|Caption||Men of the Day. No. 907.|
Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, F.R.S., D.Sc., LL.D.
He is only fifty-four, but he is a Staffordshire man who has made himself so great in Science that he has won many degrees from several Universities, and four years ago was appointed Principal of the University of Birmingham; which though new is quite a wholesome institution. He began in a Staffordshire Grammar School; equipped himself at University College, London; was made Professor of Physics at University College, Liverpool; won the Rumford medal of the Royal Society, and last year was chosen to be Romanes Lecturer at Oxford. He has written much, from his "Elementary Mechanics" to his "Signalling without Wires," from his "Pioneers of Science" to his "Modern Views of Electricity"; for he is altogether a great scientist in whom is no quackery. Yet, though he was only knighted two years ago, he is the first discoverer of wireless telegraphy; and, though he achieved the transmission of air messages on a small scale only (in a quadrangle which limited him to sixty yards), he said that he could go further, as did Dr. Alexander Muirhead, who saw his experiments. Nevertheless, he is among the first to say that it was Marconi, with the aid of Sir William Preece and the resources of the General Post Office, who gradually achieved an immense extension in accuracy and in distance of the new method of aerogrammatic talk. He believes in psychical investigations as laying the foundation for what will be a science of the future, holding that we are but pioneers in the matter, trying to make the ground secure as we advance along the narrow path of knowledge. If progress is slow, and if at present some of the results lend themselves to cheap ridicule on the part of those who will not, or cannot, understand, he considers that a matter of no moment. For his scientific position is unassailable, and he has the courage of his opinions.
With all his science he is a polite, agreeable fellow, who is unbigoted.