to the 
mysteries of nature.' 

filie de Beaumont's system appeared to be opposed in one respect 
to Lyell's ; for whereas it laid stress on violent earth-movements at 
recurrent episodes, Lyell laid stress on the continuity of geological evolu- 
tion, and held that the changes in progress to-day have never been inter- 
rupted by different forces or by the same forces acting with extraordinary 
energy. Sedgwick declared the opposition of the two systems and liis 
adherence to that of filie de Beaumont {ibid., p. 311). He said ' that 
the system of M. filie de Beaumont is directly opposed to a fundamental 
principle vindicated by Mr. Lyell, cannot admit of doubt. And I have 
decided to the best of my judgment, in favour of the former author, 

22 Rep. B.A. 1st and 2nd meetings, 1831-1832, pp. 587-91. 
■^« Proc. Qeol. Soc, vol. I, 1832. p. 308. 



64 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

because his conclusions are not based upon any a priori reasoning, but on 
tlie evidence of facts ; and also, because, in part, tbey are in accordance 
with my own observations.' 

But the principles of filie de Beaumont and Lyell are not essentially 
inconsistent. Lyell repeatedly remarked that the intensity of the forces 
has varied in the past as it does locally to-day. He insisted that the 
forces were the same although they may at times have been spent. A 
lull lasts until the force has regained fresh energy. A volcano has a con- 
tinuous history, although it may be dormant between its eruptions. The 
orogenic episodes are the culmination of long accumulated stresses. The 
Jurassic and Cretaceous disturbances in the Alps were the preliminary 
movements to the convulsions of the Middle Kainozoic. 

Elie de Beaumont's episodes of world-wide mountain formation were 
not due to the sudden application of an extraneous force but to a long 
continued stress that was relieved by quick changes during the restoration 
of stability to the deformed crust. Sedgwick called these episodes 
' catastrophes ' ; but they are as much the result of continuously acting 
agencies as the eruptions of a volcano and the quiet processes of the 
dormant intervals. 

Conybeare^* was more critical of filie de Beaumont's theory. He 
recognised that some facts support it, but others are inconsistent. He 
objected to describing the Urals and the American Cordillera as parallel,^* 
and to reference to the axes of folds as if they were mathematically 
straight ; and he held that the correlation of English folds by parallelism 
is unsatisfactory. 

E. Boue and other French geologists were more severe in their 
criticisms ; they represented the view that mountain uplifts happened at 
distinct periods as not new, and the original jsart of the theory, on which 
rested the synchronism of distant mountains, as not true. 

Elie de Beaumont's work, from his ' Recherches sur quelques unes des 
revolutions de la Surface du Globe ' in 1828, to his ' Systeme de Montagues ' 
(3 vols., 1852), laid the foundations of the modern study of the general 
plan of the earth. His two fundamental principles were that the main 
movements in the earth's crust are due to its compression owing to the 
shrinkage of the internal mass, and that the collapse of the crust determines 
the main features in the relief of the globe. The shrinkage is probably 
due more to closer packing of the constituents than to cooling. The 
argument has constantly been advanced that the contraction of the earth 
cannot have been sufficient to have caused mountain folding ; it has also 
been claimed that the earth is expanding and not shrinking, and has 
been growing hotter instead of cooler. That the main folding of the 
crust has been due to compression that at first acted on every part of the 
earth of which we have evidence and later was confined to special belts 
seems one of the most certain of geological facts. 

2« Phil. Mag. n.s., 1832, pp. 118-26 ; 1834, pp. 404-14. 

2" Elie de Beaumont's theory has been often misjudged owing to his use of the term 
parallel in its original sense of side by side, and not as restricted by mathematical 
usage. It was objected that though mountain lines along the parallels of latitude 
are parallel, those along the meridians are not. £lie de Beaumont applied the term 
to lines parallel to a great circle or along great circles that intersect at a pole and to 
parallels drawn in reference to a pole elsewhere than at the two existing poles. 



C— GEOLOGY. 05 

filie de Beaumont, in accordance with the geographical and geohijiical 
information available between 1820 and 1850, xiiifortxuiately adopted 
as the basis of his fold and fracture pattern for the earth the pentagonal 
network, which had to him the recommendation of its possession of a high 
degree of symmetry. 

The most obvious fact in the map of the world is that it has no such 
highly developed symmetry as filie de Beaumont's system. The pattern 
is in better accordance with the facts adopted by Lowthian Green, the 
tetrahedral arrangement of land and water, with the continents upraised 
at the antipodes to the oceanic depressions, just as on a tetrahedron the 
projecting coigns are antipodal to a face, of which the middle is nearer 
the centre, or from the point of view of gravity, is lower than the edges 
and the coigns. The development of this plan is natural, since by it the 
crust of the earth would most easily adapt itself to the smaller space into 
which it is compressed by the shrinkage of the internal mass. 

I endeavoured to show in 1899 (Geogr. Journ., vol. XII, pp. 225-40) 
that Lowthian Green's theory agrees both with the existing distribution of 
ocean and continent, and with geological history, as it explains the 
alternation of the slow subsidence of the ocean floors and of crustal storms 
during which fold-moimtain chains are raised by lateral compression ; it 
also explains the alternate emergence of the lands as the ocean basins are 
enlarged by the sinking of their floors and submergence of the lands by 
the world-wide advance of the sea due to the shallowing of the oceans 
when the spheroidal form is recovered after the tetrahedral deformation 
has exceeded the stability of the crust. 

filie de Beaumont's elaborate classification of moimtains has collapsed ; 
for although the foundations were sound, the girders of his superstructure 
were not. Knowledge of the history and structure of mountain chains 
was then inadequate and much of it was erroneous. Mountain chains are 
not straight like crystal edges, but bend in long curves around resistant 
blocks. Their trend is no test of their age. Moreover, a great mountain 
chain is not all built at one episode ; the Alps are due to uplifts that have 
happened from at least the Lower Jurassic to the Upper Kainozoic. 
Lowthian Green, working on the same foundation of a contracting globe, 
built a structure that was more stable as it was in fuller agreement with 
the map of the world. If the earth had been a spheroid of revolution and 
its crust homogeneous, mountain ranges might have developed with 
the high symmetry of the pentagonal network ; but the numerous 
irregularities in the form and strength of the crust have led to its deforma- 
■ tion by fewer faces and have produced a mountain system and arrangement 
of land and water which is tetrahedral and not pentagonal. 

5. Mountain Structure. 

filie de Beaumont's system was built ujion the mountain chains ; and 
his conception of their structure was defective ; he regarded them as 
symmetrical ridges and he failed to appreciate the contribution to the 
Association in 1842 by Henry Darwin Rogers which laid the foundation 
of the modern theory of aiountain formation. Rogers had early in the 
history of the Association rendered it a medium of co-operation between 
19.S1 P 



G6 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

American and British Geologists, for he*' had communicated an instructive 
* Report on the Geology of North America " in which he adopted Lyell's 
Kainozoic nomenclature. In 1842 he read to the Association his joint 
paper with his brother, W. B. Rogers,^' ' On the Physical Structure of the 
Appalachian Chain, as exemplifying the Laws which have regulated the 
elevation of great Mountain Chains generally.' The Rogers considered 
the facts at variance with filie de Beaumont's hypothesis that dislocations 
of the same age are parallel to the same great circle of the sphere, as they 
found in the Appalachians nine simultaneous groups of folds which vary 
in trend up to 60°. They explained the folds as waves in the crust due 
to a broad belt being pushed forward with, accompanying asymmetric 
folding, overfolding, and inversion. This explanation of fold-mountain 
chains by a wave-like advance of the crust was adopted by J. D. Dana 
for mountains in general. He attributed to the Rogers the first geological 
demonstration of the contraction of the earth, which had been suggested 
by Descartes and Newton. Rogers' view was confirmed by Bailey Willis^* 
for the Appalachians and adopted for the Alps by Suess in his ' Entstehung 
der Alpen ' (1875). 

Suess showed that the existing physiography of Europe was mainly 
due to the Alpine System — including the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians and 
Balkans — having been pushed northward against resistant masses which 
threw back the waves Uke forelands along a coast. The Carpathian 
Mountains advanced northward between the resistant masses of Bohemia 
and the Platform of South-Western Russia, as waves sweep forward in a 
bay between two headlands. 

Suess in the investigation of mountain structure had the advantage over 
the geologists of the thirties of more certain petrology. They still worried 
over the igneous origin of granite, which was regarded by some of them as 
a metamorphic sediment, and the films of mica in gneiss and micaceous 
sandstone as due to the same cause. Even a decade later the best 
informed petrologists were at issue as to whether granite Ijad been injected 
as a molten mass at a high temperature, or was due to aqueo-igneous 
action at a low temperature. This controversy waged for years between 
Durocher and Scheerer in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of France. ^^ 

These authors were groping in the dark like physiologists before the 
development of histology. A great advance in the interpretation of the 
igneous and metamorphic rocks was rendered j^ossible by Sorby's applica- 
tion to them of the microscopic study of transparent sections. He was 
not the first to prepare thin rock slices, which Williamson had used in his 
study of fossil plants. Sorby applied the method to the igneous rocks. 
He^" announced its illuminating results to the Association at Leeds in 1858 
in two papers^ — ' On a new method of determining the Temperature and 
Pressure at which various Rocks and Minerals were formed,' and ' On some 

■■^« Bep. B.A., 4th (for 1834), 1835, pp. 1-66. 
■■^7 I2th Rep. B.A. (1842), 1843, Trans., pp. 40-2. 
''" 13<A Ann. Rep. V.8.G.S., 1893, p. 228. 

•■^^ Ser. 2, vol. IV, 1847, pp. 468-98, 1019-43 ; vol. VI, 1849, pp. 644-54 ; 
vol. VIII, 1851, pp. 500-8. 

■0 Rep. B.A. (1858), 1859, Trans., pp. 107-8. 



C.-GEOLOGY. 67 

Peculiarities in the Arrangement of the IMinerals in Igneous Rocks.' He 
showed that the crystals and bubbles in the fluid cavities in granite prove 
its deep-seated origin, and that the relations of augite and leucite in 
Vesuvian lavas demonstrate that the sequence of minerals in igneous 
rocks is determined not by their fusibility but by their order of crystallisa- 
tion out of a cooling solution. 

The determination of the depth and temperature of consolidation of 
an igneous rock by its fluid cavities is not quite so simple and certain as 
Sorby thought ; but he explained the anomalies that had led to the 
Durocher-Scheerer controversy, and his method judiciously ajipUed gave 
more positive information than had been previously available. 

The interpretation of mountain structure had an important reaction 
on stratigraphy. Suess realised that the great mountain regions of the 
world were not all due to the folding of the crust ; and while vast areas 
have sunk to form the ocean basins, huge horizontal blocks and sheets of 
marine deposits have been left as high plateaux, owing to the subsidence 
of the adjacent areas. 

Suess undertook the study of the world geology to interpret the major 
movements of the crust. He recognised that some encroachments of the 
sea upon the land were world-wide ; he called them the marine trans- 
gressions, and explained them by the reduction in size of the ocean basins 
by the uprise of their floors. Lyell had recognised that this movement 
had probably caused some invasions of the land by the sea. Dana 
repeated this view (Manual, 1871, p. 723). Lyell could only regard this 
process as a probability, but Suess had convincing evidence of these 
transgressions from areas which geologically were unknown in the time of 
Lyell. 

Many cases of the rise of the sea surface may be due to changes in the 
oceans' basins and not to a vertical uplift of the land. Suess went 
further and regarded some high-level horizontal beds as left in their 
original position by the down-sagging of the crust elsewhere during the 
contraction of the earth. Dana had previously (Manual, 1871, p. 723) 
explained the main continental plains at the average height of 1,000 feet 
above sea-level as relics left upraised by the deepening of the ocean 
basins. 

Suess was so impressed by the predominance of downward movements 
•in sunklands, rift- valleys, and oceanic deeps, and by the absence of any 
mechanism that he regarded as adequate for widespread horizontal uplifts, 
that he considered all vertical regional movements must be downward. 
Suess went too far in his denial of the possibility of widespread vertical 
uplifts. Various agencies, such as the subcrustal flow of material displaced 
by an oceanic subsidence, will uplift areas without appreciable tilting. 
But that the land sometimes emerges owing to lowering of the sea surface 
and at others is submerged by the rise of the sea-level is now universally 
admitted. Suess' transgressions give geology a physical basis of cor- 
relation more precise and world-wide than is possible from palaeontology. 
A transgression may be simultaneous over the whole world, whereas any 
special fauna does not appear at all places at precisely the same time. 

This fact was early recognised by many geologists. 

f2 



68 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

6. ' The Dogma of Universal Formations.' 

In 1831 the stratigraphical principle that Conybeare dismissed as 
' Werner's dogma of Universal Formations ' was being actively discussed. 
He held that in distant lands corresponding formations need not be 
synchronous. This idea — a forecast of Huxley's doctrine of homotaxis^ — 
was also adopted by H. D. Rogers in a paper to the Association in 1834, 
when he adopted Lyell's Kainozoic series not as implying strict identity 
in time but ' comparative chronological relations ' (Rep. B.A. for 1834, 
1835, p. 32). 

Homotaxis became less important when the age of the earth was 
expanded from the short estimates once advocated. If the earth's history 
had occupied only a hundred million years, the geological epochs would 
have been so brief that more than one would have been required for the 
migration of a fauna from its centre of origin to its antipodes. Now that 
as much time is available as the greediest geologist can desire, the length 
of the minor divisions of geological time is adequate for the spread of 
faimas throughout any accessible and suitable environment. There is no 
longer any question of the Devonian fauna of Australia having lived at 
the same time as the Carboniferous fauna of Europe. 

The zonal divisions on the other hand are being foimd less imiversal 
than had been thought. Faunas spread at various rates and by different 
routes ; hence they do not everywhere succeed one another in the same 
order. 

The view of Oppel (1856, &c.) that Ammonite zones in all parts of the 
world follow in an identical succession, and the expectation that graptolite 
zones are equally regular and world-wide, have proved exaggerations ; 
and Dr. Spath points out that the sequence of zonal Ammonites differs in 
different basins (Geol. Mag., 1931, pp. 184-6). Faunas moreover must 
have often survived only in one area, like the Monotremes and Trigonia in 
Australia, or have taken shelter in one area when they were driven from 
another, such as the Cretaceous types of reptiles in the Eocene of Nigeria 
(Swinton, Bull. G. S. Nigeria, Bull. 13, 1930, pp. 52-4). Nevertheless, 
the correspondence is remarkable between distant representatives of any 
one geological epoch. Geologists were once confident that the gaps in the 
geological column in Europe would be filled by discoveries elsewhere. 
Such terms as Permo-Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Trias-Jura, Cretaceo- 
Tertiary, Cretaceo-Eocene, Mio-Pliocene, &c., expressed the hope that the. 
beds thus named would fill gaps in the European sequence. Most of these 
strata have been found to correspond in time with those known in Europe. 
Palseontologically, it is disappointing that the blanks are so widespread 
and that no fossils have been found except the Beltina fauna and obscure 
impressions, older than those known to geologists in 1831. The hope 
that a succession of limestones would be found somewhere to reveal the 
passage from the Palaeozoic to the Mesozoic corals is still unfulfilled. 

The lesson from extra-European stratigraphy that seems the most 
remarkable is the world-wide range of the geological Systems and the 
general similarity of geological development. The Systems represent 
definite units in the world's history and not artificial divisions like a week 
or a calendar month. The physical tests of correlation are of increasing 
value, and the transgressions are more precise time markers than fossils. 



C— GEOLOGY. 69 

III. Geology in Education. 

The progress of geology in most branches of its work contrasts with 
the decline in its educational status. The clamour at the end of the 
war for more scientific education might have been expected to revive 
the educational service of geology ; but it has not shared the extra time 
given to science in general education, and there has been a drop in the 
number of students at some schools of geology. This fall has been in 
part due to the increased attention to geography in English schools, a 
development geologists heartily welcome. The decline in the educational 
use of geology is the more remarkable since it has continued to lose many 
active workers by their absorption in administration. The value of 
geology as general training in afiairs is widely recognised in practice, and 
is doubtless due to the insight gained by research on problems as varied 
and complex as those of daily life. The geologists' ordinary task is the 
interpretation of a tangle of uncertain factors. 

During the conferences on the position of science in Education held by 
the Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies one of the champions of classics 
remarked that natural science provided magnificent educational material, 
but it was useless as its teachers had no idea how to use it. When pressed 
for an explanation of this opinion he referred to the confused and illogical 
nomenclature of natural science ; he added that when someone with a 
better trained or more orderly mind introduced a consistent nomenclature 
it was soon muddled or abandoned. 

Geology afiords illustrations of the basis for this criticism. After 
Phillips had provided the logical sequence — Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and 
Kainozoic — the first term was soon adopted ; Secondary slowly gave 
place to Mesozoic and was long retained by some Surveys ; but Tertiary 
is still generally used in this country, though it is being steadily abandoned 
by English-speaking countries overseas. 

So long as geologists prefer to use such combinations as Palaeozoic, 
Mesozoic, and Tertiary ; deny that coal and slate are minerals ; call sand 
clay to support a theory of its origin ; speak of mud as rock, and use terms 
that distress those with literary instincts, such as peneplains instead of 
peneplanes, geology is likely to be regarded as of less value in secondary 
education than classics, mathematics and physics. 

An illogical nomenclature may be preferred by those who are so 
interested in results that they are indifEerent to their expression ; but the 
price paid is the lowered value of the subject as a medium of education. 

IV. The Geological Leaders of the four quarter-centuries. 

The scope of geology is so vast and varied that few geologists view it 
from the same standpoint or would select the same men as the most 
influential leaders in the quarter-centuries since the Association began 
its work. My own impression is that from 1830 to 1855 the true prophet of 
geology was Lyell, with his establishment of the mobility of the land and 
the uniformity of geological processes. From 1855 to 1880 the main advance 
was, I think, due to Darwin — who established the fact of evolution and 
enabled fossils to be interpreted more intelligently and reliably. In the 
third quarter-century, 1880 to 1905, the influences were more complex. 



70 SECTIOKAL ADDRESSES. 

About 1880 the geologists of the United States revealed phenomena in 
their Western Mountains which showed that the yardstick that had been 
proved reliable in North- Western Europe and the Atlantic States of 
America, was not applicable everywhere. The United States Geological 
Survey had in 1870 published only two of its Annual Reports and a 
preliminary report on Colorado ; it issued the first of its Bulletins in 1874 
and Gilbert's Monograph on the Henry Mountains in 1877 : its great 
influence began about 1880. Nevertheless, despite the powerful stimulus 
of North America on geological thought in the third quarter of the past 
century the individual influence that seems to me to have been most 
profound was that of E. Suess. 

The last quarter-century is still too near for reliable appreciation of 
its achievements ; but among the fundamental advances have been 
those revealing the structure of the inner earth, and especially the inter- 
pretation of earthquakes, in which the pioneer was a devoted adherent of 
the Association, John Milne. The recent study of ore-deposits confirms 
the evidence from earthquakes that the core of the earth is surrounded by 
concentric shells and that the metallic ores arise from the shell below the 
plutonic rocks as gases and solutions. The distribution of ores, if those 
of any particular metal be considered in reference to their age, is also along 
bands, due to ruptures in the crust through which the volatile and liquid 
ore-transporting agents escape from the metallic barysphere. The geology 
of mineral fields and the extension to most of the younger mountain ranges 
of the world of the thrustplanes which, though early recognised in mining 
operations, were first demonstrated in stratigraphy by Lapworth and the 
British Geological Survey in the North- West of Scotland, have proved 
that fold-mountains are formed along belts of compression. The intense 
folding of the crust which at first was world-wide has been confined in 
later times to narrow belts — showing that the accommodation of a 
thickening rigid crust to a contracting internal mass has been the 
dominant influence on geological evolution. 



SECTION D.— ZOOLOGY. 



A HUNDRED YEARS OF EVOLUTION. 

ADDRESS BY 

PROF. E. B. POULTON, D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



Thinking over the subject of this address, I have been encouraged by a 
metaphor given me by Oliver Wendell Holmes at a delightful dinner of 
the Boston ' Saturday Club ' in January, 1894 — ' Memory in old age is a 
palimpsest with the records beneath standing out more clearly than those 
above.' And, indeed, memories of my first British Association, at York 
in 1881, are clearer than those of many in later years. It was a great 
meeting, as befitted the fiftieth anniversary, and nearly every Sectional 
President had been a President of the Association. It also marked a 
turning-point in evolutionary controversy, being, I believe, the last meeting 
at which opposition was offered to evolution as apart from its motive 
cause or causes. From 1881 onwards the battles in this Section have 
been over Lamarckism and Natural Selection, and their factors, especially 
Heredity ; over the size of the steps and the rate of progress. Evolution 
itself has been generally accepted. It was different at York in 1881. 
Dr. Wright's indignation, when the Reptilian affinites of Archceopteryx 
were explained in the Geological Section, was stirred by the hated doctrine 
which gave meaning and life to the demonstration. I well remember, 
too, how Prof. 0. C. Marsh, discussing one of the meetings in this Section 
with a young and inexperienced naturaUst, said that he had felt rather 
anxious about the way in which his paper on the Cretaceous toothed 
birds of America would be received by the President, Sir Richard Owen. 
His fears were, however, groundless, and aU was well. 

The difference between the controversies raised in the first and the 
second of these half-centuries of evolution reminds us that long before 
Darwin saw his way to an explanation of evolution he was satisfied that 
evolution was a fact ; reminds us, too, that we are celebrating another 
great centenary, for he sailed in the Beagle on December 27, 1831, thus 
entering upon the five years' voyage which, in his own words, ' was by far 
the most important event in my life, and has determined my whole career ' 
— the voyage which provided him with the evidence that evolution is a fact. 
The idea of Natural Selection as a motive cause did not come to him until 
October 1838, just two years after his return. 

The independent discovery and pubhcation of the principle of Natural 
Selection by Dr. W. C. Wells^ in 1818 and by Patrick Matthew in 1831 



1 



Wells, like Matthew and Chambers, was a Scotsman. He was born (May 1757) 
of Scottish parents in Charlestown, South CaroUna. In the troubled times preceding 
the Declaration of Independence his father, to quote his own >vords, ' obhged me to 
wear a tartan coat, and a blue Scotch bonnet, hoping by these means to make me 
consider myself a Scotchman. The persecution I hence suffered produced this effect 
completely.' 



72 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

followed a very different course, for neither of these men realised the 
significance of the idea which had come to him. Wells wrote that he had 
ventured to expound it, ' though at the hazard of its being thought rather 
fanciful than just,' and Matthew half apologises for the amount of space 
Avhich has been taken from his main subject. He was, nevertheless, 
anxious to claim credit when, twenty-nine years later, the importance of 
the discovery was revealed to him in the Gardener's Chronicle reprint of 
the Times review of the Origin, the review of which Huxley said, ' I wrote 
it, I think, faster than I ever wrote anything in my life.' It is interesting 
to speculate upon what might have happened if the author had called 
his book ' Arboriculture and Naval Timber ' instead of the more severely 
technical ' Naval Timber and Arboriculture ' ; for, with the former title, 
the work might well have been consulted by Darwin who would have 
been led by the table of contents to discover its significance. 

Robert Chambers' Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which 
appeared in 1844, undoubtedly includes illuminating thoughts far in 
advance of the time. Thus, more than once, the author writes of organic 
life ' pressing in ' when suitable conditions arose, ' so that no place which 
could support any form of organic being might be left for any length of 
time unoccupied,' and he also speaks of withdrawals when the ajapropriate 
conditions pass away. Then, too, Anton Dohrn's ' Functionswechsel ' 
is foreshadowed in the conclusion that ' organs, while preserving a 
resemblance, are often put to different uses. For example : the ribs 
become, in the serpent, organs of locomotion, and the snout is extended, 
in the elephant, into a prehensile instrument.' And, contrasted with this, 
the author points to the performance of the same functions by ' organs 
essentially different,' and then to the consideration of rudimentary 
structures and the recognition that ' such curious features are most con- 
spicuous in animals which form links between various classes.' Of great 
interest, too, is the forcible rebuke administered to those who maintain 
that an animal origin for man is a degrading thought. 

It was a credulous age and we need not be astonished at the author's 
belief in a spontaneous, or as he preferred to call it, ' aboriginal,' 
generation of clover in waste moss ground treated with Ume, and his 
opinion that an explanation based on the presence of dormant or trans- 
ported seed was ' extremely unsatisfactory ' ; or, again, his acceptance 
of the hypothesis, held by some authorities at the time, that parasitic 
entozoa were produced from ' particles of organised matter ' within the 
host, such a development being, he considered, ' in no small degree 
favourable to the general doctrine of an organic creation by law.' The 
authorship of the Vestiges was revealed in Alexander Ireland's Intro- 
duction to the 12th edition, published in 1884, thirteen years after 
Chambers' death. The secrecy appears to have been mainly due to a 
rule, laid down in the Chambers' publishing business, that ' debateable 
questions in politics and theology ' should be avoided. 

I have devoted some little time to the Vestiges, which I think has 
hardly received its due, although Darwin fully acknowledged its importance 
in preparing many minds for a belief in evolution. We know, too, that 
the author warmly supported the Darwinian cause in the controversy 
which arose over the Origin, and that it was his advocacy which rendered 



N 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 73 

possible the great encounter at Oxford in 1860 ; for when Huxley told 
him that he did not mean to attend the meeting of the Section on 
June 30^ — ' did not see the good of giving up peace and quietness to be 
episcopally pounded,' ' Chambers broke into vehement remonstrances, and 
talked about my deserting them. So I said, " Oh ! if you are going to 
take it that way, I'll come and have my share of what is going on." ' 
And after the meeting, J. R. Green wrote to his College friend, Boyd 
Dawkins — ' I was introduced to Robert Chambers the other day and 
heard him chuckle over the ejiiscopal defeat.' 

Owing to the kindness of Lady Boyd Dawkins and Dr. Leonard 
Huxley, I am able to print a very interesting and hitherto unpublished 
letter in which Huxley confirmed the well-known description of the 
debate given by Green : — 

' 4 Marlborough Place, 

' Abbey Road, N.W. 

' June 11, 1883. 
' My dear Boyd Dawkins, 

' Many thanks for the -extract from Green's letter. His account of the 
matter appears to me to be accurate in all essentials, though, of course, 
I cannot be sure of the exact words that were used on either side. 

' It is curious that your letter should have reached me this morning, 
when in a couple of hours I shall start for Cambridge for the purpose of 
delivering the Rede Lecture on the subject of " Evolution." I should 
not have chosen this topic of my own mere motion. But I found that 
nothing else would satisfy the expectations of Cambridge ! Truly " the 
whirligig of time brings its revenges." 

* I am, 

' Yours very sincerely, 

' T. H. Huxley.' 

Robert Chambers' work appears to have provided the stimulus which 
led to the preparation of an interesting and surprising manuscript* by the 
younger J. Searles Wood. It was found by my friend, Sir Sidney Harmer, 
among his father's papers, and bears a note, dated 1866 and signed 
J.S.W. Jr., stating that it ' was written about 1848 or 1849 and the pencil 
alterations made at the time.' The paper, however, bearing a water-mark 
of 1850, supplies a rather comforting correction, for the author was not 
born until 1830, and at eighteen or nineteen must have been a very pre- 
cocious youth to have written such a manuscript. Searles Wood, who 
was a great admirer of Lamarck, was evidently stirred by the immense 
success of the Vestiges and doubtless especially by the statement that the 
hypothesis of the French naturalist ' deservedly incurred much ridicule, 
although it contained a glimmer of truth.' The manuscript is, however, 
far more than a defence of Lamarck : it contains powerful arguments in 
favour of evolution, based upon the very grounds which convinced Darwin 
himself — the ' wonderful relationship in the same continent between the 

* Presented by Sir Sidney Harmer, F.R.S., to the Linnean Society of London. 
It is hoped that the manuscript will be published in the Proceedings of the Society 
when the rather difficult task of editing has been completed. 



74 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

dead and tlie living,' and between island species, especially in the 
Galapagos, and those of the nearest continental area. It will be remem- 
bered that Darwin's pocket-book for 1837, referring to this very evidence, 
contains the words, ' These facts (especially latter) origin of all my views.' 
At the side of a page on which the argument on island life is developed, 
Searles Wood had noted — ' When I wrote this, Mr. Darwin had not 
broached his hypothesis and was not known to be any other than a 
believer in creation. J.S.W. Jr. 1866.' Darwin's ' Journal ' was first 
published in 1839, the second edition in 1845, but I have not heard of any 
reader except Searles Wood who recognised, before the appearance of the 
Darwin- Wallace Essay and the Origin, that Organic Evolution was an 
irresistible conclusion from the facts recorded by the author. Other 
important arguments, brought forward in the manuscript, will, I am sure, be 
read with the utmost interest when it appears in the Linnean Proceedings. 

A curiously interesting event in 1858, the year of the Darwin- Wallace 
Essay, was the appearance of Omphalos, so well described, with the eager 
expectation and bitter disappointment of its author, in Sir Edmund Gosse'a 
Father and Son. It is unnecessary to repeat on this occasion the often 
told and never-to-be-forgotten story of the Joint Essay and the Linnean 
Society's celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, when Wallace protested in 
noble and inspiring words against the undue credit which he considered had 
been allotted to him for his share in the discovery of Natural Selection — -a 
discovery brought to him, as it was brought to Darwin, by the reading of 
Malthus On Population. 

The efiect of the Darwin- Wallace Essay upon Canon Tristram and the 
appearance, a few weeks before the Origin, of his paper on the Ornithology of 
the Sahara, was brought before this Section by Prof. Newton at Manchester 
in 1887, and by the author himself at Nottingham in 1893. It is, 
however, desirable to emphasise its significance afresh in view of recent 
attempts to throw doubt on the value of concealing coloration in desert 
areas. Tristram was led to a belief in Natural Selection when he read 
the Essay in the light of a recent experience of many months in the 
Algerian Sahara, where he had observed that ' the upper plumage of 
every bird, . . . and also the fur of all the small mammals, and the 
skin of all the Snakes and Lizards, is of one uniform isabelUne or sand 
colour,' and had come to realise the absolute necessity for the vast majority 
of the species to be thus concealed upon the uniform surface of the desert. 
Precisely the same necessity had been recognised in South Africa nearly 
half a century earlier by Burchell, when he observed the protective 
resemblance of a Mesembryanthemum and a grasshopper to pebbles, and 
the defensive value of thorns and acrid secretions in a bare dry country 
' where every juicy vegetable would soon be eaten up by the wild animals.' 
BurcheU's mention of plants with an ' acrid or poisonous juice ' suggests 
the meaning of the conspicuousness of the relatively few black, slow- 
moving insects which have been thought to throw doubt upon the whole 
theory of protective coloration in the desert. The problem is complex 
and the struggle for existence is waged- in many ways, important among 
them being the physiological adaptations by which the imperative need 
for moisture is satisfied — a subject on which much light has been thrown 
by P. A. Buxton. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 75 

Coming now to the meetings of the British Association and of this 
Section in the second half-century, we are naturally led to the discussion, 
' Are Acquired Characters Hereditary,' at Manchester in 1887, when 
Weismann, Eay Lankester, Hubrecht and many others spoke ; and to 
the same subject at Newcastle in 1889 when Francis Galton and Fairfield 
Osborn, our welcome guest to-day, took part in the debate. 

It was only natural that Weismann's conclusions should rouse intense 
opposition, for they undermined the foundations on which so much 
evolutionary theory had been erected. I remember Sir WiUiara Turner's 
words at one of our meetings about this time — ' Whoever believes that 
acquired characters are not transmitted looks upon life with a single eye ' 
— not in the BibUcal sense, but implying monocular vision ; also Lawson 
Tait's dogmatic statement, at a meeting of the Midland Institute at 
Oxford in 1890, that a believer in Weismann's conclusion ' says that the 
sun shines black.' One result of the new doctrine — the collapse of Herbert 
Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy, so largely built upon Lamarckian 
principles, was especially distressing to those who remembered a beneficent 
power in teaching the world to think ; remembered, too, what it had done 
for themselves in earlier years. But not all naturaUsts were startled 
and amazed when Weismann ' awoke us from our dogmatic sleep.' I well 
remember Eay Lankester's reply when I first mentioned the subject to 
him — ' I believe Weismann is right. I have always doubted the statement 
that acquired characters are transmitted.' And his two old Oxford friends, 
H. N. Moseley and Thiselton-Dyer, were also ready to follow Weismann 
from the first. Two sayings of Weismann may be recalled here — how the 
' Continuity of the Germplasm,' the theory which first led him to doubt 
the accepted views on heredity, came to him when he discovered that 
' there was something which had to be carefully preserved ' throughout 
the development of a Hydrozoon, viz., that unexpended portion of the 
parental germ-cell which will give rise to the germ-cells of the offspring. 
Shielded and ' carefully preserved ' as was this carrier of hereditarv 
qualities, how improbable was the conclusion that it would be effected by 
the happenings in distant j^arts of the organism, how doubly improbable 
the supposition that the effect would reproduce the result of these happenings 
in the offspring. All this is, of course, well known, but it is interesting 
to recall it as told by Weismann himself. His other remark was to the 
effect that if acquired characters could be transmitted, we should not be 
obliged to search for the evidence. It would have been obvious everywhere. 

Although, as my friend and colleague. Prof. Goodrich, has written — • 
' these conclusions of Weismann . . . are the most important con- 
tribution to the science of evolution since the publication of Darwin's 
Origin of Species,' * it was soon reaUsed that the statement of the problem 
reqmred revision and that Weismann's terms ' Blastogenic ' and ' Somato- 
genic ' were inaccurate ; for the germinal or inherent characters are no 
less dependent on external causes than the somatic or acquired characters. 
This criticism was developed by Adam Sedgwick in his address to this 
Section at Dover in 1899 and by Goodrich at Edinburgh in 1921 ; also, 
between these two addresses, by Archdall Reid. Furthermore, in the 
spring of 1890, when I was giving a course of University Extension 
* Living Organiims, Oxford, 1924, pp. 50, 51. 



76 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Lectures on ' Evolution and Heredity ' at Gresham College, the same idea 
was expressed in an answer written by one of the students. I was very 
fortunate in my audience, which included Prof. A. Gr. Tansley, F.R.S., 
Wilfrid Mark Webb, and W. Piatt Ball.* The last-named student, in one 
of his answers, wrote to the following effect, if I may trust a memory of 
over forty years — ' Acquired characters are due to external causes acting 
upon inherent potentialities ; inherent characters are due to inherent 
potentialities acted upon by external causes.' The distinction, which 
seems at first sight difficult and confusing, is very clearly shown by 
a simple diagram given by Prof. Goodrich,^ who considers that the 
expression ' acquired character ' should be drojiped. Its history is, how- 
ever, so interesting — Erasmus Darwin (1794), Lamarck (1809), Prichard 
(1813) — and its use still so general that we may hope for its continuance, 
considering especially the vital importance in everyday life of the facts 
which it describes. It is difficult to imagine Johannsen's term — ■ 
' phenotype' — replacing it in discussing the problems of education or crime. 
In mentioning the name of the illustrious anthropologist, James 
Cowles Prichard, I may remind the Section that the n on- transmission of 
acquired characters was maintained by him in the second edition (1826) 
of his great work, Researches into the Physical History of Mankind.' I 
have recently studied the first edition (1813) and find that the same con- 
clusion was affirmed at this earlier date. Thus, on page 195, the author 
states, '' the changes produced by external causes in the appearance or 
constitution of the individual, are temporary, and in general acquired 
characters are transient and have no influence on the progeny.' Again, 
on page 232, arguing that age-long exposure to heat did not cause the 
dark colour of tropical races, he continues ' and this fact is only an instance 
of the prevalence of the general law, which has ordained that the offspring 
shall always be constructed according to the natural and primitive con- 
stitution of the parents and therefore shall inherit only their connate 
peculiarities and not any of their acquired qualities ' — -a very remarkable 
statement to find in a book published eighteen years before the first meeting 
of the British Association. I must also mention on this occasion the 
paper' contributed to the second meeting at Oxford in 1832, in which 
Prichard contends, in opposition to Cuvier, ' that the various tribes of 
men are of one origin.' 

The rediscovery of Mendel's work — epoch-making although the birth 
of the epoch was long delayed — produced an immense effect on the 
papers and discussions in this Section. Much of the controversy in the 
first and second decades of this century arose out of the belief that only 
large variations — or as they were called, ' mutations,' using an old word 

* Author of ' The Effect of Use and Disuse.' ' Nature Series,' London. The 
excellent term ' Use-inheritance ' to signify ' tlie direct inheritance of the effects of 
use and disuse in iund,' was suggested in this book. 

5 Ibid., p. 54. See also p. 62, n. 1. 

^ Science Progress, April 1897. Reprinted in Essays on Evolution, Oxford 1908. 

' ' Abstract of a Comparative Review of Philological and Physical Researches 
as applied to the History of the Human Species.' The abstract occupies fifteen pages 
of B.A. Reports, vol. i. (including the first two meetings). 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 77 

with a new meaning — are subject to Mendelian inheritance, and to the 
related belief that small variations are not inherited at all. But towards 
the end of this period the foundations of the controversy vanished, for as 
Prof. H. S. Jennings* pointed out in 1917, the work of W. E. Castle and 
T. H. Morgan proved that the smallest characters are hereditary, so that 
' the objections raised by the mutationists to gradual change through 
selection are breaking down as a result of the thoroughness of the mutation- 
ists' own studies.' To give a single illustration — between a red -eyed and 
a white-eyed fruit-fly {Drosophila) seven gradations of colour intervene, 
each of them ' heritable in the normal Mendelian manner.' Furthermore, 
in the middle member of this series, ' Bridges has found seven modifying 
factors, each of which alters its intensity and gives rise to a secondary 
grade of colour. Now each [all] of these modifying factors are described 
" specifically as mutations ; as actual changes in the hereditary material." ' 
The author finally concludes that ' Evolution, according to the typical 
Darwinian scheme, through the occurrence of many small variations and 
their guidance by natural selection, is perfectly consistent with what 
experimental and palseontological studies show us ' ; indeed, it appears 
to him to be ' more consistent with the data than does any other theory,' 
a conclusion confirmed by Dr. R. A. Fisher's recent work, ' The Genetical 
Theory of Natural Selection.' Mendelian heredity also provided an 
effective answer to a difficulty by which Darwin had been greatly troubled 
— the supposed ' swamping effect of intercrossing ' on which Fleeming 
Jenkin had written a powerful article.* Moreover, it cannot be doubted 
that Mendelian research, by demonstrating the paramount importance of 
germinal qualities, played a great part in promoting the general acceptance 
of Weismann's teaching. 

A mistaken beUef prevailed in the early years of the Mendelian re- 
discovery that a new theory of evolution had been revealed to the world 
and that Darwinism had been abandoned. The true position was 
emphatically stated by Miss E. R. Saunders at the Cardiff Meeting in 1920 
— ' Mendelism is a theory of heredity ; it is not a theory of evolution.' 

I need not dwell upon the palseontological evidence for continuous 
evolution, as Prof. Osborn is here and we shall soon have the pleasure of 
listening to one who can tell us of the conclusions to be inferred from the 
matchless record of past ages in the great museum of which he is the 
Director. 

The important subject of Geographical Races or Sub-species will be 
discussed next Tuesday, and I will now only refer to the splendid work of 
the Tring Zoological Museum under the guidance of Lord Rothschild, Dr 
Hartert and Dr. Jordan, and the conclusions published in their journal 
in 1903.i« ' Geographical varieties . . . represent various steps m the 
evolution of daughter-species ' ; and ' whoever studies the distmctions of 

8 Journ. Washington Acad. Sci., vol. vii., No. 10, May 19, 1917, p. 281 ; American 
Naturalist, vol. li., May 1917, p. 301. The statements here reproduced are quoted 
from a brief summary of these two papers in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 191/, p. Ixxxv. 

" North British Review, June 1867. 

'0 Nov. Zool., vol. X., 1903, p. 492. 



78 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

geographical varieties closely and extensively, will smile at tlie conception 
of the origin of species per saltum.' ^ 

The age of the earth, as estimated by Lord Kelvin and Prof. Tait, was 
one of Darwin's ' sorest troubles.' ' I should rely much on pre-SHurian 
times,' he wrote in 1871, ' but then comes Sir W. Thomson, like an odious 
spectre.' Lord Sahsbury's treatment of this subject in his address at 
Oxford in 1894 wiU be remembered by many. Entirely accepting the 
fact that Darwin had ' disposed of the doctrine of the immutability of 
species,' he ridiculed the demands which evolution by Natural Selection 
makes upon the bank of time. ' Of course if the mathematicians are 
right, the biologists cannot have what they demand. If, for the purposes 
of their theory, organic Ufe must have existed on the globe more than a 
hundred milhon years ago, it must, under the temperature then prevaiUng, 
have existed in a state of vapour. The jelly-fish would have been dissi- 
pated in steam long before he had had a chance of displaying the 
advantageous variation which was to make him the ancestor of the 
human race.' I venture to refer to this difficulty, although a difficulty 
no longer, because it provides a good illustration of the help which so 
often comes to us at these meetings, and also recalls a vigorous personaUty, 
our kindly Treasurer for many years. Prof. John Perry. Walking together 
on the Sunday of the Leeds Meeting in 1890 he explained to me the 
evidence on which Thomson and Tait had rehed, and said that he beheved 
the argument founded on the cooling of the earth to be sound. When, 
however, he heard Lord Sahsbury's address four' years later, and decided 
to re-examine the evidence, he soon discovered that an important considera- 
tion had been overlooked. With his kind help I chose this subject, together 
with the biological evidence for the age of the habitable globe, for my 
address at Liverpool in 1896. In the following year as we were travelling 
across Canada after the Toronto Meeting and the chance of collecting 
insects for a few minutes at each station could not be resisted. Lord Kelvin 
said to his wife : ' My dear, I think we must forgive Poulton for thinking 
that the earth is so very old when he works so hard in one day out of all 
the endless millions of years in which he beheves ! ' A quarter of a century 
later ' the Age of the Earth ' was the subject of a joint discussion at 
Edinburgh, when the Thomson-Tait limitation of time was abandoned in 
consequence of researches on radioactivity. 

We now come to biological criticisms of evolution by Natural Selection, 
especially those urged by my friend Sir John Farmer in his presidential 
address to the Botanical Section at Leicester in 1907,^^ and concisely 
restated in 1927.^^ In the latter pubhcation the theory of evolution as it 
was held forty years ago, and, I may add, very nearl}' as it is held to-day, 
was described as ' the notion that the basis of evolutionary change in 
hving forms lay in the gradual summation of almost imperceptibly small 
variations, and that, in fact, specific change was attributable to selection 

'1 An answer to the criticisms in this address appeared in the Introduction to 
Essays on Evolution, Oxford, 1908, p. xliv. 

'•- Proc. Roy. Soc, B., vol. 101, 1927, pp. i, ii. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 79 

and accumulation of these small variations as the result of environmental 
conditions.' Except for the implied restriction of selection to ' almost 
imperceptibly small variations,' the statement appears to express fairly the 
opinion of many believers in Natural Selection at the centenary of the British 
Association. One main criticism of this belief was that it led to ' the 
facile teleology, which, like a noxious weed, had overgrown the solid 
framework of evolutionary doctrine.' But this was not a necessary nor, 
in my opinion, a common result of the evolutionary beliefs of those 
years. Let me give two examples of teleological interpretations ofiered 
forty years ago, interpretations which are anything but ' noxious 
weeds,' being extremely iateresting in themselves and pointing directly 
to further researches and a further strengthening of the ' solid frame- 
work.' 

On his return from a visit to Ceylon and Southern India in 1889 and 
1890 Sir John Farmer gave at Oxford a most interesting lecture on his 
experiences. I recall two of his observations which have always seemed 
to me most illuminating. One concerned a Loranthus, which is so 
successful that it threatens the very existence of certain introduced trees. 
It possesses a viscid fruit which adheres to stem and leaves ; then from 
the seed the embryo puts out a sucker borne at the end of a rather thick 
stalk which cuils down and fixes itself to anything it touches. The stalk 
then straightens and the fruit, containing the germinating seed, is borne 
aloft. If, however, as he believed, the sucker becomes attached to an 
unsuitable surface, the stalk bends over again and makes another attempt 
to reach a living structure which can be penetrated ; and if this fails the 
process continues, causing the fruit to travel in search of favourable 
opportunities, naturally denied to those which he often saw thickly 
covering the telegraph wires in the Nilgiri Hills. ^^ 

The second observation was made upon flowering plants which depend 
for cross-fertilisation on insect- visitors and the honey which attracts 
them. Such flowers are well known to be robbed by insects which bite 
their way in and steal the honey without doing their work. Now Sir 
John Farmer observed that in certain species this difficulty was met by 
the development, on the outside of the flower, of special glands attractive 
to a bodyguard of ants so that the lazy visitors would be compelled to 
seek the proper entrance and the thieves driven away. This observation 
has always seemed to me especially significant, as showing how the simple 
operation of Natural Selection may simulate a rather elaborate process of 
reasoning. We may wonder whether it would have satisfied the zoologist 
of whom Darwin wrote to Lyell : ' Dr. Gray of the British Museum 
remarked to me that " selection was obviously impossible with plants ! 
No one could tell him how it could be possible ! " And he may now add 
that the author did not attempt it to him ! ' 

But if either or both of these interpretations should be disproved, if 
the ants in these and other analogous associations should be shown, as some 
beUeve, to be parasites doing no useful work for the plant — what then ? 
Well, once again hypothesis will have played a fruitful part in stimulating 
and guiding research. 

'3 My friend has kindly refreshed my memory on some of the details. 



80 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

An often repeated objection to Natural Selection is the difficulty or 
impossibility of accounting for the earliest stages of useful structures. 
It is, of course, unwise to attempt an explanation of an unknown origin. 
We can only await further discoveries and oftentimes admit that there is 
little hope of success. But the difficulty is frequently completely met by 
Anton Dohrn's principle of ' change of function.' A new function is often 
taken over by an organ adapted to perform another, the two at first over- 
lapping and the younger gradually supplanting the older. The various 
uses of Vertebrate limbs supply a good illustration. 

Another valuable principle, working in association with Anton Dohrn's, 
is the ' Organic Selection ' of Mark Baldwin, Lloyd Morgan and Fairfield 
Osborn. The power of individual adaptability ' acts as the nurse by 
whose help the species . . . can live through times in which the needed 
inherent variations are not forthcoming.' But this power of adaptability 
is itself a product of selection. ' The external forces which awake response 
in an organism generally belong to its inorganic (physical or chemical) 
environment, while the usefulness of the response has relation to its 
organic environment (enemies, prey, &c.). Thus one set of forces supply 
the stimuli which evoke a response to another ■ and very different set of 
forces.'^* 

What other theories of evolution have been offered to us by those who 
would reject or limit the power of Natural Selection ? Some of them have 
been mentioned by a writer in a recent number of Nature^^ — ' ortho- 
genic variations,' ' established organic architecture,' ' metabolic routine,' 
' laws of growth ' and ' conditions of organic stability.' Others were named 
in Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell's Huxley Memorial Lecture in 1927, and 
I agree with his description of them as a ' brood of imaginary vital forces, 
gods placed in machines to account for modes of working we do not 
understand ' ; although, in many instances, some supposed manifestation 
of an internal developmental force receives a ready explanation along the 
lines suggested by H. W. Bates in his classical paper: — ^' 

' The operation of selecting agents, gradually and steadily bringing 
about the deceptive resemblance of a species to some other definite object, 
produces the impression of there being some innate principle in species 
which causes an advance of organisation in a special direction. It seems 
as though the proper variation always arose in the species, and the mimicry 
were a predestined goal.' Then, after mentioning other suggested 
hypotheses, he concludes that all are ' untenable, and the appearances 
which suggest them illusory. Those who earnestly desire a rational 
explanation, must, I think, arrive at the conclusion that these apparently 
miraculous, but always beautiful and wonderful, mimetic resemblances, 
and therefore probably every other kind of adaptation in beings,^'' are brought 
about by agencies similar to those we have here discussed.' 

The writer in Nature who marshalled his array of supposed develop- 
mental forces, contrasted with them ' the old nightmare view of evolution 

'^ Poulton in Proc. American Assoc, for Adv. Sci., vol. xlvi., 1897, p. 241. 
^^ Vol. 127, March 28, 1931, p. 479. 

16 Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond., vol. xxiii. (1862), Pt. Ill (1862), Mem. XXXII, p. 514. 
1' Italicised for the purpose of this address. 



C— GEOLOGY. (J.-, 

filie de Beaumont, iu accordance with the geograpliical and geological 
information available between 1820 and 1850, unfortujiately adopted 
as the basis of his fold and fracture pattern for the earth the pentagoinil 
network, which had to him the recommendation of its possession of a high 
degree of symmetry. 

The most obvious fact in the niap of the world is that it has no such 
highly developed symmetry as filie de Beaumont's system. The pattern 
is in better accordance with the facts adopted by Lowthian Green, the 
tetrahedral arrangement of land and water, with the continents upraised 
at the antipodes to the oceanic depressions, just as on a tetrahedron the 
projecting coigns are antipodal to a face, of which the middle is nearer 
the centre, or from the point of view of gravity, is lower than the edges 
and the coigns. The development of this plan is natural, since by it the 
crust of the earth would most easily adapt itself to the smaller space into 
which it is compressed by the shrinkage of the internal mass. 

I endeavoured to show in 1899 (Geogr. Journ., vol. XII, pp. 225-40) 
that Lowthian Green's theory agrees both with the existing distribution of 
ocean and continent, and with geological history, as it explains the 
alternation of the slow subsidence of the ocean floors and of crustal storms 
during which fold-mountain chains are raised by lateral compression ; it 
also explains the alternate emergence of the lands as the ocean basins are 
enlarged by the sinking of their floors and submergence of the lands by 
the world-wide advance of the sea due to the shallowing of the oceans, 
when the spheroidal form is recovered after the tetrahedral deformation 
has exceeded the stability of the crust. 

filie de Beaumont's elaborate classification of mountains has collapsed ; 
for although the foundations were sound, the girders of his superstructure 
were not. Knowledge of the history and structure of mountain chains 
was then inadequate and much of it was erroneous. Mountain chains are 
not straight like crystal edges, but bend in long curves around resistant 
blocks. Their trend is no test of their age. Moreover, a great mountain 
chain is not all built at one episode ; the Alps are due to uplifts that have 
happened from at least the Lower Jurassic to the Upper Kainozoic. 
Lowthian Green, working on the same foundation of a contracting globe, 
built a structure that was more stable as it was in fuller agreement with 
the map of the world. If the earth had been a spheroid of revolution and 
its crust homogeneous, mountain ranges might have developed with 
the high symmetry of the pentagonal network ; but the numerous 
irregularities in the form and strength of the crust have led to its deforma- 
tion by fewer faces and have produced a mountain system and arrangement 

of land and water which is tetrahedral and not pentagonal. 

# 

5. Mountain Structure. 

filie de Beaumont's system was built upon the mountain chains ; and 
his conception of their structure was defective ; he regarded them as 
symmetrical ridges and he failed to appreciate the contribution to the 
Association in 1842 by Henry Darwin Rogers which laid the foundation 
of the modern theory of mountain formation. Rogers had early in the 
history of the Association rendered it a mediiim of co-operation between 
19.S1 F 



66 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

American and British Geologists, for he^* had communicated an instructive 
' Report on the Geology of North America " in which he adopted Lyell's 
Kainozoic nomenclature. In 1842 he read to the Association his joint 
paj)er with his brother, W. B. Rogers, ^^ ' On the Physical Structure of the 
Appalachian Chain, as exemplifying the Laws which have regulated the 
elevation of great Mountain Chains generally.' The Rogers considered 
the facts at variance with filie de Beaumont's hypothesis that dislocations 
of the same age are parallel to the same great circle of the sphere, as they 
found in the Appalachians nine simultaneous groups of folds which vary 
in trend up to 60°. They explained the folds as waves in the crust due 
to a broad belt being pushed forward with accompan}ang asymmetric 
folding, overfolding, and inversion. This explanation of fold-mountain 
chains by a wave-like advance of the crust was adopted by J. D. Dana 
for mountains in general. He attributed to the Rogers the first geological 
demonstration of the contraction of the earth, which had been suggested 
by Descartes and Newton. Rogers' view was confirmed by Bailey Willis^* 
for the Appalachians and adopted for the Alps by Suess in his ' Entstehung 
der Alpen ' (1875). 

Suess showed that the existing physiography of Europe was mainly 
due to the Alpine System — including the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians and 
Balkans — having been pushed northward against resistant masses which 
threw back the waves like forelands along a coast. The Carpathian 
Mountains advanced northward between the resistant masses of Bohemia 
and the Platform of South-Western Russia, as waves sweep forward in a 
bay between two headlands. 

Suess in the investigation of mountain structure had the advantage over 
the geologists of the thirties of more certain petrology. They still worried 
over the igneous origin of granite, which was regarded by some of them as 
a metamorphic sediment, and the films of mica in gneiss and micaceous 
sandstone as due to the same cause. Even a decade later the best 
informed petrologists were at issue as to whether granite had been injected 
as a molten mass at a high temperature, or was due to aqueo-igneous 
action at a low temperature. This controversy waged for years between 
Durocher and Scheerer in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of France.** 

These authors were groping in the dark like physiologists before the 
development of histology. A great advance in the interpretation of the 
igneous and metamorphic rocks was rendered possible by Sorbys applica- 
tion to them of the microscopic study of transparent sections. He was 
not the first to prepare thin rock slices, which Williamson had used in his 
study of fossil plants. Sorby applied the method to the igneous rocks. 
He^" announced its illuminating results to the Association at Leeds in 1858 
if5 two papers — ' On a new method of determining the Temperature and 
Pressure at which various Rocks and ]\Iinerals were formed,' and ' On some 

■'" Rep. B.A., 4th (for 1834), 1835, pp. 1-66. 
'-'' \2th Rep. B.A. (1842), 1843, Trans., pp. 40-2. 
•■'« I3th Ann. Rep. U.S.G.S., 1893, p. 228. 

29 Ser. 2, vol. IV, 1847, pp. 468-98, 1019-43 ; vol. VI, 1849, pp. 644-54 ; 
vol. VIII, 1851, pp. 500-8. 

■■■^ Rep. B.A. (1858), 1859, Trans., pp. 107-8. 



C. -GEOLOGY. 67 

Peculiarities in the Arrangement of the IVIinerals in Igneous Rocks.' He 
showed that the crystals and bubbles in the fluid cavities in granite prove 
its deep-seated origin, and that the relations of augite and leucite in 
Vesuvian lavas demonstrate that the sequence of minerals in igneous 
rocks is determined not by their fusibility but by their order of crystallisa- 
tion out of a cooling solution. 

The determination of the depth and temperature of consolidation of 
an igneous rock by its fluid cavities is not quite so simple and certain as 
Sorby thought ; but he explained the anomalies that had led to the 
Durocher-Scheerer controversy, and his method judiciously applied gave 
more positive information than had been previously available. 

The interpretation of mountain structure had an important reaction 
on stratigraphy. Suess realised that the great mountain regions of the 
world were not all due to the folding of the crust ; and while vast areas 
have sunk to form the ocean basins, huge horizontal blocks and sheets of 
marine deposits have been left as high plateaux, owing to the subsidence 
of the adjacent areas. 

Suess undertook the study of the world geology to interpret the major 
movements of the crust. He recognised that some encroachments of the 
sea upon the land were world-wide ; he called them the marine trans- 
gressions, and explained them by the reduction in size of the ocean basins 
by the uprise of their floors. Lyell had recognised that this movement 
had probably caused some invasions of the land by the sea. Dana 
repeated this view (Manual, 1871, p. 723). Lyell could only regard this 
process as a probability, but Suess had convincing evidence of these 
transgressions from areas which geologically were unknown in the time of 
Lyell. 

Many cases of the rise of the sea surface may be due to changes in the 
oceans' basins and not to a vertical uplift of the land. Suess went 
further and regarded some high-level horizontal beds as left in their 
original position by the down-sagging of the crust elsewhere during the 
contraction of the earth. Dana had previously (Manual, 1871, p. 723) 
explained the main continental plains at the average height of 1,000 feet 
above sea-level as relics left upraised by the deepening of the ocean 
basins. 

Suess was so impressed by the predominance of downward movements 
in sunklands, rift-vaUeys, and oceanic deeps, and by the absence of any 
mechanism that he regarded as adequate for widespread horizontal uplifts, 
that he considered all vertical regional movements must be downward. 
Suess went too far in his denial of the possibility of widespread vertical 
upUfts. Various agencies, such as the subcrustal flow of material displaced 
by an oceanic subsidence, will uplift areas without appreciable tilting. 
But that the land sometimes emerges owing to lowering of the sea surface 
and at others is submerged by the rise of the sea-level is now universally 
admitted. Suess' transgressions give geology a physical basis of cor- 
relation more precise and world-wide than is possible from palaeontology. 
A transgression may be simultaneous over the whole world, whereas any 
special fauna does not appear at all places at precisely the same time. 

This fact was early recognised by many geologists. 

F 2 



68 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

6. ' The Dogma of Universal Formations.' 

In 1831 the stratigrapMcal principle that Conybeare dismissed as 
' Werner's dogma of Universal Formations ' was being actively discussed. 
He held that in distant lands corresponding formations need not be 
synchronous. This idea — a forecast of Huxley's doctrine of homotaxis- — 
was also adopted by H. D. Rogers in a paper to the Association in 1834, 
when he adopted Lyell's Kainozoic series not as impljang strict identity 
in time but ' comparative chronological relations ' (Rep. B.A. for 1834, 
1835, p. 32). 

Homotaxis became less important when the age of the earth was 
expanded from the short estimates once advocated. If the earth's history 
had occupied only a hundred million years, the geological epochs would 
have been so brief that more than one would have been required for the 
migration of a fauna from its centre of origin to its antipodes. Now that 
as much time is available as the greediest geologist can desire, the length 
of the minor diAasions of geological time is adequate for the spread of 
favmas throughout any accessible and suitable environment. There is no 
longer any question of the Devonian fauna of Australia having lived at 
the same time as the Carboniferous fauna of Europe. 

The zonal divisions on the other hand are being found less universal 
than had been thought. Faunas spread at various rates and by different 
routes ; hence they do not everywhere succeed one another in the same 
order. 

The view of Oppel (1856, &c.) that Ammonite zones in all parts of the 
world follow in an identical succession, and the expectation that graptolite 
zones are equally regular and world-wide, have proved exaggerations ; 
and Dr. Spath points out that the sequence of zonal Ammonites differs in 
different basins (Geol. Mag., 1931, pp. 184-6). Faunas moreover must 
have often survived only in one area, like the Monotremes and Trigonia in 
Australia, or have taken shelter in one area when they were driven from 
another, such as the Cretaceous types of reptiles in the Eocene of Nigeria 
(Swinton, Bull. G. S. Nigeria, Bull. 13, 1930, pp. 52-4). Nevertheless, 
the correspondence is remarkable between distant representatives of any 
one geological epoch. Geologists were once confident that the gaps in the 
geological column in Europe would be filled by discoveries elsewhere. 
Such terms as Permo-Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Trias- Jura, Cretaceo- 
Tertiary, Cretaceo-Eocene, Mio-Pliocene, &c., expressed the hope that the 
beds thus named would fill gaps in the European sequence. Most of these 
strata have been found to correspond in time with those known in Europe. 
PalseontologicaUy, it is disappointing that the blanks are so widespread 
and that no fossils have been found except the Beltina fauna and obscure 
impressions, older than those known to geologists in 1831. The hope 
that a succession of limestones would be found somewhere to reveal the 
passage from the Palaeozoic to the Mesozoic corals is still unfulfilled. 

The lesson from extra-European stratigraphy that seems the most 
remarkable is the world-wide range of the geological Systems and the 
general similarity of geological development. The Systems represent 
definite units in the world's history and not artificial divisions like a week 
or a calendar month. The physical tests of correlation are of increasing 
value, and the transgressions are more precise time markers than fossils. 



C— GEOLOGY. 09 

III. Geology in Education. 

The progress of geology in most branches of its work contrasts with 
the decline in its educational status. The clamour at the end of the 
war for more scientific education might have been expected to revive 
the educational service of geology ; but it has not shared the extra time 
given to science in general education, and there has been a drop in the 
number of students at some schools of geology. This fall has been in 
part due to the increased attention to geography in English schools, a 
development geologists heartily welcome. The decline in the educational 
use of geology is the more remarkable since it has continued to lose many 
active workers by their absorption in administration. The value of 
geology as general training in afiairs is widely recognised in practice, and 
is doubtless due to the insight gained by research on problems as varied 
and complex as those of daily life. The geologists' ordinary task is the 
interpretation of a tangle of uncertain factors. 

During the conferences on the position of science in Education held by 
the Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies one of the champions of classics 
remarked that natural science provided magnificent educational material, 
but it was useless as its teachers had no idea how to use it. When pressed 
for an explanation of this opinion he referred to the confused and illogical 
nomenclature of natural science ; he added that when someone with a 
better trained or more orderly mind introduced a consistent nomenclature 
it was soon muddled or abandoned. 

Geology affords illustrations of the basis for this criticism. After 
Phillips had provided the logical sequence — Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and 
Kainozoic — the first term was soon adopted ; Secondary slowly gave 
place to Mesozoic and was long retained by some Surveys ; but Tertiary 
is still generally used in this country, though it is being steadily abandoned 
by English-speaking countries overseas. 

So long as geologists prefer to use such combinations as Palaeozoic, 
Mesozoic, and Tertiary ; deny that coal and slate are minerals ; call sand 
clay to support a theory of its origin ; speak of mud as rock, and use terms 
that distress those with literary instincts, such as peneplains instead of 
peneplanes, geology is likely to be regarded as of less value in secondary 
education than classics, mathematics and physics. 

An illogical nomenclature may be preferred by those who are so 
interested in results that they are indifferent to their expression ; but the 
price paid is the lowered value of the subject as a medium of education. 

IV. The Geological Leaders of the four quarter-centuries. 

The scope of geology is so vast and varied that few geologists view it 
from the same standpoint or would select the same men as the most 
influential leaders in the quarter-centuries since the Association began 
its work. My own impression is that from 1830 to 1855 the true prophet of 
geology was Lyell, with his establishment of the mobility of the land and 
the uniformity of geological processes. From 1855 to 1880 the main advance 
was, I think, due to Darwin — who established the fact of evolution and 
enabled fossils to be interpreted more intelligently and reliably. In the 
third quarter-century, 1880 to 1905, the influences were more complex. 



70 SECTIONAL ADDRESSEvS. 

About 1880 the geologists of the United States revealed phenomena in 
their Western Mountains which showed that the yardstick that had been 
proved reliable in North- Western Europe and the Atlantic States of 
America, was not applicable everywhere. The United States Geological 
Survey had in 1870 published only two of its Annual Reports and a 
preliminary report on Colorado ; it issued the first of its Bulletins in 1874 
and Gilbert's Monograph on the Henry Mountains in 1877 : its great 
influence began about 1880. Nevertheless, despite the powerfiil stimulus 
of North America on geological thought in the third quarter of the past 
century the individual influence that seems to me to have been most 
profound was that of E. Suess. 

The last quarter-century is still too near for reliable appreciation of 
its achievements ; but among the fundamental advances have been 
those revealing the structure of the inner earth, and especially the inter- 
pretation of earthquakes, in which the pioneer was a devoted adherent of 
the Association, John Milne. The recent study of ore-deposits confirms 
the evidence from earthquakes that the core of the earth is surrounded by 
concentric shells and that the metaUic ores arise from the shell below the 
plutonic rocks as gases and solutions. The distribution of ores, if those 
of any particular metal be considered in reference to their age, is also along 
bands, due to ruptures in the crust through which the volatile and liquid 
ore-transporting agents escape from the metaUic barysphere. The geology 
of mineral fields and the extension to most of the younger mountain ranges 
of the world of the thrustplanes which, though early recognised in mining 
operations, were first demonstrated in stratigraphy by Lapworth and the 
British Geological Survey in the North- West of Scotland, have proved 
that fold-mountains are formed along belts of compression. The intense 
folding of the crust which at first was world-wide has been confined in 
later times to narrow belts — showing that the accommodation of a 
thickening rigid crust to a contracting internal mass has been the 
dominant influence on geological evolution. 



SECTION D.— ZOOLOGY. 



A HUNDRED YEARS OF EVOLUTION. 

ADDRESS BY 

PROF; E. B. POULTON, D.Sc, LL.D., F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



Thinking over the subject of this address, I have been encouraged by a 
metaphor given me by Oliver Wendell Holmes at a delightfiil dinner of 
the Boston ' Saturday Club ' in January, 1894 — ' Memory in old age is a 
palimpsest with the records beneath standing out more clearly than those 
above.' And, indeed, memories of my first British Association, at York 
in 1881, are clearer than those of many in later years. It was a great 
meeting, as befitted the fiftieth anniversary, and nearly every Sectional 
President had been a President of the Association. It also marked a 
turning-point in evolutionary controversy, being, I believe, the last meeting 
at which opposition was ofiered to evolution as apart from its motive 
cause or causes. From 1881 onwards the battles in this Section have 
been over Lamarckism and Natural Selection, and their factors, especially 
Heredity ; over the size of the steps and the rate of progress. Evolution 
itself has been generally accepted. It was different at York in 1881. 
Dr. Wright's indignation, when the Reptilian affinites of Archceopteryx 
were explained in the Geological Section, was stirred by the hated doctrine 
which gave meaning and Ufe to the demonstration. I well remember, 
too, how Prof. 0. C. Marsh, discussing one of the meetings in this Section 
with a young and inexperienced naturalist, said that he had felt rather 
anxious about the way in which his paper on the Cretaceous toothed 
birds of America would be received by the President, Sir Richard Owen. 
His fears were, however, groundless, and all was well. 

The difference between the controversies raised in the first and the 
second of these half-centuries of evolution reminds us that long before 
Darwin saw his way to an explanation of evolution he was satisfied that 
evolution was a fact ; reminds us, too, that we are celebrating another 
great centenary, for he sailed in the Beagle on December 27, 1831, thus 
entering upon the five years' voyage which, in his own words, ' was by far 
the most important event in my life, and has determined my whole career ' 
— the voyage which provided lum with the evidence that evolution is a fact. 
The idea of Natural Selection as a motive cause did not come to him until 
October 1838, just two years after his return. 

The independent discovery and publication of the principle of Natural 
Selection by Dr. W. C. Wells^ in 1818 and by Patrick Matthew in 1831 



1 



Wells, like Matthew and Chambers, was a Scotsman. He was born (May 1751) 
of Scottish parents in Charlestown, South Carolina. In the troubled times preceding 
the Declaration of Independence his father, to quote his own words, ' obliged me to 
wear a tartan coat, and a blue Scotch bonnet, hoping by these means to make mo 
consider myself a Scotchman. The persecution I hence sufiered produced this eflfect 
completely.' 



72 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

followed a very different course, for neither of these men realised the 
significance of the idea which had come to him. Wells wrote that he had 
ventured to expound it, ' though at the hazard of its being thought rather 
fanciful than just,' and Matthew half apologises for the amount of space 
which has been taken from his main subject. He was, nevertheless, 
anxious to claim credit when, twenty-nine years later, the importance of 
the discovery was revealed to him in the Gardener's Chronicle reprint of 
the Times review of the Origin, the review of which Huxley said, ' I wrote 
it, I think, faster than I ever wrote anything in my life.' It is interesting 
to speculate upon what might have happened if the author had called 
his book ' Arboriculture and Naval Timber ' instead of the more severely 
technical ' Naval Timber and Arboriculture ' ; for, with the former title, 
the work might well have been consulted by Darwin who would have 
been led by the table of contents to discover its significance. 

Robert Chambers' Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which 
appeared in 1844, undoubtedly includes illuminating thoughts far in 
advance of the time. Thus, more than once, the author writes of organic 
life ' pressing in ' when suitable conditions arose, ' so that no place which 
could support any form of organic being might be left for any length of 
time unoccupied,' and he also speaks of withdrawals when the appropriate 
conditions pass away. Then, too, Anton Dohrn's ' Functionswechsel ' 
is foreshadowed in the conclusion that ' organs, while preserving a 
resemblance, are often put to different uses. For example : the ribs 
become, in the serpent, organs of locomotion, and the snout is extended, 
in the elephant, into a prehensile instrument.' And, contrasted with this, 
the author points to the performance of the same functions by ' organs 
essentially different,' and then to the consideration of rudimentary 
structures and the recognition that ' such curious features are most con- 
spicuous in animals which form links between various classes.' Of great 
interest, too, is the forcible rebuke administered to those who maintain 
that an animal origin for man is a degrading thought. 

