The Royal Society of New Zealand
Minutes of the Annual Meeting, 22nd MAY, 1940.
The Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand was held on Wednesday, 22nd May, 1940, at 10 a.m., in the Council Room, Victoria University College, Wellington.
The President, the Reverend Dr. J. E. Holloway, presided, and the following were present:—
The Vice-President, Professor W. P. Evans;
Representing the Government: Mr. B. C. Aston, Professor E. R. Hudson, Dr. E. Marsden, and Dr. W. R. B. Oliver;
Representing Auckland Institute: Mr. G. Archey and Professor H. W. Segar;
Representing Wellington Branch: Dr. H. H. Allan and Mr. F. R. Callaghan;
Representing Canterbury Branch: Dr. R. A. Falla and Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf;
Representing Otago Branch: Dr. C. M. Focken and Mr. G. Simpson;
Representing Hawke's Bay Branch: Mr. G. V. Hudson;
Representing Manawatu Branch: Mr. M. A. Eliott;
Representing Southland Branch: Mr J. H. Sorensen;
Co-opted Member: Dr. P. Marshall.
Apologies were received from His Excellency the Governor-General, the Honourable the Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research, and Sir Thomas Easterfield, representative of the Nelson Institute.
Presidential Address: The President welcomed two new members to the Council, namely, Dr. R. A. Falla, representing the Canterbury Branch, and Mr. J. H. Sorensen, representing the Southland Branch, a recently resuscitated Member Body. He also paid a tribute to the work of Mr. E. F. Stead while a member of the Council. Before commencing his address, Dr. Holloway moved the following resolution of loyalty to His Majesty the King:—
That this Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand expresses its loyalty to His Majesty the King, and assures him and his Ministers in New Zealand of the whole-hearted support of the members of this Society in the efforts that are being made to bring the present great conflict with our enemies to a successful issue, and that the Council directs that this resolution be forwarded to the Right Honourable the Prime Minister with a request that it be respectfully submitted to His Majesty.
Dr. Holloway then read his Presidential Address, in which he made reference to the great loss sustained by the Society through the death of Dr. E. Kidson, O.B.E., who had been a member of the Council from 1933–1936.
Dr. Holloway also referred to the death of Dr. A. C. Haddon, who had been an Honorary Member of the Society since 1925.
At the conclusion of the address Mr Hudson moved that a very hearty vote of thanks be accorded to Dr. Holloway, and this was unanimously carried. On the motion of Dr. Oliver, seconded by Dr. Focken, it was resolved to ask Dr Holloway to allow his address to be printed in the Transactions.
Lunch Adjournment: It was decided to adjourn for lunch at 12.45, resuming at 2.15 p.m., and Professor Evans and Dr. Marshall extended an invitation to the Council to lunch at the D.I.C.
Notices of Motion: Two notices of motion were handed in and were read by the President and deferred for consideration until the afternoon session.
Hector Award: The President read the report of the Hector Award Committee as follows:—
The Hector Award Committee appointed by the Council at its 1939 meeting unanimously recommends that the Hector Medal and Prize for 1940 be awarded to Dr. Donald Bannerman Macleod, of Christchurch, for outstanding work in connection with molecular physics.
The Committee considers Dr. Macleod's work to be of fundamental importance and of a high order of merit, showing initiative and originality both in its conception and in its experimental details.
The Committee thinks it worth mentioning that Dr. Macleod's work is well known to European scientists and has been freely used by them.
W. P. Evans,
Convener Hector Award Committee.
On the motion of Professor Evans the recommendation of the Hector Award Committee was adopted.
Amount of Hector Prize: On the motion of Mr. Eliott, seconded by Mr. Hudson, it was resolved that the Hector Prize for 1940 be £50.
Honorary Membership: A letter from the Otago Branch expressed the opinion that a clear connection with New Zealand should be an essential qualification in nomination for the Honorary Membership of the Society.
A good deal of discussion on this point took place, but no decision was reached, and the election of one Honorary Member was then held. On the report of the Honorary Returning Officer, Professor Segar, the President announced that Dr. A. C. Aitkin, M.A., F.R.S., Reader in Actuarial Science, University of Edinburgh, had been elected.
Vacancy in Honorary Membership: One vacancy was declared in the Honorary Membership owing to the death of Dr. A. C. Haddon.
Fellowship Royal Society of N.Z.: On the recommendation of the Fellowship Selection Committee Dr. R. S. Allan and Mr A. W. B. Powell were elected Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Vacancy: One vacancy in the list of Fellows owing to the death of Dr. E. Kidson was announced, and it was decided that this vacancy should be filled at the next Annual Meeting.
Qualifications of Nominees: Certain suggestions with respect to the manner of setting out the qualifications of nominees for the Fellowship had been received from Sir William Benham. On the recommendation of the Fellowship Selection Committee it was decided to adopt the recommendations.
Member Bodies' Reports and Balance Sheets: The following reports and balance sheets were laid on the table and referred to the Hon. Treasurer for report:—Auckland Institute for the year ending 31st March, 1940; Wellington Branch for the year ending 30th September, 1939; Canterbury Branch for the year ending 31st October, 1939; Otago Branch for the year ending 31st October, 1939; Nelson Institute for the year ending 30th September, 1939; Southland Branch for the period ending 31st March, 1940.
Report of the Standing Committee: On the motion of the President the following report of the Standing Committee was adopted:—
Report of the Standing Committee for the Year Ending 31st March, 1940.
Meetings: During the year six meetings were held, the attendance being as follows:—The Rev. Dr. J. E. Holloway, President, Dunedin, 1; Professor W. P. Evans, Vice-President, Wellington, 6; Dr. H. H. Allan, Wellington, 5; Mr. B. C. Aston, Wellington, 2; Mr. F. R. Callaghan, Wellington, 6; Mr. M. A. Eliott, Palmerston North, 2; Mr. G. V. Hudson, Wellington, 6; Dr. E. Marsden, Wellington, 0; Dr. P. Marshall, Wellington, 4; Dr. W. R. B. Oliver, Wellington, 5.
Publications: The four quarterly parts of Volume 69 were published during the year, the fourth part being issued before the end of March.
The decision to publish the Proceedings (annual reports, minutes of annual meetings, and Presidential Address) in Part 1 of each volume instead of in Part 4 has already proved to be a wise one. The further decision of the last annual meeting to revert to the practice of publishing in the Transactions the chief features in the annual reports of the Member Bodies together with brief abstracts of the more important papers read before them and not published in full, will be put into effect in Part 1 of Volume 70. It is felt that this will help to create a more general interest in the Transactions and at the same time serve the purpose of linking the Member Bodies more closely in their work.
Finances: The annual grant has remained at £750, but the cost of the Transactions has been steadily rising. A comparison of the last five volumes shows that there has been a steady increase accounted for mainly by the rise in printing costs, which has been passed on to the Society in an additional 1s 6d per page of text and 4s 6d additional per page of plates, 1s 6d of this additional cost being incurred by the Society's decision to print plates on one side of the page only. The improvement of the plates, however, has warranted this additional expenditure. Another factor in the increased cost is that
the printing of the papers received is being kept right up to date. No papers have been held over for any length of time, practically all being published within six months of the date of receipt by the Hon. Editor.
The number of copies of the Transactions taken by the Member Bodies in recent years shows a slight decrease, and as the levy per copy to Member Bodies is the only means the Society has of supplementing its grant an effort might be made by Member Bodies to increase their orders.
By the sale of publications during the year the Endowment Fund has benefited to the extent of £33 14s 11d.
Library: The new Biology Block at Victoria University College was completed at the end of 1939, and during the vacation the task of shifting the Society's Library to its new room in the Biology Department was carried out. The College authorities allowed the Society to transfer all the shelving which it had been using in the old room, and, while this was a great concession, it involved a good deal of extra moving, as the books had to be removed and stored while the shelving was fitted in the new room. Student assistance for the actual carrying of the books was engaged, and the Secretary reshelved the whole Library in its new quarters. Unfortunately the new room has proved much too small to accommodate the whole of the Library.
The use of a smaller room which can be used for the overflow and the stock of the Society's Transactions, etc., has been granted by the College Principal.
Binding: Approximately 47 volumes have been bound during the year, and an additional 30 volumes are at present with the binder. Apart from the utility aspect these volumes greatly enhance the appearance of the Library shelves.
Member Bodies' Reports and Balance Sheets: The following reports and balance sheets have been received from Member Bodies and are now laid on the table:—
he year ending 30th September, 1939.
Canterbury Branch for the year ending 31st October, 1939.
Otago Branch for the year ending 31s
Nelson Philosophical Society for the year ending 30th September, and Nelson Institute's balance sheet for the same period.
Southland Branch for the period ending 31st March, 1940.
The Wellington Philosophical Society has now adopted the title “Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.”
The Southland Branch, which was recently resuscitated, is to hold its first annual meeting in April, 1940. This will cover a period of eighteen months, but it was deemed advisable to have the financial year of the Branch ending on the 31st March.
The Branch is an enthusiastic one, and in October last had 48 members with prospects of an increase before the end of the year.
On the other hand, the Manawatu Branch, which was also recently resuscitated, is having a great difficulty in obtaining the number of financial members necessary to conform with the rules laid down for Member Bodies. The position of this Branch will have to be considered at the annual meeting.
Fellowship R.S.N.Z.: The names of H. O. Askew and H. J. Finlay as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand were gazetted on the 22nd June, 1939.
On the 6th September Member Bodies were asked to forward nominations for the 1940 Fellowship vacancies. Twelve nominations were received and were sent out to the Fellows for selection. The result of the voting was submitted to the Fellowship Selection Committee, whose report will be placed before the annual meeting.
Sir Wm. Benham has written suggesting certain improvements in the setting out of the qualifications of candidates, and if these suggestions will lead to more uniformity it will be an advantage to adopt them.
Honorary Members: There is one vacancy to be filled at the annual meeting, and Member Bodies have sent in three nominations for the vacancy.
Carter Observatory Board: The final payment of Carter Bequest monies was made on the 6th April, 1939, to the Carter Observatory Board.
The stock of two books written by the late C. R. Carter—“Life of a New Zealand Colonist” (3 vols.) and “New Zealand Loans”—was left by the author to the New Zealand Institute for sale, the proceeds to benefit the Carter Bequest. Approximately 60 copies of each of these volumes were still unsold, and these were handed over to the Carter Observatory Board for disposal.
A vacancy occurred on the Carter Observatory Board owing to the death of Dr. Kidson, one of the Society's representatives. The Standing Committee nominated Dr. M. A. F. Barnett to fill the vacancy.
