Punch,  7 (1844), 155.

British Association for the Advancement of Science  [1/2]



Serial—Reportage, Drollery; Proceedings, Spoof


Societies, Experiment, Discovery, Politics, Disease, Botany, Natural History, Radicalism

    Introduces a report of the activities of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by noting the capacity of the association's members 'to keep science on the move' but wonders what the association 'is about'. The 'proceedings' begin with Edward Sabine's reading of the report on a committee's activities. These activities include 'experiments on a captive balloon', and sending out Edward Forbes 'with a dredging machine'. During his presentation, Sabine is interrupted by the president and a new member with various remarks and questions. For example, when Sabine announces that Forbes has discovered 150 new species in his dredging expedition, the new member demands names for such animals, to which the president quickly replies: 'Suppose we say Cockleuis Scollopoeculus, or Cockle good for scolloping [...] I can't think of any more right now'. After Sabine's presentation, a 'warm discussion' ensued on the proper section in which to discuss the 'Daddy Longlegs'. Summarises the content of other papers including those by Dr Hunt (an allusion to Robert Hunt), who discussed the influence of light on plants and ended up burning a flower, and Dr Heming (an allusion to G Oakley Heming) who described a disease of the tongue which was 'found a good deal among Radical Members of Parliament and Chartist demagogues'.

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