It was a credulous age and we need not be astonished at the author's 
belief in a spontaneous, or as he preferred to call it, ' aboriginal,' 
generation of clover in waste moss ground treated with lime, and his 
opinion that an explanation based on the presence of dormant or trans- 
ported seed was ' extremely unsatisfactory ' ; or, again, his acceptance 
of the hypothesis, held by some authorities at the time, that parasitic 
entozoa were produced from ' particles of organised matter ' within the 
host, such a development being, he considered, ' in no small degree 
favourable to the general doctrine of an organic creation by law.' The 
authorship of the Vestiges was revealed in Alexander Ireland's Intro-- 
duction to the 12th edition, published in 1884, thirteen years after 
Chambers' death. The secrecy appears to have been mainly due to a 
rule, laid down in the Chambers' publishing business, that ' debateable 
questions in politics and theology ' should be avoided. 

I have devoted some little time to the Vestiges, which I think has 
hardly received its due, although Darwin fully acknowledged its importance 
in preparing many minds for a belief in evolution. We know, too, that 
the author warmly supported the Darwinian cause in the controversy 
which arose over the Origin, and that it was his advocacy which rendered 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 73 

possible the great encounter at Oxford in 1860 ; for wlien Huxley told 
him that he did not mean to attend the meeting of the Section on 
June 30 — ' did not see the good of giving up peace and quietness to be 
episcopally pounded,' ' Chambers broke into vehement remonstrances, and 
talked about my deserting them. So I said, " Oh ! if you are going to 
take it that way, I'll come and have my share of what is going on." ' 
And after the meeting, J. R. Green wrote to his College friend, Boyd 
Dawkins — ' I was introduced to Robert Chambers the other day and 
heard him chuckle over the episcopal defeat.' 

Owing to the kindness of Lady Boyd Dawkins and Dr. Leonard 
Huxley, I am able to print a very interesting and hitherto unpublished 
letter in which Huxley confirmed the well-known description of the 
debate given by Green : — 

' 4 Marlborough Place, 

' Abbey Road, N.W. 

' June 11, 1883. 
' My dear Boyd Dawkins, 

' Many thanks for the extract from Green's letter. His account of the 
matter appears to me to be accurate in all essentials, though, of course, 
I cannot be sure of the exact words that were used on either side. 

' It is curious that your letter should have reached me this morning, 
when in a couple of hours I shall start for Cambridge for the purpose of 
delivering the Rede Lecture on the subject of " Evolution." I should 
not have chosen this topic of my own mere motion. But I found that 
nothing else would satisfy the expectations of Cambridge ! Truly " the 
whirligig of time brings its revenges." 

' I am, 

' Yours very sincerely, 

' T. H. Huxley.' 

Robert Chambers' work appears to have provided the stimulus which 
led to the preparation of an interesting and surprising manuscript" by the 
younger J. Searles Wood. It was found by my friend. Sir Sidney Harmer, 
among his father's papers, and bears a note, dated 1866 and signed 
J.S.W. Jr., stating that it ' was written about 1848 or 1849 and the pencil 
alterations made at the time.' The paper, however, bearing a water-mark 
of 1850, supplies a rather comforting correction, for the author was not 
born until 1830, and at eighteen or nineteen must have been a very pre- 
cocious youth to have written such a manuscript. Searles Wood, who 
was a great admirer of Lamarck, was evidently stirred by the immense 
success of the Vestiges and doubtless especially by the statement that the 
hypothesis of the French naturalist ' deservedly incurred much ridicule, 
although it contained a glimmer of truth.' The manuscript is, however, 
far more than a defence of Lamarck : it contains powerful arguments in 
favour of evolution, based upon the very grounds which convinced Darwin 
himself — the ' wonderful relationship in the same continent between the 

* Presented by Sir Sidney Harmer, F.R.S., to the Linnean Society of London. 
It is hoped that the manuscript will be published in the Proceedings of the Society 
when the rather difficult task of editing has been completed. 



74 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

dead and the living,' and between island species, especially in the 
Galapagos, and those of the nearest continental area. It will be remem- 
bered that Darwin's pocket-book for 1837, referring to this very evidence, 
contains the words, ' These facts (especially latter) origin of all my views.' 
At the side of a page on which the argument on island life is developed, 
Searles Wood had noted — ' When I wrote this, Mr. Darwin had not 
broached his hypothesis and was not known to be any other than a 
believer in creation. J.S.W. Jr. 1866.' Darwin's ' Journal ' was first 
published in 1839, the second edition in 1845, but I have not heard of any 
reader except Searles Wood who recognised, before the appearance of the 
Darwin-Wallace Essay and the Origin, that Organic Evolution was an 
irresistible conclusion from the facts recorded by the author. Other 
important arguments, brought forward in the manuscript, will, I am sure, be 
read with the utmost interest when it appears in the Linnean Proceedings. 
A curiously interesting event in 1858, the year of the Darwin- Wallace 
Essay, was the appearance of Omphalos, so well described, with the eager 
expectation and bitter disappointment of its author, in Sir Edmund Gosse'a 
Father and Son. It is unnecessary to repeat on this occasion the often 
told and never-to-be-forgotten story of the Joint Essay and the Linnean 
Society's celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, when Wallace protested in 
noble and inspiring words against the undue credit which he considered had 
been allotted to him for his share in the discovery of Natural Selection — a 
discovery brought to him, as it was brought to Darwin, by the reading of 
Malthus On Population. 

The effect of the Darwin- Wallace Essay upon Canon Tristram and the 
appearance, a few weeks before the Origin, of his paper on the Ornithology of 
the Sahara, was brought before this Section by Prof. Newton at Manchester 
in 1887, and by the author himself at Nottingham in 1893. It is, 
however, desirable to emphasise its significance afresh in view of recent 
attempts to throw doubt on the value of concealing coloration in desert 
areas. Tristram was led to a belief in Natural Selection when he read 
the Essay in the Hght of a recent experience of many months in the 
Algerian Sahara, where he had observed that ' the upper plumage of 
every bird, . . . and also the fur of all the small mammals, and the 
skin of all the Snakes and Lizards, is of one uniform isabelline or sand 
colour,' and had come to reahse the absolute necessity for the vast majority 
of the species to be thus concealed upon the uniform surface of the desert. 
Precisely the same necessity had been recognised in South Africa nearly 
half a century earUer by Burchell, when he observed the protective 
resemblance of a Mesemhryauthemum and a grasshopper to pebbles, and 
the defensive value of thorns and acrid secretions in a bare dry country 
* where every juicy vegetable would soon be eaten up by the wild animals.' 
Burchell's mention of plants with an * acrid or poisonous juice ' suggests 
the meaning of the conspicuousness of the relatively few black, slow- 
moving insects which have been thought to throw doubt upon the whole 
theory of protective coloration in the desert. The problem is complex 
and the struggle for existence is waged in many ways, important among 
them being the physiological adaptations by which the imperative need 
for moisture is satisfied — a subject on which much light has been thrown 
by P. A. Buxton. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 75 

Coming now to the meetings of the British Association and of this 
Section in the second half-century, we are naturally led to the discussion, 
' Are Acquired Characters Hereditary,' at Manchester in 1887, when 
Weismann, Ray Lankester, Hubrecht and many others spoke ; and to 
the same subject at Newcastle in 1889 when Francis Galton and Fairfield 
Osborn, our welcome guest to-day, took part in the debate. 

It was only natural that Weismann's conclusions should rouse intense 
opposition, for they undermined the foundations on which so much 
evolutionary theory had been erected. I remember Sir William Turner's 
words at one of our meetings about this time — ' Whoever believes that 
acquired characters are not transmitted looks upon life with a single eye ' 
— not in the Biblical sense, but implying monocular vision ; also Lawson 
Tait's dogmatic statement, at a meeting of the Midland Institute at 
Oxford in 1890, that a believer in Weismann's conclusion ' says that the 
sun shines black.' One result of the new doctrine — the collapse of Herbert 
Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy, so largely built upon Lamarckian 
principles, was especially distressing to those who remembered a beneficent 
power in teaching the world to think ; remembered, too, what it had done 
for themselves in earlier years. But not all naturalists were startled 
and amazed when Weismann ' awoke us from our dogmatic sleep. ' I well 
remember Ray Lankester's reply when I first mentioned the subject to 
biTin — ' I believe Weismann is right. I have always doubted the statement 
that acquired characters are transmitted.' And his two old Oxford friends, 
H. N. Moseley and Thiselton-Dyer, were also ready to follow Weismann 
from the first. Two sayings of Weismann may be recalled here — how the 
' Continuity of the Germplasm,' the theory which first led him to doubt 
the accepted views on heredity, came to him when he discovered that 
' there was something which had to be carefuUy preserved ' throughout 
the development of a Hydrozoon, viz., that unexpended portion of the 
parental germ-cell which will give rise to the germ-cells of the offspring. 
Shielded and ' carefully preserved ' as was this carrier of hereditary 
qualities, how improbable was the conclusion that it would be effected by 
the happenings in distant parts of the organism, how doubly improbable 
the supposition that the effect would reproduce the result of these happenings 
in the offspring. All this is, of course, well known, but it is interesting 
to recall it as told by Weismann himself. His other remark was to the 
effect that if acquired characters could be transmitted, we shoiild not be 
obliged to search for the evidence. It would have been obvious everywhere. 

Although, as my friend and colleague. Prof. Goodrich, has written — 
'these conclusions of Weismann . . . are the most important con- 
tribution to the science of evolution since the publication of Darwin's 
Origin of Species,' * it was soon reahsed that the statement of the problem 
required revision and that Weismann's terms ' Blastogenic ' and ' Somato- 
genic ' were inaccurate ; for the germinal or inherent characters are no 
less dependent on external causes than the somatic or acquired characters. 
This criticism was developed by Adam Sedgwick in his address to this 
Section at Dover in 1899 and by Goodrich at Edinburgh in 1921 ; also, 
between these two addresses, by Archdall Reid. Furthermore, in the 
spring of 1890, when I was giving a course of University Extension 
^ Living Organisms, Oxford, 1924, pp. 50, 51. 



76 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Lectures on ' Evolution and Heredity ' at Gresliam College, the same idea 
was expressed in an answer ^vritten by one of the students. I was very 
fortunate in my audience, which included Prof. A. G. Tansley, F.R.S., 
Wilfrid Mark Webb, and W. Piatt Ball.* The last-named student, in one 
of his answers, wrote to the following effect, if I may trust a memory of 
over forty years — ' Acquired characters are due to external causes acting 
upon inherent potentiahties ; inherent characters are due to inherent 
potentiahties acted upon by external causes.' The distinction, which 
seems at first sight difficult and confusing, is very clearly shown by 
a simple diagram given by Prof. Goodrich,^ who considers that the 
expression ' acquired character ' should be dropped. Its history is, how- 
ever, so interesting — Erasmus Darwin (1794), Lamarck (1809), Prichard 
(1813) — and its use still so general that we may hope for its continuance, 
considering especially the vital importance in everyday life of the facts 
which it describes. It is difficult to imagine Johannsen's term^ 
' phenotype ' — replacing it in discussing the problems of education or crime. 
In mentioning the name of the illustrious anthropologist, James 
Cowles Prichard, I may remind the Section that the non- transmission of 
acquired characters was maintained by him in the second edition (1826) 
of his great work. Researches into the Physical History of Mankind* I 
have recently studied the first edition (1813) and find that the same con- 
clusion was affirmed at this earlier date. Thus, on page 195, the author 
states, ' the changes iwoduced by external causes in the appearance or 
constitution of the indi^ddual, are temporary, and in general acquired 
characters are transient and have no influence on the progeny.' Again, 
on page 232, arguing that age-long exposure to heat did not cause the 
dark colour of tropical races, he continues ' and this fact is only an instance 
of the prevalence of the general law, which has ordained that the offspring 
shall always be constructed according to the natural and primitive con- 
stitution of the parents and therefore shall inherit only their connate 
peculiarities and not any of their acquired qualities '—a very remarkable 
statement to find in a book published eighteen years before the first meeting 
of the British Association. I must also mention on this occasion the 
paper' contributed to the second meeting at Oxford in 1832, in which 
Prichard contends, in opposition to Cuvier, ' that the various tribes of 
men are of one origin.' 

The rediscovery of Mendel's work — epoch-making although the birth 
of the epoch was long delayed — produced an immense effect on the 
papers and discussions in this Section. Much of the controversy in the 
first and second decades of this century arose out of the belief that only 
large variations — or as they were called, ' mutations,' using an old word 

■* Author of ' The Effect of Use and Disuse.' ' Nature Series,' London. The 
excellent term ' Use-inheritance ' to signify ' the direct inheritance of the effects of 
use and disuse in kind,' was suggested in this book. 

* Ibid., p. 54. See also p. 62, n. 1. 

8 Science Progress, April 1897. Reprinted in Essays on Evolution, Oxford 1908. 

' ' Abstract of a Comparative Review of Philological and Physical Researches 
as applied to the History of the Human Species.' The abstract occupies fifteen pages 
of B.A. Reports, vol. i. (including the first two meetings). 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 77 

with a new meaning — are subject to Mendelian inheritance, and to the 
related belief that small variations are not inherited at all. But towards 
the end of this period the foundations of the controversy vanished, for as 
Prof. H. S. Jennings' pointed out in 1917, the work of W. E. Castle and 
T. H. Morgan proved that the smallest characters are hereditary, so that 
' the objections raised by the mutationists to gradual change through 
selection are breaking down as a result of the thoroughness of the mutation- 
ists' own studies.' To give a single illustration — between a red -eyed and 
a white-eyed fruit-fly (Drosophila) seven gradations of colour intervene, 
each of them ' heritable in the normal Mendelian manner.' Furthermore, 
in the middle member of this series, ' Bridges has found seven modifying 
factors, each of which alters its intensity and gives rise to a secondary 
grade of colour. Now each [all] of these modifjang factors are described 
" specifically as mutations ; as actual changes in the hereditary material." ' 
The author finally concludes that ' Evolution, according to the ty2)ical 
Darwinian scheme, through the occurrence of many small variations and 
their guidance by natural selection, is perfectly consistent with what 
experimental and palseontological studies show us ' ; indeed, it appears 
to him to be ' more consistent with the data than does any other theory,' 
a conclusion confirmed by Dr. R. A. Fisher's recent work, ' The Genetical 
Theory of Natural Selection.' Mendelian heredity also provided an 
effective answer to a difficulty by which Darwin had been greatly troubled 
— the supposed ' swamping effect of intercrossing ' on which Fleeming 
Jenkin had written a powerful article.* Moreover, it cannot be doubted 
that Mendelian research, by demonstrating the paramount importance of 
germinal quahties, played a great part in promoting the general acceptance 
of Weismann's teaching. 

A mistaken behef prevailed in the early years of the Mendelian re- 
discovery that a new theory of evolution had been revealed to the world 
and that Darwinism had been abandoned. The true position was 
emphatically stated by Miss E. R. Saunders at the Cardiff Meeting in 1920 
— ' Mendelism is a theory of heredity ; it is not a theory of evolution.' 

I need not dwell upon the palseontological evidence for continiious 
evolution, as Prof. Osborn is here and we shall soon have the pleasure of 
listening to one who can tell us of the conclusions to be inferred from the 
matchless record of past ages in the great museum of which he is the 
Director. 

The important subject of Geographical Races or Sub-species will be 
discussed next Tuesday, and I will now only refer to the splendid work of 
the Tring Zoological Museum under the guidance of Lord Rothschild, Dr. 
Hartert and Dr. Jordan, and the conclusions published in their journal 
in 1903.^" ' Geographical varieties . . . represent various steps in the 
evolution of daughter-species ' ; and ' whoever studies the distinctions of 

« Journ. Washington Acad. Set., vol. vii., No. 10, May 19, 1917, p. 281 ; American 
Naturalist, vol. li., May 1917, p. 301. The statements here reproduced are quoted 
from a brief summary of these two papers in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1917, p. Ixxxv. 

9 North British Review, June 1867. 

'0 Nov. Zool., vol. X., 1903, p. 492. 



78 SECTIONAL ADDRE.SSES. 

geographical varieties closely and extensively, will smile at the conception 
of the origin of species fer saltum.' 

The age of the earth, as estimated by Lord Kelvin and Prof. Tait, was 
one of Darwin's ' sorest troubles.' ' I should rely much on pre-Silurian 
times,' he wrote in 1871, ' but then comes Sir W. Thomson, like an odious 
spectre.' Lord Sahsbury's treatment of this subject in his address at 
Oxford in 1894 will be remembered by many. Entirely accepting the 
fact that Darwin had ' disposed of the doctrine of the immutabiUty of 
species,' he ridiculed the demands which evolution by Natural Selection 
makes upon the bank of time. ' Of course if the mathematicians are 
right, the biologists cannot have what they demand. If, for the purposes 
of their theory, organic life must have existed on the globe more than a 
hundred million years ago, it must, under the temperature then prevaihng, 
have existed in a state of vapour. The jelly-fish would have been dissi- 
pated in steam long before he had had a chance of displaying the 
advantageous variation which was to make him the ancestor of the 
human race.' I venture to refer to this difficulty, although a difficulty 
no longer, because it provides a good illustration of the help which so 
often comes to us at these meetings, and also recalls a vigorous personality, 
our kindly Treasurer for many years. Prof. John Perry. Walking together 
on the Sunday of the Leeds Meeting in 1890 he explained to me the 
evidence on which Thomson and Tait had relied, and said that he beheved 
the argument founded on the cooling of the earth to be sound. When, 
however, he heard Lord Salisbury's address four years later, and decided 
to re-examine the evidence, he soon discovered that an important considera- 
tion had been overlooked. With his kind help I chose this subject, together 
with the biological evidence for the age of the habitable globe, for my 
address at Liverpool in 1896. In the following year as we were travelling 
across Canada after the Toronto Meeting and the chance of collecting 
insects for a few minutes at each station could not be resisted. Lord Kelvin 
said to his wife : ' My dear, I think we must forgive Poulton for thinking 
that the earth is so very old when he works so hard in one day out of all 
the endless milUons of years in which he believes ! ' A quarter of a century 
later ' the Age of the Earth ' was the subject of a joint discussion at 
Edinburgh, when the Thomson-Tait limitation of time was abandoned in 
consequence of researches on radioactivity. 

We now come to biological criticisms of evolution by Natural Selection, 
especially those urged by my friend Sir John Farmer in his presidential 
address to the Botanical Section at Leicester in 1907,^^ and concisely 
restated in 1927.^'' In the latter publication the theory of evolution as it 
was held forty years ago, and, I may add, very nearly as it is held to-day, 
was described as ' the notion that the basis of evolutionary change in 
living forms lay in the gradual summation of almost imperceptibly small 
variations, and that, in fact, specific change was attributable to selection 

^' An answer to the criticisms in this address appeared in the Introduction to 
Essays on Evolution, Oxford, 1908, p. xUv. 

'■- Proc. Boy. Soc, B., vol. 101, 1927, pp. i, ii. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 79 

and accumulation of these small variations as the result of environmental 
conditions.' Except for the implied restriction of selection to ' almost 
imperceptibly small variations,' the statement appears to express fairly the 
opinion of many believers in Natural Selection at the centenary of the British 
Association. One main criticism of this belief was that it led to ' the 
facile teleology, which, like a noxious weed, had overgrown the solid 
framework of evolutionary doctrine.' But this was not a necessary nor, 
in my opinion, a common result of the evolutionary beliefs of those 
years. Let me give two examples of teleological interpretations offered 
forty years ago, interpretations which are anything but ' noxious 
weeds,' being extremely interesting in themselves and pointing directly 
to further researches and a further strengthening of the ' solid frame- 
work.' 

On his return from a visit to Ceylon and Southern India in 1889 and 
1890 Sir John Farmer gave at Oxford a most interesting lecture on his 
experiences. I recall two of his observations which have always seemed 
to me most illuminating. One concerned a Loranthus, which is so 
successful that it threatens the very existence of certain introduced trees. 
It possesses a viscid fruit which adheres to stem and leaves ; then from 
the seed the embryo puts out a sucker borne at the end of a rather thick 
stalk which curls down and fixes itself to anything it touches. The stalk 
then straightens and the fruit, containing the germinating seed, is borne 
aloft. If, however, as he believed, the sucker becomes attached to an 
unsuitable surface, the stalk bends over again and makes another attempt 
to reach a living structure which can be penetrated ; and if this fails the 
process continues, causing the fruit to travel in search of favourable 
opportunities, naturally denied to those which he often saw thickly 
covering the telegraph wires in the Nilgiri Hills. ^' 

The second observation was made upon flowering plants which depend 
for cross-fertilisation on insect-visitors and the honey which attracts 
them. Such flowers are well known to be robbed by insects which bite 
their way in and steal the honey without doing their work. Now Sir 
John Farmer observed that in certain species this difl&culty was met by 
the development, on the outside of the flower, of special glands attractive 
to a bodyguard of ants so that the lazy visitors would be compelled to 
seek the proper entrance and the thieves driven away. This observation 
has always seemed to me especially significant, as showing how the simple 
operation of Natural Selection may simulate a rather elaborate process of 
reasoning. We may wonder whether it would have satisfied the zoologist 
of whom Darwin wrote to Lyell : ' Dr. Gray of the British Museum 
remarked to me that " selection was obviously impossible with plants ! 
No one could tell him how it could be possible ! " And he may now add 
that the author did not attempt it to him ! ' 

But if either or both of these interpretations should be disproved, if 
the ants in these and other analogous associations should be shown, as some 
beUeve, to be parasites doing no useful work for the plant — what then ? 
AVell, once again hypothesis will have played a fruitful part in stimulating 
and guiding research. 

'^ My friend has kindly refreshed my memory on some of the details. 



80 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

An often repeated objection to Natural Selection is the difficulty or 
impossibility of accounting for the earliest stages of useful structures. 
It is, of course, unwise to attempt an explanation of an unknown origin. 
We can only await further discoveries and oftentimes admit that there is 
little hojje of success. But the difficulty is frequently completely met by 
Anton Dohrn's principle of ' change of function.' A new function is often 
taken over by an organ adapted to perform another, the two at first over- 
lapping and the younger gradually supplanting the older. The various 
uses of Vertebrate Umbs supply a good illustration. 

Another valuable principle, working in association with Anton Dohrn's, 
IS the ' Organic Selection ' of Mark Baldwin, Lloyd Morgan and Fairfield 
Osborn. The power of individual adaptability ' acts as the nurse by 
whose help the species . . . can live through times in which the needed 
inherent variations are not forthcoming.' But this power of adaptability 
is itself a product of selection. ' The external forces which awake response 
in an organism generally belong to its inorganic (physical or chemical) 
environment, while the usefulness of the response has relation to its 
organic environment (enemies, prey, &c.). Thus one set of forces supply 
the stimuli which evoke a response to another and very difierent set of 
forces.' ** 

What other theories of evolution have been ofEered to us by those who 
would reject or limit the power of Natural Selection ? Some of them have 
been mentioned by a writer in a recent number of Nature^^ — ' ortho- 
genic variations,' ' established organic architecture,' ' metabolic routine,' 
' laws of growth ' and ' conditions of organic stability.' Others were named 
in Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell's Huxley Memorial Lecture in 1927, and 
I agree with his description of them as a ' brood of imaginary vital forces, 
gods placed in machines to accomit for modes of working we do not 
imderstand ' ; although, in many instances, some supposed manifestation 
of an internal developmental force receives a ready explanation along the 
lines suggested by H. W. Bates in his classical paper: — i' 

' The operation of selecting agents, gradually and steadily bringing 
about the deceptive resemblance of a species to some other definite object, 
produces the impression of there being some innate principle in species 
which causes an advance of organisation in a special direction. It seems 
as though the proper variation always arose in the species, and the mimicry 
were a predestined goal.' Then, after mentioning other suggested 
hypotheses, he concludes that all are ' untenable, and the appearances 
which suggest them illusory. Those who earnestly desire a rational 
explanation, must, I think, arrive at the conclusion that these apparently 
miraculous, but always beautifiil and wonderful, mimetic resemblances, 
and therefore probably every other kind of adaptation in beings,^'' are brought 
about by agencies similar to those we have here discussed.' 

The writer in Nature who marshalled his array of supposed develop- 
mental forces, contrasted with them ' the old nightmare view of evolution 

" Poulton in Proc. American Assoc, for Adv. Sci., vol. xlvi., 1897, p. 241. 
'■^ Vol. 127, March 28, 1931, p. 479. 

16 Trans. Linn. Sac. Land., vol. xxiii. (1862), Pt. Ill (1862), Mem. XXXII, p. 514. 
" Italicised for the purpose of this address. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 81 

as a chapter of accidents.' Well, a nightmare is not uncommon as a 
result of imperfect digestion ! 

The concluding section of the address will be almost entirely devoted 
to recent work with a direct bearing on Darwinian evolution — the 
researches upon Mimicry and allied subjects undertaken by a band of 
brother naturalists widely scattered over the world. My greatest 
scientific interest and delight have been found in this work, and to it for 
nearly fifty years all available time has been given. The preparation lies 
far back in childhood, for my earliest memories are of Hving insects ; and 
then at a fortunate period I read Prof. Raphael Meldola's translation, 
with his valuable notes, of Weismann's Studies in the Theory of Descent. 
He soon became my dear friend, and for nearly a quarter of a century I 
relied ' probably even more than I am myself aware upon his sympathy 
and help.'^» 

I would ask any naturalist who feels inclined to criticise the amount 
of space given to insect-mimicry in this address, to remember the words of 
H. W. Bates — ' The process by which a mimetic analogy is brought about 
in nature is a problem which involves that of the origin of all species and 
all adaptations.' 1* 

The evidence for evolution by Natural Selection to be briefly described 
is in large part associated with the name of Fritz Miiller, the illustrious 
German naturalist of whom Sir Francis Darwin wrote — ' The correspon- 
dence with Miiller, which continued to the close of my father's life, was a 
source of very great pleasure to him. My impression is that of all his 
unseen friends, Fritz Miiller was the one for whom he had the strongest 
regard.' *" These words enable us to realise the special value and interest 
of Darwin's letters to Fritz Miiller, the noble gift which the British 
Association has received within the last few months from Prof. Fairfield 
Osborn. 

Many of Fritz Miiller 's letters on insect mimicry and allied subjects 
were sent by Darwin to Prof. Meldola, who communicated the observa- 
tions to the Entomological Society of London,*^ of which he was an 
Honorary Secretary. 

Whenever I have brought some striking example of insect mimicry to 
Sir Eay Lankester, my dear friend and the friend of many here, his com- 
ment was always the same — that it was a convincing proof of evolution 
by Natural Selection, and that he was unable to understand how any 
naturalist could come to a difierent conclusion. And yet, as we know, 
many have done so and probably many do so still. I hope, therefore, 
that it may be interesting and perhaps convincing to some unbeUevers, 

'" Essays on Evolution, p. ix. This work is dedicated to Raphael Meldola. 

'» Ibid., p. 511. 

^ Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, London, 1887, vol. iii, p. 37. 

'-' Darwin's letters to Meldola, including ten referring to Fritz Miiller, are printed 
in Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection, Poulton, London, 1896. The 
originals, with many of F. Miiller's letters, were presented by Prof. Meldola to the 
Hope Library, Oxford Univ. Museum. 

1931 O 



82 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

to reproduce, with the kind permission of the Entomological Society, two 
plates recently published in the Transactions."'^ 

The moth model and butterfly mimic, beautifully illustrated on plate I, 
really speak for themselves ; but it must be explained that the resemblance 
between the patterns is much closer on the upper surface of the wings 
than on the under ; that the orange patch evidently becomes a con- 
spicuous warning mark (aposeme) in the position of rest when the insects 
hang with drooping wings and the under side of the body is uppermost ; 
that the po.sition of the mimic's patch on the parts of the wings which 
cover the body and not on the body itself, as in the model, is evidence 
of selective elimination guided by the sense of sight ; also that model and 
mimic fly together round the tops of trees, the former being much the 
commoner. I owe this most interesting example to my kind friend, 
Dr. Karl Jordan, of the Tring Zoological Museum. 

The second example, shown on plate II, is of a very different kind, 
but I think equally interesting and convincing. The oval yellow masses 
of silk spun on the outside of their cocoons by the caterpillars of the W. 
African Bombycid moth, Norasuma kolga, closely resemble the cocoons 
constructed by Braconid parasites which have devoured a larva or pupa. 
The appearance is, I believe, well known to nearly everyone and is 
especially common in the autumn, when the dead or dpng caterpillars of 
the Large Garden White butterfly may be seen on waUs and fences, 
bearing the yellow cocoons of the parasitic larvse which have destroyed 
them. It has sometimes been thought that the object of the pretended 
Braconid cocoons is to deceive the female Bracon in her search for cater- 
pillars in which to deposit her eggs, but this is most improbable because 
these parasites are guided by other delicate senses in addition to sight, 
which perhaps is not employed for this purpose ; above all, because the 
eggs which are the ultimate cause of parasitic cocoons like the pretended 
ones, would have been laid far back in the Ufe of the victim. It is probable 
that the conspicuous yellow colour is advantageous to the parasites, for 
the small cocoons are very tough and contain but a small amount of food. 
A few experiments, perhaps a single one, would teach a bird that a cocoon 
bearing these yellow masses contains only a shrunken skin, and also that 
the yellow cases themselves are not worth opening. The yellow warning 
colour is advantageous to the parasites ' because enemies are all the more 
readily discouraged from making attempts which would incidentally lead 
to the destruction of some of them. Hence the obvious advantages 
conferred by false cocoons of parasites when mistaken for real ones.'" 
This interesting adaptation was discovered by my old friend, Dr. W. A. 
Lamborn, O.B.E., who, a little earlier, had found another example in 
which the same deceptive resemblance was brought about in a totally 
different way. The cocoon of another West African moth (Deilemera 
antinorii) he observed to be covered with little yellowish spheres so very 
like Braconid cocoons that he kept them and watched for the parasites to 

22 Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. Ixsix., 1931, pis. xiv and xv. The cost of reproduc- 
tion has been borne by the Fund for Promoting the Study of Organic and Social 
Evolution, presented to Oxford University by my dear friend Prof. James Mark 
Baldwin. 

2- Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. Ixxix., 1931, p. 397. This paper gives full references 
to all the observations here referred to in the description of pis. I and II, as well as 
others necessarily omitted. 



B.A. Report, 1931. Section D Address^ 



Plate I. 




O. F. Tassart, pinx. 



U) Undei-side of Model, the Uraniid moth Alcidis agathyrsua. with orange patch on 

abdomen. (2) Underside of Mimic, Papiliu hmlaizei, with two orange marks forming a 

single patch over the abdomen when the hind wings come together V6). 

Both model and mimic fly together in New Guinea. 



B.A. Report, 1931 . Section D Address. 



Plate II. 




O. F. Tassart, pinx. 



Natural size. 



Underside of leaf with 8 cocoons of Bombycid moth Norasuma kolga (1). Yellow masses, 
spun on a loose net over the reddish cocoons, resemble cocoons of Braconid parasites. 1 he 
female moth (2) and males (3, 5. 61 emerged from 4 red cocoons, an Ichneumonid not 
BraconidI parasite (4) from another. W. A. Lamhorn. l.aKos District. 1912. 



29 FEB 32 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 83 

emerge. It was finally discovered that the ' cocoons ' are spheres of 
hardened froth evacuated by the Deilemera caterpillar and then attached 
with silk to the outside of its cocoon. The late Mr. G. F. Leigh, of 
Durban, was similarly deceived by an aUied East African species and 
threw away three or four cocoons, thinking they had been parasitised. 

What interpretation can be suggested for adaptations such as these, 
except the selection and accumulation of small variations ? And it is to 
be remembered that even in the mimetic butterfly of Plate I the associated 
instinct — the attitude assumed at rest — is an essential element in the 
resemblance, while in the construction of the false cocoons shown on 
Plate II, the instinctive actions are nearly everything. It is also to be 
remembered that these actions are prophetic, destined for the protection 
of a future pupal stage. This fact is so interesting and significant in its 
bearing on theories of evolution that I venture to bring before you two 
other especially striking examples, although, of course, prophetic activities 
are displayed by every caterpillar in spinning its cocoon or otherwise 
preparing for pupation. 

The larva of an African Tabanid fly (T. higuttatus) lives and becomes a 
pupa in mud which, in the dry season, is traversed by cracks so wide 
that they would often expose the insect in its most helpless stage. But 
Dr. Lamborn discovered that the maggot has prepared for this danger. 
It carves out a cylinder from the surrounding mud, making a Une of 
weakness by means of a close spiral tunnel ; then it enters just below the 
top of the cylinder and pupates in its centre. The pupa when mature 
bores its way through the hard mud covering and the fly emerges. Dr. 
Lamborn was led to his discovery by observing the tops of the cylinders, 
of about the size of a penny, often with the pupal shell protruding from the 
centre ; also by noticing that the cracks running in all directions stopped 
short when they reached the cylinders. I feel sure that you will agree 
with the words written by Prof. J. M. Baldwin when he read the account 
of this instinctive behaviour — ' As to the discovery of Lamborn, it seems 
complete— onQ of those rare cases of a single experience being suflicient to 
establish both a fact and a reason for the fact ! It is beautiful. ' ^* 

The other observation is also of especial interest, being an arresting 
example of the attainment of the same end by a difierent and unusual 
means. In leaving their cocoons some insects gnaw their way out, others 
make use of holes drilled by pupal spines, as in the last-mentioned Tabanid 
fly. The well-known 'Puss-moth' {Dicranura vinula) has been shown by 
0. H. Latter to soften the hard cocoon with a secretion of caustic potash. 
Many caterpillars in spinning their cocoons make special provision for 
easy emergence and difficult entrance, on the reversed principle of the 
lobster-pot, a beautiful example being our own ' Emperor Moth ' {Saturnia 
pavonia). Now these preparations are made in spinning the cocoon, but 
the caterpillar of an Indian moth allied to our ' Lappet Moth ' first nearly 
finishes its cocoon and then deliberately bites two slits in it. As Lt.-Col. 
F. P. Connor^s has written : ' It was a striking fact to observe how the larva, 

-* Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. v., 1930, p. 14. Lamborn's discovery is published 
in Proc. Roy. Soc, B., vol. 106, 1930, p. 83, pi. v. As this address was being written 
a letter arrived from my friend at Fort Johnston, Nyasaland, telling me that he has 
just bred another Tabanid fly, at present undetermined, from a mud cylinder like that 
of T. biguUatus. 

'^ Journ. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc, vol. xxvi., 1919, p. 691. 

g2 



84 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

after all but completing the cocoon, always " remembered " to destroy 
part of its laboriously built home by biting out two deep clefts at one end, 
and bow the valve-like door thus made was patiently tested several times 
to make certain of its being of the right size, and then carefully closed 
on the inside with a little soft silk which would not interfere with the 
emergence of the imago.' In testing the opening the caterpillar extended 
' half its body out of the cocoon to assure itself that the vent was large 
enough.' How is it possible to apply any Lamarckian theory of inherited 
experience, or of efiort and improvement following from experience, to 
examples like these ? The experience of ease or difficulty in emergence 
in the last example, of failure or success in evading enemies in the others, 
will come, not in the stage which made the preparation but in a later 
one, and should it come, the chances of handing on its lessons would be 
negligible. ' The prime necessity for an insect, as for all animals which 
cannot in any real sense contend with their foes, is to avoid experience 
of them altogether.' 2' And the cocoon-making activities described above 
are preparations, made long beforehand, for the avoidance of experience. 

I propose now to refer briefly to some of the objections which hav^ 
been raised against the opinion that Protective and Mimetic Resemblances 
have arisen by Natural Selection, and to consider alternative suggestions. 
Dr. Paul Vignon, in his fine and beautifully illustrated monograph*' on the 
leaf-like Long-horned Grasshoppers (Tettigoniidse) of tropical America, 
comes to the conclusion that the detailed resemblance to decayed leaves 
or leaves apparently mined or eaten by caterpillars, is useless, his reason 
being that other species with the much simpler likeness to uninjured leaves 
are able to hold their own in the struggle with greater success, as shown 
by their comparative abundance. Therefore he considers the details as 
a ' decoration ' unnecessary in the life of the insect, agreeing with 
Brunner's theory of ' Hypertely.'"** I believe, on the contrary, that the 

^' The arguments in this paragraph were brought forward in the unpublished 
discussion ' Are Acquired Characters Hereditarj- ? ' at the Manchester Meeting, 
September 5, 1887 [Report, p. 755). The later occasions on which they were developed 
and recorded are mentioned on p. 155, n. 1, of Essays on Evolution, where they are 
reprinted (pp. 117, 118, 154-160). 

■^'^ Arch, du Mus., 6, V, p. 57, 1931. See also his Introduction a la Biologic 
Experimentale. Les etres organises. Activites, instincts, structures. Encyclopedie 
Biologique, VIII, Paris, 1930. 

■28 Prof. J. M. Baldwin has kindly written the following note on a subject (recalled 
by Dr. Vignon's memoir) we had discussed together : — 

' The continued lack of enthusiasm for Natural Selection in France seems at first 
glance remarkable. It seems inconsistent with the French love of logical " clearness 
and distinctness " given as the criteria of truth by the French philosopher Descartes, 
for whom his countrymen have the greatest veneration. But the tendencies shown 
in the work of Delage and Giard in the last generation appear stUl in the publications 
of such thinkers as Le Roj^ and Brunschweig. Naturally I take no account of special 
researches of younger biologists with which I am not familiar. The philosophical 
writers, at least, retain a diluted Lamarckism, somewhat hesitant, it is true, and 
always on the defensive. It is part of the vitalism expressed by Bergson in the terms 
" elan vital " and " evolution creatrice." The Positivism of Auguste Comte is still 
completely demoded, except in the sociological work of Durkheim and Levy Bruhl, 
in which the question of the method of biological evolution has no place. The revolt 
against Bergsonian vitalism in the intellectual world has been directed against its 
mysticism, but has not extended itself to questions of biology.' 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 85 

detailed resemblance to one out of many difierent appearances which the 
same object may present — e.g. to a leaf gnawed into a particular shape by 
a caterpillar — would often mean safety to a rare, hard-pressed species 
but great danger to a common one ; for the sharp senses of enemies would 
quickly detect the meaning of that one shape, and then a special search 
would be made for it.** I am sure, however, that everyone will share the 
author's hopes for further observations on the living insects in their natural 
surroundings. 

On the subject of the Protective Resemblance to leaves I cannot 
resist the temptatioa to say a few words about W. J. Kaye's discover^' 
of the part played by the dead-leaf-like under surface of the tropical 
American butterfly Protogonius.'" The upper side of this butterfly roughly 
resembles the conspicuous warning pattern of the predominant mimetic 
association of its locality, changing when the pattern changes as we pass 
from one area to another — always a mimic although always a poor one. 
At rest, with folded wings, the resemblance to a dead leaf is perfect. Now 
Kaye observed that when the open wings of these butterflies were seen from 
below against the sky the appearance was that of the upper surface, so that 
at first he thought they must be flying upside down. When, however, he 
examined them he found that the apparently opaque dead-leaf-like 
under side was completely overwhelmed by the stronger contrasts of the 
upper surface. The wings of Protogonius were shown in this Section at 
Liverpool in 1923, when a friend who does not greatly favour an interpreta- 
tion based on Natural Selection, pointed out rather triumphantly that the 
dark and the light parts of the two patterns correspond respectively. But 
this is precisely the kind of result which affords proof of evolution by 
selection. The two patterns certainly have a common plan, but by 
stippling here, softening there, and the addition of delicate tints in streaks 
and washes, the conspicuous, strongly contrasted mimetic pattern of the 
upper surface is replaced on the under by a beautiful and detailed likeness 
to a dead leaf. 

Before considering the objections to the theory of mimicry it is 
necessary to devote a little time to Fritz Miiller's interpretation of the 
resemblances which Bates was unable to explain. His difficulty was 
caused by the remarkably detailed likeness between many species in the 
two groups which he called Danaoid and Acrceoid HeliconidcB, groups 
really widely separated and now known respectively as the Ithomimce and 
the Heliconince, both conspicuous and distasteful, and providing models 
for other butterflies and moths, yet often mimicking each other, the 
Heliconince being commonly mimetic, the IthomiinoB rarely. Bates was 
referring to these resemblances in the following sentence : ' Not only, 
however, are HeliconidoB [viz. both the Danaoid and Acraeoid groups] the 
objects selected for imitation ; some of them are themselves the imitators ; 
in other words, they counterfeit each other, and this to a considerable 
extent.'*^ The theory of mimicry which bears Fritz Miiller's name was 

■-"s Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1924, p. cxlv. 

^ Ibid., 1922, p. xcviii ; 1923, p. xxxvii. See also p. xl for Lord Rayleigh's notes 
on the optical interpretation. 
*' Ibid., p. 507. 



86 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

suggested by him in 1879.** Briefly, the theory rests on the advantage 
of a combined advertisement in saving lives that would have been lost 
in the experimental attacks of enemies. Batesian Mimicry, on the other 
hand, rests on the advantage of a false advertisement, leading a palatable 
insect to escape because mistaken for a distasteful one. Much controversy 
has arisen over the mathematical aspect of the problem, but this cannot 
be considered on the present occasion. I have been led to believe that 
Miillerian Mimicry is more important than Batesian because models and 
mimics are so commonly found in the same presumably distasteful group, 
and because the resemblances which were not explained by Bates' theory 
are so much commoner than he supposed. Thus the distasteful Heliconine 
butterflies, among which he recognised mimics of the Ithomiines, are also 
themselves divided into groups, of which one mimics the other so perfectly 
that the real difference was for many years unsuspected.'* And this is 
equally true but far more striking in the Heliconine mimics of Ithomiines 
because the patterns are very elaborate, so much so indeed that these 
mimics are among the most remarkable in the world. 

One or two more examples which suggest the prevalence of Miillerian 
Mimicry may be mentioned. The intricacies of systematics being 
unnecessary for the appreciation of the argument, I propose to reduce 
them to a minimum. The ' White Admirals ' of the Northern Belt have 
been separated into different genera, but they are all nearly related with 
very similar Hfe-histories. They are, except when modified by mimicry, 
dark butterflies with conspicuous white markings displayed in a sailing 
flight. In Europe they are mimicked by the female of our ' Purple 
Emperor ' and other butterflies, including a black-and-white invader 
{Neptis) from the south, this latter butterfly belonging to a group which 
itself provides models for mimicry. Any doubt about the mimetic 
resemblance of the female Emperor is dispelled when we remember that 
numerous allies of these Admirals in tropical America (Adelpha) are there 
mimicked by females of butterflies allied to the Emperors (Chlorippe). In 
North America some of the White Admirals possess the black-and-white 
pattern, one (astyanax) is a mimic of a distasteful Swallowtail (P. philenor), 
but at the same time is considered by Scudder to be the model for a female 
Fritillary. Others are beautiful imitations of Danaine invaders from the 
Old World, and the mimicry is so recent that one of these (archippus) and 
also astyanax can breed with their black-and-white ancestor (arthemis) and 
produce intermediate offspring.** There is finally a species (lorquini) on the 
Pacific Coast which is a mimic of a southern invader (californica) closely 
related to the tropical American Adelphas. This last, too, is of especial 
interest because the mimicry is only developed where the two butterflies 

^^ Kosmos. The paper was at once translated by Meldola and published in the 
Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1879, p. xx. A preliminary paper containing everything 
essential to his theory of mimicry was published by Fritz Miiller in Zool. Anzeiger 
(Carus), I (1878), pp."^54, 55. Translation by E. A. Elliott in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond.^ 
1915, p. xxii. 

'^ W. J. Kaye in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1907, p. xiv. ; H. Eltringham in Ibid.^ 
Trans., 1916, p. 101, pis. XI-XVII. 

'^ Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1916, p. xciv. Abstract of W. L. W. Field's three valuable 
papers in Psyche. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 87 

overlap, and dies away to the north and east where lorquini spreads 
beyond the range of its model.'* 

We have seen that the Adelphas of the New World are models, but 
the corresponding African representatives of the White Admirals, the 
Pseudacraeas, are, with one or two exceptions, mimics, resembling 
certain Acrseine butterflies conspicuous in their localities, and in two 
instances Danaines, one of the models being D. chrysippus. 

These tangled relationships of models and mimics in the great group 
of ' White Admirals ' and their allies are in my opinion impossible to 
reconcile with the Batesian theory, but in every way consistent with the 
Miillerian. It will be necessary to return to the African Pseudacraeas a 
little later, but I will first mention one more example which, I believe, 
supports the same conclusion. 

During the meeting of the Association at Toronto in 1897, I met Dr. 
Gustav Gilson of Brussels who was about to visit Fiji and very kindly 
promised to collect butterflies for me. Among the specimens received 
were two species of Euplosa, one of which had obviously been modified in 
mimicry of the other. Now the Euplceas are among the most distasteful 
and most commonly mimicked butterflies in the world, and I became 
extremely anxious to obtain more specimens from different islands of 
the Fijian and other groups. Finally, after waiting more than twenty 
years I received a very kind letter from Mr. Hubert W. Simmonds, who 
had heard of my wants, which he then proceeded to supply most 
generously and efficiently, enabUng me to study this and other equally 
interesting problems. There is not now the possibility of describing the 
results,'* but I will mention, as bearing on the Miillerian theory, that the 
mimicking Euplcea of Fiji is found to be a model on Wallis Island, and 
the model of Fiji its mimic ; while on Fotuna Island, 150 miles away, the 
Wallis model is absent, while the other Euplcea is present, but unmodified 
by mimicry. 

The year before Fritz Miiller proposed his theory of mimicry in 
1878, he published a paper which was probably the preparation for it — 
the paper in which he explained the meaning of the gregarious habit in 
certain distasteful insects. Thus, writing of the didl brown caterpillars 
of two American butterflies, he suggested that the social habits ' which lead 
them to congregate in large numbers make up for their want of colour, 
since their offensive odour then gives timely warning to an approaching 
enemy.'" This interpretation has recently been adopted for the 
interesting and hitherto puzzling habits of Heliconius charithonia, which 

"5 Trans. Ent. Soc. Land., 1908, p. 447. Lorquini and its model are represented 
on pi. XXV, which also shows a reciprocal approach of the latter towards its mimic. 
Owing to the kindness of Commander C. M. Dammers I have been provided with 
Mimicry in the N. American ' White Admirals,' here very briefly summarised, is 
the opportunity of renewing this investigation with far more extensive material, 
considered in detail in the above paper and in Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 
January 1914, p. 161. 

"* A full description appears in Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1923, p. 564, pla. XXIX- 
LIII. 

" Kosmos, December 1877. Translation by Prof. R. Meldola in Proc. Ent. Soc. 
Lond., 1878, pp. vi., vii. 



88 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

collects into crowded groups on bare twigs in the evening, as was first 
recorded by Philip Gosse in Jamaica in 1851 and since then by numerous 
observers. H. charithonia, which belongs to the distasteful Heliconines 
referred to on pp. 16, 17, and is itself mimicked by other butterflies,'* has 
been carefully studied by Dr. F. M. Jones, and its gregarious habits 
described in detail in his paper ' The Sleeping Heliconias of Florida.'*' He 
here suggests that the warning characters may be rendered more effective 
at night ' by the close proximity of large numbers, under these conditions 
readily recognisable by form, colour, or scent, as identical in kind and 
inedible ; for thus the injury or destruction of one of the group might 
conceivably work for the protection of the many.' It may be added 
that the choice of leafless twigs for a resting-place obAaously enhances the 
conspicuousness of the assemblage. 

We must now return to one of the African Pseudacrseas, a wide-ranging 
species (the Linnean eurytiis) which subdivides into a number of local 
forms mimicking the local Acrseine models. This species is represented in 
Uganda by a race (hobleyi) so significant in its bearing on evolution by 
selection that it is necessary to give a little time to it. Eurytus hobleyi 
appears in three forms — two, with male and female alike, mimicking two 
Acrseine butterflies {Planema) difiering in colour but also with male and 
female alike. The third, with male and female very different, mimics a 
third Planema, the sexes resembling the corresponding sexes of the model. 
Now these four mimetic forms — for the male and female of the last were 
believed to be of different species^ — have all been described and named as 
distinct, and there was great astonishment and even some incredulity 
when Dr. Karl Jordan, reljdng on structural features, pronounced them to 
be one. After many efforts to test this conclusion by breeding, a cable 
was received from Dr. Hale Carpenter on BugaUa Island (N.W. Victoria 
Nyanza), giving the information which proved that Dr. Jordan was right. 
Many other families were then bred by Dr. Carpenter, and these, with 
his captured specimens, showed that, in the islands, the three forms run 
into each other, being connected by an abundance of transitional varieties 
which are extremely rare on the adjacent mainland of Uganda. The 
significance of this is obvious when it is realised that the models are for 
some unknown reason comparatively scarce on the islands.*" 

The same conclusion is enforced by the wonderful families of Papilio 
dardanus, bred by Dr. V. G. L. van Someren and Canon K. St. Aubyn Rogers 
from locahties near Nairobi. Now in the famihes of this butterfly that have 
been bred in other parts of Africa — by Carpenter in Uganda, by Lamborn on 
the W. and E. coasts, by Swynnerton in S.E. Rhodesia, and by Leigh in 
Natal, the mimetic forms of the females are sharply separated — a fact 
which led to the mistaken conclusion that these patterns appeared fully 
formed and complete, each as a single variation. But in the Nairobi 
families, as in the Pseudacrseas of the Uganda islands, aU kinds of transi- 
ts W. J. Kaye in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. v., 1930, p. 89. 

'9 ' Natural History,' Jowrw.. American Mus. Nat. Hist., vol. xxx., p. 635. A full 
abstract, with references to other observations, in Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. vi., 
1931, p. 4. 

« Tram. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1912, p. 706 : 1913, p. 606 ; 1920, p. 84; 1923, p. 469. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 89 

tional forms appear and, most strildng of all, the trophonius female 
mimicking the Danaine D. chrysippus has not been bred but only its 
primitive ancestor lamborni, and this has appeared often, although very 
rare in other localities. Here, too, the same explanation holds, for Dr. 
van Someren and Canon Rogers have observed that for some cause, 
perhaps the elevation, the Danaine models are much scarcer than their 
mimics, and cannot be supposed to influence the selective elimination as 
in other parts. 

These two striking examples offer, I believe, convincing evidence of the 
power of selection in the evolution and preservation of mimetic patterns ; 
also that the evolution was by small variational steps. The remarkable 
families of Hypolimnas bolina, bred by Mr. H. W. Simmonds in Fiji, supply 
further evidence in favour of this last conclusion.*^ 

Admitting, as claimed and, I believe, proved above, that selection is 
essential for the evolution of mimicry, nevertheless the abundance of 
mimetic forms when their models are rare, and still more when they are 
absent altogether, does make it difficult to feel confident that Natural 
Selection, in its accepted sense of survival of the fittest, has always been the 
cause. This doubt was first raised in my mind by the consideration of 
the Oriental butterfly, Papilio polytes, and led to the belief that in this 
and probably other predominant species the absence of the model 
finally leads to the disappearance of the mimetic pattern, ' although the 
species that bore it remains as abundant as before. The survival or 
extinction of the species is not affected : all that has happened is the 
survival or extinction of a pattern borne by a certain proportion of the 
individuals of the species. When these disappear, other individuals with 
another pattern take their place.'*'' For this process Prof. Julian Huxley 
has suggested the term ' Intraspecific Selection,' to be contrasted with 
Natural Selection which ensures the survival of the species in its organic 
environment and, therefore, in a struggle which is interspecific. Mr. 
A. J. Nicholson*^ has independently proposed a similar hypothesis but 
seeks to carry it much further, so as to cover all examples of Mimicry and 
Protective Resemblance. My reasons for disagreeing with this opinion 
are given in the above-mentioned paper on Intraspecific Selection. 

Certain criticisms which have been brought against the theory of 
mimicry have followed from the erroneous assumption that the Warning 
Colours of the models imply complete immunity from attack, even by 
parasites, an assumption unfortunately made by Haase in his important 
and valuable work.** Of course no species enjoys absolute immunity, 
and if it did so the enjoyment would be brief, for it would rapidly destroy 
its own means of existence. Furthermore we know, as my friend Dr. Hale 

*' Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1923, pis. XLV-LIII. 

'2 Poulton in Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1928, p. 1037. The term ' Intraspecific 
Selection ' was introduced in this paper, which also quotes the essential passages 
from the paper {Bedrock, vol. ii., No. 3, October 1913, p. 295) in which the hypothesis 
was first suggested. 

*^ 'A New Theor3'' of Mimicry in Insects,' Australian Zoologist, vol. v., pt. 1, 
November 1927, p. 10, pis. I-XIV. 

** UrUtrsuchungen iiber die Mimicry, Stuttgart, 1891-3. 



90 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Carpenter showed to this Section at Birmingham in 1913, that the species 
distasteful to insectivorous animals (although not by any means entirely 
free from this danger) are specially subject to parasitic attack. At the 
same city, in 1886, I brought before this Section the theory of a compen- 
sating principle*^ which would check the increase of distasteful insects ; 
for when other food became scarce they too would be devoured, and then 
their conspicuous appearance and slow movements would lead to their 
easy capture. This theory was supported by experiments which proved 
that insectivorous animals, when they are suflBciently himgry, will in fact 
eat the distasteful species, although often with signs of disgust. The 
experimental method, necessarily employed in testing the above- 
mentioned hypothesis, and also of much value when other evidence is 
wanting, was criticised by W. L. McAtee in a paper published in 1912.** 
I was probably mistaken in not at once writing a detailed reply to these 
criticisms, which were not only directed against the conclusions drawn 
from experimental feeding, but also against other conclusions on which 
the theory of mimicry is founded. On the other hand, there was much to 
be said for waiting until far more evidence had been collected, and now, 
after nearly twenty years, it may be fairly maintained that such evidence 
has been forthcoming. 

In the first place it may be granted that, apart from its special value 
as a test, the experimental method is, in this investigation, very inferior 
to the direct observation of attacks made upon insects by birds and other 
enemies in their natural surroundings and undisturbed. It is impossible 
on this occasion to attempt to give any account of the great number of 
such records which have accumulated since the appearance of McAtee's 
criticisms. I will, however, mention two sets of observations. In 1927 
Dr. Hale Carpenter kindly sent me the wings of Uganda hawkmoths — 
tv/enty-one specimens and seven species — found on the floor of a rest-house 
where they had been dropped by bats hanging in the roof. This interesting 
observation suggested an examination of moths' wings dropped by British 
bats— an ideal means for discovering their true preferences. Wings 
representing 1,328 moths were collected in sheltered places frequented 
by bats — probably always by the Long-eared Bat {Plecotus auritus). All 
the specimens except sixteen belonged to species with protective (Pro- 
cryptic) colours and habits. The exceptions included relatively con- 
spicuous species shown by experiments on other animals to be rather 
distastefid (sometimes accepted, sometimes refused), also species of which 
the palatability is unknown. Not a single specimen with a striking warning 
pattern was present.*' 

'5 Considered in detail in a paper published in the following year : Proc. Zool. Soc. 
Lond., 1887, p. 191. 

'6 ' The experimental method of testing the efficiency of warning and crj^ptic 
coloration in protecting animals from their enemies.' Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila- 
delphia, 1912, pp. 281-364. 

*^ Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., Pt. 2, 1929, p. 277. The interesting plates I-III in 
Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., vol. vi., 1931, provide evidence of the same value as that furnished 
by the rejected wings. They show young cuckoos being fed by fosterers with ' Small 
Garden White ' butterflies, in Sussex, photographed by Mr. H. F. Chittenden, and 
Cumberland, by Mr. A. G. Britten. Dr. J. G. Myers' observations on the insect food 
of the Coati (Nasna) were also in large part made under natural conditions (Ibid., 
vol. v., 1930, p. 69). See also Capt. C. R. S. Pitman's experiments on an Airican 
Lemur (Perodicticus) on p. 91, and in vol. iv., 1929, p. 90. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 91 

The second series of observations is now being undertaken at Vineyatd 
Haven, Massachusetts, by Dr. Frank Morton Jones, who has kindly 
written to me, explaining the details of the excellent methods he is 
employing. Insects, chiefly Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, of known species 
are exposed on a feeding-tray in a favourable locahty and the visits of 
birds watched at a distance through field-glasses. Thus on June 27 last, 
of 63 beetles belonging to 9 species placed on the tray, there remained in 
30 minutes, after 22 bird-visits (3 species), 15 beetles of one red-and-black 
species. Thus 48 beetles of 8 species were taken and all the 15 of the 
ninth species were untouched. Dr. F. M. Jones is also attempting to form 
a scale of distastefulness by observing the reactions of a common species 
of ant to the insects employed in the experiments. 

One of the chief criticisms made by McAtee and made in this country 
also, was the insufficiency of the evidence that butterflies are commonly 
attacked by birds, the enemies beheved to be the selective agents in the 
evolution of mimicry. McAtee, in support of this objection, quoted the 
results of an American agricultural investigation in which an enormous 
number of birds' stomachs had been examined and remains of butterflies 
found in only an insignificant proiJortion. This criticism had been in 
great part met beforehand in a paper ** published by Sir Guy Marshall in 
1909 ; and more recently C. F. M. Swynnerton** and W. A. Lamborn*' 
have conclusively shown that butterflies are rapidly reduced to such 
minute fragments in a bird's digestive tract that examination with the 
compound microscope is necessary in order to obtain trustworthy results. 
Furthermore, it is only in recent years that the imprint of a bird's beak 
on a butterfly's wing has been noticed ; but now that attention has been 
directed to this evidence it is found to be quite common — a good example 
of the fertile but, for the micritical, the dangerous principle that an 
observer only finds what he looks for. 

It is possible that the mistaken assiuiiption of the immunity of models 
has played a part in prompting Dr. Bequaert's interesting paper on the 
enemies of ants.*^ Admitting the existence of these enemies and the 
certainty that the list will be immensely lengthened, it stiU remains that 
ants are ' the most powerful of insects, ever-present and aggressive in all 
habitable parts of the earth.' *^ And it is difficult to reconcile with Dr. 
Bequaert's opinion that they are valueless as models, the fact that my friend 
Mr. H. St. J. K. Donisthorpe has, since 1891, discovered, in the nests of 
British ants, ' 204 species of insects, spiders and mites new to the country, 
including 74 new to science. Of these guests 28 are mimics of ants. . . . 
He has also recorded 34 mimics living independently of ants.'*^ I beheve 
that most naturalists will conclude from these discoveries in Great Britain 
and Ireland, and from the remarkable profusion of ant-mimics and ant- 

<" Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1909, p. 329. See especially pp. 336, 337. 

*^ Linn. Soc. Journ. Zool., xxiii., 1919, p. 203. Abstract in Proc. Eni. Soc. Lond., 
1915, p. xxxii. 

■"'" Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1920, p. xxvi. 

*' Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., vol. xlv., p. 271, New York, 1922. 

''''■ Zoolog. Am. (Wasmann-Festband), 1929, p. 86. 

*" Ibid., p. SI. Quoted from ' Guests of British Ants,' Donisthorpe, London, 1927. 
The numbers have been brought up to date with the kind help of the author. 



92 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

associates in tlie tropics, that in spite of all attacks, these insects possess 
in the highest degree the quahties which render them valuable as models. 

I now propose to direct your attention to certain experiments and 
observations which throw light on the brain and senses of Vertebrate 
enemies of insects. Although the experiments brought before this Section 
at Manchester in 1887 were few and single, I beUeved, and I still beUeve, 
they were crucial, and proved beyond doubt that the mind and memory 
of even a Reptilian enemy — and of course far more probably an Avian 
enemy — are such as we should expect to find in the selective agents which 
have brought about the evolution of mimicry in insects. I refer to 
the chameleon, which, after rejecting a bee which it had captured 
the moment after its introduction into the cage — after this single 
experience — would never touch another, although ofiered from time to 
time during many months ; also to the lizard, which approached a hornet- 
bke Clearwing Moth with the utmost circumspection, and in finally seizing 
it kept as far as possible away from the supposed sting, and then, evidently 
realising from the texture that the insect was not a wasp or hornet, pro- 
ceeded to eat it without further caution, and a few days later recognised 
another at sight and instantly devoured it. 

It is not to be hoped that these experiments will carry the same 
conviction to those who only hear of the results and did not see them ; but 
in recent years other evidence throwing much light on the faculties and 
behaviour of birds has been steadily accumulating.^* 

The conclusions of the distinguished ornithologists, B. C. Stuart Baker 
and Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain, that the resemblance of Cuckoos' eggs to 
those of the fosterers has been evolved through the selective destruction 
of the less like by the birds which would otherwise have been victimised, 
obviously bears closely on the development of a mimetic pattern in insects. 
The similarity between the two selective processes, both leading to a 
superficial likeness which changes with the geographical changes of the 
models, was made the subject of the Address to the Entomological Society 
in January 1926, and led to the last words addressed to me, although 
indirectly, by William Bateson, the distinguished ex-President of this 
Section and of the Association, whose loss we aU deplore. Not many 
days before his death he was present at the meeting and told a mutual 
friend that he was much interested in the observations and that they were 
quite new to him. 

Evidence of a difierent kind, but probably very significant, is provided 
bv the well-known African Honey Guide (Indicator) which directs man 
to a bee's nest and is repaid by a meal on the scattered larvae. My 
friend. Dr. Neave, has told me that this bird, when insufficient attention 
is paid to its directions, becomes so noisy that game is disturbed, and he 
found it necessary, on hunting expeditions, to detail a couple of natives 
to follow the Guide and keep it quiet. How far the behaviour of the bird 
is instinctive and how far intelligent is, I believe, unknown, but it is 
impossible to imagine a more fascinating subject for investigation. 

■'■* Nearly all these observations are recorded or quoted with full references in the 
Proceedings" of the Entomological Society of London in recent years, and will be 
easily traced. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 93 

Of more importance, because common to many species and known to 
exist in all tlie great tropical areas, is the nesting association between 
birds and the naost formidable of insects — wasps and hornets ; also with 
ants and termites. In the association with wasps naturalists have 
definitely stated that the birds begin to build close to the already con- 
structed pendent comb of a wasp, while their nests are actually excavated 
in the termite-mounds and in the huge nests of tree-ants. This most 
interesting and significant behaviour has been summarised for tropical 
America by J. G. Myers, who has confirmed the older records by his own 
observations and has also been led to the startling conclusion that at 
least one wasp tends regularly to make its nest beside the colonies of a 
tree-ant (Azteca). Notes on these associations in Africa have been 
written by A. Loveridge and V. G. L. van Someren ; in India by B. C. 
Stuart Baker ; in Australia by W. B. Alexander." 

The behaviour briefly described in the last two paragraphs proves, I 
believe, that birds possess a brain and sense-organs such as would lead 
them, in seeking their food, to associate the qualities, favourable or un- 
favourable, with the appearance, and to remember and apply their 
experience, in fact precisely the powers required by a selective agent in 
building up a mimetic pattern. 

To the above evidence may be added two examples of bird behaviour 
in our own country. The cocoon of the common 'Lackey Moth' is 
thick on the exposed surface but thin where it is spun on to a leaf. Birds 
have discovered this and peck a hole through the leaf and thin wall in 
order to abstract the chrysahs.^*' Many naturahsts have observed that 
birds, although they frequently peck their way into the centre of ' bullet- 
galls ' (often but erroneously called ' oak-apples '), never do so when the 
enclosed insect has emerged, being doubtless guided by the sight of the 
small round hole or by tapping with the bill.^' 

What other hypotheses have been suggested by those who reject 
evolution by Natural Selection as the explanation of mimicry and allied 
adaptations ? Some naturalists believe that the resemblances in question 
are accidental and of no biological significance. This opinion, although 
defended by such an eminent entomologist as Prof. Handlirsch," is not 
likely to be held by anyone who has seriously considered examples such 
as those brought before you to-day, or has studied the geographical 
distribution of mimetic associations. Chance resemblances are, of course, 
bound to occur among the immense number of butterfly patterns through- 
out the world, but these will be as frequently found between the species of 
different countries as between those of the same coimtry. Such truly 
chance Hkenesses in patterns have been examined by my friend. Dr. F. A. 
Dixey,** and have been shown to be relatively few and only to exist at all 

*'^ Proc. E7it. Soc. Land., vol. iv., 1929, p. 80 (America) ; p. 88 (Africa) ; p. 89 
(India) ; vol. v., 1930, p. Ill (Australia) ; vol. vi., 1931, p. 34 (India). 

■"■^ Observed by A. H. Hamm. Ibid., 1902, p. xv. 

''~ Ibid., vol. iii., 1928, p. 50 ; vol. iv., 1929, p. 10. 

=- Handbuch der Entomologie. 

■'" Proc. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1913, p. Ix. As regards chance likeness in form, Bates 
wrote in his great paper (p. 5U n.) : ' Some orders of insects contain an almost 
infinite variety of forms, and it will not be wonderful, therefore, if species here and 



94 SECTIONAL ADDRESSE.S. 

when the patterns are relatively simple. The distinguished mathematician, 
the late Prof. Study, of Bonn, who was deeply interested in mimicry, has 
shown, in two of his last papers, the impossibility of an explanation based 
upon chance resemblance, and I believe that the same conclusion will be 
reached by anyone who reads the chapter on Mimicry in Dr. R. A. Fisher's 
recent work. 

The \dew has sometimes been held that mimetic resemblances are due 
to model and mimic independently passing through the same stage of 
evolution, either as a whole or in the mimetic features only ; or, as 
Darwin once suggested, ' that the process probably commenced long ago 
between forms not widely dissimilar in colour'.*" I remember, at the 
Leeds Meeting in 1890, when Prof. Patrick Geddes suggested the former 
interpretation, that the late Lord Rayleigh remarked, ' How would you 
apply your explanation to the resemblance of insects to bark, or twigs, or 
leaves ? '*^ It is strange that this fatal objection did not occur to Darwin, 
for Bates himself in the great paper had written : ' I believe . . . that 
the specific mimetic analogies exhibited in connexion with the Heliconidce 
are adaptations — phenomena of precisely the same nature as those in 
which insects and other beings are assimilated in superficial appearance 
to the vegetable or inorganic substance on which, or amongst which, they 
Uve. The likeness of a Beetle or a Lizard to the bark of the tree on which 
it crawls cannot be explained as an identical result produced by a common 
cause acting on the tree and the animal.'** 

Before concluding, a few lines must be devoted to recent work on 
Sexual Selection, first briefly introduced as a factor in evolution by 
Darwin in the Joint Essay. Nothing would have interested and pleased 
him more than discoveries which, following the splendid pioneer work of 
Fritz Miiller, have been made in the ej)igamic structures and behaviour of 
insects — the extensive observations on the scents of male butterflies, by 
Dixey and Longstaff , and on their scent-scales by Dixey ; the structure and 
use in courtship of the scent-brushes of male Danaine butterflies, by 
Eltringhara, Lamborn, and Hale Carpenter ; the extraordinary brushes 
protruded from the back of the head by the males of Hydroptila (Tricho- 
ptera), by M. E. Mosely and Eltringham ; the courtship of Empid flies, 
including the spinning of a cocoon as a wedding gift by the male Hilara, 
by Hamin and Eltringham ;*» the fertilisation of orchids (Ophrys) by male 
bees {Andrena) which, emerging before the other sex, are attracted by 
female-Kke appearances, and probably scent, of the flowers, by Pouyanne, 
confirmed by M. J. Godfery, and by Mrs. Coleman, who has observed the 

there be found to resemble each other, although inhabiting opposite parts of the 
earth, and belonging to widely different families. Such analogies are accidental, 
and can have nothing at all to do with the evidently intentional system of resemblancea, 
carried on from place to place, which I have discussed.' 

^0 Essays on Evolution, p. 233 n. 

" Proc. Ent. Soc. Land., 1925-26, p. xcv. 

62 Ibid., p. 508. 

63 Ent. Monthly Mag., 1913, p. 177 ; Proc. Roy. Soc, B., vol. cii., 1928, p. 327. 
All the other observations are recorded, with full references to earlier publications, 
in the Trans, or Proc. Ent. Soc. Land. 



D.— ZOOLOGY. 95 

fertilisation of an Australian Orchid (Cryptostylis) by a male Ichneumonid 
{Lissopimpla), similarly attracted to the flower. 

On two occasions I have been present when the late Lord Balfour 
expressed his opinion on the theories of evolution we have been con- 
sidering to-day, and I am sure that naturalists will be glad to hear the 
conclusions reached by his keen and penetrating intellect on subjects in 
which, although without the time, or indeed the inchnation, to probe far 
into details, he took the keenest interest. We know that, even before 
he went to Cambridge in 1866, he had read and admired the Origin, and 
we have been told by his nephew, Lord Rayleigh, of his ' extraordinary 
faculty for getting hold of the essentials of a subject without apparently 
feeling the need for systematic study.''* 

Over forty years ago, when the results of Weismann's researches were 
extinguishing the Lamarckian element which had been added to the 
Darwiii-Wallace theory, I heard Lord Balfour say that to him, as a 
student of philosophy, the new teachings on the scope of heredity were 
more interesting than the old. Again, in 1927, a few months before his 
eightieth birthday and before he began to dictate the charming but too 
brief Chapters of an Autobiography, he said that, looking back, he was 
impressed by the fact that nothing suggested in later years had replaced or 
modified the Darwinian theory of evolution. 