Hector Award: The Hector Medal and Prize for 1939 were presented to Professor J. A. Bartrum at a meeting of the Auckland Institute held on the 11th October, 1939.
Seal: The annual meeting authorised the Standing Committee to make such alterations as were necessary in the seal of the Society. Accordingly the design was retained and the words “Seal of the Royal Society of New Zealand” substituted for the legend which had previously been used.
This work was carried out by a local firm at a small cost.
N.Z. Science Congress: The Wellington Branch had all preparations well in hand for the Science Congress which was to have been held this year.
On the 27th September the Secretary wrote stating that his Council had decided in view of the International situation to cancel the holding of the Congress. This decision was placed before the Standing Committee and later communicated to Member Bodies. No protest against this decision was received at the time, but on the 27th March, 1940, a letter was received from the Otago Branch communicating the following motion, which had been passed after thorough discussion:—
“That the Council of the Otago Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand expresses the opinion that the New Zealand Science Congresses are of high value, and should not lapse on account of the war. The Council offers to undertake the organisation of such a Congress in 1941 if no other Branch is willing.”
Pacific Science Congress: On the 30th May the Standing Committee appointed Dr. P. Marshall as its representative at the Pacific Science Congress, which was to be held in July, 1939, in California. Dr. Marshall represented the Government as well as the Society at this Congress, and in his report to the Government and the Society he gave an account of the features of the Congress which had impressed him. Prior to the Congress he visited Suva and Honolulu, where the geological structure of the Islands was studied, and after he reached California he visited the Yosemite National Park and the Crater Lake of Oregon. Observations were made at the Park which aided him in arriving at an understanding of the fiord region in the South-west of New Zealand. The Crater Lake offered most interesting comparison with Lake Taupo and Lake Rotorua and illustrated with effect some parts of their history.
At the Congress Geological Section discussions took place on a variety of subjects relating to the structure of the countries situated on the margin of the Pacific Ocean. The Congress showed great interest in New Zealand and its structure. Dr. Marshall read a paper dealing with the important features of volcanic activity in the Pacific Region.
At the banquet given to visiting delegates Dr. Marshall replied on behalf of the British Empire countries represented at the Congress.
At the request of the Pacific Science Council that a representative be appointed to the Council to act on it during the present interval and at the Seventh Congress to be held in Manila in 1943, the Standing Committee at its meeting on the 24th October appointed Dr. Marshall to the position.
Overseas Meetings: Invitations to the 200th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Sweden, the Seventh International Congress of Genetics, the International Congress of Mathematicians, the International Botanical Congress, and the International Geological Congress were received during the year, but owing to the war all these functions have been postponed.
Museum Management Committee: The term of office of the Society's nominees having expired, the Society was asked to submit nominations for the Museum Management Committee. At a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 22nd November the following were nominated and have since been appointed by the Board of Trustees:—Mr. J. C. Andersen, Professor J. Rankine Brown, Professor, W. P. Evans, Mr. G. V. Hudson, Professor H. B. Kirk, Dr. P. Marshall, and Mr. T. Forsyth.
Professor Kirk was appointed Chairman of the Committee in place of Sir George Shirtcliffe, who had resigned.
Loder Cup: The Standing Committee wished to nominate Mr. B. C. Aston for the 1939 Loder Cup, but he declined nomination. The Standing Committee then nominated the Forest and Bird Protection Society. The Loder Cup Committee awarded the cup to Mr. W. A. Thomson, Dunedin, and the Society's congratulations are extended to him.
Certificates for Member Bodies: New certificates for Member Bodies were printed and issued to the Member Bodies during the year.
Arthur's Pass National Park: Professor Speight, who has been the Society's representative on the Arthur's Pass National Park Board for some time, wrote resigning his position. Professor Speight was cordially thanked for his services on the Park Board, and Mr. C. E. Foweraker was nominated in his place. The Lands Department, however, is still considering the personnel of the Arthur's Pass Park Board, and this appointment has not been confirmed.
Professor Park's Services: The resignation of Professor Park from the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand came before the Standing Committee at its meeting on the 30th May, 1939, when the following resolution, moved by Professor Evans and second by Dr. Oliver, was carried:—
“That this Council regrets that Professor J. Park has now resigned from its membership. His long career in scientific work in this country has made his services of special value to the Council. The members of the Council extend to him all good wishes for the enjoyment of his retirement.”
Carter Library: When the Carter Library was transferred to the Turnbull Library in 1922 on account of the risk of fire in the old Dominion Museum building in which it was housed, certain conditions were imposed and were agreed to by the Under Secretary of Internal Affairs on behalf of the Turnbull Library. One of these conditions was that the books were to be kept in the bookcases in which they were sent to the Library and that they were for reference only and not to be removed from the room in which the bookcases were deposited.
Acting on instructions, the Secretary inspected the Library with a view to taking stock of it and found that the terms on which the Library had been placed in the Turnbull Library were not being respected in that the bookcases had been removed altogether and the books were distributed throughout the Turnbull Library.
Accordingly, at a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 24th October, the Secretary reported the position in regard to the Library and read a letter from the Librarian of the Turnbull Library in which he stated that he was unaware of the agreement entered into by the Library authorities and the Society and he expressed his regret that before taking action he had not advised the Society of his intentions regarding the books, which he considered made for their greater usability. “My first principle is always preservation, but the second, without which I can see no justification for the first, is utilization.”
After some consideration the Standing Committee decided to recommend to the annual meeting that the Carter Library, which is the joint possession of the Dominion Museum and the Royal Society of New Zealand, be now transferred to the Dominion Museum, and the Librarian of the Turnbull Library be advised accordingly.
The question of the utilization of the Carter Library Legacy was also considered, and it was decided to obtain a legal opinion as to whether the fund which was left for the erection of a brick room to house the Carter Collection could be diverted from that to such other ways as seem to accord with the real object of the bequest, namely, the safe keeping of the books.
International Commission of Snow: At the instance of Dr. J. E. Church, President of the International Commission of Snow, the Standing Committee agreed to sponsor a New Zealand Section under the direction of Dr. M. A. F. Barnett (successor to the late Dr. Kidson) with the co-operation of Professor Speight and Mr. A. P. Harper. This Section was being organised when the war broke out and it was decided to defer further action in the meantime.
Wild Life Control: The report of the Wild Life Control Committee submitted at last annual meeting and the resolution arising out of the report were forwarded to the Hon. Minister of Internal Affairs, who replied under date of the 19th June, 1939, that the terms of the resolution had been noted and would receive careful consideration.
The report on the question of National Parks referred to the Committee by last annual meeting will be submitted to the annual meeting.
Annual Meeting Luncheon: The question of instituting an annual meeting luncheon was discussed at last annual meeting and referred to the Standing Committee for further consideration. At a meeting held on the 13th February, 1940, it was decided that in view of the war conditions the proposed luncheon be not held this year.
Science Congress: A letter from the Otago Branch offering to organise a Science Congress in 1941 if no other Branch is willing to do so was read. After some discussion it was resolved, on the motion of Dr. Marshall, seconded by Dr. Allan, that in the present circumstances no action be taken in the matter.
Carter Library: A letter from the Librarian of the Turnbull Library was read. On the motion of Professor Evans, it was resolved that the Council go into committee to discuss the position of the Carter Library.
On resuming in open Council, the following resolution, moved by Mr. Archey and seconded by Mr. Callaghan, was carried: “That the recommendation of the Standing Committee be adopted and that the Standing Committee be authorised to make arrangements with the Dominion Museum to ensure the preservation of the books and their availability for study by members of the Royal Society and other students.”
On the motion of Mr. Callaghan, it was resolved that after the transfer of the books to the Dominion Museum is made a letter should be forwarded to the authorities of the Turnbull Library thanking them for the care of the Carter Collection and acknowledging the Society's debt of gratitude to them for making the Turnbull Library available for the housing of the collection during the period that the Dominion Museum had not a fireproof building.
Roll Call: At the afternoon session Dr. Marsden and Mr. Aston were absent in addition to Sir Thomas Easterfield.
National Parks: On the motion of Dr. Oliver, convener of the Wild Life Control Committee, seconded by Mr. Archey, it was resolved that the question of the administration of National Parks be referred back to the Wild Life Control Committee to organise a conference with bodies and associations having a definite interest in New Zealand in National Parks.
Honorary Treasurer's Statements: The following report of the Honorary Treasurer, and the balance sheets and statements of accounts were, on the motion of Mr. Eliott, seconded by Professor Evans, adopted:—
Hon. Treasurer's Report.
The Statement of the Revenue Account for the twelve months ending 31st March, 1940, shows that the expenditure exceeds receipts by £162 3s 7d.
The principal items making up this amount are extra cost of printing (£86), increase in stationery (£20), and cost of library removal (£49). Decreases in levy received amounted to £11 and in sales of publications, £43.
Now that the Carter Bequest account has been finally closed in our books, a brief statement of the financial history of the fund deserves an appropriate record.
In 1896 C. R. Carter bequeathed to the New Zealand Institute the residue of his estate, etc., a sum amounting to £2,240 9s 5d. The Public Trustee was executor of the estate, and the amount was invested by him in the common fund of the Public Trust bearing interest at 4 ½ per cent.
In order more vigorously to develop the fund so that the testator's wishes could be realised, the Institute, after obtaining legal advice. asked the Public Trustee to transfer the fund to the New Zealand Institute. An amount of £4,865 15s 10d was received from the Public Trustee on the 1st July, 1921, and was immediately invested by the Institute in Government Inscribed Stock in lots bearing interest at 5, 5 ¼, and 5 ½ per cent.
In accordance with the Carter Observatory Act the fund with accrued interest and a final payment of £1,500 from the estate was handed over to the Carter Observatory Board on the 21st and 31st March, and 6th April, 1939, the total amount in scrip and cash being £13,741 1s 10d.
The remaining trust funds are slowly growing—the Endowment Fund now stands at £1,708 14s 11d, showing a satisfactory increase for the year of £116 6s 6d.
The cost of printing the Transactions continues to increase, as is shown by the following comparison:—
Since our last annual meeting New Zealand, in common with all other parts of the British Empire, has become involved in war with Germany. It is difficult to forecast what effect this will have on our finances, but the position requires careful watching, and if the occasion arises, then appropriate action must be taken.
I must once again record the satisfactory manner in which the books and accounts have been kept by the Secretary.
