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been made towards the completion of our knowledge of the life-history of these minute but important organisms. Dr. Klein has shown that the infections pneumo-enteritis, or typhoid fever of the pig, is, like splenic fever, due to a Bacillus. Having succeeded in cultivating this Bacillus in such a manner as to raise crops free from all other organisms, Dr. Klein inoculated healthy pigs with the fluid containing the Bacilli, and found that the disease in due time arose and followed its ordinary course. It is now therefore, distinctly proved that two diseases of the higher animals, namely, “splenic fever” and “infectious pneumo-enteritis," are generated by a contagium vivum.
Finally, Messrs. Downes and Blunt have commenced an enquiry into the influence of light upon Bacteria and other Fungi, which promises to yield results of great interest, the general tendency of these investigations leaning towards the conclusion that exposure to strong solar light checks and even arrests the development of such organisms.
The practical utility of investigations relating to Bacillus organisms as affording to the pathologist a valuable means of associating by community of origin various diseases of apparently different character, is exemplified in the “Loodiana fever," which has been so fatal to horses in the East. The dried blood of horses that had died of this disease in India has been recently sent to the Brown Institution, and from seeds therein contained a crop of Bacillus anthracis has been grown, which justified its distant pathological origin by reproducing the disease in other animals. Other equally interesting experiments have been made at the same Institution, showing that the "grains " which are so largely used as food for cattle, afford a soil which is peculiarly favourable for the development and growth of the spore filaments of Bacillus ; and that by such “grains" when inspected, the anthrax fever can be produced at will, under conditions so simple that they must often arise accidentally. The bearing of this fact on a recent instance in which anthrax suddenly broke out in a previously uninfected district, destroying a large number of animals, all of which had been fed with grains obtained from a particular brewery, need scarcely be indicated.
In Systematic Botany, which in a nation like ours, ever extending its dominions and exploring unknown regions of the globe, must always absorb a large share of the energies of its phytologists, I can but allude to two works of great magnitude and importance.
Of these, the first is the “Flora Australiensis” of Bentham, com. pleted only a year ago; a work which has well been called unique in botanical literature, whether for the vast area whose vegetation it embraces (the largest hitherto successfully dealt with), or for the masterly manner in which the details of the structure and affinities of upwards of 8,000 species have been elaborated. Its value in reference to all future researches regarding the geographical distribution of plants in the southern hemisphere, and the evolution therein of generic and specific types, cannot be over estimated.
The other great work is the “ Flora Braziliensis," commenced by our late Foreign Fellow, von Martius, and now ably carried on by Eichler, of Berlin, assisted by coadjutors (among whom are most of our leading systematists) under the liberal auspices of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil. When completed, this gigantic undertaking will have embraced, in a systematic form, the vegetation of the richest botanical region of the globe.
Having now endeavoured to recall to you some of the great advances in Science made during the last few years, it remains for me, after the distribution of the Medals awarded by your Council, to retire from the Presidency in which I have so long experienced the generous support of your Officers and yourselves. This support, for which I tender you my hearty thanks, together with my sense of the trust and dignity of the office, and the interest attached to its duties, make my resignation of it a more difficult step than I had anticipated. My reasons are, however, strong. They are the pressure of official duties at Kew, annually increasing in amount and responsibility, together with the engagements I am under to complete scientific works, undertaken jointly with other botanists, before you raised me to the Presidency; and the fact that indefinite postponement delays the publication of the labours of my coadjutors. also influenced by the consideration that, though wholly opposed to the view that the term of the Presidency of the Royal Society should be either short or definitely limited, this term should not be very long; and that, considering the special nature of my own scientific studies, it should, in my case, on this as well as on other grounds, be briefer than might otherwise be desirable. Cogent as these reasons are, they might not have been paramount, were it not that we have among us, one pre-eminently fitted to be your President by scientific attainments, by personal qualifications, and by intimate knowledge of the Society's affairs; and by calling upon whom to fill the proud position which I have occupied, you are also recognising the great services he has rendered to the Society as its Treasurer for eight years, and its ofttimes munificent benefactor.
On the motion of Dr. Graham Balfour, seconded by Sir Alexander Armstrong, it was resolved—“That the thanks of the Society be returned to the President for his Address, and that he be requested to allow it to be printed.”
The President then proceeded to the presentation of the Medals. The Copley Medal has been awarded to Jean Baptiste Boussingault
for his long-continued and important researches and discoveries in agricultural chemistry.
The researches of Boussingault have extended over nearly half a century, and it might be difficult to find an investigator whose results relating to a great variety of subjects have in respect of accuracy and trustworthiness better stood the test of time.
The lucid simplicity with which his writings narrate well-established and well-arranged facts, is not less remarkable than the judicial caution with which he has abstained from expressing opinions upon questions beyond the reach of decisive evidence.
His experimental results and the conclusions which he has drawn from them have been deservedly trusted by other workers in the same field, and have safely guided them in their labours. Their incon. testable excellence has prevented them from becoming subjects of animated discussion, and thus arousing as much attention and interest in the outer world as has sometimes been aroused by hasty experiments and daring generalizations.
I cannot attempt within the limits of this address to give an account of his investigations, and I should probably weary you were I even to enumerate them, relating as they do to a vast variety of phenomena; but I may point out that lying as most of them do in the domain of agricultural chemistry, they have involved difficulties of no common order. Boussingault is not only an excellent chemical analyst and experimentalist, but at the same time a model farmer.
