NA TURE THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1872 THE FOUNDATION OF ZOOLOGICAL STATIONS WHOEVER contemplates a little closely tlie state of Science at the present time, must be struck with the fact that, whilst in almost every other branch of public and private life co-operation has been established, and has worked out great results, its influence on the life of Science is but small and insignificant. This may sound strange to all those who know the number of Scientific Societies, Academies, and Unions to be found in England, Germany, America, Italy, France, in short, everywhere where Science is cultivated at all. But if one looks into the life of these societies, there is not much co-operation to be found in them. They publish periodicals ; but there are publishers who do quite as well as societies, and sometimes even better. They meet and talk science ; but this does does not add much to the real progress of science. Sometimes they found museums or cabinets, and this is a better service ; they establish a library for the use of their members, and this is perhaps the best they do altogether. A man may be fellow of twenty different societies, but that will not affect much the progress of the scientific work he does ; if he is member of certain academies his reputation may be raised in the eyes of tlie outside public, but no essential help is afforded by that either to him or to his work, except in the case where such academy has some influence Oil the Government, as, for instance, the Royal Society. The Me¬ nagerie in the Regent’s Park, established by the Zoological Society, is one of the solitary instances in which, the ini¬ tiative being taken by a scientific body, an institution has been evolved, drawing immense revenue from the public pocket, which is for the most part spent upon scientific objects. It is the application of this method of securing support which will be strongly advocated in the present paper, as a practicable path for the future progress of biological research. There is also another great society in Britain which docs, perhaps, better work for science than any other. This society is the British Association for the Advance¬ ment of Science. N ot only does its great and well-deserved reputation make it powerful and influential, but also the large sum of money it distributes annually for the direct progress of science. This influence is due principally to the fact that the best men in British Science participate with great eagerness in the meetings of the Association and lend to it all their personal authority and reputation. The considerable sum of money to be distributed is due to the great number of scientific and lay people that take part in its meetings. The combination of these two elements ought to be imitated in every special branch of science. The times are past when great scientific men did not condescend to speak to a general public, and happily nobody believes any longer that science must be lowered and lost, because the general public looks at and hears a little of its inner life. Great scientific men have an immense influence upon the public, and that is an immense benefit to the public ; on the other hand, the general public takes interest in, and VOL. V. 2 77 pays money for the progress of science, and that is a great benefit for science. The meetings of the British Association therefore are an essential step in the right direction for lending science the great help of co-operation. But a great deal more of it is needed if that element is to supersede by-and-by the old lines and ways of mere individual and disorganised action. Especially is co-operation wanted in the single sciences. Every one knows how great is the progress in meteorology and astronomy brought about by the possession of special laboratories and observatories. Even if all the universities were extinct at once, these sciences would go on perfectly well by the help of the observatories. Chemistry is aided by innumerable laboratories, erected for practical pur¬ poses. Mechanics governs the world and finds itself at home everywhere, involving by its special character many elements of co-operation. Other sciences do not enjoy these privileges, though they want them perhaps even more than some of those that arc in possession of them. Amongst the number of these sciences, perhaps the most neglected in the way of co-opera¬ tion is Biology, that science which occupies at present such an eminent place in the public interest, and yet the most neglected, in so far as no other science feels at present the necessity of co-operation and organisation so much as biology. The reason is a very obvious one. Biology has undergone a complete revolution by Mr. Darwin’s great work. This revolution has augmented the number of specialproblems in such enormous proportions that biology is now completely at a loss to solve all these problems by the aid of the means placed hitherto at its disposal, and looks pretty much like a boy who has suddenly grown in one year out of all his clothes, presenting the ridiculous aspect of a man in a child’s dress. The thing which a father would do for his boy would be to go and buy another dress. This obviously was also the idea of Prof. Carl Vogt, who long since began an agitation for the establishment of a zoological laboratory at the sea-coast, of which agitation he wrote me in a letter the following account :— “ During the years 1844—1847 the plan for the establish¬ ment of an expedition was worked out at Paris by Milne- Edwards, and I participated in it. The object was the in¬ vestigation of a coral-island, and the establishment of a station upon it for at least several years. The ship and the station should be furnished with all possible things, espe¬ cially for dredging-work. The scheme fell to pieces owing to a question of etiquette. The commander of a man-of- war of the Royal N avy would not submit to the direction of a naturalist. “As you know, I lived from 1850 to 1852 at Nice. The instruments for observation, which I bought by the money earned by literary work, consisted of a microscope, a surface net, and some large sugar-bottles. I tried at the time by the help of two deputies, my friends Valerio and Dunico, to bring about the foundation of a zoological station at Villafranca, asking only for some rooms in the empty buildings of the Darsena, and the establishment of some tanks in them. N evertheless I had not the least success, “ In the year 1863 my friend Matteucci became Minister of Public Instruction in the kingdom of Italy. With him, as a physicist who especially dealt with physiological subjects, and who, understanding the necessities and wants Q