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CHAPTER XV
BRITISH ASSOCIATION
Its function and merits-My connection with and indebtedness to it
Sir William Grove

J HAVE been connected with the British Association more or less intimately during many years, four times as President of a Section or " Department," once as deliverer of a Lecture, a member of its Council almost from my return from South Africa, then from 1863 to 1867 as its General Secretary, and afterwards as an official member of its Council.

The Association affords what is often the most appropriate means of ventilating new ideas. I t can create a Committee with or without a grant of money, giving to its proposer the title either of Chairman or Secretary, which clothes him with an authority that an unknown individual would lack, when making inquiries of public bodies at home or abroad. It also provides him with colleagues to discuss and criticise results before they are finally published. A good example of these advantages may be found in the Report of the Anthropometric Committee, which has afforded standard data up to the present time, for the chief physical characteristics of the inhabitants of the British Isles, The hard work carried on in its

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