His numerous determinations of the nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen in crops and in the manures supplied to them, have proved him to be skilled not only in selecting and applying the best known methods of analysis, but even in improving and perfecting them.
His determinations of the proportions of those valuable constituents of manures which can be assimilated by various crops, have involved an intimate acquaintance with the conditions which experience has proved to be most favourable to the cultivation of the various crops.
His numerous and varied experiments on the feeding of animals, showing the proportions between the nitrogenized and fatty or amylaceous constituents supplied in the food and those assimilated or formed by the animal organism, while tracing the distribution of the remainder between the pulmonary and other excretions, have had most important physiological as well as practical bearings.
In all his investigations we see proofs that while accurately and critically acquainted with the discoveries and opinions of other workers and thinkers in his own particular domain of science, he has been able to devise and carry out simple and crucial forms of experiment well calculated to decide the truth.
A remarkable instance of this is afforded by those truly masterly experiments by which he proved that all the nitrogen found in the organism of plants can be traced to compounds of that element which had been supplied to them; and accordingly that there are no grounds for believing that plants can assimilate the free nitrogen of the air.
By awarding to Boussingault the Copley Medal, we place his name in the honoured list of those who, in modern times, have rendered the highest services to the advancement of natural knowledge.
A Royal Medal has been awarded to Mr. John Allan Broun for his investigations during thirty-five years in magnetism and meteorology, and for his improved methods of observation.
When the labours of Gauss had given an impetus to the study of terrestrial magnetism by rendering precision possible, Observatories devoted to this branch of research, in conjunction with meteorology, began to rise in various places. The late General Sir T. M. Brisbane erected one at Makerstown, in Scotland, and placed it under the direction of Mr. Broun, who remained in charge of it from 1842 to 1850. His observations and their results, have been commended by magneticians and meteorologists, for the skill employed in the development of new methods of reduction and investigation.
In 1851 Mr. Broun went to India to organize and take charge of a similar Observatory established at Trevandrum by His Highness the late Rajah of Travancore. Here he remained for thirteen years, accumulating results of very great value, the first instalment of which, consisting of a volume on the magnetic declination, was published some years ago. Magneticians look eagerly towards the completion of this publication when the means necessary for the purpose shall have been furnished to Mr. Broun.
While in India he established an Observatory on a mountain peak 6,000 feet above the sea, and fitted it up with a very complete assortment of scientific instruments. This was an undertaking of a very arduous nature, effected in a wild country, and presenting great difficalties in the erection of instruments and obtaining trained observers.
Shortly after the commencement of magnetic observatories, Mr. Broun indicated the insufficiencies of the methods then in use for determining coefficients and correcting observations, and he devised new methods for these ends, the principal of which have been generally adopted.
This is not the place in which to give a complete catalogue of Mr. Broun's researches in magnetism and meteorology, extending as they do over a period of thirty-five years, but I may indicate those of his results that are of the greatest importance. Among them are the establishment of the annual laws of magnetic horizontal force, exhibiting maxima at the solstices and minima at the equinoxes. Mr. Broun was also the first to give in a complete form the laws of change of the solar-diurnal variation of magnetic declination near the
equator, showing the extinction of the mean movement near the equinox. His researches on the lunar-diurnal variation of magnetic declination are of very great interest. Besides being an independent discoverer of the existence of this variation, he showed that near the equator its law in December was the opposite of that in June. He found, too, that the lunar-diurnal variation was in December sometimes greater than the solar-diurnal variation—that the lunar action was reversed at sunrise, and that it was much greater during the day than during the night, whether the moon was above or below the horizon. Finally, he found that the lunar-diurnal law changed (like the solar-diurnal law at the equator) near the equinoxes, so that, as a consequence, the laws for the southern and northern hemispheres were of opposite natures.
Another and very remarkable fact discovered by Mr. Broun was that the variations from day to day of the earth's daily mean horizontal force were nearly the same all the world over. He found certain oscillations in these daily means which were due to the moon's revolution, and others having a period of twenty-six days; the latter he considered as due to the sun's rotation. It results from these investigations that the observed variations of the earth’s daily mean horizontal force have been represented with considerable accuracy in all their more marked features, by the combination of the means calculated for these different solar and lunar periods. During the discussion of these periods, Mr. Broun found that the great magnetic disturbances were apparently due to actions proceeding from particular points or meridians of the sun-a fact this (if verified) of very great importance.
In meteorology he has shown the apparent simultaneity of the changes of daily mean barometric pressure over a great part of the globe, and he has likewise discovered a barometric period of twentysix days nearly. He was also the first to commence and carry out, during several years, a systematic series of observations of the motions of clouds at different heights in the atmosphere; and, lastly, he has found certain laws connecting the motions of the atmosphere, and the directions of the lines of equal barometric pressure.
A Royal Medal has been awarded to Dr. Albert Günther, F.R.S., for his numerous and valuable contributions to the zoology and anatomy of fishes and reptiles.
Dr. Günther's labours as a systematist and a descriptive zoologist have been devoted chiefly to the order of Fishes, Reptiles, and Amphibia. Upon these he has published during the last quarter of a century a very long series of valuable papers, whereby our knowledge of the structure, affinities, and distribution of the genera and species of those interesting groups has been greatly advanced. We owe to his indefatigable exertions the excellent condition in point of arrangement