Wellington Philosophical Society.
Eight general meetings of the society (including the annual meeting) were held during the year 1917, at which the following papers and addresses were read:—(25th April) “Fly and Mosquito Larvicides,” by Professor H. B. Kirk; “Perpetual Calendars,” by Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville: (23rd May) “Proportional Representation — a New Zealand Experience,” by the President, Mr. G. Hogben: (27th June) “The Development of Hydro-electric Power in Canterbury,” by Mr. L. Birks: (25th July) “The Outline of New Zealand,” by Dr. C. A. Cotton; “An Experiment in the Teaching of Fundamental Ideas in Geometry,” by Miss P. Myers: (22nd August) “Hydro-electric Development of Power in Tasmania,” by Mr. H. D. Cook: (26th September) “Crystal Analysis by means of × Rays,” by Professor H. Clark: (24th October)” Further Notes on New Zealand Bird-song,” by Mr. J. C. Andersen; “The Botanical Districts of New Zealand,” by Dr. L. Cockayne; “Notes on New Zealand Floristic Botany,” by Dr. L. Cockayne: (12th December) “Descriptions of New Zealand Lepidoptera,” by Mr. E. Meyrick (communicated by Mr. G. V. Hudson); “Is Earth-rotation the Cause of the Ocean Currents,” by Mr. A. W. Burrell (communicated by Dr. C. E. Adams); “A Note on the Young of Astraea heliotropium (Martyn),” by Miss M. K. Mestayer (communicated by Mr. R. L. Mestayer); “The Star Test for Telescopic Mirrors,” by Mr. T. Allison (communicated by Dr. C. E. Adams); “Comparisons between the Tidal Predictions and Actuality at the Ports of Auckland and Wellington,” by Dr. C. E. Adams; “Harmonic Analysis of Tidal Observations,” by Dr. C. E. Adams; “Prediction of Tides,” by Dr. C. E. Adams; “Notes on East Coast Earthquakes, 1914–1917,” by Mr. G. Hogben; “Physiography and Agriculture of the Coastal District of Western Wellington,” by Mr. A. H. Cockayne and Dr. C. A. Cotton; “Evidence of Warping on the Eastern Side of the Port Nicholson Depression,” by Dr. C. A. Cotton; “The Physiography of Rough Ridge, Otago,” by Dr. C. A. Cotton.
At the annual general meeting (24th October) the annual report and balance-sheet were adopted.
Abstract of Annual Report.
New Zealand Standard or Mean Time.—The Council forwarded to the Government a report drawn up by a committee giving reasons why New Zealand mean time should be altered so as to be exactly twelve hours in advance of Greenwich civil mean time. The Government replied that on account of the war it could not see its way to take any action at present. Printed copies of the report have been distributed to the other affiliated societies and to other bodies interested, and the matter will not be lost sight of.
The proposal originated in a resolution passed by the Council on the 30th November, 1916, following the reading of a paper on “Daylight-saving” before the society by Mr. C. W. Adams. The reform was also supported by the National. Efficiency Board.
Grant for Research.—Advice was received from the New Zealand Institute that a portion of the £250 voted by Parliament for research had not been applied for, and applications for grants therefrom were invited. On the recommendation of the Council, grants in aid of out-of-pocket expenses were made in the following cases: (1) £50 to Messrs. W. S. La Trobe and C. E. Adams for a tide-predicting machine, and (2) £25 to Professor H. B. Kirk for an investigation of methods of killing mosquitoes and larvae.
Science and Industry Committee.—On the 26th July, 1916, a committee was appointed by the society to report on the organization of scientific and industrial research and the study of science within New Zealand.
The committee held twelve meetings, and its final report was adopted by the society at its September meeting, and was forwarded to the New Zealand Institute for consideration. The report will be printed at the end of a parliamentary paper dealing with the question of the relation between science and industry throughout the Empire.
