Washington DC: Smithsonian, 1915. 1st Edition. FIRST PRINTED EDITION OF AN EXTENSIVE SPEECH RUTHERFORD GAVE ON COSMIC EVOLUTION. Rutherford was invited to give the opening speech in the Hale Cosmic Evolution Series of Lectures of the National Academy of Sciences. The Hale series was intended to mark the progress made in a variety of fields toward understanding the origin and evolution of life; as a step toward defining “the problems of organic evolution in terms of modern mechanistic science… [and] it represents the first comprehensive effort in that direction” (The American Museum Journal, 1919, 193).
Rutherford’s lecture dealt with, as the title implies, The Constitution of Matter and the Evolution of the Elements . “Aided by many illustrations, including some of the experiments which brought to him the award of the Nobel prize, [Rutherford] explained how the discovery of radioactivity and the study of the electron have revolutionized our views on the nature of matter. By these new means of investigation the chemical elements and the complex compounds which they unite to form were shown to consist of units of positive and negative electricity; moreover, that all negative electrons are precisely alike, from whatever form of matter they may be derived. Thus were shown some of the transformations of the chemical elements, such as the spontaneous disintegration of radium and from it the production of helium” (Report of the National Academy of Sciences, 24).
ALSO INCLUDED: Louis Agassiz Fuentes, Impression of the Voices of Tropical Birds, pp. 299-323, 16 plates.
Myron H. Swenk, The Eskimo Curlew and its Disappearance, pp. 325-340. 1 plate. Item #1475
CONDITION & DETAILS: Washington, D. C. 8vo. [xii], 544, . No stamps or other markings. Profuse plates and maps throughout. Bound in green cloth with minor rubbing at the edges; gilt-lettered at the spine and on the front board. Tightly bound. Bright and clean throughout.