« AnteriorContinuar »
the Society for Experimental Pathology, Dr. William H. Park, of New York City; the American Pharmacologists' Society, Professor Arthur S. Loevenhart, of the University of Wisconsin.
THE presentation of the Perkin Medal to Professor-emeritus Charles F. Chandler, of Columbia University, by Professor Marston T. Bogert, of Columbia University, took place at the meeting of the Society of Chemical Industry, at the Chemists' Club, New York City, on January 16.
AT a meeting held on December 1, Professor Thomas B. Osborne, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, was elected an associate member of the Société Royale des Sciences Médicales et Naturelles de
THE prize of $100 offered in 1914 for the best paper on the availability of Pearson's formulæ for psychophysics, to be judged by an international committee consisting of Professors W. Brown, E. B. Titchener and F. M. Urban, has been awarded to Dr. Godfrey H. Thomson, of Armstrong College, Newcastleupon-Tyne, for an essay entitled "On the Application of Pearson's Methods of CurveFitting to the Problems of Psychophysics."
Ar its last meeting the Rumford Committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences made the following appropriations: to Professor Frederick A. Saunders, of the Jefferson Physical Laboratory, one hundred and fifty dollars in addition to a former appropriation in aid of his research on Spectral Lines; to Professor David L. Webster, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, three hundred and fifty dollars in addition to a previous appropriation in aid of his research on X-ray spectra.
MR. ELMER D. MERRILL, who has been in charge of botanical work for the Philippine government since 1902, has been appointed director of the Bureau of Science. In addition to his duties as botanist, Bureau of Science, Mr. Merrill was chief of the department of botany, University of the Philippines, from 1912 to 1919, first as associate professor, later
as professor of botany. In March, 1919, he resigned from the university in order to devote his whole time to the botanical interests of the Bureau of Science, was made acting director of the bureau in June, and director in December, 1919.
DEAN CHARLES FULLER BAKER, of the college of agriculture, University of the Philippines, takes a year's leave during 1920, because of failing health. He plans to spend a large part of this leave in the higher regions of the Philippines. His address will continue to be Los Baños, Philippine Islands.
MR. R. S. MCBRIDE, engineer-chemist of the National Bureau of Standards, resigned on January 15, to become the engineering representative in Washington, D. C., of McGrawHill Company of New York City. His first work will be in connection with certain coal and fuel utilization problems of particular interest to Coal Age. His address is Colorado Building, Washington, D. C.
DR. E. MEAD WILCOX has resigned as professor of plant pathology in the University of Nebraska and plant pathologist of the Experiment Station, effective April 1, 1920, to accept the directorship of the Agricultural Experiment Station being established at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
DR. W. S. GORTON has resigned from the Bureau of Standards, where he has been engaged in work on potential-transformer testing and automotive engine ignition, to accept a research position with the Western Electric Company in New York City.
W. ARMSTRONG PRICE, paleontologist of the West Virginia Geological Survey, is spending the winter months at Johns Hopkins University, where he is carrying on his work on West Virginia fossils through the courtesy of the geological department of the university.
THE list of British new year honors, as reported in Nature, includes Sir Bertrand Dawson, physician in ordinary to the king, and dean of the medical faculty of the University of London, to a peerage. Among the new knights are Professor Arthur Schuster; Dr. E. A. Wallis Budge, keeper of Egyptian and
Assyrian antiquities, British Museum; Colonel W. A. Churchman, ministry of munitions explosives department; Dr. J. Court, known by his researches on diseases of miners; Mr. F. C. Danson, chairman of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Mr. D. E. Hutchins, for his services to forestry; Mr. James Kemnal, for public services in connection with the manufacture of munitions; Mr. F. S. Lister, research bacteriologist, South African Institute for Medical Research; Mr. H. J. Mackinder, M.P., and Dr. F. G. Ogilvie, director of the Science Museum, South Kensington. Professor S. J. Chapman, joint permanent secretary, Board of Trade, and Sir Richard Glazebrook, have been promoted from C.B. to K.C.B. Dr. G. R. Parkin has been promoted to the rank of K.C.M.G., and Mr. H. N. Thompson, chief conservator of forests, Nigeria, has received the honor of C.M.G.