Tide-gauges at Outlying Islands of New Zealand.—The Council urged on the Government the importance of establishing tide-gauges at the outlying islands of New Zealand, in order that further investigations of the tides of the Pacific might be made. The Government has deferred consideration of the matter until after the war.
Proposed Reform of the New Zealand Institute — The New Zealand Institute having forwarded Dr. Thomson's proposals for the reform of the Institute, a report by the Council on these proposals was sent to the other incorporated societies, and replies fully discussing it have been received from the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, the Otago Institute, the Auckland Institute, and the Manawatu Philosophical Society.
Technical Library.—The Council endorsed a resolution of the Science and Industry Committee urging the importance of a technical library, and forwarded the resolution to the New Zealand Institute for transmission to the Government for its favourable consideration and action.
Journal of Science.—A proposal made by the Minister of Internal Affairs for the establishment of a Journal of Science was considered, and the following resolution was adopted and endorsed by the Council: “The Technological Section of the Wellington Philosophical Society is of opinion that the publication of a Dominion Journal of Science, open to contributions from all sources, is a necessity and satisfies a long-felt want, and hereby offers its heartiest congratulations to the Minister of Internal Affairs upon his action in founding and establishing the Journal, but respectfully suggests that the title be altered to read, ‘The New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology’, thereby extending the scope of the Journal.” The Minister has agreed to the change of title.
Hamilton Memorial.—The report of the Hamilton Memorial Committee has been received (see pp. 333–34).
Jubilee of the Society.—The 13th November, 1917, is the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the society. The Council considers that owing to the present state of war it is not desirable to take any steps to celebrate the jubilee this year.
Membership.—Since the annual meeting of 1916 twelve members have been elected, one member has become a life member under Rule 26, one life member (Mr. R. Coupland Harding) and one ordinary member have died, while one member has been killed in action. Six members have resigned their membership. The roll now stands at nine life members, twenty-three members on active service or in camp in New Zealand, and 146 ordinary members, making a total of 178 members.
The following officers and Council were elected for the year 1918: President—G. Hogben, C.M.G., M.A., F.G.S. Vice-Presidents — R. W. Holmes, M.Inst.C.E.; C. E. Adams, D.Sc., F.R.A.S. Council — C. A. Cotton, D.Sc., F.G.S.; T. H. Easterfield, M.A., Ph.D.; F. W. Furkert, A.M.Inst.C.E.; C. Monro Hector, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.A.S.; J. Henderson, M.A., D.Sc., B.Sc. (Eng.); S. H. Jenkinson; H. B. Kirk, M.A.; W. S. La Trobe, M.A.; E. Parry, B.Sc., M.I.E.E., A.M.Inst.C.E.; D. M. Y. Sommerville, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.E. Secretary and Treasurer — J. Allan Thomson, M.A., D.Sc., F.G.S. Auditor — E. R. Dymock, F.I.A.N.Z. Representatives on the New Zealand Institute—G. Hogben, C.M.G, M.A., F.G.S.; H. B. Kirk, M.A.
The following papers have been read before the section during the year 1917:— (4th October) “Long-period Variables,” by C. E. Adams, D.Sc.: (1st November) “The Hartness Turret Telescope,” by C. E. Adams, D.Sc.; “An Easy Method of Night Marching by the Stars,” by G. Hogben, F.G.S.: (6th June) Presidential Address, “The Importance of Pure Science,” by W. S. La Trobe, M.A.; “Description of a Planisphere,” by D. M. Y. Sommerville, M.A.; “Comet a 1917 Mellish,” by C. E. Adams, D.Sc (4th July) “An Appreciation of the Early Astronomers,” by the Rev. B. Dudley, F.R.A.S.; “A Homogram for Transit Star Factors,” by C. E. Adams, D.Sc.: (4th August) “The Principle of Relativity,” by D. M. Y. Sommerville, M.A.: (5th September) The Nebulae,” by A. C. Gifford, M.A., F.R.A.S.