M. A. Eliott, Honorary Treasurer.
Statement of Receipts and Expenditure for the Year Ending March 31, 1940.
|Balance at 31st March, 1939||1,453||7||11|
|Levy, Volume 68, Transactions R.S.N.Z.||179||4||0|
|Sales of Publications||33||14||11|
|Travelling Expenses: Member Bodies' Share||28||15||7|
|Cost of Die for embossed letter heads donated by Professor Evans||4||0||0|
|Balance of Carter Bequest Shares Sold||191||5||0|
|Interest at Post Office Savings Bank||28||1||6|
|Endowment Fund Interest||55||17||7|
|Hector Memorial Fund Interest||54||3||10|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Interest||67||6||8|
|Carter Library Legacy Interest||9||10||2|
|T. K. Sidey Summer-time Fund Interest||22||15||3|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund Interest||11||19||6|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Interest||2||3||2|
|Adjustments between Bank of N.Z. and Post Office Savings Bank||1,220||0||0|
|Adjustments between Bank of N.Z. and Trust Accounts||591||14||6|
|Otago Daily Times—Vol. 68 (3, 4), 69 (1, 2)||656||12||1|
|Stationery and Gazette Notices||22||4||8|
|Certificates for Member Bodies||2||8||4|
|Binding Books in Library||28||10||0|
|Library Removal (Assistance and Shelving)||49||2||0|
|Hutton Research Grant||20||0||0|
|Alterations to Seal||2||2||6|
|Petty Cash (Secretary and Editor)||9||19||9|
|Audit, Telephone, Bank, Insurance, etc.||12||12||0|
|Balance Carter Bequest to Carter Board||191||5||0|
|Hector Prizes, 1938 and 1939, and Exchange||100||2||6|
|Engraving Hector Medal||0||8||0|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund Investment||249||12||0|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Investment||192||0||0|
|Endowment Fund Investment||307||4||0|
|Adjustments between Post Office Savings Bank and Bank of N.Z.||1,220||0||0|
|Adjustments between Trust Accounts and Bank of N.Z.||15||7||4|
|Trust Funds paid direct to Post Office Savings Bank Accounts||159||3||3|
|Balance as Under||1,120||0||5|
|Balance at Bank of New Zealand||230||17||6|
|Balance at Post Office Savings Bank||881||17||4|
|Petty Cash in Hand||7||5||7|
Statement of Liabilities and Assets at March 31, 1940.
|Hector Memorial Fund Capital Account||1,184||18||1|
|Hector Memorial Fund Revenue Account||78||8||6|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Capital Account||1,506||8||6|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Revenue Account||149||11||10|
|Carter Library Legacy Capital Account||162||19||0|
|Carter Library Legacy Revenue Account||59||8||2|
|T. K. Sidey Summer-time Fund Capital Account||525||2||1|
|T. K. Sidey Summer-time Fund Revenue Account||54||4||8|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Capital Account||67||9||10|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Revenue Account||2||11||11|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund Capital Account||249||12||0|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund Revenue Account||29||11||3|
|Endowment Fund Capital Account||1,572||7||5|
|Endowment Fund Revenue Account||136||7||6|
|Research Grants Fund||127||0||6|
|Otago Daily Times Company—Vol. 69, Part 3||130||6||0|
|Balance of Assets over Liabilities||687||5||5|
|Bank of New Zealand||230||17||6|
|Post Office Savings Bank||881||17||4|
|Petty Cash in Hand||7||5||7|
|Hector Memorial Fund—Post Office Savings Bank Account||78||8||6|
|Hutton Memorial Fund—Post Office Savings Bank Account||149||11||10|
|Carter Library Legacy—Post Office Savings Bank Account||59||8||2|
|T. K. Sidey Summer-time Fund—Post Office Savings Bank Account||79||4||3|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund—Post Office Savings Bank Account||70||1||9|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund—Post Office Savings Bank Account||29||11||3|
M. A. Eliott, Honorary Treasurer.
The Audit Office, having examined the balance sheet and accompanying accounts required by law to be audited, hereby certifies them to be correct.
Cyril Collins, Controller and Auditor-General.
Revenue Account for the Year Ending March 31, 1940.
|Printing Vol. 68 (4), 69 (1, 2, 3), Labels for Exchanges||688||13||11|
|Travelling Expenses—Society's Share||14||4||2|
|Charges (Audit, Bank, Insurance, Telephone, etc., Seal)||13||12||0|
|Sales 1939-40 credited to Endowment Fund||33||14||11|
|By Balance, 31st March, 1939||849||9||0|
|Levy, Volume 68||179||4||0|
|Trust Funds Administration Expenses||4||15||0|
|Sales of Publications||33||17||2|
|Donation from Professor Evans for die for embossed letter-heads||4||0||0|
Trust Accounts for the Year Ending March 31, 1940.
|To Prize, 1938, Dr. Hosking||50||1||3||By Balance 31/3/39||126||0||2|
|Prize, 1939, Professor Bartrum||50||1||3||Interest||54||3||10|
|Engraving Medal, Professor Bartrum||0||8||0|
|To Audit Fee||0||5||0||By Balance 31/3/39||295||10||2|
|To Audit Fee||0||2||6||By Balance 31/3/39||1||15||4|
|Half Interest to Cap. Account||1||1||7|
|To Audit Fee||0||5||0||By Balance 31/3/39||34||19||11|
|One-tenth Interest to Capital||2||5||6|
|To Audit Fee||0||2||6||By Balance 31/3/39||50||5||6|
|Balance||59||8||2||Interest on £50 in Public Trustee's hands||1||15||0|
|To Investment Inscribed Stock||249||12||0||By Balance 31/3/39||267||6||3|
|To Investment Inscribed Stock||307||4||0||By Balance 31/3/49||327||5||0|
|Administration Exs.||1||5||0||1939-40 Sales of Publications||33||14||11|
On the motion of Mr. Eliott, seconded by Professor Segar, it was resolved that, except by resolution of the Council, interest on the Hutton Fund shall not be added to the Capital Fund, but shall be treated as revenue. This revenue may be invested in Government Stock or other trustee securities.
At the request of one of the members of the Council, it was decided to incorporate the capital accounts in setting out the statements of trust accounts.
Carter Legacy: Professor Evans reported on the action taken by the Standing Committee to enable the Carter Legacy, which had been left by the late C. R. Carter for the erection of a brick room in which to house the collection of books left to the Society and the Museum, to be utilised in such other ways as seem to accord with the object of the legacy, namely, the safe-keeping of the books. The sum of £50 had been left for this purpose, and accrued interest had increased the sum to £266. This, however, was entirely inadequate for the purpose of the legacy, and an application (through Messrs. Brandon, Ward, Hislop and Powles) had been made to the Supreme Court to allow the fund to be used:—
(1) For the purchase of steel bookcases in which to house the books in question;
(2) In binding one complete set of the pamphlets (at present in duplicate) which formed part of the book collection;
(3) In the upkeep of the books and in adding as opportunity offers further books on or relating to New Zealand.
On the 15th May a copy of the order of the Supreme Court was received approving the above application and authorising the Public Trustee to hand over to the Society the sum of £50 which was still in his hands.
Hon. Editor's Report:
Honorary editor's Report.
During the year ending March 31, 1940, the four parts of Volume 69, comprising 524 pages and 75 plates, have been published.
The material for the first part of Volume 70 has been sent to the printer.
The following table shows the number of manuscripts handled:—
|Manuscripts in hand from preceding year 1938-39||19|
|Manuscripts received during 1939-40||26|
|Manuscripts printed in Volume 69||34|
|Manuscripts returned for revision||1|
|Manuscripts being printed in Volume 70 (1)||7|
|Manuscripts in hand||3|
The average length of time between the receipt of papers as finally approved and their date of publication has been five months, a reduction of one month compared with the previous year. The longest period for any paper has been nine months and the shortest three months.
Dr. C. O. Hutton has given valuable help as Associate Editor, and Dr. H. H. Allan and Miss L. B. Moore have done much of the proof reading.
J. Marwick, Honorary Editor.
In moving the adoption of the report of the Hon. Editor, Dr. Hilgendorf said he wished to congratulate the Hon. Editor, Dr. Marwick, on the rapid progress of publication.
Certain suggestions with regard to the refereeing of papers were made and were referred to the Standing Committee to consult with the Hon. Editor.
Professor Evans paid a tribute to the work of the Hon. Editor, and this was endorsed by several members.
On being seconded by Dr. Focken, the report was adopted.
Professor Evans recommended that in place of the Standing Committee which at present acted as the Publications Committee a separate Publications Committee should be appointed.
Research Grantees' Reports:
Reports of Research Grantees.
Dr. G. H. Cunningham, who in 1929 was granted £25 for a mycological survey of the Tongariro National Park, reported on the 26th April, 1940, that ten days were spent at the Park during the Christmas and New Year, 1939-40. Several collections were made on the slopes of Tongariro, both in the forest and tussock country below the Ketetahi Springs. One undescribed species was found, all other collections being of species secured on previous tours. No expenses were incurred during the year.
Professor B. J. Marples, who in 1938 was granted £20 for research on the food of the German Owl, reported on the 9th April, 1940, that he hopes to continue the research until June, 1940. A total of 203 owls had been received, the greatest number received in any one month being 23, the least 1. Data concerning the food, weight and breeding conditions have been collected from every bird, and on body measurements, condition of moult, parasites, and skeletal variations from a considerable number. Only two cases of pathological condition of the internal organs have been found, and only one of an external abnormality, a straight claw instead of a curved one. The stomach contents of all these birds have not yet been examined, but out of 133 owls 7 contained remains of birds, 6 of mice, 2 of frogs, 1 of lizards, and 2 minute bone fragments. Expenditure to date amounts to £12 19s 11d.
Mr. L. E. Richdale, who holds a Hutton grant of £20 to cover expenses incurred in the ringing of birds for scientific purposes, reported on the 1st May, 1940, that over 500 Yellow-eyed Penguins in colonies stretching from Stewart Island to the Otago Peninsula have been ringed. In addition to these, about 50 Little Blue Penguins, 17 Royal Albatrosses, and a number of various other birds have been ringed. “About 50 returns other than my own have come to hand, mostly from dead birds. Most of the Yellow-eyed Penguins on the Otago Peninsula must now be ringed, for I seldom see one without a ring. At present I am preparing a lengthy paper on these penguins, but unfortunately, owing to its very size, it may never be published. The research will continue for some years yet. A considerable expenditure from the grant was incurred during the year.”
Dr. F. J. Turner, who in 1938 was granted £15 to defray cost of cutting oriented sections of Otago schists in connection with petrofabric studies of these rocks, reported on the 24th April, 1940, that prior to his departure to the United States in October, 1938, he had 58 oriented sections of Otago schists and granites made under his supervision at a cost of £7 10s (2s 6d per section). Since his return in November, 1939, he has had 26 more sections made. The University of Otago has provided the materials, facilities, electricity, etc., without charge, and the money has therefore been expended entirely on the work itself. The results obtained from petrofabric work on these sections are embodied in two papers published in the Transactions, vol. 68, pp. 107–121.
and American Journal of Science, vol. 238 (1940) and two other papers now in the press. The work is being continued on sections still in hand and others that he hopes to get out shortly. He hopes to continue the research for some years.
