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and nomenclature of the unrivalled collection of fishes in the British Museum, and of which he prepared a systematic catalogue in eight volumes, which has been published by order of the Trustees. This is a work of prodigious labour; it required for its satisfactory execution an intimate knowledge of the fish of all parts of the world, and an intui. tive perception of the natural character upon which a sound classification should be based. From possessing these attributes it has been accepted as the standard authority on the order by all zoologists. Under this head too I must specially allude to his excellent work on the Ceratodus. The Reptilian collections of the Museum have been no less successfully dealt with by Dr. Günther, and have afforded the material for some of his most important works, amongst which his “Reptiles of British India," “Memoir on Hatteria,” and “Monograph of the Gigantic Land Tortoises of certain islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans," are examples conspicuous for their completeness and accuracy.

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The Rumford Medal has been awarded to Mr. Alfred Cornu for his various Optical Researches, and especially for his recent redetermination of the Velocity of Propagation of Light.

Mr. Alfred Cornu is the author of papers on optical and other subjects published in the “Comptes Rendus" and other scientific periodicals. He has been engaged, for example, with the difficult subject of crystalline reflection, and kindred researches.

It was in 1849 that Fizeau astonished the scientific world by an actual experimental determination of the velocity of light, a velocity so enormous that hitherto its finiteness has been proved, and its value approximately determined, only by two astronomical phenomena. Foucault almost simultaneously brought out an experimental determination by a totally different method.

The method of Fizeau gave at once a near approximation to the value got from those two astronomical phenomena, combined with the parallax of the sun, assumed known. But the difficulties of obtaining a sufficiently accurate result were such that the velocity obtained by Fizeau's method was not considered to rival in exactness the velocity determined astronomically. Indeed, Foucault's method seemed to be preferred, though Fizeau's is the simpler in principle, and is free from certain doubts which may be raised as regards the other. But the difficulties alluded to, which turned mainly on the determination of the velocity of the revolving wheel, were such that almost twenty years have elapsed without the method having been brought to a sufficient degree of perfection to make it astronomically available.

Such was the state of the problem when it was taken up by M. Cornu. By methods of his own devising he succeeded in getting over the difficulties with which Fizeau's further progress had been stopped, and in achieving a determination so exact as to compete with the astronomical determinations, and thereby lead, we may say, to an experimental determination of the solar parallax fully rivalling that which is likely to result from the observations of the transit of Venus which have been carried out at so much cost and trouble.

A double award of the recently instituted Davy Medal has again been made, the recipients on the present occasion being M. Louis Paul Cailletet and M. Raoul Pictet. This award is made to these distinguished men for having, independently and contemporaneously, liquefied the whole of the gases hitherto called permanent.

The methods pursued by these experimenters, in accomplishing results which equal in interest and importance those obtained by Faraday in the same direction fifty-five years ago, were quite distinct, and were, in each case, the result of several years' preparatory labour. M. Cailletet, by comparatively very simple arrangements, such as admit of ready employment in lecture-demonstrations, has succeeded in obtaining evidence of the liquefaction, and possibly solidification, of carbonic oxide, marsh-gas, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. His system of operating consists in submitting the gases to very powerful compression at comparatively moderate degrees of cold, and in then allowing them very suddenly to expand.

M. Pictet has applied the very perfect system, elaborated and put to industrial use by him, for obtaining low temperatures to the attainment, though on a larger scale, of results like some of those arrived at by M. Cailletet. By an arrangement of vacuum and force pumps he reduces liquefied sulphurous acid to a low temperature, and applies this as the means for cooling down liquid carbonic acid which, in turn, serves to reduce to a very low temperature a thick glass tube, in which the gas to be condensed is confined at a very high pressure. M. Pictet has not only produced liquid oxygen in somewhat considerable quantity, and succeeded in determining its density, he has also obtained evidence of the solidification of hydrogen, and the description given of its appearance in the solid form seems to leave no doubt regarding its metallic character.

The interest which attaches to the remarkable experiments of MM. Cailletet and Pictet is only equalled by the importance of the fact, now absolutely demonstrated by those experiments, that the property of molecular cohesion is common to all known bodies without exception.

The Statutes relating to the election of Council and Officers were then read, and Mr. Ellis and Mr. McLachlan having been, with the consent of the Society, nominated Scrutators, the votes of the Fellows present were taken, and the following were declared duly elected as Council and Officers for the ensuing year :

President.-William Spottiswoode. M.A., D.C.L., LL.D.
Treasurer. John Evans, F.G.S., F.S.A.