And now in conclusion, speaking at the close of the second half-century 
of our Society's life, and speaking as one who owes more than he can 
express to the kindness and help received at these meetings, I cannot do 
better than remind you of prophetic words spoken at Oxford in 1832. 
Prof. Adam Sedgwick, responding after his nomination as president at 
Cambridge in the following year, said that the work of the Association 
at the meeting which had just been held could not but tend ' to engender 
mutual friendship, mutual forbearance, mutual kindness and confidence ' ; 
and, for the future, ' he looked forward with full assurance to the happy 
results of this union between men of similar sentiments and similar 
pursuits, who possess one common object — the improvement of mankind 
by the promotion of truth.' 

61 Proc. Roy. Soc. B., vol. 107, 1930, p. viii. 



SECTION E.— GEOGRAPHY. 



THE HUMAN HABITAT. 

ADDRESS BY 

THE RIGHT HON. SIR HALFORD J. MACKINDER, P.O. 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



In this Centenary Year it would be natural that a Sectional President 
should look back along the path that has been travelled since the time of 
William the Fourth. In the case of the Geographical Section, however, 
our history has been intertwined with that of the Royal Geographical 
Society, and it was obviously appropriate that the distinguished historian 
of that Society, Dr. Hugh Robert Mill, should complete his work by adding 
to it the annals of the Section. That task, at my invitation, he fulfilled 
for us yesterday with characteristic humour. My duty, therefore, lies in 
another direction : I have a Jubilee to celebrate. 

About half a century has elapsed since the Council of the Royal 
Geographical Society came gradually and with some controversy to the 
conclusion that if it would succeed in reforming geographical education 
it must transfer its attention from the Schools to the Universities. It was 
at Oxford, our Senior University, that a beginning was made. My 
memory goes back to my first lecture as University Reader there forty-four 
years ago. I had an audience of three, one man and two women. The 
man was a Don who told me he knew the geography of Switzerland, for 
he had just read Baedeker through from cover to cover. The two ladies 
brought their knitting. The University of Oxford is now at long last to 
complete the work of my successors by electing a Professor of the subject 
with full status and emoluments. In the interval every University in the 
country has set going the teaching of Geography. Thus, the decision to 
establish the Oxford Chair comes as the endorsement of a general movement 
and crowns a national development. Oxford is the right place for that 
crowning. Richard Hakluyt, the Elizabethan, was the first Oxford 
Reader in Geography ; I was only the second. Is it too late to suggest 
that the new Chair should be called the Hakluyt Professorship ? In the 
moment of triumph that would be a graceful gesture towards our elder 
sister, History. 

At the same time that Oxford decided to estabhsh the new Professor- 
ship, it was announced that in due course an Honour School in Geography 
would be set up. Inevitably this will open once more the question of the 
content of the subject, for I do not imagine that Oxford will be satisfied 
by merely following aUen models. Those of us who look back to the 
beginnings of the movement will remember the barren and wearisome 
discussions which turned round the attempt to obtain agreement on a 
formal definition of Geography. Probably none of us are to-day much 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 97 

interested in the definition and delimitation of the Sciences. The moat 
notable of recent advances have been made along their frontiers and, 
indeed, in the interstices between them. But a curriculum which is to 
guide the studies of Honour Students should be penetrated, although not 
defined, by some principle of unity. Such a thread of unity is, it seems to 
me, wanting in some of our existing curricula. 

The change which has come about in the higher study and teaching of 
geography is not wholly due to the initiative of learned societies and 
universities ; in no small degree it is in response to a public demand. 
Historical studies have, perhaps, unduly biased our tradition of a liberal 
education, with the result that the business world has doubted the executive 
value of University-trained men. The Universities are now sending some 
of their best students into general business, and not only as technical 
experts. Such men must be guided to philosophical powers of thought 
and expression without losing their grip on actuality. Prestige has long 
clung to the study of Humane Letters, to the detached exercise of the 
intellect on the languages, history, and thought of past centuries. No 
cultured Englishman will undervalue history. Have we not a law based 
on precedents and an unwritten constitution ? Is not respect for 
tradition the very foundation of our national character ? But it is the 
modern thesis that space and time are a continuum ; our ancestors said 
the same thing when they spoke of God as both Almighty and Everlasting. 
Who shall say which is the higher of the divine attributes — the Almighty 
or the Everlasting ? To descend to the mundane — why should you not 
find philosophy in Geography as well as in History ? 

Dr. Mill has told us how that a Section of this Association was founded 
in the 'thirties of last century for geology and geography, how that its 
scope was subsequently narrowed to geology and physical geography, 
and how that in the 'fifties a new Section had to be formed for what 
remained of geography. That is the terse history of a skilful feat of 
diplomacy, or in plainer language of a theft. It was not until the 'eighties 
that under the lead of such men as Francis Galton, James Bryce, and 
Douglas Freshfield our Alsace was reconquered, with what example and 
help from other countries I must not now stop to detail. The worst of 
it was that not a few geographers had become content with the limited 
boundaries within which they had been driven ; I well remember the 
obbligato of seafaring language which came sotto voce from a worthy 
admiral, a member of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society, who 
sat in the front row of my audience when in 1887 as a young revolutionary 
I read my paper on the Scope and Methods of Geography. At Oxford, 
in the later 'nineties, Herbertson and I pressed what we described as the 
regional, the synthetic idea. Herbertson published his paper on the 
Major Natural Regions, and I edited my Regions of the World Series. In 
the first decade of the present century there was a reaction, and curricula 
were drafted which tended once more to break the subject up into a 
group of fragments from other sciences. Since the War, the earlier trend 
has happily, as I think, won a fresh impetus. 

In asking for a principle which shall give unity of purpose to geographers, 
let it not be thought that by special pleading I am seeking for some idea 
which shall suffice to justify the institution of a geographical discipline 
1931 H 



98 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

by bracketing together, formally and superficially, really incongruous 
elements. A house that is builded upon the sands cannot stand. But 
we all feel, we who have the love of maps, that somewhere in geography 
there is a fundamental unity which eludes us. Is not our difficulty how 
to weld together the geological and the human aspects of the subject ? 
To have stated your problem is to have gone a long way towards solving 
it. Is it not perhaps the lure of geomorphology which has been mis- 
leading us ? I am not prepared to go quite all the way with Prof. Douglas 
Johnson of Columbia University, who would wholly exclude geomorphology 
from geography, but I am ready to regard it as a secondary and not the 
primary factor. Geomorphology, as it has now develoj^ed, has internal 
coherence and a consistent philosophy, and in their hunger for these joys 
many of our geographers, it seems to me, have bUnded themselves to the 
fact that as geomorphologists they are not in the centre but on the margin 
of geography. I had almost said that in escaping from servitude they 
had robbed the Egyptians, the geologists, and had been cursed for the 
possession of ill-gotten goods by a generation spent in the wilderness. 

What is it that really gives a unique interest to the surface of this 
earth ? Surely not its dead features ; there are mountains also on the 
moon, ruins from a live past. Is it not the fluid envelopes, the water 
and the air, which by their circulations, their physical and chemical 
reactions, and their relation to life, impart to the earth's surface an activity 
almost akin to life itself? Which is the fundamental — the living, 
palpitating being or tlie dead skeleton whicli .it shapes and leaves behind 
as a monument ? Which is the prior — ^functiou or form ? I admit that 
in my earlier writings I myself went often astray, attracted by the 
antithesis which Archibald Geikie drew in his Textbook of Geology between 
the laying down of the rocks and the shaping from those rocks of the 
existing surface. It seemed that the former was geology and the latter 
geography. It seems to me to-day that it is in the water rather than in 
the rocks that we must look for our salvation. 

Let me here interpose an idea which I accept from tlie astronomers. 
I quote from Jeans in his ' Universe Around Us,' but have taken the 
liberty of slightly rearranging the order of the selected sentences so as to 
present an epitome of the argument while retaining authoritative 
wording : — 

' The old view that every point of light in the sky represented a 
possible home for life is quite foreign to modern astronomy. By far 
the greater part of the matter of the Universe is at a temperature of 
millions of degrees. There can be no life where atoms change their 
make-up millions of times a second and no pair of atoms can ever 
stay joined together, for the very concept of life imjDlies duration in 
time. It also implies a certain mobility in space, and these two 
imiDlications restrict life to the small range of physical conditions in 
which the liquid state is possible. We know of no type of astronomical 
body in which the conditions can be favourable to life except j^lanets 
like our own revolving round a sun. Of the rare plantary systems 
in the sky, many must be entirely lifeless, and in others life, if it 
exists at all, is probably limited to a few planets. If life is to obtain 
a footing, the planets must not be too hot or too cold. We cannot 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 99 

imagine life existing on Mercury or on Neptune ; liquids boil on the 
former and freeze hard on the latter. Millions of millions of stars 
exist which support no life. At the best, life must be limited to a tiny 
fraction of the Universe.' 

In the face of such utterances I think that geographers should be rid 
of that inferiority complex which the historians on the one hand, and the 
geologists on the other, have too frequently managed to impose upon them. 
A planet with a hydrosphere is a unique object of study. This earth is 
important not merely subjectively and because we men who inhabit it 
are the students ; in the university of the impartial angels it would be 
an object of intense interest and speculation. May we not compare it 
with radium among the elements ? Just as radium, almost infinitesimal 
in quantity, has by its activity revealed the energy locked up in the 
commoner atoms, so may not the hydrosphere of our earth present the 
infinitesimally rare conditions under which life becomes active which 
elsewhere through the Universe is immanent, but potential and not 
active ? 

Three years ago, in an address to the International Geographical Con- 
gress at Cambridge, I described the hydrosphere in words which I will ask 
your leave to use again : — 

' . . . the hydrosphere, a term invented to cover the totality of 
water on the earth whether gathered together in the ocean, or invisible 
in the air, or condensed in the clouds, or falling as rain or snow, or 
creeping down in the glaciers, or coursing down in the rivers, or 
percolating underground, or rising in the sap of plants or circulating 
in the arteries and veins of animals. There is probably no complete 
lacuna in the hydrosphere, though there are thin places over and in 
the deserts. It would be a vast bubble, if we imagine all else dis- 
solved away. Moreover, the hydrosphere is functionally one, for 
given sufficient time and every drop might successively take the place 
of every other drop, passing from the ocean back into the ocean. 
Obviously life, and not least human life, is possible only within the 
bounds of the hydrosphere. In purely physical geography nine- 
tenths of the processes investigated are dependent on the physical 
properties of water. It is a remarkable fact that within the short 
range of temperatures on the earth's surface lies the whole gamut of 
the changes of state in water, with all the consequences which flow 
from a high specific heat and the liberation and absorption of great 
latent heats. The atmosphere exhibits climatic contrasts chiefly 
by reason of its contained moisture. Propelled by the sun's energy 
from without, water is the chief sculptor of the solid forms upheaved 
by the earth's energy from within. Without water there would be 
no agriculture, nor would coal and iron have been deposited for our 
mines. Even man must earn his living by the sweat of his brow.' 
Let me hasten to add that in this advocacy of the claims of the hydro- 
sphere to be considered as the central theme of geography, I am not 
forgetful of the just rights of the lithosphere, which has of late been 
dominant in our geographical argument ; nor yet do I forget the part 
played by the winds and the oxygen of the atmosphere. We will, if you 
Uke, define the object of geographical study as extending to those parts 

h2 



100 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

of the lithosphere and of the atmosphere which are interpenetrated by 
the hydrosphere. It is obvious that a dry Uthosphere and a dry atmo- 
Bphere would present a landscape of merely naked rocks, not even rusted, 
and seas of sterile sand with perhaps endless lines of wind-driven dune. 
When we reflect that the millions of stars ' have surface temperatures of 
anything from 1650° to 30,000° ' (Jeans), what an astonishing thing it is 
that through the long geological ages the surface of our earth has enjoyed 
that short range of temperatures which will permit of the liquidity of 
water. 

I turn to biogeography, for it is there that our difficulty lies. The 
fundamental imit of biogeography is the natural region. Apart from the 
idea of habitat or environment the natural region would have no meaning. 
"What gives to it significance is the fact that, whether you accept the 
inheritance of acquired characteristics, or believe ia natural selection 
alone, species originate as local varieties. The African elephant is no 
doubt a single interbreeding species, but the elephant of the western 
tropical forests is of a difierent variety from the elephant of the eastern 
uplands. The same is no doubt true of the mountain and the forest 
gorillas. The same again is the case to an almost infinite extent with the 
varieties of the many species of butterfly. Now the basis of the fixation 
of a local variety into a species is that the variety shall consist not of so 
many individuals but of a single blood. Forgive me if for convenience I 
speak in what follows of blood instead of protoplasm. 

Let us go for an example to the head of the list : to Man himself. 
John Bull is a local variety of the genus • and species, homo sapiens. 
There are to-day some forty millions of us inhabiting a natural region 
which we may describe as the English Plain, for there are few who live 
much over 600 feet above the sea. The fact that each of us is the off- 
spring of two parents results in this : that if you go back to the time of 
the Norman Conquest each of us now living had more than sixty million 
ancestors. But in the England of that time was a population of only two 
millions. If we assume a fluid marriage market, then each of us living 
would be descended from each of the two million people of the time of the 
Conqueror by thirty different pedigrees. The assumption of fluidity in 
marriage opportunities is, of course, not quite true, but although in the 
past Lincolnshire may rarely have married Hampshire, yet Lincolnshire 
married Northamptonshire, and Northamptonshire — Oxfordshire, and 
Oxfordshire — Berkshire, and Berkshire — Hampshire. There was a social 
continuity from the Humber to Southampton Water. Thus in literal 
truth there is to-day in England a single blood, although with some 
provincial thickenings. When, however, we come to the shore of the 
English Channel or of the North Sea, we look across to other bloods in 
France and the Netherlands from which a few drops have splashed across 
during the centuries. A difierent kind of boundary delimits the English 
Plain along the Welsh Border. When Simon de Montfort marched in 
1265 along that border to meet his fate at the Battle of Evesham, his 
English soldiers, accustomed to living on bread, became mutinous because 
their allies in the Civil War, the Welsh mountaineers, could give them to 
eat nothing but the meat and milk of the upland (Oman). Some centuries 
earlier the English blood, and with it, as it happened, also the English 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 101 

speech, had spread gradually across the arable English Plain until it was 
brought up sharp against the edge of the Welsh upland. That halt was 
imposed not merely by hiU tribes on a defensible barrier ; but no less by 
the sudden change from agricultural to pastoral habits of life. No doubt 
there has since 'been some transfusion of blood across the frontier, but, 
apart from the original mingling of stocks as the tide of EngUshry advanced 
over the plain, surprisingly little. The boundary between the races is 
quite definite to-day. You remember the heart cry of Shakespeare's 
Mortimer : ' This is the deadly spite that angers me — my wife can speak 
no English, I no Welsh.' But that was a quasi-royal marriage, and 
royal blood is a precious fluid, exceptionally mobile ! 

Thus, in the English Plain we have a typical natural region, so far 
uniform in climate and soil as to favour social continuity within, but 
engirt by such physical features as suffice to break social continuity 
around by preventing or greatly impeding intermarriage. Within this 
natural region we have the English blood, one fluid, the same down 
through the centuries, on loan for the moment in the forty million bodies 
of the present generation. John Bull in his insularity is the exemplar 
of the myriad separate bloods and saps, each the fluid essence of a local 
variety or species of animal or plant. The climates and soils which by 
their continuities and discontinuities thus control the origin of species owe 
their power to their moisture ; they, no less than the bloods and saps 
which react to them, are phenomena of the hydrosphere. 

The natural region is no mere convenient generalisation ; both by 
origin and effect it is a fimdamental fact. Consider first its origin. 
Whether low-lying or high-lying it has a certain area or spread, and the 
ultimate reason of this is that the surface of liquid water is level. The 
technical terms of geomorphology, the concept of the morphological cycle, 
are based on the assumption that all landscapes are in process of grading 
down to level. In the case of plains, whether due to superficial denudation, 
or to marine erosion, or, again, to the deposit of sediment, the aqueous 
origin of the spread is obvious. But the boundaries which give relative 
isolation to natural regions were not so long ago almost universally 
attributed, in so far as consisting of features of land relief, to the shrinkage 
of the earth's size. The trend of hypothesis is now in a new direction. 
The vast accumulations of strata recorded in the foundations of the 
mountains, and the study of isostasy by observations for gravity, point 
to the aqueous origin of the upraising no less than of the degrading of 
land masses. The continents are apparently floating granitic rafts, which 
carry cargo, shifting cargo. They float on a heavier, basaltic layer which, 
except for certain local upwellings, comes to the surface of the lithosphere 
only in the bed of the deep ocean. The descending waters remove the 
uplands and distribute the spoil over wide lowlands and over the shallow 
sea bottom of the continental shelf. Thus, great breadths of the conti- 
nental rafts are subjected to differential stresses — up-floating and down- 
ainking. In some cases the structure bends and there are slow readjust- 
ments of the sea level along the coasts ; elsewhere the processes of mountain 
making — folding, faulting, shearing — are set up along certain belts which 
are axial as between the up-floating and down-sinking areas. Whatever 
be the details of observation and speculation along these lines, it seems 



102 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

to be growing clear that the upraising no less than the destruction of land 
masses, the boundaries no less than the spread of natural regions, are in 
their origin, at any rate in the present and recent geological epochs, 
mainly due to the hydrosphere. In this discussion I have not dealt with 
the special features of the marine natural regions ; they are obviously 
phenomena of the hydrosphere. 

Consider now the results that follow from the existence of natural 
regions. We can imagine a world without definite natural regions, all 
sown over, let us say, with isolated peaks, like volcanic cones, and the 
liquid water gathered into innumerable small lakes, so that the lowland 
became a world-wide net of connected fertile strips with peaks and lakes 
in the meshes. In such a world it is di£B.cult to see how a vast number of 
contrasted species could arise and flourish, for there would be no breaks 
in blood continuity behind which local varieties could be isolated and 
fixed, and no broad areas of uniformity where mature species could 
become dominant. Some day, in the fulness of knowledge, a biologist 
and a geographer will perhaps collaborate to show that our actual catalogue 
of species, in their grouped families and orders, is correlated with a world 
in which you have a single ocean, one great and three minor continents, a 
few vast plains and plateaux, a few high dividing ranges of mountain, 
and many small islands, peninsulas, valleys, lakes, oases. The effect of 
momentum from past geographies would, of course, have to be taken into 
account. 

There are two essential facts to be remembered in regard to the hydro- 
sphere. The first is that it conveys and stores energy and is not a source 
of energy. The energy which works within it comes for the most part 
either direct from the sun or is controlled by life. (Will you, for shortness, 
allow me to bracket the moon's tidal puU with the sun's energy ?) The 
geographical significance of Life lies in its action in mass. That fact is 
obvious in the cases of rocks made of coral and coal made of trees. It is 
true no less where the life is carried in a multitude of mobile individuals. 
The higher beings act gregariously by impulse. They are attracted or 
repelled by ideas which they can communicate to one another. No one 
who has watched a flock of birds in flight but must agree to that statement. 
The Gadarene swine were another case in point. In human affairs the 
run on a bank, or the march of an army, or the digging of a canal is com- 
parable. 

A second characteristic of the hydrosphere is that it is a closed system. 
This follows from the facts that it is a sphere, that it is liquid or ever 
returning to liquid, and that, so far as we know, the amount of water is 
not appreciably increasing or diminishing. It is the medium, therefore, 
of a single dynamic system. Nothing can happen at any point within it 
which has not repercussions at every other point, although the internal 
elasticity of the system is fortunately mitigated by the rising and falling 
of the liquid surfaces and the passage of the liquid into the gaseous and 
solid states. Theoretically it is true that no cape is worn into a new form 
owing to a change in the impact of a sea current but a set of changes, nine- 
pin-like, is started which goes the round of all the coasts of the world,, 
current changing shape and shape reacting on current. This statement 
carries with it the implication that every natural region is part of the 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 103 

environment of every other natural region, how remote soever on the 
earth's surface, and from this it follows that the supreme vision of the 
geographically trained mind is of the world whole. The geographer takes 
over from the astronomer, physicist, chemist, geologist, biologist, historian, 
economist, and strategist certain results of their special studies, combines 
them into his own vision of a dynamic system, builds up his natural regions, 
and finally groups these into his world conception. 

When I was in Africa I remember seeing before me a great billowing 
slope, clothed with dense forest, dark green and burnished in the sunshine. 
I entered and traversed that forest for a long day. When I emerged and 
looked back there was the same forest, and yet to my vision it was not 
the same, for I could now appreciate its texture ; I had not merely sight 
of it, but insight. So it is with the trained geographer, he starts on the 
shoulders of the scientific specialists, he traverses his natural regions, and 
emerges with a new grasp and insight of the world as a whole. This, if 
I mistake not, will be his essential contribution to the shaping of our 
human destiny in the not far distant future. 

In the world view of the geographer what are the major features of 
Humanity and the Human Habitat ? Surely they are two, the Bast and 
the West. Let me try to set in perspective some salient facts. 

The monsoon winds sweep into and out of Asia because that vast 
land lies wholly north of the equator and is, therefore, as a whole, 
subject to an alternation of seasons. Over an area of some five million 
square miles in the south and east of Asia, from India to Manchuria, and 
in the great adjacent islands, the monsoon drops annually a rainfall 
amounting on the average of years to some 18 million millions of 
tons. Half of mankind, 900 million people, live in the natural regions of 
this area ; about 180 to the square mile. The rainfall is, therefore, of 
the order of some 20 thousand tons annually for each inhabitant. There 
is a considerable traffic between the regions of the group, and there are the 
fisheries ; in order to see it whole let us add three million more square 
miles for the marginal and landlocked seas. Then we shall have a total 
of eight million square miles, or 4 per cent, of the globe surface, carrying 
50 per cent, of the human race. The annual increase of population may 
amount to some seven or eight millions, and as compared with this figure 
both emigration and immigration into and from the outer world are 
small. In the main we have here vast stable peasantries, ' ascript to the 
glebe,' if we may use a mediaeval legal expression ; tied to the soil ; a 
tremendous fact of rain, sap, and blood. That is the East. 

The West lies in Europe, south and west of the Volga, and in that 
eastern third of North America which includes the main stream of the 
Mississippi and the basin of the St. Lawrence. Europe within the Volga 
boundary measures some three million square miles, and eastern North 
America some two million square miles. The two together are, therefore, 
equivalent in area of land to the group of regions which constitutes the 
East. If we add three million square miles for the fisheries and the oceanic 
belt which contains the ' shipping lanes ' between Europe and North 
America, we shall again have a total of 4 per cent, of the globe surface, 
and that is the main geographical habitat of western civilisation. Within 
this area are 600 million people, or 120 to the square mile of land. Not- 



104 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

withstanding the oceanic break it may be regarded as a single area, for 
the distance from E.N.E. to W.S.W., from the Volga to the Mississippi, 
measures only some seven thousand miles, or little more than a quarter 
way round the globe along the Great Circle. The rainfall on the laud is 
drawn from the same source both in Europe and eastern North America ; 
it comes mainly from the south, from the Atlantic, and is of the order of 12 
thousand tons per human inhabitant per annum. There is an annual net 
increase of population of some four or five millions and, as compared with 
this, emigration to the outer world is small, for the movement of a milHon 
migrants a year from Europe to North America in the dozen years at the 
commencement of this century was, of course, internal to the area. 

Thus we have two areas, measuring together less than 10 per cent, of the 
world's surface, but containing more than 80 per cent, of the world's 
population. Outside is some 90 per cent, of the world's surface, but only 20 
per cent, of the population. On some 40 milUou square miles of land, outside 
the East and the West, you have an average density of population of only 
ten to the square mile, as contrasted with 120 on the five milUon square 
miles of the West, and 180 on the five miUion square miles of the East. 
The moisture upon the land areas, outside the Western and Eastern rain 
zones, varies from Saharan drought to Amazon and Congo deluge, 
but it is a remarkable fact that South America, with all its fertiUty, has 
upon its 6J million square miles a population of only ten to the square 
mile, or the average for the world outside West and East. This fertile 
vacancy of South America may be regarded perhaps as a third great 
feature of the Habitat of Man ; it must be set alongside the extra- 
ordinary and persistent self-containedness of the East and the West. The 
increase 'in the world's population, some 12 milhons a year, is mainly 
retained in its native East and West, and the growth of the outer popula- 
tions, even though reinforced by some immigration, is relatively insignificant. 
The main growths, the spread of the sheets of human blood, have been 
merely overflows from the anciently occupied regions into adjacent areas 
-=-into North and North-Eastern Europe, into Eastern North America, 
and into Manchuria, and in each case the natural frontiers of drought 
and frost have now been approached, except for relatively narrow 
outlets along the wheat belts of North America and Siberia. Even 
in North America the centre of population has ceased to move appreciably 
westward. 

In this continued growth of population in the East and the West 
in far greater actual number than in the rest of the world, notwithstanding 
the abimdant rainfalls in several large regions elsewhere, we have an 
instance of geographical momentum. That momentum, though issuing 
from the past, is a fact of the present, an element in the dynamic system 
of to-day's geography. I repeat an analogy which I have used elsewhere. 
If I stand on a mountain-top there are two answers to the question why 
I am there. The first is that the rocks hold me up — that is the dynamic 
answer ; the second is that I climbed there — that is the historical or 
genetic answer. Whether we look backward or forward, our genetic 
studies should start from a firm hold on the dynamic system of the present. 
The trained geographer may restore imaginatively the geographies of the 
past and so contribute to geology, archaeology, and history ; in a word, 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 105 

he may study the historic present ; but whether he study present or past, 
he is primarily concerned with space, and with time only in the sense 
that everything has momentum. The present consists of a coming out 
of the past and a going into the future ; there is a complex dynamic 
present in the sense of a balance of forces, all severally waxing and waning 
in different degrees. The student of the hydrosphere is concerned with 
water, sap, and blood, moving under sun power and life initiative. Some 
of the shapes governed by his circulations are relatively stable, such 
as land forms, but not much more so than the forms, say, of his sea 
currents or of the average distribution of rainfall as depicted on his 
maps. Even the distribution of human population is, as we have just 
seen, subject to a momentum which overrides the attraction of great 
physical opportunities. 

Let us now turn for a moment to a not improbable relation of the 
hydrosphere to human — and perhaps all living— initiative. It is of the 
essence of life, whatever that may be, that it can oppose itself to the blind 
pressure of changing environment and, provided the change be not too 
^^olent, new species thus arise by survival of the fittest. Of all the changes 
of environment to which living beings are subject the most general and 
potent are undoubtedly due, directly and indirectly, to variations in the 
amount and mode of water supply. Let me cite one well-known fact by 
way of illustration. A newly-born babe has some prehensile power in 
its feet and some tendency to oppose its great toe to the other four. This 
is interpreted as indicative of a four-handed ancestry living in the trees. 
Sir Arthur Thompson has suggested that in some past geological epoch 
increasing drought slowly reduced the areas of forest and drove some of 
the over-crowded population to forsake their leafy homes, compelling them 
to become bipeds. The inference is obvious that in fighting against 
drought and frost terrestrial life is stimulated to initiative. 

The same thing is true in regard to development of human society. 
There is one point, for example, in which the East and the West are alike ; 
in large areas of both, owing to seasonal interruption of the rainfall and to 
winter frost, the growing period of vegetation is limited to certain months 
of the year. That is not the case with the tropical forests of South America 
and West Africa ; and it is noteworthy that in the Malayan region of the 
East, where there is tropical continuity of heat and rainfall, the human 
population is sparse, except of late in Java under the western control of 
Holland. Here in the abundance of moisture humanity appears to lack 
the incentive to development. 

The chief weapon in the fight for water against drought and frost is 
Capital. In its simplest form, Capital consists in the saving of food for 
the annual season of drought or frost. The biblical Joseph who laid up 
in the seven good years for the seven bad years was a Statesman who 
knew the value of so-called ' liquid ' capital. 

But if West and East have this in common, they differ greatly in their 
actual output of human energy. What has our study of the hydrosphere 
to say in that regard ? Civilisation seems to have begun most remarkably 
at the geographical centre of the world : in the region around Suez, 
where the eastern and western oceans approach one another at the 
junction of Asia and Africa. You will remember that the mediesval monks 



106 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

placed the centre of their wheel maps of the world in Jerusalem. Here 
in this region the nomad, living on the milk of his camels, migrates 
annually in pursuit of the sparse rainfall which gives steppe fodder for 
his herds. In this region also, the Nile and the Euphrates oSer to the 
primitive agriculturalist the combination of year-long sunshine, absence of 
frost, and rivers overflowing and shrinking with the time of year. Thus, 
neighbouring peoples were, on the one hand, compelled to be ever mobile, 
and tied, on the other hand, to a sedentary existence. So the contrasted 
supplies of moisture drove men to that great clash between nomadism and 
agriculturalism which gave rise, in some degree, at any rate, to the energy, 
the discontents, and the conquests of the West. The regions of the Bast 
are relatively sheltered, and are exposed to nomad invasion only along 
two or three definite roads, whereas the West lies widely open to the 
desert and steppe and, therefore, to nomad pressure, save where shielded 
by the broader parts of the Mediterranean. 

Of course there is more than this in the recent history of western 
civilisation. The command which the West has exercised in the last 
century over the vacant seas and almost vacant lands of the outer world, 
and the siege which it has laid to the East, have been intensified by a 
temporary cause ; western men have led the way in the exploitation of the 
coal, oil, and iron-ore which were laid up by the hydrosphere under the 
powers of sun and life in past geographical conditions. 

In the dynamic system which, it appears to me, should be the main 
subject of our geographical study, there are two elements which present 
a certain analogy and yet are different. Both of them are products of the 
past and yet both belong to the present. In thinking of coal the mind 
goes quickly back to long past forest scenes ; but there is no need of 
geological history in order to appreciate the liberation of energy from coal 
in the process of combustion to-day. Similarly, the momentum which is 
characteristic of established circulations, as well in the human and 
economic as in the purely physical aspects of geography, may be studied 
according to origin and growth, in geology and history, but, on the other 
han.d, as a fact of the present in our geographical dynamic system. Take, 
for example, a great human fact — London. To-day London is essentially 
a market, and there is no more persistent fact in human geography than 
a market ; it is a nodal point not merely of roads but of circulations ; 
its momentum is the product of a number of momenta interacting. In 
an established market men from near and far trust to find a competition of 
purchasers for the goods they have to sell, and a competition among 
salesmen of the goods they seek to buy. According to the recent census, 
London in the widest sense has some 12 million people, for those who 
serve the market require the aid of a port, industries, holiday resorts and 
suburban types of agriculture. To the merchant of to-day the origin 
of London in its hill village and tidal creeks is unimportant ; at most, if 
he be a man of culture and imagination, it may be a fascinating romance 
for his hours of leisure and for the company of inquisitive children. 
But momentum is a practical fact of the present, which he will neglect 
in his business at his peril ; for the many elements which enter into the 
momentum of London are all the time varying, some waxing and some 
waning. If he be a bit of a philosopher, as well as a romantic, he may 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 107 

look ahead a couple of generations, and see his London grown to be half 
England, our so-called staple industries, though let us hope maintained, 
having need for fewer workers, and the momentum of the world market 
having increased. That 12 millions should grow to 24 milUons in a 
single urban and suburban area seems an almost impossible destiny. 
But if you reflect that 12 millions are already -7 of the world's population, 
and that 24 millions would only be 1-4, the miracle seems to shrink. 
As we have seen, the East and the West, as great natural regions and 
human commimities, are not losing their relative importance in the 
world ; the growth of to-day seems to be rather intensive than extensive. 
With ever more centraUsed organisation, the managing centres of the 
world's economy will become more and not less essential. Though some 
fimctions may be delegated to lesser cities, it does not look as though the 
relative importance of the few great world centres — say London, Paris, 
Berlin, New York, and Chicago — will tend to diminish. 

One more point on this matter of momentum. Time was when marshes 
and forests were most efEective boundaries for the little natural regions 
inhabited by primitive agricultural tribes. Here in England and on the 
neighbouring continent such tribes settled upon the medium soils, for 
they had not the art of fertiUsing the light soils, nor because of the rudeness 
of their implements could they till the heavy soils. Gradually as the arts 
of Ufe improved, the forests were cleared and the marshes were drained, 
and the lesser natural regions were fused into greater. It may perhaps 
be thought that with the continuance of this process all mankind will in 
the end be unified. The element of momentuna must, however, not be 
forgotten. Take an illustration from the development of language. 
Modern printing, and now broadcasting, are bringing it about that the 
traditional peasant with his few hundred words is being replaced by whole 
populations with rich vocabularies of many thousands of words, and all 
manner of implications and shades of meaning in their phrases. A great 
national culture has an immense momentum which makes itself felt at 
the frontiers between the nations. An educated Englishman, though he 
may learn foreign languages and acquire an international outlook, is in 
fact far more intensely an Englishman than is the uncultured peasant of 
his land. The minor and less developed peoples may, in some cases, be 
absorbed, but the momentum of the greater nationalities is at present 
visibly increasing. Unless I mistake, it is the message of geography 
that international co-operation in any future that we need consider must 
be based on the federal idea. If our civiHsation is not to go down in blind 
internecine conflict, there must be a development of world planning out 
of regional planning, just as regional planning has come out of town 
planning. The statesman of the future must know something of the 
geographical natural regions, if he is to build for stability. The peaceful 
readjustment of treaties to difierential growth will postulate an informed 
and deUcate geographical judgment. 

In the formation of such a judgment, geomorphology cannot play the 
major part. Until within little more than a century ago, maps were 
essentially hydrographical documents ; they showed with any accuracy 
only coast lines and rivers, and the positions of towns on the coasts and 
the rivers. Precise representation of terrain is a modem addition. The 



108 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

map of to-day, no less than the landscape itself, may be a thing of joy 
to the eye of an artistic geographer ; hill forms and stream meanderings 
may present a poem of rhythm and harmonies to a Vaughan Cornish. 
Inevitably he will try to penetrate beneath the surface, for he sees 
questions and desires answers, but let him beware ! What matters from 
his standpoint is whether the rocks are porous, or impervious, or soluble ; 
how bedded and interbedded ; at what angles they come to the surface, 
and with what jointing and faulting ; how they weather and what soils 
they yield. I would have the young geographer practised in the use of 
an almost Ruskinian, purely descriptive language, with terms drawn from 
the quarryman, the stonemason, the farmer, the alpine cUmber, and the 
water-engineer. Of course, it would be pedantic to press such a revolt 
too far ; there are ready-made stores of appropriate knowledge in 
geological literature, but they are expressed in an aUen tongue, from a 
standpoint other than the geographical. The geographer is concerned 
with the dynamic relations of the atmosphere and hydrosphere with the 
lithosphere ; as geographer he has little concern with geological horizons 
and epochs. None the less, the temptation to describe a region in terms 
of geological dates is besetting and insidious. It is a dangerous practice 
because it tends to lead the geographer away from his duty. Geology 
should be to the geographer what anatomy is to the artist ; the subsidiary 
subject makes a good servant but an ill master. 

My aim in this address has been to suggest that if you put the hydro- 
sphere rather than the lithosphere in the forefront of your geography, 
there at once emerges a certain unity permeating both aspects of the 
subject. Water carries and stores energy, whether that energy emanate 
directly from the sun or be controlled by life. Two agents, the sun and 
life, work in the same medium, water, and must therefore obey the same 
conditions. Life canalises some of the movements due to the sun. Coral 
reefs and man-built breakwaters impede the action of waves ; beavers 
and men dam the flow of rivers. Rising to greater co-operative efforts, 
man irrigates the desert, connects the oceans by artificial straits, and 
intercepts energy from the waterfalls. At the present time — ^as it were in 
a great parenthesis of history— man taps vast but exhaustible stores of 
potential energy which, in past ages, were piled up by the hydrosphere in 
deposits of coal and oil. Thus, the water-borne character of our civilisation 
is for the moment partially masked. But essentially both Physical and 
Human Geography are concerned with the carriage and storage of energy 
on the surface of this earth, and the vehicle is the Protean element, water. 
Even the lightning is incidental to the cloud, and broadcast music depends 
on steam or water-power. 

There is not merely a philosophical consistency thus imported into 
geography — that in itself is of great value in an educational discipline — 
but there is also a complete change in practical outlook. When you treat 
the land forms as primary and think of the fluid movements as controlled 
by them, your mind inevitably looks back to the evolution of those forms, 
you think in terms of geology, of history ; but when you treat the fluid 
circulations as primary and think of the land forms as incidental to them, 
your mind is concentrated on the present ; you are thinking dynamically, 
you are ready for action. In the first case, the geographer is consorting 



E.— GEOGRAPHY. 109 

with the archeeologist ; in the second, with the architect and the 
engineer. 

Of late geographers — I am not speaking of cartographers — have begun 
for the first time to see a practical and not only an educational outlet for 
their training. As I have said, regional planning has emerged from town 
planning, and we shall sooner or later come to world planning. During 
recent generations human affairs have moved with a tragic rhythm ; first 
. a great War, followed by exhaustion ; then the relative peace and 
recuperation of a temporary equilibrium ; finally, a period of increasing 
stress, when statesmen dare not act for fear of precipitating conflict 
between forces which have become unbalanced owing to varying rates of 
growth under difiering natural and human conditions. We are now in 
the trough of our post-war exhaustion, but the younger generation should 
enjoy a mid-century opportunity, when — perturbed neither by exhaustion 
nor fear — men may in some small degree be masters of their destiny, 
always provided that they be masters of their minds. Then will be the 
opportunity of the geographer-statesman, for geography must underlie 
the strategy of peace if you would not have it subserve the strategy of war. 

The saying is that in the beginning history is all geography ; in other 
words, Man was once helpless in the grip of Nature. Can we not strive 
that in the end, also, history shall be all geography, but with a difference 
of implication ? The first was a fatalistic utterance, the second is the 
utterance of the world-planner, the geographer in action. Heaven save 
us from falling into the hands of any expert, whether he be doctor or 
geographer, but they who hold up the arms of Moses have a share in his 
victory. While turning our faces thus resolutely to the future, let us not 
quite part company with our good friends, the archaeologists, and our 
one-time rivals, the geologists ; in becoming Realists let us not cease from 
being, in a reasonable degree. Romantics. 



SECTION F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 



THE CHANGED OUTLOOK IN REGARD 
TO POPULATION, 1831-1931. 

ADDRESS BY 

EMERITUS-PROFESSOR EDWIN CANNAN, M.A., Litt.D., LL.D. 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



Times change, and economic theories change with them. We need no 
longer be ashamed of the fact, as we used to be inclined to be in the old 
days, when our colleagues in other Sections of the Association professed to 
despise us for disagreeing among ourselves and perpetually overthrowing 
conclusions arrived at by our predecessors. We hear less now of the 
certainty and finality of the other sciences, and can face their exponents 
unabashed, confident that theories may be useful for leading us on towards 
the truth without being immutable and exempt from revision. 

I think that the biggest change made in economic theory during the 
last hundred years is to be found in the treatment of the subject of 
Population. In 1831, Malthus was still alive, and quite unrepentant for 
the shock he had given the public thirty-three years earlier by his Essay 
on the Principle of Population as it affects the future Improvement of Society. 
No one, it is true, any longer attached much importance to his doctrine of 
the inherent incompatibility of the ratios in which it was possible for 
population and food to increase, but the disfavour with which he regarded 
what he considered the natural tendency of population to increase was 
shared by most of the economists of the orthodox school, who had adopted 
the theory of diminishing returns to agriculture which was evolved in 
England from the local conditions of the very ' short period ' of the 
Napoleonic war. 

That theory, not as now taught in a form which makes it innocuous, 
but as taught in the early years of the nineteenth century, purported to 
show that the natural limitation of fertile and well-situated land must 
necessarily mean that the more numerous the people, the more difficult it 
must be for them to feed themselves. It was admitted that there were 
counteracting circumstances, summed up as ' the progress of civilisation,' 
which, in fact, had throughout history prevented the growing population 
of the ci\'ilised woijd from actually finding it more difficult to feed itself, 
but these circumstances were regarded as making only temporary headway 
against the general tendency, and not, like it, as being a law of nature. 
J. S. Mill, in his Principles of Political Economy vnth some of their Applica- 
tions to Social Philosophy, which, though not made into a book until 
seventeen years after, was really thought out before 1831, and represents 
the ideas of 1800 to 1830 better than any other work, even ventured to 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. Ill 

assert that though the people of his time were better off than the people 
of a thousand years before, they would have been still better off if the 
increase of population had been less. 

The economic history of the hundred years has tended to bring about 
a very complete reversal of economists' view of this matter. 

The hundred years began with developments which threw great dis- 
credit on the fundamental assumption of the old school that the extension 
of human occupation of land necessarily meant that less fertile and less 
well-situated land must be occupied as numbers grew. It was easy for 
men who saw arable cultivation creeping over barren hills in England and 
stony ' bogs ' in Ireland to believe in that theory when Chicago was a 
collection of Indian huts, and Broadway, New York, a rough cart track to a 
farm, but the application of steam to shijjs and railways enabled mankind 
to extend easily over an immense area of land more fertile than much of 
what was occupied before. And as for situation, not only did the improve- 
ment in transport, coupled with the violations of natural geography 
involved in the cutting of the great ship canals, bring the ' more distant ' 
lands nearer the ' market,' it also eventually brought ' the market ' to the 
' more distant ' lands. 

So we no longer think of the first cradle of the human race (or the first 
cradles of the human races if there are more than one) as the most fertile 
and well-situated spot (or spots) from which men have gradually been 
forced outwards. You all probably know the opinion of the British Army 
in Mesopotamia, expressed by the sergeant who was told by an officer that 
he was now on the very site of the Garden of Eden : ' Well, Sir, all I can 
say is that if this was the Garden of Eden it's no wonder the twelve 
apostles mutinied.' Though the sergeant was evidently not a well-read 
man, the change of view had reached even him. 

Later in the hundred years scientific discovery in various directions 
has led to a complete change of emphasis in regard to the importance of 
what the old economists used to call " improvements.' The old economists 
thought of hedges and ditches, drains, and a few other trifles of that 
land which would enable corn to be more easily produced from European 
fields, and just a little of better breeding of cattle and sheep. These were 
things which might, they believed, interrupt for a time, now and then, 
the general downward drift of the returns to agricultural industry, but 
could not do more than that. Modern science has changed our outlook. 
We set no boimds to the possibilities of improvement. We expect to 
make unwholesome areas healthy, and to modify vegetable as well as 
animal products so that they will better serve our needs. Primitive 
mankind presumably fought and killed some of the now extinct carni- 
vora ; advanced mankind fights and will kill the locusts and the smaller 
insects which have hitherto prevented much use being made of some of 
the most fertile areas of the world. It was not an economist who, only 
a few years ago in the Presidential chair of the Association, foretold that 
very soon the world would be suffering from a shortage of wheat. 

Thus, even if we still expected population to increase very rapidly, we 
should not believe, as J. S. Mill did, that it ' everywhere treads close on 
the heels of agricultural improvement, and effaces its effects as fast as 
they are produced ' {Principles, Bk. IV, ch. iii, § 5). Biit in fact, Cotter 



112 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Morison's cry, made only a generation ago, that all would be well if only 
we could stop for a few years ' the devastating torrent of babies ' now 
seems grotesque, for we do not now expect rapid increase of population 
to continue much longer, even if it becomes progressively easier to obtain 
subsistence. 

The approach of reduction in the rate of growth of population began 
to show itself in England in the second half of the 1871-80 decade, when 
the annual number of births became nearly stationary after the rapid 
increase recorded down to 1876. But the public takes Uttle notice of the 
supply of people furnished by the births. Just in the wooden way in 
which illiterate farmers and unbusinesslike old ladies look at their balances 
at the bank, so the public looks at the censuses. The census of 1881 
showed an increase of 14-36 per cent, in the decade, which was higher 
than that shown by any of the censuses except those of 1821 and 1831, 
which were probably unduly swollen by the diminishing incompleteness 
of the enumerations. In 1881-91, in spite of high emigration, the rate of 
increase only dropped to 11 '65 per cent, so rapid increase of population 
was still regarded as the normal thing which everyone should expect. 
The Royal Commission on the Water Supply of the Metropolis in 1893 
deliberately rejected the reasonable suggestion that the rate of increase 
in Greater London might continue to fall as it had already begun to do, 
and relying on a continuance of observed increase, put the probable 
population in the present year, 1931, two and three-quarter millions more 
than the recent census has shown it to be. 

But I had noticed that the old rapid increase in the annual number of 
births seemed to have come to an end, and working on the ages of the 
people as recorded in successive censuses, I put before this Section of the 
Association at its meeting in Ipswich in 1895, a paper (subsequently 
published in the Economic Journal for December in that year) in which I 
estimated the number of persons who would be living at each census up 
to that of 1951 on the assumptions that migration, mortality, and (not 
the rate, but the absolute number of births) remained stationary. I 
found that on these hypotheses the population of England and Wales 
would stop increasing during the present century, and would have only a 
trifling increase after 1941. The paper suggested that this was, at any 
rate, not improbable, 

Hostile critics derided what they called my ' prophecy,' and for some 
time events were unfavourable to me. Emigration fell ofi enormously, 
mortality decreased, and the births increased slightly, so that the census 
of 1901 showed an increase of 12' 17 per cent, in the decade, the absolute 
increase of three and a half millions being the largest recorded. But the 
situation was not fundamentally altered, since the increase of births was 
due entirely to the drop in emigration, which had caused a larger pro- 
portion of persons of parental age to remain in the country. In the 
Fortnightly Review of March 1902, I returned to the charge with an 
article on the ' Recent DecUne of Natality in Great Britain,' in which, using 
a method of weighting the annual numbers of marriages by their proximity 
to the births recorded for each year — a method which seems to have been 
beneath the notice of the mathematical statisticians of that period — I was 
able to show, I think, conclusively, that the number of children resulting 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 113 

from each marriage was falling steadily and rapidly, and insisted witii 
more emphasis than before on the ' considerable probability of the dis- 
appearance of the natural increase of population — the excess of births over 
deaths — in Great Britain within the present century.' 

The decade 1901-11 was indecisive ; the ratio of increase was smaller 
than in any of its ten predecessors, but the absolute amount of increase 
just topped that of 1891-1901, and the number of births till 1908 or 1909 
seemed to indicate some recovery of natality. But this M-as illusory. 
Even before the War the births had got down again to the level of 1876. 
The War sent them tumbling down to about three-quarters of that number, 
and now, after a wild but very short-lived recovery when the Army returned 
from abroad, they seem inclined to settle at the War figure — three-quarters 
of the number attained more than fifty years ago when the total population 
was twenty-six milHons instead of forty millions, as it is now. The ratio 
of births, legitimate and illegitimate, to my weighted figure of marriages 
was just over 4J fifty years ago, fell gradually and steadily to 3J before 
the War caused it to collapse. (See the Appendix.) 

It was commonly supposed by many of those to whom percentages 
serve rather to hide than to expose the facts on which they are based, that 
the diminution of births was being counterbalanced by the decline of 
infant mortality. It is true of course that diminution of infant mortaUty 
mitigates the effect of decline of natality, but the degree in which it can 
do so obviously decreases as the rate of infant mortality falls. When that 
rate is 500 per thousand, as it probably was here in the reign of Queen 
Anne, and may be still in great parts of Africa, a cutting down of births by 
25 per cent, can be counteracted completely by a drop of one-third in 
the infantile mortality rate. But when the infant mortality rate is 
down to 100 per thousand, it would have to fall to nothing at all in order 
to counteract a decline of only 10 per cent, in the number of births. In 
fact, the rate has fallen in England and Wales from about 140 to about 
70 in the fifty years from 1881, and this drop to one-half only balances 
about one-fifth of the decline in the number of births. 

Though there were eminent dissentients only a few years ago, 
statisticians are now agreed that in the absence of some great and un- 
expected change, the increase of population in England and Wales will 
come to an end at a very early date. Even the lay public has been to 
some extent enlightened and rather shocked by the recent census announce- 
ments that the population of Scotland has actually decreased in the ten 
years, and that of England and Wales has increased only 2,061,000, as 
against 3,543,000 in the ten years from 1901-11, though the emigrants 
have been 324,000 less. 

The same change is observable in some degree in other Western 
European countries and our own oversea ofishoots. The cause of it — birth 
control — will doubtless in time affect the rest of the world, so that while 
we may expect considerable increase — even an increase much more ra])id 
than at present owing to decrease of huge infant mortality — to take place 
among the more backward peoples for another half-century at least, there 
is no reason whatever for expecting the population of the world to ' tread 
close on the heels of subsistence ' in the future, even if it may be 
correctly regarded as having done so in the past. 

1931 I 



114 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

This change in our expectations involves many changes of emphasis, 
hoth in the theory of production and in that of distribution. 

Two of them are perfectly obvious. First, the need, which J. S. Mill 
and most of his contemporaries and immediate predecessors felt so 
strongly, for insisting on the due restriction of population, has completely 
disappeared in the Western countries. Economists do not now require to 
talk as if the first duty of men and women was to refrain from propagating 
their race. Secondly, the need for insisting on the desirabiUty of saving 
has become less pressing. A rapidly increasing population requires a 
rapidly increasing number of tools, machines, ships, houses, and other 
articles of material equipment in order merely to maintain without 
improving its economic condition, while at the same time the maintenance 
of a larger proportion of children renders it more difficult to make the 
required additions. To a stationary population saving will still be 
desirable for the improvement of conditions, but it need no longer be insisted 
on as necessary for the mere maintenance of the existing standard. 

But there are other changes of equal importance which are more likely 
to be overlooked. One is in regard to the weight which we attach to the 
different kinds of production. In the middle of the eighteenth century 
' subsistence,' and what we should consider a very coarse and inadequate 
subsistence probably seriously deficient in vitamins, jippeared so much 
the most important economic good that the French Economistes insisted 
on calling all labour which did not get something out of the soil sthile or 
barren ; and our own Adam Smith, with all his common sense, while 
admitting the manufacturing class into the ranks of * productive ' 
labourers, insisted on excluding domestic servants, physicians, guardians 
of law and order, and all other workers who did not make up material 
objects, or who were not employed for profit (he never was quite sure 
which criterion he meant to stand by). The great Christian philosopher, 
Paley, believed that nothing more than a ' healthy subsistence ' was 
required for perfect happiness. Even Malthus and his immediate 
disciples, when they insisted on the desirability of the working-class ha-\ang 
a high standard of comfort, seem to have done so more because this would 
prevent the ' misery ' of semi-starvation for adults and absolute starvation 
for infants than because there is a direct advantage in being comfortable. 
Ricardo said ' the friends of humanity cannot but wish that in all countries 
the labouring classes should have a taste for comforts and enjoyments,' 
not apparently because comforts and enjoyments are good in themselves, 
but because ' there cannot be a better security against a superabundant 
population,' the population being superabundant, in his opinion, when it 
is subject to famine. 

All this emphasis on food is now out of date. We no longer look forward 
to a future in which an increasing population will be forced by the operation 
of the law of diminishing returns to devote a larger and ever larger pro- 
portion of its whole labour force to the production of food. We know 
that even in the past, with a rapidly increasing population, the returns to 
agricultural industry have increased so much that civilised mankind has 
been able to feed itself better and better, while giving a smaller and ever 
smaller proportion of its whole labour force to the production of bare 
subsistence ; and we can reasonably expect that the increase in the 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 115 

productiveness of agricultural industry will be at least as great in the 
future, so that under the combined influence of the ' narrow capacity of 
the individual human stomach ' and the stationary number of stomachs, 
not only a smaller and ever smaller proportion, but a smaller and smaller 
-absolute number of workers will be able to raise food for the whole. 

Even the politicians, who for the most part follow the economists with 
a sixty or seventy years' lag, are beginning to realise the change, and are 
losing their enthusiasm for schemes for ' settling more people on the land,' 
either in colonies or at home, and thereby increasing the already excessive 
depreciation of agricultural compared with manufactured products. The 
numerous subsidies which they still give to agriculture are mostly of an 
eleemosynary character intended to relieve distress, and the encouragement 
which they give to agricultural production is only an incidental effect, 
unintended and often deplored. They are defended, not on the ground 
that they increase food, but because they are supposed to increase 
employment. 

The necessary change of emphasis applies not only as between food and 
other things, but as between most primary and most finishing industries. 
In face of rapidly growing knowledge and slowly growing or stationary 
population, it is inevitable that the ' staple ' or ' heavy ' industries which 
provide materials should decline relatively to those which provide finished 
goods and services. The demand for each of such things as pig-iron and 
yards of cloth is easily satiated ; and so also, no doubt, is the demand for 
cricket-bats and chauffeurs. But the minor or ' lighter ' industries are 
susceptible of an indefinite multiplication which makes the demand for 
their products, taken as a whole, insatiable. Increase a person's power 
of spending, and he will not increase his purchases in weight or bulk so 
much as in refinement of form, so that a richer people will devote a less 
proportion of their labour to producing things like pig-iron and bricks. 
Moreover, the mere fact of the disappearance of rapid increase of popula- 
tion tends to increase the proportion of demand which can be satisfied 
from scrap without fresh primary production. So, given a stationary 
population with rapidly increasing knowledge applied to production, we 
may expect the already observable tendency towards a less proportion 
of the whole labour-force being employed in the ' heavy industries ' and 
a larger in the lighter industries to become more pronounced. Perhaps 
we see this even now in the slight drift of industrial population from the 
North to the South of England which appears to be taking place. 

Another change of emphasis, of little importance on the Continent, 
where the West-Ricardian theory of rent never took real root, but of great 
importance in England and other English-speaking areas, is in respect of 
the landowners' share of the community's income. The disappearing 
bugbear of diminishing returns carries away with it the vampire rural 
landlord, who was supposed to prosper exceedingly when diminution of 
returns made food scarce and dear. You all know the famous passage in 
which J. S. Mill described the landlords as they appeared to him and the 
school which he, a little belatedly, represented : — 

' The ordinary progress of a society which increases in wealth is at 

^airtimes tending to augment the incomes of landlords ; to give them 

both a greater amount and a greater proportion of the wealth of the 

i2 



116 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

community, independently of any trouble or outlay incurred by 
themselves. They grow richer, as it were, in their sleep, without 
working, risking, or economising.' {Principles, Bk. V, eh. ii, § 5.) 
Perhaps the disciple went a little beyond his master, Ricardo, in 
asserting so roundly that in a prosperous society the landlords must tend 
to get a larger and ever larger proportion of the whole income, but there 
can be no doubt that this was the impression which the Ricardian school 
conveyed to the public, and which formed the foundation for Henry 
George's scheme of land nationalisation and the agitation for land-value 
taxation. If the school had only meant to teach that the land became 
more valuable absolutely — in the sense of being worth a larger absolute 
amount of commodities rather than a larger proportion of all the com- 
modities and services constituting the community's income — they could 
not have supposed land so peculiar, since it would share this characteristic 
with many other things — with anj^thing which was more limited in supply 
than the generality. 

To grasp the completeness of the change of view which has taken place 
in the last hundred years, we must notice that Mill and the whole school 
which he represented were thinking not of the few lucky landlords who 
have inherited land which has been selected by nature or accident as the 
site of a city, but of the ordinary rural agricultural landlords. So far have 
we moved that the land-value taxers of to-day quite cheerfully propose 
to exempt all ' purely agricultural value ' from the imposition which they 
advocate. 

Envy of the happy owners of such urban land as rises in value more 
than enough to recoup what they and their predecessors in title paid in 
road making, sewering and other expenses of ' development ' plus loss, if 
any, in waiting for income, still plays a part in contemporary politics, but 
the economist foresees that there will be at any rate less of such rise of 
value when the adult population ceases to increase and the demand for 
additional houses and gardens consequently disappears. He realises that 
if any such rise continues, it will be due to the people being not only able, 
as they doubtless will be, to occupy a larger area with their houses and 
gardens, but also desirous of doing so. He will think this quite possible, 
but will not be confident about it, when he reflects that the vast spread of 
villadom may be only a temporary phenomenon, and that the married 
couples of the future, childless or with small families, may be more content 
with flats in towns and little bungalows with tiny curtilages right in the 
country. 

The disappearance from economic theory of the picture of the vampire 
landlord taking an ever-increasing proportion of the whole produce of 
industry which was itself decreasing per head of workers, leaves the 
theoretic arena open for discussion of the sharing of the whole produce 
between earnings of work and income derived from possession of property 
of all kinds. 

As to this, the economists of a hundred years ago had nothing to say. 
If they thought of the question at all, they mixed it up hopelessly with 
the rate of interest on capital, imagining property to receive a smaller 
proportion when the rate of interest fell, and vice versa. The Socialists, 
who followed them in fact the more closely the more they denounced them, 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 117 

failed completely to clear up the confusion, and it dominates the mind 
of the lay public even now — much, I admit, to the discredit of the 
economists, who should have taught that public better. 

While there are no statistics on the subject worth much, and none 
covering any considerable area either of place or time, past history is 
sufficiently known to assure us that increasing civilisation has, in fact, 
made the aggregate share of property grow faster than that of labour, 
the obvious cause of this being that useful things constituting property 
have grown faster than population, and so much faster that what decline 
of the rate of interest has taken place has not been sufficient to counteract 
the tendency. The most primitive people had scarcely any tools, and 
their buildings, if any, could be erected in a few hours. Ownership 
certainly did not then give a claim to about one-third of the whole income, 
as statistics suggest that it does in modern Western countries. 

There is nothing to show that this tendency will be either reversed or 
intensified by a cessation of the growth of population. The cessation 
will, of course, tend to reduce the desirability of additional equipment ; 
a large part of the additions of the past have been required simply to 
enable the additional people to be provided with tools, houses, and other 
instruments of production or enjoyment. But additions to equipment 
will be made with less sacrifice of immediate enjoyable income than before, 
so that the increase of quantity may be sufficient to counteract the decline 
in the value of the units. Moreover, it is quite impossible to say what the 
tendency of invention may be in the future — whether to enhance or to 
diminish the value of additional material equipment. 

But the history of the last hundred years suggests that this question of 
the division of income between property and labour is losing whatever 
importance it possessed. The economists and socialists of a hundred years 
ago were little removed from the time when it was common to talk of 
' the labouring poor,' as if society was pretty sharply divided into poor 
workers on the one side and rich owners of property on the other. There 
were, indeed, some members of the propertied classes who were poor, but 
they were ofishoots of the wealthier families rather than members of the 
proletariat with a little property. How innocent the mass of the people 
were of the crime of owning anything you may realise if you recollect 
that none of the agencies with which we are famiUar for enabling them 
to invest had then got beyond the embryo stage. Friendly societies, 
co-operative societies, building societies, savings banks, are all modern 
growths. Before their advent a worker could, of course, become. a small 
master — never, I think, a small mistress— and from a small master grow 
to be a big master, but if, for any reason this was not open to him, what 
could he do with savings, supposing he was able to make any ? Put 
them in a stocking, or the thatch, or under the garden soil, and if they 
happily escaped accident there, and accumulated sufficiently, give them 
to an attorney of doubtful honesty to be lent out on mortgage. I remember 
only about fifty years ago being told by a booking-clerk at a moorland 
station, about a hundred miles from London, how two old women had 
recently paid for return tickets to London in threepenny-bits, and by a 
solicitor that an old man from the same district had just brought him for 
investment on mortgage a large sum in gold which he had so far been 



118 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

keeping in the thatch of his cottage. All this is now changed, and when 
property, as a whole, and not merely the large property-owners, is attacked, 
the great investing agencies of the ' working classes ' become formidable 
opponents and are supported by the small direct investors who have been 
helped by them. 

And while many of the working-class have become property owners, 
many of the projiertied class have become the paid servants of public 
companies and other institutions, so that the old sharp distinction between 
the wage-earner and the capitalist is become a thing of the past, and the 
division of income between property and labour is no longer a division 
between two classes composed of difierent individuals, but a division 
between two sources of income largely possessed by the same individuals. 

Thus, in Distribution, emphasis on the old categories of land, capital, 
and labour is rapidly becoming obsolete and is being replaced by emphasis 
on individual riches and poverty, however arising. No longer do we 
think of reUeving poverty by improving the terms of the general bargain 
which theory conceives labour as making with capital ; we are much 
more likely to meet with arguments that individual poverty is being 
caused by this general bargain being too much in favour of the wage- 
earners. It is no longer the lowuess of standard earnings that worries 
the philanthropic economist, but the fact that so many people are unable 
to rank themselves among recipients of those wages. Emphasis is on 
unemployment. 

Unemployment is not really a very modern phenomenon. The crowds 
of beggars who collected their daily dole in the Middle Ages from ihe 
monasteries and from private wayfarers and householders were, perhaps, 
as large a proportion of the population as the normal registered unemployed 
of to-day. The ' distresses ' of the period just preceding a hundred years 
ago seem to have been accompanied by enormous unemployment, but 
we have no reliable statistics, and the loose statements, such as that in 
Birmingham in 1817 one-third of the workpeople were wholly unemployed 
and all the rest on half-time, do not help us much. But so far as I know, 
it has never been contended that history shows unemployment to be 
greater when population (or even population of working age) is rapidly 
increasing. 

Yet it is common to talk of ' the difficulty of providing employment 
for a rapidly increasing population,' and some eminent authorities quite 
recently endeavoured to console the public by. alleging that the coming 
decUne in the growth of numbers will greatly alleviate the present situation 
in regard to unemployment. 

I believe this to be a profound error, based on an elementary mis- 
conception of the origin of demand. The old proverb ' With every mouth 
God sends a pair of hands ' is true and valuable, but no more so than its 
converse, ' With every pair of hands God sends a mouth.' The demand 
for the products of industry is not something outside and independent of 
the amount of products. The demand for each product depends on the 
supply of products offered in exchange for it, and the demand for all 
products depends on the supply of all products. Consequently, there is 
not the sUghtest danger of the working population ever becoming too 
great for the demand for its products taken as a whole. 



Ji 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 119 

Unemployment arises not from insufficient demand for the products 
of industry as a whole, but from the number of persons offering to work in 
particular branches of industry being in excess of the number admissible, 
haAnng regard to the conditions and wages which are required to satisfy 
both the would-be workers who are unemployed and the persons already 
in employment. If the unemployed will not take what employers would 
offer them, the case is simple, and it is only a little more complicated if 
they are willing to take, and the employers are willing to give, something 
less than what is paid to the persons already employed ; but the two parties 
are prevented from coming to terms on that basis by the fact that those 
already employed would go out on strike if the additional contingent was 
accepted at a lower rate than that which they themselves are receiving. 

Now one of the commonest causes of such a situation is a falling off of 
demand for the products of a particular branch of industry. The fact that 
the demand for any product, let us say coal, for example, falls off, is a good 
reason for fewer persons being employed in that branch of industry and 
more in other branches. If the diminution of demand is very gradual, the 
necessary reduction in personnel can be effected by a cessation of recruiting. 
Many a branch of industry has gradually wilted away in tliis manner 
without much inconvenience or hardship to anyone. But if the 
diminution is more sudden, unemployment results owing to the natural 
reluctance of persons skilled, or at any rate experienced, in the particular 
branch of industry to leave it and try for employment in some other. 
The thoughtless outsider is apt to say that both the unemployed and 
those who are still employed in the branch should accept lower wages, 
and so by cheapening the product, extend the demand for it. As a 
temporary palliative this may sometimes be reasonable, but it is evidently 
never the best final solution of the difficulty. It is not reasonable that a 
trade should be continuously worse paid than others merely because the 
demand for its products was once bigger than it has become. What the 
diminution of demand calls for is a redistribution of labour force, fewer 
persons being allotted to the branch of industry of which the products 
are less in demand, and more persons to the other branches. 

But when population is increasing, absolute diminutions of demand 
are likely to be somewhat fewer, and somewhat less acute when they do 
occur, than when population is stationary. If, for example, by the intro- 
duction of oil, or more economical consumption, the average person's 
demand for coal is reduced by one- tenth, in a stationary population the 
total demand for coal would be reduced by one-tenth ; but if the popula- 
tion in the same time increased 12 per cent., the total demand would be 
not reduced but slightly increased, and there would be no employment 
difficulty. 

We ought therefore not to imagine that a stationary or decbning 
population will rid us of the trouble of unemployment. It will provide 
more rather than less reason for promoting mobility of labour in place and 
occupation, and we shall have to take more care, rather than less, than at 
present to secure that arrangements which seem superficially desirable 
do not hinder that mobility. 

It is inevitable, I suppose, that the question will be asked, whether 
cessation of the growth of population is to be regarded as a good or an 



120 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

evil turn in human history. But the limitations of economics and perhaps 
of human nature prevent any straight answer being given. Nationalists 
in each nation want their own nation to increase in comparison with 
others ; if they think of the others' interest at all, they say and believe that 
it will be promoted by the loredominance of their own nation. We can 
get no further that way, since the pretension of each is contradicted by the 
pretensions of the others. If we try to avoid this obstacle by saying that 
we will ignore national and racial difierences, and assume either that 
somehow the generally fittest will grow at the expense of the others, or 
that each as well as the whole will have stationary numbers, we still have 
to face the fact that our conception of the distinction between economic 
welfare and welfare of other kinds is nebulous in the extreme, and that 
if it was clearer, we should not know — I think we never can know — how 
much of the one should be regarded as equal to a given quantity of the 
other. 

Different persons will give different answers. Some agree with Paley 
that ten persons with sufficient subsistence must be in possession of more 
welfare than a single millionaire ; others with J. S. Mill that the world 
turned into a ' human anthill ' would be an undesirable place of residence. 
The same person will give different answers according to his mood at the 
moment. Personally, I spent my early boyhood in a town which through- 
out my life has been the most prosperous in England, and I have long lived 
in another which, having added motor manufacture to education in its 
old age, has lately been growing nearly as fast, and sometimes when I 
contemplate their growth I feel a Uttle like G. R. Porter when he wrote 
theProgress of the iVaiion, during the period 1800 to 1831. At other times, 
and I think more often, I regret the open heath and the untouched pine 
wood which stretched in my early recollection to within a few hundred 
yards of the Bath Hotel at Bournemouth, and I hate the gasworks 
straddling the river and the bungalows shutting in the main roads out of 
Oxford ; then I agree with Mill that it is well that population should 
become stationary long before necessity compels it. 

After all, the increase must stop some time, and watching the effect 
of the stoppage will be a very interesting experience which I should like 
to have been born late enough to enjoy. 



F.— ECONOMIC SCIENCE AND STATISTICS. 



121 



Year 


Births 


Ratio 


1851 


616 


4-36 


1852 


624 


4-30 


1853 


612 


4-14 


1854 


634 


417 


1855 


635 


4-12 


1856 


657 


4-25 


1857 


663 


4-25 


1858 


655 


4-18 


1859 


690 


4-39 


1860 


684 


4-28 


1861 


696 


4-30 


1862 


713 


4-43 


1863 


727 


4-45 


1864 


740 


4-46 


1865 


748 


4-42 


1866 


754 


4-35 


1867 


768 


4-35 


1868 


787 


4-42 


1869 


773 


4-34 


1870 


793 


4-44 


1871 


797 


4-45 


1872 


826 


4-54 


1873 


830 


4-53 


1874 


855 


4-48 


1875 


851 


4-39 


1876 


888 


4-53 


1877 


888 


4-52 



APPENDIX. 


Marri 


AGES IN 


Engl.4 


Year 


Birtha 


Ratio 


1878 


892 


4-51 


1879 


880 


4-49 


1880 


882 


4-56 


1881 


884 


4-58 


1882 


889 


4-59 


1883 


891 


4-55 


1884 


907 


4-58 


1885 


894 


4-48 


1886 


904 


4-53 


1887 


886 


4-45 


1888 


880 


4-41 


1889 


886 


4-41 


1890 


870 


4-27 


1891 


914 


4-39 


1892 


898 


4-22 


1893 


915 


4-23 


1894 


890 


4-07 


1895 


922 


4-19 


1896 


915 


4-11 


1897 


922 


4-05 


1898 


923 


3-97 


1899 


929 


3-89 


1900 


927 


3-79 


1901 


930 


3-74 


1902 


941 


3-74 


1903 


948 


3-72 


1904 


945 


3-69 



-1930. 