All sections and corresponding rock specimens have been deposited in the collections of the Geology Department in the University of Otago, where they have been catalogued for reference.
Dr. Turner expresses his appreciation of the assistance received from the grant.
On the motion of Dr. Hilgendorf the reports of the research grantees were adopted. With reference to a grant of £25 made to Dr. Cunningham in 1929, it was decided to ask Dr. Cunningham whether, in view of the fact that he had not incurred any expenses over a long period of years, the balance of his grant was likely to be required.
National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum: On the motion of Professor Evans, seconded by Dr. Marshall, the following report of the representatives on the Board of Trustees was adopted:—
National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Board of Trustees.
Report of Society's Representatives.
The Board of Trustees has met three times during the year ending March 31, 1940.
The available income has again been slightly increased, the sum of £3,234 having been contributed by Local Body Councils.
A number of successful exhibitions have been held in the Museum, and a series of educational films shown in the lecture-hall has proved a great attraction to the public.
In the Art Gallery the main Centennial exhibition of pictures from overseas has been very successful and promises to return a substantial profit.
The educational work of the Museum has been continued, and it is proposed to appoint an educational officer in connection with the Art Gallery as soon as funds permit.
W. P. Evans.
Tongariro National Park Board: On the motion of Dr. Marshall the following report of the representative on the Tongariro National Park Board was adopted:—
Tongariro National Park.
Report of Representative of the Royal Society of N.Z. on the Park Board.
The Board has held two meetings during the year, and your representative visited the Park on two occasions.
1. Paths through the bush near the Chateau: Additional labels were attached to native plants which are growing near these paths. Labels are still rather far apart, but arrangements have been made for placing additional labels.
2. Borders: A few mountain plants are growing on the border which extends round the front of the Chateau. These plants flower well, and an extension of this planting is intended.
Arrangements are in progress for the construction of a rock garden on the lawn in front of the Chateau.
3. Collection of mountain plants: The late Mr. T. A. Blyth had undertaken to collect plants from the upper slopes of the mountain for planting in the borders and rock gardens. Unfortunately his death in February has prevented this.
4. European heather: The growth of heather is extensive and vigorous beween the junction of the Taupo and Chateau roads and the locality of the haunted whare. The localities on which heather is growing are in general sharply defined. Usually very few seedlings are to be found beneath or close to plants of growing heather or in places which are covered with native vegetation. On the other hand, native vegetation grows readily around and beneath the plants of heather. Seedlings of heather spring up abundantly wherever the soil has been laid bare. One gets the impression that heather spreads but slowly through the native vegetation and in time it may possibly be smothered by it. On the other hand, any area over which the native vegetation has been burnt will soon become covered with heather. It is possible that the heather was first established by sowing on burnt patches.
5. Road to Chateau: During the winter, which was exceptionally severe, the road to the Chateau broke down over a considerable length. It has now been straightened and graded. This work has laid bare a considerable area of ground.
Some discussion on the matter of the heather which was spreading on the Tongariro Park took place, Dr. Marshall remarking that it appeared to grow vigorously on ground which had been cleared, specially by burning.
Dr. Oliver suggested that the hybrid Coriaria, if planted in the Park, might act as a check to the heather.
The Royal N.Z. Institute of Horticulture: Dr. Oliver moved the adoption of the following report of the representative on the Institute of Horticulture.—Carried.
Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture.
Report of Representative.
The Tenth National Conference of Horticulture was held at Wellington in January, 1940. The National Centennial Flower Show was opened at the Exhibition by Sir Harry Batterbee on January 30. The Banks Lecture was given by Professor Kirk in the Dominion Museum.
By the addition to the Dominion Council of representatives of the Wellington Beautifying Society, the Horticultural Seedsmen's Association of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Rock and Alpine Society, there are representatives of fifteen institutions and Government departments on the Council.
The thesis on Roadside Beautification by Mr. M. R. Skipworth was printed as a Bulletin of the Institute. The issue of 5000 copies was made possible by a Government grant.
School of Horticulture: This is being carried on by the Christchurch Domains Board, but it is hoped that a Government subsidy may be forthcoming.
Horticultural Education: The total number of diplomas or certificates granted since the inception of the statutory scheme is 360 (February, 1939).
The financial statement at 30th September, 1939, shows a balance of £674 0s 5d (including Trust liabilities, £274 11s).
W. R. B. Oliver.
Great Barrier Reef Committee: Dr. Oliver moved the adoption of the following report of the Great Barrier Reef Committee.—Carried.
Great Barrier Reef Committee.
Report of Representative.
One meeting of the Committee was held during the year 1939.
Dr. Dorothy Hill reported on the progress of the expedition to Moreton Bay. Observations were made on the relationship of ripple marks to currents and on the distribution of the bottom fauna.
Professor Richards reported on his visit to the Science Congress in California, and discussion took place on seismic reflection, geophysical work, gravity determination, and coral reefs.
The financial statement at 27th September, 1939, shows a balance of £1,518 19s (including £800 in bonds).
W. R. B. Oliver.
Report of Representatives on the Committee.
The Observatories' Committee has continued its advisory functions. During the year some minor alterations have been made in the seismographic service. The time service is being maintained with considerable constancy. Suggestions have been made for the regrouping of some of the services, and in consequence of this the Apia Observatory is now, for organisation purposes, under the Meteorological Office. Suggestions were also made for the appointment of Director of Seismology and the organisation of the seismological services in New Zealand on a national basis.
This appointment was approved by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, but Treasury was unable to make the necessary grant.
[The above report came to hand too late for submission to the annual meeting, and was adopted by the Standing Committee for inclusion with the annual meeting reports.]
D. C. H. Florance.
P. W. Burbidge.
Notices of Motion: (1) “That the Standing Committee be asked to consider the rules under which the T. K. Sidey Summer-time Medal and Prize shall be awarded (see Trans. R.S.N.Z., vol. 65, p. 489) with a view to suggesting to the next annual meeting modifications necessary to make this award of greater use in stimulating and assisting research work in New Zealand.” Moved by Dr. Focken, seconded by Mr. G. Simpson.
After some discussion, on the motion of Professor Evans, seconded by Dr. Hilgendorf, it was resolved that a sub-committee consisting of the President (Dr. Holloway), Dr. C. E. Hercus, and Dr. C. M. Focken consider the rules of the T. K. Sidey Summer-time Fund and report to the Standing Committee.
(2) “That the Council consider the procedure for submitting a paper for publication in the Transactions.” Moved by C. M. Focken, seconded by G. Simpson.
In speaking to this motion, Dr. Focken said that during the six months in which Member Bodies were in recess there were no meetings at which authors could read their papers, and they had to incur delay in forwarding them to the Hon. Editor. It was pointed out that papers could be read by title before a meeting of the Council or the Publications Committee of a Member Body, and this would overcome the difficulty mentioned.
Election of Officers: President, Rev. Dr. J. E. Holloway; Vice-President, Professor W. P. Evans; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. M. A. Eliott; Hon. Editor, Dr. J. Marwick; Hon. Librarian, Professor H. B. Kirk; Co-opted Member, Dr. P. Marshall; Managers of Trust Funds, Messrs. M. A. Eliott and B. C. Aston; Representative Great Barrier Reef Committee, Dr. W. R. B. Oliver; Representative Tongariro National Park Board, Dr. P. Marshall; Representative Royal N.Z. Institute of Horticulture, Dr. W. R. B. Oliver; Representative Observatories' Committee, Professor D. C. H. Florance and P. W. Burbidge.
Election of Committees:
Hector Award Committee—Mr. G. V. Hudson (Convener), Sir William Benham, and Dr. W. J. Dakin, Sydney.
Library Committee—Professor Kirk, Professor C. A. Cotton, Dr. W. R. B. Oliver, and Dr. H. H. Allan.
Fellowship Selection Committee—Dr. J. Henderson (Convener), Professor W. P. Evans, Mr. G. Archey, Professor H. W. Segar, and Dr. H. H. Allan.
Wild Life Control Committee—Dr. Oliver (Convener), Dr. H. H. Allan, Mr. G. Archey, Mr. E. F. Stead, Dr. R. A. Falla, Mr. L. E. Richdale, and the President, Dr. J. E. Holloway.
Votes of Thanks: Hearty votes of thanks were accorded to Victoria University College, to the Press, and to the Secretary, Miss M. Wood.
Dr. Holloway specially thanked Professor Evans for his work during the year, and this was endorsed by the Council.
On the motion of Professor Segar, seconded by Mr. Eliott, Professor Evans and Dr. Marshall were cordially thanked for their invitation to luncheon.
Annual Meeting, 1941: The date and place were left to the Standing Committee.
A. and N.Z.A.A.S.: On the motion of Mr. Archey, it was decided to appoint Dr. Marshall, Dr. C. Coleridge Farr, and Professor F. L. Wood to represent the Society at the Adelaide meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science.
The above minutes were confirmed by the Standing Committee, 31st May, 1940.
Reports of Member Bodies.
President: Mr. C. Reginald Ford.
Director and Secretary: Mr. G. Archey.
Report for the Year 1939-40.
The seventy-second Annual Report of the Auckland Institute and Museum is presented while the Empire is engaged in a great war. The activities and services of the Institute and Museum, educational, scientific and cultural, form part of the abiding values of civilised life, and so it becomes a source of more than ordinary pleasure to be able to report that all these activities and services have been continued throughout the year, and in some cases even expanded.
It gives great pleasure to be able again to place on record how excellent has been the work of the Director and Staff of the Museum, besides those many persons outside the Staff who give with such cheerfulness and goodwill so much voluntary assistance in various departments of the Museum.
Membership: At the commencement of the year there was a roll of 550 members. During the year we have lost by death, resignation and deletions, 21 members, but have gained, largely as the result of a special effort by the Members of the Council, 70 new members, leaving the present roll at 599, of whom 172 are life members.
Congratulations: Congratulations are extended to Professor Bartrum on the award of the Hector Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand for his distinguished research in geology. This award is warmly welcomed by Professor Bartrum's many friends in the scientific community.
Obituary: We regret to have to record the loss by death of many valued members—Professor C. W. Egerton, who was President in 1909 and a member of the Council until 1920; Surgeon-Captain R. Buddle, Messrs. D. R. Caldwell, J. B. Macfarlane, W. O'Ryan, E. R. N. Russell, J. Rukutai, H. Tinne and H. Whitcombe. The death of Mr. James Rukutai is a loss which we share with our Maori friends of the Akarana Maori Association, for which he did so much.
