Transition Studies 39
ordinary course he has to apply, with doubtful chance of success, to upwards of 10 Meteorological Institutes in Britain and Europe, for the favour of access to the original documents received by them, and to fully 30 individuals besides. He has next to procure copies, then to reduce the barometer and thermometer readings to a common measure, and finally to protract on a map. I feel that all this dry, laborious, and costly work, which has to be undergone independently by every real student before he can venture a step into scientific work, is precisely that which should be undertaken by Institutes established for the advance of Meteorology." (p. 3, col. i. )
Galton's own list of failures is considerable
"There was no central Institute in Switzerland neither was there any recognised Institute in Denmark or Norway. Whether by accident or misunderstanding, several promised communications from Denmark have never reached me, to my great regret, for its weather was closely linked with our own. From Sweden I could obtain nothing, from France next to nothing', from Bavaria only the valuable observations made at Munich. From Italy I had considerable hopes held out to me, but little fruit. The interior of Ireland is wretchedly represented, and would have presented a gap, like France, were it not for two eminent astronomers and some chance assistance besides." (p. 4, col. ii.)
The bulk of Galton's data came from Belgium (with the aid of Quetelet), Holland (with the help of Buys Ballot), Austria (from Kreil) and Berlin (from Dove). To the three former Galton tenders his special thanks. Then comes Galton's excuse for his publication of a work based on admittedly inadequate data
"Entertaining the views I have expressed on the necessity of meteorological charts and maps, and feeling confident that no representation of what might be done would influence meteorologists to execute what I have described, so strongly as a practical proof that it could be done, I determined to make a trial by myself, and to chart the entire area of Europe, so far as meteorological stations extend, during, one entire month, and I now publish my results." (p. 3, col. ii.)
A most important discovery was made by Galton as soon as he had begun plotting his wind and pressure charts. While Dove had recognised that centres of low pressure in the northern hemisphere were associated with counter-clockwise directions of the wind round a centre of calms, and termed this system a cyclone, Galton noted that centres of high pressurd re associated with clockwise directions of the wind round a centre of calms. Galton termed this system an anticyclone, and the name rapidly came into general use, and is very familiar now although few who use it remember that Galton first noticed the system and coined the name 2.
- When one studies Galton's tiny charts of pressure and wind for the thirtyone days of December 1861, each chart extending over the whole of Central Europe, and thinks of the paucity of his data, one cannot but wonder at the inspiration which led him to his conclusions. Luckily December 1861 was a month of contrasts, the first half of the month marked a series of cyclones
Appeal Appeal to France for scientific information is even after the war nearly always in vain; letters remain unanswered, and presents of memoirs unacknowledged. From both Germany and Austria, even at the present day, one is fairly certain of a full and courteous reply, and almost any German University Library will still lend a book inaccessible in this country. Narrow nationalism in science is a crime against our common humanity.
2 "A Development of the Theory of Cyclones." Received Dec. 25, 1862. Royal Society Proceedings, Vol. xii, 1863, pp. 385-6.