PROFESSOR BANTI, of Florence, Dr. Van Ermengem, of Ghent, and Dr. Pawinski, of Warsaw, have been elected correspondents of the Paris Academy of Medicine.
OFFICERS of the American Philosophical Society for 1902 have been elected as follows: President, William B. Scott; Vice-presidents, George Ellery Hale, Arthur A. Noyes, Hampton L. Carson; Secretaries, I. Minis Hays, Arthur W. Goodspeed, Harry F. Keller, John A. Miller; Curators, William P. Wilson, Leslie W. Miller, Henry H. Donaldson; Treasurer, Henry La Barre Jayne.
OFFICERS of the Brooklyn Entomological Society for the year 1920 have been elected as follows:
President: W. T. Davis.
Vice-president: J. R. de la Torre-Bueno. Treasurer: Rowland F. McElvare. Recording and Corresponding Secretary: Dr. J. Bequaert.
Librarian: A. C. Weeks.
Curator: Geo. Franck.
Publication Committee: J. R. de la TorreBueno, editor, Geo. P. Engelhardt, Dr. J. Bequaert.
Delegate to Council of New York Academy of Sciences: Howard Notman.
DR. LOUIS A. BAUER gave an illustrated lec
ture on The solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, and the Einstein effect," at Brown University, under the auspices of the Sigma Xi, on January 15. He repeated the lecture at Columbia University, Friday afternoon, January 16. On Friday evening, February 6, he has been invited to address the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia at the stated meeting, on "Observations in Liberia and elsewhere of the total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, and their bearing on the Einstein theory." The address will be illustrated by lantern slides of all expeditions showing the fully developed solar corona and remarkable prominences, as well as the deflected star images.
AT a meeting of the Society of Medical History of Chicago on January 17, addresses were made by Colonel Casey A. Wood, on "Walter Bailey, the first writer of an Ophthalmic Treatise in English," and by Lieutenant-Colonel Fielding H. Garrison, on "Medical Men and Music," and "Remarks on the Medical History of the War."
PROFESSOR GEORGE M. STRATTON, of the University of California, is giving a series of lectures in San Francisco, during January and February on psychology and health.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
THE Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be administered by a special committee composed of three members of the faculty, the corporation having decided that it is not advisable to name an acting president in succession to the late Dr. Richard C. Maclaurin. This administrative committee will be composed of Dr. Henry P. Talbot, chairman of the faculty and head of the department of chemistry; Professor Edward P. Miller, head of the department of mechanical engineering, and Dr. William H. Walker, director of the newly instituted division of industrial cooperation and research. Frederick P. Fish, senior member, has been elected chairman of the executive committee of the corporation and a subcommittee, consisting of Everett Morse, Francis R. Hart and Edwin S. Webster, has
been chosen to keep in touch with the affairs of the institute and to cooperate with the faculty and officers of administration.
Ar the University of California Dr. John C. Merriam, professor of paleontology and historical geology, has been appointed dean of the faculties, and Dr. A. C. Leuschner, professor of astronomy and director of the Students' Observatory, dean of the Graduate Division.
DR. JOHN M. T. FINNEY, associate professor of surgery in the Johns Hopkins Medical School, has been invited to accept the chair of surgery at Harvard University, his alma mater.
DR. HOMER L. DODGE, formerly assistant professor of physics at the State University of Iowa, is now professor and head of the department of physics at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla. He has also been appointed director of the State Bureau of Standards.
MISS CATHERINE BEEKLEY has been appointed as instructor of zoology at the University of Oregon to temporarily fill the place left by Dr. C. H. Edmondson, who has resigned to take up work in the University of Hawaii.
DR. ROGER C. SMITH, of the United States Bureau of Entomology, has resigned to accept the position of assistant professor of entomology in the Kansas State Agricultural College.
DR. W. H. BROWN, formerly associate professor of botany in the University of the Philippines, has been promoted to the full professorship and chief of the department, Mr. Elmer D. Merrill having resigned to utilize his whole time in the interests of the Bureau of Science.
MR. HAROLD BOYD SIFTON, of the Seed Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, has resigned to accept a position in the botanical laboratories of the University of Toronto.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE
OFFICIAL FIELD CROP INSPECTION IN a recent number of SCIENCE Professor H. L. Bolley, in an article on this subject, has
pointed out that until we have control of seed grain production we will continue to have mixed varieties and the best ones will continue to be lost through carelessness. Bad weeds and diseases will be spread with the seeds.