Council: During the year eight meetings have been held. There has been no change in elected members; Mr. Donaldson rejoined as a representative of Contributing Local Bodies; Mr. J. W. Kealy has enlisted and is shortly to proceed on active service.
Institute Meetings: Only five Monday evening addresses were given last year, the sixth, a symposium on Race and Nationality, having to be cancelled through those who were to have contributed being engaged on military duties. Members' thanks for a very interesting series of lectures are due this year to:—Miss L. M. Cranwell, M.A., F.L.S.—“A Botanical Excursion to Hawaii.”
Professor Julius Stone.—“Law and Society.”
Dr. G. H. Cunningham.—“Aspects of Plant Protection.”
Dr. R. A. Millikan.—“A Scientist's Philosophy.”
Dr. C. R. Burns.—“Nutrition From the Physican's Viewpoint.”
The average attendance at lectures was 129.
Three ordinary meetings were also held, papers being read by Dr. K. E. Bullen, Miss L. M. Cranwell, Miss Olwyn Rutherford, and Messrs. A. W. B. Powell and A. G. Stevenson.
Anthropology and Maori Race Section: Chairman, Mr. M. G. Lee; Hon. Secretary, Mr. R. A. Scobie.
The membership of the section remains at 55; the attendance at meetings was the highest for several years past. Papers or addresses were given by Mr. R. Scobie, Dr. W. S. Dale, Mr. H. Gatty, Mr. G. Graham, Mr. A. Stevenson, Mr. M. Lee, Mr. P. Smyth and Mr. E. M. Blaiklock. At the Social Evening a party of Maori guests co-operated in demonstrating Maori forms of welcome and other social customs.
Astronomical Section: During the past year the observing section has continued to hold the ground won, its principal objective being to interest potential astronomers, and to train them in astronomical observation. A number of bulletins were issued containing matter of interest. The personnel continues keen, observations being conducted at the observatory in Symonds Street, as making their own reflecting telescopes; another has distinguished himself as a maker of eyepieces. One member is performing valuable work in the observation of variable stars, while another, under the secretary's direction, is computing the real paths of bright meteors from data on hand.
Papers were read by Mr. F. Batteson, Professor P. W. Burbidge, Mr. R. A. McIntosh, Mr. W. H. M. Blackwell, Mr. F. H. Sagar and Dr. K. Kreielsheimer.
The Museum: The public response to the opportunities and activities presented by the Museum is indicated by the following attendances:—Visitors during the year. 140.557; school pupils, 21,885; flower show, 7,500; lectures, 2,081.
Hawke's Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Mr. E. S. West.
Secretary: Mr. W. G. Ball.
The following up-to-date books have been added to the Library:—The Making of Egypt, by Flinders Petrie; Studies on the Structure and Development of Vertebrates, Goodrich; Problems of Annual Ecology, Bodenheimer; A Text Book of Geology, Lake and Rastall; Buried Empires, Carleton; Starcraft, Barton and Joseph; Ascaris, Dr. R. Goldschmidt; Earthquakes and Other Earth Movements, A. W. Lee (contains account of 1931 Hawke's Bay Earthquake); The Silk Road, Sven Hedin; Siberian Man and Mammoth, Pfizenmayer.
We have to thank Mr. C. F. H. Pollock also for a donation of over 40 volumes, including Kirk's Vovage in sixteen volumes, and other works useful for reference.
Our Representatives on the Museum Management Committee have been regular in their attendance, and have taken a great interest in the work of the Museum.
Two papers by members of our branch have been published in the Transactions, also a paper communicated through Mr. Hudson.
Two new members joined during the year and six resigned or left, leaving the present membership 52, comprising 44 ordinary, two Honorary, four Life Members, and two juvenile members.
The Statement of Accounts shows a credit of £31.
We have to thank Mr. G. V. Hudson, F.E.S., for continuing to act as our Representative on the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand. also for presenting an entomological collection to the Museum.
Manawatu Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Mr. W. A. Jacques.
Secretary: Mr. S. J. Bennett.
The sixth annual meeting of the Manawatu Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand was held in the Theosophical Hall on November 23rd.
President's Report: The season has been a successful one, and the lectures well delivered and well attended. There has been a gratifying response to the modifications that were introduced this year. It would appear that fewer meetings, with longer, not-too-technical papers, and ample time for discussion are in demand.
Financially the year has been good, though no effort has been made to accumulate a large reserve fund.
We are indebted to Drs. McMeekan, Reifer, Smith and Melville, and Messrs. Turner and Thomas, who so ably presented subjects that were instructive, interesting and provocative. Between them they covered a wide field. We are indebted also to the Theosophical Society, who so kindly placed their rooms at our disposal.
The Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Mr. C. M. Smith.
Secretary: Mr. J. T. Salmon.
Council Meetings: The Council held all meetings during the 1939 session, and the average attendance was eleven.
Membership: The total membership of the Society now amounts to 203, of which 12 are Life Members. During the year 23 new members were elected, while 20 resignations were received. The Council regrets to record the death of one of the Society's most valued members in the passing of Dr. E. Kidson.
Finance: Although the finances of the Society are satisfactory, the number of outstanding subscriptions is still a source of embarrassment. Members are requested to pay their subscriptions promptly when they fall due, and so assist the Council in the efficient running of the Society.
Meetings: All General Meetings of the Society have been held in the Library Room at the Dominion Museum, and the following is a list of the addresses delivered during the session under review:—
April 26th: Presidential Address, “Applied Science,” by Mr. C. M. Smith.
May 24th: “Museums Around the World,” by Dr. W. R. B. Oliver.
June 28th: “Earthquakes and Earthquake Prediction,” by Dr. L. Bastings.
July 26th: “The Effect of Technological Change Upon Government,” by Professor L. Lipson.
August 23rd: “Some Observations on our Overseas Trip,” by Mr. Cockayne.
September 27th: “Maor [ unclear: ] i Art,” by Mr. W. J. Phillipps.
The attendances at the Society's meetings show a slight improvement over last year, but members are urged to take a more active interest in the Society. As has been the custom in the past, supper has been served at the conclusion of all General Meetings.
Sections: With the exception of the Astronomical Section, which has continued to meet in the Observatory at Kelburn, all meetings of the Sections have been held in the new Library Room at the Dominion Museum, and general satisfaction has been expressed with the appointments.
Change of Name: By special meeting held on April 26th the Society resolved to change its name from “Wellington Philosophical Society” to “The Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.” This change has met with general approval and satisfaction. In order to widen its field the Economic Biology Section subsequently on the 12th July resolved to change its name to “Biology Section.”
Library: The re-arrangement of the Library at the Dominion Museum has drawn numerous complimentary remarks from members, an increasing number of whom are making use of the Library facilities. Twelve periodicals are now received regularly at the Library, and during the year a number of new publications, mainly of the popular science type, have been pruchased and placed on the shelves. The monthly publications from the Scientific Book Club have been regularly received, and have proved a popular addition. A catalogue of the Library is in course of preparation and will soon be available. A start has been made with the binding of back numbers of books and periodicals, the cost of which has been provided for by the sale of £150 of New Zealand Government inscribed stock.
Epidiascope: The epidiascope unfortunately arrived somewhat late to be of much use during the 1939 session. It is, however, an excellent instrument, and should be a valuable and useful addition to the Society's meeting room.
Observatory: The Observatory has been repaired and painted during the year, and is now in a satisfactory condition.
Science Congress: In response to a request from the Royal Society of New Zealand, a sub-committee of the Council made considerable progress during the year with preliminary arrangements for the holding of a Science Congress during May. 1940. in Wellington, but on the outbreak of war it was considered in-advisable to proceed, and the arrangements were cancelled.
Nelson Philosophical Society.
President: Dr. H. O. Askew.
Secretary: Mr. O. B. Pemberton.
The Committee submits the following report of the work of the Nelson Philosophical Society for the year ending 30th September, 1939.
The Statement of Receipts and Expenditure shows a Credit Balance of £7 15s.
The Membership of the Society consists of 29 Ordinary Members and 23 Associate Members, Making a total of 52.
Meetings of the Society have been held as follows:—
15th October: Lecture by Sir Thomas Easterfield, “Kidney Calculi and a New Type of Stone in New Zealand Cattle.”
16th May: Lecture by Mr. J. Muggeridge, “A Quest of Diamond Back Moth Parasites Through Europe.”
20th June: Lecture by Dr. H. O. Askew, “The Alchemist, Philosopher or Fraud.”
18th July: Lecture by Mr. L. J. Dumbleton, “The Southern Alps.”
15th August: Lecturettes by Mr. J. E. R. Paterson, “Causes of War”; Mr. A. J. Gray, “Anglo Saxon Heroic Poetry”; Mr. C. W. Johnston, “School Science.”
15th September: Lecturettes on “Potentialities of the Nelson Province”: Mr. N. G. Adamson, “Orchards and Small Fruit”; Mr. J. M. Allan, “Tobacco and Hops”; Mr. D. Merry, “Cropping, Sheep Farming and Irrigation.”
There were six meetings of the Committee held during the year.
The following suggestions were adopted by the Committee:—
(1) That Members of the Society might meet and entertain at luncheon visiting scientists or persons of kindred interests from other parts of New Zealand or from overseas.
An entertainment committee was appointed.
(2) That excursions to places of scientific interest round Nelson be arranged during the summer months.
(3) That the Society foster and encourage work which might usefully be done, such as the making of local lists of flora and fauna.
(4) That lecturers be appointed when requested to lecture to pupils of the two Colleges.
Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Dr. F. W. G. White.
Secretary: Mr. E. W. Hullett.
Council: Ten meetings of the Council have been held. Professor E. Percival, Chairman of the Field Club, joined the Council as an ex officio member.
Membership: Since October 31st, 1938, four members have been elected, while two associate members have been transferred to full membership. The Branch has lost one Life Member by death, one ordinary member by transfer to another branch of the Society and four through resignations. The roll now stands at 139 members and seven associates, compared with 139 members and ten associates last year.
Obituary: Edward Kidson, a Life Member of this Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, died on 12th June, 1939.
Meetings: In March Dr. F. W. G. White delivered his Presidential Address entitled “Thunderstorms.” Other address during the year were: “Moa. Hunters,” by R. S. Duff; “The Social Responsibility of schools,” by Mr. J. E. Strachan; “Some Aspects of Irrigation in Canterbury,” by Mr. T. G. Beck; “Progress in Veterinary Science,” by Mr. J. W. McLean; and “Psychological Factors in Accident Causation,” by Dr. A. Crowther.
