OF THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
Too Long; Didn't ReadThe Transactions of the Royal Society, unlike those of most foreign academies, contain nothing relating to the history of the Society. The volumes contain merely those papers communicated to the Society in the preceding year which the Council have selected for printing, a meteorological register, and a notice of the award of the annual medals, without any list of the Council and officers of the Society, by whom that selection and that award have been made.
Before I proceed to criticise this state of things, I will mention one point on which I am glad to be able to bestow on the Royal Society the highest praise. I refer to the extreme regularity with which the volumes of the Transactions are published. The appearance of the half-volumes at intervals of six months, insures for any communication almost immediate publicity; whilst the shortness of the time between its reception and publication, is a guarantee to the public that the whole of the paper was really communicated at the time it bears date. To this may also be added, the rarity of any alterations made previously to the printing, a circumstance which ought to be imitated, as well as admired, by other societies. There may, indeed, be some, perhaps the Geological, in which the task is more difficult, from the nature of the subject. The sooner, however, all societies can reduce themselves to this rule, of rarely allowing any thing but a few verbal corrections to papers that are placed in their hands, the better it will be for their own reputation, and for the interests of science.