I cannot but feel that this is in some respects a misfortune, and it will devolve upon you to decide upon several questions of importance that will materially affect our future existence. That there is not room for two national organizations having the same objects in view and meeting at the same time and place goes, I think, without saying; and if the committee of the general association is to be anything more than a committee in the proper sense of the word, or if it is to assume with or without formal constitution the functions of our own association, then our own must necessarily be crippled, and to do any good at all must meet at a different time and a different place. A committee or section, or whatever it may be called, of the general association with which we meet, would preclude active membership of any but those who come within the constitution of that body. Our Canadian friends and many others who have identified themselves with applied entomology, and do not belong to any of our State or government institutions, would be debarred from active representation, however liberal the association may have been in inviting such to participate, without power to vote in its deliberations. Our own association has, or should have, no such limitations.

Some of us who are entitled to membership in both bodies may feel indifferent as to the course finally decided upon, and that it will not make any difference whether we have an outside and independent organization, as that of the association of official chemists, or whether we do, as did the botanists and horticulturists, waive independence in favor of more direct connection with the general association, provided there is some way whereby the committees of the general association are given sufficient latitude and time to properly present their papers and deliberate; but there are others who feel more sensitive as to their action and are more immediately influenced by the feelings of the main body. I hope that whatever action be taken at this meeting, the general good and the promotion of economic entomology will be kept in mind and that no sectional or personal feeling will be allowed to influence our deliberations.

Suggestion And Comment

You will, I know, pardon me if, before concluding these remarks, I venture to make a few comments which, though not altogether agreeable, are made in all sincerity and in the hope of doing good. The question as to how far purely technical and especially descriptive and monographic work should be done by the different stations or by the national department is one which I have already alluded to and upon which we shall probably hold differing opinions, and which will be settled according to the views of the authorities at the different stations. Individually, I have ever felt that one ostensibly engaged in applied entomology and paid by the State or national government to the end that he may benefit the agricultural community can be true to his trust only by largely overcoming the pleasure of entomological work having no practical bearing. I would, therefore, draw the line at descriptive work except where it is incidental to the economic work and for the purpose of giving accuracy to the popular and economic statements.

This would make our work essentially biological, for all biologic investigation would be justified, not only because the life habits of any insect, once ascertained, throw light on those of species which are closely related to it, but because we can never know when a species at present harmless may subsequently prove harmful, and have to be classed among the species injurious to agriculture.

On the question of credit to their original sources of results already on record, it is hardly necessary for me to advise, because good sense and the consensus of opinion will in the end justify or condemn a writer according as he prove just and conscientious in this regard.

There is one principle that should guide every careful writer, viz., that in any publications whatever, where facts or opinions are put forth, it should always be made clear as to which are based upon the author's personal experience and which are compiled or stated upon the authority of others. We should have no patience with a very common tendency to set forth facts, even those relating to the most common and best known species, without the indications to which I have referred. The tendency belittles our calling and is generally misleading and confusing, especially for bibliographic work, and cannot be too strongly deprecated.

On this point there will hardly be any difference of opinion, but I will allude to another question of credit upon which there prevails a good deal of loose opinion and custom. It is the habit of using illustrations of other authors without any indication of their original source.

This is an equally vicious custom and one to be condemned, though I know that some have fallen into the habit, without appreciation of its evil effect. It is, in my judgment, almost as blameworthy as to use the language or the facts of another without citing the authority.

Every member of this association who has due appreciation of the time and labor and special knowledge required to produce a good and true illustration of the transformations and chief characteristics of an insect will appreciate this criticism. However pardonable in fugitive newspaper articles in respect of cuts which, from repeated use, have become common or which have no individuality, the habit inevitably gives a certain spurious character to more serious and official publications, for assumption of originality, whether intended or not, goes with uncredited matter whether of text or figure. Nor is mere acknowledgment of loan or purchase to the publisher, institution or individual who may own the block or stone what I refer to. But that acknowledgment to the author of the figure or the work in which it first appears which is part of conscientious writing, and often a valuable index as to the reliability of the figure.