A few weeks ago a joint meeting of about thirty men, tutors and tutees drawn both from the department of mathematics and the department of physics was held in Eliot House, and a similar joint conference of students and tutors in the House, selected from the fields of English, the Classics, and History and Literature, has been proposed. It is planned that the group will concentrate on some subject common to all of the departments, a study of epic poetry, for example. Each of the tutees will read material dealing with some aspect of the subject which is pertinent to his field and there will be papers and discussion.
The plan is an admirable one and worthy of serious consideration in all departments. At present, the undergraduate has little chance for contact with men in other departments whose differing fields and whose intellectual make-up might be of benefit in giving him a symmetrical and well rounded view of his work, and in many departments the student remains under the guidance of the same tutor during his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. With the ever increasing emphasis on tutorial work at the expense of the regular courses he will be more and more dependent on the guidance of his tutor and less on that of the lecturers whom he hears. The proposed joint conferences will offer in some measure the desired stimulation to the student, both through contact with other tutors and tutees in the same field and with those in other fields. We suggest the adoption of the plan and its extension to fields other than those proposed. Chemistry and physics, philosophy and history, and the various branches of literature could well profit by an intellectual cross pollenization of the sort offered by these conferences.