Review of Reviews,  12 (1895), 3–13.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary

Relevant illustrations:

map; photo.


Engineering, War, Military Technology, Steamships, Scientific Practitioners, Scientific Naturalism, Popularization, Controversy

    Records the official opening of the Kiel Canal in Germany, 'a great engineering feat, which may exercise incalculable influence upon the history of the world'. The canal 'only cost eight millions to build' but will 'be equivalent to the doubling of the fighting force of the German navy, and may at the same time so facilitate the dispatch of a German expedition from the Baltic to the North Sea and the Channel, as to affect decisively the fortunes of some future war'. The opening was commemorated by a 'gathering of the warships of the world in Kiel Harbour', each ship being 'armed to the teeth with the latest appliances of science for the purpose of destruction'. (3) Also reports the death, after a 'long and lingering illness', of Thomas H Huxley, 'the man who of all others was best known to the public as an exponent of modern science'. Over the last few decades 'the names of Huxley and Tyndall always were the first to rise to the mind [...] when men talked of science'. Indeed, 'Others may have made greater discoveries, and there may be many who would be considered much more important by the scientific experts; but to the man in the street Huxley and Tyndall were the great Twin Brethren of modern science, and what they said was regarded very much as the law and the testimony on the matter in discussion'. Huxley was 'a rare "slogger", and whenever he took off his coat [...] the public always gathered around the ring, knowing they would have some rare sport', and his 'death leaves a gap among our modern men which no one at present seems qualified to fill'. (13)

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