On 13th March, 1939, a special meeting was held, when members had the pleasure of hearing an address by Dr. L. V. Berkner entitled “Upper Atmospheric Investigations in America and Australia.” A second special meeting was held on 29th March, 1939, when Dr. E. W. Bennett gave an address, the subject being, “The Hydatid Disease and Its Eradication.”
During the current year nine papers have been read and two exhibits shown. Seven of the papers were zoological in nature, one geological and one physical.
Popular Lecture Series: During the winter term a series of six popular lectures were given on the general topic, “Matter and Life.” The speakers were Mr. J. Packer, Mr. R. Hurst, Mr. M. C. Bleakley, Professor E. Percival, Professor I. L. G. Sutherland and Dr. K. R. Popper.
Attendance at Ordinary Meetings: On the recommendation of a sub-committee set up to suggest ways of encouraging attendance at Ordinary Meetings, short abstracts of scientific papers are now sent out with the notices, and an endeavour has been made to provide better lecture room facilities. In addition, a sub-committee was appointed to secure scientific papers and to advise authors on the method of presentation. These measures have met with success.
Riccarton Bush: The Board of Trustees of Riccarton Bush reports that the administration of the bush during the past financial year has been carried
out with due regard to careful expenditure and to the needs of the bush as a scenic reserve. A satisfactory feature has been the increasing number of visitors, to the bush, both student parties and the general public. The Board's ranger, Mr. Leonard Armstrong, has given another year of highly satisfactory service in the careful maintenance of the bush, and has effected many improvements. The European oaks are gradually being removed, converted to saw logs and firewood, and replaced by suitable native trees and shrubs. The Board tenders its thanks to those individuals, public bodies and organisations which have contributed to its funds. Particular thanks are due to the Department of Lands and Survey, which made a special grant of £25.
Report of the Field Club Section: Activities have been chiefly confined to monthly meetings in the Botanical Laboratory of Canterbury University College, at which live and dead material has been shown and described by members. Besides the exhibition of material of an organic character, methods of preparation and collection have been brought to the notice of members. with the object of assisting in the study of aspects of Natural History.
It was decided to postpone the arrangement of excursions until weather and season made outdoor work favourable, but members have independently carried out field work during the winter.
Membership has reached a total of 50, of whom 13 are full members of the parent body, and five are associates.
Attendance at meetings has not been large, but has been consistent. there being something more than one quarter of the total.
Otago Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Dr. Basil Howard.
Secretary: Dr. H. D. Skinner.
Membership: The number of full members for 1939 is 184, compared with 188 for the previous session. The number of associates is 42, as compared with 58 in 1938.
Attendance at Lectures: The average attendance at Junior lectures was 80, compared with 100 in 1938. The average attendance at the first seven senior meetings was 55.
Representatives on Museum Management Committee: Messrs. George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson were re-elected.
Conversazione: The annual conversazione held in conjunction with the Association of Friends of the Museum was held on the evening of August 31st, about 160 being present. There were several special exhibits, the most extensive being designed to illustrate the activities and history of the Otago Museum.
Portraits of Past Presidents: The series of portraits of past presidents of the society still remains very incomplete. Of the 57 presidents between 1869 and 1925 seven held office more than once, so that only 41 persons were involved. Fourteen portraits have not yet been secured, including the following:—J. T. Thomson, J. S. Webb, R. Gillies, W. M. Blair, W. Arthur, A. Montgomery, Dr. de Zouche, Dr. Belcher, C. W. Adams and F. W. Payne. Help in securing these would be welcomed by the secretary.
Auditorium Fund: The fund now stands at £1,345 5s. It is proposed to approach further possible contributors before the opening of the 1940 session.
Native Bird Protection: The committee set up to co-operate with Mr. L. E. Richdale devoted two days to work with pick and shovel at the sanctuary dedicated by Mr. D. McG. Reid. Mr. Richdale has continued ringing penguins and albatrosses, and has secured new information on the habits and life histories of these and other birds. His account of the life history of the albatrosses based on observations made at Taiaroa Head have been published in volume 38 of “The Emu.” The Otago Harbour Board has continued to co-operate in bird protection in the most enlightened and liberal way, thus earning the thanks of all who are interested in the preservation of native bird life.
A small penguin rookery near Cape Saunders was being watched by Mr. Richdale with the intention of making it a sanctuary. In most respects it is
unusually well suited for this purpose, but it was raided in September and the whole of the eggs were stolen.
Native Bush Protection: The Society is in full sympathy with the various movements at present active in this field.
Honours: The Otago Branch of the Royal Society extends to Sir William Benham, F.R.S., its hear [ unclear: ] ty congratulations on the well deserved honour recently conferred on him by His Majesty the King. He was for many years a member of the council of this society, and was secretary for six sessions and president for three.
The society also extends its congratulations to Dr. J. E. Holloway for the honour conferred on him by the Royal Society of London in making him a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Ordinary Meetings (Public Addresses):
April 18: Conversazione organized by the Microscopic Branch (The old Medical School Bldg., King Street, at 8 p.m.)
May 2: Presidential Address “The Age of the Earth.” Remarks on the chemical and geological evidence by Dr. Soper and Dr. Benson.
June 13: Mrs H. D. Skinner. “Native Birds in a Littlebourne Garden.” Mr. L. E. Richdale, M.A., “A Bird Island In Foveaux Strait.” Both illustrated by slides. (Joint meeting with Dunedin Field Naturalists' Club).
July 11: Dr. F. G. Soper, “Wool Textile Research.” Exhibits. (Joint meeting with Agricultural Section).
August 8: Dr. R. Jack, “Some Recent Applications of Physical Science.” Demonstrations and Experiments. (Physics Lecture Room, University Bldgs., Union Street.)
September 12: Mr. W. G. McClymont, M.A., “Centennial Retrospect—Geographical Horizons.” Maps and slides. (Joint meeting with Historical Section.)
October 10: Original papers by members.
November 14: Annual Report and Balance Sheet. Exhibits from the Museum Collections.
W. N. Benson and J. T. Holloway: Notes on the Geography and Rocks of the Ranges between the Pyke and Upper Matukituki Rivers, N.W. Otago.
O. D. Paterson: Geology of the Lower Shag Valley.
George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson: Notes on Some New Zealand Plants, and Descriptions of New Species.
George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson: Growth Rates of Certain Indigenous Species.
Wm. B. Benham: (1) Fossil Cetacea of New Zealand.
(a) Further Notes on Mauicetus (new name for Lophocephalus).
(b) Remains of Balaenids.
(c) Notes on Fossil Cetacea in various collections.
(2) A New Earthworm from Napier of the genus Megascolecides.
Junior Branch: The work of the Junior Branch is still being carried on successfully. Six lectures were given during the winter term on a varied syllabus. The talks were received with enthusiasm and appreciation, but the average attendance has fallen to approximately eighty. The decrease was due in some measure to unavoidable clash with school, social and sporting functions; but there are probably other causes connected with the modern attitude towards serious education. It is, however, too early to make any definite comment on the tendency to smaller attendances. Next year should show clearly what to do in future years. It is scarcely necessary to point out that the lectures in themselves are excellent and thoroughly appreciated by the audiences.
Southland Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Dr. G. H. Uttley.
Secretary: Mr. J. H. Sorensen.
Membership: The number of full members of the Branch is 43, one of whom is a Life Member. During the time which has elapsed since the Branch was formed, two members have left the district. There are six country members. By exercising their right to bring friends to the ordinary meetings of the Branch, members are helping to bring to the notice of others this Branch and its work. It should be the aim of all to have as large a membership as possible in order that more and more scientific work may be carried on and the Branch become the power in the community it is entitled to be.
Lectures: To date eleven lectures have been held. They are as follows:—
8th September: “An Archaeologist in Tahiti,” Dr. H. D. Skinner.
27th October: “Aurorae,” Mr. M. Geddes.
24th November: “X-Rays,” Dr. C. C. Anderson.
4th May: “Science in Southland,” Dr. G. H. Uttley.
25th May: “An Outline of the Geology of Southland and Stewart Island,” Professor W. N. Benson.
22nd June: “The Atom,” Mr. A. S. Hogg.
5th August: “Sclater's Penguin and the Royal Albatross, Mr. L. E. Richdale.
24th August: (a) “Modern Museum Work, Mr. J. H. Sorensen; (b) “Fe [ unclear: ] rns,” Mr. J. C. Calvert; (c) “Stewart Island Scenery,” Mr. A. D. Nisbet.
28th September: “Irrigation,” Miss McHaffie.
26th October: “Scenic Byways and Botany of the Hollyford and Fiordland,” Mr. O. Fletcher.
23rd November: “Archaeology in Murihiku,” Mr. J. H. Sorensen.
Attendance: Satisfactory attendances were recorded at all meetings held by the Branch, both General (when the Lectures were given), and at the Council Meetings.
Representatives: The President (Dr. Uttley) and Dr. C. C. Anderson were appointed as representatives of the Branch to the Southland Museum Trust Board. The delegate to the parent body has yet to be appointed.
Honours: Mr. M. Geddes was appointed to the Directorship of the Carter Observatory in Wellington. Mr. G. A. R. Petrie gained his National Diploma in Horticulture. The Branch extends congratulations to both these members.
Papers: One paper entitled “On an Occurrence of Dasypodia salenophora in Southland,” by Mr. J. H. Sorensen was read during the year and accepted for publication in the Transactions.
Conclusion: A fine start has been made and much keenness shown by the members of the Branch, which is now admitted as a member body of the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is confidently expected that the incoming year will bring more and more successes. The syllabus attached provides for five lectures, and one meeting night has been reserved for original papers by members. Two evenings have been left open, but several person have yet to be approached, and a well-balanced programme for the year should result.
[Delivered at the Annual Meeting at Wellington on May 22, 1940, by the Reverend J. E. Holloway, L.Th., D.Sc., F.R.S., F.R.S.N.Z.]
I must first thank you for doing me the honour at the last Annual Meeting of electing me as your President. I desire to thank Professor Evans for taking the chair at the meetings of the Standing Committee during the past year, and for doing all the work which should have been done by me.
It is my pleasant duty to welcome Dr. R. A. Falla as one of the representatives of the Canterbury Branch. He takes the place of Mr. E. F. Stead, who has represented that Branch since 1936. Also I welcome Mr. J. H. Sorensen, who represents the recently revived Southland Branch.
Before proceeding to our regular agenda it is fitting that in view of this time of great national peril I should move the following resolution:—
That this Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand expresses its loyalty to His Majesty the King, and assures him and his Ministers in New Zealand of the whole-hearted support of the members of this Society in the efforts that are being made to bring the present great conflict with our enemies to a successful issue, and that the Council directs that this resolution be forwarded to the Right Honourable the Prime Minister with the request that it be respectfully submitted to His Majesty.