Year 


Births 


Ratio 


1905 


929 


3-61 


1906 


935 


3-58 


1907 


918 


3-51 


1908 


941 


3-55 


1909 


914 


3-49 


1910 


897 


3-39 


1911 


881 


3-31 


1912 


873 


3-26 


1913 


882 


3-25 


1914 


879 


319 


1915 


815 


2-89 


1916 


786 


2-67 


1917 


668 


2-27 


1918 


663 


2-29 


1919 


692 


2-38 


1920 


958 


312 


1921 


849 


2-64 


1922 


780 


2-41 


1923 


758 


2-37 


1924 


730 


2-31 


1925 


711 


2-28 


1926 


695 


2-26 


1927 


654 


2.17 


1928 


660 


2.19 


1929 


644 


213 


1930 


649 


2-14 



The above table gives the births in thousands for each year and the ratio between 
this number and a figure for marriages made up of the sum of 2-5 per cent, of the 
marriages of that j-ear, 20 per cent, of those of the preceding year, and 17-5, 15, 12-5, 
10, 7-5, 5, 3-75, 2-5, 1-75, 1-25 and 0-75 for the years before that. In the table for 
1851 to 1900, printed in the 1901 Report of the Association, and the Fortnightly Review 
for March 1902, the ratio is calculated for the legitimate births only, but the inclusion 
of the illegitimate makes very little difference and is defensible. Mr. L. R. Connor, 
in the course of a much more elaborate study than mine, gives figures for 1892 to 1923 
{Statistical Journal, May 1926, pp. 562-3), which agree very closely with the above, 
though his weighting of marriages is rather different and includes thirty years before 
the date instead of the twelve at which disinclination for further labour caused me 
to stop. 

From 1914 onwards the ratio as well as the number of births is disturbed by 
(a) the absence of men from their homes owing to the War till 1919, and (6) by the 
abnormal mortality of husbands owing to the War. The effect of the second influence 
in reducing the proportion of births to marriages must, of course, liave been steadily 
diminishing, wliich makes the decrease in the proportion shown since 1923 the more 
significant. 



SECTION G.— ENGINEERING. 



POWER 

ADDRESS ' BY 

SIR ALFRED EWING, K.C.B., LL.D., D.Sc, F.R.S. 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



It is perhaps right to warn you at the outset that this is an attempt to kill 
two birds with one rather large stone. The address has to serve a double 
purpose. Besides being the usual offering to convention which is expected of 
the President of a Section, it has the responsibility of being a Thesis, 
delivered in fulfilment of a trust which was undertaken by the British 
Association many years ago. The thesis has a prescribed theme. So 
instead of being free, as presidents of sections generally are, to choose any 
text, or none, I find a text ready chosen for me. It is taken, as you will 
presently see, from one of the prophets. Not one of the minor prophets, 
for the prophecy about which I have to speak was uttered by Sir Frederick 
BramweU. Nobody who is old enough to recall Bramwell's commanding 
presence, his generous proportions. Ids patriarchal air, his pleasant accept- 
ance of acknowledged leadership, will ever think of him in terms such as the 
word ' minor ' would imply. Fifty years ago he was Pontifex Maximus in 
the world of engineering, not because he built bridges but because he 
spoke with almost papal authority. An opinion by Bramwell could do 
much to make or mar any enterprise. To-day we have to discuss a forecast 
which he offered at the jubilee meeting of this Association, a forecast to 
which he and his contemporaries attached particular importance. We 
must now assign to it a place in the long list of prophecies that have turned 
out to be over-statements ; nevertheless, it deserves attention not only 
as an item in the history of mechanical science, but because in the light 
of present-day experience we recognise how much there was in it of the 
vision of truth. 

It deals with a subject that is appropriate for a presidential address to 
Section G. The president of this section cannot but be conscious that he 
is addressing an audience larger than a mere group of engineering experts. 
Beyond the professional circle is a fringe, and beyond the fringe a vague 
and mobile auditory of persons who take a lively interest in engineering 
questions, whose knowledge, so far as it goes, is real and practical. Among 
the triumphs of applied science is this that it has transformed the man in 
the street into a sort of engineer. Society has been mechanised : the 
noise and oil and unrest of the workshop are become a part of normal life. 
The language of the expert is no longer his own shibboleth ; it has been 
taken into the stock of common speech. A little knowledge used to be 
called a dangerous thing ; now we all have it and are content — or at least 
obliged — to live dangerously. I need not enlarge on a point of which 

' See note ou page 140. 



G.— ENGINEERING. 123 

everybody is well aware. But for myself it carries this lesson, that in 
si^eaking from the Chair of the Engineering Section I am now, so to say, 
broadcasting to a multitude of intelligent amateurs. I hope the experts 
will forgive me if in what I say they find nothing that is not already 
familiar. I shall try to speak plainly to the plain man. People who have 
a preference for the unintelligible will, no doubt, be able to gratify it in 
at least one other Section. 

What has mechanised the world is, more than anything else, the pro- 
duction and the distribution of power. To-day we are concerned with the 
best ways of converting the heat of combustion of fuel into mechanical 
or electrical energy. One need draw no distinction in this regard between 
mechanical and electrical forms of energy, for each may be converted into 
the other almost without loss. But to get either from heat is another 
story. At the utmost you can convert no more than a modest fraction 
of the heat that comes from fuel : in specially favourable cases you may 
hope to convert something like a third ; the rest is scattered beyond recall. 
How to effect this conversion, through the agency of a heat-engine, is a 
matter of perpetual interest to engineers. In assessing the merits of the 
engine they have to think not only of its effi.ciency — that is the fraction 
of the heat which it succeeds in converting — but also of other characteristics 
which are scarcely less important : of its fitness for particular types of 
fuel, its convenience and ease of driving, its reliability, its endurance, its 
bulk, its weight, its cost. The heat-engines with which we are practically 
concerned divide themselves into two great classes. First, there are 
those which use steam for working substance, whether of the reciprocating 
or turbine type ; in them the heat of the burning fuel is generated outside 
and has to make its way to the working substance through a containing 
shell. Second, there is the internal-combustion class where the heat of 
the fuel is generated within the working substance itself. To this class 
belong the gas, oil, and petrol engines that have sprung into existence 
within the memory of many persons now living and have profoundly 
changed our habits and our outlook. Nothing perhaps has done more 
than the internal-combustion engine to make obsolete the Victorian 
attitude to life. Between the two classes of heat-engines there is a rivalry ; 
one might almost say a sort of war. Each has fields of operation where its 
supremacy hardly admits of doubt, but there are disputed regions in which 
we find a lively contest. As sporting critics we must recognise the merits 
of both combatants. Here, surely, is a suitable subject for an address 
from one who is old enough to remember patting the rivals on the head 
when they were boys. He now draws up his easy chair, taking care not 
to put it too near the ropes, and proceeds to make such comments as he 
may about the game. 

A quarter of a century ago I presided over Section 6 and now the 
honour is unexpectedly repeated : I am taken off the shelf, dusted and set 
to function. It would seem that the Council's policy in this happy 
centenary is to trot out some of the veterans, for the entertainment, let 
us hope, of less faUible youth. Before asking me to act as President of 
the Section, they had invited me to give the Bramweli Lecture, and 1 could 
accept the two duties only through their kindness in allowing one address 
to serve for both. 



124 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

To explain the task of the Bramwell Lecturer we must recall the meeting 
of 1881, when the Association was celebrating its jubilee in the heyday of 
Victorian prosperity and confidence. It was a jubilant jubilee. Never, 
perhaps, was appUed science more actively progressive. From day to day 
its achievements compelled attention. Electricity was knocldng at the 
door, bringing a wallet big with gifts, wonderful gifts that established 
new contacts between the sciences of the laboratory and the arts of 
social Ufe. 

The world of invention was in a ferment ; the brew was seething and 
bubbling. Some of the froth on the surface had to be blown away, but 
beneath that there were changes in substance which fifty years have 
strengthened and matured. 

Think for a moment of what the late seventies and the early eighties 
gave to mankind. The telephone, the phonograph, the incandescent lamp, 
the djTiamo in a practical form, the electric motor, the storage battery, 
the transformer, the internal-combustion engine using liquid fuel, cold- 
storage and refrigerated transport of food, the idea of public electric 
supply, the use of alternating currents, the first clear recognition of the 
potentialities of electricity as an agent for lighting, for traction, for the 
conveyance and distribution of power. There, indeed, was a dish to set 
before the potential rulers of a kingdom which was waiting to be explored, 
where every engineer in the bud might well fancy himself to be a coming 

' BUss was it in that dawn to be alive. 
But to be young was very heaven.' 

Looking back now, it is curious to reflect how poor was the equipment 
of most of the pioneers. There were, indeed, a few great leaders — a 
Kelvin or a Hopkinson — who possessed the right kind of basic vmder- 
stauding, who coidd turn to theory for guidance and had the engineer's 
instinct to give it appUcation. Here and there was a Ferranti, with \dsion 
and imagination to compensate for the lack of formal knowledge. But 
most of the zealous workers of those days were empirics, groping in what 
was at best a half Ught, full of enterprise and enthusiasm and not much 
more. They could get httle help from textbooks. Some of them made 
what may now seem strange mistakes, and in that way they acquired a 
costly education. 

Among those fertile years I would specially mention 1881, which was 
the date of Bramwell's prophecy as well as the Jubilee of the Association. 
Apart from that it marks an epoch. For the world then realised that a 
problem was at last solved with which it had been much concerned, 
the problem called the subdivision of the electric Ught. Before that 
the electric light had meant the electric arc — a dazzhng unit, brilhant, 
overpowering, capricious, admired out of doors, but quite unfitted 
for the home. It was a tiger burning bright which declined to become 
a domestic pet. 

Then came Edison and Swan who, working separately, taught lis how 
to tame it by inventing the incandescent filament enclosed within a 
vacuum bulb. Near the end of 1881 Sir William Thomson (as he then 
was) lighted his house in Glasgow by means of Swan's lamps, using with 



G.— ENGINEERING. 125 

them a storage battery of Faiire's cells, the advent of wliich had been 
hailed with enthusiasm and had raised unduly high hopes. For prime- 
mover he chose the new gas-engine of Dugald Clerk which completed its 
cycle in two strokes, unlike the already familiar Otto engine, which required 
four. Clerk's engine was itself a novelty the importance of which we 
have come to recognise. To this day all internal-combustion engines 
use either the Clerk or the Otto cycle, and for large powers the Clerk 
cycle has advantages which tend to give it the favoured place. 

Fifty years ago the gas-engine was much in the public eye. It had 
already proved its value in many workrooms. There was still no supply 
of electricity from public stations, and for a private installation the gas- 
engine furnished a suitable and exceedingly convenient source of power. 
It was a day of small things ; an engine which developed as much as 
20 horse-power was described as a 'king of gas-engines.' Within this 
modest limit the Otto engine, which dates from 1876, had a well-deserved 
reputation as an efl&cient and trustworthy prime-mover that would run with 
little attention, using ordinary town gas as its fuel. At the Jubilee meeting 
of this Association Emerson Dowson drew attention to a less costly alterna- 
tive : he had made what was called producer gas from coke or anthracite, 
and had run engines with it. He had even demonstrated that with Dowson 
gas you could get a horse-power from 1 lb. of coal per hour, instead of 
burning 2 or 3 lbs. at the very least, as you had to do in a steam-engine. 
From this it was clear that the gas-engine offered immensely attractive 
possibilities as a generator of power. 

Even before 1881 engineers were busy with efforts to improve its 
efficiency. Fleeming Jenkin, my teacher and professional chief, was 
struggHng to apply to it the regenerative methods of economising heat 
wliich StirUng originated in his air-engine a century ago — methods which in 
the meantime had revolutionised other industries, notably the manufacture 
of steel. No engineer who gave the matter serious thought could fail to see 
the advantage of having heat developed within the working substance itself 
instead of being conveyed to it by conduction through a containing shell , 
it was, in fact, the failure of the containing shell that ruined StirUng's 
engine. Another obvious merit of internal combustion was one that Carnot 
had recognised in the immortal little treatise where he laid the foundations 
of thermodynamics — the advantage, namely which you secure by supplying 
heat to the working substance at a much higher level of temperature than 
can be reached with steam. Finally, there was this broad difference : 
the gas-engine had the indefinite promise of youth ; the steam-engine was 
an old servant whose hmitations were well known. Nobody expected 
that steam would change its ways. Small wonder then, that the engineers 
of those days looked to the future of the gas-engine with exaggerated 
hope. 

It was in that spirit that Bramwell made the prophecy we have now, 
after fifty years, to review. The occasion — as I have said — was the Jubilee 
meeting of this Association, held at York in 1881. The President of 
Section G was Sir William (afterwards Lord) Armstrong. His address 
was mainly on other subjects, but incidentally it contains an exceedingly 
apt criticism of the steam-engine as they knew it then. He said : ' In 
expanding the steam we quickly arrive at a point at which the reduced 



126 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

pressure on the piston is so little in excess of the friction of the machine as to 
render the steam not worth retaining, and at this point we reject it. In 
figurative language, we take the cream off the bowl, and throw away the 
milk.' I shall show later that in the modern use of steam we no longer 
have to cry over the spilling of milk to which Lord Armstrong referred. 
After the president had spoken, Bramwell also gave an address 'on some 
of the developments of mechanical engineering during the last half- 
century,' which is printed iri extenso in the Report. It reviews a great 
field with the lucidity of which he was a master, dealing specially with 
applications of the steam-engine, and it includes a section relating to the 
transmission of power. Electrical transmission is barely touched on : 
it had, in fact, scarcely begun ; but he speaks of transmission of power by 
means of gas, and in that connection he remarks :— 

' I think there is a very large future indeed for gas-engines, I 
do not know whether this may be the place wherein to state it, but 
I believe the way in which we shall utiHse our fuel hereafter will, 
in all probability not be by way of the steam-engine. Sir William 
Armstrong alluded to this probabiUty in his address, and I entirely 
agree — if he will allow me to say so — that such a change in the pro- 
duction of power from fuel appears to be impending, if not in the 
immediate future, at all events in a time not very far remote : and 
however much the mechanical section of the British Association may 
to-day contemplate with regret even the more distant prospect of the 
steam-engine becoming a thing of the past, I very much doubt whether 
those who meet here fifty years hence will then speak of that motor 
except in the character of a curiosity to be found in a museum.' 
The view expressed by Bramwell in this remarkable forecast found 
support in more than one quarter. In the following year Sir William 
Siemens was President of this Association. After acknowledging the 
great service which the Association had done to engineering by settling a 
consistent and practical system of electrical units, and himself suggesting 
that the unit of electrical power in that system should be called the Watt, 
he went on to compare the theoretical efficiencies of steam-engine and 
gas-engine on the basis of the theory of Carnot, and then remarked : — 
' Before many years we shall find in our factories and on board 
our ships, engines with a fuel consumption not exceeding 1 lb. of coal 
per effective horse-power per hour, in which the gas producer takes 
the place of the somewhat complex and dangerous steam boiler.' 
Again, the late Lord Rayleigh, speaking from the Presidential Chair 
at the Montreal meeting of 1884, says : — 

' The efficiency of the steam engine is found to be so high that there 
is no great margin remaining for improvement. The higher initial 
temperature possible in the gas-engine opens out much wider possi- 
bilities, and many good judges look forward to a time when the 
steam-engine will have to give way to its younger rival." 
Let me quote one more authority. Fleeming Jenkin, lecturing 
on Gas and Caloric Engines at the Institution of Civil Engineers, in 
February, 1884, refers to the fact that Dowson gas even then allowed the 
gas-engine to compete favourably with the steam-engine, and concludes : — 
' Since this is the case now, and since theory shows that it is 



G.— ENGINEERING. 127 

possible to increase the efficiency of the actual gas-engine two and 
even three-fold, the conclusion seems irresistible that gas-engines 
will ultimately supplant the steam-engine. The steam-engine 
has been improved nearly as far as possible, but the internal-com- 
bustion gas-engine can undoubtedly be greatly improved, and must 
command a brilliant future.' 
Bramwell himself returned to the question when President of the 
Association in 1888. In his address from the Chair he repeated the forecast 
of 1881 with a qualifying phrase or two : — 

' At the York meeting of our Association I ventured to predict 
that unless some substantive improvement were made in the steam- 
engine (of which improvement, as yet, we have no notion) I believed 
its days, for small powers, were numbered, and that those who 
attended the Centenary of the British Association in 1931 would 
see the present steam-engines in museums, treated as things to 
be respected, and of antiquarian interest to the engineers of those 
days, such as are the open-topped steam cylinders of Newcomen 
and Smeaton to ourselves. I must say I see no reason after the seven 
years which have elapsed since the York meeting, to regret having 
made that prophecy, or to desire to withdraw it.' 
It is e\'ident that Bramwell took his * prophecy ' very seriously. 
He was the acknowledged sage and spokesman of the engineering 
profession, occupying, in that regard, a unique position, such as no one 
could possibly hold in the more complex conditions of to-day. He was 
a humourist, and doubtless there was a conscious touch of humorous 
exaggeration in what he said. But for all that it was an engineering 
judgment delivered ex cathedra, and his judgments were accustomed to 
command respect. 

Finally, in July, 1903, when within a few months of his death at the 
age of 85, he wrote as follows to the President of this Association. After 
quoting the words he had used at York twenty- two years before, he 
proceeded thus : — 

' In saying this, no doubt, I then thought I was speaking somewhat 

hyperbolically, but from the close attention I have paid to the subject 

of internal-combustion engines, and from the way in which that 

attention has revealed a continuous and, year by year, a largely 

increasing development of such engines, I feel assured that although 

there may still be steam-engines remaining in work in 1931, the 

output of steam-engines in that year will be but small as compared 

with the output of internal-combustion engines.' 

He added that he wished to keep aUve the interest of the Association 

on this subject, and for that purpose offered a sum, which was to be 

invested in Consols, and in 1931 was to be paid as honorarium 

' to a gentleman to be selected by the Council to prepare a paper 
having my utterances in 1881 as a sort of text, and dealing with the 
whole question of the prime-movers of 1931, and especially with 
the then relation between steam-engines and internal-combustion 
engines.' 

That is the task I am now attempting to discharge. You do not need 
to be told that the prediction has, in great measure, failed to come true. 



128 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Steam is neither dead nor djHng. On the contrary, its use has immensely- 
developed both on land and sea. To-day, it is a much more efficient 
medium than it was for the conversion of heat into work, and you find it 
actuating engines of vastly greater individual and aggregate power 
than any that were even imagined when Bramwell spoke. But alongside 
of that we have wonderful achievements on the part of the internal- 
combustion engine which go far to justify the enthusiasm that stirred him 
fifty years ago. 

Looking back now, one is amazed at the boldness of his prophetic 
outlook. It was more than bold ; it was almost foolhardy. Remember 
that he had nothing to go by except the performance of the gas-engine, 
and that only in very small powers. Gas, whether the ordinary illuminat- 
ing gas distilled from coal, or the cheaper product of the Dowson process, 
was the only fuel then in practical use for internal combustion. The 
oil engine in its various forms, the petrol engine, the Diesel engine — 
these were still to come. 

The gas-engine itself did not develop so fast as those who had faith 
in it might have hoped. Sir Dugald Clerk, whose invention of the two-stroke 
cycle was followed up by many other important services to internal 
combustion, and who has become its historian, tells us that even in 1898 
the largest gas-engines then built indicated 220 horse-power. By that time, 
however, B. H. Thwaite had demonstrated that the so-called waste gases 
of the blast furnace were a suitable fuel, and this led makers, especially 
on the Continent, to take up the design of large gas-engines in forms 
which for some years had a conspicuous vogue. There were examples 
in which as much as 2,000 horse-power was developed in a single cylinder 
working on the Clerk cycle, and a four-cylinder engine was built to 
indicate 8,000 horse-power. Such engines were notable for their great 
bulk and weight. They were also, for the most part, costly failures. 
The big cylinders, cylinder-heads and pistons were apt to crack. The 
difficulty of controlling the temperature of the metal and escaping 
effects of unequal expansion stopped the construction of gas-engines 
with large cylinders. Moreover, apart from that check it soon became 
clear that the chief advance of internal combustion was to take place on 
difierent lines, namely by having oil serve as the internal fuel. Gas 
still plays a useful part, but quite definitely a minor part. The builders 
of gas-engines have wisely sought security by restricting the dimensions 
of their cylinders, and confidence in their wares is now restored. Their 
products have a well-estabhshed and considerable market. But nowadays 
when we would treat of what internal combustion has accomplished, 
and of its future, we turn not to gas-engines but to engines which use liquid 
fuel. We think instinctively in terms not of gas but of oil, using that 
word to include not only the ' heavy ' petroleum of the Diesel motor, but 
the more volatile constituents with a lower flash-point, which in this 
country go by the name of petrol. 

The success of the Otto gas-engine led makers to design engines 
operating in much the same way but using for fuel a spray of oil instead of 
gas. Such engines found a place where gas was not available, as in the 
driving of agricultural machinery. For the most part their fuel was the 
safe and familiar oil of the paraffin lamp. Like the gas-engine, they were 



a.— ENGINEERING. 129 

heavy and they ran at very moderate speeds, such as 200 revolutions 
per minute. About 1883 Daimler set liimself to produce an engine with 
much lighter working parts which should run at a far higher speed, five 
times as fast, or more, and should use for fuel an oil so volatile that a 
carburettor would serve to charge the incoming air with combustible 
vapour. After successful trials with a bicycle, he applied his motor, 
in 1887, to drive a car on the road. That was the beginning of a new 
era in locomotion. The world discovered in Daimler's petrol engine an 
appliance such as it had not possessed before — a light, convenient, inexpen- 
sive prime-mover, yielding amounts of power which were ample for road 
vehicles, easy to start and stop and regulate, demanding little attention 
and no particular skill. Before long it gave city streets an altered charac- 
ter and country roads an unsuspected value. Man acquired a new 
mobility which changed his notions of distance and of time. In due course 
the petrol engine also achieved the conquest of the air. At the end of 
1903, only a few days after Bramwell's death, the brothers Wright took 
their first flight in a motor-driven aeroplane. It is the petrol engine 
that must bear the responsibility — the grave responsibility^of having 
made it possible for man to fly. 

The era of the road-motor began with Daimler's experiment of 1887, 
but a good many years were to pass before it took the dominant position 
it holds to-day. The horse was already in possession, and did not yield 
without a struggle. That sensitive animal had a frank dislike of the 
horseless car. To meet his objections our legislators — not much wiser, 
it would seem, then than now — ordained for mechanically-driven vehicles 
■d pace not exceeding 4 miles an hour, and required each of them to be 
in charge of three persons, one of whom should carry a red flag in front. 
Not till 1896 was the Red Flag Act repealed. The sinister emblem has 
gone, and the horse has nearly gone, too. But engineers will not let his 
memory perish. Thanks to the initiative of James Watt, they treasure 
his name in one of their most necessary words. The horse may become 
little more than an instrument of sport or an excuse for betting, but it 
is safe to say the horse-power will never die. 

I have yet to mention another milestone in the history of internal 
combustion. It was soon recognised that the efficiency of the action 
depended on the extent to which the combustible mixture in the cyliuder 
was compressed before it was fired ; the more compression the greater 
was the subsequent expansion in the working stroke, and consequently 
the higher was the efficiency. But a practical limit was set by the danger 
that the mixture woidd automatically ignite before the proper time if 
too much compression were attempted. Users of petrol engines know 
this danger well ; often they try to diminish it by introducing what are 
called dopes. It was not in petrol engines, however, but in heavy oil 
engines that Rudolph Diesel initiated an epoch-maldng change about 
1895.^ Instead of compressing a combustible mixture, he compressed 
the air alone, bringing it to a very liigh pressure, and thereby making it 
so hot that when the charge of oil was forcibly injected at the dead-point 
there was instant ignition. This escaped all risk of pre-ignition and greatly 
augmented the efficiency of the action, as a thermodynamic consequence 
of the very high temperature at which the fuel gave up its heat. To 
1931 



K. 



130 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

force the fuel in, he at first employed an auxiliary supply of still more 
highly-compressed air, but this plan is now less common than the simpler 
one of using a high-pressure pump, which delivers the oil in a spray of 
exceedingly fine drops. The essential feature of the engine is that the 
fuel does not enter the cyhnder until the air there is highly compressed 
and the working stroke is about to begin. It is this feature which has 
made the Diesel engine the most efficient of all known means of obtaining 
mechanical work from the combustion of fuel. When I say the most 
efficient, I am using the word in its thermodynamic sense ; other factors 
obviously enter when you come to consider questions of mechanical sim- 
plicity, of suitability for a particular purpose, or of cost. 

As a small-power prime-mover in situations where electric supply is 
not available, such as country houses, farms, or isolated workshops, the 
convenience of the internal-combustion engine has, in fact, led to its 
almost universal use in preference to steam. 

We have still to speak of how, for larger uses, the steam-engine has held 
its own during this half-century of change. Before doing that, however, 
it may help us to reaHse the other side of the matter if we imagine our 
prophet of 1881 brought back to earth so that he may see for himself in 
what measure his expectations have been fulfilled. 

He will come, of course, by aeroplane, and on the way the pilot will 
tell him of the part which the internal-combustion engine played in the 
War ; of submarines, and road-motor transport, and tanks and aircraft. 
He will be told of ZeppeUns and air-raids, of the horrible superiority of 
attack over defence that characterises modern war. He will learn how 
prodigiously man has increased his power to kill his fellows and destroy 
their works. The old gentleman will be saddened to think that the world 
owes this to engineers, and especially to the internal-combustion engine. 
It will grieve him to reflect that the island safety of England has departed, 
never to return. On the other hand, he will be told of air-mails to India 
and Austraha and the Cape, and it will interest him much to learn that 
the engine which is bringing him so swiftly and comfortably to earth 
weighs no more than a couple of pounds per horse-power, and that engines 
of much the same type, but Ughtened and tuned to the uttermost for 
racing, can develop more than a horse-power for every pound of weight. 
He will hear, perhaps with less enthusiasm, of speed records by air and 
sea and land, amazing records which are set up only to be broken. ' Brief 
life is here our portion ' might be said of the records, and also, alas, of 
many of the record makers and record breakers. As he approaches 
London our aerial voyager will note the highways tliick with motor- 
cars, coaches and lorries, and will wonder for a moment what has' 
happened to the railway shares he left behind, doubtless selected as a 
secure investment of the terrestrial fruits of his industry and thrift. For 
in Bramwell's time there were still people who practised these now 
exploded virtues, and there were even Chancellors of the Exchequer 
who encouraged them. 

We may imagine that instead of landing at Croydon the pilot brings 
him over the river and the docks, where he may see big motor-ships like 
the Nelson liners arriving with their frozen or chiUed cargoes. One 
of his pet bits of engineering was mechanical refrigeration, and he will 



G.— ENGINEERING. 131 

take particular satisfaction in noticing ships that are not only driven but 
cooled by internal-combustion engines. And from the docks they will 
proceed over the City, where at every crossing he will observe the con- 
gestion of motor-cars and taxis, and the multitudinous motor-bus — but 
never a growler, which was the vehicle he used to favour. I well remember 
his taking me to \'isit a cold store on the south side of the river ; we were 
on our way in a growler when the bottom fell out and we were left sitting 
in the road. He was, as I have hinted, no light weight ; my part in the 
comedy was only that of the last straw. The cab stopped without injury 
to life or limb^ Bramwell forming an effective automatic brake. His 
genial dignity suffered no eclipse. His spirits were undamped — and his 
person too, for lucidly the street was dry. 

Finally, let us think of the pilot bringing him over Waterloo Place to 
revive his memories of the beloved club where he used to spend many 
placid hours. Below him will be the Athenaeum, more than ever a haven 
of rest for the mature, but now on the outer edge of a vortex which is fed 
by torrents of one-way traffic from the Haymarket and Trafalgar Square — 
a veritable inferno of internal combustion — an inferno that would be 
intolerable were it not tempered from time to time by authoritative 
outstretchings of the arm of the law. As he watches the maelstrom, 
and perhaps sees a bishop trying to reach the club, he will thank the 
fate which has removed him from the present-day terrors of the pedestrian, 
from compulsions to unseemly agiUty and temptations to unseemly 
profanity. Such temptations are, of course, only for laymen, but life in 
Waterloo Place, even for bishops, must sometimes be furious as well as fast. 

When all these things have been seen, you must not imagine Bramwell 
posing as the satisfied prophet who complacently remarks ' I told you 
so.' He had too judicial a temper for that. He would want to know 
about other users of power, and would ask many questions. What about 
our navy, and other navies, and what about the biggest liners and the 
ocean tramps, and what about the railways and the great factories and 
the coal pits with their plant for winding and ventilating, and so forth, 
and what about the distribution of Ught and power from central stations 
— on what kind of prime-movers do these rely ? And the answer would be 
steam, and steam, and yet again steam. He would soon learn that steam 
still does a great part of the work of the world, and that one need not go 
to the Science Museum at South Kensington to find specimens of its 
remains. But if he did go to the Science Museum (and let me say it is a 
pilgrimage no visitor to London should miss) he would see among the 
admirably displayed exhibits some remarkable engines. Side by side 
with the mementos of Kewcomen and Watt, those fascinating heralds of 
the dawn, he would see engines of a far more recent type, enshrined 
there in the honour they so well deserve, not as relics of an obsolete past 
but as precursors of a modern era, the era which was opened to the world 
by the genius of Charles Parsons. For among the treasures of our national 
museum of science is Parsons' first steam turbine, which dates from 
1884, also the first, or nearly first, turbine to which he fitted a condenser, 
which dates from 1891, and also a part of his famous little craft, the 
Turbinia, by which in 1897 he demonstrated the applicability of the steam 
turbine to the propulsion of ships. 

k2 



132 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

These dates, as you will notice, are all subsequent to Bramwell's pro- 
phecy of 1881. Many factors have contributed to prevent that prophecy 
from being fulfilled, but none have been so potent as Parsons' invention 
and development of the compound steam turbine. That invention 
was no isolated event — no mere throwing out of a happy thought. It 
was the life work of a man who, to an extraordinary degree, combined 
creative imagination with energy and persistence and practical skill. 
The recent death of Parsons has deprived this Association of a famous 
past-president and a generous friend. Section G in particular mourns the 
loss of the most illustrious of modern engineers. It is fitting that we 
should dwell for a moment on the greatness of Charles Parsons. 

The turbine as we know it now is the product of sustained effort 
and unquenchable faith. The genius of Parsons was indeed of the kind 
which includes an infinite capacity for taking pains. He was a dreamer 
of wonderful dreams, but he was tireless in compelUng his dreams to come 
true. He never admitted defeat ; a difficulty was a thing to be overcome, 
an obstacle was merely an incentive. He loved to attempt tasks which 
most men would pronounce impossible. And he was the severest critic 
of his own success ; he was always striving to better what seemed already 
very good. These quaUties made Parsons perhaps the most successful 
innovator the engineering world has ever known. 

It was my privilege to know him from an early stage in his astonishing 
career. Forty years ago I was commissioned to test and report on his first 
condensing steam turbine — sent by people who were disposed to be 
sceptical of the merits of a thing so queer and so untried. The tests 
were entirely convincing. Like Balaam when he was commissioned to 
report upon the Children of Israel, I came back blessing where I had 
been expected to condemn. That was the beginning of a friendship 
which was broken only by Parsons' death. 

At Parsons' own request, I carried out further tests from time to time 
on occasions when the steam turbine had reached some notable stage 
in the course of its development. Among these were trials of the Turbinia, 
before she made her dramatic appearance at the Diamond Jubilee Review 
in 1897. Her performance established what was then a record of speed for 
any ship. It prepared the way for a wide adoption of turbine driving in the 
navy and the mercantile marine. Every opportunity I had, then and 
later, of seeing Parsons at close quarters, of observing how he would bend 
his mind to the problem of the moment, increased my admiration of the 
inventor and my regard for the man. To the last, there was an endearing 
quahty in his self-effacement, in the modesty with which he wore his world- 
wide fame, which gave him a peculiar charm once the veil of shyness 
was drawn aside. Now that he is gone, his friends feel that they are 
sharers in a personal no less than a national loss. 

But such a man lives on in his achievements. To Parsons it was 
granted as to few men to see the fruit of his ideas and his labours. Long 
before he died the world recognised that he had revolutionised steam 
engineering. He had taught us how to generate power on a scale and 
with a concentration never before approached. Nothing, in a sense, 
could be simpler than his steam windmill with its successive rings of 
vanes, each in turn taking up a small fraction of the whole energy of the 



G.— ENGINEERING. 133 

blast. To conceive such a device was one thing, to give it being and 
action was quite another. That meant many subsidiary inventions 
and years of toil ; it meant the removal of mountains of prejudice and 
difficulty. But the triumph is complete. Engineers, all the world 
over, are wholeheartedly converted. They build their steam windmills 
on a colossal scale, crowding 60,000 or 100,000, sometimes even 200,000 
Idlowatts into a single unit, confident in the knowledge that no more 
trustworthy and economical prime-mover is available for the gigantic 
stations which play so important a part in modern civiUzation as centres 
for the production and distribution of light and of power. 

All these stations have come into existence in the fifty years wjiich 
have passed since BramweU made his prophecy and in them it has 
most conspicuously failed of fulfilment. Review the great power stations 
of the world, and you find their method of manufacturing electric energy 
from heat is almost wholly through the medium of steam. To illustrate 
how small a place is taken in them by the internal-combustion engine 
let me quote some figures for British power stations. A return 
published in 1930 by the Electricity Commissioners gives the aggregate 
capacity of the generative plant of various types as follows :— 





Kilowatts 


Steam Turbines .... 


. 5,531,952 


Reciprocating Steam Engines 


. 138,806 


Oil Engines .... 


71,331 


Gas Engines .... 


17,473 


Water-power Plant .... 


42.208 



You will see that oil engines and gas engines together make up only l^ 
per cent, of the whole. And it is the case that abroad, as well as at home, 
the steam turbine is dominant. Its dominance is the more appropriate 
because the turbine was invented in the first instance for the express 
purpose of driving a dynamo. Parsons realized, in the early eighties, 
that the generating of electricity gave steam a new job to do, a job that 
needed lugh- speed rotation, a job for which reciprocating movement was 
out of place. So he invented the turbine, in which high-speed rotation 
was a fundamental feature, and he invented also a high-speed dynamo 
suitable for it to drive, and he patented them both on the same day in 
April, 1884. The dynamo, he used to say, gave him as much trouble 
as the turbine. In all the early turbine-driven dynamos it was the 
armature that was caused to revolve in a gap between the poles of a 
stationary field-magnet. But later, when a demand came for much 
greater power and much higher electric potential the parts were inverted : 
the field-magnet was caused to revolve, and thereby to generate alternating 
currents of high potential — often many thousand volts — in a surrounding 
stator which was made up of highly-insulated coils. 

The commanding position of the steam turbine is, of course, mainly 
due to its high thermodynamic efficiency : in large sizes it gets more work 
out of coal than can be got in any other way. But apart from that, its 
avoidance of reciprocation gives it an advantage which only tliose who 
remember early power stations with their piston engines can fully realise. 
Again., it can readily be built and run in big units, and another merit 



134 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

which appeals strongly to the central-station engineer is its wide range 
of economical working both above and below its normal load ; this specially 
fits it for the peaks and variations of demand with which power stations 
have to cope. 

It is in the great power stations equipped with large turbines and 
coal-fired boilers, using steam of high pressure and high superheat, that 
we find, beyond any question, the most economical production of power. 
The very bigness of the units tends towards efficiency, but that is not all. 
The turbine, as a thermodynamic machine, has permitted a far closer 
approach to the ideal cycle of Carnot than was possible in the reciprocating 
steam-engine, which, as Lord Armstrong said, skimmed the cream and 
threw away the milk. In the turbine the steam expands right down to 
the lowest vacuum that the condensing water will produce, doing effective 
work aU the way, and thereby saving a most valuable and previously 
wasted portion of the whole heat-drop. Moreover, with the turbine there 
is a complete escape from the alternate heating and cooling of metallic 
surfaces which was a source of much loss in engines of the older type. 
In still another notable respect the turbine cycle approaches the cycle of 
Carnot : it allows a method of regenerative feed-heating to be adopted 
in which some steam is ' bled ' at successive stages of the expansion to 
restore heat to the condensed water on its way back to the boiler. Finally, 
the steam turbine has immensely widened the range of the thermodynamic 
cycle by raising the upper limit of temperature through the use of higher 
pressure and higher superheat. Pressures of 600 or 700 lb. per square 
inch are now commonplace; 1,2001b. is becoming famiUar ; 2,0001b., 
or even more, is not unknown. Superheating is often carried to 750° 
or 800° Fahr. — sometimes to 850°, and in rare cases to 900°^ — and is 
limited only by the ability of the metallurgist to supply metal that will 
not ' creep ' too seriously under the combined influence of high pressure 
and high temperature. The more superheating the better, in this respect, 
that it tends to reduce the wetness of the steam in the late stages of the 
expansion and so avoid not only a loss of useful energy but also a tendency 
on the part of the turbine blades near the exhaust end to be pitted as a 
result of their impact against water particles. Another cure for wetness 
is to reheat the steam at one or more stages in its expansion ; with very 
high initial pressure this becomes necessary, but opinions differ somewhat 
as to the conditions that make it worth while to carry out so troublesome 
an operation. We have no time to discuss moot j^oints or to dwell on 
details, but enough has perhaps been said to show why the steam turbine 
in fact achieves an efficiency far greater than was known to the steam 
engineers of Bramwell's day. A modern turbine can generate one 
electrical unit with a consmnption of barely 1 lb. of cheap coal, which 
means that it converts into electrical energy fully 30 per cent, of the 
potential energy of the fuel. It is not surprising that the internal-com- 
bustion engine finds little favour in power stations, save as an occasional 
stand-by to assist in meeting the peak load.^ 

' Amortg other merits of steam turbine plant is its comparatively low capital 
cost. Published figures show that in recently-equipped British power stations the 
cost, including land, buildings, boilers, turbines, and all electrical machinery is from 
£14 to £16 per kilowatt of plant installed. For Diesel plant the corresponding capital 
cost ia stated to be from two to four times as great. 



G.— ENGINEERING. 135 

Turning now to another field, we find that in railway traction the 
supremacy of steam is maintained. Higher pressures and the use of 
superheating have helped to hold it, and the most progressive locomotive 
engineers have experiments in progress which may carry practice further 
along these lines. Much attention has been paid to the Diesel engine 
as a possible alternative, but so far the number of Diesel locomotives 
that have found employment in main-line working is a negUgible propor- 
tion of the whole. If the steam locomotive is to disappear, there is no 
indication that its place will be taken by an internal-combustion rival. 
What is nmch more likely is that it will in time be driven out— wholly or in 
part — by electric traction, as Lord Weir's Committee has recently suggested 
for the British railways. But electrification will mean that the prime- 
mover is still steam, though acting at a central station — except, of course, 
in countries which have available reserves of hydraulic power. 

Such a country is Switzerland, and there the transformation from 
the steam locomotive to electric traction is already almost complete. 
The playground of Europe has lost little or nothing of its charm through 
becoming dotted with hydraulic power houses. Already its exports to 
less favoured neighbours include many million units of electric energy 
which it deUvers through the graceful catenaries that girdle its mountains 
and span its valleys. The shrewd inhabitants doubtless demand a 
remunerative price for exported electricity, just as they quite properly 
do for the other amenities of their delightful land. A time may come 
when subterranean stores of coal and oil run low, but so long as the sun 
shines and the rain falls mankind will be able to continue its struggle 
for existence, though it may suffer a change in the centre of gravity of 
its industrial Ufe. Industry will learn, like the Psalmist, to look to the 
hills from whence cometh its help, and Geneva will be more than ever 
the natural rallying point of a community of nations, physically linked 
by a comprehensive ' grid ' on which they depend for whatever modicum 
of light and power they are still permitted to enjoy. 

For road motors, the internal-combustion engine is, of course, 
supreme ; it has created as well as supplied a vast demand. Mr. Ricardo, 
writing in 1928 ^ said that the output of high-speed internal-combustion 
engines exceeded by more than ten times the total horse-power of all 
power stations, ships and railways. A statement at the World Power 
Conference, held in BerUn in 1930, gave the number of motor cars on the 
world's roads as thirty miUions, with an output of at least 600,000,000 
horse-power. I have not attempted to check these estimates ; I do 
not suspect them of exaggeration ; I am only thankful that many of the 
engines referred to spend a great part of their time in garages and parking 
places and are not in a state of continuous activity. They have come 
into existence to meet a new need ; they do not, for the most part, enter 
into competition with the older uses of steam, except in small ships or by 
diverting traffic from the railways to the roads. In their own special 
field — the roads and the air — they have an unchallenged monopoly. And, 
indeed, they well deserve it. We ought, I think, to pay tribute to the 
constructive talent that has made these engines the convenient and 

* H. R. Ricardo on ' Light High-Speed Internal-Combustion Engines,' Institution 
of Civil Engineers, Engineering Conference, 1928. 



136 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

reliable prime-movers they have in fact become. Let me quote in this 
connection some very just remarks by Mr. Ricardo, who has himself 
done not a little towards securing the admirable results he here describes : 
' With the advent of this class of engine there has been a marked 
change of attitude as regards both the manufacture and the handhng 
of prime-movers. In the past, a prime-mover was regarded as a delicate 
piece of mechanism, luxuriously housed, and served by skilled engineers 
trained to anticipate aU its needs and to minister to its ailments. To-day, 
the high-speed internal-combustion engine receives no such special care ; 
more than half the engines produced are tended by people who have 
no idea of how they work, and who consider that their obligations are 
fulfilled so long as they keep one compartment reasonably full of fuel and 
another of lubricating oil ; it is for such usage that the engine must be 
designed. A typical example of the modern attitude towards the high- 
speed engine is to be found in the case of the motor-bus. The modern 
bus engine is capable of developing 70 to 80 horse-power and of running 
at piston-speeds exceeding 2,000 feet per minute ; it is placed in the hands 
of a driver who knows nothing about engineering generally, or of his 
engine in particular. Such an engine runs 16 hours daily under very 
arduous conditions and, in the ordinary course of events, it continues 
so to do for six mouths before it receives any skilled attention. It is 
obvious that to withstand such usage an engine must be rehable.' 

One may note in passing the remarkably successful efforts which 
have lately been made towards reducing the weight of high-speed engines 
which will burn heavy oil instead of petrol, with the consequent advantage 
(over petrol) of greater efficiency, less weight of fuel, greater safety, and 
smaller running cost. Light engines of this type open up new possibilities 
in the air,^ as well as on the road and on the sea. 

This brings me to the last field which must be surveyed in our brief 
review — the field of ocean navigation. And here we find a situation 
which is puzzling, unsettled, and difficult to analyse. For in the selection 
of prime-movers for ocean-going ships, there are sharp differences of 
opinion and of practice ; there is no sense of finaUty, there is even — 
so it seems to me — a good deal of fashion and caprice, and of the probabihty 
of change which one associates with such moods of the mind. I do not 
suggest that superintending engineers are ever capricious or unreasoning ; 
indeed, if the matter were really left to them I believe it would soon 
settle itself ; but even a layman in marine matters knows that a shipping 
company's poUcy in questions of propulsion is sometimes governed 
by other factors than the considered judgment of the superintending 
engineer. 

In our own navy and foreign navies there is a practical monopoly 
on the part of steam except, of course, in submarines. The advent 
of the steam turbine, of oil fuel, of gearing between turbine and propeller 
shaftS; of water-tube boUers, of higher pressure, and of superheating — 
all these progressive improvements have only consohdated the position. 
Foreign navies have followed the British lead, and, for surface vessels, 
the only departure from that rule is to be found in a new German cruiser, 

•■ See a lecture by Mr. D. R. Pye on ' Heavy-Oil Aero Engines,' Journ. Boy. 
Aeronautical Society, AprU, 1931. 



G.— ENGINEERING. 137 

which is still something of a mystery ship. Except for this rare and as 
yet unfledged bird, naval usage sticks to steam. 

But the mercantile marine is in a state of flux. Before the War there 
were almost no motor-driven ships. Vigorous efforts had been made 
to promote the use of gas-engines with producer-gas made on board as 
it was required, but these achieved no permanent success. The Selandia, 
which dates from 1912, was the first conspicuous example of a large ship 
driven by Diesel engines. Her economy of fuel at once commanded 
attention. She was naturally hailed with delight by the powerful oil 
interests whose position, already strong in the mercantile marine through 
the extended use of oil under boilers, would become impregnable if the 
Diesel engine were generally adopted. In some important quarters the 
Diesel engine became the vogue. During the post-War years of marine 
reconstruction the number of oil-driven motor ships rapidly increased, and 
it is still increasing. In 1930, according to Lloyd's Register, the gross 
tonnage of the world's shipping was in round figures 69|- million tons, of 
which 1-|- million were survivors from the ancient regime of sails. Of the 
68 million tons that were mechanically propelled 60 million tons were 
steam-ships and 8 million tons were motor-ships. The motor tonnage had 
increased nearly four-fold in the preceding three years. Of merchant 
vessels launched during the year 1930, considerably more than half the 
tonnage was motor-driven ; and even in Great Britain the motor tonnage 
launched in that year was nearly 52 per cent, of the whole tonnage launched. 
For the moment the motor-ship is in the ascendant. At this rate, a 
superficial observer might fancy that steam was in process of being driven 
off the high seas. But if that were his conclusion I think he woxild be 
quite wrong. 

If you look at the list of shipping in detail .you will notice several 
things. One is that none of the greatest and fastest ships are motor- 
driven — neither the Leviathan, which at present heads the list, nor any 
of the other leviathans of the deep, with their tonnages of 40,000 or 50,000 
tons or more, and their speeds ranging from 20 to 28 knots. And this is 
true not only of the older ships but also of the newest, such as the Europa 
and the Bremen and the Empress of Britain, and the giant Cunarder which 
is now on the stocks and is confidently expected to eclipse them all. For 
such vessels, motors do not give the concentration of power that is needed 
whereas turbines do give it, and give it easily. From Lloyd's list of marine 
engmes under construction at the end of March, 1931, I find that the 
average shaft-horse-power of the (51) turbines is nearly 20,000, whereas 
that of the (328) motors is not much over 2,000. The present fashion, 
if one may call it so, is to put motors into ships of moderate size and 
power. The same Ust gives 189 as the number of reciprocating steam- 
engines under construction ; these are mainly for comparatively small and 
slow ships, for their average horse-power is of the order of 1,000. The 
ocean tramp is perhaps regrettably conservative in the manner in which 
she uses steam, but for ships of larger power the advantage of the turbine 
is too conspicuous to be ignored. 

Of motor-driven ships many are tankers, a type that has been called 
into existence by the world's demand for transport of oil in buUc, both 
for internal-combustion engines and for burning under boilers. Of 



138 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

tonnage launched during 1930 the tankers constitute more than 30 per 
cent, of the whole output. About seven-eighths of these are motor- 
driven ; they carry oil and, naturally enough, consume it. Motor-driven 
tankers account for half the world-aggregate of motor tonnage launched 
in 1930. 

It is when we turn to vessels of intermediate types, to cargo liners and 
passenger hners which, though not of the largest class, are still notable 
ships, often catering for the luxurious traveller, that we find the liveliest 
contest between the steam turbine and the Diesel motor. And here one 
notes the curiously potent influence of nationality and of what may be 
called the accident of ownership. Some nations, such as Denmark, 
Norway and Sweden, conspicuously favour motors. Others, such as 
America, no less conspicuously favour steam. One feels that both 
cannot be right. Nor can British practice, which is much divided, be 
right either. The choice would sometimes seem to depend more upon the 
taste and fancy of some dominating personality than upon a careful 
weighing of arguments such as appeal to engineers. One finds some 
shipowning companies going strongly for Diesel engines and other com- 
panies going no less strongly for steam. A notable example in the steam 
group is the Canadian Pacific Company, whose superintending engineer, 
Mr. J. Johnson, has communicated to the Naval Architects a very full 
statement of the grounds which have governed that company's engine 
policy.* His paper deserves careful study ; I have not been able to find 
any equally detailed and convincing statement on the other side. 

A point which will be plain to any reader of Mr. Johnson's paper is this, 
that to make a fair comparison of performance you must take both types 
at their certainly-attainable best. You must not compare modern Diesel 
engines with steam-engines of an antiquated type, but with turbines 
working under conditions that have been demonstrated to be practicable 
at sea, where high pressure and high temperature, with water-tube 
boilers, pure distilled water, no oil in the steam, and sound condenser 
tubes maintain an efficiency comparable with that which can be reached 
in the internal-combustion engine. It is right to recognise that the 
competition of the turbine with the Diesel engine has helped to develop 
on board ship an improvement in the efiiciency of steam for which the way 
was already prepared by the experience of central stations ashore. Largely 
through the preaching and example of Parsons, we have learnt that the 
future of steam in marine propulsion depends on high pressure and high 
superheat. The experience of Mr. Johnson rubs this in. 

When we attempt to appraise the merits of the rivals and to estimate 
their chances in the more distant future, we see that from the thermo- 
dynamic point of view the Diesel engine still has a small advantage. 
On the other hand, its oil is more costly than fuel oil for boilers, it must 
have lubricating oil, too, and the first cost of the engine is substantially 
greater than that of steam plant. In respect of weight and of space 
occupied there is not much to choose ; when account is taken of all 
accessories there is, perhaps, a slight advantage on the side of steam. 
As to durability, I cannot speak ; so far as I know, there is still a dearth 

•' ' The Propulsion of Ships by Modern Steam Machinery,' Trans. Inst. Nov. 
Arch., 1929. Vol. 71, p. 39. 



a.— ENGINEERING. 139 

of^ published facts about the cost of upkeep with Diesel engiues. Prima 
facie, the great number of reciprocating parts is a serious drawback. There 
must be a great number because the safe limit of cylinder size is soon 
reached , and it is only by having many cylinders that any large aggregate 
of power is developed. In a recent Diesel-engined Uuer of the luxurious 
type, a ship of some 17,000 or 18,000 tons, 12 Diesel cylinders operate 
on each of four shafts, making 48 in all, to produce a speed of 18 to 20 
knots. Besides these 48 main cylinders, there are 21 more which serve 
purposes that are auxiliary but essential to the working of the main 
engines. Consider the number of working joints, of valves, of valve- 
rods and tappets, besides pistons and connecting-rods, which this involves. 
Does such an accumulation of reciprocating pieces with their hammer- 
blow accelerations mark a real engineering advance as compared with 
the cosy hum of a turbine engine rooni, and has it come to stay ? Frankly, 
I think not. 

As a last technical point I would say a few words about fuel for marijie 
engines. Can anything be done to re-establish the ancient connection of the 
merchant service with the British coalfields ? Remember that here and 
in most other places, the cost of coal is substantially less than that of oil, 
for the same quantity of heat. Where oil scores is in its greater con- 
venience of handling. Much has been said and written about restoring 
prosperity to the miners by converting coal into oil. As a chemical 
operation, it is quite possible to make oil from coal ; as a commercial propo- 
sition, it is imiDracticable, so long as nature continues to supply oil directly 
from the bountiful stores on which man now draws with careless and pro- 
digal ease. Ships that burn oil must have it come to them from sources 
outside Great Britain. Well, then, can we expect ships to return to the use 
of coal as fuel ? For some classes of ships I think we may, though not all 
classes. Neither in the navy nor in what one may call the upper division of 
the mercantile marine — the luxurious express liners which carry 
fastidious passengers and must keep to a time-table that means quick 
f ueUing — can one expect a reversion to coal so long as oil fuel can be got at 
anything like its present price. But with cargo-hners and big cargo-boats, 
the case is different. They do offer a possible field for the use of coal, a field 
where I believe its use would be economically sound as well as of great 
national advantage. In the running of such ships, the incidental con- 
venieaces of oil fuel count for less. The cost of fuel is a relatively big 
factor and there is a clear advantage in being able to burn either coal 
or oil at option, according to the local cheapness of supply. There the 
geared turbine with coal fuel can more than hold its own provided the 
steam plant embodies the conditions that make for high efficiency, 
conditions which are now known to be attainable in marine practice. 
I think those engineers are right who contend that for such ships a highly 
economic mode of working would be to use pulverized coal for steam- 
raising in a small number of large boilers of the water tube type, with 
a pressure of say 500 lb. and a temperature of 750° F., each boiler having 
its own pulverizing mill and being fitted also for burning oil as an alterna- 
tive fuel. In such a scheme, there would be no untried elements, but the 
combination of the elements would be experimental, and a conclusive 
demonstration of its advantages can be obtained only by testing it out 



140 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

on a large scale in sea-going ships, trading on more than one route. An 
experiment of this kind is well worth the making. It is a matter of 
national moment to help a threatened industry by finding an increased 
use for coal ; that aspect of it should not be overlooked by those who are 
wilUng to subsidise industrial research. Such expenditure would be a 
casting of bread upon the waters with a good prospect of its ultimate 
return. , 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we take leave of our prophet of 1881. 
We may fancy him borne aloft in a chariot whose fires are unseen only 
because they burn within the cyUnders. If we were to catch from him the 
mantle of prophecy, we should wear it ruefully ; we should all be Cassandras 
or Jeremiahs, obsessed with the cheerlessness of the industrial outlook, 
and finding no escape from the conviction that the easy supremacy of 
Britain, as Bramwell knew it, can never be recalled. But my last word 
must not be an unqualified Ichabod. The engineers of to-day have as 
much courage and enterprise as their fathers, and they have an infinitely 
better understanding of the scientific principles on which, as on a smooth 
highway, the advance of engineering must steadily j^roceed. Moreover, to 
recognise evils, and the causes of evils, may be the first step towards their 
cure. The world has learnt, through a sharp lesson, that the gifts of the 
engineer are good gifts only if they are wisely used ; that the new powers 
he has evoked have brought new dangers against which mankind must 
resolutely guard if it is to save its soul alive. The malignity of individuals 
and the madness of nations now command forces of destruction such as 
more primitive communities never knew, and were happier not to know. 
And apart from clamant and appalling abuses of gifts which ought to be 
beneficent, we have become aware of a more subtle and perhaps graver 
social menace. We see the mechanised arts of production over-reaching 
themselves, suppljdng commodities in a volume which cannot be absorbed, 
and with a facihty that tends to deprive man of his richest blessing to body 
and spirit — the necessity of toil. 

But these thoughts take us too far afield. They point to problems 
now conspicuously urgent, which, for the salvation of society, the engineer, 
the economist and the moraUst must jointly set themselves to solve. 

Note. 

In 1903 Sir Frederick Bramwell established a trust in the Association under 
which at the Centenarj^ Meetmg ' a paper . . . dealing with the whole question of the 
prime movers of 1931, and especially with the then relation between steam engines 
and internal combustion engines,' should be prepared by ' a gentleman to be selected 
by the Council.' 

The preceding Address discharges this trust. 



SECTION H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 



THE PRESENT POSITION OF 
ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDIES. 

ADDEESS BY 

PROF. A. R. RADCLIFFE-BROWN, 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



In this address which I have the honour to make to you as the president 
of this section, I shall lay before you certain considerations as to the present 
position of anthropological studies. It might i)erhaps be regarded as my 
duty to make a survey of the history of these studies and what has been 
accomplished in them during the hundred years over which we are now, 
as an Association, looking back. But this address had to be written 
during a journey from one side of the world to the other, so that it was 
not possible for me to have access to the necessary books. Moreover, as 
between looking back over the past and looking forward to the future, I 
have a temperamental preference for the latter. 

Anthropology, as that term is currently used, as for example in defining 
a university curriculum, is not one subject, but includes several somewhat 
related subjects while excluding others not less related. If we define 
anthropology as the science of man and of human life in all its aspects, 
then it is obvious that psychology, as the study of the human mind or 
human behaviour, must be included in anthropology between human 
biology, which deals with man's physical organism, and social or cultural 
anthropology, which deals with his social life. Yet actually not only is 
psychology not commonly included in what is called anthropology, but 
there is very little systematic co-ordination between psychological and 
other anthropological studies. The reason for this Ues in the history of 
psychology, which was first developed in close relation with, or indeed as 
part of, philosophy. It is only gradually that psychology has been 
differentiated from philosophical studies, and by adopting precise methods 
similar to the experimental methods of the natural sciences has established 
itself as an independent scientific discipline. It seems to me that the time 
is now ripe for psychology to sever its connection with the philosophical 
subjects of logic and metaphysic and bring itself into closer relation with 
anthropology. This is not merely a question of a logical arrangement of 
the sciences. Both psychology and the other anthropological sciences will 
benefit greatly by a more systematic co-ordination. 

Lea\'ing aside psychology, then, we now find the general field of what 
is called anthropology divided into three separate portions. One of these 



142 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

may best be named Human Biology, for the term Physical Anthropology 
is commonly applied in a somewhat narrower sense to cover only part of 
that field. In one part of this field, in Human Palaeontology, we have 
witnessed in the last fifty years many important discoveries, of which the 
latest. Dr. Davidson Black's determination of Sinanthropus pekinensis, it 
certainly one of the most significant. In another part of Human Biology, 
the study of comparative racial anatomy, which is what is usually under- 
stood by the term Physical Anthropology, a great amount of work has 
been done in the way of measurements on the living subject and in the 
study of skeletal material. I cannot help feeling myself that the results 
obtained have not been by any means proj)ortionate to the time and 
energy expended. I believe that one of the reasons has been the pre- 
occupation with attempts to reconstruct the racial history of mankind, 
when we have as yet no precise knowledge of how varieties of the human 
species actually come into existence. I think we ought to look forward 
in the field of Human Biology to a closer co-operation of comparative 
racial anatomy with Human Genetics, and also to a further development 
of comparative racial physiology, in which so far much less work has been 
done than in anatomy. 

The natural and most useful association for Human Biology is with 
the other biological sciences, with general biology, the results of which it 
has to apply to, or verify in, the human species, with comparative 
morphology and physiology, and with palaeontology. There is much less 
benefit to this subject in a close association with prehistoric archaeology 
or with social anthropology. 

Human Biology (or Physical Anthrojiology) and Social Anthropology 
meet together in connection with two sets of problems. One of these is 
the effect of social institutions on the physical characters of a population. 
This study seems to me to fall within the sphere of Human Biology rather 
than in that of Social Anthropology, for it requires to be handled by one 
who is by training a biologist. The other problem is the reverse of this, 
namely, the discovery of what differences, if any, in culture are the result 
of racial differences, i.e. of inherited physical differences of different 
peoples. Now this problem, or this set of problems, can only be approached 
by means of a study of comparative racial psychology, or the comparative 
psychology of peoples. For it is obvious that any inherited physical 
differences between races will act chiefly through psychical differences in 
any effect they may have upon culture. Thus, the recent researches of 
Prof. Shellshear bid fair to enable us to define certain morphological 
differences of the brain as differentiating the Australian aborigines from 
the Chinese, and the latter in turn from Europeans. The determination 
of what mental differences are correlated with these differences of cerebral 
structure is a task for the psychologist or psycho-physiologist. 

Comparative racial psychology, which is thus closely connected with 
Human Biology, is a subject of great difficulty in which little progress 
has been made as yet. The first task is that of providing a technique for 
determining with as much precision as possible the average psychological 
differences between different populations. Many of these differences are 
very obviously the resiilt of differences of culture, and the ultimate task 
of such a study, of proving that certain observable psychological differences 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 143 

are correlated with difEerences in the physical organism, and are therefore 
strictly racial differences, is one that we cannot yet hope to approach as a 
scientific problem. 

Another field that lies within the general field of Anthropology as now 
organised is that of Prehistoric Archa3ology. T need not remind yon how 
greatly this subject has developed and prospered in recent years. It has 
won far more popular interest and support than any other branch of 
Anthropology. At the same time it has become more definitely a 
specialised study. It has thus attained an independence that it did not 
possess when anthropological studies were first organised in associations 
and universities. 

Besides these two subjects, Physical Anthropology, or, as I think it 
might be better called, Human Biology, and Prehistoric Archaeology, 
Anthropology as now organised includes as a third field the study of the 
languages and cultures of non-European peoples, and particularly of those 
peoples who have no written history. This separation of the peojiles of 
the world into two groups, one of which is studied by the anthropologist, 
while the other is left to historians, philologists and others, is obviously 
not justifiable by any logical co-ordination of studies, and is no longer so 
fully justified by practical considerations as it was when it first arose. 
Changes that are taking place in this field will soon require, I think, a 
different organisation of our studies in relation to others. 

It is to this branch of anthropology, the study of the cultures of non- 
European peoples, that I wish to devote my attention in this address. 
Of the changes that have recently been taking place in it, wliich are 
important and significant for its future develoi^ment, there is one which 
I will here onlymention and will return to it later. In its earlier development 
the study was a purely academic one, having no immediate bearing on any 
particular aspect of practical life. This has now changed, and there is a 
growing recognition that the study of the Hfe and customs of a tribe of 
Africa or New Guinea by an ethnographer or social anthropologist can be 
of practical assistance to those engaged in governing or educating that 
tribe. Anthropology, or this branch of it, is now being brought into 
close relation with colonial administration, and we may anticipate many 
important results from this association. 

This new position of anthropology will, I believe, help to hasten 
forward the development of a cliange of point of view in the study, a 
change of orientation, which has been slowly making itself felt during the 
last few decades, and with which I propose to deal at some length. I will 
attempt to state in a few words what this change of orientation is. Using 
the word science to mean the accumulation of exact knowledge, we may 
distingmsh two kinds of scientific study, or two kinds of method. One 
of these is the historical. The other method or type of study I should 
like to call the inductive, but there is a chance that the word might be 
misunderstood. I will therefore call it the method of generalisation. 
This distinction between the historical and the generalising sciences was 
emphasised long ago by Cournot. It is one of great importance in any 
question of scientific methodology. 

Now when the study of non-European peoples was first undertaken, it 



144 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

was very natural, and indeed inevitable, that it should be treated by the 
method of the historical sciences so far as those methods were applicable. 
But during the past hundred years there has been a steadily growing 
movement towards the creation of a generalising science of culture or 
society. The moment has come when the existence and independence of 
this science should be recognised. 

I have said that in the early stages of the study of non-European 
peoples the approach made was that of the historical point of view. One 
of the tasks of history is to give us accurate descriptions of a society or 
people at a given time. The ethnographer's work of describing to us a 
non-European people was taken up precisely in this way. But history 
also gives us chronological accounts of the changes in a people's Ufe. For 
the European peoples we have written documents that enable the historian 
to do this. For many non-European peoples we have no such records. 
The ethnologist, true to the assumption that history was what he wanted, 
engaged in the attempt to supply a conjectural or hypothetical history. 

The procedure began in the eighteenth century, when attempts were 
made to identify native peoples in different parts of the world as the 
descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, or similarities of custom with 
ancient Egypt were interpreted as the result of Egyptian influence. The 
identification of the lost ten tribes of Israel seems to be no longer the 
concern of anthropologists, but the ingenious tracing of the most diverse 
customs all over the world to a hypothetical origin in Egypt still survives, 
and, as it seems to possess a strong emotional appeal for certain minds, 
will probably persist. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, with Adam Smith and 
others in England and France, the hypothetical reconstruction of the past 
took another form. It was sujiposed that in some sense the less developed 
peoples represented early stages in the development of our own culture. 
The aid of knowledge about them was therefore called in to help in creating 
a conjectural history which dealt with such general matters as the origins 
of language or of civil government, and so on. 

Thus from early times the attempts to utilise information about non- 
European peoples took two distinct forms. It will be convenient to have 
different names by which to distinguish the two studies, and I shall use 
the word ethnology to refer to one and shall speak of the other as belonging 
to social anthropology. This conforms fairly well to the ordinary usage 
of these two terms. 

Ethnology, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is concerned 
with the relations of peoples. If we study the existing peoples of the 
world, and those of the past about which we have information, we are able 
to define certain similarities and differences in racial characters, in culture 
and in language. The ethnologist may confine himself to determining as 
precisely as possible these similarities and differences and so providing 
a classification of peoples on the basis of race, language and culture. If 
he seeks to go further and explain them he does so by hypothetical historical 
processes. It is evident that throughout the period of human life on the 
planet there have been movements and intermingling of races ; there has 
been spread of languages, and the subsequent differentiation of one 
language into several distinct languages ; and there have been movements 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 145 

of wLole cultures with the migration of peoples from one region to another, 
or spread of particular elements of culture through the interaction of 
neighbouring peoples. The present situation of the peoples of the world, 
or the situation at any moment of history, is the result of the total series 
of changes that have taken place over some hundreds of thousands of years. 
The aim of the ethnologist is to make hypothetical reconstructions of some 
of these processes. 

Ethnology, as thus defined, is a historical and not a generalising science. 
It is true that in making their historical reconstructions the ethnologists 
often assume certain generalisations, but as a rule little or no attempt is 
made to base them on any wide inductive study. The generalisations are 
the postulates with which the subject starts, not the conclusions which it 
aims to attain as the result of the investigations undertaken. 

Social anthropology, in the sense I am giving to that term, has con- 
cerned itself with a different type of problem. It has interested itself in 
the development of institutions in human society. From its earliest 
beginnings it attempted a sort of compromise between the two different 
scientific methods, the historical and the generalising. Undoubtedly one 
of the aims of Social Anthropology has been to understand the nature of 
human institutions and, if I may use the phrase, how they work. But 
instead of adopting outright the methods of the generalising sciences, social 
anthropology was dominated by the conception of history, of historical 
explanation and the liistorical method. And since historical records were 
insufficient it endeavoured to make a hypothetical history of institutions 
and of the develoj^ment of human society. It discussed such matters as 
the origin of language and of religion, the development of marriage and 
of property, the origins of totemism and exogamy, or the origin and 
development of sacrifice or of animistic beliefs. 

Social anthropology frequently sought the origins of social institutions 
in purely psychological factors, i.e. it sought to conjecture the motives in 
individual minds that would lead them to invent or accept particular 
customs and beliefs. Its explanations were frequently, or even usually, 
historical in one sense, but psychological in another, almost never socio- 
logical. This point will be returned to later. 

Throughout almost the whole of the last century this historical-psycho- 
logical method so dominated anthropological study that it was hardly 
possible for any one to escape from it. Thus, when Robertson Smith laid 
the foundations of the scientific study of religions and took up the problem 
of the nature of sacrifice, (for that, as we should now see it, was really the 
problem,) he was not content to isolate and classify the different varieties 
of sacrifice, and show their relation as different forms of a widespread type 
of religious rite — that would be the method of the modern sociologist, as 
represented in the essay of Hubert and Mauss — but the strong tradition 
of his time made him attempt to fit the different varieties of sacrifice into 
a scheme of historical development whereby one variety was supposed to 
have had its origin in another. 

The compromise that social anthropology made between the historical 

and the generalising methods was one impossible to maintain. As a result 

there have been in the last few decades two movements, one towards 

ethnology and the other towards sociology, and the traditional social 

1931 L 



146 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

anthropology has been subjected to criticism of different kinds from these 
two quarters. 

Throughout almost the whole of the nineteenth century there was little 
distinction between ethnology and social anthropology. Tylor, for 
example, combined the two studies. It is true that some writers followed 
by preference one study to the exclusion of the other. Thus, Sir James 
Frazer has rarely concerned himself with ethnological problems. It is 
also true that the two methods occasionally came into conflict over 
particular problems, but this conflict did not become one between the 
two methods and the two points of view. 

Towards the end of the last century and in the earlier part of this 
century there developed, in America, in Germany and in England, schools 
of ethnologists which, while disagreeing amongst themselves on particular 
questions of historical reconstruction, and even on the methods of 
ethnological analysis, yet all joined in attacking the methods of social 
anthropology from the point of view of historical method. These 
criticisms of what the ethnologists call ' evolutionary anthropology ' are 
familiar to all of you. 

The shift over from social anthropology to ethnology is illustrated in 
the development of the ideas of the late Dr. Rivers. I think I can speak 
with some knowledge of Rivers, for I was for three years his pupil in 
psychology, and was his first pupil in social anthropology in the year 1904. 
Rivers was from first to last primarily a psychologist, and was an inspiring 
teacher in ]5sychology. He had no training in ethnology or in archaeology, 
and only gradually made a partial acquaintance with those subjects. In 
his first period of interest in anthropology, from the time of the Cambridge 
Expedition to Torres Straits to the year 1909, his conception of the aims 
and methods to be followed in the study of non-European peoples was 
that of what I have been describing as social anthropology. Even if he 
could not regard Morgan's theories, for example, as being satisfactory, he 
yet assumed that the making of theories of that type was the task of the 
anthropologist, and I believe that even up to the end of his life he still 
accepted in general outline the animistic theory of Tylor and Frazer. 
Ultimately, during his work in Melanesia, his growing dissatisfaction with 
that method came to a head, and in 1911, in his presidential address to 
this section, he declared his allegiance to the ethnological method. In 
other words, from one type of historical study he transferred his attention 
to another. In the years 1913 and 1914 I had much discussion with 
Dr. Rivers on the subject of anthropological method by correspondence 
and in personal interviews, partly because at that time he did me the 
kindness to read and criticise, in manuscript and in proof, a book that 1 
was writing. His view at the time our discussions ceased was that, while 
he was fully prepared to grant the validity and the necessity of the method 
of comparative sociology, he regarded the method of ethnology as equally 
valid and necessary and at the same time independent, and that he 
preferred to devote his owi\ attention to the latter rather than the former. 
At the very end of his life there were indications that his attitude was 
changing once more, that he was growing somewhat dissatisfied with the 
ethnological method which he so stoutly defended in 1911, and that he 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 147 

was directing his attention to the method which I am here speaking of as 
that of Comparative Sociology. 

