This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The annual election for officers the last week in December, though usually a local affair, had something of a national interest given to it by the issue, on December 11th, of a portion of the American Naturalist for January, with an article signed by Prof. E. D. Cope, and which was sent to leading members, with editorial articles in the leading daily papers, in order to elect a ticket made up by Mr. Cope and his friends. Since the election, another article on the Academy, to be published in the February Naturalist, has been issued and circulated in advance.
One would think, in common fairness, that if the editors of the American Naturalist can find so much room to criticize a report made by the Academy of Natural Sciences, they would publish that report also, so that the public could judge for themselves as to the merits of the case.
"We may tell the public in brief that Prof. Cope proposed that thirteen professors in the different departments of science should be compelled, as a part of their duties, to take in hand as well the financial and business management of the institution, - replacing twelve members of the Academy now elected (four annually) for six years for that purpose. This was regarded as so unjust to the members of the Academy, as well as to the Professors themselves, that the proposition was unanimously voted down by the councils, and also unanimously by the very large meeting, before which the council's report came.
As already noted, Prof. Cope then thought to carry his point by a ticket composed of gentlemen whom he supposed might favor his views. This ticket did not receive forty votes, while the following received over one hundred and forty, the figures varying a little in a few cases: President, Wm. S. W. Ruschenberger; Vice-Presidents, Wm. S. Vaux and Thomas Meehan; Recording Secretary and Librarian, Edward J. Nolan; Corresponding Secretary, George H. Horn: Treasurer, Wm. C. Henszey; Curators, Joseph Leidy, Wm. S. Vaux, Chas. F. Parker,. R. S. Kenderdine; Councillors, Rev. H. C. McCook, Edward Potts, I. C. Martindale, Theo.
Notwithstanding this emphatic condemnation of the plan, Prof. Cope, through the American Naturalist, is trying to make the world believe that something very dreadful has happened to-the Academy, and that its well-earned reputation in the past is to end in ruin.
As an illustration of the peculiar fitness of some scientific men to attend to practical business affairs, it will be fairly in place to note that Prof. Cope has had his seat in the council declared vacant by the Academy for a violation of the rules, and another elected to it in his place. It appeared that he had not even read the rules and regulations of the institution he was governing!
We think the Academy has acted wisely in letting scientific men attend to science, and giving up business to business men.