Since the last Annual Meeting we have lost by death one of the Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Edward Kidson, O.B.E., M.A., D.Sc., who was also from 1933 to 1936 a member of this Council; and also we have lost one of our Honorary Members, A. C. Haddon, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S.
Edward Kidson received his primary and secondary school education at Nelson. If a personal reference may be allowed, two members of this present Council, Dr. Allan and myself, were among his classmates at Nelson College. His old friends of those days remember his quiet, reliable, and always friendly nature, and also his outstanding all-round ability in the classroom.
From Nelson College he proceeded to Canterbury University College with an entrance scholarship, and there took the Honours courses in Physics and Mathematics, which were to be the preparation for his life work. He gained a senior scholarship, followed by the degrees of M.Sc., with first class honours in Physics, and M.A. in Mathematics.
A full notice of his activities has already appeared in our Transactions. It will suffice here to say that during the period 1905 to 1927 he was engaged in magnetic and meteorological work in
various parts of the world, at first in Christchurch, then on the staff of the Carnegie Institute (Washington), and subsequently in Australia, where he rose to a high position. During the years 1915 to 1919 he served his country in the Great War as a meteorological officer, and gained the distinction of the O.B.E.
He was appointed Director of the Meteorological Service in New Zealand in 1927, and held that position until his death in 1939. During these twelve years he greatly developed the Service and brought it into close touch with meteorological science in other countries. Thus his own country reaped the benefit of his wide and valuable experience.
He has made a contribution to Meteorological Science for which he will long be remembered, with respect, not only to New Zealand and Australia, but also to the closely allied field of Antarctic meteorology, in which field he had earned a wide reputation.
Alfred Cort Haddon was born in 1855. He was a scientist pre-eminent first as a zoologist, and, in addition, for the latter half of his life, as an ethnologist.
From 1880 to 1901 he was Professor of Zoology at the Royal College of Science, Dublin. In 1899 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1900 he began his long association with Ethnology at the University of Cambridge, being Lecturer in that subject from 1900-9, Reader from 1909-26, and Emeritus Reader from 1926 to the time of his death in April of this year.
He was the author of many publications in both Zoology and Ethnology. He carried out extensive ethnological field work in various parts of the Western Pacific, as organiser and conductor of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits, New Guinea and Sarawak in 1898-9.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1925. His association with New Zealand lies, not only in his distinguished work in the ethnology of the Pacific, but also in the fact that he was attached to the section of the Y.M.C.A. which served the New Zealand Division in France during the Great War.
You will see from the Standing Committee's Report that the work of the last year has been mainly concerned with matters of routine. There are one or two items in the report to which I will very briefly refer.
The first of these is the fact that the Southland Branch has been brought into being again, and is now represented at this Annual Meeting. I take this opportunity of expressing the pleasure of the Council that this Branch is now duly admitted as a Member-Body.
It was considered expedient to cancel the New Zealand Science Congress which had been fixed to take place this month. A definite suggestion that a congress be held next year is on the agenda for
discussion. In view of the possibility of the War being a protracted one, it is perhaps as well that the Council is being asked to express an opinion on the matter.
It is worthy of note that the Society's Library has now been moved to new quarters in the Victoria University College Biology Block. We are glad to acknowledge our indebtedness to the College authorities and to the Professor of Biology for this accommodation. At the same time it is evident that the space available is too small for the needs of the Library, and there is no doubt that this will occupy our attention in the near future.
I come now to the second part of my address, for which I have selected the theme Science for the People. The importance of this subject arises from the fact that science has many benefits, intellectual and spiritual, as distinct from material benefits, which it is able to confer upon the people. At the same time I must say that it seems to me that there is an ever-widening gap between science and the people.
There are a number of points involved in these statements which I desire to expand. In the short space of an address it is possible only to touch briefly upon them. What I have to say represents, of course, merely my own personal views. It is my hope that a useful purpose will be served by opening up this subject.
The Real Popular Science.
First of all, what type of science for the people have I in mind? Scientific knowledge includes familiarity with the facts and phenomena of the world around us; a knowledge of how these facts can be observed and investigated; a knowledge of the principles of which they are the outward and visible sign; and an appreciation of how Man has learned and is learning to manipulate and control them. To a limited extent knowledge of this kind can be gained from books and written articles and addresses and so on, but the real scientific appreciation can only come from personal contact with the facts. Books and addresses can never give familiarity with these things, and the real enlightenment: their effect tends to be temporary unless they lead on to active personal participation. So that the type of science which I have especially in mind is the personal observation of and contact with these facts, and I hold that it is mainly out of such personal contact, and not from mere reading, that the intellectual and spiritual benefits of science arise.
The Intellectual and Spiritual Benefits of
What precisely are these benefits? Anyone who has taken a part, be it large or small, in any scientific work, either as definite research or as a pastime and hobby, knows that from such work can come much intellectual satisfaction and happiness. One's hobby
or piece of research, as the case may be, is something to look forward to during one's routine hours as a pleasure and inspiration, and no amount of extra time and labour spent upon it is begrudged. Scientific observation and investigation begets the spirit of contentment, and by this I do not mean a spirit of complacency with one's own achievements or a losing of interest in other aspects of life, but rather a broad sure knowledge that life is able to be happy and satisfying. As Robert Louis Stevenson has expressed it, “The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.”
Now if science can do that for individuals, then this constitutes a strong argument for bringing science within the reach of as many people, both young and old, as possible. This world seems to be becoming in many ways a harder and more depressing place to live in every year, and everything that can be done to counteract this feeling of depression and constant anxiety should be done.
Again, familiarity with scientific facts and methods and principles can develop in individuals other very desirable and strong qualities of temperament and character, such as zeal for truth, intellectual honesty, frankness, humility, broadmindedness, a desire to learn the opinions of other people, enthusiasm for progress, optimism. All of these qualities you will recognise as being characteristic of the true scientific mind. They are very much needed in the everyday life of the man in the street and of all persons in authority. If science can help in developing them, let us by all means make science more available for the people.
A Gap Between Science and the People.
I cannot help thinking that, in spite of the existence of many agencies for spreading the influence of science, there is an everwidening gap between science and the people. Let me explain what I mean by this gap.
To repeat, the real appreciation of the principles and the romance of science can only come from personal participation in some or other of its many fields. This participation may or may not be of an intensive nature, but it must be actively personal. It seems to me that along with the rapid progress of science in this and the preceding generation there has not been a corresponding increase in the part it plays in the culture of the average individual. The people as a whole look upon science as something which is done for them, on their behalf, rather than as something which the individual himself can take an active part in and enjoy. It is as if, with respect to music, the people as a whole gave up such personal activities as singing and instrumental work and became content merely with listening to what experts provide for them. Or as if, with respect to literature, the people no longer read the classics of poetry and prose, but merely the opinions of experts on them.
It is of course true that every branch of science can claim among its devotees a few enthusiastic amateurs who derive a lively
satisfaction from their own personal endeavours in their chosen field, but such cases only serve to open our eyes to the fact that there could be and should be very many more of them.
The Reasons for This Gap.
Why is it then that there is an increasing tendency for the people to regard science as being primarily or even solely something which is to be done for them?
One reason, without doubt, is that the tremendous utilitarian value of scientific knowledge and achievement, the array of material benefits which accrue from it, overshadows its purely cultural value. It seems that this is steadily becoming more so. Our public authorities whose duty it is to take thought for the material welfare of the people, naturally lay stress upon these utilitarian benefits, and the people become used to this point of view. It would be, however, greatly to be deplored if this became the main point of view of our educational and of our scientific authorities. We do not want to become a nation which “lives by bread alone.” The great advances made by science in improving the material conditions of life are, as we know, the outcome of intensive work on the part of trained specialists, and every such advance will tend to confirm the popular view that science is something which is done for us unless the cultural aspect of science is being at the same time stressed also. The truth is that both aspects of science, the cultural and the utilitarian, are important. It is not a question at all of one being more important than the other. Both are essential, each in its own way, to the true welfare and happiness of the people.
A second reason for this gap arises out of the extreme specialisation which is so characteristic of modern scientific work. It is almost impossible to-day for an active worker to keep in touch with other phases of science than his own, and this tends too often towards an actual lack of interest in these other phases. If this is true, and I think that you will agree that it is, it is likely that it is also true with respect to the average scientist's relation to the general aspects of culture. Is the scientific man of to-day as cultured as his precedessor of a generation or two ago, who could take a real interest in a wide field because there was not at that time so much detail to master and not the same temptation as there is to-day to be content with a narrowed field? If scientists themselves are becoming, through specialisation, less cultured, they will not be active in making science part of the general culture of the people. Certainly the amateur scientist is commonly an enthusiastic missionary!
There is still another reason for this gap, and this also is due to the tendency to extreme specialisation. The terminology used by the specialist is becoming more and more exact, and at the same time less and less intelligible to the average person. Not unoften it is intelligible only to a limited circle of the specialist's fellow-workers. It is of course necessary that with increasing exactness in scientific work the language of description should be increasingly
exact. There have been times, however, when, in reading some research paper, one has thought that an unfamiliar term used could just as well have been replaced by a more familiar one.
The importance of this subject of the terminology of science, from the point of view of this address, is seen in the fact that research papers constitute a very large bulk of the scientific literature of to-day, and this is especially the case with respect to the regular journals of science. The literature of science thus is appealing to a diminishing circle of readers, and in many cases it makes no appeal at all to the people. It damps the enthusiasm of the reader who is not an expert, but who wants to be interested. For myself I believe strongly that, to justify and maintain its existence, an avowedly scientific journal must demand a high standard in the papers which it publishes, and cannot afford to lower that standard in any respect. My only reason for referring here to the topic of terminology is that it is without doubt one of the causes of the gap between science and the people.
The Present Agencies for Bringing Science to the People.
To turn now to another part of my general theme. What are the present agencies for making science available for the people? It is impossible for me to refer to them in any detail, and yet I want to indicate the extent of these agencies.
Undoubtedly the first to be mentioned should be the teaching of science in our Schools, and I would add also, in our Training Colleges and Universities. Naturally I do not intend to plunge headlong into the complex problems of Education, but there are one or two points connected with them which are closely related to my subject. By far the greater number of students who take a particular science at school, and as a Stage I unit at the University, are not going to find their life work in that science. But it is through these school courses and the Stage I University courses that science gains its widest opportunity for getting into touch with the people.