In the change of point of view that he made in 1911 Rivers was there- 
fore representative of a general tendency. There had been a growing 
dissatisfaction with the theories of social anthropology. From the point 
of view of a desire for historical explanation that dissatisfaction is, I think, 
justified. A historical study ' explains ' by revealing particular relations 
between particular phenomena or events. History does not generalise or 
cannot legitimately do so. It shows us that at a given moment a particular 
event occurred, and as a result of this something else happened. Thus, a 
cause in historical explanation is something which happened once and was 
followed by certain results. It is not similar to what is called a cause 
in natural science, which is an event that recurs or may recur repeatedly 
and always produces the same effect. Historical explanation is always 
concerned with particulars, normally with showing a chronological relation 
between two or more particulars. The value of historical explanation is 
therefore directly proportional to the amount of certain and detailed 
knowledge that we have of the events with which we are concerned. 

It may be said in one sense that the ethnologist explains the existing 
similarities and differences between peoples by means of his historical 
hypotheses. Actually, however, he is not interested, at any rate primarily, 
in explanation. Where he attempts a reconstruction of history it is 
because he wishes to discover something about a past of which we have 
no records in written documents. He is interested in a knowledge about 
the past, as far as it is attainable, for its own sake. Or if the ethnologist 
believes himself to be following some other aim, then he is pursuing the 
wrong method. All that his hypothesis can give him will be a certain 
number of more or less probable statements about the past. And his 
results will only be valuable or valid if he avoids basing them on assump- 
tions as to general principles of historical change which have not been 
demonstrated by sociology, for it is the specific task of sociology to discover 
sucli principles. 

The methodological difficulty in ethnology is, and always will be, the 
demonstration of its hypotheses. I do not suppose that anyone has 
ever accepted, or ever will accept, Rivers's elaborate reconstruction of the 
history of Melanesia. The theories of culture cycles, that are held so firmly 
by some ethnologists that they speak of them as though they . were 
demonstrated beyond any possibility of doubt, are totally rejected by other 
competent and open-minded students. The Egyptian theory of the origin 
of culture has its special devotees, but so has the Atlantis theory. 

It is certain that the ethnological method carefully used may give us 
a very limited number of highly probable, if not quite certain, conclusions. 
Thus there is no doubt that the language of Madagascar and a good deal of 
its culture are derived either from Indonesia or from some region from which 
the Indonesian languages and culture were also derived. In such an 
instance we are dealing with a great number of resemblances between the 
two regions which cannot be otherwise explained, and the matter of the 
languages is conclusive. Similarly it might be possible to demonstrate 
some sort of general relationship between Australia and South India, or 
between Indonesia and Melanesia. But it seems to me highly doubtful 

l2 



148 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

if we can ever obtain from ethnology any considerable mass of j^roven 
detailed knowledge of the historical relations of peoples and regions. 

I believe that this feeling is shared by many anthropologists whose 
interest still attaches to history. In the last thirty years or so we have 
watched the development of several diverse schools of ethnology or culture- 
history. Some of these have offered us elaborate schemes of reconstruction 
of the whole of human history ; others have dealt with particular local 
problems. But it is impossible to reconcile the different theories with 
one another or even to discover j^nnciples of method about which there 
is general agreement. To say nothing of theories of the derivation of 
culture from a lost Atlantis or a lost Pacific continent, we are offered a 
choice between the Egyptian theory championed in its latest form by 
Prof. Elliot Smith, or the theory of culture-cycles of Graebner, or the 
somewhat different theory of Father Schmidt, or that of Frobenius, and 
I know not how many more. Each school goes its own way building up 
its own hypothetical structure, not attempting to seek out points on 
which agreement can be reached with others. The procedure is often that 
of disciples of a cult rather than that of students of a science. The result 
is that many would-be ethnologists, seeing how much hypothesis and how 
little certainty there is in these reconstructions of history, have been 
turning to archaeology, in which at least some certainty and general agree- 
ment can be reached. This movement I think is a thoroughly sound one. 
Where written documents are absent it is first of all to archaeology that 
we must look to give us some knowledge of the history of peoples and 
cultures. 

If then we set out to study human life by the methods of historical 
science, we aim at discovering everything that we can of interest about the 
past. When written records are available we make use of them, and such 
study is called history in the narrow sense. We may supplement the 
written records by investigations in archaeology. This study has reached 
a stage when it can give us precise and certain information within a limited 
field. It can only tell us about those things in the life of a people that 
can be directly inferred from their material remains. Ethnology can to 
a limited extent supplement history and archaeology. 

The historical interest in human life is one of the chief motives for 
the study of non-European peoples. But the same study offers scope for 
another interest, the desire to reach a scientific understanding of the nature 
of culture and of social life. In the past those two interests have been 
often confused. The progress of our studies requires that they be 
separated, and this separation has been taking place during the last few 
decades. Out of social anthropology there has grown a study which I am 
going to speak of as Comparative Sociology. 

By tliis term I wish to denote a science that applies the generalising 
method of the natural sciences to the phenomena of the social life of man 
and to everything that we include under the term culture or civilisation. 

The method may be defined as being one by which we demonstrate 
that a particular phenomenon or event is an example of a general law. 
In the study of any group of phenomena we aim at discovering laws which 
are universal within that group. When those laws are discovered they 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 149 

' explain ' the i:)henomena to which they refer. A science of this kind, as 
I conceive it, still remains descriptive, but in place of descriptions of 
particulars and their particular relations, such as the historical sciences 
give us, it provides general descriptions. 

The older social anthropology did not follow this method, at any rate 
consistently. We have seen that it devoted most of its attention to 
formulating hypotheses about the origins of social institutions. Never- 
theless social anthropology, by its comparative study of institutions, made 
possible the development of comparative sociology. I could, if I had time, 
show you how the new anthropology, i.e. comparative sociology, grew 
gradually out of the older study ; how the first tentative movements 
towards this science began in the eighteenth century ; how the work of 
such men as Steiumetz, Westermarck and others, and particularly that 
of Emile Durkheim and his followers, led step by step to the present 
position in which we can claim that there is now in existence a comparative 
sociology which demands recognition as something radically different in 
important respects from the social anthropology out of which it has 
grown. 

The essential difference between the older social anthropology and the 
new lies in the kind of theories that one and the other seek to establish 
by the study of the facts. As I see it, comparative sociology rejects, and 
must reject, all attempts at conjecturing the origin of an institution when 
we have no information based on reliable historical records about that 
origin. 

I can only hope to make my meaning in this matter clear to you if 
you will permit me to refer to a particular example. We may take as 
our example totemism, which has received a good deal of attention in 
social anthropology. Totemism is a name which we apply to a large 
number of different kinds of institutions in different cultures, all having 
in common the one feature that they involve some special relation between 
social groups and natural species, usually species of animals or plants. 
It is to be noted, first of all, that totemism is not a simple concrete thing ; 
it is an abstraction, a name apphed to a number of distinct and diverse 
things which have something in common. What is or is not included 
under the term depends on the definition we adopt, and different writers 
choose different definitions. 

The older social anthropology concerned itself with the question of the 
origin of totemism. Even supposing that we have settled what we are 
and what we are not to include under the term, our question is still not 
specific. If we try to make it specific we must recognise that there are 
three possibilities. One is that all the things we call totemism in Asia, 
Africa, America and Oceania are historically derived from some one 
particular institution which had its origin in a particular region at a 
particular time. A second is that some one particular form of totemism 
may have arisen independently in two or more regions at different times 
as the result of similar historical processes, and that existing varieties of 
totemism are all derived from this. The third is that different forms of 
totemism may have had their origin independently in different regions at 
different times by different historical processes. If I had to decide which 
of these three possibilities seemed to me the most likely, I should select 



150 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

the third. And this would mean, of course, that totemism has not had 
an origin. 

In many of the theories of totemism it is difficult to tell whether the 
author is thinking of the first or the second of the two possibilities 
mentioned above. Prof. EUiot Smith, however, definitely adopts the first. 
If I imderstand him he would regard everything all over the world that 
he calls totemism (and I am not sure what he would include in or exclude 
from that term) as being derived in comparatively recent times from 
Egypt, and from a particular system of beliefs and practices which 
were the product of the special historical develo2)ments of Egyptian 
civilisation. 

Sir James Frazer's final theory of totemism is well known to you. It 
assumes that all existing forms of totemism are derived from one simple 
original form. In making an assumption of this kind Prof. Elliot Smith 
and Sir James Frazer agree, but their agreement goes no fjirther. The 
particular form selected by Sir James Frazer is what he calls conceptional 
totemism, the belief that the foetus in a mother's womb is derived from 
some food (animal or vegetable) that the mother has eaten. The belief is 
known to exist in parts of Australia and Melanesia, and I should think that, 
if it were sought for, it might quite well be found in other regions from 
which it has not been recorded. This, then, on Sir James Frazer's theory, 
gives us the historical origin of totemism. It is not clear whether he 
conceives this form of totemism to have come into existence only once 
at a particular time in a particular spot, or whether he conceives it as' 
having come into existence in different regions at difierent times. In 
completion of this theory he offers us a psychological explanation of the 
belief which, for him, is the germ out of which all diverse forms of totemism 
developed. Man, not being aware of the physiological causes of impregna- 
tion, but being desirous of finding some explanation, was led to the 
theory that food eaten by a woman and followed by sickness (the 
sickness of pregnancy) was the cause of the pregnancy, with which it was 
thus associated. 

I do not intend to offer you criticisms of these two theories of totemism. 
If criticism is to consist, as I think it always should in science, of a 
re-examination of the evidence adduced in favour of.a hypothesis, I cannot 
see that any evidence has yet been ofiered for the historical reality of 
either of these hypothetical processes. Indeed, I find it impossible to 
imagine what real evidence of that kind could be discovered. 

For comparative sociology, totemism presents a difierent problem or 
series of problems. These may be described as being concerned with the 
nature and function of totemism. To elucidate the nature of totemism 
we have to show that it is a special form of a phenomenon much more 
widespread, and we must aim at demonstrating that it is a special instance 
of a phenomenon or at any rate of a tendency which is universal in human 
society. For tliis purpose we have to compare totemism with all other 
related institutions in all cultures. 

From the outset of our inquiry, therefore, we cannot isolate totemism , 
and deal with it as a separate thing. First of all totemism in any given 
culture is part of a more extensive system of beliefs and customs, and may 
occupy a preponderant position in that system, as in many Australian 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 151 

tribes, or may occupy a small and almost insigmficant position. In difEerent 
cultures totemism is not the same thina. 

When we examine totemism by the sociological method, the first thing 
we discover is that it is merely a special example, or rather a collection of 
special examples, of a larger class, namely of ritual relations established 
by the society between human beings and objects of nature such as 
animals or plants, and such things as rain. We find that there are 
important systems of beliefs and customs establishing such ritual relations 
wliich are not included under the term totemism. We find them among 
people such as the Eskimo or the Andaman Islanders, who have no 
totemism. The problem of totemism thus becomes a part or aspect of a 
much wider problem, that of the nature and function of the ritual relations 
between man and animals and plants in general. Thus, many years ago 
I wrote what was intended to be a direct contribution to the sociological 
theory of totemism in the form of a study of the relations between man 
and natural species in a non-totemic people, the Andaman Islanders. 

Tliis problem, however, which is wider than the problem of totemism, 
is itself merely a small part of a still wider problem, that of the nature 
and function of ritual and mj^hology in general. If we wish to know why 
certain peoples treat wild animals and plants as sacred things, we must 
discover the general principles on the basis of which things of all kinds 
are treated as sacred. Thus the problem of tot«mism, as soon as it is 
fully stated, leads straight to one of the fmadamental problems of Sociology, 
that of the nature and function of ritual and myth. This is characteristic 
of the sociological method, that any problem, however small, is part of a 
general fundamental problem of the nature of culture and of human 
society. 

Nevertheless we must, and we can, partially isolate particular problems 
for special study. The provisional conclusions we reach will be subject 
to revision when the particular problem we are deaUng with is considered 
in relation to the general problem of which it is part. 

Without attempting the impossible task of trying to fit in to a brief 
statement the theory of the nature of ritual in general, I think we can 
formulate one important principle which is relevant to the problem of 
totemism. This is that in societies in which the whole population, or the 
major portion of it, is engaged in immediate subsistence activities, those 
things which are of vital importance in relation to subsistence become 
important objects of ritual. Perhaps we may be more cautious and say 
that there is a strongly marked tendency for this to happen. For there 
are possible exceptions, such as the lack of any record of a cattle cult 
amongst the Hottentots. 

Special examples of this law or tendency are the cattle cults of pastoral 
peoples, the corn cults of tillage people, and the weather and season cults 
of peoples of all kinds. The treatment of wild animals and plants as 
objects of ritual by hunting and collecting people is partly or very largely 
to be regarded as simply another special examjjle of this general tendency. 
Other factors come in, with which I have not time to deal, but once we 
recognise their possibility they need not affect our argument. 

We have thus reached one provisional generahsation covering those 
customs and beliefs of which totemism is a part. But the special character 



152 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

of what is commonly regarded as the normal form of totemism is that the 
whole society is divided into segments (moieties or clans), and there is a 
sjDecial ritual relation between each segment and some one or more species. 
This can also, I think, be shown to be a special example of a general law 
or tendency whereby in any segmentary structure, which has a religious 
basis or function, the solidarity of each segment, the differentiation or 
opposition between the segments, and the wider solidarity which unites 
the segments into a larger whole in spite of that opposition, are expressed 
and maintained by establishing a ritual relation between the whole society 
and certain sacra and by establishing a special relation between each 
segment and some one or more of these sacra. Totemism of clans or 
moieties is only one example of what is a much more widespread general 
phenomenon in the general relation of ritual to social structure. 

There would, of course, be very much more than this in a general 
sociological theory of totemism. There are a great many different kinds 
of totemism, and their relations to one another and to the theory would 
aU have to be considered. But the general method would be the same, 
seeking, in relation to each particular j^henomenon we examine, to see it 
as a particular example of a widespread class. 

By pursuing this process of analysis and generaUsation we can come 
to see totemism as a particular form taken by what seems to be a universal 
element in culture. Every culture that we know has some system of 
beliefs and customs by which the world of external nature is brought into 
a relation with society in which the two form a single conceptual structure, 
and relations are established between man and nature of a kind similar 
in certain respects to the relations established within the society between 
the human beings themselves. I am inclined to regard it as one of the 
essential functions of religion to provide this structure. Our own relations 
to a personal God who has created or who is regarded as maintaining the 
natural order, is an example of what I mean. The fully developed or 
elaborated totemism of a people like the Australian aborigines is an 
example of the same general or universal process. It establishes a whole 
system of special social solidarities between men and animals, plants, and 
other phenomena of nature. 

When we have in some such way as tliis arrived at a satisfactory concep- 
tion of the nature of totemism we can proceed to a study of its functions. 
By the function of an institution I mean the part it plays in the total 
system of social integration of which it is a part. By using that phrase, 
social integration, I am assuming that the function of culture as a whole 
is to unite individual human beings into more or less stable social structures, 
i.e. stable systems of groups determining and regulating the relation of 
those individuals to one another, and providing such external adaptation 
to the physical environment, and such internal adaptation between the 
component individuals or groups, as to make possible an ordered social 
life. That assumption I believe to be a sort of primary postulate of any 
objective and scientific study of culture or of human society. 

When we take up the functional study of totemism, then we must 
examine in each particular case of a sufficient number, what part the 
special variety of totemism of a given region plays in the total system of 
integration which the whole culture provides. We might study in this 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 153 

way the functions of a number of different varieties of totemism in 
Australia, and then draw certain general conclusions as to the function of 
totemism in the general integrative system of Australian tribes. We 
should not thereby be entitled without examination to draw conclusions 
as to the functions of totemism in America, or India, or Melanesia, or Africa. 

Just as the question of the nature of totemism is part of a very much 
wider sociological problem, so the study of the functions of totemism is 
part of the general sociological problem of the function of religion. 

The foregoing brief and inadequate statement of how I conceive that 
comparative sociology will take up the problems of totemism will, I hope, 
have served the purpose for which it was introduced, namely, to illustrate 
the difference of method that distinguishes the newer social anthropology 
from the old. I have chosen the subject of totemism because some of 
the most important steps of the passage from the old to the new methods 
are to be seen in Durkheim's treatment of this subject in his ' Elementary 
Forms of the Religious Life.' Unfortunately, Durkheim retained some of 
the ideas and some of the terminology of the older social anthropology. 
He speaks of his study as aiming to determine the ' origin ' of totemism, 
and although he seeks to give a new meaning to the word ' origin,' yet his 
use of it misleads most of his readers, and I think it really misled Durkheim 
himself and caused him to cast what is really a theory of the nature and 
function of totemism into a form which renders it open to criticism, and 
which has caused it to be misunderstood by niany of his readers. 

I think we should use the term origin, in speaking of any institution, 
as meaning the historical process by which it came into existence. Thus 
we can speak of and actually study the origin of parliamentary govern- 
ment in England. In comparative sociology, if we are to make it the 
science it should be, we must reject absolutely all attempts to conjecture 
the origin of any institution or element of culture. Wherever we have 
good and sufficient documentary evidence as to the origin of anything this 
can of course be utilised by sociology, but that is an entirely different 
matter. 

I have pointed out that the theories of the older social anthropology 
often took a psychological form. The procedure was one of conjecturing 
processes of thought in the minds of individuals which would lead them 
to adopt a certain belief or custom. I have not time in this address to 
discuss the subject of the relation of sociology to psychology. There is 
still a great deal of confusion as to that relation. The position maintained 
by the sociologist is (1) that in social institutions and in the phenomena 
of culture generally the sociologist has a field of study which is eiitirely 
distinct from that of the psychologist, and that generalisations made in 
this field must be sociological and not psychological generaUsations ; 
(2) that therefore any explanation of a particiilar sociological phenomenon 
in terms of psychology, i.e. of processes of individual mental activity, is 
invaUd ; (3) that idtimately the nature of human social life is determined 
by the nature of the psycho-physical organism of man, and that therefore 
when we have discovered miiversal sociological laws it will be the duty of 
the jJsycho-physiologist to discover their basis in psycho-physical pro- 
cesses ; (4) that, on the other hand, the behaviour or the psychology of 



154 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

an individual human being is largely determined by the culture which 
has been imposed upon him by the society in which he lives. 

The sociologist therefore claims that it is possible and necessary to 
distinguish psychology and sociology as two distinct subjects, just as 
distinct as physics and chemistry. It is only when the two subjects are 
so distinguished that it will be possible to obtain real co-operation and 
co-ordination between them. 

The newer social anthropology then, as I see it, differs from the older 
in several vital respects. It rejects as being no part of its task the hypo- 
thetical reconstruction of the unknown past. It therefore avoids all 
discussion of hypotheses as to historical origins. It rejects all attempts 
to provide psychological explanations of particular social or cultural 
phenomena in favour of an ultimate psychological explanation of general 
sociological laws when these have been demonstrated by purely socio- 
logical inquiries. It endeavours to give precise descrijrtions of social and 
cultural phenomena in sociological terms, and to this end seeks to establish 
a suitable exact terminology, and seeks at the same time to attain to a 
systematic classification of those j^henomena. It looks at any culture as 
an integrated system and studies the functions of social institutions, 
customs and beliefs of all kinds as parts of such a system. It applies to 
human life in society the generaUsing method of the natural sciences, 
seeking to formulate the general laws that underlie it, and to explain any 
given phenomenon in any culture as a special example of a general or 
universal principle. The newer anthropology is therefore functional, 
generalising and sociological. 

Although the newer anthropology rejects much of the m.ethods of the 
older, and rejects all the theories of origins with the elaboration of which 
the latter was so much concerned, yet the new anthropology has grown 
out of the old, would not be possible without it, and starts with valuable 
knowledge of social phenomena and some insight into their nature which 
were incidentally provided by the earlier anthropologists in their search 
for origins. The work of such men as Tylor, Robertson Smith, Frazer, 
Westermarck, to mention only some of the greatest and of this country 
only, paved the way for the advance that we are now making. In 
rejecting the conclusions they reached by what we regard as an unsound 
method, we do not forget aU that we owe to them in the first systematic 
exploration of the regions we now seek to survey more exactly and with 
new instruments. 

Comparative sociology, as I am here calling the newer form of anthro- 
pology, requires a new conception of the aims and methods of field 
investigations amongst non-European peoples. It is not so very long 
ago since for most of our information about the life and customs of such 
peoj)les we had to rely on the writings of persons who had no training 
for the work of observation and description, travellers and missionaries 
principally. It is now recognised that we can no more rely on such 
information than we could rely on the observations of an untrained person 
in such a science as geology. The first point, therefore, in relation to field 
research is that to have its full value for scientific purposes the description 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 155 

of the culture of ii uou-Europeau people must be based on the careful work 
of a thoroughly trained observer. 

During the last forty years there has been a considerable quantity of 
work carried out in this way, particularly in America. Under the influence 
of Dr. Haddon in England and Prof. Boas in America, a good deal has 
been done in developing a technique of ethnographical field-work. 

It is true that we still meet with persons who regard themselves as 
competent to carry out such work of observation without the preliminary 
training. One also still finds writers who quote from accounts of mis- 
sionaries and travellers, as if their records were as reliable as those of 
trained specialists. 

As ethnographical field-work has become in recent years more syste- 
matic, observation has tended to become more extended and more 
penetrating. Earlier ethnographical descriptions were mostly confined to 
the more accessible aspects of a culture, its formalised elements. The 
result was normally a very incomplete picture of the life of a people. 
Recent work, such as that of Prof. Malinowski or Dr. Margaret Mead, 
gives us, as the result of more extended and methodical observation, 
valuable information about what may be called the unformaHsed aspects 
of the life of a people such as the Samoans, the Trobriand Islanders, and 
the Admiralty Islanders. Without information of this kind we can never 
hope to make full comparative use of any description of a culture. 

Comparative sociology involves another and perhaps even more 
important change in the conception of the nature of field research. On 
the older view the task of the field-worker was simply to observe the 
facts and record them as precisely as possible with the help of such concrete 
material as photographs, texts in the native language, and so on. It was 
not his business, at any rate as a field- worker, to attempt any interpretation 
of the data he collected. This he could leave to others who would make 
it their business. 

The conception of the newer anthropology is the opposite of this, and 
is that only the field-worker, the one actually in contact with the people, 
can discover the meaning of the various elements of the culture, and that 
it is necessary for him to do this if he is to provide material to be fully 
utilised for the purposes of science. 

When I speak of the ' meaning ' of an element of culture, I use the 
word very much as we do when we sjieak of the meanings of words. If we 
consider an individual, the meaning of a word that he hears or uses is the 
set of associations that it has with other things in his mind, and therefore 
the jilace it occupies in his total thinking, his mental life as a whole. If 
we take a community at a given time the meaning of a word in the language 
they use is constituted by the associations normally clustering around the 
word within that community. Therefore the maker of dictionaries collects 
examples of the usage of a word and tries to classify and, as far as possible 
define, the difierent varieties of usage. 

Now the meaning of an element of culture is to be found in its inter- 
relation with other elements and in the place it occuj^ies in the whole life 
of the people, i.e. not merely in their visible activities, but also in their 
thought and feeling. The discovery of this with any certainty is obviously 
only possible for one who is living in actual contact with the people whose 



156 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

culture is being studied, and as the result of systematic directed investiga- 
tion. It is true that when we have a somewhat full knowledge of a people 
and of all aspects of their culture, we can form ideas as to the meaning of 
their customs and beliefs. Thus I think that it is possible in the case of 
the Eskimo to be fairly certain that the essential meaning of the Sedna 
myth lies in its relation to the division of the year into two parts, summer 
and winter, and the efEects this division has on the social life. But even 
so, the full elaboration of this hypothesis, and still more the actual verifica- 
tion of it, the demonstration that this really is the meaning, could hardly 
be carried out except by further investigation amongst the natives 
themselves. 

It must not be supposed that the meaning of an element of culture can 
be discovered by asking the people themselves what it means. People do 
not think about the meanings of things in their own culture, they take them 
for granted. Unless we are anthropologists we do not think about the 
meaning of even such familiar customs amongst ourselves as shaking hands 
or raising the hat. If by chance the ethnographer comes upon an 
individual who has thought about the meaning of his people's customs, he 
is likely to give what is his own individual interpretation which, significant 
and interesting though it may be, cannot be taken as a valid statement 
of what the custom really means to the community in general. The 
meaning of any element of culture can only be defined when the culture 
is seen as a whole of interrelated parts, and this can only be accomplished 
by one who is able to take an objective view of it, the ethnographer or 
descriptive sociologist, in fact. 

The field worker, therefore, has to follow a special technique for 
discovering the meanings of the facts of culture that he observes, a 
technique analogous in some ways to, but on the whole more diflacult 
than, that used by the lexicographer in recording a spoken language for 
the first time. This technique is now being slowly developed, but its full 
development will only be possible as progress is made in sociological theory. 

From the point of view of the comparative sociologist much of the 
work done in the recording of the cultures of non-European peoples in the 
past is unsatisfactory and cannot be properly utilised. The cases of our 
ethnographical museums are filled with objects the full meanings of which 
we do not know and probably can never discover. Our libraries are full 
of collections of myths obtained from native peoples, and books containing 
detailed and illustrated accounts of ceremonies, without anything to reveal 
to us the meanings of those myths or ceremonies. Such material can, of 
course, be put to some use by the sociologist, but it is of decidedly less 
use than it is to be hoped that field-work of the modern type will be. 

I think that the first movement towards this new kind of field-work 
was made many years ago by Dr. Haddon when he organised the 
Cambridge Expedition to Torres Straits. In those days, however, it was 
thought that the proper person to undertake the systematic interpretation 
of a culture would be a psychologist. Dr. Haddon took with him three of 
the foremost psychologists of our times. The experiment had valuable 
results, but that general interpretation of the Torres Straits culture, that 
was to have been included in the volume of the Reports dealing with 
Psychology, will never be written. The psychologist as such is not 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 1 57 

qualified to undertake the task of interpreting culture. It is a task that 
belongs not to psychology but to sociology. Dr. Haddon's attempt 
came too soon in the history of anthropology. 

As France led the way in the development of the theoretical study of 
comparative sociology, we might have expected that it would be in France 
that the new methods of field-work would be elaborated. The work of 
Doutte in Morocco was an early step in that direction, and the later work 
of Rene Maunier is a good example of the new methods. Marcel Granet's 
important work on China is based rather on the study of Chinese documents 
than on observation of the living culture. But the French apparently 
are not drawn very strongly towards ethnograj^hical research. 

At the present time it is only in the work of a small but increasing 
number of investigators that the new methods are illustrated. I can 
indicate the work of Prof. Malinowski and of Dr. Margaret Mead. But 
during the next few years we may expect to see the publication of a good 
deal of work carried out on these lines. 

An objection that is and can be raised against this kind of work is 
that there is a great deal of room for the personal equation of the investi- 
gator to influence the results. That is true and must be recognised, but 
its importance can easily be exaggerated. A remedy, not perhaps perfect 
but very valuable, will lie in the development of a technique or method- 
ology of interpretation, whereby the validity of a particular interpretation 
can perhaps be demonstrated by crucial facts or at any rate tested in 
such a way as to reduce, if not eliminate, the effects of the personal 
equation. The elaboration of this technique is one of the problems that 
face us at the present time, one of the urgent needs of our science. The 
multiplication of studies of this kind, by bringing a larger number of 
observers into the field, and by providing us in some instances with 
observations in one region by two independent workers, and also the 
occasional co-operation of two or more persons in one investigation, will 
all help towards the elimination of the effects of the personal equation. 
But the most important thing of all in this direction will be the develop- 
ment of sociological theory which will afford a guide to the field-worker 
in his studies and assist him to obtain both objectivity and completeness 
in his observations. 

An adequate sociological understanding or interpretation of any culture 
can only be attained by relating the characteristics of that culture to 
known sociological laws. These laws can of course only be discovered by 
the comparative method, i.e. by the study and comparison of many 
diverse types of culture. The procedure in our science must therefore 
depend on the building up of a body of theories or hypotheses relating to 
all aspects of culture or social life and the testing of these hypotheses by 
intensive field research. The field-worker of the future, or indeed of the 
present, must be thoroughly cognisant of all the sociological hypotheses 
that are partly verified, and if possible of those in course of elaboration, 
and must direct his research to the testing ot these hypotheses, either his 
own or those of other workers in the science, by their application to a 
particular culture. Only in this way can the hypotheses be tested and 
either verified, rejected, or modified ; and the normal result will probably 
be modification rather than complete verification or complete rejection. 



158 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Only so can the proper method of the generalising sciences be carried out, 
namely, the process of making a preliminary study of the known facts, 
the formulation of hypothetical generalisations, the testing of these 
hypotheses by a further examination of a specific series of data, the 
modification of the original hypotheses in the light of the new data, the 
further testing of the hypotheses in their new and possibly more complex 
or more definite form, and so on. Only in some such way as this, in 
default of the possibility of actual experiment, can we build up a science 
of human society. 

I have said that the meaning of any element of a culture is to be found 
by discovering its relation to other elements and to the culture as a whole. 
It follows from this that the field-worker must normally, or whenever 
possible, undertake an integral study of the whole culture. It is not 
possible, for example, to understand the economic life of a native people 
without reference to such things as the system of magic and religion, and 
of course the converse is equally true. The necessity for such unitary 
intensive studies of selected areas was long ago insisted on by Dr. Haddon 
and later by Dr. Rivers, and may be said to be part of the tradition of 
the Cambridge school. The development of the sociological point of view 
has made the necessity even more evident than before. 

It may be noted here that this view of the unitary nature of culture 
is one of the most important features of the new anthropology, and a 
point in which it differs markedly from some of. the former and present-day 
anthropology and ethnology. Certain writers on culture adopt what might 
perhaps be called an atomic view of culture. For them any culture 
consists of a number of separate discrete elements or ' traits ' that have 
no functional relationship Avith one another, but have been brought 
together as a mere collection by a series of historical accidents. A new 
element of culture has its origin somewhere and then spreads by a process 
of ' diffusion,' which is frequently conceived in an almost mechanical way. 
This point of view has arisen largely from the museum study of culture. 

The new anthropology regards any persisting culture as an integrated 
unity or system , in which each element has a definite function in relation 
to the whole. Occasionally the unity of a culture may be seriously 
disturbed by the impact of some very different culture, and so may perhaps 
even be destroyed and replaced. Such disorganised cultures are very 
common at the present day all over the world, from America or the South 
Seas to China and India. But the more usual process of interaction of 
cultures is one whereby a people accepts from its neighbours certain 
elements of culture while refusing others, the acceptance or refusal being 
determined by the nature of the culture itself as a system. The elements 
adopted or ' borrowed ' from neighbours are normally worked over and 
modified in the process of fitting them into the existing culture system. 

The scope of field-work amongst non-European peoples is being 
widened in another direction, partly as a result of the new conception of 
the theoretical aims of the study, and partly as a result of the relations 
now being established between anthropology and colonial administration. 
In former days if a field-worker went to a people who had been subjected 
to European influence, as was usually the case, his task was to discover 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 159 

as far as he could; and in detail, what the original culture was, before that 
influence took effect. It was not considered a part of the ethnographer's 
work to study in detail the changes produced in the native culture by the 
contact with Europeans. But a precise knowledge of these changes and 
how they occur is often of great value for theoretical sociology, and even 
more for the provision of a scientific basis of exact knowledge for colonial 
administration. The ethnographer's first task remains the same, that of 
learning all that it is possible to discover about the culture as it was 
originally. Only after that has been done with some measure of complete- 
ness, is it possible to understand the changes that European influence 
brings about. But if anthropology is to be of real assistance to colonial 
administration the field- worker miist now undertake to study and interpret 
the changes which he finds taking place in the culture he is investigating. 

Such studies are, however, of little or no value either for sociological 
theory or for practical purposes when the culture in question is in jsrocess 
of complete disintegration or destruction, as, for instance, amongst the 
Australian aborigines or some of the tribes of North American Indians. 

In the new anthropology, therefore, the work of field research has 
become much more difficult and of much wider scope. The selection and 
training of persons for that work is also more difficult. The field-worker 
should be equipped with a thorough knowledge of all the latest develop- 
ments of theoretical sociology. At the present time this cannot be 
obtained from books, but only by personal contact with those who are 
working in the subject. Then he should have learnt the technique of 
field-work, both as to observation and interpretation. Further he must 
have a knowledge of all that has been so far learnt about the culture of 
the culture region in which he is to work, and if possible some knowledge 
of the languages also. Finally the success of a field-worker in ethnography 
often depends on certain qualities of temperament and character. Not 
everyone can win the confidence of a native people. 

It is obvious that the ideal field-worker is not easy to find, and needs 
some years of training. Yet the rewards of the career are much less even 
than those of other sciences. One of the great difficulties in this science 
is that of finding workers and providing the means for them to carry out 
their work. Research in social anthropology is generallj^ expensive. It 
cannot be carried out, as so much scientific work can, within the precincts 
of a university. A most urgent need is the provision for such research 
by means of research fellowships which would enable the anthropologist 
who has been trained for field-work to carry out such work over a span 
of years without having to abandon it in favour of a teaching or other 
appointment, such as at present is the only way of attaining an assured 
and continuous income. 

Yet the future of the comparative sociology of non-European peoples 
lies entirely with the field-worker. The day has gone by when we could 
accept the scientific authority, in this study, of any one who has never 
himself made an intensive study of at least one culture. In the past we 
have owed a good deal to those who have been called ' armchair anthro- 
pologists.' But in the present situation of the science no insight, however 
genial, can fully compensate for the absence of direct personal contact 
with the kind of material that the anthropologist has to study and explain. 



160 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

This, then, is still another important feature of the new anthropology, 
the insistence that research and theory must not be separated but most 
be as closely united as they are in other sciences. The observations of 
the data, the formulation of hypotheses and the testing of these hypotheses 
by further direct observation are all parts of one single process which 
should be carried out as far as possible by the same individual. 

Meanwhile there is one fact that seems to me at times to make the 
position of our science almost tragic. Now that by the gradual develop- 
ment of theory and the improvement of methods of investigation we are 
in a position to make the most important contributions to the science of 
man by the intensive and exact study of the less developed cultures of 
the world, those cultures are being destroyed with appalling rapidity. 
This process of destruction, through the combined action of European 
trade or economic exploitation, government by European officials, and 
missionary activity, is taking place with accelerated pace. During the 
twenty-five years since I first took up this work myself I have seen great 
changes. Tribes in Australia and Melanesia and in North America from 
which we could have obtained most valuable information a quarter of a 
century ago will now afford us little, or in many instances nothing. In 
another quarter of a century the position will be ever so much worse. 
Work that is still possible in all parts of the globe will then be forever 
impossible. Is there any other science, or has there ever been another 
science, faced with such a situation, that, just at the time it is reaching 
maturity, but while through lack of general interest and support it has 
few workers and very scanty funds, a great mass of most important 
material is vanishing year by year without the possibility of making any 
study of more than a minute fraction ? 

It will be through field researches that anthropology makes progress 
towards becoming a real and important science. But intensive studies of 
single cultures or societies are not sufficient in themselves. Such intensive 
studies must themselves be inspired and guided by theory, and theoretical 
sociology must rest on the comparison of difierent cultures one with 
another, for comparison in this science has very largely to take the place 
of experiment in other sciences. 

The newer anthropology is developing a different conception of the 
comparative method from one that has been current in the past. In the 
older anthropology we were ofiered books or monographs in which similar, 
often only superficially similar, customs or beliefs were collected from all 
sorts of cultures all over the world and thrown together. It was this that 
was in fact often thought of as constituting the comparative method. 
Such a procedure may be useful in giving a first survey of some particular 
problem or group of problems, and has been useful in that way in the 
past. But it can never do more than indicate problems, it cannot 
solve them. For that, a more precise and more laborious procedure is 
necessary. 

To understand what precisely the comparative method should be we 
must bear in mind the kind of problems to the solution of which it is 
directed. These are of two kinds, which we can distinguish as synchronic 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 161 

and diachronic respectively. lu a synchronic study we are concerned 
only with a culture as it is at any given moment of its history. The 
ultimate aim may be said to be to define as precisely as possible the condi- 
tions to which any culture must conform if it is to exist at all. We are 
concerned with the nature of culture and of social life, with the discovery 
of what is universal beneath the multitudinous differences that our data 
present. Hence we need to compare as many and as diverse types of 
culture as we possibly can. In the diachronic study of culture, on the 
other hand, we are concerned with the ways in which cultures change, 
and seek to discover the general laws of such processes of change. 

It seems to me evident that we cannot successfully embark on the 
study of how culture changes until we have made at least some progress 
in determining what culture really is and how it works. Thus the study 
of synchronic problems must necessarily to some extent precede the study 
of diachronic problems. The changes that take place in the institutions of 
a people are not properly comprehensible until we know the functions 
of those institutions. On the other hand, it is also true that if we can 
study changes taking place in some aspect of culture it will help us greatly 
in our functional investigations. 

As the problems of comparative sociology are of two kinds, so the 
comparative method will be used in two ways. In relation to the 
synchronic study of culture we shall compare one with another different 
cultures as each exists at a given moment of its history, and without 
reference to changes in the culture itself. 

The loose comparative method, as it was often used, and indeed is still 
used by some writers, is scientifically unsound in that it makes immediate 
comparisons between isolated customs or beliefs from different regions 
and from cultures of very different types. Further, it concentrates atten- 
tion on similarities of custom, and often on what are only apparent and 
not real similarities. But for the sociologist the differences are certainly 
not less important than the resemblances in culture, and the new com- 
parative method concentrates its attention on these differences. 

I have already indicated how comparative sociology regards a culture 
as normally a systematic or integrated unity in which every element has 
a distinct function. It therefore aims, and must aim, at comparing whole 
culture systems one with another, rather than comparing isolated elements 
of culture from diverse regions. The procedure, therefore, has to be 
analogous to that of the comparative morphologist and physiologist in 
the comparison of animal species. They carry on their studies by com- 
paring varieties within the same species, or species within the same genus, 
and then proceeding to the comparison of genera, of families and of orders. 

In comparative sociology, as Steinmetz pointed out many years ago, 
scientific procedure must be based on a systematic classification of cultures 
or of social types. Our first step, therefore, is to define as well as we can 
certain culture areas or types of culture. The procedure, of course, is 
as old as Bastian, but has acquired a new importance and use. 

Thus we find that Australia as a whole is a single sufficiently homo- 
geneous area, having the same type of culture throughout. We can there- 
fore immediately proceed to a comparison of the various AustraUan tribes 
one with another. Each tribe, or each small group of tribes, can thus be 
1931 M 



162 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

regarded as offering us in its culture system a special variety of a general 
type. By studying these variations as minutely as possible we can carry 
out a process of generalisation wluch enables us to give a general definition 
or description of the type itself. By this process we are often able to 
discover correlations between one element of culture and another. Further, 
this procedure is almost essential in any attempt to discover the meaning 
and the function of any element. For by it we are able to determine, in 
any institution or custom or belief, what remains constant and what varies 
as between one part of a culture area and another. 

This study of culture types and varieties in comparative sociology is 
quite different from the study of culture-areas in ethnology. The latter 
aims, above aU, at providing material for the hypothetical reconstruction 
of movements of cidture diffusion. The former is essentially a process of 
generalisation, a means of discovering general features or principles which 
remain constant throughout the type while taking different forms in 
different parts of the area. 

In this study of variations of a single culture type we should aim at 
comparing the whole culture of one tribe with that of another. But that 
is often impossible ; in fact, in the present state of our knowledge, almost 
always. We may proceed, therefore, by making a comparative study of 
variations in some particular aspect of the culture. But we must be 
careful how we isolate one part of the culture from another for the purposes 
of study. Thus, a good deal of misunderstanding has resulted from 
dealing with some particular aspect of the social organisation of Australian 
tribes, instead of deaUug with that organisation as a whole. 

There is perhaps no other region which is quite the same as Austraha 
in the opportunities it offers for the study of many variations of a single 
culture type. In other regions, therefore, our procedure must be somewhat 
different. Thus, if we wish to deal with the Bantu cultures of Africa we 
}nust begin by dividing the whole region into suitable units. One such 
unit would be composed of the Basuto-Bechuana tribes, while the Zulu- 
Kafi&r tribes would pro\ade us with another. Our first step will consist of 
a careful study of the variations within the unit region. We then compare 
the one region with the other, and may proceed in this way to explore the 
whole Bantu area in such a way as to be able to give a sound description 
of the general characters of Bantu culture as a whole. Only when we 
have carried studies of this kind a certain distance does it become really 
profitable to make comparisons between Bantu culture and Polynesian or 
North American. 

Thus, for the new anthropology the comparative method is a method 
of obtaining generalisations. Amongst the variations of institution and 
custom in one region we seek to discover what is general to the whole 
region or type. By comparing a sufficient number of diverse types we 
discover uniformities that are still more general, and thus may reach to 
the discovery of principles or laws that are xmiversal in human society. 

A word, the constant use of which has been a great obstacle to scientific 
thinking in anthropology, is the word ' primitive.' It conveys the sugges- 
tion that any society to which we apply it represents for us something of 
the very beginnings of social life. Yet if culture had, as we may weU 
assume, a single origin some hundreds of thousands of years ago, then any 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 163 

existing culture has just as long a history as any other. And although the 
rate of change may vary, every culture, just as every language, is 
constantly undergoing change. But, quite apart from this implication 
of the word as meaning in some sense ' early,' harm is done by the current 
application of it to the most diverse types of culture. The difference of 
culture between the Maori of New Zealand and the aborigines of Australia 
is at least as great as that between ourselves and the Maori. Yet we 
group these two cultures together as ' primitive,' and contrast them with 
our own as ' not primitive.' I am well aware how difficult it is to avoid 
completely the use of the term, or some equally unsuitable one, such as 
' savage.' Perhaps if we keep sufiiciently in mind the great cultural 
difierences between the various peoples whom we thus lump together we 
shall avoid the chief disadvantage attaching to its use. We shall then be 
able to avoid the fault of the loose comparative method, of regarding as 
immediately comparable with one another all those very difierent types 
of society that are labelled primitive. 

This abstract discussion of method, I fear, will hardly convey to you 
any very definite conception. Will you permit me, therefore, to select a 
particular example of a synchronic problem and indicate briefly the lines 
along which I would attempt to solve it ? We may take for our example 
one of the fundamental problems of sociology, that of the nature and 
function of the moral obligations which a society imjjoses on its members. 
For the purposes of scientific investigation this general problem must be 
subdivided into a large number of subsidiary problems. Thus we can 
isolate, as one such, the problem of the nature and function of the rules 
prohibiting marriage between persons who stand in certain social relation- 
ships ; in other words, the nature and function of the prohibition of incest. 
These prohibitions were, of course, dealt with by the older social anthro- 
pology, and we have had a number of theories of the ' origin ' of the 
prohibition of incest. Even Durkheim faced this problem in the old way. 
Now, quite apart from the fact that any hypotheses as to how prohibitions 
of this kind first came into existence many hundreds of thousands of years 
ago are entirely incapable of verification, it is also evident that even a 
plausible hypothesis of origin can give us no explanation of the great 
diversity that we find in the prohibitions current in difierent existing 
social types. Yet it is the explanation of these differences that is really 
the crux of the problem. In this, as in so many other sociological inquiries, 
we Jiave to seek an explanation per genus et differentiam. We wish to 
know why every society has rules of this kind and why the particular rules 
vary as they do from one social type to another. As soon as we state the 
problem in this way, we have a comparative problem of the kind I have 
been referring to. In dealing with such a problem I would first select a 
culture in which the rules prohibiting marriage are definite and highly 
elaborated. The culture of the Australian tribes is obviously in this 
respect a very suitable one. Further, we must have a culture in which 
there are sufficient variations between one tribe and another, while the 
general type remains the same. Here again Australia is a very suitable 
region. I would therefore begin the investigation by a comparative study 
of Australian tribes. Note that this is not at all because Australian 

M 2 



164 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

culture is ' primitive ' in tlie sense that it represents the early beginnings 
of human society. On the contrary, Australian culture is a highly 
speciahsed one, in which there has been an extreme elaboration of the 
kinship organisation, and it is exactly for this reason that I would select 
it for the study of any problems relating to kinship. AustraUa represents 
not the beginning but the end of a long line of development of kinship 
structure. Thus, my reasons for selecting Australia are the exact 
opposite of those put forward by earlier writers who have made the same 
selection. 

Having selected a first field for comparative study I would compare 
the social organisation, as a whole, of all the Australian tribes about which 
we have adequate information, in order to define what is the nature of the 
correlation between the rules prohibiting marriage and the social structure. 
In other words I should be seeking to define as precisely as possible the 
function of such rules as part of the total system of social integration. 
The investigation has to rest on the detailed examination of variations. 
As the result of such a study of AustraUa we can reach a number of 
significant generahsations. We shall, for example, reach certain pro- 
visional conclusions as to the nature (not the origin) of exogamy. These 
conclusions must now be tested by a similar study of other types of culture. 
It would be impossible for one student even in a lifetime to make a 
thorough investigation of all known cultures in this way. That is why 
the co-operation of a number of students in the study of any single problem 
is so essential in sociology. But a close study of one other type of culture 
sufiiciently different from the Austrahan would permit of a very valuable 
verification of the provisional results obtained. 

When a theory as to the nature and function of the prohibition of 
incest has thus been reached, the next step will be to seek for the experi- 
mentum crucis by which it can be more critically tested. Such a crucial 
instance will often be one which appears to conflict directly with the theory. 
Thus, on my own theory we ought to find marriage everywhere prohibited 
between parent and child and between brother and sister. The various 
societies in which the marriage of brother and sister is permitted, therefore, 
offer us an opportunity of testing the theory, for we must be able to explain 
these exceptions on the basis of the theory itself. The exception must 
prove the rule. Other similar crucial instances can be sought by which 
to test the validity of the general theory. 

As a result of such an investigation we should, if we are at all successful, 
reach certain conclusions as to the relation between moral obligations and 
social structure. In other words, we should have learnt something about 
the place of such obligations in social integration. Sociology would then 
have to undertake similar investigations on other problems within the 
general problem. We might study in the same way the obligations 
relating to the taking of human Ufe, or those relating to the rights of 
property. As the final result of such a series of related studies we could 
arrive at a theory of the nature and function of morahty in general. 
Incidentally, of course, any single investigation of this kind must be linked 
with and throw light on a great number of other sociological problems. 
Thus, the study of the prohibition of incest necessarily involves a close 
study of Idnship from other aspects also. 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 165 

I hope that the example I have given will have made it clear that the 
comparative method as used for the syiichronie study of culture is some- 
thing difierent in important respects from the older comparative method 
used as a means of arriving at theories of the origin of institutions. 

When we turn to the diachronic problems with which comparative 
sociology has to deal, i.e. with the problems of how cultures change, the 
comparison of cultures as each of them is at a given moment of history, 
while it may give us a certain amount of help, is not sufficient by itself. 
Thus, the study of the variations that have been produced in a single 
culture, as, for example, in Australia, although we have no observations 
as to how or when they occurred, can nevertheless give us our preliminary 
orientation in the study of how variations do occur. In other words, the 
comparative study of cultures without history is a method of enabling us 
to formulate with some preg^ision the problems with which we shall have 
to concern ourselves in a diachronic study of culture. 

Ultimately, however, if we are to discover the laws of social change 
we must study the actual processes of change. This we can do to some 
extent by means of historical records, wherever we have records that are 
sufficiently reliable and complete. But it is desirable that as soon as 
possible the sociologists themselves should undertake to study the changes 
that take place in a culture over a period of years. The comparative 
method in this instance wiU consist in the careful comparison of accurately 
observed processes of change. 

In the present organisation of anthropology the social anthropologist 
is supposed to confine himself to the study of the peoples without history, 
the so-called primitive or savage peoples who stiU survive outside Europe. 
If he considers Europe at all he is supposed to concern himself only with 
prehistoric times and with what is called folk-lore, i.e. certain aspects of 
culture which have been regarded as survivals from earlier, more primitive, 
cultures. This division of the peoples of the world into two groups for 
the piirpose of study was apparently satisfactory enough, as long as 
anthropology was dominated by the historical method. The historian 
could give us the real history of European languages and cultures through- 
out historic times. It was left to the anthropologist, as ethnologist or 
archaeologist, to concern himself with the reconstruction of the past in 
those regions and periods that lay outside the field of history proper. 

But for comparative sociology as the generalising science of culture, this 
division of the historic and the non-historic cultures is entirely unsuitable, 
and indeed detrimental. The sociologist must study all cultures and by 
the same methods. In dealing with historical cultures he is not competing 
or conflicting with the historian, for the two follow quite different aims 
and methods. The historian does not or should not seek generalisations. 
He is concerned with particulars and their particular and generally 
chronological relations. 

I am sorry that I have not time in this address to deal properly with 
the relation of the study I have described as comparative sociology, and 
the studies pursued sometimes under the name of sociology or social 
science. I can do no more than offer a few brief remarks. First let me 



166 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

say that what is called sociology in France, or at any rate at the University 
of Paris, is the same study precisely as that which I have been describing 
as comparative sociology, and it is largely owing to the work of the French 
sociologists Durkheim, Hubert, Mauss, Simiand, Halbwachs, Hertz, Granet 
and Maunier, to mention only some of them, that the subject is as far 
advanced as it is. 

In Germany a great deal of what is called sociology is really better 
described, I think, as social philosophy or philosophy of history. One 
writer who represents the comparative sociology that I have described is 
Richard Thurnwald. 

In England we have very little of anything that is called sociology. 
Hobhouse, who stood for sociology in this country, was a philosopher 
rather than a scientist. 

In the United States there are a great number of departments of 
sociology scattered through the universities. It is difficult to summarise 
the various kinds of study that are included under the term. A con- 
siderable part of the work in many departments of sociology consists of 
what would be called civics in this country and in studies connected with 
social welfare work. There is still a little of what should properly be 
called social philosophy, though much less than there was a quarter of 
a century ago. The most marked activity of these departments at the 
present time is what can be described as factual social studies, i.e. the 
collection of precise information, in statistical form wherever possible, 
about certain aspects of social life, principally in the United States itself, 
but also to some extent in other countries. 

I think I have made it clear that my own view is that any attempt 
to discover the general laws of human society must be based on the 
thorough detailed study and comparison of widely difierent types of 
culture. It was, indeed, the very firm conviction that this was so that led 
me to enter the field of anthropology a quarter of a century ago. I am, if 
anything, more convinced than ever of this, and see no hope for the develop- 
ment of any really scientific sociology except on this comparative basis. 

Unfortunately, what has happened has been that anthropology has 
largely neglected the sociological study of non-European peoples in favour 
of conjectural history, and at the same time most of those engaged in 
one form or another of sociological study have had little thorough 
knowledge of non-European societies. What I have described as com- 
parative sociology has, except in France, been left by the anthropologists 
to sociology, and by the sociologists to anthropology. I believe that the 
unsatisfactory results of this division of studies, whereby comparative 
sociology has failed to find any proper place, is now coming to be recognised 
in America, partly as the result of the work of the Social Science Research 
Council in attempting to co-ordinate the various social studies, and I live 
in hope that before another quarter of a century is out the science of 
comparative sociology wiU have obtained a recognised and very important 
place in any well-organised school of social sciences. 

English universities, or I may say British universities in general, have 
been very chary of admitting sociology in any form as a subject of study 
in strong contrast with the popularity of the subject in the United States. 
To some extent that caution has been a wise one. The subject is still in 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 167 

its formative stages. But, on the other hand, its absence from the list of 
recognised university studies has stood very much in the way of its 
development. 

You will see that in this address I have been chiefly concerned with 
trying to indicate a new alignment of the studies which are grouped 
together under the name Anthropology. This new alignment is itself a 
natural growth, but should be recognised, and must ultimately be made 
the basis of any satisfactory co-ordination of studies in universities and 
elsewhere. 

First, there are the three studies that have been traditionally associated 
imder the name anthropology — Physical Anthropology, Prehistoric 
Archaeology and Ethnology. 

Physical Anthropology seems due to be absorbed in a wider study of 
Human Biology, which requires to be carried on in close association with 
the biological sciences. The present procedure by which Physical Anthro- 
pology is taught as part of Anatomy is not always quite satisfactory. It 
is liable to neglect the physiological study of man as a living organism, 
and to deal very perfunctorily with the important problems of human 
genetics. I should like to see Human Biology given recognition as an 
independent and very important subject. We have, of course, the Galton 
Laboratories as one centre for such studies in England. The widespread 
interest — not always, I fear, entirely scientific — in Eugenics and in race 
problems could be utilised to obtain sufficient support. On the other 
hand, there seems no particular advantage to Human Biology in being 
linked to Archeeology and Ethnology. 

Prehistoric Archaeology is now an independent subject with its own 
special technique and carried on by specialists. The archaeologist, of 
course, requires to have a knowledge of Human Palaeontology, but equally 
he needs a knowledge of general palaeontology and geology. The natural 
affinity of Archaeology, however, is with History. 

Ethnology, in so far as it attempts not merely to classify races, 
languages and cultures, but to reconstruct their history, must necessarily 
maintain a very close connection with archaeology. It may, indeed, very 
well be treated as in a sense a branch or further development of archteology, 
as that is of history. Thus, Prehistoric Archaeology (or Palae-ethnology 
as it is occasionally called) and Ethnology may well be regarded as one 
subject pursuing the aims and methods of historical science. 

Over against the historical sciences there stand the three generalising 
sciences of Human Biology, Psychology and Comparative Sociology. 

The closest and most important relation for Comparative Sociology is 
with Psychology. There is no particular advantage to the comparative 
sociologist in acquiring more than an elementary knowledge of Prehistoric 
Archaeology. A study of history, so far as it deals with culture rather 
than with the doings of kings, statesmen and soldiers, is of much greater 
value to him. Particularly at the present time it is desirable that the 
comparative sociologist should avoid becoming entangled in the con- 
jectural reconstructions of history which I have described above as 
belonging to Ethnology. 

As I see it, therefore, the subject of anthropology is dividing itself 



168 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

into three subjects, distinguished either by difierences of method or of 
subject-matter ; Human Biology, which is, or should be, allied with the 
biological sciences; Prehistoric Archaeology and Ethnology, which belong 
with historical studies ; and Comparative Sociology, the relations of which 
are with psychology on the one side and on the other with history and 
with the social sciences, economics, jurisprudence, &c. 

I have said nothing yet on the study of languages. We have witnessed 
in recent decades the development of a general science of Linguistics which 
has been winning for itself an independent place. It is, I think, highly 
desirable that a close connection should be maintained between Linguistics 
and Comparative Sociology. I haA'^e no time on this occasion to discuss 
in detail the relations of the two subjects. 

In concluding this address I wish to return to a matter that was briefly 
mentioned at the beginning, namely, the very important recent develop- 
ment of what we may call Applied Anthropology or Administrative 
Anthropology. During more than a decade my own work has been very 
largely concerned with this study in Africa and in Oceania. If I seem to 
you to speak dogmatically in what I have to say, I would ask you to 
remember that in the time at my disposal I can only put before you certain 
of my conclusions without explaining the considerations on which they 
are based. 

For a very long time the anthropologists have been declaring the 
necessity of utilising their science in the practical work of governing and 
educating dependent peoples. So far as the British Empire is concerned 
this has at last led to certain practical steps being taken. There have 
been appointments of Government anthropologists in two of the African 
colonies, and in Papua and the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. 
Cadets and officers of the services of the African colonies are now given 
brief courses of instruction in anthropology at Oxford and Cambridge. 
In South Africa the School of African Life and Languages of the University 
of Cape Town started some years ago a vacation course on anthropology 
and native administration and education for government officers and 
missionaries, and I believe that these courses have been continued. In 
Sydney a more extensive experiment has been carried on since 1927. 
Cadets who are selected for the administration of the Mandated Territory 
are sent to the territory for one or two years to make acquaintance with 
the kind of life and work they will have, to test their suitability for it and 
to enable them to judge if they do finally wish to take up the career. They 
then attend the University of Sydney for one academic year of nine 
months and devote their whole time there to a special course of training. 
This includes two short courses in Topographical Surveying and in Tropical 
Hygiene, but the greater part of their time is devoted to the study of 
Comparative Sociology and Colonial Administration. The result of this 
arrangement will be that in a certain number of years all the administrative 
of&cers of the territory will have a sound knowledge of the principles and 
methods of Comparative Sociology, and by its means wiU have acquired 
a considerable knowledge of New Guinea institutions and customs and 
their meaning, and wiU have made a systematic study of administrative 
problems and methods. The cadet system has not been accepted by the 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 169 

territory of Papua, but a number of the senior officers of the administra- 
tion have devoted their vacations to attending special courses at Sydney. 

Thus, some progress has akeady been made in turning anthropological 
studies to practical use. There is stiU a great deal more that might be 
done and that ought to be done. Some of the British colonies, such as 
the Western Pacific and British Malaya, have neither government anthro- 
pologists nor any regular training in anthropology for their officers. 
Moreover, it seems to me that the courses now taken by officers in the 
African services are inadequate. A few weeks given to anthropology may 
be better than nothing, but certainly cannot be called sufficient. There 
is no doubt that one of the most efficient native administrations is that of 
the Dutch East Indies, and the qualification for this requires five years 
of special studies, including native languages and native law and custom. 

A question of some importance is, what kind of anthropological teaching 
should be given to native administrators to fit them better for carrying 
on their work. There is, I think, no value to them in a study of physical 
anthropology or the classification of races that falls under physical 
anthropology or ethnology. There is equally no value for them in any 
study of prehistoric archseology. Further, those attempts to reconstruct 
the history of cidtures and peoples that I have been calling ethnology 
are of absolutely no practical value in the work of native administration 
or education. 

There is obvious practical value in training which will help the colonial 
officer to speak the language or languages of the peoples he is dealing with. 
This is already provided for in some of our colonies. 

What the administrator and educator amongst dependent peoples need 
above all is a detailed knowledge of the social organisation, the customs 
and beliefs of the natives and an understanding of their meanings and 
their functions. This can be attained only by means of a general study 
of comparative sociology, followed by an intensive study of the particular 
people in question. 

I have on many occasions met with persons who were engaged in the 
government or education of native peoples who have expressed the view 
that, whatever academic interest anthropology might have, it has no 
practical value in work such as they are engaged in. I have found that 
what was thought of as anthropology by these persons was the series of 
academic studies that includes physical anthropology, the classification of 
races, the ethnological reconstruction of history, prehistoric archaeology 
and the social anthropology that elaborates theories of the origins of 
institutions. One magistrate complained to me that, though he had read 
the whole of the Golden Bough, he did not find that it gave him any 
practical help in dealing in his court with the customs of a native tribe. 
Another, who had interested himself in the writings of Elliot Smith and 
Perry, was firmly convinced that a study of anthropology could be of no 
practical use to him in spite of its interest. An officer of one of the 
African colonies who was specially sent to give advice on methods of 
colonial administration to one of the British Dominions, was asked if it 
would be a good thing to give a training in anthropology to those who 
would ultimately become district officers. He replied that it would be 
useless or even harmful ; that a magistrate so trained would be thinkiug 



170 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

about the shape of a witness's head instead of attending to the evidence 
he was giving in court. These are typical examples of the sort of thing 
I have met with over and over again. For the man in the street anthro- 
pology is the study of skulls or stone implements or of the ethnological 
specimens that we collect in our museums, or else theories about the 
travels of ancient Egyptians round the world in search of pearls. And 
indeed, if he judges by the subject as treated in universities, or by the 
contents of anthropological periodicals, or the proceedings of anthropo- 
logical congresses, these things do constitute the major part of what is 
known under the name. 

I do not wish for a moment to suggest that these studies are not of 
academic and scientific value. I am only saying that they are of no 
value in the practical business of governing and educating dependent 
peoples. On the other hand, I have been experimenting for ten years 
with a course of study which consists of a general course covering the 
whole field of comparative sociology, followed by a functional sociological 
study of the culture with which the students were to be concerned (Bantu 
Africa in one instance. New Guinea and Melanesia in another), supple- 
mented by a comparative study of methods and policies of colonial 
administration and native education considered in the light of the results 
of comparative sociology. I have found good evidence that such a 
course of study pursued over not less than one year is really adapted to 
the needs of the students, and does do what it is claimed anthropology 
should do, namely, provide a scientific basis for the control and education 
of native peoples. 

In this Empire of ours, in which we have assumed control over so 
many diverse native peoples in Africa, Asia, Oceania and America, it 
seems to me that two things are urgently needed if we are to carry out 
as we should the duties we have thus taken upon ourselves. We have 
exterminated some of these native peoples and have done, and are doing, 
irretrievable damage to others. Our injustices, which are many, have 
been largely the effect of ignorance. One thing, therefore, that is urgently 
needed is some provision for the systematic study of the native peoples 
of the Empire. I have pointed out how rapidly material that is of 
inestimable value for the scientific study of mankind is disappearing 
through the destruction or modification of backward cultures. From the 
practical point of view of colonial administration a thorough systematic 
knowledge of native cultures is required before administration and 
education can be placed on a sound basis. Kesearch of this kind has been 
all too long neglected. It can, of course, only be carried out effectively 
by trained experts. But even if we can find enthusiastic students to take 
up the difficult and unremunerative work, there is no such provision for 
research as there is in other sciences. A little, really a very little, con- 
sidering the magnitude of the work, has been done from our universities, 
but I am afraid that most of our British universities will not be likely to 
take any real active interest in the subject until it will be too late to do 
the work that is now waiting to be done. The International Institute of 
African Languages and Cultures is preparing to imdertake a five-years' 
program of research in Africa, which I hope will be continued and 
extended. But for such work we still have to rely on occasional contribu- 



H.— ANTHROPOLOGY. 171 

tioDs of funds, most of which come from the United States. I feel some- 
times ashamed that the great British Empire has to go begging to America 
for the few hundreds of pounds with which to carry out a little of that 
work which it is the primary duty of the Empire to undertake if it is ever 
to rule its dependent peoj)les with justice based on knowledge and 
understanding. 

I find it difficult to understand how it is that the study of native 
peoples of simpler culture receives so little support. There seems to be 
little difficulty in raising very considerable sums of money every year for 
archseological investigations. Yet there is no such urgency about these 
as there is for the immediate study of the living cultures that are being 
destroyed by the encroachment of the white man. However interesting 
these dead cultures may be, we study only their dead remains. We can 
learn very little about their thoughts and feelings, their laws, customs, 
religion, or mythology, such as we still can learn about the natives of Africa 
or New Guinea. At a time, not so long ago, when it would have been 
possible to observe a people such as the Australian aborigines or the 
Bushmen making and using stone implements of palaeolithic type, pre- 
historians were spending their time speculating as to how the very similar 
Mousterian and Aurignacian implements might have been used. 

A second urgent need at the present time seems to me to be the making 
of further provision for the application of anthropological knowledge to 
the problems of the government and education of native peoples. I do 
not think that anyone would maintain that the provision at present made 
is anything like adequate. 

There has been lately some talk of an Institute of Colonial Studies 
which would be at the same time a centre for research and for making 
the results of that research available for those engaged in administrative 
work. I can only express the hope that before many years it will be 
possible to bring some plan of that kind to completion. 

Meanwhile, in spite of repeated setbacks and disappointments, anthro- 
pology has at last succeeded in winning for itself some place in the world 
of practical affairs, some measure of recognition as a study that can make 
most valuable contributions to problems that are going to be amongst 
the most important with which this century is faced, those that have 
arisen from the mingling of diverse peoples and cultures all over the world. 
The task of the twentieth and succeeding centuries is that of uniting all 
the peoples of the world in some sort of ordered community. Attention 
has quite naturally been concentrated on the relations of the great nations. 
But the problems of finding the proper place in a world community for 
the tribes of Africa, Asia and Oceania are possibly not less vital to the 
successful completion of the task. 



SECTION I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 



ADDRESS TO THE PHYSIOLOGICAL 

SECTION, 

Inteoducing a Discussion on the Biological Nature of 

THE ViEUSES. 
BY 

H. H. DALE, C.B.E., M.D., D.Sc, F.R.C.P., Sec.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



I HAVE counted it a very high honour to be called to preside over this 
Section at the Centenary meeting of the British Association. In the 
earlier history of the Association's meetings the Section, and its subject, 
seem to have had a precarious independence. At the original meeting in 
1831, sub-committees were formed to deal with particular branches of 
knowledge, but physiology was not among them. In 1832 the com- 
mittee dealing with zoology and botany took physiology and anatomy 
under its charge. Anatomy and physiology attained the dignity of a 
separate section in 1834, and this took the title and scope of a section of 
medical science from 1836 to 1844. It kept its separate existence, as a 
section of Physiology, for three years more, was then re-absorbed for no 
less than forty-six years into the section of Biology, emerging again into 
independence with its present title in 1893, since which date it has changed 
in form only by budding off a daughter-section of Psychology. 

Addressing a section with a history of such varying aflOliations and 
fluctuating boundaries, I need hardly apologise for taldng a wide view of 
its scope and its interests. When the British Association first recognised 
its existence, in the year before Johannes Miiller began his tenure of the 
Chair of Physiology in Berlin, Physiology had become an almost stationary 
science. It had been dependent for its progress for some centuries before 
that date on the occasional and rare emergence of a William Harvey, a 
John Mayow, a Stephen Hales, or a Lavoisier. Since that date, Physiology, 
the science of the process of life, has been reborn, as a body of knowledge 
progressing continuously by experiment. In such a progress it was 
inevitable that new fields of investigation should be opened, each pro- 
ducing its own methods and its own organisation of special investigators. 
In 1831, and for many years afterwards, nobody could have foreseen the 
sudden rise of a new science of Bacteriology, or the later development of 
Biochemistry as a separate discipline. Either of these could probably 
to-day lay claim to a more numerous body of investigators, and a greater 
output of new observation, than some departments of scientific activity 
which have obtained separate sectional representation. Yet I think it 
is a matter for congratulation, rather than regret, that, in the meetings 
of the British Association, the section of Physiology should stiU remain 



I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 173 

the centre for report and discussion of all investigations bearing on the 
nature of the life process in the individual, in health or in reaction to 
disease. The present tendency, indeed, is for the creation of new links 
rather than new cleavages. We may observe with satisfaction that 
among our colleagues in the sections of botany and zoology the detailed 
study of the vital processes of plants and animals has gradually been dis- 
placing that of form, habit and distribution from the predominance which 
it held in earlier years. Not only the phenomena of the normal life, but 
those also of the diseases of plants, have claimed the attention of our 
botanical colleagues. Functional Biology presents problems sufficient in 
number and interest to occupy the attention of several sections, and it is 
all to the good that difierent aspects of the same group of phenomena 
should engage the attention of investigators belonging to more than one. 
Particularly welcome is this combined approach to a subject such as that 
chosen for to-day's discussion, to which my own remarks can only serve as 
introduction. We are to deal with a group of agents, the existence of 
which would certainly be unknown to us, but for the changes produced by 
their presence in the bodies of higher animals and plants. They seem to 
have one property at least of living organisms, in being capable, under 
appropriate conditions, of indefinite reproduction. We know nothing of 
their intrinsic metabolism : it has even been asserted that they have none. 
Few of them have yet been rendered visible by the microscope ; it is, 
indeed, a question for our discussion whether any of them have yet been 
seen or photographed. It is a question again for discussion, whether any 
of them, or all of them, consist of organised living units, cells of a size 
near to or beyond the lowest limits of microscopic visibility ; or whether, 
as some hold, they are unorganised toxic or infective principles, which we 
can regard as living in a sense analogous to that in which we speak of a 
hving enzyme, with the important addition that they can multiply them- 
selves indefinitely. Some, however, would attribute this, not to actual 
self-multiplication, but to a coercion of the infected cells to reproduce 
the very agent of their own infection. Since nothing is known of their 
structure or their metabolism, these so-called viruses cannot yet be 
claimed as belonging either to the kingdom of animals or to that of plants. 
Our colleagues the botanists claim an interest in them, indeed ; but only 
because agents having the characters attributed to viruses cause a large 
number of diseases in the higher plants, acquiring thereby an added 
scientific interest and serious economic importance. So far as I am 
aware, there is no similar claim for the study of the viruses infecting 
animals and man to be regarded as belonging to Zoology. 

