Review of Reviews,  14 (1896), 289–96.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary


Engineering, Steamships, Antiseptics, Surgery, Popularization, Specialization

    Records the 'successful completion of the great engineering undertaking which has freed the Danube from its iron gates. A canal, five miles long, has been blasted out of the rocky bed of the river, rendering it possible for steamers to pass up and down with safety, where formerly the passage could only be made with the utmost difficulty and danger', and comments, 'What would it cost, I wonder, to have similar navigable canals through the cataracts of the Nile?' (293). Also notes that the Liverpool meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 'passed without notable or sensational incident. Sir Joseph Lister, the president, devoted his address, as was right and natural, to a sketch of the progress made in medicine and surgery by the discovery of antiseptics—a discovery with which his own name is honourably associated. Mr. Flinders Petrie read a paradoxical paper maintaining that reading and writing, instead of being the great instruments of culture, were responsible for the crippling of the mind'. Also observes that 'the scientific picnic of the year has seldom yielded less amusement for the general public, and one feels more and more the lack of a lucid intelligible survey of the progress of scientific discovery in all fields. Science is so specialised and scientists tend to become such Brahmins that the ignorance of the average man seems likely to become denser the more minutely the field of knowledge is surveyed' (296).

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