I have already tried to describe briefly the intellectual and spiritual benefits which science can confer upon individuals. It can on the one hand bestow the gift of intellectual happiness by revealing something of the romance of the world in which we live. It cannot accomplish this if the teacher himself lacks imagination, if the syllabus is over-concerned with the mere acquisition of facts, and if the text books used are too formal. On the other hand, science can provide a most valuable form of mental discipline leading to a steady and reasonable outlook upon life, and to the development of character. It cannot accomplish this if the syllabus is designed to save the student as much personal labour and socalled drudgery as possible, and takes the form of “potted” science. Somewhere between these two extremes thus indicated lies the ideal method. There must be something wrong with the teaching if it fails to stir the imagination of those who are taught, or worse still if it leads a proportion of them actually to dislike
the subject. It is good to know that there is a fresh movement to-day in the direction of emphasising the cultural side of education, but it is earnestly to be hoped that the pendulum will not swing too far. It is only too easy to go to extremes, as we all know.
Another agency is represented by the work of the various Branches of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In their programmes of evening meetings these Branches seek to interest their members—many of whom are not active workers in science, but nevertheless are genuinely interested—in various aspects of scientific and other fields of study. In those cases where groups of members meet together for active work, still more good will accrue. I would also mention the part played by some at least of our affiliated Branches in the work of catering for the younger people. This is good, but again let me say that the more this kind of activity shows itself to be of a practical nature in calling for the personal co-operation of the young people, the greater will be the benefits.
With respect to the part played by Museums I want to single out just two features for brief reference. The first is the greater use which is now being made of Museums by school children in organised parties. In the case of each of the four chief Museums there is an education officer attached to the staff whose duty it is to take charge of this work, and who thus acts as a link between the schools and the Museum. The second feature is the steadily increasing co-operation between the Museums and the Branches of the Royal Society.
Time forbids more than the briefest mention of such organisations as the Forest and Bird Protection Society, the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, and other societies of corresponding type, all of which aid in the great work of bringing some or other aspect of science within reach of the people.
I pass on to mention, and to pay tribute to, the influence of such groups as Wireless Clubs, Photographic Societies, Field Clubs, and so on, which consist, at least to an appreciable extent, of active working members. There are many branches and sub-branches of science which can readily be taken up as hobbies. The amateur scientist, being free from the bonds of routine requirements, is free also thoroughly to enjoy his hobby. I use that word “amateur,” of course, in the true dictionary sense as one who cultivates a particular study simply for the love of it and not professionally. Certain it is that much of the progress of science has been due to the persistent work of the amateur. But I am concerned here not with the progress of science, but with its effect upon the outlook and character of individuals. Certain it is that the amateur scientist is usually an enthusiast who makes a good missionary for his particular subject, infecting other individuals with his enthusiasm, and actively helping them on in their hobby. He plays a great part in spreading those benefits of science which I have particularly in mind.
The last agency to be mentioned is that of scientific publications; I am thinking more particularly of such books and journals and articles as make a direct appeal to the imagination of the reader, and stir him up to make observations and to carry out experiments for himself. There are many popular science books on sale in the shops, but most of these are not applicable to New Zealand conditions. Those which are published in New Zealand for New Zealanders are appreciated by the public, as the publishers can tell us, but in my opinion there is room for more of the right sort. There are a number of scientific periodicals published in New Zealand, some of which are avowedly more specialised than general in their appeal, and others more general than specialised. Again I think that there is room for another of a general nature, more especially perhaps with respect to the natural sciences, such as would serve to incite the readers to take up some special line of work.
This enumeration of the agencies already in existence for spreading the benefits of science—and I may have omitted to mention some—might lead us to suppose that the machinery for bridging over the gap between science and the people is more or less adequate, and that I have rather over-emphasised the idea of a gap. It is one thing, however, to provide a bridge, and it is another to get people to use it. Perhaps what is needed is a dictator who will decree, “Everyone must take an intelligent and active interest in the facts and phenomena of science, so get to it!” Or perhaps a much better way would be for individuals and institutions to do a little more active missionary work.
The idea that science is something which is done for us must be countered by the idea that it is the rightful and enjoyable heritage of every individual. I suggest that the best time to get this idea going is the school age. We must familiarise each young generation as it comes along with this idea that science is something in which everyone who wishes can take some part, and which can open the door to much real enjoyment. If this can be done, then as one result the other agencies which I have mentioned will more and more come into their own, and will increasingly be able to perform their valuable function for the people.
My final point must be left in the form of a question. Is missionary work in science, propaganda I was almost going to call it, a proper function of this Society, and, if so, to what extent? Some of the activities of the affiliated Branches will come, of course, within the category of missionary activity. I have tried to outline some of the ways in which the interest of the community in science is being promoted. I am convinced that in some, at least, of these ways not sufficient is being accomplished. Whether or not this Council considers that it can properly put its hand to any special work of this kind, is a matter of policy rather than of individual opinion.
Abstracts of Papers Read Before Branches.
Earthquakes and Earthquake Prediction.
L. Bastings, D.Sc.
In recent times, the study of earthquake phenomena has come to serve as a valuable tool in the investigation of the structure of the interior of the Earth. Gravitational and magnetic evidence have suggested the idea that the deep interior of the Earth contains a large mass of metallic iron. This idea has found substantial confirmation from the study of records of distant earthquakes, from which it appears that this iron core occupies the centre of the Earth and has a radius of about 2200 miles. Whether this large mass behaves like a molten liquid or has the rigidity of a solid is still a subject of controversy. Other breaks in the continuity of the Earth's structure have been revealed by these studies. The most noteworthy of these breaks is one at about 300 miles below the surface; this is possibly due to transition from one type of rock-material to another. There are also several minor structural discontinuities in the crust within 50 miles of the surface; and some indications are appearing of the existence of a slight structural difference between the Pacific basin and the rest of the world.
In the popular mind, great interest always centres around the possibility of predicting a coming earthquake. In order to achieve this aim, a forecaster must be able to specify the locality, the time and the magnitude of the pending disaster. It can be said without hesitation that such a prediction has never been made, and probably never will be. So many incidental factors are capable of influencing both the time and the magnitude of a shock that there is little hope of sufficient knowledge ever being available to achieve this. It will be much more profitable to study the signs of growing strain in the crust, so as to estimate in advance the probable location of major disturbances. On such scientific knowledge we may then hope to base a sound policy in regard to building safety, commensurate with the indicated risks.
On Certain Properties of the Earth's Deep Interior.
K. E. Bullen.
The paper described the methods by which the author had arrived at values for the density and pressure variation within the Earth. A special feature of the results was the implication concerning a change in properties of the Earth's material at a depth of order 500–700 km. below the surface. Details may be found in
papers of the author cited below.* The author also considered the question of the variation of gravity within the Earth; the solution of this problem arises out of the density solution, and was the subject of the paper in the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand of September, 1939.
Note on the density and pressure inside the Earth, Trans. R.S.N.Z., vol. 07, pp. 122–124, 1937.
Composition of the Earth at a depth of 500–700 km., Nature, vol. 142, p. 071, 1938.
On recent developments in knowledge of the Earth's interior, Acta Astronomica, ser. c, vol. 14, pp. 17–21, 1939.
The Mollusca of Stewart Island.
A. W. B. Powell.
(Rec. Auck. Inst. and Mus. vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 211–238, 27th Oct., 1939). The paper provides a comprehensive list of the Stewart Island Mollusca, 383 species being recorded, 21 of which are described as new. Five new genera and a new subgenus are proposed. Two external influences affect the fauna—the cold water, west wind drift and, to a lesser extent, the East Australian warm water current. The Subantarctic element in the fauna is strengthened by eight additional records, the most noteworthy being a new species of Kerguelenia.
Pollen Grains of New Zealand Trees.
Lucy M. Cranwell, M.A., F.L.S.
In introducing a detailed account of pollen-grain morphology in the Coniferae and the Fagaceae, the two most important families of wind-pollinated trees in New Zealand, the author summarised the characteristics of wind- and insect-pollinated types, and described the technique of pollen-analysis through which a study of pollen, wind-borne to growing bogs and preserved in their successive layers, made it possible to trace back the history of forests for thousands of years.
Pollen grains of Nothofagus, Phyllocladus, Dacrydium, and Podocarpus had been found freely in our peats and lignites by the author, those of Agathis only once, while the preservation of Libocedrus pollen was considered doubtful. Distinct generic types existed, overlap occurring only between Dacrydium and Podocarpus because of the anomalous group created by D. colensoi, intermedium, and laxifolium. Nothofagus pollen was shown to be quite distinct from that of Fagus, and all species investigated from New Zealand, South America, and Australia fell either into the menziesii-moorei-obliqua group, or into the fusca-dombeyi group, the latter at present restricted to New Zealand and South America. There was no proof that Fagus grew in the Southern Hemisphere in Tertiary times.
Cranwell, L. M., 1939. Southern-Beech Pollens, Rec. Auck. Inst. Mus., vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 175–196.
— (in press). Pollen-grains of the New Zealand Conifers, N.Z. Journ. Sci. Tech.
[Footnote] * The variation of density and the ellipticities of strata of equal density within the Earth, Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. Geophysical Suppl., vol. 3, No. 9, pp. 395-401, 1936.
Tarawa, a Micronesian Atoll.
The extreme limitation of the resources of Tarawa, an atoll in the Gilbert Group, was described to provide an example of the simplicity and modification imposed upon a culture by a restricted environment. Shortage of timber and lack of variety in diet have developed ingenuity and ability in the exploitation of limited materials.
Coconut and pandanus, which comprise the major part of the scanty vegetation, form an important element in every activity and product in the community. A limited amount of dryland taro is the only cultivated vegetable. Dependence upon the sea for the animal food supply is an important influence in the life of the people.
The greatest example of modification is seen in canoe design, which has developed to a stage far beyond that common where large trees are obtainable. Under the stimulus of the necessity of using short, narrow timbers, a boat has been evolved unequalled anywhere in the Pacific for speed and grace.
Maori Wooden Bowls.
The paper described some 40 examples of wooden bowls in the Auckland Museum Collection.
Within New Zealand great variety of form is disclosed, ranging from crudely hollowed out logs to well finished examples. It is not possible on present knowledge to relate any given type of bowl to a particular locality. The wood most commonly employed, though not exclusively, was totara.
Unusual types were represented by a four-legged specimen from Motiti Island and a specimen from Hauraki Plains, in which the bowl rests on four peculiarly looped feet.
Smaller utensils of various shapes were numerous, some being used for pouring and others as platters. Of the former, most possess a spout carved out of the solid. Decoration, though not general, was usually confined to handles and spouts. An example from Waikato has the spout carved in the form of a head with a wide-open mouth. The handles of a Taranakian bowl have both been carved to represent conventionalised human faces.