In this section of Physiology, apart from our wide responsibility for 
bringing the British Association into contact with new and fundamental 
investigation in medical and veterinary science, the problems presented by 
the nature and behaviour of the viruses cannot fail to raise questions of 
the greatest interest to anyone concerned with general physiological con- 
ceptions. What is the minimum degree of organisation which we can 
reasonably attribute to a li\ang organism ? And what is the smallest 
space within which we can properly suppose such a minimum of organisa- 
tion to be contained ? Are organisation, differentiation, separation from 



174 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

tlie surrounding medium by a boundary membrane of special properties, 
necessary for the endowment of matter witb any form of life ? Or is it 
possible to conceive of a material complex, retaining in endless propagation 
its physiological character, as revealed by the closely specific reaction to 
it of the cells which it infects, though it is not organised into units, but 
uniformly dispersed in a watery medium ? Among those who study the 
viruses primarily as pathogenic agents, these questions provide matter for 
debate, the warmth of which may even penetrate our discussion of to-day. 
I suggest that they are questions with which the physiologist may properly 
be concerned. To-day, we may do little more than display the nature 
of the biological problem ; but I am not without hope that its discussion, 
by those who study diseases in animals and plants, may enlist the interest 
of physiologists in its solution. 

We cannot afford to-day much time for the history of the subject ; 
but it is of interest to note that Edward Jenner was dealing, in small-pox 
and vaccinia, with what we now recognise as characteristic virus infections, 
long before there was any hint of the connection of visible bacteria with 
disease. Pasteur himself was dealing with another typical case of a 
virus infection in the case of rabies. The clear recognition, however, of 
the existence of agents of infection, imperceptible with the highest powers 
of ordinary microscopic vision, and passing through filters fine enough 
to retain all visible bacteria, begins with Ivanovski's work in 1892 on the 
mosaic disease of the tobacco plant, brought to general notice and greatly 
developed by Beijerinck's work on the same infection some seven years 
later ; and with Loffler and Frosch's demonstration, in the same period, 
that the infection of foot-and-mouth disease is similarly due to something 
microscopically invisible, and passing easily through ordinary bacteria- 
proof filters. Since those pioneer observations the study of viruses has 
spread, iintil they are recognised as the causative agents of diseases in an 
imposing and still growing list, containing many of the more serious 
infections of man, animals, and plants. 

If we are to discuss the biological nature of the viruses, it is obvious 
that we should begin by attempting some kind of definition. What do 
we mean by a virus, and what are the tests by which we decide that a 
particular agent of infection shall be admitted to, or excluded from, the 
group ? But a few years ago, I think that we should have had no diffictdty 
in accepting three cardinal properties as characterising a virus, namely, 
invisibility by ordinary microscopic methods, failure to be retained by a 
filter fine enough to prevent the passage of all visible bacteria, and failure 
to propagate itself except in the presence of, and perhaps in the interior 
of, the cells which it infects. It will be noted that all three are negative 
characters, and that two of them are probably quantitative rather than 
qualitative. Such a definition is not likely to efiect a sharp or a stable 
demarcation. We shall see that its failure to do so is progressive. 
Nevertheless, it would still be difficult to refuse the name of virus to an 
agent which fulfils all three criteria ; and we must, therefore, in con- 
sistency, apply it, on the one hand, to the filtrable agents transmitting 
certain tumours, and, on the other hand, to the agents of transmissible 
lysis affecting bacteria, and now widely known and studied as bacteriophage J. 



I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 175 

But the strict application of such a definition, based on negative character- 
istics, must obviously narrow its scope with the advance of technique. We 
may look a little more closely at the meaning of these different characters, 
concerning one or another of which those who follow me will, doubtless, 
have more to say in detail. 

Microscopic visibility is obviously a loose term. Rayleigh's famiUar 
formula, in which the lower limit of resolution is equal to one-half the 
wave-length of the light employed, divided by the numerical aperture of 
the objective, only gives us the smallest dimensions of an object, of which, 
with the method of transmitted illumination habitually used in former 
years, a critical image can be formed. There can be no doubt that the 
separate particles, of practically all the agents to which the term virus 
would be applied, fall below this limit of size. To put it in plain figures, 
their diameter is less than 0"2 micron. On the other hand, progress 
has recently been, and continues to be,' rapid, in the direction of bring- 
ing into the visible range, minute bodies associated with a growing 
number of viruses. This has been effected, on the one hand, by improve- 
ment in staining technique, which probably owes its success largely to 
increase of the natural size of the particles by a deposit of dye on their 
surface ; and, on the other hand, by forming visible diffraction images 
of the unstaioed particles with wide-aperture dark-ground condensers, and 
by photographing the images formed of them with shorter, invisible rays. 
Mr. Barnard will present evidence for success in obtaining such sharp 
photographic images of the bodies associated with one virus, measurements 
of which give their natural size by simple calculation. The reaction of a 
cautious criticism to such a demonstration seems to have taken two 
different directions. There has been a tendency, on the one hand, to 
exclude an agent from the group of viruses as soon as the microscope 
could demonstrate it with some certainty. Many have for years thus 
excluded the agent transmitting the pleuroi^neumonia of cattle, though 
the status of this organism has been compromised even more by the 
success of its cultivation on artificial media. Visibility seems to have 
rendered doubtful the position of the Rickettsia group of infections, 
and, if the test is logically applied, the process of exclusion can hardly 
stop before the agents transmitting psittacosis, fowl-pox, infectious 
ectromelia, and even vaccinia and variola, have been removed from the 
group of viruses into that of visible organisms. In discussing the 
biological nature of viruses as a whole, however, we can hardly begin by 
accepting an artificial and shifting limitation of that land. The real task 
before us, rather, is to discuss to what extent the evidence of these recent 
developments, which appear to show that some of the agents, known 
hitherto as viruses, consist of very minute organisms, can safely be applied 
to other %'iruses, which are still beyond the range of resolution. Do these 
also consist of organisms still more minute, or are any of them unorganised ? 
Another line of criticism, sound in itself, while not excluding from the 
virus group these agents for which microscopic visibility has been claimed, 
demands more evidence that the minute bodies seen or photographed are 
really the infective agent, and not merely products of a perverted 
metabolism which its presence engenders. It is obvious that complete 



176 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

evidence of identity cannot be obtained until a virus has been artificially 
cultivated in an optically bonaogeneous medium. Meanwiule it is a 
question of tbe strengtb of a presumption, on wbicb opinions may 
legitimately difier. Let us recognise tbat the evidence is not perfect, but 
beware of a merely sterilising scepticism. I suspect that the attitude of 
some critics is coloured by past history of the search for viruses, and 
especially by that part of it concerned with the curious objects known as 
" inclusion bodies," which are readUy demonstrated with relatively low 
powers of the microscope, in the cells of animals and plants infected with 
certain viruses. The nature of these bodies will probably form the 
subject of part of our discussion. From the earlier and admittedly hasty 
tendency to identify them as infective protozoa, opinion seems to have 
swung too quickly to the opposite extreme, of dismissing them as mere 
products of the infected ceU. It is so comparatively simple, in some 
cases, to separate these bodies, that it is surprising that so few efforts have 
been made to test their infectivity. However, the power of such a body 
to convey at least one virus infection has been demonstrated ; and since 
they have further been shown, in several cases, to consist of a structureless 
matrix packed with bodies looking like minute organisms, the burden of 
proof in other cases seems to me, for the moment, to rest on those who 
suggest that they consist whoUy of material precipitated by the altered 
metabolism due to the infection. We shall probably hear evidence for 
both points of view. 

The physical evidence, obtained by filtration through porous fabrics 
and colloidal membranes, and by measuring rates of difiusion, is, of course, 
purely concerned with the size of the units of infective material, and miist 
be taken in conjunction with the evidence provided by the microscope. 
The crude, qualitative distinction between the filterable and non-filterable 
agents of infection has long since ceased to have any real meaning. There 
is no natural limit of filterability. A filter can be made to stop or to pass 
particles of any required size. It is now realised that the only proper use 
of a filter in this connection is to give a quantitative measure of the 
maximum size of the particles which pass it. Evidence from failure to 
pass must always be subject to correction for the effects of electrostatic 
attraction and fixation by adsorption on the fabric of the filter. A large 
amount of filtration e\'idence has, further, been vitiated by reliance on 
determinations of the average pore size of the filter. In dealing with an 
infective agent, the test for the presence of which depends on its pro- 
pagation under suitable conditions, it is obviously the maximal pore size 
which is chiefly significant. For these reasons a good deal of the evidence 
showing that certain viruses can be detected in the filtrates, obtained 
with filters which will not allow heemoglobin to pass in perceptible quantities 
must be regarded at least with suspicion. Dr. Elford wiU tell us of his 
recent success in preparing filter-membranes of much greater uniformity, 
with a small range of pore-diameters. His measurements with these of 
the sizes of the particles of different ^druses, show a range approaching the 
dimensions of the smallest recognised bacteria, on the one hand, and 
falling as low, in the case of the virus of foot-and-mouth disease, as about 
three or four times the size of the heemoglobin molecule ; the latter being 



ll 



I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 177 

given not only by filtration-data, but by other physico-chemical measure- 
ments, such as those obtained by Svedberg with the ultracentril'uge. It 
should be noted, as illustrating the difficulties of the problem and the 
uncertain meaning of some of the data, that Elford has regularly found a 
!)acteriophage to be stopped by a membrane which allows the foot-and- 
mouth virus to pass ; while, on the other haiid, recent determinations of 
the rate of diffusion of bacteriophage, made by Bronienbrenner, put the 
diameter of its particles at 0*6 of a millimicron, i.e. only about one-fifth 
of the accepted dimensions of the haemoglobin molecule. If we accepted 
such an estimate, we should be obliged to conclude, I think, not merely 
that the bacteriophage is unorganised, but that its molecules are something 
much simpler than those of a high-molecular protein. It has even been 
suggested, though on very impei'fect evidence, that it may be a moderately 
complex carbohydrate. Are we, then, to suppose that the foot-and-mouth 
virus is a similarly unorganised and relatively simple substance ? It is 
difficult, in view of the series of other agents, all conforming in many 
aspects of their behaviour to the classical type of the foot-and-mouth 
virus, and yet showmg a range of dimensions up to that at which their 
units are apparently becoming clearly visible by modern microscopical 
methods. It will be clear, indeed, that, if we accept the lowest estimates 
for the size of the units of some viruses, such as the bacteriophage and the 
agents transmitting some plant diseases, we cannot by analogy apply the 
conception of their nature, thus presented, to viruses consisting of organisms 
which are ceasing to be even ultramicroscopic ; and we shoiild be led to 
doubt the identity with the virus of the bodies which the microscope 
reveals. If, on the other hand, we regard the still invisible viruses, by 
analogy with those already seen, as consisting of even much smaller 
organisms, we can only do so by rejecting the conclusions drawn from 
some of the physical evidence. It is, of course possible that some of the 
agents called viruses are organisms and others relatively simple pathogenic 
principles in solution ; but to assume at this stage such a fundamental 
difference, among members of a group having so many properties in 
common, woiild be to shirk the difficulty. 

The third negative characteristic of a virus, viz., its failure to propagate 
itself, except in "the presence of living cells which it infects, may obviously 
again provide an unstable boundary, shifting with the advance of our 
knowledge and skill. We may regard it as not only possible, but even 
likely, that methods will be found for cultivating artificially, on lifeless 
media, some of those viruses, at least, which have the appearance of 
miaute organisms. Evidence in support of one claim to such success will 
probably be put before us. It would be playing with nomenclature to let 
inclusion in the virus group depend on continued failure in this direction. 
On the other hand, the dimensions assigned to the units of some viruses, 
representing them as equal in size to mere fractions of a protein molecule, 
might well make one hesitate to credit them with the power of active self- 
multipUcation. Experience provides no analogy for the growth of suoh 
a substance by self-synthesis from the constituents of a lifeless medium ; 
the energetics of such a process might present an awkward problem. To 
account for the multiplication of such a substance at all, even in cells 

1931 N 



178 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

infected by it, we should be driven, I think, to the hypothesis which has 
been freely used to account for the propagation of bacteriophage, on the 
one hand, and of typical viruses like that of herpes, on the other ; namely, 
that the presence of the virus in a cell in some way constrains the metaboUsm 
of the cell to produce more. Bordet has used the reproduction of thrombin 
by the clotting of the blood, as an analogy for the suggested reproduction 
of bacteriophage in this manner. Another, and perhaps closer, analogy 
might be found in recent evidence that a culture of pneumococcus, 
deprived of its type-specific carbohydrate complex, can be made to take 
up the carbohydrate characteristic of another type, and then to reproduce 
itself indefinitely with this new, artificially imposed specificity. The 
response of the cells of the animal body, to even a single contact with a 
foreign protein, by the altered metabolism producing immunity, and 
often persistent for the lifetime of the individual, may suggest another 
parallel ; but here the protective type of the reaction is in direct contrast 
to the sui^posed regeneration by the cells of the poison which killed them. 
Boycott, again, has emphasised the difficulty of drawing a sharp line of dis- 
tinction between the action of normal cell-constituents, which promote 
cell-prohferatiou for normal repair of an injury, and the ^^rus transmitting 
a malignant tumour, or that causing foot-and-mouth disease. I do not 
myself find it easy, on general biological grounds, to accept this idea of a 
cell having its metabolism thus immediately diverted to producing the 
agent of its own destruction, or abnormal stimulation. It is almost the 
direct opposite of the immunity reaction, which is not absent, but peculiarly 
effective in the response of the body to many viruses. It is difficult, again, 
to imagine that a virus like rabies could be permanently excluded from a 
country if it had such an autogenous origin. The phenomena of immimity 
to a virus, and of closely specific immunity to different strains of the same 
virus, are peculiarly difficult to interpret on these lines. This conception, 
however, of the reproduction of a virus by the perverted metabolism of 
the infected cell, has been strongly supported by Doerr, in explanation of 
the phenomena of herpes. There are individuals in whom the epidermal 
cells have acquired a tendency to become affected by ai\ herpetic eruption, 
in response to various kinds of systemic or local injury. From the lesions 
so developed, an agent having the typical properties of 'a virus caii be 
obtained, capable of reproducing the disease by inoculation into individuals, 
even of other species, such as the rabbit, and exciting, when appropriately 
injected, the production of an antiserum, specifically antagonising the 
herpes infection. Such phenomena have a special interest for our dis- 
cussion, in that they can be almost equally well explained by the two rival 
conceptions. One regards the herpes virus as a distinct ultramicroscopic 
organism, and the person liable to attack as a carrier, in whom the virus 
can be awakened to pathogenic activity and multiplication, by injuries 
weakening the normal resistance of his ceUs to invasion. The other 
regards it as a pathogenic principle produced by the cells in response to 
injury, and awakening other cells to further production when it is trans- 
mitted to them. 

This forms a good example of the central difficulty which we should 
try to solve in to-day's discussion, on the group of agents at present classed 
together as viruses. They seem to form a series ; but we do not know 



I.— PHYSIOLOGY. 179 

whether the series is real and continuous, or whether it is formed merely 
by the accidental association, through a certain similarity in effects, and 
through common characteristics of a largely negative kind, of agents of at 
least two fundamentally different kinds. If we approach the series from 
one end, and watch the successive conquests of microscopical technique ; 
or if we consider the phenomena of immunity over the whole series ; we 
are tempted to assume that all the viruses will ultimately be revealed as 
independent organisms. If we approach from the other end, or consider 
analogies from other examples of a transmissible alteration of metabolism, 
we may be tempted to doubt the significance of the evidence provided by 
the microscope, and to conclude that all viruses are unorganised, auto- 
genous, toxic principles. If we take the cautious attitude of supposing 
that both are right, and that viruses belonging to both these radically 
different types exist, where are we going to draw the line ? Is the test 
to be one of unit dimension 1 If so, what is the lower limit of the size 
of an organism ? Are we to suppose that inclusion bodies can only be 
produced by viruses which are independent organisms ? And if so, does 
this conclusion also apply to the ' X ' bodies associated with the infection 
of plant cells by certain viruses ? If we try to form an estimate of the 
lower limit of size compatible with organisation, I think we should remember 
that particles which we measure by filters of known porosity, or by micro- 
photographs, need not be assumed to represent the virus organisms in an 
actively vegetative condition. They may well be minute structures, 
ada])ted to preserve the virus during transmission to cells in which it can 
resume vegetative life. Attempts to demonstrate an oxidative metabolism 
in extracts containing such a virus, separated from the cells in which it 
can grow and multiply, and to base conclusions as to the non-living nature 
of the virus on failure to detect such activity, must surely be regarded as 
premature. Our evidence of the vitality of its particles is, as yet, entirely 
due to their behaviour after transmission. They may accordingly contain 
protein, lipoid and other molecules in a state of such dense aggregation, 
that comparisons of their size, with that of the heavily hydrated molecules 
of a protein in colloidal solution, may well give a misleading idea of their 
complexity. Workers in the cytology of genetics, accustomed to 
picturing a complex of potentialities as somehow packed into the compass 
of a gene, may find less difficulty, than does the bacteriologist, in 
attributing sufficient organisation, for true self -reproduction, even to 
particles still far beyond the range of detection by the microscope. If, in 
spite of such considerations, we find ourselves forced to the conclusion 
that some viruses consist of units so minute, that we cannot believe them 
to be living organisms, I hope we may avoid one common method of 
expressing the alternative conception, which refers to them as ' enzymes.' 
I know of no evidence that any enzyme has the properties of a virus, or 
that any virus has those of an enzyme. We may regard it as a trans- 
missible toxin, when it causes the infected cell to disintegrate, or as a 
transmissible stimulant, when it induces an abnormal proliferation. In 
either case we must then postulate, as the special characteristic whicli 
makes it a virus, a power of imposing on the cell which it infects an altered 
metabolism, which leads to its own reproduction. 

n2 



180 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Apart from their known function as the agents transmitting many of 
the best known among the acute infections, it is impossible, to anyone 
having even a slight knowledge of the recent developments which began 
with the work of Rous and Murphy, to doubt that in the advance of 
knowledge, concerning the nature of the viruses in general, lies the 
brightest hope of finding a clue to the dark secret of the malignant tumours. 
In unravelling what is still such a tangle of contradictions, the animal 
biologist needs all the help that can be given by concurrent study of the 
analogous phenomena in plants. 

One word, in conclusion, as to the choice of such a subject for a 
centenary meeting. It might seem appropriate, on such an occasion, to 
consider in retrospect the advance of physiology and medical science during 
the completed century. It seems to me not less appropriate to look 
forward into that which now begins. For the study of infection, the past 
century, and the latter half of it especially, has been the epoch of the 
visible bacteria. The new century seems likely to give us an epoch of 
not less important discovery concerning the viruses. The methods for 
their study are now taking shape, and what seemed to be immovable 
difficulties are beginning to yield to patience and ingenuity. Perhaps a 
new Pasteur will arise, to reconcile the still scattered and conflicting 
indications in an order yet unseen. Perhaps the advance may continue, 
as it seems at present, to be along a wide front, common to many workers 
in many countries. In any case, I think we may now feel some con- 
fidence that advance will continue, and that progress wiU be steady, 
towards the knowledge for which mankind is waiting, and without which 
we have no power to deal with many of the worst diseases which afflict 
us and the animals and plants on which we depend for our life. 



i 



SECTION J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 



ON THE NATURE OF MIND. 

ADDRESS BY 

CHARLES S. MYERS, C.B.E., M.D., Sc.D., F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



Si monumentum rcquiris, circumspice. The centenary meeting of a scientific 
association is one of those ' monumental ' occasions when the attention 
of its members naturally turns to a survey of the modern development 
of the branch (or branches) of science in which they are variously in- 
terested — a survey comprising both the progress of the subject within the 
Association and the present position which it holds outside. For this 
reason, no doubt, in many sections the Presidential chair is filled this 
year by some senior member who through length of personal experience 
is in a favourable position to review the history of his subject and of the 
changes he has seen it undergo. 

Psychology and the British Association. 

Psychology was specifically recognised by this Association as a separate 
science in the year 1913, when for the first time it was constituted a Sub- 
section under Physiology, which had itself been established as an inde- 
pendent Section (distinct from Biology) in 1893. This Sub-section of 
Psychology continued to function as such at the successive meetings of the 
Association held in the years 1915, 1916, 1919, and 1920, when it was 
accorded the rank of a Section. 

It is perhaps noteworthy that so long ago as 1906 Sir Edwin Ray 
liankester, in his Presidential Address to this Association at York, 
included a short section devoted to psychology, in which he said : ' I 
have given a special heading to this subject because its emergence us a 
definite line of experimental research seems to me one of the most important 
features in the progress of science in the past quarter of a century. . . . 
Hereafter, the well-ascertained laws of experimental psychology will 
undoubtedly furnish the necessary scientific basis of the art of educa- 
tion, and psychology will hold the same relation to that art as physiology 
does to the arts of medicine and hvgiene.' 

Smce then the applications of psychology have extended to medicine, 
industry, anthropology and other branches of knowledge. The importance 
of its relations to physiology and biology was clearly enunciated in the 
Presidential Address of Sir Charles Sherrington at the Hull Meeting of 
this Association in 1922. He asked — ■' And if we knew the whole how 
■of the production of the body from egg to adult, and if we admit that 



182 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

every item of its organic machinery runs on physical and chemical rules 
as completely as do inorganic systems, will the living animal present no 
other problematical aspect ? The dog, our household friend— do we exhaust 
its aspects if in assessing its sum-total we omit its mind ? A merely 
reflex pet would please little even the fondest of us. . . . But this 
Association has its Section of Psychology. ... It is to the psychologist 
that we must turn to learn in full the contribution made to the integration 
of the animal individual by mind.' 

So, ultimately, psychology was given the status of an independent 
Section, with the previous approval of the Sections of Physiology and 
Education, at the Cardiff Meeting in 1920. The new Section met for the 
first time in 1921 under the presidency of Professor Lloyd Morgan, F.R.S. 
Thus the present Centenary Meeting of the Association marks also the 
completion of ten years' existence of our Section. 

I can vividly recall the doubts which were expressed, not so much in 
words, as in general attitude, by the Committee of Recommendations of 
this Association when in 1920 it was asked to consider the formation of a 
separate Section of Psychology. Such hesitation was probably based on 
several grounds, not wholly on any one of them. Psychology, it must 
have been realised, is not immediately concerned with material phenomena ; 
unlike these, its ' subject matter,' the mind, cannot be weighed or measured, 
nor can mind be satisfactorily regarded merely as a blind mechanism. 
Moreover, as each scientist carries his mind about with him, be he mathema- 
tician, physicist, zoologist, physiologist, physician or educationaUst, he 
has always himself felt competent to speak from every-day experience 
on psychological problems without previous systematic training in tlie 
subject, sometimes thus advancing, but probably as often retarding, its 
progress and its reputation, and always suggesting by such intrusion 
that psychology neither possesses nor needs any special discipline of its 
own. 

More than thirty years' experience has convinced me that a thorough 
famiharity with the practice and theory of the psycho-physical methods 
is essential for rehable systematic psychological investigations of any 
kind. It is largely to the uncontrolled genius of psychologically untrained 
experts in other fields that we owe the exaggerated importance which has 
been variously attached of late to conditioned reflexes, sex, inferiority, 
behaviour, mental tests, correlations, etc., in psychology. Thus have 
often arisen the various ' schools ' of modern psychology, characterised 
by the same narrow bigotry as is to be found among contending religious 
sects, each school almost worshipping its founder, each contributing 
something of truth and value, but each refusing to recognise truth and 
value in its rivals, and blind to other important conceptions than its own 
and to other important problems the investigation of which is essential 
for the progress of psychological science. 

Thb Mathematician in Physics and Psychology. 

But some of the grounds for hesitancy in recognising psychology as 
scientific or as a separate science have lost much of their force to-day, 
because of the pronounced change that has since taken place in the 



fl 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 183 

attitudes and beliefs which were in vogue among physicists of that time. 
No physicists would then have dared, as now, to cast doubt on the sole 
sway of determiriism in the physical world. None of them would then 
have suggested, as now, the impossibility of predicting what any individual 
atom (or still smaller individual entity) will do next. None would have 
(juestioned, as now, the universal truth of the second law of thermo- 
dynamics or of the principle of conservation of energy. None would have 
ventured, as now, to suppose that electrons change in the very act of 
})ecoming known to us, and that therefore the mental factor is ultimately 
inseparable from physical investigations. None would then have dared, 
as now, to conjecture that particles of matter correspond in their properties 
to certain group waves of the ether, the constituent waves of which, 
travelling at an enormous speed, ' guide ' and ' direct ' the group waves 
without any energy of their own. 

In those days one of the most distinguished physicists refused to 
accept a theory unless he could make a mechanical model of it ; whereas 
to-day we are asked to beUeve, e.g. in an inconceivable space or ether of 
ten dimensions in order that the theory of wave mechanics may describe 
in the simplest terms what happens when three electrons meet one another. 
In those days it was urged that ' nothing can be more fatal to progress 
than a too confident reliance on mathematical symbols ; for the student is 
only too apt .... to consider the /o;-m«?« and not the/ac/ as the physical 
reality.'^ But to-day (whether rightly or wrongly) we have passed far 
beyond the study of mere ' physical reaUties.' At first called in as a 
servant, the mathematician has now come ' to assert himself as master.' 
' He does not ask permission from Nature when he wishes to vary or 
generalise the original premises. ... In geometry ... he has forgotten 
that there ever was a physical subject of the same name, and even resents 
the application of the name to anything but his network of abstract 
mathematics.'^ The mathematician is not primarily interested in the 
physical significance of the variables that he is discussing. His particular 
interests lie in mathematical operations and in numbers and figures for 
their own sake. 

Psychology has been similarly bereft of ' reaUty ' by the operations 
of mathematicians, present and past. The earUest example of this was 
the derivation by Fechner of the ' law ' which now bears his name, that 
the intensity of a sensation is proportional to the logarithm of the magni- 
tude of its stimulus. This statement was deduced by purely mathematical 
procedure from Weber's law that just appreciable differences between 
sensations depend on a constant ratio between the magnitudes of their 
respective stimuli. Weber's law, however, was based on direct observation 
and experiment ; whereas Fechner's ' law ' was the outcome of purely 
mathematical calculations which not only neglected a constant ap])eal to 
the ' reality ' of experience, but ran actually counter to it — neglectful, for 
example, of the ' facts ' (i) that Weber's law holds for only moderate 
magnitudes of stimuli ; (ii) that from the standpoint of conscious experi- 

' Treatise on Natural Philosophy, by W. Thomson and P. G. Tait. Oxford, 1867, 
vol. i, p. viii. 

'' The Nature of the Physical World, by A. S. Eddington. Cambridge, 1929, 
pp. 161, 1()2. 



184 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

ence it implies a single experience of difEerence, not a difference between two 
separate experiences ; and that (iii) from the same standpoint we are 
quite unwarranted in adding together or subtracting from one another 
two intensities of sensation or two sensation differences as such. 

Elsewhere in his treatment of psychological data, as in his treatment 
of physical data, the mathematician has arrived at results that can directly 
be neither verified nor rejected by conscious experience. The establish- 
ment of ' general mental factors,' involved in and influencing the per- 
formance of various mental tests and other processes, affords us another 
example. By mathematical operations on experimental data we can, it 
is claimed, deduce the existence of such general factors. But from the 
strictly psychological standpoint the nature of these factors cannot be 
interpreted ; for we are unable to appeal to direct experience to ascertain 
what these factors are. At best their significance in terms of actual 
experience can only be conjectured by abstraction and imagination ; or 
it is expressible only in terms of general behaviour. At worst, as in the 
case of g (the so-called ' general inteUigeuce ') we are quite ignorant of 
their psychical nature. We cannot hope for direct psychological evidence 
as to the precise mental nature of such mathematically deduced ' factors.' 

It may be argued that the same ignorance holds in physics, say for 
electricity or gravity, the relations of which to other physical phenomena 
we can experimentally and mathematically determine, yet of the nature 
of which we are entirely ignorant through direct experience. But it may 
be retorted that electricity or gravity is an independent external non-mental 
activity, which is only related to conscious experience for its interpretation 
and conception ; whereas the results of psychological investigations must 
ultimately be expressible in terms of concrete conscious experience, not 
merely in terms of mathematical abstractions or of any physical activity 
which is fundamentally independent of such experience. 

With perhaps greater force it may be argued that introspection, by 
which alone conscious experience can be directly studied, is unreliable and 
not amenable to scientific methods — valid only for the particular individual 
who introspects, communicable to others only by outward behaviour, and 
fallible owing to illusion, rationalisation and other causes of error ; and 
that just as physical experiment deals with such terms as electrons and 
quanta which are beyond the sphere of immediate experience, just as 
mathematical calculations yield for physics conceptions the realisation of 
which may be inconceivable by conscious experience, so modern experi- 
mental and mathematical psychology has a perfect right to express mental 
processes in terms which are foreign or even unknowable to conscious 
experience. 

Psychology and Behaviour. 

The escape from such difficulty on the physical side — so as to avoid 
dethronement of the literally divine claims which some mathematicians 
have made for the fundamental truth of their own science — is to regard the 
Universe as constituting a vast nexus of ultra-physical and mathematical 
necessities and probabilities, only some of which can become physical 
through the further operation of the human mind. We might perhaps 
adopt a corresponding attitude towards some of the subjectively 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 185 

uuverifiable conclusions arising from the applications of mathematics to 
psychological data. 

But in psychology an additional difficulty confronts us. We have to 
recognise that the data with which the ' mathematical psychologist ' 
operates are not measurements of the fundamental subject-matter of 
psychology — conscious mental processes. (Nor can they probably be 
measurements of unconscious processes, so long as the latter are regarded 
as mental in character.) For mental processes are not directly measurable : 
we can grade a series of conscious experiences according to their degree or 
amount, say of hue, brightness, loudness, pitch, temperature, extent, 
duration, clearness, pleasantness, etc. : we can say that one member of 
such a series has more or less of any one such character or quality than 
another member, or that the difference between two members of a series 
in respect to any one of these characters or qualities is greater or less 
than, or equal to. the difference between two other members. We cannot 
deny that " whatever exists exists in some amount.'^ But the psychologist 
can only measure the amount of any conscious experience indirectly — 
either by reference to behaviour, i.e. to the organism's physical response 
or expression, or by reference to the physical character of the relevant 
stimuli, in terms of objective standards of number, space and time which 
are immediately independent of actual subjective experience. 

Let us remember, then, that when we are attempting to measure any 
mental ability or character or quality by means of a test or series of tests, 
we are not directly measuring that mental ability or character or quality, 
but only the corresponding stimulus or the outward response or expression 
by which that mental ability or character or quality is manifested. We 
are, no doubt, justified in assuming a broad correlation between the speed, 
accuracy, amount, etc., of the response or expression of a mental ability 
or character or quality and the degree in which that mental ability or 
character or quality is present. Even this broad assumption, however, 
is sometimes unjustifiable, as in the case where too much of a given 
mental ability or character or quality may lead to a deterioration, and no 
longer to an improvement, in the corresponding performance. But we 
are certainly never justified in assuming that we can accurately measure 
any mental process by measuring its objective response — that, for 
instance, twice the amount of the response necessarily means twice the 
quantity of the mental process of which the response is the expression. 
All that we are measuring is behaviour — that is to say, something largely 
on the efferent side, something largely physical and indescribable in terms 
of pure immediate experience, involving a complex of factors many of 
which, indeed, may be remote from those which we commonly believe we 
are measuring ; whereas what we ultimately aim to deal with in psychology 
is experience — the meeting point of the afferent and efferent sides. 

In fact, then, the ' behaviourists ' are quite right when they insist 
that scientific measurement is applicable only to the behaviour of the 
organism. Where they are quite wrong is in their assumption that 
conscious processes must necessarily be ousted from scientific psychology, 

" ' Measurement in Education,' by Thorndike. xvii Yearbook of Nat. Soc. Stud. 
Educ. 1922, Pt. 1, 1-9. 



186 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

because measurement is excluded ; the truth being that, even where 
measurement is excluded, the possibilities of systematic observation and 
experiment still remain. Natural science has surely a function wider than 
that of merely reducing its subject-matter to units of space and time. 
Highly valuable and deser\'ing of the utmost encouragement as is the 
measurement of behaviouristic data, however helpful be the light they 
may ultimately throw on mental processes and their general characters, 
however wider be mental processes than the range of mere conscious 
experience, the scientific study of the mind by direct observation and 
experiment is never to be discountenanced or discarded. 

Self-activity. 

Just as experimental physics patiently pursues its researches into 
Nature, heedless of such mathematical conclusions as are not amenable 
to verification by experiment — so experimental psychology must realise 
that its progress is not primarily dependent on, however much assistance 
it may receive from, the work of those who fail to recognise that the 
fundamental subject-matter of psychology is conscious experience, not 
conduct. Now conscious experience can only be enjoyed by the active 
self, i.e. the ' individual ' (i.e. undivided) mental activity of the entire 
living organism. It is the fundamental function of such self-activity — by 
recourse to past experiences, by receiving present experiences, by fore- 
seeing future experiences and by creating new experiences — -to select from 
alternative responses and from alternative environments those which are 
most advantageous to the ever evolving and developing organism. To 
secure the most suitable movements and environment and thus to help ia 
the evolution of the organism are the prime objects of consciousness ; 
and where, as in plants, mobility and plasticity are at a minimum, self- 
activity and consciousness are inappreciable. Self-activity is to be 
regarded as the highest, unitary integration of the directive mental 
(conscious and unconscious) acti^'iby of the organism. 

The Derivation of Presentations (or Contents) from Feelings. 

Self-activity and its inherent consciousness may presumably be traced 
back to a stage where self and not-self are but just distinguishable. At 
this remote stage in animal evolution there can hardly have been more 
than a differentiation of self-activity into ' acts ' of the self and ' modifica- 
tions ' of the self. These modifications of the self became early 
differentiated into (a) those which are due to internal happenings within 
the organism, and (b) those which are due to more variable external 
happenings in its environment, and later into (a) those which we come to 
recognise as ' affects ' of the self and ' feeling tones ' and (b) those which 
come to be regarded as ' presentations ' to the self or as ' contents ' of the 
self's consciousness. Sensations, perceptions, memories and thoughts — 
all that we finally come to recognise as conscious presentations to the 
self — have been differentiated (onto- and phylo-genetically) from modifica- 
tions of the self : instead of being feelings of the self, they have become 
contents of consciousness. 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 187 

We end by ' iirojectiug ' certain of these original feelings. The 
external ' objects ' of our perception have been separated from or carved 
out of originally vague external ' situations ' of which we or our remote 
ancestors were first conscious merely as diffuse modifications or feelings 
of the self. So, too, any colour or sound comes to be regarded no 
longer as a self -feeling but as a something projected and existing outside 
us. The degree to which such projicience and presentation is carried out 
varies with different sensations : colours clearly have a projected, 
apparently independent, existence ; sounds, smells, tastes, hardness and 
temperature are only imperfectly projected ; the painful prick of a pin 
and our sensations of movement, though not projected, are nevertheless 
regarded as ' presentations ' to the self ; whereas our experiences of visceral 
sensations are hardly even presented : they seem almost as clearly 
modifications of the self as are our emotions and other affects. 

The Origin of Acts and Contents. 
This difference between the acts and the contents of consciousness — 
between the conscious acts of apprehending, recalling, deciding, inferring 
and what is consciously apprehended, recalled, decided, inferred — is a 
most important one. It is exemphfied in the two kinds of memory which 
are distinguishable. On the one hand, we may recall the separate acts of 
the self, say, in the course of solving a problem or of acquiring some 
specific skill ; these are individually unique and only indi\'iduallv 
revocable. On the other hand, we may recall the generalised contents of 
our consciousness, i.e. of presentations we have received by a repetition of 
such acts — e.g. in learning a prose passage or series of skilled movements. 

I would suggest that the distinction between conscious acts and 
contents has come about with the gradual differentiation of higher 
and lower levels of mental activity — and in the following manner. 
There is no awareness of self-activity when we sense a colour or a tem- 
perature, or when we perceive a familiar object, or when an idea ' occurs ' 
to us. Our sensations, our perceptions and many of our thoughts and 
ideas are, I suggest, the unconscious ' acts ' of relatively lower mental 
levels. But when these lower-level ' acts ' are accompanied and received 
by the self-activity of the highest levels, they become ipso facto ' pre- 
sentations ' to the self. A loud noise to which we are impelled to attend 
or an idea which ' occurs to the mind ' is not a conscious presentation (or 
content of consciousness) until the self receives it. 

I suggest that such differentiation of higher and lower levels has never 
occurred to the same extent in the case of our Idnsesthetic and, especially, 
coeusesthetic sensations and in the case of our feelings (which depend on a 
more primitive, thalamic, activity) : we fail, therefore, to objectify them 
immediately as presentations, and they continue to be received in their 
primordial undifferentiated state. 

By virtue of recall, however, even the acts of the self and its feelings 
can become more or less objectified as ' presentations ' (although, of 
course, they are not " projected ' as indei)endent objects). The acts of 
decision or apprehension and the emotions, attitudes, etc., of the self at 
one moment can through lower level transfer become at the next moment 
themes of contemplation by the self. Thus, we may account for the occur- 



188 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

rence or absence of presentations in many varied circumstances. E.g. (a) 
the fully developed human self not only knows, but knows that it knows, 
and so on. (b) A really efficient actor must not so wholly lose ' himself ' in 
the part that he is playing as no longer to know that he is acting ; he must 
have at least some measure of objectivation of and self-control over the 
self that he is portraying, (c) So, too, for its full aesthetic enjoyment of 
a play, an audience must not wholly lose its ' self ' in the scenes it is 
witnessing : an audience must enter some distance into the play, but for 
the highest appreciation of beauty a certain ' psychical distance,' as 
Bullough* has called it, neither too close nor too remote, must be pre- 
served, (d) In certain cases of multiple personality (cf. Morton Prince's 
Sally^) the self may look down upon the acts of one or more other selves 
who behave as actors in command of the situation, (e) In the abnormal 
condition known as ' depersonalisation ' the self's experiences may 
temporarily seem strange and the very acts of the self may seem strange, 
so that it appears as if some other personality than the self were acting 
and experiencing, the highest self once again looking on, so that what 
in normal conditions would be regarded as the self's own experiences 
become projected as the experiences of another lower self. (/) Similar 
changes occur in certain phenomena of hypnotism and ecstasy. 

The Redintegration of Multiple Personalities. 

It is a matter of common experience that in our normal selves our 
personality is ever changing according to our environment. We are one 
person in the conduct of our business or profession, another during our 
play, yet another in the bosom of our family ; and we act and feel 
accordingly. But whereas, normally, our single self is behind all the 
acts and other experiences of these different personalities, there also occur 
those well-known abnormal conditions of ' multiple personality ' in which 
these personalities exist as alternating selves, often in the apparently 
complete absence of such single higher acti\aty. It is interesting, 
however, to observe how redintegration may occur in those cases of 
alternating personality where a highest self seems to be continuously 
present, however far banished to the background. This is well illustrated 
in the case of the Rev. Thomas Hanna, who thus describes the final phases 
of his recovery. 

' The first mental struggle was during the very next primary state, 
which, by the doctors' earnest request and my own extraordinary effort, 
was already prolonged to three or four hours. . . . Suddenly there was a 
glimpse of the secondary life, only a glimpse, it is true, yet a revelation 
of infinite wonder as being the first real insight into one state from the 
other. Instantly the thought came " What is the use of enduring this 
severe struggle when invited into that attractive life, the secondary 
state ? " . . . But saying mentally again, " What is the use ? " there was 
a letting go, and the primary life was again lost. . . . 

^ Cf. ' " Psychical Distance " as a factor in art and an aesthetic principle,' Brit. J. 
of Psychol., 1912, Vol. V, pp. 87-118. 

■'' The Dissociation of a Personality. By Morton Prince. London : Longmans, 
1906. 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 189 

' I was still in the secondary state, but the other life dawned on me, 
and nothing but my will pertinaciously clung to the secondary state. . . . 
While both lives were presented to the mind, where was the possibility 
of combining them ? And had not I lived and felt each life ? Yet how 
could one person live and feel both Lives ? Here was the critical 
point. . . But the Uves were constantly becoming more and more personal, 
until at last, by a deliberate, voluntary act, the two were seized, and 
have both remained . . ., though for some time after the recovery it was 
difficult to dovetail together the detached portions of each Ufe so as to 
present a continuous history.' * 

An Analogy. 

Let me return to stress once more the fact that the development of 
presentations to consciousness out of what were originally modifications 
or feelings of the conscious self is to be regarded as one of the most important 
features of mental evolution. It has occurred, as I beUeve, pari passiuwitii 
the fuller development of the self and with the increasing complexity and 
differentiation of mental levels. The early self in more primitive organisms 
functioned in a manner so diffuse that it can barely be called unitary. Its 
later, more highly concentrated, unitary character developed with the 
differentiation of higher and lower levels and with the gradual distillation 
of supreme control into ever less diffused, loftier and more ' pontifical ' 
spheres of influence. (Perhaps roughly corresponding, on the material 
side, to these primitive and later mental stages are the early plexus 
structure and the later synaptic plan of the nervous system.) 

We might compare the earliest stage with that of a primitive 
monarchical government whose king was the weak, diffusely moving 
spirit in aU its varied activities. At an intermediate stage we might 
envisage a stronger government whose cabinet consisted of a large number 
of members, each, however, busily acting in considerable independence 
of his colleagues and of his chief, the prime minister. At the highest stage 
we may conceive differentiation, co-ordination and integration as having 
so harmoniously co-operated as to produce a prime minister who is in 
perfect sympathy with, and hence functionally identical with, the king, 
and has such complete control that he regards the more important ' acts ' 
of his hierarchy of lower-level colleagues (even those of his deputy and 
assistant prime ministers) as his own ' presentations.' By some such 
analogy as this, I suggest, we can dimly portray the evolution of the self, 
its increasing powers of control and devolution, its development of the 
function of presentation, and its ability, in certain conditions, to look 
down on what appears to be itself, or on one or more other selves, acting 
and experiencing feelings and presentations. 

The Functions of Felt Impulse and Emotion. 

The humblest servants of such a highly complex government would be 
entrusted with duties which they can perfectly well perform without ever 

6 Multiple Personality, by B. Sidis and S. P. Goodhart. London : D. Appleton, 
1906, pp. 225, 226. 



190 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

troubling, or indeed being able to have access to, the members of the 
cabinet. Such functions are comparable to our present reflex actions 
(e.g. the pupil reflex), which are inherited, unalterable, and are absolutely 
divorced from consciousness. There would, also under the government, be 
servants of a higher level, comparable to the instincts which are improvable 
by experience, the activities of which affect consciousness in the form of 
impulses to action. One manifest purpose of the consciousness or awareness 
of impulse is to enable the self to modify or to control the relevant instinct. 
Instincts may war with one another (so, too, may alternative motives to 
voluntary action). The self may passively allow the stronger instinct (or 
the stronger motive) to predominate. But it may also, by using its own 
activity — implying the whole, most highly integrated, mental system or 
personaUty of the individual — interfere with and repress an instinct (or 
a motive) which, left to itself, would otherwise predominate and yield 
involuntary action. 

Whether or not we can regard all instinctive activities, e.g. walking, 
as accompanied by emotional consciousness, a close association between 
instinctive action and many emotions generally holds. Emotional activity 
is psychologically and neurologically older than higher intelligent activity. 
Where an emotion, closely related to some instinct, enters consciousness, 
its probable object is to prevent the self from intelhgently inhibiting the 
related instinct, and to insure the carrying out of the instinctive act. 
Such emotions, indeed, are more strongly felt in proportion to the amount 
of conflict or other obstacles impeding expression of the relevant instinct. 

Developments of Feeling and Presentation. 

We have noted two paths of differentiation of the modifications of the 
self — those of feeling and of presentation. FeeUng develops, on the one 
hand, into emotion and this into sentiment, and on the other, into feeUng- 
tone (pleasure and displeasure). Feeling-tone, emotion and sentiment are 
recognised as being largely dependent on thalamic activity ; whereas with 
the development of the cerebral cortex arise the increasing integration, 
discrimination and grading of presentations, the elaboration of their 
meaning and of their spatial and temporal relations, and the evolution 
of thought and speech, on all of which the rise of rational intelligence 
depends. Finally, valuation and volition achieve their highest plane with 
the harmonious co-operation of the highest products of these two 
evolutionary paths — sentiment and intelligence. 

Unconscious Direction and Purpose. 

The self is the highest controlling and directing power. The orders 
which it consciously gives and the efforts which it consciously makes may, 
once started, continue to be carried on unconsciously, i.e. without the 
conscious participation of the self. Thus we may consciously but vainly 
try to recall some past experience or to solve some difficult problem ; 
and after giving up the effort, this directive activity may still persist 
unconsciously until suddenly the forgotten object, or the abandoned 
solution, suddenly flashes full-born and unbidden into the self's con- 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 191 

sciousness. So, too, we may go to sleep determined to wake up at a given 
hour, or we may accept, in the hypnotic state, a decision to carry out some 
prescribed act on the lapse of a prescribed period of time after emerging 
from that state ; and at the ordained moment the sleeper wakes, or an 
uncontrollable impulse is felt to perform the suggested act. 

But not only is purposive activity not limited to the duration of 
conscious activity ; it need not originate there. The inspirations of 
genius and the intuitive judgments and decisions which, crude though 
they may be before submission to the self's judgment, arise apparently 
from the ' depths ' of the mind with impulsive force and compelling 
conviction afford striking examples of this fact. The well-known 
improvements in learning which continue after we have ceased to practice, 
so that it has been said of us that we learn to skate in summer and to swim 
in winter, are further examples of such activity — whether or not we 
choose to ascribe such improvement to the gradual disappearance of 
adverse initial inhibitions or to the direct strengthening ( ' consolidation ') 
of acquired integrations (or associations). Further, the self is continually 
being played upon both by the impulsive and by the perseverating forces 
of lower mental systems. They struggle, not less than the self, for their 
own existence and for their own lower ' self-ish ' ends. Where they are 
modified by inhibition (or repression), it is only to ensure general harmony 
and general compatibility. Inhibition is not to be viewed as a mere act 
of passive drainage of energy from one mental constellation to another, 
but as an active repressive force against which the inhibited constellation 
ever tends to rebel in its endeavour to gain somehow or another liberty of 
action, in some lower degree purposeful and directive. 

The Psychical Indescribability of the Unconscious. 

Despite certain unscientific methods and no little prejudice in inter- 
pretation and procedure on their part, we owe a debt to the psycho- 
analysts for their detailed study of the conflicts responsible for such 
repressions and of the ways in which repressive forces exert their influence 
and are not infrequently, as it were, outwitted. But let us not imitate 
the psycho-analysts in their failure to recognize that we can never describe 
the nature of imconscious mental processes in terms of consciousness. 
We are as powerless to do this as we are powerless to describe the nature 
of God in terms of the human body and mind. ' Psycho-morphism ' 
in psychology is an error not less cardinal than anthropomorphism in 
religion. We are bound to adopt an agnostic position as to the nature 
of the unconscious. To describe in the language of consciousness an 
' unconscious wish,' an ' unconscious motive,' an ' unconscious emotion ' 
or an ' unconscious idea ' is a contradiction in terms. At best we can but 
say that if a particular unconscious mental process were to become con- 
scious, it would manifest itself as a certain wish, motive, emotion or idea. 
But the extremely uncertain nature of such statements must be kejit 
ever before us. 

The Cerebral Localisation of Consciousness. 

While consciousness always implies self- activity, and while the self is 
to be regarded as the expression of the highest level of mental activity, 



192 SECTIONAL ADDEESSES. 

we must guard against the notion that such high-level activity implies a 
narrowly-limited zone of mental processes. On the contrary, it implies 
a wide sphere of activity rather than a punctate, j)ineal gland-like soul. 
It follows, therefore, that we cannot hope to localise any act or any 
content, of consciousness in one small region of nervous substance. Afferent- 
efierent localisations of function undoubtedly occur — regions where the 
incoming impulses become deflected to outgoing processes : our knowledge 
of the physiology and structure of the spinal cord clearly points to this. 
Sensori-motor localisations may, in a sense, be said to exist similarly in the 
brain. The occipital region of the cerebral cortex, for example, is 
concerned with vision. But because vision ceases when the area 
striata in this region of the cortex is injured, we are not justified in 
saying that this area is the seat or centre of our visual consciousness. 
All that we are warranted in concluding is that it is essential for our 
visual consciousness, that without it vision is impossible — a very difierent 
statement. 

Once again, let me repeat, consciousness implies self-activity. There 
are no separate loci for different kinds or modes or quahties of conscious- 
ness. The nervous system and the system of self-activity works as a 
wide- spread unity. Different regions of the brain are more particularly 
concerned in giving rise to certain kinds of consciousness. The 
thalamus, for example, is especially concerned with the emotional 
consciousness; but we are not justified in. calling it the seat or centre' 
of such consciousness. 

It is impossible to localise consciousness. There are no specific ' mental 
symptoms diagnostic of cerebral tumours in different regions of the brain. 
The work of recent experimenters' suggests that the more complex skills 
depend for their acquirement on the activities not of any particular 
cortical area but of wide areas of cerebral tissue. The larger the area 
of brain destroyed, the slower is the rate of subsequent acquirement of 
such skills, and in the rat, at least, this seems independent of the locus 
of the lesion. The same conditions appear to hold for the destructive 
effects of cortical lesions on complex skills which have been already 
acquired. Various simpler skills, on the other hand, appear to depend for 
their performance on the integrity of isolated mechanisms specific, in the 
normal animal, to definite areas of the cortex ; but after their destruction, 
their functions may nevertheless be taken on by other regions of the 
nervous system. Such skills, once acquired, are hence abohshed by 
injuries to some particular cortical area, but to no other area. Never- 
theless, in the rat the destruction of that particular area does not appear 
to affect the subsequent acquisition of the simpler skills, and there is no 
relation between (a) the magnitude (within certain limits) or the locus of 
wide cortical injury and (6) the ease of such acquisition. Doubtless the 
number of such locahsed mechanisms increases pari passu with mental 
evolution, and at the same time their diffuseness diminishes. But the 
number of possible complex skills, involving the activity of wide areas of 
the cerebral cortex, must simultaneously increase also. 

' Cf. Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence. By K. S. Lashley. Chicago : 
University Press, 1929. 



I 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 193 

It would appear, then, that the higher processes of learning, of 
comparison, and indeed of all that underlies higher intelligent activity, 
have a generalised localisation — comparable, perhaps, to the diffusion of 
epicritic sensibility over the skin as contrasted with the more primitive, 
ungraded, sfot systems of protopathic cutaneous sensibility, which in 
turn may perhaps be compared with the narrow so-called localisation of 
visual, auditory and other ' sensory ' and low-grade areas in the cortex. 
But even where it exists, cortical localisation is only relatively definite. 
The boundaries of a given ' motor area ' in the cerebral cortex fluctuate 
widely in different individuals ; they vary also in the same individual 
according to the direction of exploration, previous exploration and other 
factors ; and, as we have already noted, other areas may successfully 
assume the function of that area when it is destroyed. A certain degree 
of ' equipotentiality ' exists throughout the brain, although some cerebral 
regions appear normally to have fairly definite, circumscribed, lower-level 
functions. 

We are, in fact, neither warranted in supposing that there are definite 
seats or centres of sensation or emotion, nor justified in supposing that 
our manifold percepts, images or ideas each have their seat in different 
narrowly localised centres of the brain. And a similar truth holds for the 
association (or integration) of such experiences. We can mentally picture 
an integration of two ' patterns ' of conscious activity occurring when two 
experiences a and h follow one another repeatedly, so that when a is later 
given, h (or rather the whole a-b) recurs. But neurologically we can form 
no simple corresponding picture of two collections of nerve cells being 
associated together. We have no evidence, to support such cerebral 
localisation of association areas ; indeed such experimental evidence as 
we have is against it. 

Even if there were no evidence pointing in one direction or the other, 
how could such locahsation of memories and habits possibly occur ? 
Consider the babe that is learning to associate its mother with the satis- 
faction of its hourly wants. Its mother is never twice the same — now in 
one dress or facial expression, now in another ; and the visual image of 
the mother received by the retina is never twice the same, e.g. sometimes 
the mother is very near, sometimes further off ; sometimes the image falls 
on one part of the retina, sometimes on another. How can we imagine, 
then, any definite collection of retinal or cortical nerve cells responsible 
for developing the image of ' mother ' ? What develops is surely rather 
a ' meaning ' — a generalisation of images, ' standing for ' something, i.e. 
for the assuaging of certain needs, for the execution of a wide range of 
adjustments of the infant. 

Relationsliips and meanings are therefore the all-important mental 
acquirements. The acquisition of such relationships is shown, for example, 
in the many experiments conducted on a large variety of species, high and 
low in the animal scale, where by long practice the organism is trained to 
enter B, the brighter of two alternative compartments, A and B, in order 
to reach its food. When later, in place of A and B, B and C are substi- 
tuted, C being now brighter than B, does the animal go to B to which 
it had previously been trained to go ? Generally, no. It enters the G 
compartment. That is to say, it has learnt to enter not a particular 
1931 o 



194 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

compartment, but the brighter of any two compartments. It has not 
learnt to select a ' particular ' object. It has learnt a ' relation.' Surely 
evidence of this kind is contrary to any atomistic localisation of individual 
mental functions in separate cerebral areas. 

The Relation between Directive and Mechanical Activity. 

The fundamental purpose of consciousness is to enable the self to 
preserve the organism by guidance and direction, — by the formation and 
satisfaction of ends and values. As in the evolution of living species 
something far more is involved than the mere blind running down-hill of 
a wound-up mechanism, so in the mental and bodily life of each organism 
the physical conceptions of ' entropy ' and of mechanical energy are in- 
adequate. On the physical side we can form no conception of the mode 
of working, throughout life and mind, of anything resembling Clerk 
Maxwell's directive ' demon.' Physiologically, that is to say physically, 
the brain- worker should need food with a far lower caloric value than he 
actually takes and requires for the successful maintenance of his purely 
mental activities. But in fact* mental work appears to make far greater 
demands on metabolism than it should according to purely physical 
considerations of the expenditure of mechanical energy. 

At present we can form no conception of the nature of the undoubted 
connection between chemical metabolism .and direction in the living 
organism — between seniUty of body and senility of mind, between the 
rise and decay of procreativeness and the rise and decay of the creativeness 
of genius. At present we can form no bridge between mechanical and 
creative, directive activity. We can only say that both activities are 
essential to a conception of the evolution and working of life and mind. 
Mental activity is but the quintessence of the non-mechanical, directive 
activity of life ; and consciousness is but that activity raised to its highest 
power. Even lower-level mental and neural systems, even the activities 
of the lowest living organisms are characterised by unconscious creation, 
direction, guidance and purpose, in varying degrees. But conscious 
creation and direction, the consciousness of acts, is limited to the highest- 
level psycho-neural activity — the self. 

In this address I have suggested that, when the physiological activities 
of the lower-level systems meet with the highest-level activities, they 
may become manifest as conscious presentations ; these highest-level 
activities are, I believe, to be regarded as arising from the supreme 
organisation and distillation of the directive activities of the living 
organism. The acts at this highest mental level constitute the purposeful, 
directive, creative and contemplative self, and are the recipients of 
presentations from lower cortical, and also of feelings from lower, 
primordial, thalamic activity. 

The psychologist's principle of the conservation of self, which corresponds 
to the biologist's inevitable principle of the struggle for existence, is the 
fundamental function of this conscious activity. It is as real and important 

" Cf. ' A Study in Nutrition.' By E. P. Cathcart and A. M. T. Murray, Medical 
Research Council's Special Report, No. 151. H.M. Stationery OflSce, 1931. 



J.— PSYCHOLOGY. 195 

as the physicist's principle of conservation of energy. We must leave to 
the future the task of bridging the present impassable gulf which yawns 
between these two principles. Meanwhile let us always remember that 
blind mechanism in the material world is a truth not more fundamental 
than the reign of guidance, creation and purpose in the world of life and 
mind, and, it may well be, throughout the Universe ; indeed our very 
notions of these two principles governing perhaps both the living and 
Ufeless world appear to be the outcome of, even if they do not wholly 
depend upon, the experiencing, reasoning and imagining self. 



SECTION K.— BOTANY. 



THE ADVANCEMENT OF BOTANY. 

ADDRESS BY 

PROF. T. G. HILL, D.Sc, A.R.C.S., F.L.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



My first duty is an act of piety : the commemoration of our fellow 
botanists who have died since the last meeting of the British Association. 

Martinus Willem Beyerinck ; Thomas Ford Chipp ; Heinrich Gustav 
Adolf Engler ; Jakob Eriksson ; Thore Christian Elias Fries ; Emil 
Godlewski ; Hans Kniep ; Rudolf Marloth ; Spencer le Marchant 
Moore ; Charles Edward Moss ; Sergius Navaschine ; Carl Emil Hansen 
Ostenfeldt and Richard von Wettstein. 

Give Honour to their Memory. 

My predecessors in this Chair have, for the most part, concerned 
themselves in their presidential addresses with those aspects of botany 
in which they were investigators. On this occasion, however, I am taking 
the risk of breaking the tradition, and this for two reasons : my imme- 
diate interests are rather too specialised for a general audience ; and 
secondly, this is a special occasion, a centenary nieeting, and therefore 
caUs for some review of the past, a wholesome thing now and then to do. 
But for an hour's discourse the volume of Uterature is overwhelming ; 
I shall, therefore, only attempt to give in outline mine own impressions. 

In considering the history of botany, there would appear to be four 
epochs : the first of sporadic and unco-ordinated investigations, often of 
first-rate importance ; the second, the development of morphology and 
physiology ; the third, the renaissance in Britain ; and the fourth, the 
post-war epoch. Thus do I propose to order my Address ; lightly touch- 
ing the first phase by way of introduction, and continuing certain aspects 
of the succeeding epochs forward when the occasion demands. 

Introduction. 

It has been said that research had to await the printing press, since 
the circulation of observations, deductions and ideas is the greatest 
stimulant to enquiry ; this is but part of the truth. Advance in know- 
ledge of the physical sciences was only possible when reason and Liberty 
grew stronger than faith and discipUne, and for this cause scientific 
research did not come efiectively into being until the seventeenth century. 
Systematic botany slowly but continuously advanced to our own times, 
had the fates been kinder to Commerson its momentum would have been 
greater ; but morphology, in the broad sense of the term, and physiology 



K.— BOTANY. 197 

lagged far behind despite the brilliant lead given by Grew, Hales and 
Knight, our own countrymen, and that illustrious Italian, Marcello 
Malpighi. 

The Secoxd Epoch, 1831-1882. 

Doubtless it is a coincidence that the year 1831 marks not only the 
founding of the British Association for the Advancement of Science but 
also, as far as a date can mark, the beginning of a three-fold epoch in 
botany : the search for a natural system of classification ; the emergence 
of morphology as a study separate from taxonomy ; and the development 
of physiology. 

In the first Britain took her full share ; Robert Brown, the Hookers, 
Lindley, Harvey, Daniel Ohver, and Bentham are worthy of ranking with 
Brongniart, Decaisne, de CandoUe, EndHcher, Eichler, Engler, Gray and 
Warming. 

In morphology and physiology, on the other hand, the tale of British 
activity is dismal indeed : against a battalion of continental workers we 
can barely range a section in which ranked Robert Brown, Griffith, Harvey, 
Berkeley, Witham, and Williamson among morphologists, and Draper, 
Graham, Gilbert, Lawes, Burdou-Sanderson, and Darwin representing 
plant physiology. It will be seen that during this period British work 
caused but a ripple on the botanical surface. But there is one exception : 
the brilliant generalisations of Charles Darwin. 

Come December 27 next, H.M.S. Beagle sailed from Devonport a 
hundred years ago. 

Morphology. — In 1831, morphology for the most part had relation to 
the phanerogams only and its concepts were based more on philosophical 
considerations than on inductive science ; the structure and life history 
of no plant was completely known ; the fields of the vascular cryptogams, 
the bryophytes and the thallophytes were almost untrodden ; and the 
realms for research were thus well nigh unlimited. It, therefore, is not 
surprising that when ontogeny came into being, the trickle of investiga- 
tions fast developed into a flood and for this the greatest honour is due 
to Schleiden, Nageli, von Mohl and Hofmeister, for they showed the way 
and contributed the most. Amongst the. many famous investigators of 
this period, names occur and recur. Thus, under Algae is noted the 
work of Nageli, Cohn, Reinke, Pringsheim, de Bary, Woronin, Alex. 
Braun, Thuret and Bornet. Bornet, in addition to his distinguished 
work on the Algse, shares with Stahl the honour of establishing the nature 
of the lichens, not only by analysis but also by synthesis, and thus proving 
the truth of the earUer views of Schwendener. Amongst those who laid 
the foundations of our knowledge of the Fungi were Cohn, Tulasne, 
Woronin, van Tieghem, who was particularly interested in the mucors, 
Brefeld and de Bary. In the elucidation of the Muscinese, Mirbel, Bischofi. 
Leitgeb and Hofmeister are most famed. The vascular cryptogams 
attracted many : Cramer, Nageh, Leitgeb, Bruchmann, Mettenius whose 
best work was, perhaps, that on Ophioglossum and Phylloglossum, Millardet, 
Hanstcin, Hegelmaier, Russow, Hofmeister, Cramer, von Mohl, Prantl, 
Kny, Goebel, de Bary, Strasburger and many others. This recital may 
be almost without meaning to some, it is not the present fashion to read 



198 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

history, but to the few it may recall some happy days and some moments 
of inspiration. 

Then the angiosperms : but here I stop, for the commemoration of 
those who laid the foundations of this knowledge might be wearisome, for 
their names, which include many already mentioned, unlike the names 
of the plants they studied, hardly sing themselves as they run. A welter 
of facts were discovered many of which, especially those relating to the 
ThaUophyta, had to await the arrival of a new technique, that of cytology, 
before co-ordination was possible ; but for the Muscinese, the vascular 
cryptogams and the angiosperms the times produced the man whose 
patient and detailed work, directed by a keen intellect, gave cosmos to 
morphological enquiry. I refer to Hofmeister, one of the greatest botanists 
of all time. He first traced the development of the sexual organs and of 
the embryo in the angiosperm, and then turned to the vascular cryptogams 
and the Muscinese and did likewise. He was the first correctly to interpret 
heterospory : he correlated the asexual spore with the gametophyte and 
the oospore with the sporophyte ; he discovered alternation of generations. 
Nowadays alternation of generations is accepted as a matter of course, 
but when it is realised that Hofmeister was working it out, almost cell 
for cell, more than eighty years ago without the aid of the microtome and 
of cytological technique, as we know it, it will be appreciated how great 
was his work. Sachs' judgment, here at any rate, was just : ' Embryology 
was the thread which guided the observer through the labyrinth of com- 
parative and genetic morphology ; metamorphosis now received its true 
meaning, when every organ covld be referred back to its parent form, the 
staminal and carpellary leaves of the phanerogams, for example, to the 
spore bearing leaves of the vascular cryptogams. That which Hackel, 
after the appearance of Darwin's book, called the phylogenetic method, 
Hofmeister had long before actually carried out, and with magnificent 
success. When Darwin's theory was given to the world eight years after 
Hofmeister's investigations, the relations of affinity between the great 
divisions of the vegetable kingdom were so well established and so patent, 
that the theory of descent had only to accept what genetic morphology 
had actually brought to view.' 

Anatomy. — In considering the development of anatomical knowledge 
during this epoch in some small measure of particularity, it is realised that 
although the many contributed in varying degrees to knowledge, the 
great advances were associated with the names of relatively few men. 
Of these, Schleiden and Schwann, the zoologist, are the first to be com- 
memorated since they laid the foundation of the scientific study of 
anatomy in their theory of the cell which, in a few words, was that the 
cell is the unit of structure and function in the organism. This, to-day, is 
a platitude, but in 1838 it was a thesis of the greatest importance since it 
enabled the co-ordination of, hitherto, jumbled facts into orderly con- 
ceptions, and enabled others, especially von Mohl and Nageli, to build 
knowledge of the anatomy of plants on a sound basis. Von Mohl dis- 
criminated the tissue elements and traced the course of the vascular 
system, and thus paved the way to comparative work. He was the first 
accurately to trace the development of vessels even to the partial oblitera- 
tion of the originally partitioning walls of the superposed elements, and 



K.— BOTANY. 199 

the deposition of encrusting substances on the parts which persisted. Von 
Mohl correctly described simple pits but curiously enough did not 
understand bordered pits which were first elucidated by Schacht. Von 
Mohl gave the first correct account of stomates ; he observed their 
movements which he associated with variations in the turgidity of the 
guard cells which he correlated with the accumulation of soluble 
assimilatory products due to the activity of the chloroplasts. His 
observations on periderm and cambial activity are of first-rate importance. 
Von Mohl's technical ability and power of observation were so great that 
it is, perhaps, remarkable that he did not do more ; thus some of his 
preparations, which I am told are still in existence, show the continuity 
of protoplasm ; he did not describe it, did he observe it ? He certainly 
never .agreed with Hartig that the sieve plate was perforated. But Von 
Mohl was essentially a practical man, slow to draw a conclusion and 
suspicious of speculation ; his work however, was complemented by a 
man of greater imagination : Nageli. Nageli, famous in all branches 
of botany, traced the difierentiation of the desmogen strands into primary 
vascular tissues and correlated phyllotaxis with nodal and internodal 
organisation. He investigated the structure of sieve tubes and elucidated 
the anomalous secondary thickening in angiosperms. He systematised 
anatomical knowledge and this led to progress, for it is to be remembered 
that knowledge is advanced by its periodic ordering. His investigations 
on the cell wall and on the starch grain are classical : the recognition of 
the cell wall as a product of protoplasmic activity, the striation of the 
cell wall, growth by intussusception and the occurrence of granulose and 
amylose in the starch grain, need only be mentioned. The results he 
obtained by the use of polarised light were as important as those of 
Sponsler and others by the use of X-rays in our own times. 

The investigation of von Mohl and Nageli were expanded in various 
directions by Bureau, Criiger, Hanstein, Radlkofer, and more especially 
Sanio, Th. Hartig and van Tieghem. 

Cytology. — Although Robert Brown discovered the nucleus a hundred 
years ago, fifty years elapsed before its structure and changes were 
critically studied. This is hardly surprising since the new learning led 
men to the pursuit of the more obvious ; to phytotomy, to use an old 
word, and to life-histories. Further, cytology had to await the arrival 
of new methods of fixation and staining and some attainment of the 
knowledge of the colloidal state ; also the microtome, as we know it, 
had to be evolved. In the earlier study of cytology, von Mohl and 
Nageli were the pioneers. Von Mohl was the first to see cell division but, 
apparently, he did not appreciate the significance of his observations. 
Later, he studied the ' mucilage ' described by Schleiden in 1838 : he 
recognised it as a distinct component of the cell and gave it its present 
name, protoplasm. He described the primordial utricle and realised that 
the streaming movements of the cytoplasm were independent of the cell 
sap. Further, von Mohl perceived that the matrix of the chloroplast was 
protoplasmic. Nageli more carefully observed the nucleus and appreciated 
the facts of cell division more truly ; and in this he was the first to 
recognise that the nucleus is the starting-point. Later, in 1855, Unger 
suggested the identity of the protoplasm of the vegetable with the sarcode 



200 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

of the animal cell, and his views were supported by the observations of 
de Bary on the mycetozoa. 

With the passing of time it was recognised that the protoplasm of the 
plant and of the animal is identical and that it is the basis of life, a 
conclusion to which Payen, Cohn and Max Schulze contributed much. 

Towards the end of this period, the improvement of microscopical 
technique led to great discoveries in the details of nuclear division. In 
this the work of Strasburger is outstanding, and to him is due the main 
credit of firmly establishing that aspect of botany now called cjrtology. 
The contributions of Fleming and of Schmitz must, however, not be 
overlooked, nor those of Guignard who, unfortunately, prejudiced his 
own work by his description of structures which had no existence. 

Physiology. — Our knowledge of osmotic phenomena is foundod on 
Dutrochet's (1827) studies on difierential diffusion through a colloidal 
membrane. Graham, the father of colloid chemistry, showed (1854) that 
the rate of this diffusion depended, inter alia, on the nature of the membrane. 
This led to Traube's discovery of the co-called artificial cell produced by 
dropping a crystal of copper acetate into a solution of potassium ferro- 
cyanide, whereby a precipitation membrane of copper ferrocyanide 
surrounding the copper acetate is produced ; the reacting salts thus become 
separated by a semi-permeable membrane and the ' cell ' grows. This 
observation, which is periodically rediscovered, was used by Pfeffer (1877) 
who supported the membrane of copper ferrocyanide in the wall of a 
porous pot and with it made many highly important observations, more 
especially the facts that the osmotic pressure is proportional to the 
absolute temperature and to the concentration of the solution. Thus 
was born a branch of physical chemistry and one of the first results was 
yan 't Hoff's theory of solutions. At this time de Vries also was busy 
on the problem and contributed much ; to students he is best known by 
his plasmolytic method by means of which he ascertained the isotonic 
co-efficients of many substances. 

