Page images
PDF
EPUB

from his brilliant training and his scientific attainments, cannot present to you to-day the necessity of copying into the curricula of our American colleges the statistical features of the foreign school. For magnificent achievement the American statistician need not blush in the presence of the trained European, for, without conceit, we can place the name of our own Walker along with the names of those emi. nent men I have enumerated. With all the training of the schools, the European statistician lacks the grand opportunities which are open to the American. Rarely has the former been able to project and carry out a census involving points beyond the simple enumeration of the people, embracing a few inquiries relating to social conditions ; such inquiries seldom extending beyond those necessary to learn the ages, places of birth, and occupations of the population. Such a census, compared with the ninth and tenth Federal enumerations of the United States, appears but child's play.

Dr. Engel once said to me that he would gladly exchange the training of the Prussian Bureau of Statistics for the opportunity to accomplish what could be done in our country. For with it all, he could not carry out what might be done with comparative ease under our government. The European statistician is constantly cramped by his government; the American government is constantly forced by the people. The Parliament of Great Britain will not consent to an industrial census, the proposition that the features of United States census-taking be incorporated in the British census being defeated as regularly as offered. Nor does any continental power yet dare to make extensive inquiries into the condition of the people, or relative to the progress of their industries. The continental school of statisticians, therefore, is obliged to urge its government to accomplish results familiar to our people. The statistics of births, deaths, and marriages, and other purely conventional statistics, are substantially all that come to the hands of the official statisticians abroad. In this country, the popular demand for statistical information is usually far in advance of the governments, either State or Federal, and so our American statisticians have been blessed with opportunities which have given them an experience, wider in its scope, and of a far more reaching character than has attended the efforts of the continental school. Notwithstanding these opportunities which surround official statistics in this country, the need of special scientific training for men in the administration of statistical work is great indeed. This necessity I hope to show before I close.

It is not essential, in addressing an audience of this character, to spend a moment even upon definitions. The importance of statistics must be granted : the uses of the science admitted. But it may be well, before urging specifically the needs of this country for statistical training, to give a few facts relative to such work in European schools.

The best school for statistical science in Europe is connected with the Prussian statistical bureau, and was established a quarter of a century ago by Dr. Ernst Engel, the late head of the bureau, probably

[ocr errors]

President Walker, of the Institute of Technology ; Dr. Ely, of Johns Hopkins; Prof. R. M. Smith, of Columbia College; Dr. Dewey, of the Institute of Technology; and Dr. E. R. L. Gould, of Washington, have very kindly placed at my disposal information supplemental to that which was at hand.

the ablest living statistician in the old world. The seminary of this statistical bureau is a training school for university graduates of the highest ability, in the art of administration, and in the conduct of statistical and other economic inquiries that are of interest and importance to the government. The practical work is done in connection with the government offices, among which advanced students are distributed with specific tasks. Systematic instruction is given by lectures, and by the seminary or laboratory method, under a general director. Government officers and university professors are engaged to give regular courses to these advanced students. It is considered one of the greatest student honors in Berlin for a university graduate to be admitted to the Statistical Seminary. One graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, a doctor of philosophy, is already under a course of instruction in the Prussian laboratory of political science.

The work of taking the Census of the Prussian population and resources is entrusted to educated men, many of them trained to scientific accuracy by long discipline in the Statistical Seminary, and by practical experience. (Circulars of Information, U. S. Bureau of Education. No. 1, 1887, by Prof. H. B. Adams.)

In this seminary there are practical exercises under the statistical bureau during the day time, with occasional excursions to public institutions, in addition to lectures held mostly in the evening. A recent programme of the seminary comprehends :

1. Theory, technique, and encyclopædia : once a week. 2. Statistics of population and of dwellings : once a week. 3. Medical statistics : once a week.

:

4. Applied mathematical statistics : once a week. 5. Agrarian statistics : once a week. 6. Exercises in political economy, finance, and financial statis

tics : 2 hours a week.

The students assist in the work of the statistical bureau without compensation. This is a part of their training, and by it theory and practice are most successfully combined.

I believe there are courses in statistics in nearly all the universities in Germany, certainly in the more prominent institutions of that country, but there are no distinct chairs of statistics. Statistical science is considered a part of political economy, and professors of the latter science give the instruction in statistics.

The most prominent announcements for the leading European universities, for the year 1886-7, are as follows ::

University of Leipzig : Professor W. Roscher lectures on agricultural

statistics, this branch being a part of one course, taking one or two hours a week. One hour a week is also given to political

economy and statistical exercises by Dr. K. Walker. University of Tübingen : Prof. Gustav von Rümelin devotes three

hours a week to social statistics, while Professor Lorey includes

in his lectures a treatment of the statistics of forests. University of Würzburg : Professor G. Schanz devotes four hours a

week to general statistics. University of Dorpat (a German institution in Russia): Professor

Al. v. Oettingen teaches ethical statistics two hours each week. University of Breslau : Professor W. Lexis uses one hour a week on

the statistics of population. University of Halle : Professor Conrad has a seminary of five hours

a week, in which statistical subjects, among others, are carefully

treated. University of Kiel : Professor W. Seelig

fo hours a to general statistics, and statistics of Germany. University of Königsberg: Professor L. Elster lectures two hours a

week on the theory of statistics.

a

[ocr errors]

University of Munich : Dr. Neuberg has a course of one to two hours

a week on statistics. University of Strasburg: Professor G. F. Knapp teaches the theory

and practice of statistics three hours a week, and with Professor Brentano has a seminary two hours a week, in which, among

other matters, they treat statistical subjects. University of Prague : Professor Surnegg-Marburg teaches the sta

tistics of European States three hours each week. University of Vienna : Professor von Inama-Sternegg devotes two

hours each week in a statistical seminary. In addition to the university work outlined, much work is done in the technical schools, as, for instance, at the technical school in Vienna there are given regularly two courses of statistics : First, “General comparative statistics of European States;" their

surface, population, industries, commerce, education, etc. Second, “Industrial statistics of European States ;" methods and

“ technik" of industrial statistics. These courses are given by Dr. von Brachelli, who is officially connected with the Government Bureau of Statistics.

At Dresden, Dr. Böhmert lectures at the Polytechnic on “The elements of statistics,” and has a statistical seminary. Böhmert is the director of the statistical bureau in the department of the interior. Part of the instruction is given at the bureau. Courses are also given at Zurich on the elements of statistics.

Some of the more important announcements connected with the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques, of Paris, for the year 1886-7, are as follows : 1. By Professor Levasseur, the theory of statistics, and the move

ment of population, one hour a week for the first quarter. 2. By M. de Foville, Chief of the Bureau of Statistics, one hour a

week in the second quarter upon statistics, commerce, and

statistics of foreign commerce. 3. By Professor Pigeonneau, one exercise each week, in which he

treats, among other subjects, of commercial statistics.

« PreviousContinue »