Professor George Gabriel Stokes, M.A., D.C.L., LL.D.

Secretaries — { Professor Thomas Henry Huxley, LL.D.

Foreign Secretary.-- Alexander William Williamson, Ph.D.

Other Members of the Council.–Frederick A. Abel, C.B., V.P.C.S.; William Bowman, F.R.C.S.; William Carruthers, V.P.L.S.; MajorGeneral Henry Clerk, R.A.; William Crookes, V.P.C.S.; Sir William Robert Grove, M.A.; Augustus G. Vernon Harcourt, F.C.S.; Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, C.B., K.C.S.I., D.C.L.; Admiral Sir Astley Cooper Key, K.C.B.; Lieut.-General Sir Henry Lefroy, C.B. ; Lord Lindsay, P.R.A.S.; Sir John Lubbock, Bart., V.P.L.S.; Lord Rayleigh, M.A. ; Charles William Siemens, D.C.L. ; John Simon, C.B., D.C.L.; Professor Allen Thomson, M.D., F.R.S.E.

The thanks of the Society were given to the Scrutators.

The following Table shows the progress and present state of the Society with respect to the number of Fellows :

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Statement of Receipts and Expenditure from November 23, 1877, to November 28, 1878.

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£ s. d.
Mortgage Loan

15,000 0 0
Bought £662 16s. Consols

628 0 0
Salaries and Wages

1,120 4 0
Illustrations and Paper for Report of Naturalists
(Transit-of-Venus Expedition)

199 10 5
The Scientific Catalogue

210 12 0
Books for the Library

142 11 11
Binding ditto

100 17 4
Printing Transactions, Part II. 1877, and

Part I. 1878, and Separate Copies to € d.
Authors and Publisher

388 19 10
Ditto Proceedings, Nos. 170–182.

395 8 10
Ditto Miscellaneous

67 4 1 1,903 6 10
Paper for Transactions and Proceedings. 418 15 0
Binding and Stitching ditto

114 16 11
Engraving and Lithography

518 2 2
Soirée and Reception Expenses

90 12 3
Coal, Lighting, &c.

90 14 5
Office Expenses

29 4 9 House Expenses

91 1 7 Tea Expenses

20 8 6 Fire Insurance

41 15 0} 351 6 9 Taxes

22 13 9

16 19 0
Postage, Parcels, and Petty Charges

36 7 9
Mablethorpe Schools, Donation

2 2 0

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£19,747 16

Trust Funds.

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8. d.

Donation Fund Dividends. Handley Fund Rumford Fund Wintringham Fund Copley Medal Fund Davy Medal Fund

186 18 5
173 19 11
68 107
35 8 0

9 18 4
32 8 11

507 4 2

260 19 8

& d. Donation Fund

105 5 0
Davy Medal Fund

108 5 1
Wintringham Fund

35 11 0
Copley Medal Fund

4 15 1
Bakerian Lecture

4 4 3
Croonian Lecture

2 19 3
Balance at Bank
Balances on hand, Catalogue and Petty Cash.

894 22

2 2

3 4

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Estates and Property of the Royal Society, including Trust Funds.

Estate at Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire (55 A. 2 R. 2 p.), £136 per annum.
Estate at Acton, Middlesex (34 A. 2 R. 4 P.), £167 178. 10d. per annum.
Fee Farm near Lewes, Sussex, rent £19 4s. per annum.
One fifth of the clear rent of an estate at Lambeth Hill, from the College of Physicians, £3 per annum.
Stevenson Bequest. Chancery Dividend. One fourth annual interest on £85,336, Government Annuities and

Bank Stock (produced £485 38. 4d. in 1877-78).
£19,898 28. 5d. Reduced 3 per Cent. Annuities.
£15,000 Mortgage Loan, 4 per Cent.
£16,588 6s. 2d. Consolidated Bank Annuities.
£403 98. 8d. New 2. per Cent. Stock-Bakerian and Copley Medal Fund.
£6,221 14s. ld. New Threes.—Jodrell Fund,
£667 58. 6d. India Fours.
£660 Madras Guaranteed 5 per Cent. Railway Stock.--Davy Medal Fund.
£10,000 Italian Irrigation Bonds.—The Gassiot Trust.

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