The mention of osmotic phenomena naturally leads to the ascent of 
sap and transpiration. Hales was the pioneer and his work is classical ; 
many years later (1837) he was followed by Dutrochet, who was the first 
to distinguish betweem root-pressure and the pull of transpiration. Later, 
the solution of the problem was essayed by Unger, Boehm, Sachs, Elfving, 
Hartig, von Hohnel and many others : the questions whether the water 
travelled as water of imbibition or through the lumina of the trachea; 
and whether the rise was entirely a physical phenomenon or was dependent 
on the vitality of the parenchyma of the wood, were warmly discussed. 
Those interested in the history of the subject will find a good account in 
an unlikely place, in Marshall Ward's ' Timber and some of its Diseases ' 
(London 1897). 

Hales, Priestley, Senebier, Ingen Housz and de Saussure were the 
pioneers in the study of carbon assimilation, with the result that the more 
obvious facts were known before 1831. Of these men, de Saussure was 
the greatest : he was the first to strike a balance sheet which indicated 
the unity of the photosynthetic quotient, a fact confirmed by Boussingault 
in 1864,"and he was the first to show that water and salts, as well as carbon 
dioxide, were essential for the nutrition of the green plant. His work, 



K.— BOTANY. 201 

however, did not convince the upholders of the humus theory ; they, 
for the most part, were silenced by Liebig (1840) who, building on the 
foundation laid by de Saussure, argued that the only source of carbon in 
the green plant was that derived from the carbon dioxide of the air. 
The problem was settled beyond dispute — Liebig was deductive rather 
than inductive — by Boussingault who, in 1851, introduced the method 
of water culture and proved that the ordinary green plant could flourish 
in a soil bereft of organic matter and that its nitrogen came from the 
nitrates of the soil, not from the air. 

Dutrochet (1837) correlated carbon assimilation with chlorophyll and 
was the first to use the escape of bubbles of gas from a cut shoot submerged 
in water as an indication of the process, a method adopted and improved 
by Sachs and used by him in quantitative experiments. 

Draper (1844) was the pioneer in establishing the connection between 
carbon assimilation and the quality of light. He showed that the curve 
of assimilation was almost negligible in the lower red rays, quickly rose 
to a maximum in the yellow green and gradually declined towards the 
blue, which observations were extended by Pfefier and by Engelmann. 
The significance of light intensity was not appreciated until recently. 

Von Mohl (1851) considered that a carbohydrate was formed from the 
carbon dioxide, but it was Sachs who by experiment proved that the 
starch grains in the leaf, first described by von Mohl, were produced from 
carbon dioxide, and invented that experiment of our elementary classes 
which shows that the leaves of a green plant placed in the dark lose their 
starch and regain it on re-exposure to light. Sachs considered that starch 
was the first product of carbon assimilation ; it was not until some years 
later (1885) that Meyer showed that there were sugar leaves as well as 
starch leaves and thus indicated that sugar preceded starch in the process. 

Turning to the pigments associated with photosynthesis ; Grew was 
the first to suggest that chlorophyll, using the word in its loose sense, 
was made up of more than one pigment, but to Stokes (1864) is due the 
credit of making the first real advance and thereby initiating a long series 
of investigations. By the fractional extraction of crude chlorophyll by 
organic solvents, Stokes demonstrated the presence of two green and two 
yellow pigments. These he studied optically and made certain observations 
on their chemical properties. His work was continued by others, notably 
by Fremy, Tmiriazefi, Kraus, Konrad, Sorby and particularly by Borodin, 
who in 1883 confirmed the discovery of the two carotinoids. The methods 
of separation of the mixed pigments were in time refined and culminated 
in the work of Tswett (1906) who, by his chromatographic method, 
separated two chlorophylls, thus confirming Stokes' observation, and 
five carotinoids, of which one was carotin and the others xanthophyU. 

Many years were to elapse before the chemical constitution of chlorojihyll 
was to be elucidated, but Hoppe-Seyler was the first to make the 
significant discovery, by the isolation of phylloporphyrin from chlorophyll 
in 1879, that there is a chemical relationship between the green pigment 
of the plant and the haemoglobin of blood. 

Turning to the mechanism of carbon assimilation, the formaldehyde 
hypothesis was originated by Butlerow (1861) who, by the action of alkali 
on trioxymethylene — ^a condensation product of formaldehyde — obtained 



202 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

a sugar-like substance. Baeyer (1870) seized upon this fact, and thus was 
born the well-known hypothesis which is still the theme of so many in- 
vestigations on carbon assimilation. 

Respiration. — Before 1831 certain fundamental facts of respiration 
were known : Ingen Housz had shown that the plant absorbed oxygen 
and evolved carbon dioxide and de Saussure had discovered that a con- 
tinuous supply of oxygen was necessary for the life of the ordinary plant, 
that the more vigorous the organ the greater was the amount of oxygen 
consumed, and that this is associated with a rise in temperature. 
Dutrochet (1837) confirmed the work of de Saussure and showed that 
responses to stimulation are not made in the absence of oxygen. He 
understood, as far as was possible at that time, the diffusion of gas into 
and out from the leaf and he appreciated the intercellular space system 
as a physiological structure. Further, he distinguished between the 
evolution of oxygen in carbon assimilation and the evolution of carbon 
dioxide in respiration which facts were confused by many subsequent 
workers ; and although Garreau (1851) continued and amplified Dutrochet's 
observations especially on the intensity of the respiration of germinating 
seeds and buds, there was much confusion of thought until Sachs cleared 
up the situation in 1865, especially the significance of oxygen and carbon 
dioxide in carbon assimilation and respiration. After this, progress for a 
time was slow, but interest was at last re-awakened ; Detmer published 
his work on the physiology of germination in 1880 and in this year 
appeared the first edition of Pfeffer's Physiology of Plants. A few years 
later saw the first results of the work of Bonnier and Mangin on the 
respiratory quotient (1884) and of further investigations by PfefEer. 

The common hypothesis that in respiration there are associated a 
fermentative and an oxidative phase calls Pasteur to mind. He was the 
first to distinguish between aerobic and anaerobic plants, and he con- 
tributed most to the scientific foundation of that ancient practice, 
alcoholic fermentation. 

Irritability. — Although Knight published his observations on the 
reactions of shoots and roots to the stimuli of gravity and centrifugal 
force in 1806, progress in this branch of botany was sporadic and slow. 
Dutrochet (1837) considered that the intensity of light was all important 
in heliotropic movement whilst Payer and others maintained that the 
quality of bght was the significant factor. In 1865 Darwin's ' Movements 
a,nd Habits of Climbing Plants ' appeared. Its subsequent issue in book 
form (1875) roughly coincided with the publication of several important 
contributions on the subject : de Vries on twining plants and tendrils, 
PfefEer on autogenic movements and especially Sachs on the various 
tropistic movements. Sachs' invention of the klinostat was a notable 
event and rendered possible an analysis of geo- and heliotropism. Mention 
also may be made of Darwin's ' Power of Movement in Plants ' (1880), 
which was condemned in no uncertain fashion by Sachs, in wb s 
developed the thesis that circumnutation is the basis from which 
getiogenic movements have been derived. 

The reasons for our deficiencies in this second epoch are patent. In 
the first place, the classical traditions of our old universities dominated 



K.— BOTANY. 203 

teaching, with the result that the approach to biology was, in the main, 
til rough medicine ; botany was, indeed, of the faculty of medicine rather 
than of science — Strasburger's text-book still retains a vestige of the 
herbal in its coloured pictures of niedicinal plants. Robert Brown, 
William Griffith, Williamson, Henfrey, Hutton Balfour, Dickson, Trimen, 
Sir Joseph Hooker, and these are not the complete tale, were all qualified 
medical men ; Harvey also was a Doctor of Medicine, but his degree 
was honoris causa to enable him to qualify for the Chair of Botany in 
Dublin University, to which, incidentally, he was not appointed. Other 
reasons lie in the facts that the period was one of exploration, expansion 
and development of the Empire, which meant an inflow of great numbers 
of plants for identification, and the labourers were few. 

Finally, the systematists did not entirely favour the new movement and, 
if not actively antagonistic, they looked upon it with amused tolerance. 
Even Sir Joseph Hooker, who thus wrote to Asa Gray in 1886, ' I . . . have 
thrown aside all idea of making headway with — any desire to keep up 
with even — heads of Chemico-botany, and Micro-phytology. I may con- 
tent myself with a casual grin at young men calling themselves botanists, 
who know nothing of plants, but the ' innards ' of a score or so. The 
pendulum will swing round, or rather back, one day.' The prophecy 
was partly right ; the pendulum swung round, not back ; taxonomy was 
eventually enlivened by the work of young men who knew the ' innards ' 
of plants. But there is another side ; Sir Joseph was consulted by 
Huxley regarding the teaching of biology, with the result that he modified 
his course at the Royal College of Science. Indeed, it would appear that 
with the passing of time. Sir Joseph Hooker appreciated the significance 
of the New Botany as is indicated in a letter to Francis Darwin : 

' I am glad you are going to teach the Medicos a little practical 
Botany. It is lamentable to find that all this botanical teaching of 
the greatest Universities in England and Scotland does not turn out 
a single man who can turn his botanical knowledge to any use 
whatever to his fellow creatures. Where should we be if Medicine, 
Law, or any other pursuit were taught after that fashion.' 
This was written in 1894 ! 

Before leaving this aspect of our subject, I wish to correct any mis- 
apprehension which my words may have given origin : the pursuit of 
systematic botany is not only important, it is absolutely essential ; the 
exact identification of a plant, sometimes to a variety or to a form, is the 
first step not only in morphological but also in some physiological investiga- 
tions. I have, for instance, in mind two physiological papers containing 
the results of much skilful work : the first is valueless because the plant 
was wrongly determined, and the worth of the second is much impaired 
owing to the absence of a specific identification. 

The Third Period : the Renaissance of Botany in Britain. 
The botanical renaissance in this country began in about 1875 and it 
was here in this foundation, the Royal College of Science, that it happened. 
The credit for it is due to Thiselton-Dyer who, as Huxley's demonstrator, 
instituted and conducted the first laboratory classes in botany. Harry 
Marshall Ward was the first product. 



204 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

University College, London, immediately followed, wkich is hardly 
surprising since the Professor, Daniel Oliver, as Keeper of the Herbarium 
in the Royal Gardens at Kew, was in close touch with Thiselton-Dyer 
who became Assistant Director to Sir Joseph Hooker. At Cambridge 
was Sydney Howard Vines. 

University College, London, honours Frederick Orpen Bower and 
Dukinfield Henry Scott who there first taught and in turn migrated to the 
Royal College of Science and from thence Bower to Glasgow and Scott to 
the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew. Tliiselton-Dyer sowed the seed and 
tended the seedling : Bower and Scott played the most prominent jaart 
in bringing the seedling to fruition : British morphology was raised to 
its peak ; a most illustrious school of phyletic anatomy was founded. 
The advance also was accelerated by the translation of the great German 
textbooks, and the University of London, not then a teaching university, 
gave powerful aid by the high standard of its examinations and its insistence 
on practical tests. 

This activity was marked by the appearance of a new journal, the 
' Annals of Botany,' in 1887. Hitherto original work was published for 
the most part in the Proceedings and Transactions of the learned societies 
and in the ' Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science,' but the output 
of botanical work so increased that the ' Annals ' came into being and 
enfolded the shorter works of the new school. 

The condition of botany at the beginning of this epoch will be realised 
by the reading of Sachs' text-books. In all branches of botany there were 
masses of well ascertained facts, the principles appeared to be settled and 
the problems formulated. Some aspects, such as anatomy, were in an 
advanced stage and were developing in various directions, such as 
taxonomic anatomy under the guidance of Radlkofer and physiological 
anatomy in which Haberlandt was the pioneer ; other aspects, physiology, 
for example, were relatively backward. In the groups there were many 
gaps to be filled, more especially in the completion of our knowledge of 
life-histories and in the details of development. Much of this work was 
impossible of accomplishment without the appropriate technique and had, 
perforce, to await the arrival of the continuous ribbon microtome, which 
botanists were slow to adopt, and the application of precise chemical and 
physical methods. 

MorpJiologij. — In morphology great advances were made and the 
trend was twofold. For some years in this country the connecting thread 
of many investigations was phylogeny, but on the Continent, especially 
in Germany, causal morphology was more dominant in which development 
Goebel, impatient of phylogeny, played a pre-eminent part. His work 
and his teaching on the influence of the environment on the configuration 
of plants cannot be too highly appraised, he with Wiesner, Haberlandt, 
Stahl, Bonnier and other pioneers stripped morphology of its formalism 
and revealed the plasticity of the plant. 

Of the lower groups I shall say but little since they have been the 
subject of recent authoritative addresses ; one name, however, leaps to 
mind, that of Klebs, whose work on the conditions governing the repro- 
duction of the green Algseis classical; W. and G. S. West, father and son, also 
may be mentioned, for they did much to further our knowledge of the 



K.— BOTANY. 205 

green Algae, a fact more fully recognised on the Continent than here in 
England. In mycology, Marshall Ward, in his investigations on Hemileia 
mycoidea, and on the digestive action of the hyphse of parasitic fungi laid 
the foundation of the modern British school. Of a later date Blakeslee's 
discovery of heterothallism was of the greatest importance and led to far- 
reaching results. Passing on to the vascular cryptogams, Bower, after a 
few casts here and there, settled down to the study of development and 
produced a memorable series of memoirs on the spore-producing members, 
and on the phylogeny of the Filicales. Other notable contributors were 
BelajefE, Campbell, Kny, Le Clere du Sablon, Bertrand and Lang. 

A great contribution to our knowledge during this period was given 
by the palaeontologists. For some time it has been suspected that certain 
fossil plants were intermediate between the ferns and the gymnosperms. 
Stur and Williamson recognised the occurrence of fern and gymnosperm 
characters in certain fossil plants, and with the increase of evidence a 
separate phylum was recognised and named Cycadofilices by Potonie in 
1899. Later, in 1906, Oliver and Scott made known their observations on 
the seed-like structures attached to the fronds of Lyginodendron. Further 
work revealed that Lagenostoma, Trigonocarpum, Physosloma and other 
fern-like plants were reproduced by seeds of a cycadean type. This 
discovery of the Pteridosperms is the brightest jewel of palaeontological 
study. Passing on to the gymnosperms the work of Strasburger and 
others was continued and many gaps in our knowledge, especially of the 
gametophytes and embryology, were filled ; and in this Arnoldi, 
Strasburger, Lawson, Thomson, Coulter, Chamberlain, Coker, Webber, 
and other botanists of the American School took a prominent part. But 
of all these investigations, the most sensational was the discovery in 1896 
of the motile sperms in Ginkgo and Gycas revoluta by Hirase and Ikeno, 
respectively. Mention also must be made of Wieland's important work 
on Cycadeoidea and other fossil cycads, the stimulus of which was imme- 
diately felt. 

Like investigations were pursued in the angiosperms, in which many 
of the same botanists were active together with Treub, Guignard, Campbell, 
Duncan Johnson, Benson and others. The discovery of chalazogamy by 
Treub in 1891, and of double fertilisation in Lilium and Fritillaria by 
Nawaschin in 1898 provided two thrills. 

Cytology. — This progress was accompanied by that of detailed c)^ology 
which immediately reacted to the conception of Strasburger and Weismann 
that the nucleus is the bearer of heridital qualities (1884). The reduction 
in the number of chromosomes was discovered in the parasitic worm 
Ascaris by van Beneden in 1883 ; the next year Strasburger observed it 
in the angiosperms and this was followed by similar observations by 
Overton and by Farmer in other groups. Thus was initiated a period 
of intense cytological study, as the results of which were the revelation 
of the main cytological facts and the nuclear correlations in the sequencies 
of life histories of the main groups of plants and of aberrant species. 
Interest gradually faded, and it was not until after the rediscovery of 
Mendel's work and the consequent impetus given to plant breeding and 
genetics, that cytology again came to the fore. One further remark has 
to be made : the cytological investigation of malignant growths by 



206 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

Farmer, Moore and Walker influenced greatly histological study in human 
pathology. 

Anatomy. — The condition of anatomy in 1882 is shown by De Bary's 
Comparative Anatomy of the Phanerogams and Ferns : the fundamental 
facts were well ascertained and the application of those facts determined 
the direction of increasing knowledge. In Germany the trend, initiated 
by Radlkofer, was taxonomic in which Solereder took the leading part ; 
in Austria, Haberlandt developed physiological anatomy, whilst in France 
the drifts were various. The study of purely descriptive anatomy was 
continued by Hovelacque, for example, on the Bignoniacese and other 
families ; Sauvageau, Costantin and others studied structure in relation 
to environment, especially aquatic conditions ; Bertrand essayed a mathe- 
matical expression of vascular organisation, and van Tieghem was the 
father of stelar theories. In Britain the main morphological interest was 
phylogeny and this gave the bias to anatomical study. Its principles 
were first applied by Williamson and Scott in their studies of the fossil 
plants of the coal measures and then by Scott in his continued 
palseontological investigations. 

In 1883 van Tieghem and Duliot published their theory of the stele 
which was based on the morphological status of the endodermis. Their 
deductive conclusions were not checked by ontogenetic studies with the 
residt that their theories were discredited soon after the intensive 
investigations on vascular anatomy were begun in this country. But 
although van Tieghem's ideas were wrong, to him is due the credit of 
seeing the problem and essaying its elucidation. In remembering those 
who contributed most to this aspect of vascular anatomy, Gwynne- 
Vaughan comes first, not only on account of his sustained work, but also 
for the fact that he it was who recognised and demonstrated the importance 
of the leaf trace. Amongst other notable workers were Boodle, JefErey, 
Tansley, Brebner, Schoute, Lang and Farmer. The reading of Tansley's 
FiUcinean Vascular Anatomy will give some idea of the results achieved. 

During this period, the phyletic relationship between the monocotyledons 
and dicotyledons was keenly discussed ; Campbell, from the organisation 
of the female gametophytes, together with certain facts of structure and 
floral organisation, found the connection between the Piperacese and 
Aracese, whilst Sargant (1903) from the evidence of seedling structure 
made the connection between the Ranunculacese and LiUacese. Van 
Tieghem (1870) was one of the first to investigate the transition phenomena 
in seedlings, and he systematised the various types ; to our knowledge 
of the pure anatomy of the subject many others contributed, amongst 
whom may be named Strasburger, de Bary, Gerard, Chauveaud, Dangeard, 
Clements, and Dorety. The application of the facts of the transition 
phenomena to phyletic problems led to extensive investigations carried 
out by Tansley, Thomas, Lee, Compton, Shaw, Holden, de Fraine and 
others. 

Genetics. — In the year 1900 there happened a remarkable thing : the 
independent discovery of Mendel and the confirmation of his work by 
De Vries, Correns and Tschermak. 

Mendel published the results of his hybridisation experiments on the 
pea in 1866 and on Hieracium four years later. His work was known to 



K.— BOTANY. 207 

his friend Nageli with whom he corresponded : the amazing fact is that 
neither Nageli — Nageli of all men — nor Focke, who was himself an 
investigator of hybrids and knew of Mendel's work, nor anyone else 
showed any interest and, therefore, could not have realised its great 
significance. 

The circumstances attending Mendel's introduction into botanical 
circles could not have been better. Correns was busy with his 
hybridisations, and de Vries was working out his theory which was 
published in 1901. So it happened that Mendelism and the Mutation 
Theory were half brothers. The effect was immediate ; for the first 
time genetics had a definite laW; relatively easy of application, which 
clarified many problems and disclosed others. It is doubtful if any other 
botanical work caused such an outburst of activity over so wide a field : 
a period of intense plant breeding set in ; the transmission of colour 
factors stimulated the investigation of the flavones and other petal 
pigments and also the distribution of oxidases ; and a new field of vast 
area was opened to the cytologist. 

(Ecology. — This third epoch is remarkable in that it saw the growth 
of that consort of facts and concepts which are included in the word 
oecology. The first cecologist was that extraordinary man, Humboldt, 
who was the first to realise the units of vegetation and to essay their 
ordering (1805). His system, however, was unsound ; it could hardly be 
otherwise for the available knowledge was inadequate. Many years elapsed 
before interest in the subject was resuscitated by Grisebach in 1872, the 
chief merit of whose work was the stimulation of others. Warming 
published his first classification of plant forms in 1884 which soon was 
followed by that of Drude, who had already contributed much. (Ecological 
study now became very active : in France, Bonnier was at work on the 
influence of edaphic factors on plant form and Flahault on vegetation 
surveys. In Belgium, Massart was studying littoral vegetation (1893), 
and in Switzerland there was Schroter. Karston and Schimper were on 
their travels, Karston in the Malay Archipelago and Schimper in the 
West Indies. A few years later saw the entry of the American vanguard — 
Clements, Cowles, Harshberger, Livingstone and Pound, and in New 
Zealand Cockayne followed his lonely bent (1901). The study of oecology 
thus was international but, characteristically, we were late. Robert 
Smith was the pioneer in this country : in 1898 he published his observa- 
tions on the plant associations of the Tay Basin, and this was succeeded 
by various other communications. He was accompanied and followed 
by W. G. Smith, his brother. Moss, Rankin, Lewis, Tansley, Yapp, Oliver 
and others. The British Vegetation Committee came into being and was 
the origin of the British OEcological Society. Compared with other 
countries the volume of British work does not appear great, but many 
considerable surveys have not been published owing to the great expense 
of reproducing detailed maps and for other reasons. 

In considering this aspect of botany, two facts emerge : the almost 
immediate popularity of the new orientation, and the rapid accumulation 
of information which resulted in the founding of new journals. The 
change from the laboratory to the open air, where problems other than 
botanical had to be solved, sharpened men's wits, with the result that 



208 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

the conceptions of oecology correlated a mass of isolated facts and made 
possible a logical presentation of the subject within twenty- three years of 
the publication of Grisebach's ' Vegetation of the Earth in relation to 
CHmate ' ; Warming's Qilcology of Plants first appeared in 1895, and 
Schimper's Plant Geography followed three years later. 

The direct and great value of the cecological study of plants has been 
the recall of botanists to the field and sending them back from whence 
they came with fresh problems for investigation ; in addition, it has 
stimulated the study of taxonomy, causal morphology, and physiology. 
Laboratory work was one of the reasons for the decline, at any rate, in 
this country, of the study of taxonomy in that it attracted men who 
otherwise might have been pure systematists. In physiology much recent 
work is a direct outcome of oecology, the considerable investigations on 
the water economy of the plant is but one example. 

Physiology. — At the beginning of this period the problem of the ascent 
of sap was still moot. Sachs persisted in his imbibition theory, notwith- 
standing the many facts ranged against it. Strasburger's experiments 
pushed home the idea that the phenomenon was entirely physical, a view 
which was adopted by Askenasy, and Dixon and Joly (1895) who realised 
the significance of the tensile strength of water and on it founded their 
well-known explanation. Concurrently, the splendid lead given by Pfeffer 
and de Vries was vigorously followed and the problems of permeability, 
osmotic pressure, and, in general, the water relations of the cell were 
the subject of hundreds of papers. Amongst the scores of workers 
engaged, these were prominent : S. C. Brooks, G. Clowes, Czapek, Dixon 
and Atkins, Girard, Lepeschkin, Loeb, Osterhout, Ostwald, Ruhland, 
Stiles, Ursprung and Blum, and MacDougal. 

It is impossible here to attempt a survey of the progress of this wide 
and difficult branch of physiology. The mechanism of permeability and 
the physico-chemical problems involved are still ma.tters for discussion, 
but, on the other hand, the considerable forces available in osmotic 
pressure, the plasticity of the living cell in the adjustment of its osmotic 
machinery and the nature and importance of turgidity have given us a 
reasonably clear understanding of the uptake of water and its movements 
in the tissues. 

Mention also must be made of the progress of knowledge of the gaseous 
diffusion into and out from the ordinary leaf. This had been a matter of 
dispute and some thought that the main path was through the intact 
walls of the leaf epidermis (cuticular difiusion) rather than through the 
stomates. The varying experimental results obtained by different workers 
were due, in the main, to faulty technique. Stahl (1894) demonstrated 
that if the stomates are effectivelj^ blocked, no carbon assimilation will 
take place. His results were confirmed by F. F. Blackman, who at this 
time (1895) was beginning his well-known investigations on carbon 
assimilation and respiration. Blackman showed that the evolution of 
carbon dioxide during respiration and its intake during carbon assimilation 
was, in general, proportional to the number of stomates on the leaf 
surfaces. These results were confirmed by Brown and Escombe (1905) 
who had been investigating the subject for some years. Their classic 
work on the static diffusion of gases was published in 1900, the kernel of 



K.— BOTANY. 209 

which, as is well known, is that the rate of diffusion through the pore of a 
stomate is governed by the law of diameters. 

Turning to metabolism, this third period is remarkable for the clearer 
focussing of the circumstances attending metabolic activity and especially 
of the action and interaction of those factors which influence the rate 
of particular activities. Before 1905, these factors were considered 
separately and various optima were given for various functions. The 
insufficiency of this was soon appreciated by F, F. Blackman, and his 
application of Liebig's law of the minimum to physiological processes led 
to his conception of limiting factors, the immediate result of which was a 
clearer understanding of the activity of the green plant and of the factors 
which determine it and led to a stricter quantitative procedure in plant 
physiology. Following this conception, there was a renewed activity in 
the investigation of metabolic processes especially carbon assimilation 
and much discussion centred around the shape of the inflexion of the 
curve representing such activities. The truth of the doctrine is generally 
admitted, but the observations of Boysen- Jensen, Harder, Lundegardt, 
Warburg and others indicate that a particular factor is only strictly 
limiting when it is very much weaker than the others, and then the 
inflexion of the curve will be abrupt. When, however, the intensity of two 
factors are about equal and are limiting, the curve will be logarithmic. 

It has been mentioned that Hoppe-Seyler estabUshed a chemical 
relationship between chlorophyll and haemoglobin. His work was carried 
much further by Marchlewski, Nencki and Zaleski (1896). Schunck and 
Marchlewski (1899), by their use of alkali and acid on chlorophyll, isolated 
a number of decomposition products such as alkachlorophyll,phylloxanthin, 
phyllocyanin, phyllotaonin and phylloporphjrrin. Although these sub- 
stances were not pure and although their work did not throw much light 
on the changes effected on the chlorophyll by their treatment, it paved 
the way for the many investigations of Willstatter. Willstatter and his 
fellow workers by improved methods of experiment, especially fractional 
separation, obtained a number of products the phytochlorins and the 
phytorhodins. The fact was established that magnesium is an essential 
constituent of chlorophyll and that the pigment is an ester of the alcohol 
phytol. These facts led to the great discovery of the existence of two 
chlorophylls, their composition, and, later, of the chemical composition 
of the associated pigments carotin and xanthophyll. A few years after, 
Willstatter and his collaborators completely elucidated the composition 
of many anthocyanins and crowned the earlier work of Overton, Molisch, 
Grafe, and others. Here, again, this was made possible by Willstatter's 
genius for refinement of technique which reached its apex in his recent, 
1926, work on enzymes. 

Of the sequence of events in the elaboration of food stuffs, but little 
real progress was made, notwithstanding a plethora of theories and an 
abundance of test tube observations. The work of Brown and Morris 
(1893) on the chemistry and physiology of foliage leaves, in which they 
recognised sucrose as the sugar first formed in carbon assimilation, is 
outstanding and was the first of many investigations amongst which the 
work of Parkin, Davis, Daish and Sawyer, Gast, Kylin and Weevers may 
be mentioned. 

1931 P 



210 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

The work of the Darwins, Sachs and Pfefier on irritability was con- 
tinued throughout this period and, indeed, to the present day. The use 
of Fitting's intermittent klinostat made possible a quantitative analysis of 
reactions, especially of geotropism and phototropism, and there emerged 
clear conceptions of presentation, excitation, reaction and relaxation 
times. Concurrently, the search for the seats of perception went on ; 
the problem was the subject of much experimentation and considerable 
discussion, ultimately general agreement — our present opinions — ^was 
reached. 

The natural sequence of this tropistic work was an enquiry into the 
mechanism of the sense organ. The radial pressure theory of geotropism 
was mooted and not denied, but it was hardly favoured possibly because 
it is intractable to experimental proof. The statohth theory, due to 
Haberlandt and Nemec, proved more attractive and, after many observa- 
tions and much discussion, was, in general, accepted. In addition to those 
mentioned, Noll, Czapek, Jost, Vochting, Oltmanns, de Vries and Rothert 
contributed much to the elucidation of the problems. There remained 
the question of the transmission of the stimulus from the perceptive 
organ to the motive region. Boysen-Jensen (1910) repeated some 
experiments by Rothert on the transmission of stimuli when the veins in 
the coleoptile of Avena were severed. Boysen-Jensen obtained some 
discordant results which, on analysis, showed that a stimulus could pass 
through a water gap but not through a thin plate of mica. Thus arose 
the idea that definite bodies, hormones, were generated in the perceptive 
region by the action of the external agents and travelled to the motive 
organs to activate the visible reaction. These observations were con- 
firmed by Purdie and others and the usual ' gold rush ' happened. 
Boysen-Jensen continued his work, and amongst those who contributed 
were Nielson, Pakl, Stark, Dreschel, Snow, and especially Went. Mention 
also must be made of the work of Ricca (1916) on the transmission of the 
hormone in Mimosa ; his work was carried forward by Snow and Ball who 
showed that there is a high speed as well as a low speed conduction. 
Details of this and cognate investigations are omitted ; they are the 
theme of our current lectures. It remains to be remarked that that 
brilliant man, Errera, was the first to postulate the action of hormones in 
regulating the growth and development in the plant. 

The Present. 
The period beginning in 1919 is an history of our own times, and need 
not long detain us ; indeed, the progress in some branches has already 
been alluded to. The rate of advance in morphology and anatomy is 
perforce slower for the obvious reason that with continued activity, new 
material becomes less and opportunities fewer. Kidston and Lang's 
discovery of and work on Rhynia, Hornea and Asteroxylon was a note- 
worthy advance and in anatomy the investigations on the cambium, 
especially those of Bailey, are of particular merit. The period is chiefly 
remarkable for the great output of work in those branches of botany which 
have an applied aspect. Thus mycology, plant pathology, genetics and 
cytology occupy a prominent position. In physiology but little progress 
has been made in the elucidation of the serial events of the various 



K.— BOTANY 211 

metabolic changes ; so many are indiscernable, that a scientific inference 
is impossible; indeed, in a recent paper, Lubimeuko remarks that our 
knowledge of the mechanism of carbon assimilation is as obscure as in the 
days of Ingen Housz ! But the closer examination of the governing 
factors, the conditions of growth and the more detailed analyses of these 
activities have secured our knowledge, inadequate though it be, more 
firmly and also have disclosed certain relationships of first-rate importance, 
hitherto unsuspected — photo-periodism, in which Garner and AUard were 
the pioneers ; the carbohydrate nitrogen ratio, to our knowledge of which 
Kraus and Kraybill have contributed much ; and the principle of 
predetermination so clearly demonstrated by Ball. The application of 
the principle of the hydrogen ion concentration has given an instrument 
of great precision capable of use in the investigation of a wide range of 
problems. The cell wall constituents have been the subject of intensive 
investigations, some dictated by the requirements of industry, and 
important discoveries and elucidations have been made, but this chemical 
side of physiology, highly important though it be, is rather too specialised 
for the present occasion. 

A survey of this period shows two well-defined tendencies : specialisa- 
tion and the obliteration of the artificial margins between botany and 
cognate studies. 

Speciahsation, although regrettable, is inevitable : it is a duty in- 
cumbent on all those who can exercise control to co-ordinate specialisations 
lest Botany should degenerate into a series of narrow compartments. 

The study of physiology in particular and of many aspects of oecology 
require the application of the technique and conceptions of physics and 
especially of chemistry : this will increase in the future ; it illustrates a 
saying of Bayliss, ' There are no separate subjects in science : there is but 
one science and that is not a subject but a method.' If the approach 
to such problems be made from the biological point of \'iew, progress will 
be more assured. 

A consequence of specialisation is the often unnecessary multiplication 
of journals. In my introduction, the importance of the printing press in 
aiding investigation was indicated. Nowadays, contact with, and 
knowledge of the work of our fellow botanists through the press is becoming 
less and less, for very few libraries can afford to subscribe, bind and give 
shelf room to so many periodicals, and when they can so do, no one has 
time to read them. The help of the printing press is thus a diminishing 
quantity. A journal once started is difficult to end ; there is but one 
immediate solution, a much wider distribution of separate copies arid 
for this I do appeal. 

Here I end this slight sketch of the progress of botany during the last 
hundred years, and pass on to an introduction to present and future 
needs and policy. 

In 1914 came the war and we were not entirely prepared, with the 
result that there was a serious waste and misapplication of specialised 
knowledge. Our governors and masters had failed to realise that the 
sustenance and development and occasional co-ordination of science is a 
prime factor in the governance of the modern state and that its lack will 
be revealed in times of national stress. Nothing had been learnt from past 

p2 



212 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

history. Here is the peroration of an address given by Norman Lockyer 
in 1898 : ' The French ficole Normale was the result of a revolution, I 
may now add that France since Sedan has been doing, and in a tremendous 
fashion, what . . . Prussia did after Jena. Let us not wait for disastrous 
defeats, either on the field of battle or of industry, to develop to the utmost 
our scientific estabUshments and so take our proper and complete place 
among the nations.' The stress of the war soon forced lessons home, 
and amongst other things learnt was the dependence of man on the plant. 
The experience of the war was, curiously enough, not forgotten when 
peace came, with the result that the training of young botanists for 
economic work and for the investigation of definite problems became with 
time a settled policy. But other nations also have learnt the lesson, low 
living ever has been an incentive to high thinking, with the result of 
gross over-production — some prefer to call it under-consumption — of 
essential commodities such as wheat, sugar and rubber. This is mostly 
due to the unconsidered use of the great advances of applied botanical 
knowledge and of agricultural engineering without regard to economic 
consequences. The ultimate remedy may be that taken by the people 
of Erewhon, but this for the nonce is not practical politics : the present 
malady must be attacked by more research, for it is in times of economic 
depression that research is most essential. The present tendency in 
States and industries to curtail expenditure on research and expert 
knowledge is a wrong policy : ' They that be whole need not a physician, 
but they that are sick.' 

Turning to other requisite crops, I am told by an expert friend that a 
world famine of soft timber m.ay be expected in about forty years unless 
afforestation is established on a large scale, and I need not remind this 
audience that such work requires the closest co-operation between the 
forester and the botanist. Some afforesting is taking place in this country, 
but at the present rate of consumption we can never supply our own needs ; 
search must, therefore, be made for quick-growing exotic trees ; if it 
could be acclimatised. Eucalyptus glohosus would appear to be one such, 
for de Baufre has estimated an annual production of 355 cubic feet of 
timber by a 20- year old tree. Substitutes for timber also must be sought. 
British railway companies are experimenting with steel sleepers, but the 
paper manufacturers, who consume many square miles of forest annually 
in the making of ' news print,' have not, as far as I can discover, moved. 
Wheaten straw, of which thousands of tons are wasted annually in the 
great wheat producing countries, would appear to be a source worthy of 
investigation. 

Of other developments the cultivation of cotton in various regions of 
Africa and of fruit in South Africa, Australia, and Canada are to be 
mentioned. Then there is the banana industry and also the production of 
vegetable oils which may become of far greater importance than at present. 
The successful conduct of these and many like activities, is impossible 
without expert advice. In this country this is provided first and foremost 
by that institution of typical BngHsh origin, the Rothamsted Experimental 
Station ; the schools of agriculture, horticulture and forestry of our 
Universities ; the cold storage research laboratories at Cambridge and 
South Kensington ; the timber research station at Princes Risboro' ; 



K.— BOTANY. 218 

the seed testing station at Aberystwyth ; and the stations at Long 
Ashton and East Mailing. This incomplete recital shows no dearth of 
institutions and their development is all to the good. But there are a 
few dangers. The founders of new research institutions naturally expect 
results and may be unmindful of the fact that results cannot be 
commanded. Tliis may react on the investigators who may be tempted 
to justify themselves by the dissemination of unripe fruit. Again, the 
promotion of applied research may tend to obscure the value of pure 
research. In this congregation of botanists there is no need to stress 
the adjectives, but there are some who are not entirely familiar with 
science and, therefore, do not always appreciate the potential value 
of a pure fact. They ask the question : ' What's the good of it ? ' which 
was countered by Faraday by the question : ' What's the good of a 
baby ? ' May I, in illustration, indicate the life histories of two babies ? 

The German chemist, Marggraf, discovered in 1747 that the white 
beet contained cane sugar. 

Some fifty years later, his pupil, Achard, cultivated the beet for the 
sake of its sugar. Thus on a small scale began the beet sugar industry 
in 1801. In the last phase of the Napoleonic wars, France was cut ofi 
from her colonies by the British blockade and thus was caused a sugar 
famine in France. Napoleon placed 70,000 acres of land under beet 
and founded schools for instruction in the methods of extracting and 
preparing the sugar. 

Many years ago Pasteur observed that glycerol was one of the products 
of the fermentation of sugar by yeast. 

During the Great War the Central Powers experienced a serious shortage 
of fats and thus of glycerol which is necessary for the making of dynamite. 
The simple fact was remembered and re-investigated by Connstein and 
Liidecke with the result that by the addition of sodium sulphite to the 
fermenting liquor the yield of glycerol was increased to 20 per cent, of the 
sugar used. 

Lastly, there is the comparative isolation of the workers from their 
academic brothers so that both lose a source of stimulation and ideas. 
These possible dangers will, for the most part, be eliminated if there be 
some connection, the closer the better, between the botanical departments 
of Universities and the research Institutions, accompanied by an 
occasional chiasmatypy of the workers in both. 

In the immediate past the supply of adequately trained men would 
appear to have fallen short of the demand : thus, a plant disease has been 
ascribed to an animal parasite which, on further investigation, proved to 
be nothing more than the elongated nucleus of a tissue element of the 
phloem ; the identification of certain drug-plants has been based on the 
anatomical characters of the leaves which characters vary in the individual 
plant and in plants grown in varying conditions of humidity ; and, finally, 
here is a quotation : ' Trees are usually classified into two groups : (a) 
exogenous, those growing from a central sap supply, and (6) endogenous, 
those in which the sap flow is external. . . . The process of growth of a 
tree involves the formation of an annual layer of sap-wood immediately 
beneath the bark during the descending passage of the sap. . . . Radiating 
from the centre pith towards the bark are the ' medullary ray.s ' which 



214 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

form the channels of transfer of flmds absorbed by the root system.' 
This is not from an ancient author, but from a paper on Timber published 
in a technical journal in 1930. 

The British Commonwealth of Nations is, in the main, an agricultural 
Empire : the great need for trained botanists for its administrative and 
technical service is patent ; the problem is their supply and their training. 

The increased demand is slowly having its effect in the Universities, 
and more students are taking botany for their finals, but their numbers 
are too few : no one wants an undue specialisation in the schools, but I 
would point out that the fundamental problems of the world are biological 
problems, for which reason I do most strongly urge that every encourage- 
ment be given to those who show a biological trend of mind to follow their 
bent especially if they be of the right type, for much of the work to be 
done requires qualities in addition to botanical equipment. In the 
University the training of young botanists for the first three years must 
be in pure science, this is absolutely essential, and should be followed by 
a period of appropriate specialised training. This raises the problem of 
the manning of our botanical departments : Universities cannot compete 
with industry in matters of salary, and this in the past has resulted 
in good men being lost to academic work, especially in plant physiology. 
If good material for the service of the State and of industry is to he 
provided and pure research maintained, an adequate flow of recruits 
of the highest quality into academic life is essential. For this we must 
look for those who want to study the plant for its own sake without 
regard to reward, monetary or otherwise : the work must be its own 
reward, and to these young botanists, if they be of the right stuff, can be 
promised a moderate recompense, good fellowship and a happy life in so 
far as in them lies. All this has in essence been said before, and it 
will be said again, for it is only by reiteration that needs in the end 
will be met. 



SECTION L.— EDUCATIONAL SCIENCE. 



EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 

1831-1931: 
A CENTENARY SURVEY AND A FORECAST 

ADDRESS BY 

SIR[CHARLES GRANT ROBERTSON, C.V.O., M.A., LL.D., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 



The honour of presiding over the Education Section at this Centenary 
Meeting of the British Association is no mean one, and I gladly acknow- 
ledge the pleasure that the iuAatation to be your President has given me, 
even though it inevitably carries with it the duty of inflicting on my 
audience a Presidential address. My life as far back as I can remember 
has been concerned with one form of education or another, although I have 
successfully avoided on the whole the dubious duty of adding to the burden 
of printed books on the theory or practice of a subject, which has been 
more than once described as more dismal and arid than even the dismal 
science of Political Economy, and more vulnerable even than Theology 
to the charge that, in all such contributions to theory or practice from 
Zoroaster to, shall we say, Mr. Bertrand Russell, whatever is true is not 
new and whatever is new is flagitiously and demonstrably untrue. The 
world, as far as I can make out, has always teemed with educational 
reformers. The continuous puzzle for the historian has been to find out 
where the Reforms of the Reformers have gone to, or in what the Reforms 
actually achieved have precisely consisted. At this moment in particular, 
standing alone in the tumbril which we politely call the Presidential 
Chair, I am acutely conscious that as a small boy I was part of an historic 
experiment in educational reform when I was sent to the school of R. H. 
Quick in Orme Square, Bayswater. Quick deservedly has, by a notable 
book on ' Educational Reformers,' a secure niche in the history and 
practice of education ; but neither at the time nor since have I ever been 
conscious that under Quick I was learning new things in a new way. 
And the only convincing reason that I can give for this deplorable failure 
on my part is that if, in that misty past, I had been subjected to a Binet 
Test I should have been at once shown up as, for my age-level, much 
below the normal metrical scale of intelligence. 

In selecting the subject of my Presidential Address, I was confronted 
with one obvious difficulty. Presidents of this and other Sections, 1 
understand, usually can press into their addresses the fruits of their own 
independent and original research. But though for more than thirty-five 
years I have been an investigator, a teacher, and an administrator, I 



216 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

have no fruits of research to offer you, unless a prolonged experience and 
still more prolonged reflection could be dressed up to look like the majestic 
divinity of Research. I propose, therefore, to offer you some of these 
considered reflections in the form of a Centenary Survey which on this 
occasion is, I hope, both pardonable and appropriate. 

My title, I agree, may mean little or nothing or much. Permit me, 
therefore, to explain briefly that I am not going to waste your time with 
a synthetic, unpalatable but probably familiar summary of the evolution 
of educational theory, practice, development and administration between 
1830 and 1931 ; I am not going to drench you with dates, names and 
statistics, scientifically labelled and sorted with platitudinous or provocative 
adjectives dogmatically attached ; least of all have I any desire to gut the 
large historical text-books and the still larger squadrons of blue books and 
compress the ^dvisection into a miniature panorama of an astonishing 
century of effort and achievement. For astonishing it surely is. The 
more you study the situation round about 1830 ; the more you know from 
first-hand study of the sources of all that has happened after 1830, and 
the more that you know of the situation and tendencies of to-day, the 
more you will be impressed with the quality, quantity and scope of the 
work done and the results achieved. It is a commonplace to emphasise 
in the last hundred years the progress of physical and natural science. 
That progress has been equalled and in some respects surpassed by what 
has been done in Education — and, to anticipate one of mj conclusions, 
with the same broad general effect. Just as in physical and natural 
science, so in Education the most striking result of a century of unflagging 
and remarkable progress has been the revelation of the extent of our own 
ignorance and of the difficulties of the fundamental and as yet unsolved 
problems. 

My modest task, therefore, in the limited time at my disposal, is to 
invite you to accompany me on what the Higher Command of the Army 
calls a Staff ride. Our ground is a Century ; our object is to make both 
a strategical and tactical map — with future operations in our mind. 

First, we must drive 1931 out of our consciousness, to be suppressed in 
a subUminal limbo until we are ready by and by to invoke it back for 
sublimated treatment ; we must see the England of 1820 to 1830 as that 
generation saw it. 

With Castlereagh's death in 1822 began the reform movement in every 
branch of the nation's life which culminated in the great Reform Act of 
1832. The waters which for thirty years had been dammed up in England 
since the French Revolution began slowly to pour through the dykes, 
until finally the whole structure of our institutions and habits seem to be 
submerged. I emphasise in this intellectual and poUtical ferment three 
general points, the significance of which will be, I hope, more apparent 
later on ; first, the power of influence of the utilitarian group, the 
Benthamites, because they provide one more striking example of what can 
be accomplished by a small body of able men with a definite creed, a 
definite objective and the high and passionate seriousness that high and 
passionate purposes alone can inspire ; secondly, the forces and 
personalities which made the Oxford Movement ; Keble's Sermon on 
' National Apostasy ' in 1833 winch, in Newman's judgment, started the 



L.— EDUCATION. 217 

Oxford Movement proper, only gave expression to a new interpretation of 
national life that had been fermenting for years, above all, in Oriel College, 
and Oriel College is for the Oxford Movement what Assisi is for the 
Franciscan revolution : in a word, the Oxford Movement brought into the 
arena a new conception of the Spiritual as a formative force in life, and we 
shall fail to understand the Nineteenth Century problem of religion in 
Education if we do not remember this : thirdly, I put the organised and 
widespread campaign against ' ignorance ' as an evil and a national vice, 
which led to the foundation in 1827 of the Society for the Diffusion of 
Useful Knowledge. There is no more entertaining guide to this period 
in our history than Peacock's novels, every one of which is a roman a clef. 
You will recall particularly in Crotchet Castle the delicious play that 
Peacock makes with ' the March of Mind,' that slogan, as we should say 
to-day, which captured the intelligentsia of England and was the direct 
creation of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge and many 
other similar organisations. In the irresistible ' March of Mind,' England 
was to become united, happy, prosperous and free. Is it not the character- 
istic of all revolutionary movements that they start from an infallible 
faith in the perfectibility in a short period of the human species and end 
with a remorseless tyranny over a human species that refuses to perfect 
itself ? 

Study the correspondence of the leading figures in the decade from 
1822 to 1832, and you invariably find either an extravagant fear that 
England is stumbUng to her doom or a no less extravagant expectation 
that in a few more years of drastic reform England will have entered the 
Promised Land. To the one type of mind the question is : What can be 
saved from the coming cataclysm ? To the other type the question is : 
What is the next Jericho whose walls will fall by the sword of the Lord 
and of Bentham ? 

Let us focus our attention on the strictly educatii:mal field. The 
primary sources are particularly rich, for apart from numerous pamphlets 
we have the Parliamentary Debates, the Quarterly and Edinburgh, 
Reviews and (after 1824) the Westminster Review, the organ of the 
Benthamites, and for 1831-1835 the six volumes (and no more) of the 
Quarterly Journal of Education, supplemented by the letters in many 
biographies, and many volumes of sermons and pamphlets. Remember, 
please, that Raikes had started his Sunday Schools as far back as 1780, 
that Bell's ' Madras System,' Lancaster and Owen's epoch-making school 
experiments had long been topics for admiration, imitation and ferocious 
controversy ; that Froebel at Keilhau, Pestalozzi at Yverdun had accom- 
plished their work, and that before 1830 Herbart had thought out and 
published in German the substance of his system. But neither in the 
educational literature nor in the furious controversies of the time will 
you find that Froebel, Pestalozzi or Herbart were known or that anyone 
supposed that in fifty or sixty years these would be spell-binding names 
in every text-book. The explanation may be, as Pusey maintained of the 
theology of this period, that only about three persons, of whom he was 
one, could read German with ease. At any rate, Froebel, Pestalozzi and 
Herbart, like the early plays of Bernard Shaw and like Mendel in Biology, 
were to smite England after travelling from Germany to the United 



218 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

States and thence, somewhat battered rather than bettered in the process, 
back to our own country. In psychology, at any rate, if any book or 
system held the field, it was the elder James Mills' ' Analysis of the 
Phenomena of the Human Mind ' first published in 1829 — and condemned 
to-day as a decayed fortress of the superstitions of Faculty Psychology and 
a discredited associationism. 

That everything educational was in a profoundly unsatisfactory state 
everyone at pains to investigate took for granted. So gloomy is the 
picture drawn that one is driven to wonder how there were any educated 
persons at all, and particularly so many able to write such good English 
or construct such closely thought out and impressive arguments. The 
two Universities and the only two, Oxford and Cambridge, were targets 
for savage criticism ; the endowed public schools such as Eton, Winchester, 
Harrow, etc., were held to be expensive nurseries of vice, incompetence, 
and pedantry ; the old Grammar Schools were dilapidated, starved and 
useless ; elementary education simply did not exist. Every established 
institution was threatened ; we were recklessly flinging our doors open 
to an ignorant, irreligious and irresponsible democracy, without any 
adequate institutions or administrative machinery to cope with the 
dangers and needs of a new political nation. 

The England that created the British Association concentrated, you 
will find, its attention on four main educational problems — what was to 
be done with the Universities ? How were the public schools to be 
reformed ? How can this illiterate democracy be cui'ed of its intolerable 
and dangerous ignorance ? Where and how was the money to be found ? 
And immediately, by this concentration, leaped straight into the educa- 
tional vortex. Of the University aspect of the problem I will say practically 
nothing now or hereafter, because meeting as we do to-day in London, 
the foimdation of the University of London and its significance naturallv 
deserves separate treatment on this Centenary occasion, and I leave it to 
the competent hands of Dr. Deller. But nothing illustrates better than 
the creation of University College and King's College the power of the 
utilitarian group and the reaction of the established Church of England 
to the challenge that University College implied. 

But go back to that contemporary literature, even if your mind is full 
of 1931 and its controversies, and at once, if the vocabulary and the 
environment be very difEerent, you are on familiar — painfully familiar — 
ground. Here, for example, are three questions always coming up in the 
literature of the day and on which tons of ink were spent : What is the 
object of Education ? If it is not mere knowledge, what is it ? The 
formation of character or the formation of a Christian character and a 
Christian citizen, and if not, what then ? To whom is this duty to be left — 
the individual conscience of the parent, the Church as the depository of 
Christian truth, or the State, with a compulsory power and the right to 
represent the civil mind ? 

Let me quote here a couple of sentences from the Quarterly Review of 
July 1829 : ' Does any man believe that to furnish the future weaver or 
carpenter with the education of a scholar or a man of science will make 
him more contented in the sphere in which he is thrown ? The more 
fitted he is for a higher station in Society, the greater the effort of mind to 



L.— EDUCATION. 219 

keep him happy in that which fortune has fixed him.' And ob.serve the 
implications in the quotation. Or, take again, these sentences from Dr. 
Arnold, written in 1837 : ' the whole good that the University {i.e. of 
London) can do towards the cause of general education depends on its 
holding manifestly a Christian character ; if it does not hold this, it 
seems to me to be at once so mischievous, from giving its sanction to a 

most mischievous principle, that its evil will far outweigh its good 

I have not the slightest doubt that it is better to go on with our present 
system, with all its narrowness and deficiency, than to begin a pretended 
system of national education on any other than a Christian basis.' For 
in those sentences you have the essential core not only of Arnold's work 
at Rugby, but of his most passionate convictions on every form of education 
from the nursery to the universities and the life of the nation as a whole. 

The years from 1825 to 1840 were a period of bitter but stimulating 
controversy ; of positive achievement to be registered they may seem 
to be scanty, if not sterile ; but three points of immense importance stand 
out from the dust that has been laid and the ashes, still treacherously hot. 
First, as regards religion and its part in the general conception of education 
as a whole, we note the transformation of an educational problem into 
a savage political warfare. The privileges and legal status of the 
established Church of England were challenged by the political and 
religious disabilities of Nonconformist Dissent. And the political battle 
was embittered by the controversies within the Church of England itself, 
which cut deep and wide into the fundamentals of the relations of Church 
and State. It is profoundly significant that Scotland was at the same time 
rent by the issues which culminated in the epoch-making Disruption of 
1843, and that in Ireland the whole cause of Education was thrown back 
for at least one generation, if not two, by the storm that centred in what 
may be conveniently called the ' Maynooth Grant.' In the political 
welter in all three countries the real educational issue was either sub- 
merged or driven on to the surf-smitten rocks. 

Secondly, with the first Parliamentary Grant from National funds in 
1833, the State stepped into the arena, with the reluctance of a man unable 
to swim and pushed into cold water out of his depth. 

Abstract political theory — and I mean by that the definition of the 
functions and powers of the State in the sphere of intellect and of morals 
— at once became linked with the issues of controversial party politics. 
As early as 1840 it was grasped by all clear thinkers, irrespective of the 
school of thought to which they belonged, that henceforward the control 
of Parliament and of the power of the purse could be made, indeed must 
become, not the sole but the most powerful force in deciding educational 
issues. 

Thirdly, all the issues contained in the term ' curriculum, ' were in full 
and fierce debate from 1825 onwards, the real significance of which has 
often, I think, been missed, and largely because both attackers and 
attacked in a singularly copious literature failed to distinguish the real 
educational issue that had been raised. The chamj^ions of what to-day 
we should call modern studies^ — history (other than ancient history), 
modern languages, science, and even of mathematics — as indispensable 
elements of any sound curriculum — only too frequently urged their case 



220 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

on the intrinsic merit of the subject as a branch of knowledge, and without 
any reference to the result in the type of mind or character that a reformed 
system was to produce. And a dreary study of much dead controversy 
has left on my mind a depressing impression that conservatives and 
reformers alike completely forgot that the method and the amount of any 
subject in a curriculum may be even more important than the subject 
itself, intrinsically considered. Be that as it may, this period from 1825 
to 1840 brought the whole question of curriculum into the disconcerting 
light of day ; and if it is the duty of every generation when it cannot 
solve a problem to make it impossible for its successors to evade it, the 
generation of the Reform Act at least did that part of its duty very 
faithfully. 

The next thirty years, ending roughly in Forster's Education Act, were 
to be not less abmidant in controversy but more fruitful in positive and 
lasting achievement. Superficially regarded, they might be called the 
age of Royal and Governmental Commissions. The State was, therefore, 
proclaiming its right, bitterly contested and resented, to inquire into the 
working of educational institutions — Universities, Endowed Public 
Schools, Secondary Grammar Schools — over which it had neither 
administrative nor educational nor financial control. The transition 
from education as an optional function, to education as a national duty of, 
the State was being rapidly effected in these thirty years. 

But apart from this really momentous evolution of applied political 
theory, what else are we bound to note, in our Staff ride, as peaks ? Three 
points in particular. First, then, the slow revolution effected in the 
Endowed Public Schools. We owe this to four pioneer Headmasters who, 
in an age of remarkable personalities, stand out pre-eminent. For the 
acid test and infallible criterion of the pioneer in all sjsheres of human 
activity is that after his work has been done, the sphere in which he has 
done it is qualitatively different. Only too often so decisively does the 
result pass into the texture of everyday thought and action that we 
can only judge its originality by a study of the conditions prior to the 
pioneer. It is thus that we judge the work of a Newton, an Adam Smith, 
a Niebuhr, a Darwin, or a Pasteur. And it is thus that we can safely 
regard Arnold at Rugby, 1828-1842, Benjamin Hall Kennedy at 
Shrewsbury from 1836-1866, Edward Thring at Uppingham, 1853-1887, 
Haig-Brown, the Second Founder of Charterhouse, 1863-1897 : and if 
I extend my period considerably, I add a fifth, in Sanderson of Oundle, 
1892-1922. These were all men of very different fibre, outlook on life, 
intellectual power and quality of scholarship. But they had one uniting 
link and characteristic, they were great teachers because they were great 
personalities ; they were great organisers because they had the gift of 
leadership : and they left on their generation, on their staffs who knew 
them, on their boys, on all indeed with whom they came into contact an 
ineffaceable stamp of power and inspiration, the combination of 
individuality and experience, and they created an inexhaustible tradition 
for the institutions that they remoulded. In the firmament of education 
there have been, there are, and there will be, many lamps shining with 
different rays and varying intensity when focussed in the spectrum of 
spirit and mind, but these five great names — Arnold, Kennedy, Haig- 



L.— EDUCATION. 221 

Brown, Thriug and Sanderson — will always swing in our English firmament 
witb a rare and undimmed splendour. 

The second point is the advent of science. The nineteenth-century 
renascence of science may correctly date from 1931 and Faraday's dis- 
coveries, the centenary celebration of which has just preceded our 
Centenary Meeting, but the period from 1840 to 1880 is studded with great 
names and memorable discoveries. As far back as 1830 even the 
Quarterly Review was indicting the British neglect of science as compared 
with the state of things on the Continent ; and I would remind you that 
as late as 1864 at Rugby alone of the older Public Schools and at the newly 
founded Cheltenham, was any Science taught, and that it was unknown for 
example, at Eton, Harrow, St. Paul's, Shrewsbury, Charterhouse, Merchant 
Taylors, and so forth. It was in the late 'sixties that the great educational 
struggle began seriously, which I term the advent of science, and I mean 
by that the battle for the principle that an adequate knowledge of physical 
and natural science is advocated not merely for its importance as know- 
ledge or for its vocational or utilitarian value, but for its cultural 
indispensability. In other words, an adequate knowledge of, and training 
in, physical and natural science was proclaimed as an essential element in 
any education claiming to be liberal. If Huxley unquestionably is the 
Achilles and protagonist of this twenty years' battle for the capture of 
the classical Troy, do not let us forget that one of the first trumpets sounded 
in the fray was in the famous Essays on a Liberal Education, published in 
1867, in which J. M. Wilson, then a master at Rugby, afterwards Head 
Master of Clifton (1879-1890) urged the claims of Science. Wilson died 
this year, aged ninety-six, fighting to the very end for high and noble 
truths. Clarum et veneralile Nomen, indeed, whom in a meeting such 
as this we can salute with affectionate and grateful homage. 

Thirdly, to the renascence of the Public School, the renascence and 
advent of Science, we can add neither a renascence, nor an advent, but the 
creation of a new element in the Educational problem — the education of 
girls and women. The present generation can only reconstruct with 
difficulty and astonishment the conditions of girls' education in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. What a German Educator said as early 
as 1786 was not wholly untrue sixty years later : ' As to the feminine sex, 
especially that of the better classes, it seems as if the State cared little 
whether they grew up into human beings or into monkeys.' ' Madam,' 
wrote a business man in 1858 to the head teacher of one of the better 
girls' schools, ' as my daughter is not going to be a banker, I see no 
purpose in her being taught arithmetic' ' Everything,' said Miss Cobbe 
of her school in 1836, ' was taught in the inverse ratio of its true importance. 
At the bottom of the scale were morals and religion, and at the top were 
music and dancing.' To-day, if we choose, in page after page of 
the Report of the Taunton Commission of 1864, which but for the 
pressure of five or six devoted and gifted women would never have 
illegitimately extended its reference from boys' to girls' schools— we can 
read the devastating facts and no less devastating comments of the 
Commissioners. The dawn of the new era coincided with the year of 
political revolution, 1848, when Queen's College, in direct imitation of 
King's College, was started in Harley Street to ' hold classes in all branches 



222 ■ SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

of female learning.' Two of the first students in Queen's College were 
Frances Mary Buss and Dorothea Beale. To-day, when we visit the 
Frances Mary Buss Schools in North London, and the Ladies' College in 
Cheltenham, do we realise that we are seeing as great a revolution in 
education as when we visit Wykeham's foundations at Winchester and 
Oxford, or stand in the early quadrangle of Merton College at Oxford or 
of Peterhouse at Cambridge. In Miss Buss, whose creation of the North 
London Collegiate School came first and who was also the creator of the 
Head Mistresses' Association, and in Miss Beale, we have two Pioneers 
who stand and always will stand, in a class by themselves. They are as 
great and creative revolutionaries as were St. Francis and St. Dominic in 
the thirteenth century. And yet Frances Mary Buss is omitted from 
the Dictionary of National Biography — perhaps because omission is 
a more eloquent testimony to distinction than four columns of obituary 
epitaph. 

To these two I would add one other name, Sarah Emily Davies, who, 
if any one person foimded Girton College, was that one person : and with 
the foimdation of Girton College began the second part of the revolution 
— the admission of women to a University education. 

I mentioned the Forster Education Act of 1870 casually because I have 
never been able to regard that Act as a revolutionary or a creative measure 
in the true sense of the term. It was essentially a compromise ; it 
gathered together into a single statute forces, movements and principles 
which had been operating for at least twenty years previously, but it 
expressed no new principle and enshrined neither really new methods nor 
new and constructive ideals. And its most conspicuous defect was that 
it made no attempt to correlate the Elementary Education that it re- 
organised with the existing system of Secondary Education, so as to bring 
the inevitable development of both into an organic and fruitful union. 
This is only another way of saying that Forster was not a great Education 
Minister ; he was a high-minded Statesman of remarkable abihty, courage 
and independence, who showed greater imagination and %asion in imperial 
policy than in education. And it is remarkable that from 1815 to 1916 we 
have no Education Minister or Statesman of the first rank, no political 
mind of the first order devoting supreme powers of brain and imagination 
to Education and leaving it permanently in his debt. 

What would have been revolutionary in 1870 would have been the 
translation into legislation and administration of the principles of the 
Bir m ingham group who fought to make primary education ' Secular, 
compulsory, and free,' and who really compelled the Liberal Government 
of 1870 to legislate and were given the Act of 1870,. which they denounced 
as a betrayal by the Government and a treacherous surrender by the 
Minister. If England does not love Coahtions she loves revolutions still 
less, and least of all, revolutions in education inaugurated by governments. 
In 1871 England was as unready for primary education, ' Secular, com- 
pulsory and free,' as were the United States for Prohibition in 1917. 

I am getting near the end of my StaS ride. After 1870 the two most 
conspicuous new elements (apart from the Act of 1902, of which my old 
chief. Sir WiUiam Anson, was one of the main authors) surely are first, the 
Adult Education Movement, and the advent of Psychology. 



L.— EDUCATION. 223 

The first great chapter of the recognition and development of extra- 
mural teaching as a function of the University is contained in the history 
of University Extension which started in Cambridge in 1872, spread to 
London in 1876, and to Oxford in 1878. The roots of this new growth go 
back to the Movement for Mechanics' Institutes which began in 1799, and 
took a fresh shape in the ideals of Frederick Denison Maurice and the 
foundation of the Working Men's College. The second great chapter dates 
from the foundation of Rusldn College at Oxford and the creation of the 
Workers' Educational Association with which the name of Albert 
Mansbridge will always be associated. Well can I remember both those 
events, and, to use the famihar formula of our Oxford University Bidding 
Prayer, more especially am I bound to mention here that my College of All 
Souls — that reputed home of reaction and lost causes — was the first in any 
University to provide not only from its corporate revenues the first extra- 
mural University tutor, Mr. Tawney, but to allocate its hall in the summer 
term for his extra-mural classes. What the fusion of the older University 
Extension Movement with the principles, organisation and ideals of the 
Workers' Educational Association has become and wrought is known 
to-day — even in Fleet Street. 

The Statesman who said thirty years ago that we were all Socialists 
now, would assert with more truth that to-day we are all psychologists. 
We do not indeed talk psychology (as Bourgeois did his prose) without 
knowing it. On the contrary, we do not know psychology and therefore we 
all talk it ; in fact, it is better for a modern citizen to be guilty of klepto- 
mania, which I understand is really only a functional parapraxis due to 
imperfect motivation or an intermittent disassociation affecting a poly- 
locationary consciousness, than to deny a universal addiction in our friends, 
but, of course, not ourselves, to complexes and neuroses. The advent of 
psychology was ushered in by the rediscovery, in the eighties of last 
century, of Herbart and the application or misapplication of his principles 
to educational theory and still more to educational practice, to which the 
foundation of Training Colleges for Teachers and the mania of publishers 
for small text-books gave an unlimited scope. It was fertilised by the 
astonishing advance in physiology in which British physiologists have 
played so memorable a part, and by the tremendous impetus given by 
Wundt, James and Ward, to name only three of those no longer living, 
who with their successors and disciples have literally created a new and 
definable branch of science, requiring a specialised technique. 

What material, I must now ask, has our rapid Stafi ride provided for a 
sumraing-up in the shape of a forecast ? Let me summon to my aid my 
aged friend. Rip Van Winkle, versed in the educational problems that 
vexed the England of 1830, put to sleep when the British Association came 
into its cradle, waking up in this year of grace, and taking stock of this 
world so new to him after a century of blissful obUvion. 

' I see,' he tells me, ' a vast and complicated administrative machine, 
spread like the electric grid over the whole country, and co-ordinated, if at 
all, by a State Department of Education, as remarkable for its executive 
comprehensiveness as for its intellectual timidity, which, after all, is the 
characteristic of all bureaucratic organisations ; this new President of the 
■ Board of Education, so strange to me, is a member of a Party Cabinet, 



224 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

with the inevitable political bias that his membership in his party involves, 
and dependent for the tenure of his office on the fate of his party on purely 
political issues : the century proves that Education Bills do not destroy 
Ministries, but neither, however excellent, can they save them ; hence, 
most party Education Ministers with political ambitions have to make 
their reputations elsewhere than at the Board of Education, because 
whether they are good or bad ministers of Education, they will only stay 
in their office if their party stays in power. In 1931, as in 1831, Education 
can only be kept out of politics by the determination of every party in 
turn not to allow an educational issue to jeopardise its general political 
fortunes. One issue, the so-called religious issue, alone threatens this. 
In 1931 as in 1831 I observe that no Government will tackle it fairly and 
squarely, because a courageous solution of it would be unlike successful 
operations in surgery ; the operation would succeed, the Nation would 
recover, and the operating surgeon, the Minister, would die. 

' In 1831 we talked and dreamed of a national system of education. 
V'ou are still talking and dreaming of it, but I begin to suspect that you 
(as we) were deluded by a catchword, cribbed by misunderstanding France 
and Germany. For national can have two very distinct interpretations 
which we jumble up — it is either a comprehensive unitary system, em- 
bracing every branch of educational effort controlled by a single national 
authority, however differentiated and delegated the powers of the sub- 
authorities and local organisations may be, or a system expressing the 
national character of the political community in accordance with its 
traditional principles and attitude to all national problems. 

' One feature in this hundred years,' Rip Van Winkle proceeds, ' is 
amazingly significant — the reform of the old, and the development of the 
new. Universities, almost wholly endowed by private and voluntary 
benefactions. They are all literally co-educational. Mrs. Rip Van Winkle 
is even more astonished than I am, for she was with Miss Becky Sharp 
at Miss Pinkerton's Academy. But what puzzles and grieves her is not that 
girls should have their Etons and Winchesters or go to a University and 
become a Mistress of Arts or a Bachelor of Commerce, but that in a 
century which has laboured so incessantly to secure rights for married 
women and which rightly regards motherhood as one of the fundamental 
bases of what you call sane and sound citizenship, you have, also, laboured 
so hard to secure that girls and young women should almost universally 
be taught and controlled by spinsters. You seem to regard marriage in a 
man as enriching, but in a woman as impoverishing, the experience of life 
and capacity for service. You put married men at the head of your 
Universities, Colleges and Schools, because you like the best of them, in 
the interests of the race, to marry ; but you do not put married women 
in the same position, because apparently you wish to encourage the fools 
and the fribbles to marry, while the ablest women are subsidised to remain 
single — of course in the interests of the race. 

' To proceed ; why when we are still a commercial and industrial 
nation have you done little or nothing scientifically to educate boys, 
girls, young men and young women for commerce and industry, par- 
ticularly when you have done marvels for scientific research and all the 
professions, law, medicine, engineering, teaching, the religious ministry, 



L.— EDUCATION. 225 

and so forth ? As my friend, Adam Smith, once said in another con- 
nection, that omission is " altogether nnfit for a nation of shopkeepers, but 
extremely fit for a nation whose education is influenced by shopkeepers." 

