[ Oliver Lodge; Printed ] Letter and Questionnaire from the Birmingham Philosophical Society, printed., with Lodge's responses in holograph to questions and with signature Oliver Lodge, University College Liverpool with date.

Oliver Lodge, physicist and writer [ H.W.Crosskey, geologist ]
Publication details: 
July 12th, 1886.
SKU: 23113

Printed Circular Letter from H.W. Crosskey on behalf of the Birmingham Philosophical Society with Questionnaire from, Translation of Scientific Memoirs' Committee, dated 8 July 1886, 2 leaves, 4to, bifolium, minor staining, good condition. The Printed Letter, p.[1], from H.W. Crosskey, explains what the questionnaire is for (Action for the Translation and Publication of Foreign Scientific Memoirs to be put to the attention of the British Association). The questionnaire comprises four questions, with a final section headed Remarks, the questions being, 1.Do you think it advisable that steps should be taken to secure the systematic translation and publication in English of all the more important foreign scientific memoirs; 2. If so [advisable] would the work be best accomplished: (a) by the formation of a Special Society or Committee for dealing with memoirs on all subjects; or (b) by the formation of separate Societies or Committees each dealing with one particular branch of science; or (c) by urging the existing scientific Societies to undertake the translation of the memoirs with which they are most nearly concerned? | 3. Would it be necessary, in your opinion, to translate memoirs in the French language? | 4. Should the work of translation be done voluntarily, or be paid for by a small fee; the name of the translator in either case being attached to his work? Section 5 is headed Remarks (verso).Lodge answers al the questions fully, and adds a full-page of notes on the blank verso of the first leaf.He answers Question 1. Yes I do indeed. See opposite page but he doesn't think all scientists can be put on a level distinguishing between geologists, biologists, chemists and physicists.For question 2. He answers each section (a,b,c) in turn, (a) unwieldy (explained briefly), (b) is impracticable (explained), (c) Is the plan - he elaborates.Question 3 answer: He comments on the easiness of French but difficulties in skimming. Moreover the difficulty of scattering, or diverse publication applies to French as to the other literature. One wants things brought to a focus.Question 4 answer: He says it should be paid well to encourage Demonstrators & the like to do something which would be good for them. There should be a scale, and a tender system, and a weeding out of the incompetent.Remarks: It is important for translators to know well the subject matter than the language. I doubt if translation can ever be quoted with the same confidence as the original. He elaborates on this, concluding the translations should read fairly easily & not be repulsively barbarous. Note: A copy of the report based on this and other completed questionnaires, apparently the only one recorded, is at the National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, USA) . Despite valiant efforts (including being one hour's drive away) I have been unable to see it, or secure a copy: Report presented by the council to the annual meeting of members, held in the library of the Medical Institute,October 8, 1885. [Birmingham Philosophical Society (Birmingham, England)]. See other completed questionnaires (Galton, Huxley, Francis Darwin, etc).