Committee and Officers for 1918.—Chairman.—D. M. Y. Sommerville, M.A., D.Sc. Vice-Chairmen — W. S. La Trobe, M.A.; E. Parry, B.Sc., M.I.E.E., A.M.Inst.C.E. Committee—C. P. Powles; H. Clark, M.S., Ph.D.; A. C. Gifford, M.A., F.R.A.S.; C. Monro Hector, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.A.S.; G. S. Hooper. Director and Curator of Instruments — C. E. Adams, D.Sc., F.R.A.S Hon. Treasurer—C. P. Powles. Hon. Secretary—C G. G. Berry.
The following papers have been read during 1917:—(9th May) “Irrigation in New Zealand,” by F. W. Furkert, A.M.Inst.C.E.: (13th June) “Smelting of Ironsand at Onehunga,” by J. M. Chambers (communicated by E. Parry); “Experiments on the Smelting of Ironsand,” by J. E. L. Cull, B.Sc.: (11th July) “Losses through Evaporation and Percolation from Irrigation-works,” by F. W. Furkert, A.M.Inst.C.E.; “Diagrams collating Tables of Safe Loads on Stanchions,” by W. S. La Trobe, M.A.; “Friction of Water in Pipes,” by E. Parry, B.Sc.: (8th August) “Convenient Diagrams for the Design of Reinforced-concrete Beams,” by W. S. La Trobe, M.A.: (12th September) “Datum Levels,” by Dr. C. E. Adams; “Economic Aspects of the Greensands of New Zealand,” by Dr. J. A. Thomson: (10th October) “Corrosion by Mine-water,” by Professor Easterfield; “Crystal Analysis by means of × Rays,” by Professor H. Clark; “Failure of High-tension Insulators,” by E. Parry, B.Sc.; “Some Torque Diagrams.” by S. H. Jenkinson.
The officers for the year 1918 were elected as follows: Chairman—S. H. Jenkinson. Vice-Chairmen—E. Parry, B.Sc.; W. S. La Trobe, M.A. Committee—R. W. Holmes, M.Inst.C.E.; Dr. Maclaurm; H. Sladden, Member of Board of Surveyors; Professor H. Clark; F. W. Furkert, A.M.Inst.C.E. Secretary—A. J. Patterson.
The following papers have been read during 1917: C. A. Cotton, “Across America by the Santa Fe Route,” and “The Age and Correlation of the Covering Strata in Central and Eastern Otago”; J. A. Thomson, “The So-called Drift Formation of Hawera,” “The Relative Age of the North Otago and South Canterbury Limestones,” and “The Geology of the Clarence Valley between the Bluff and the Herring River”; P. G. Morgan, “Potash in New Zealand”; J. Henderson, “The Physiography of that Part of the Waikato Valley near Maungatautari,” and “The Geology of the Waitomo Caves”; J. A. Bartrum, “Some Concretions in Recent Sediments in Auckland Harbour”; W. Donovan, “Some Analysis of New Zealand Coals”; E. K. Lomas, “The Teaching of Geography.”
The section is indebted to these members for their work, and for thus maintaining the interest in the Geological Section.
At the conclusion of Mr. Lomas's paper on “The Teaching of Geography” the following motion was carried: “That the Council be requested to urge upon the Government the importance both from the educational and economic standpoint of the more extensive publication of the meteorological observations for a larger number of stations in New Zealand.”
Officers and Committee for 1918.—Chariman—J. Henderson, M.A., D.Sc. Vice-Chairman—E. K. Lomas, M.A., M.Sc. Committee—G. Hogben, C.M.G., M.A., F.G.S.; R. W. Holmes, M.Inst.C.E.; P. G. Morgan, M.A., F.G.S.; J. A. Thomson, M.A., D.Sc., F.G.S.; G. Uttley, M.A., M.Sc., F.G.S. Hon. Secretary—C. A. Cotton, D.Sc., F.G.S.