' Since I woke up ' Rip Van Winkle continues, ' I have been studying 
hard the best books from a vast collection of what I find is called 
Psychology, and I have nm through dozens of smaller books for teachers 
which profess to boil down — as you call it — scientific research into a 
practical compendium for the course called Pedagogy, or how to teach 
every subject to every kind of person, and this Pedagogy based on 
psychological commandments seems to be compulsory in the training 
of all teachers in State schools, though why it is not compulsory for other 
teachers I do not know. The pupils learn the whole of psychology in a year, 
which shows how clever are your professors of education and the would-be 
teachers, compared with the professors and would-be teachers of my 
generation a century ago. This psychology delights me extremely. For 
it teaches me precisely how I get all my thoughts and feelings and what 
I do with them when I get them; It is explained with lovely diagrams 
that I cannot do with the external stimuli anything but what I actually 
do ; and if I seem to do something different from what I ought to do, it 
is either a conditioned reflex in which I have forgotten to obey the con- 
ditions, or it is an unconditioned reflex which means that the conditions 
were there all the time, or ought to have been there, but that I forgot to 
give the right, or was rattled into giving the wrong, response — and Nature 
very properly spanked my Ego. I have, in fact, at last discovered, what 
used to puzzle me a hundred years ago, that I am what I am because I am 
not someone else. I learn, too, that I am the sum of all my responses and 
reflexes, together with those that I repress and tuck away in my sub- 
consciousness, because I do not like them or they do not like me, and 
which therefore wait either to pounce out on me unawares or pop up just 
to show me they are there ; and then I sublimate them into something 
which I ought to like much better, and if I do not sublimate them, they 
sulk and fester into a complex. But while I am simply the sum total, I am 
also the unifying something that collects, and labels, and separates, so 
that I am at one and the same time the man who gives you the ticket, the 
passenger who uses it on the train by which he must travel, and the 
collector who takes it from the passenger when the journey is done, to 
prove that the passenger has come by that train and not by an illegitimate 
motor-nerve bus. But as I am only a beginner at this modern psychology, 
I have not yet found out whether my mind — if it is my mind and not 
merely a function of the physical stimuli — was there before I had any 
stimuli and responses, or whether the stimuli came first from somewhere 
and created my mind in order that I might recognise that it was a stimulus 
and give it the right label. What comforts me, however, is to be assured 
that I have an Ego which is always different from, and yet the same, as all 
my reflexes and reactions — both those which I have had in the past, am 
having to-day, and those I am going to have presently. 

' Finally,' Rip Van Winkle concludes, ' I observe with immense interest 

that after a hundred years you are still arguing precisely all the fundamental 

questions that perplexed us. A friend sent me a book called " Education 

at the Cross-Roads," by a gentleman who had been a Minister of Education, 

1931 Q 



226 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

and I thought I had by mistake been sent one of the many books of my own 
time, because we all declared then that Education was at the Cross Eoads, 
and now a century after, I find Education is still at the same Cross Eoads. 
We did not know what was the purpose of Education — whether it was 
purely utihtarian to enable the educated to earn a better living than the 
uneducated, or to make them better craftsmen, or to train them for a 
profession, or merely to become as virtuous and happy as they could make 
themselves or others would allow them to be. And I find you are arguing 
just as passionately as we did all these things to-day. In my time someone 
solved all our difficulties by saying that education was not for any of these 
things but for life. No one could say, imfortunately, what life was for 
which we were to be educated, and if he defined it, everyone else said 
life was something quite different. Everything was altering so rapidly, 
and there were so many different lives and no one could say which of 
them was going to be the life of each different boy and girl, that we got 
very angry with each other and before anything could be decided, I fell 
asleep. And now that I am awake again, I am terrified at the world 
round me, not because it is so wonderful and strange with its motor cars, 
and aeroplanes and wireless and electric light and cooking, and gas and 
fountain pens and typewriters and telephones and telegraphs and your 
wonderful newspapers which come out every hour, but because it is 
changing so rapidly every month and every day. People to-day are such 
a perplexing compound of the primitive — for you thieve and murder and 
tell lies and get drunk and run away with each other's wives, just as we 
did — mixed up with the purely artificial which is the result of all your 
inventions — which are like a very tight corset all over a savage's body, 
that I do not know how you can educate for life to-day, because by the 
time that you have educated the boy and the girl the life will be absolutely 
altered. And so I end with a concrete question. For what kind of life 
do you educate a girl, just to be a voter, which she certainly will be if she 
lives till twenty-one, whether she wants a vote or not, or to be a film actress 
or a cook or a mother or an old maid, none of which she may ever be ? ' 

Thus far Rip Van Winkle. Hard questions, if I may venture to say 
so of my venerable friend, and going to the root of many problems. 

Let me conclude by inviting you to concentrate on four points which 
are bound to find a place in any forecast of the future. 

First, the Science of Psj^chology is obviously only in its infancy — the 
stage which Chemistry had reached when Dalton formulated his celebrated 
law which modern chemistry no longer accepts. What can we expect 
from Psychology judging from what it has already done ? I am not 
concerned here with the inexhaustible possibilities opening up in the 
medical, and particularly the pathological, sphere and the field of thera- 
peutic action. No sound educational results, as far as I can see, are going 
to come from applications from the abnormal to the normal, unless we 
accept an assumption that it is the abnormal that is really normal, which 
is like assumine in medicine that disease is the rule and health the 
exception. I look to much real help coming from Intelligence Tests, 
however unsatisfactory they may be at present, and in two supremely 
imjDortant directions. 

For, if we can once really establish what everyone from Aristotle to 



i 



L.— EDUCATION. 227 

the present Board of Education has assumed, that children and 
adolescents and adults in varying categories and at different age-levels 
have definite limits of edticability and that it is waste of time, effort and 
money to treat one category as if it were another, the doctrine of equality 
of opportunity will come to be regarded as a devastating superstition, 
and the grading of the categories on the educational ladder will be the 
beginning of an unparalleled social revolution. 

Secondly, human activities, professional or otherwise, will have to be 
regarded socially and economically in proportion to the degree of trained 
intelligence and revealed aptitude that they require for their discharge. 
It is here that social and industrial psychology will find their true field. 
The difficulty will be the correlation of the industrial or occupational 
categories with the purely professional in the social organisation, which 
means that the education, with the aid of psychology, will necessitate a 
revaluation of social values. Such a revaluation will at once raise the 
issue of the purely ethical values in the scale qualitatively considered. 
Through education, we shall decide potential function and then train, in 
Aristotelian language, potentiality into actuality. 

And that raises my second issue — the functional differentia between 
the sexes. The nineteenth century revolution in the position of women 
went through two main stages. The first was purely educational. If 
girls had brains, they justified as good training as the brains of boys — 
hence, the revolution in Secondary, which reacted on the Primary, 
education of girls, and in its turn led up to the demand for admission to the 
Universities. Simultaneously, the demand for careers for the educated 
girl was a logical consequence. The legal or social obstacles to opening 
the professions had to be removed : this, in turn, involved political 
rights : and the intellectual demand for equality in careers was merged 
with the demand for equality in citizenship and political rights. The 
movement was consummated with the grant of the vote in 1918 and with 
the grant of the degree at Oxford and the quasi-degree at Cambridge — the 
two last University strongholds of male monopoly to surrender. Women 
now have a virtual equality both in civic and educational status. Until 
1921 , it was inevitable that in the struggle for this dual equality, differentia- 
tion of function should be ignored or rejected. If women were to be able 
to do exactly what men did, their training must obviously be a copy of 
that which men had deemed necessary. But since 1921, when equality of 
opportunity for all careers had been conceded, a slow reaction began. 
Differentiation and specialisation of function, based on differential sex- 
qualities, reasserted their directive force — and will reassert it with 
increasing momentum. 

Girls no longer feel it their duty to choose a particular career in order 
to emphasise a claim to equality of rights or to extirpate traditional 
social taboos. It must be the privilege of education to stimulate this 
marked tendency, and thereby to reduce a stupid competition of the 
sexes and cut down a costly social waste. For the social revolution, 
through which we are now passing, is slowly learning from the preceding 
political struggle for the so-called emancipation of women, that in a well 
ordered society there are no monopolies of civic function or of intellectual 
or imaginative activity based on sex, but that there are limitations 

q2 



228 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

imposed on all in the form of physical, intellectual and moral 
qualities and aptitudes, inherent in the individual as such. Whether 
it be surgery or poetry, acting or nursing, teaching in a kindergarten or 
research, domestic administration or scavenging, aviation or dressmaking, 
a trained woman may be the equal of a trained man or she may be a great 
deal worse than an untrained man. But it is, also, becoming clearer every 
day that for certain activities the average woman, if trained, is better than 
the average trained man, and vice-versa, and the difference in each case 
rests on a functional sex differentiation, of the criteria of which we are 
as yet amazingly ignorant. But until this obscure and baffling field of 
vast inquiry has been cleared up, social and, therefore, educational re- 
construction continues to be like the game of billiards on an Atlantic liner 
in a storm — the truly hit ball may go into the pocket at which it is aimed 
or into the eye of the rival competitor, with a ripped tablecloth into the 
bargain. 

Mark, I beg you, the educational consequences. Already many wise 
teachers are questioning seriously whether the education of girls from 
eleven plus ought not to be freed from the barnacles that have accumulated, 
since the ship of female education was brought to a static anchorage in the 
centuries-old harbour of male education. One of our greatest needs, 
therefore, to-day, is another Miss Buss or another Miss Beale, as free as 
were those great women from the inherited superstitions of their own sex 
and from the cramping complexes that obsess the male mind, with a new 
mission to start a second and even more revolutionary chapter in the 
emancipation of women and the reorganisation of Society. 

This does not mean, of course, that any sane man or woman desires 
to wrench the clock back to tick out demoralising hours in the dreary 
wastes of ' accomplishments ' or to substitute an amateurish sloppiness 
for a bracing intellectual discipline : still less does it imply that there can 
be feminine, as distinct from male, mathematics, Greek or logic. But 
when that woman reformer comes — or perhaps it will be a man — we shall, 
as usual with all reforms, not be surprised at the results but only wonder 
that the reform had not been made fifty years earlier. 

I repeat that psychology, like physiology, is only in its infancy. Fifty 
years hence, neither the Behaviourists nor the Subjectivists nor any other 
of the present camps which end in an ' ist ' will demand unfaltering sub- 
scription to provisional and half-worked-out hypotheses dressed up as 
infallible decrees of a Nature which may prove to be neither a radio- 
active force definable in mathematical symbols, only intelligible to a 
Newton or an Einstein, nor an accidental entity leaping into a void, after 
a fortuitous collision of electro-magnetic units in an imaginary etheric 
universe. 

Thirdly and lastly, as the preachers are supposed to say, the end and 
purpose of education has not yet been settled and, in the nature of things, 
can never be settled once and for all. We may, if we choose, hold differing 
views as to what mind is or how it originated or how, in the terms of a 
really scientific psychology, it works and can be distinguished from its 
manifestations. We may refuse to believe that mind can operate apart 
from the material medium analysed by the pathologist, and the neuro- 
logist, or we may be convinced that the material medium is simply an 



L.— EDUCATION. 229 

imperfect instrument through which a spiritual Reason alone can work for 
a structure of human society composed of imperfect physical units, which 
we call men and women, and that mind, apart from matter, is both prior 
to, and part of, a rational universe. But the one clear conclusion that no 
one can evade is that every society everywhere and, therefore, all such 
societies together on this tiny physical globe are and will continue to be the 
result of purposive human action, which by an increasing control of all 
the elements at its disposal has made things to be what they are, and is 
daily altering the i^rocess of adaptation, to fit the purposes, wise or illusion- 
ary, that it selects as ends worth pursuing. My friend. Rip Van Winkle, 
had obviously taken from Huxley the conventional distinction between the 
process of natural selection and the arbitrary interference with that 
process by man the ethical artificer — homo artifex — for his non-natural 
but rational purposes — the relentless antagonism between a Nature with 
one purpose and a human reason with a contrary purpose — between 
Evolution and Ethics. Rip Van Winkle could not be expected to know 
that that conventional distinction has long been shattered and that it only 
survives to-day, like the human appendix, because the majority of us are 
not affected by its vestigial existence, but when it tries to exercise an 
atrophied function, we have it cut out as an intolerable nuisance. 

It is like the old metaphysics or the old psychology, when mind was 
regarded as working inside a self-sealed box and outside was the 
whole objective and material world, which surged upon the box, while 
the something inside the box exercised cognitive and apperceptive 
powers on the surge — a phenomenal world playing hide-and-seek with 
mind, which took off its blinkers, from time to time, just to see who 
was playing the fool with it. Except in Fleet Street, and some old- 
fashioned laboratories of science and some dusty class-rooms of, shall we 
say, German philosophy, we educationalists (a horrible word) have long 
recognised that mind is as integral a part of Nature and the processes of 
Nature as the so-called natural forces. And that if, for example, Nature 
has a pruning hook which we call war, it was forged by mind, put into 
Nature's hand, i.e. the hand of purposive men by mind, and that, as with 
other pruning hooks or scythes, when human minds are, as they can be, 
bad craftsmen or lose control, what was intended to cut down weeds 
gashes the user to death. You can make a razor and use it either to cut a 
human throat, or remove a carbuncle with an aseptic technique, or, like 
Peter the Great, shave your nobles as the first stage towards reconstructing 
your system of government, and in so doing you are natural and ethical at 
one and the same time, and are taking the most appropriate step, as you 
conceive it, to achieve another stage in your interpretation of life, which 
is an inextricable mixture of the spiritual, the intellectual, the moral and 
the physical — a jumble which neither Piltsdown man nor Mr. Bertrand 
Russell nor anyone in the centuries between them has ever been able to 
disentangle into separate packets, much less prove that some of the 
packets are precedent in order of time and are, therefore, ' natural,' while 
others followed later and must, therefore, be termed ' artificial ' — or ' anti- 
natural.' 

Beethoven and Dante are useless to the Patagonian because he cannot 
fit them into his conception of social life, which really means his scale of 



230 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

social values. In the twentieth century, Fra AngeHco may be for us only 
an item in a museum of dead junk, much as a modern housewife hangs 
a Tudor warming pan above her electric refrigerator — unless the vision 
of life that inspired Fra AngeUco continues to have a value which can 
supplement or intensify the values determining the pattern of the life 
that we are making with the help of wireless telephony, the songs of 
Shakespeare or any other material or instrument that seems appropriate. 
The thin, starved, an^emic and retarding life, whether of to-day or of the 
age of Tut-an-Khamen or of Siegfried and Brunhild, is the Ufe where 
purposive man let the scale of values shrivel and, in consequence, the 
aptitudes that might have flowered withered up, and human appetites were 
degraded to a Limited and purely carnal satisfaction ; the fat, well- 
nourished, rich and expanding Ufe of any epoch has always been when 
purposive man let the scale of values soar and measured an illimitable 
horizon, not by what mind co-opeijattng with body had done or were 
doing, but what they could do if each of the two could be trained by an 
appropriate technique completely to work together for a unified end — 
above all, when he became intoxicated by the profoundest of all truths 
that the spiritual and the material are not in the nature of things 
antagonists, but allies. 

To-day, a social revolution, largely due to the educational progress of 
the last hundred years, is steadily regrading and reshaping the whole 
Commonwealth that we call the British Empire. Education has extended 
the scale of social values, and increasingly intensified in millions of new 
recruits the power to devise and the desire to will the means to action. 
But the aid that our educational system can increasingly give to this 
complicated social and economic transformation is being limited because 
we have refused to solve the fundamental problem of religious in- 
struction, and to allocate to institutional religion its harmonious place 
in the task of training for Ufe. Until we have done that, no matter 
how scientifically planned may be our educational machinery, or how 
loyaUy it may be worked, there will be a steady flow of grit clogging 
the gears and causing aU the bearings to run red-hot. This is not 
the place, nor am I the person, to indicate how and where the true 
solution can be found ; but if it be the supreme function of education to 
see life as a whole and to train every boy and girl, according to their 
powers and aptitudes, to a maximum of vision and of a willing reason, so 
that they can ultimately achieve their truest happiness and their highest 
efficiency in the new social order, based on the correct allocation of 
differentiated function, it is my unshakeable conviction that the funda- 
mental place of reUgion in Ufe must be regarded as an essential pre- 
Uminary to any further educational advance. 

A hundred years hence, Section L may be meeting in London to 
celebrate a second Centenary of the British Association. Whatever else 
the President may have to say on that occasion, I trust that he will be 
able to record this as a mortgage inherited from 1931 and paid off to make 
a triumphant overture to another century of success. 



SECTION M.— AGRICULTURE. 



THE CHANGING OUTLOOK IN 
AGRICULTURE. 

ADDEESS BY 

SIR E. JOHN RUSSELL, D.Sc, F.R.S., 

PRESIDENT OF THE SECTION. 

Oim survey of the changing outlook in agriculture must begin somewhat 
earlier than the 100 years over which we are this week looking back. The 
system of agriculture which dominated Great Britain till recently was 
developed in the eighteenth century, when the great landowners, such 
as Lord Townshend and Coke of Norfolk, had brought in new crops, 
devised new rotations, and, above all, had shown how to combine the 
production of human food and animal food in one system — the best the 
world had yet seen. There was as yet no definite agricultural education, 
and DO organised agricultural shows, but the more enlightened landowners 
invited farmers periodically to such gatherings as the Holkham or Woburn' 
sheep shearings, where new things could be seen and talked about. Much 
of mediaeval England remained ; it was essentially an agricultural country, 
governed by the landowning class, and almost entirely self-supporting in 
the matter of food production. 

Agricultural progress continued during the prolonged wars against the 
French Republic and Empire, when prices rose to abnormal heights. 
Many landowners and farmers spent on the land much of the money which 
they received so boimtifully in war-time, when wheat stood for three 
years at average prices of £5 6s. Od. to £6 6s. Od. per quarter. There were 
other contributory causes besides the rise of prices. Encouraged by the 
writings of Axthur Young and others, local agricultural societies were 
springing up and organising their own shows, which were more educative 
than the rather condescending demonstrations of the great patrons, whose 
day was over. Farmers, too, were beginning to travel. Many a young 
man took Arthur Young's advice, repeated in each edition of his ' Farmer's 
Calendar,' that, after having safely got in his hay, and while waiting for 
his corn, he shoidd ' take his nag for a summer tour, to view some farms 
in well-cultivated counties and to introduce himself to the conversation 
of his inteUigent brethren, from whom he will be sure to learn something 
useful.' This educative travel was stimulated by the great improvement 
in the roads at this time. TUl late in the eighteenth century England was 

' The first Woburn sheep shearing was in June 1797, in the time of Duke Francis. 
Arthur Young says : ' It continued to be held in the same month every succeeding 
year, but with increasing numbers and eclat, tUl it became at last by far the most 
respectable agricultural meeting ever seen in England, that is, in the whole world — 
attended by nobility, gentry, farmers and graziers from various parts of the three 
Kingdoms, from many countries in Europe, and also from America.' The well-known 
print refers to this later time ; Duke John is there the central figure. 



232 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

not a pleasant country to travel in, except on horseback. Little progress 
had been made in the means of locomotion since the days of the Romans. 
It is true that Dr. Johnson declared that ' If I had no duties, and no 
deference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post- 
chaise with a pretty woman.' The Doctor was wrong ; he would have 
found himself impleasantly shaken and occasionally bogged, and he did 
well to stick to the neighbourhood of Fleet Street. But Macadam changed 
all this, and the new roads made travelling an enjoyment instead of an 
unwelcome necessity. We may perhaps recapture something of the spirit 
of the Enghsh countryside from Sorrow's ' Lavengro ' and ' Romany Rye ' 
(1825), with its alehouses, its comfortable inns, the strange people on the 
roads, the swaggering coachmen, the love of horses and of boxing, the 
fear of Popery and of the French. 

This progress, however, was largely confined to the southern part of 
England, where wheat grew easily. Agriculture was much less advanced 
in the northern counties. As late as 1832, when Cobbett visited Durham 
and Northumberland, he was very scornful about the pursuit that was 
there called farming : ' The imnatural efforts,' as he called them, ' to ape 
the farming of Norfolk and Suffolk ; it is only flaying at farming, as 
stupid and " loyal " parents used to set their children to flay at soldiers 
during the last war.' If they wanted to see the real thing they must come 
south : ' Tom Baring's farmers at Micheldever had a greater bulk of wheat 
stacks standing now than in aU the North Riding of Yorkshire and one 
half of Durham.' For all that, however, Cobbett admired the Durham ox, 
the good pastures, the turnips, and the absence of potatoes, a crop he 
detested. 

Also the economic troubles which beset England after the close of the 
war in 1815 affected agriculture as well as industry. For the next fifteen 
years times were very bad. The great war debt entailed heavy taxation, 
which fell very largely upon the farming class ; inflation came to an end 
with the resumption of cash payments ; in spite of the Corn Laws, passed 
in 1815 to check this, there was a terrible slump of prices, except in times 
of scarcity, when farmers had little to sell. Select Committees of the 
House of Commons sat in 1820, 1821, 1822 and 1833 to inquire into agri- 
cultural distress, and their reports, especially the last, are depressing 
reading, far worse than anything we have to-day ; there was scarcely a 
solvent tenant farmer left in the Wealds of Kent and Sussex, and many 
farmers had lost everything and were working on the roads. The condi- 
tion of the labourers was pitiable. A usual good rate of pay was 2s. per 
day of 10 hours for a man. Is. for a youth, and M. for a child. Wages 
were subsidised out of the rates on the Speenhamland system, the subsidy 
depending on the price of bread and the number of children. Perhaps 
even worse than the poverty was the fear of doing anything to improve 
it. For there was real fear in the land — fear, born of the French Revolu- 
tion, that any relaxing of the firm hold of the governing classes might 
plunge England into the horrors of a revolution here. In November 1830 
some of the labourers had banded themselves together to try to secure 
2s. %d. a day ; they had rioted but done little damage, and taken no life ; 
yet so great was the fear that several of them were hanged and 450 were 
transported to Australia. 



i 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 233 

During these hard years there was a growing struggle between town 
and country. The Industrial Revolution, which had been going on for 
some sixty years, was now producing epoch-making results. Village 
industries were moving into the towns, thus narrowing the range and 
activities of village life and taking away many of the skilled craftsmen. 
The Revolution affected political as well as economic conditions. The 
towns had no desire to be governed by the landowners, and were seeking 
adequate representation in ParUament ; agitation for the Reform Bill 
was proceeding at an alarming pace, and might have led to civil war, 
but, as usual in England, common sense prevailed, and in May 1832 Lord 
Grey was recalled by the King, the Reform Act was passed, and the 
government of the country passed out of the hands of landowners into 
those of the middle classes, whose interests were then largely urban. 
England ceased to be an agricultural country, and became definitely 
industrial and commercial. The towns had won. 

This new orientation of the national life was the dominating factor in 
1832, when our hundred-year survey begins. Henceforward the trend of 
legislation was to be always in favour of the towns whenever their interests 
conflicted with those of the countryside. The new powers were exercised 
at once. The rate-aided wage was abolished in 1834 when the new Poor 
Law system was set up. Agitation was started for the repeal of the Corn 
Laws. Farmers thought the end was coming. 

There was, however, a hopeful feature. The towns were growing and 
requiring more food ; importations from overseas were not serious ; 
labour was abundant and cheap, and there was more and more tendency 
for the unemployed to move to the towns, thereby reducing the farmers' 
rates. The path of prosperity lay open to those who could produce 
more food. 

Science now began to come into the picture. It was introduced in 
England by Sir Humphry Davy, whose lectures at the Royal Institution 
from 1802 to 1812 on Agricultural Chemistry had attracted widespread 
attention. He dealt particularly with manures and soils, and discussed 
the problem, then much agitating farmers, why some soils were so much 
more favourable to crop production than others ; he also introduced a 
method of soil analysis which was speedily taken up by chemists. The 
Bath and West, our oldest agricultural society, founded at Bath in 1777, 
set up an agricultural laboratory in 1806 — the first in this country — and 
appointed Dr. Archer as unpaid ' Chemical Professor to the Society.' 
Within a few months, however, death, to quote the Society's records,^ 
* put a period to the exercise of his private virtues and pubhc exertions,' 
and Cadwallader Boyd was appointed as chemist to analyse soils. Lime- 
stones and other things for their members — the first appointment of this 
kind I have been able to find. But for all the scientific advocacy of soil 
analysis one cannot see how the data of these days would help the perplexed 
farmer. The methods showed the percentages of silica, alumina, lime, 
magnesia, carbonic acid and ' vegetable fibres and extract,' but no 
interpretations were possible. It is not surprising that no important 
results were achieved. 

■^ Bat 1 Society's Papers, 1807, vol. ii, pp. xiii and 276. 



234 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

The second entry of science into agriculture was entirely different, 
and achieved an astonishing, even dramatic, success. Several quite 
independent movements led up to it. Farmers were themselves beginning 
to formulate their problems more distinctly. A definite and precise state- 
ment was published by the Royal Agricultural Society on its formation 
in 1838, setting forth the problems which had been perplexing the leading 
agriculturists for some time, and insisting on the need to ' inquire after 
causes.' * 

The programme was extensive, indeed we have not completed it yet. 
Although its framers may not have known, the ' inquiry after causes ' was 
already well on the way. The striking feature of the new work was the 
demonstration that the carbon which formed about half the dry matter 
of the crop came from the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere, not from 
humus, as the older philosophers had thought ; the agricultural signifi- 
cance was not at first recognised. The question of rotation of crops 
was also being investigated, and in this the British Association had 
taken a leading part. At its first meeting at York, in 1831, Prof. Lindley 
had been asked by the Botanical Committee to present ' an account of 
the principal questions imder discussion in Botanical Science,' and in his 
report he included this of root excretions : ' the necessity of the rotation of 
crops,' he said, ' is more dependent upon the soil being poisoned than 
upon its beiag exhausted.' Daubeny, Professor of Botany at Oxford, 
was invited to study the question, and at the 1834 meeting he described 
his plan. Eighteen different crops were to be grown for a period of ten 
years on the same groimd, some continuously and some in rotation. The 
crops were to be weighed and analysed, and the effects of continuous 
growth compared with those of the rotation. This was done ; it was the 
first continuous and systematic plot experiment ever made. These various 

' Jour. Boy. Ag. Soc, 1840, vol. i, p. li. 
The problems were : — 

1. Classification of Soils. — Chemical methods having achieved no decided success, 
would geological methods be better ? To test the possibilities, a survey of the Weald 
of Kent and Sussex was proposed ; this was afterwards put into the hands of Wilham 
Topley, the founder of Soil Surveys, whose Memoir is one of the grtat classics of the 
subject. {Jour. Hoy. Ag. Soc, 1872, vol. viii (2nd series), p. 'J4i ; also Memoirs 
of Ike Geological Survey.) 

2. Permanent hnprovemeut of Soils. — The most effective method of draining. 

3. Productiveness of Seeds. — Comparison of the productiveness of different crops 
and varieties on diiierent soils, including the nutritive and other values of the crops. 

4. Manures. — Studies of farmyard manure, of town wastes, bones, rapecake, &c., 
and ' mineral manures,' lime, chalk, gypsum, marl, saltpetre, peat ashes, salt, &c. 

5. Rotation of Crops. — •' The influence, sometimes favourable anrl in other cases 
hiurtful, which various crops exercise on others by which they are followed and which 
is now supposed to be occasioned by an excrementitious deposit left by the roots of 
plants in the soil.' 

6. Mechanics of Agriculture. — Studies of implements and machines. 

7. Management of Grassland. 

8. Physiology of Agriculture. — ' More abstract questions, as for instance, that bone 
manure is beneticial on certain soils, and inefficient on certain other soils — under this 
head we should inquire after causes and endeavour to answer the question, what is 
the constituent element of bone that promotes vegetation on some soils, and how is 
that element rendered inoperative elsewhere ? ' 

9. Livestock and Veterinary Problems and Diseases of Plants. — Xo details are given ; 
too little was known about any of them. 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 235 

investigations into causes did not directly influence agriculture, but they 
provided the basis on which further development soon came. In 1837 
Liebig had attended the Liverpool meeting of the Association, and he 
urged upon British men of science to study organic chemistry, ' which, 
when taken in conjunction with the researches of physiology, both animal 
and vegetable, which have been so successfully prosecuted in this country, 
may be expected to afiord us the most important and novel conclusions 
respecting the functions of organisation.' The very shrewd promoters of 
the meeting replied by asking him to prepare a report on the state of 
Organic Chemistry and Organic Analyses. This never came ; instead, in 
1840, he published a volume, ' Chemistry in its AppHcation to Agriculture 
and Physiology,' stating in the introduction that it was a report presented 
to the British Association, though it is not mentioned in the proceedings 
of any of the meetings. Without exaggeration this can be described as 
the most important publication in the whole history of agricultural 
science. It brought together the results of the plant physiologists and 
deduced from them the principles underlying the nutrition of plants, 
emphasising the fundamental importance of the ash constituents, phos- 
phates and potassium, magnesium and calcium compounds, which 
no one had previously noticed. Prior to that farmers had been told to 
supply humus as the source of carbon. Liebig pointed out that carbon 
was one of the things farmers need not supply, as it was present in 
unhmited quantities in the air ; nitrogen also, hke carbon, came from 
the air, and need not be supplied. On the other hand, the ash constituents 
came from the soil, and might easily be lacking ; these, therefore, must be 
supplied. The proper way of manuring was to provide ash constituents, 
not organic matter. The new ideas were exceedingly simple ; agriculture 
suddenly became a branch of chemistry backed by the great Liebig himself. 
The feeding of crops became almost a matter of arithmetic ; the ash of 
a crop contains so much of a certain element, therefore so much must be 
present in the soil or added in the manure. Men of science rose to the 
situation. Murchison, President of the Association in 1846, urged agri- 
cultural members to make use of the Association for the solution of their 
problems. ' And if, above all, they wish us to solve their doubts respecting 
the qualities of soils, or the effects of various manures upon them, our 
chemists are at hand.' We are grateful to our distinguished President 
for making no such promise on our behalf at this Meeting. Meanwhile, 
a much younger man was beginning his work. John Bennet Lawes, the 
owner of Rothamsted, had studied at Oxford from 1832 to 1834, attending 
the lectures of Prof. Daubeny and seeing his continuous plot experiments. 
On his return to Rothamsted he began pot experiments with various 
plants, and soon found that growth was improved by sulphate of ammonia, 
a waste product from gas works. This was not a new discovery, but it 
was not widely known. Further, he tried another waste product, animal 
charcoal (which contains much calcium phosphate), and found that it too 
was effective, especially after treatment with sulphuric acid when the 
soluble phosphate, then called superphosphate of Ume, was produced. A 
neighbouring landowner put to him the Agricultural Society's problem : 
Why are bones efEective on some soils and not on others ? He showed that 
treatment with sulphuric acid was all that was necessary to make them 



236 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

generally useful. Further, lie showed that mineral calcium phosphate 
gave the same product, and so could be converted into a valuable manure. 
AH this was done before Liebig's report of 1840 appeared ; the work was 
so novel that Lawes was able to take out a patent for it and so to found 
the artificial fertiliser industry. He did not at once do this, being 
dissuaded by his friends — in 1838 a gentleman and a landowner did not 
embark in trade, least of all in the manure trade — he waited till 1842. 
He set up a factory at Deptford Creek, though I am unable to find the 
source from whence he obtained his phosphates in the early years, nor 
indeed can I recover much information about those years ; fortunately 
there is some record, for in 1851 he took proceedings against various 
persons for infringing his patents, and the papers preserved at Rothamsted 
tell us much about the history of the discovery. 

Simultaneously with all this, however, the field experiments at 
Rothamsted were developed, and of these the records are very full. They 
arose out of the pot experiments, but were quickly expanded to controvert 
Liebig. Lawes recognised that he could not look after both these and the 
factory, and in June 1843 he brought in Gilbert to have charge of them, 
giving him as laboratory the barn in which the chemical work had hitherto 
been done. Lawes, and especially Gilbert, had all the Victorians' love of 
controversy. They did not attempt to rehabilitate the old humus theory, 
nor did they dispute the necessity for potash and phosphates ; they showed, 
however, that these so-called mineral manures were not sufficient, nitrogen 
must also be given ; Liebig had denied this. . Secondly, they showed that 
the composition of the plant afforded no guidance as to its manurial 
requirements. Turnips contained but little phosphate and much potash, 
yet they responded to phosphatic far more than to potassic fertiUser. 
Lawes and Gilbert remained faithful all their days to their first love, 
nitrogen ; and both at Rothamsted and many years later at Woburn, the 
whole scheme of field experiments revolved round this need for supplying 
nitrogenous fertiliser. The fame of Rothamsted, however, grew up on 
the three field experiments ; on Broadbalk wheat, the most important 
crop of the time, showing on the untreated land the 20 bushels per acre 
familiar to the farmers of the 40's, and on the plots treated with the new 
artificial fertilisers, especially with sulphate of ammonia, the unusually 
large yields of 35, 40 or even 50 bushels ; the Barnfield, where Lawes' 
superphosphate gave remarkable increases in yield of turnips, the next 
most important crop ; the increases were at least as good as could be 
obtained with the best farmyard manure, which then, as now, was scarce ; 
and the adjoining Agdell field showed the great value in the rotation of 
clover, a fact which was not new, but sufficiently little known to make 
the demonstration very interesting. Never before had an experimental 
farm such a striking display of new discoveries ; never before had it been 
possible to show how this wonderful science about which people were 
talking so much, could do so much for agriculture. The Rothamsted 
fields were the first efiective demonstration grounds, and so well did the 
farmers of the day appreciate Lawes' work that they not only bought his 
superphosphate, but after only ten years, in 1853, they subscribed £1,160 
to build a laboratory which should take the place of the old barn that had 
been in use for some fifteen years. This laboratory was the first of its 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 237 

kind, and it remained in use till 1914. Unfortunately the original barn 
was pulled down by Lawes, so that we are deprived of what would otherwise 
have been a wonderful historic memorial. 

Had Rothamsted simply been a place for the demonstration of artificial 
fertilisers, its usefulness would soon have passed. But from the outset it 
was much more. Like Daubeny's plots at Oxford, to which their general 
plan seems to owe a good deal, and like the very important farm at 
Bechelbronn, where Boussingault was carrying out his fundamental 
researches on agricultural science, the purpose of the work was a search 
' after causes,' a search for knowledge. Lawes emphasised this very 
clearly in his speech in 1855 at the opening of the new laboratory. ' I 
must explain to you, gentlemen,' he said, * that the object of these experi- 
ments is not exactly to put money into my pocket, but to give you the 
knowledge by which you may be able to put money into yours, to enable 
you to judge the properties of all your several crops ... to give you that 
knowledge which will enable you to pursue that course which would be 
most profitable to you.' Throughout the stress is on the gaining of 
knowledge. This early recognition that the purpose of agricultural 
experiments is to provide information which farmers can use for them- 
selves accounts for the rapid success achieved. 

Armed with this new knowledge and the new fertilisers, British farmers 
continued to increase their production, and the towns continued to buy 
still more food. The Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1849,^ while it lowered 
corn prices on the whole, did not bring them lower than farmers had 
known, and improved transport and growing demands made sales muci 
easier. 

One of the great obstacles of the day was lack of drainage, but in 1845 
Scragg had invented the pipe-making machine, and by 1850 there was 
sufficient money in the countryside to begin those extensive drainage 
schemes which did so much for our countryside. 

All this time the livestock of the country was steadily improving ; the 
Shorthorn was displacing the Longhorn, other important breeds were 
defined and their special qualities developed. The standard of farming 
rose high, prosperity increased, land was brought into cultivation, and 
if there ever was a golden age for agriculture it was in the 60's and 70's 
of the nineteenth century. Experts came from many other countries to 
see and to learn. In 1872 the area of land under arable cultivation in 
Great Britain was no less than 18-4 million acres, the highest it ever 
reached. The nation was made as nearly self-supporting as was possible. 
The system required a considerable demand for wheat at 50s. to 55s. per 
quarter, and a considerable supply of good agricultural labour at about 
10s. to 12s. per week ; so long as these conditions were satisfied it could 
continue successfully and indefinitely. 

But at the height of its glory the system collapsed. Two causes 
operated. Labour was not content with the standard of living implied 

* The Bill was passed in 1846, but did not become operative till February 1849. 
Trevelyan states that the chief factor was the potato blight in Ireland, which had 
destroyed the potato crop on which the peasants fed and made cheap wheat vitally 
necessary. He records Wellington's comment : ' Rotten potatoes have done it ; 
they put Peel in this d fright.' 



238 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

in a weekly wage of 10s. to 12s. and a 55s. price of wlieat, and Joseph 
Arch started his Union in 1872. Even more important, transport was 
developing and the new countries were opening up. 

The fall began in 1874. Wheat had been 55s. 9d. per quarter on the 
average for the year. In 1875 it was down to 45s. 2d., a price at which 
many farmers could hardly grow it, in spite of the low wages. The United 
States was sending wheat here in quantity and greatly underselUng our 
farmers. Prices in '76 and '78 were hardly any better (though '77 had 
been), and then in '79 came a terribly wet year, the worst in the century, 
when wheat aU over the country was badly lodged and badly harvested. 
Farmers' resources had been depleted by the low prices, and now came 
low yields and a very expensive harvest. In the old days the price would 
have risen and righted matters, but now importations increased so much 
that prices fell below 44s. Many farmers were ruined ; some hung on 
hoping for better times, which, however, never came. Another Royal 
Commission was appointed, and pronounced the distress to be of 
' unprecedented severity.' But worse was to come. More and more 
wheat came from the United States at still lower prices, till in 1894 and '95, 
through a financial crisis in the Western States, wheat fell to 23s. per 
quarter as the average for the year, while many farmers had to sell for 
much less. These very low prices did not benefit the townspeople, and 
they ruined the countryman, causing terrible distress among labourers 
and farmers, and shattering completely the wonderful system of agriculture 
that had taken 100 years to build up. Lawes had to confess that science 
apuld do nothing to help ; it had increased yields per acre and could 
do so again, but the trouble was too deep-seated to be cured by higher 
farming. 

How had all this come about ? For 200 years American farmers and 
English farmers had never seriously competed, and now all of a sudden 
the competition became terribly severe. But there had been this difference 
between American and British farming. Over there man-power had 
never been abundant, and from the outset American and Canadian 
engineers had invented machines to do the work with less labour ; they 
did not, like the British engineers, aim at doing it better or at increasing 
output per acre ; their aim was to increase output per man, and in the 
struggle between the two the higher output per man had won. These 
developments had been proceeding for many years, and had been much 
helped by the admirable system of agricultural education that had grown 
up in the States. So great was American faith in education that even in 
1862, durmg the anxious days of the Civil War, Justin Morrill had been 
able to get the Morrill Act passed and signed by Abraham Lincoln, 
establishing in each State a CoUege of Agriculture. The scope of these 
colleges was widened in 1887 when another great Act, the Hatch Act, 
provided federal funds for setting up agricultural exjDeriment stations at 
each of them ; further funds were provided by a supplementary Act in 
1890. The American farmer of 1894 was therefore well provided with 
information. He suddenly became an effective force in the world because 
the chain of transport arrangements from the prairies to the British 
ports was then completed. British farmers tried in several ways to meet 
the situation. Some, like Mecchi of Essex, struggled manfully with the 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 239 

old system, working it more intensively, but they only failed the worse, 
as Lawes had told them they would. Instinctively most farmers turned 
to livestock and laid the land down to grass, but as their capital was ex- 
hausted they were unable to do it well ; nevertheless much of it by good 
management came off satisfactorily. Many arable farmers went bankrupt 
and simply gave up the struggle ; many Essex farms became almost derelict. 
They were taken up by young Scots farmers, attracted by the irresistible 
lure of getting something for almost nothing. They knew and cared 
nothing about wheat growing, but they were very competent dairy 
farmers and potato growers, and by dint of hard work and simple living 
they succeeded in creating a new agriculture that made the farms solvent 
once more. Gradually it became recognised that specialisation offered the 
best way out of the farmers' troubles. Now that transport was so 
efficient, it was no longer necessary for each country or district to aim 
at being self-sufficing ; instead, each region could confine itself to what 
it could best produce, and import the rest of its requirements from else- 
where. Specialisation allowed of much more efficient production per man, 
of the introduction and the fullest utilisation of improved methods, and 
it required that the farmers should be intelligent, mentally alert, fully 
cognisant of the properties and peculiarities of the crops or animals they 
were handling, and organised for successful bujang and selling. 

Fortunately, just at this time agricultural education was spreading in 
England. There had been since the middle of the eighteenth century 
spasmodic efforts at agricultural education at the older universities, 
Edinburgh having the credit for the most sustained teaching ; and in 
1842 the Agricultural College at Cirencester was founded, which had a 
great influence in training landowners and land agents. But there had 
been nothing to reach the farmer ; the great link between science and 
practice had been the Royal Agricultural Society, with its wonderful 
experts, Augustus Voelcker, Miss Ormerod, and others. A beginning was 
made in 1888 when the Departmental Committee, presided over by Sir 
Richard Paget, reported in favour of State-aid for local centres of agri- 
cultural education. In 1889 the Board of Agriculture was founded, and 
from the outset it adopted the policy of establishing agricultural colleges 
or departments of imiversities. The great event, however, was the ear- 
marking for technical (including agricultural) education in 1890 of the 
tax on whisky imposed in the first instance for the suppression of licences, 
but not so used. This so-called ' whisky money ' provided the funds out 
of which the colleges and farm institutes were set up, beginning with one 
only, Bangor, in 1889, and ending with eighteen in 1900 ; more have been 
added since. The movement spread into the village school ; for twenty 
years it had been a common and legitimate cause of complaint in the 
countryside that rural education had nothing in common with rural life, 
that it fitted children only for clerical occupations, and was of little or 
no help to the future farm worker. The Board of Education appointed 
a special inspectorate to put this matter right ; school gardens were set 
up and courses designed to help the teacher draw on the countryside for 
educational material. The purpose was not to make farm labourers, but 
to develop the power of observation, of recording, of thinking, to show the 
child something of the infinite wonder and glory of the English coimtryside. 



240 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

and to impart a background of knowledge that would enrich its life whether 
it remained in the country or went to the town. 

The pioneers of those days — Middleton, Hall, Wood, Gilchrist, Somer- 
ville, Percival, F. B. Smith — to name only a few, had a strenuous uphill 
task. There was teaching in the college to be done, field experiments 
to supervise, lectures to farmers in those pre-motor days when there were 
only open traps and long dreary waits for slow trains ; often no chance 
of getting a decent meal, and, what was worse, sometimes an unsympathetic 
audience hoping that the local funny man sitting in the back row would 
be able to score ofE the unfortunate lecturer. People would write to the 
newspapers protesting against the idea that a college could possibly teach 
farmers anything of value. News of this got back to the universities and 
gave agricultural science a rather bad name. But the pioneers kept on 
with their struggle, and, inspired by the faith that was in them, they 
carried agricultural education through the length and breadth of the 
countryside ; their teaching has become part of the light by which we 
now walk. 

Then came the system of Comity Agricultural Organisers. These now 
play so great a part in British agriculture that one is apt to forget that 
they began only about 1900' ; with them have grown up the farm institutes, 
and now there are springing up everywhere discussion societies where 
farmers meet to discuss technical and other matters of importance. At 
first no provision was made for research ; then it was realised that agri- 
cultural education could not be carried on without research ; one could 
not go on repeating the same lectures year after year without testing the 
statements and seeking new knowledge. Research on any important 
scale became possible only after 1909, when the Development Fund of 
£2,000,000 was set up at the instance of Mr. Lloyd George for a variety 
of purposes, including research. The Development Commissioners at the 
outset adopted the wise policy of allocating the several sections of agri- 
cultural science to existing institutions, making grants on an adequate 
basis, and so ensuring a widespread interest and, perhaps more important, 
a widespread net to capture young and capable research workers. Crop 
production (soil, plant nutrition and plant pathology) was placed at 
Rothamsted, animal nutrition at Cambridge and the Rowett Institute, 
plant genetics at Cambridge and Aberystwyth, animal genetics at 
Edinburgh, agricultural botany at Cambridge, dairy research at Reading, 
fruit at Long Ashton and East Mailing, economics and engineering at 
Oxford, horticulture and low temperature research at Cambridge, 
veterinary research at Cambridge and Weybridge, helminthology at the 
London School of Tropical Medicine, glasshouse horticulture at Cheshunt. 
The scheme is worked through the Ministry of Agriciilture, and it is one 
of the best instances of successful combination of Government supervision 
of finance with adequate freedom of action for the research worker. The 
general result of all these acti\'ities has been that farmers have learned 
to cheapen production, to seek profitable outlets for their industry, to use 

^ The present widespread system was set up only in January 1919, when the 
Board of Agriculture, as it then was, circulated to the counties proposals for a com- 
prehensive system of agricultural education, offering to pay 80 per cent, of the 
organiser's salary and 66^ per cent, of all other approved expenditure. 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 241 

machinery and any other aids to production. Results soon appeared. 
When Hall, in the years 1910-1912, made his classical pilgrimage of 
British farming, he records as his general impression that ' the industry 
is at present sound and prosperous. . . . Rents have definitely risen with 
the demand for land that cannot be satisfied, and in all parts of the 
country men are obtaining very large returns indeed on the capital they 
embarked in the business.' This was less than twenty years after the 
deep depression of the early 'nineties ! 

Then came the war. For the English countryside (so far as any men 
were left), for the overseas Empire and the United States, it was a time 
of feverish activity to raise more food to sell to the Allies. Prices were 
fixed in England, so that money never abounded in the countryside as 
it had done in Napoleonic times. In spite of the sadness of the war years 
the farmers of Great Britain put up a wonderful fight to produce food. 
The history of the time has been written by Middleton.^ After the war 
came three years of high prices ; in 1920 wheat averaged 80s. lOfZ. per 
quarter, the highest since 1818. Then just as suddenly there came the 
slump ; by 1922 wheat was down to 47s. lOd. The high prices had done 
farmers very little good, and in the end they lost all that they had gained. 
Many landowners proceeded to sell their estates. The high price of 
produce induced man}'^ to bid for the land, and the sitting tenant had 
either to outbid or be dispossessed. Frequently he had to pay more in 
interest on loans and mortgages than he had paid in rent, and in addition 
he has also to maintain the buildings, gates and roads which formerly the 
estate had done ; moreover, as a landowner he has incurred the hearty 
disHke of some of the town dwellers, who now promise him extra taxation. 
He is therefore in a far worse position thaia the farmer of 1821 in the 
slump after the high prices of the Napoleonic wars. But much worse 
has come. When the first rush of cleaning up after the Great War wa.s 
over it was realised that the world's power of jiroducing food had grown 
far in excess of its power of consuming food. The population had 
increased but the power of food production had increased much more. 
In consequence, prices of farm produce have fallen far more than costs of 
labour and of other commodities. British farmers have turned, as in the 
1890's, to livestock, raising lamb, young pigs and milk as far as possible 
on grass with an increasing acreage of lucerne, thanks to the success of 
Thornton's inoculation method. Those who cannot produce grass cheaply 
and easily, but who have to depend on arable land, are in a sorry plight, 
and the difficulty is not confined to this country ; arable farmers in all 
civiUsed countries are deeply depressed. 

This certainly is not the result that was expected ; on the contrary, 
experts had confidently predicted a food shortage. Sir WilUam Crookes, 
in his presidential address to the Association in 1898, forecasted the 
probable world requirement of wheat for the next three decades, and 
showed that the sources and methods then available would continue to 
suffice only till 1931, when the world would begin to feel the pinch 
of hunger. It seemed a tragic ending to the magnificent triumj^hal 
march of the nineteenth century. Crookes' figures were remarkably 

* Food Production in War : Oxford (Carnegie Eudowment). 
1931 R 



242 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

accurate, and there can be no doubt that, had science and practice stood 
still since 1898, we should now be facing the horrors of world starvation. 
But they have not stood still, and the present position of farm prices is 
a measure of their advancement. 

Two new and closely^ linked factors have come into play since 1898 
and are largely responsible for the present position : the widening of the 
scope of science in agriculture and the agricultural development of the 
British Empire and of South America. In the nineteenth century 
agriculture had been mainly a branch of chemistry ; its professors had 
been chemists, its laboratories chemical. Crookes suggested more 
chemistry as the way out of what he called the ' colossal dilemma ' of world 
starvation ; he proposed the manufacture of more nitrogenous fertilisers 
from the air — a fantastic idea at the time, yet now our chief source of 
supply. 

The new scientific developments came from the biological side, and 
the new practical developments from the engineering side. The first 
great biological triumphs were in plant breeding. There had always been 
an empirical art of plant breeding and selection which had given to farmers 
in the nineteenth century the Hallett barleys, Browick, Red Standard 
and other good wheats. Magnum Bonum potatoes, and sugar-beets of 
successively higher sugar content ; but the results came by accident and 
not by design. With the discovery of Mendel's laws and the development 
of the science of plant genetics, the production of new varieties was largely 
under control ; within limits the breeder could work to a specification 
with considerable hoiies of success. The greatest success has been achieved 
in producing varieties with some special quality such as drought resistance, 
shortened growing period or stifEer straw ; this has proved far more 
fruitful than the quest for generally improved varieties. For by developing 
some special quality it has been found possible to cultivate the crop in 
regions where the older varieties would not grow. 

Animal breeding is following the same lines : the empirical work of 
Robert Bakewell of Dishley, John Ellman of Glynde, the Collins brothers 
and a host of others, has given us our unrivalled breeds of livestock. 
Crew and his colleagues at Edinburgh are now introducing the science of 
genetics into the industry : they have made a promising start : let us 
hope they will achieve as great results as their colleagues have done 
with plants. 

Canada affords some of the best examples of the plant breeder's success 
in opening up new regions of the world for settlement. Up to the middle 
of the nineteenth century the Canadian wheats were suited only to the 
eastern provinces, Ontario and Quebec ; the}^ were uncertain on the 
prairies. About 1842 David Fife, in Ontario, received for trial from a 
Glasgow friend several packets of wheat which he sowed. Among the 
resulting plants was one that differed entirely from the rest, and also 
escaped damage from rust and frost, two destroyers of wheat in those 
times. How the seed got there, or whence it came, can never be known. 
It was a Galician variety. But the accident was a fortunate one for 
Canada, and did much to build up her wealth. The wheat plant was so 
good that Fife saved the seed and multiplied it, and in course of time it 
was widely taken up by farmers under the name of Red Fife. It proved 



M.— AGRICULTLTRE. 243 

to be eminently suited to the j^rairies, and as soon as the railway was 
completed in 1886 it was taken there by the new settlers and became the 
basis of their prosperity. So strange an accident could not be expected 
again, nor did Canada count upon it, yet it happened. The Dominion 
Experimental Farm was set up in 1886 and its director, William Saunders, 
began the breeding of new varieties. Many of these, while not sufficiently 
promising to justify multiplication, were kept alive, and one of them, 
after ten years of seclusion, was picked out in 1902 by his son Charles, 
who, regardless of much mild chaffing, applied to all wheats within reach 
his rapid chewing test for quality. This variety was multiplied, and 
from 1910 onwards was distributed under the name of Marquis to the 
prairie provinces and the United States. It ripened earlier than Red 
Fife and so could be grown further north and west ; thus it greatly extended 
the wheat belt of Canada. But even more good fortune was in store, for 
its earlier ripening enabled it to escape the worst ravages of stem rust. 
It has in consequence spread southwards into the United States, and it 
is now probably more extensively grown than any other variety of wheat 
in the world. 

The Canadian plant breeders continued their search for still earlier 
maturing varieties ; they produced Prelude and Ruby, and now Reward, 
best of all of them in earliness and in resisting stem rust, requiring only 
about 100 days from seed-time to harvest, and therefore capable of growing 
much further north than Marquis. Thus has the plant breeder exploited 
the first lucky chance that gave the prairies a suitable wheat, and he has 
produced varieties better and better suited to the northern margin of 
cultivation, and so has pushed the wheat belt into regions counted as 
waste in 1900. 

Man-power was long the limiting factor in Canadian farming, and this 
problem of saving labour has been attacked with devastating thoroughness 
by engineers all the world over. The reaper had come in the 60's, and 
the binder in the 80's, but the internal combustion engine has made 
changes vast and dramatic beyond the wildest stretches of the pre-war 
imagination. The tractor and the new cultivating implements at and 
before seeding-time, and the combine at harvesting, have revolutionised 
wheat-growing by dispensing with enormous numbers of men and greatly 
increasing the area of land needed per man as an economic unit for wheat 
farming. Not long ago 160 acres was the economic unit for the family 
farm ; now 320 acres is the low^est Umit, and 640 acres is nearer the most 
profitable size. C. W. Peterson in his recent book, ' Wheat,' gives some 
startling figures. In 1911 sixteen persons were needed on the average 
to cultivate 1,000 acres of land in the three prairie provinces. By 1926 
this number had been reduced to eleven. Further reduction has gone on ; 
during the past two years, he says, mechanisation has displaced over 
25,000 men from western farms. Fortunately, there is still land to which 
they can go, for the new machines and the new varieties have enabled 
land hitherto unsuitable to be brought into cultivation; between 1911 
and 1926 the area under crops had risen in the three prairie provinces 
from 17-6 millions to 35 million acres. Already Canada has far outstripped 
the limits set by the experts of thirty years ago, excepting only those of 
the arch optimist, WiUiam Saunders ; and no one would now risk his 

r2 



244 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

reputation by predicting the limit to Canada's future accomplishments. 
The result of the new methods is, according to Mr. Peterson, that wheat 
can already be produced at 43 cents per bushel, or 14s. per quarter (at 
25 bushels per acre), and the cost can be further reduced. 

Australia also has developed as the result of the activities of the plant 
breeder and the engineer ; the problem here was the conquest of the 
drought. Farrer began by producing wheats more resistant to rust and 
drought than the older sorts, and his pupils, Sutton and others, have 
continued the work. Agriculturists showed the great value of super- 
phosphates for all crops ; they further improved the methods of cultiva- 
tion, and now, as A. E. V. Richardson has shown, for each inch of rain 
falling during the season, the farmers of Victoria obtain one bushel of 
wheat, while forty years ago they obtained only half a bushel ; further 
improvement is possible, for with perfect utiUsation of the rain one inch 
should yield 3-5 bushels of wheat. Every new improvement enables the 
wheat grower to push the wheat belt a little further into the drier inland 
region, just as in Canada it enables him to push a little further into the 
northern regions of shorter summers. Some of the most striking agri- 
cultural developments of modern times have been in Western Australia. 

South Africa owes much of its advances to two other branches of 
biological science — veterinary science and parasitology. No part of the 
white man's habitation seems so suitable for insects, and especially parasites, 
as South Africa. So long as the white man occupied the country only 
thinly he could do it without difficulty, but trouble began as soon as he 
wished to increase his hold on the land and multiply his flocks and herds. 
The first to attack the problem seriously was Arnold Theiler. It is 
difficult to overrate the value of the service he has rendered to South 
Africa as a country, and to farm animals the whole world over. He 
began at the time of the rinderpest plague of 1895, a virus disease which 
killed almost the entire cattle population of South Africa ; the country 
was also devastated by horse sickness, blue tongue of sheep, heartwater 
of cattle, sheep and goats, and other terrible diseases. With almost 
uncanny precision he diagnosed the causes of these diseases and discovered 
curative measures ; he founded the Veterinary Research Laboratories at 
Onderstepoort, of which not only South Africa but the whole Empire is 
proud, and he trained up a body of veterinary research workers and 
officers who now, under the distinguished leadership of P. J. du Toit, are 
extending the good work. Dr. du Toit, in his brilliant presidential address 
to this section last year, set out the history and present position of the 
achievements in veterinary science. These discoveries have had their 
counterpart in the veterinary services of India and other countries, and 
animal diseases are now much more under control than they were. 
However, the task never ends, for as soon as one disease is controlled 
another seems to rise into prominence. We are still far from security ; 
in the past twelve years foot and mouth disease has cost the British 
Government over 5|- million pounds sterling paid to the farmers of Great 
Britain as compensation for animals compulsorily slaughtered, while the 
farmers themselves have sufiered vastly more. Veterinary research is now 
developing in this country at Cambridge and elsewhere, and the relation- 
ships between nutrition and disease are studied at the Rowett Institute. 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 245 

The engineer has perhaps been the greatest force in the development 
of New Zealand agriculture. In 1831, the time of our first meeting, the 
only export from New Zealand was a little flax (with an occasional 
preserved human head elaboratel)' tattooed) ; wool was not exported 
till 1835, and then only from two farms ; there was no organised settlement 
till 1840, when Wellington was founded, and no real movement till 1843, 
when numbers of sheep were brought over from Australia and established 
on the Wairarapa plains near Wellington. Wool rapidly became the chief 
export, followed for a short time after 1870 by wheat, the result of Vogel's 
development policy, till the invention of refrigeration paved the way for 
the great dairy and lamb industries, which are now among the most 
remarkable and efl&cient agricultural industries in the world. The inven- 
tion came from Australia ; in 1873 James Harrison had been awarded a 
gold medal at the Melbourne Exhibition for his method of freezing meat. 
But the method was not developed till 1879, and then it was not successful. 
The first satisfactory cargo of frozen mutton and lamb came to London 
from New Zealand in 1882 in a sailing ship fitted with refrigeration 
appliances ; ten years later steamers were introduced, and continuous im- 
provements have since been made. On the agricultural side also the industry 
has developed remarkably, and from 1921 onwards it has been the subject 
of a good deal of legislative control, for the New Zealand farmer has 
learned to combine freedom of action in producing with united action in 
grading and marketing, and in consequence he has been able to send over 
here large and regular supplies of uniform high quality, and so to secure 
an enviable position in our markets. He does this at a profit in spite of 
his great distance from our markets, and of having to pay wages much 
higher per man (though not per job) than are paid here ; the exports are 
rapidly rising. In 1929 that of butter was valued at £13-2 millions, of 
cheese £7 miUions, frozen meat (mutton and lamb) £9-9 millions ; in all 
more than £30 millions by refrigeration transport, as against £15 millions 
of wool — a truly remarkable progress. 

The development of the dairy industry, however, was not simply 
a matter of transport : it is a triumph for the bacteriologist, who has 
reduced to an exact science the art of producing clean milk, good butter, 
and cheese true to type. In this country good work has been done at 
the Dairy Research Institute at Reading by Stenhouse Williams, Golding 
and their colleagues. 

Australia has recently made great progress with the dairy industry, 
and is now going into the question of lamb. Canada has a highly developed 
dairy industry. These new developments require compact units, and 
therefore intensive farming. The natural herbage, supplemented where 
necessary by mineral licks, had sufficed so long as wool and low-grade 
beef alone were produced, but with intensification came the necessity for 
improving the grazing lands. Treatment with phosphate, which Wrightson, 
Somerville, Gilchrist and others had shown to do so much for British 
pastures, proved equally effective in New Zealand, the enclosed paddocks 
of Australia and parts of South Africa ; indeed, few results are more 
striking than those obtained with phosphate on almost any crop in these 
countries. These problems are now being studied by Orr and the staff of 
the Rowett Institute. In the moister areas the striking results obtained 



246 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

with nitrogenous manures on hay at Rothamsted during the past 80 years 
have been obtained also on grazing land, and intensive methods such as 
that proposed by Falke and Warmbold in Germany, and developed by 
Imperial Chemical Industries, are being tried in this country and in the 
British Empire. Stapledon has shown the marked differences between 
different strains of grass. The grass lands of the Empire can be con- 
siderably improved, and vast increases are possible in the output of meat 
and dairy products. 

Beef production is in a somewhat different category from mutton or 
pig meat. In the Norfolk rotation it was linked to intensive farming, but 
this has long been uneconomic, and it is now moving back to the extensive 
grassland systems. It does not join up well with the systems of producing 
dairy produce and mutton practised in New Zealand, Australia and 
Canada, and it requires different refrigerator arrangements. The future 
supplies appear at the moment to be less extensive and less extensible 
than those for other products. There are, however, two great regions of 
the British Empire where great extension will be possible whenever the 
need arises : the northern part of Australia, and the grass region of Africa 
lying between latitudes of 20° South and 15° North— roughly between 
the Limpopo and the Sahara group of deserts — it includes the Rhodesias, 
Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, SomaUland, the Southern Sudan and the 
Western Colonies. There are, of course, entomological and veterinary 
difficulties, for insects are in possession of much of this country ; there are 
also sociological problems, for many of the natives do not wish to sell 
their cattle, holding them as marks of honour and distinction ; there are 
transport problems and many others ; probably none, however, is 
insuperable. 

Another result of improved storage during transport has been a great 
development of Empire fruit growing. Apples and oranges were formerly 
obtainable in England only in winter ; they are now obtainable in spring 
and summer, thanks to the marked developments in Tasmania, the Murray 
region in Australia, and South Africa. Plums, peaches, grapes come in 
abundance from South Africa, bananas from Jamaica ; not only are the 
total imports of fruit increasing, but the proportion from the Empire 
increases ; it had averaged 24 per cent, for the five years 1925-9, and 
rose to 33 per cent, in 1930 ; home growers supplied 26 per cent. ; usually 
their share is nearer 30 per cent. The Empire still, however, suppUes 
less than one orange out of every four that we eat, only 39 per cent, of 
our bananas, 16 per cent, of our grape fruit, and 10 per cent, of our pine- 
apples ; there are therefore considerable possibihties of further develop- 
ment. Demand is increasing ; in 1930 the consumption of fruit per 
head of population in Great Britain was nearly 83 lbs., as against 70 lbs. 
in 1924. Other countries are improving their production and transport. 
In Great Britain, Barker, Wallace, and their colleagues at Long Ashton, 
and Hatton at East Mailing, have greatly strengthened the fruit-growers' 
position, and for fruit the outlook is, as for other commodities, a power of 
production growing greater than the power of consumption. Another im- 
portant factor in the fruit industry has been the development of canning, 
which affords a satisfactory way of dealing with excess produce. 

Engineering science has further intensified agricultural production by 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 247 

developments in irrigation. This ancient art originated in Mesopotamia 
and Egyi:)t, and then almost died out. It was then taken up by the 
Americans and the British, and is now almost an Anglo-American science. 
The engineer pro^^des the water and the drainage, the agriculturist devises 
the appropriate system of husbandry, finds the most suitable varieties 
and the ways of growing them, and shows how to obtain the maximum 
value for the water used. The soil expert distinguishes those areas that 
can advantageously be watered from those that should not, and discovers 
also the effect which the water will subsequently have on the soil, and 
the interactions likely to occur between the soil and the soluble salts 
almost invariably present. The plant pathologist deals with the plant 
diseases that inevitably occur, and the medical authorities must keep 
a close watch for malaria. It seems a formidable technical staff, but 
constant watchfulness is imperative ; success in the first ten or fifteen 
years is easily enough attained, but serious troubles sooner or later dog 
the steps of those who change a natural desert into an artificial garden. 
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret. You may drive out Nature 
with a pitchfork, but she always comes back again. The Spirit of the 
Waste is not too easily conquered. 

The greatest triumphs of irrigation in our time have been in India, 
There British engineers have set up the greatest dams, the greatest canals, 
the greatest schemes the world can show. The cultivable area of India 
has been enormously increased, and land provided for millions of peasants 
who would otherwise have had none. Since the British introduced the 
great modern schemes famine has been banished from India — ^not only 
famine but even the memory of famine and of the self-sacrificing labours 
of those who finally overcame it. These Indian irrigation schemes are 
an immixed blessing ; they are largely used for local food production, 
and they raise the standard of life for the peasants without lowering the 
standard of life of anyone else by flooding the world market with cheap 
products. Irrigation schemes worked by white men are so costly that 
only valuable products can be raised. The Murray River basin in 
Australia, the largest white man's scheme in the Empire, produces 
dairy produce, oranges, peaches, raisins and other fruits for the world 
market, and rice, which largely goes to the East. The main purpose in 
Western Canada is fruit and dairy produce, in the White River and other 
settlements in South Africa, oranges. In hotter regions the schemes arc 
worked by natives under British supervision, but usually for costly crops ; 
in the Gezira cotton is the purpose. In all cases irrigation has greatly 
increased the output from the land and greatly increased the supplies for 
the world market. If time permitted, it would be possible to go through 
the whole list of products of the earth and show how modern science has 
increased output far beyond human needs, with a resulting fall in demand 
and lowered prices. One could dilate on the achievements of the Dutch 
in Java in producing their new sugar cane, which quadrupled the output 
and so lowered the price of sugar that the West Indies are in terrible 
distress, the sugar-beet industry of this country is threatened, and all 
Europe would be in trouble but that they artificially keep out the new 
sugar. Or again, one could speak of the achievements in rubber growing, 
of the change over from wild rubber to plantation rubber, of the extra- 



248 SECTIONAL ADDRESSES. 

ordinary improvements in teclmique, which have in the past thirty years 
so enormously increased the output that even the most extensive new 
demands of modern civiUsation — rubber tyres, rubber floors — have failed 
to keep pace with supplies, so that the price, which in 1910 was 12s. Gd. 
per lb., is now reduced to 3d., and may fall still lower, causing great distress 
to the rubber growers. 

Modern science, in short, has been so successful in increasing man's 
power over Nature that it has brought us harvests far more bountiful 
than we know what to do with. Science is still advancing, and no one 
can tell what it will achieve next. 

In these circumstances, with this plethora of the products of the soil, 
with these gifts of Nature poured upon us not merely bountifully but 
torrentially, so that many of our farmers are likely to be submerged in 
the process, one might well be tempted to ask should not the scientific 
workers halt for a time ? It sounds a reasonable question and it is easily 
answered : they cannot do so even if they wished. Their purpose is to 
gain knowledge of Nature, especially of soils, crops, animals and their 
relations to one another, and in this quest there can be no halting. Three 
reasons will suffice. The march of civilisation is inextricably bound up 
with the search after knowledge, and all history shows that, when 
intellectual advancement ceases, civilisation rapidly comes to a standstill. 
The pursuit of knowledge is a human necessity ; it is part of our make-up, 
and we owe to it much of what dignity we possess. We could no more 
suppress it than we could suppress human • emotions or physical needs. 
Secondly, the knowledge so gained furnishes the only possible material 
for agricultural education. Empiricism alone is never a sound basis ; it 
may arouse, but it never satisfies, intellectual curiosity, and it does not 
open up those vistas of promising investigation which a well-designed 
experiment so often reveals, the exploration of which calls forth and 
develops some of the finest intellectual qualities in mankind. The 
necessity for agricultural education is now universally admitted ; only 
the intelligent, mentally alert, well-trained farmer has much chance of 
success ; and one cannot have agricultural education without constant 
research to test and expand the body of knowledge which the teacher 
imparts, ruthlessly cutting out anything false or unfounded. 

And lastly, although we may think in our pride that we have achieved 
a wonderful control over Nature, yet our control is really very limited, our 
tenure uncertain, and our margin of safety very exiguous. Crookes' 
disquieting forecast of 1898 failed to eventuate not because it was false, 
but simply because new powers were won by mankind in the form of 
plant genetics and the internal combustion engine. How long mankind 
will have the wit to go on developing more powers we do not know ; human 
activities hitherto have gone in cycles, and it may be that the period of 
scientific activity is nearly ended. It is quite certain that any slackening 
of control or failure to utiMse scientific discovery by any one group of 
cultivators would speedily eliminate them through pressure of more 
enlightened and therefore more successful competitors. It is, however, 
not so much human competition as the opposing natural agencies that 
must continuously be watched. The weather can still defeat our best 
laid farming plans. Irrigation schemes, however impressively they seem 



M.— AGRICULTURE. 249 

to conquer the waste, are always liable to fail through soil troubles, 
plant diseases or insect attacks. Over large parts of our Empire 
there is a continuous struggle for possession between insects and men, 
and the margin of victory, even when we get it, is never very great. And 
there are new troubles as yet only dimly seen that may easily cause great 
difficulty in future. The remarkable development of rapid transport has 
carried all over the world not only the blessings but also the e\als of this 
earth. Pests and diseases of animals, and particularly of plants, have 
only to appear in one corner of the globe to spread elsewhere with great 
rapidity despite all regulations to the contrary, often causing enormous 
losses. Among the most serious troubles of modern times are the virus 
diseases of plants. These diseases are apparently not caused by any 
recognisable living organism, nor are they simple physiological 
disturbances ; they cannot yet be attributed to any definite causal 
agent. They spread rapidly, being frequently carried by small insects, 
sometimes by mere contact, and they cannot be cured, one can only 
stand by and see the plants perish. All kinds of crops are affected : 
sugar-cane, tobacco, cotton, sugar-beet, groundnuts, bananas, potatoes, 
maize, timber trees {e.g. Sandal), large and small fruits {e.g. peach and 
raspberry) and most greenhouse and horticultural plants. And it is not 
so much sickly plants as healthy ones that suffer ; the disease may come 
suddenly and with great virulence into a healthy prosperous region and 
devastate the most important crop. In Gambia the Rosetta disease cut 
down the crop of groundnuts to about one-third of the normal yield.'' 
In the United States in 1926 two virus diseases reduced the croj) of potatoes 
by no less than 16 milUon bushels. In this country the total loss cannot 
be estimated, but the figures recorded for various attacks vary from 
35 to 75 per cent, loss of crop. Worse still is the deterioration of stocks : 
stocks apparently healthy, and vigorous may become worthless in two to 
four years. Cotton growers are becoming seriously perturbed. In the 
Gezira last year the losses were considerable, although until recently the 
leaf -curl disease was unknown there. Sugar-beet in the south-western 
region of the United States is so seriously imperilled by the curly-top 
disease that the Government has set aside $300,000 for its investigation. 
In this country special grants are made to Rothamsted, Cheshunt, Bangor, 
and other institutions to study these diseases. Tobacco is now being 
badly attacked, also tomatoes and potatoes ; the latest sufferers are the 
narcissi and daffodils in our own gardens ; these cease to flower and 
shortly