He states that "the work of each cereal crop improver and public educator on breeding dies with him," and mentions Wellman, Haynes and Saunders as examples. "Seed improvement must last through the life of many men and for this there must be plans based on established law."
I am glad to state that crop improvement associations are springing up in many states. Michigan and Wisconsin have each had an association for about ten years. During the summer (1919) there was a meeting of crop improvement association men at St. Paul, Minn. The states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas had representatives at the meeting, showing that those states were active. Besides this we know that Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado are thinking strongly of organizing crop improvement associations.
Professor Bolley, it seems, does not believe in cooperative breeders associations." A state-controlled seed inspection under the direction of the agricultural college such as Professor Bolley advocates, will in most cases be preceded by a cooperative seed growers association. It is possible that the North Dakota work is not done by an association, as the North Dakota representatives at the St. Paul meeting were interested in alfalfa seed only, and the pedigreed seed was all sent to Fargo for recleaning. This can't be done when a state is to be supplied with pedigreed seed.
Wisconsin was the first to organize one of these associations, and now they have state aid. Most of us have not reached the stage where the lawmakers have recognized the value of a supply of pure seed, representing the highest yielding pedigreed varieties. Each of the crop improvement associations is fostered by the agricultural college of its state but can not be
an organic part of any agricultural college because the crop improvement associations are producing and selling associations.
First, before one of these associations can work, some plant breeder must have spent years purifying old varieties, or breeding up new ones. In either case the varieties to be tested must have originated from a single selected plant where thousands are usually selected and tested. The work of variety testing may continue for several years, and usually does, before a superior variety is located. The next stage is to try the new variety in various parts of the state. If it is generally found superior to local varieties it is time for an association to begin.
Thus before a crop improvement association can work, a superior variety must exist. It may have been produced in the same or another state but must have been found superior by local testing.
To distribute a new variety in small quantities without control, always means that farmers lose it by allowing it to be mixed with local varieties. The agricultural college can, with the aid of county agricultural agents, see to it that a new variety is kept pure until it leaves the farm where it is being increased. But if the grower is to continue to produce pedigreed seed and any considerable number of growers are to be interested, the producer must be able to obtain a higher price for this seed than is paid in the open market. He has seen to it that the land was free from other grains and noxious weeds. He has treated his grain for smut. He has cleaned his drill. He has pulled weeds and gone to considerable extra expense. All this trouble must be paid for. It is true that farmers are glad to grow a high-producing grain, that they may produce more bushels. They are also willing to grow a grain of higher quality if they can obtain a better price. But, as a rule, they are not willing to produce seed for other folks without a profit. They are business men not philanthropists.
To find a market for the new seed grain, there has to be a selling agency of some kind. This agency is taking the form of a crop im
provement association. This is a farmers organization in every state where the movement has gone far enough to be of substantial value to the state. Usually the extension specialist in farm crops is the controlling agent. He is often the secretary of the association but not as an officer of the agricultural college. In Michigan he sees to it that the fields of grain are inspected while in head and before harvest. The farmer whose field passes inspection also submits a recleaned sample of the grain to the secretary. If his grain is acceptable the grower receives the shipping tags of the association. The grower certifies on the shipping tag that the seed conforms to the state seed laws and to the sample submitted to the association for inspection. Also if these points are not found true he agrees to refund the purchase price.
To illustrate how pedigreed grains can be taken care of, let me mention some Michigan experience. A bushel of Rosen Rye was sent to Mr. Carlton Horton at Albion in 1912. We now estimate there were 400,000 acres of Rosen Rye in Michigan in 1919. A peck of Red Rock wheat was sown by Mr. John Odell on a half of his garden patch in 1913. Mr. Odell lives about seven miles south of Allegan in Trowbridge Township. He grew 7 bushels of Red Rock in 1914 and sowed seven acres. He had this seed for sale in 1915, but could not have interested his neighbors if it had not been for the county agricultural agent, the miller and the banker, nor could this seed have continued to be kept pure and sold for seed had it not been for the Michigan Crop Improvement Association. However, I personally inspected over three hundred acres in 1917 that contained less 1 per cent. of other varieties and almost no weeds. All this came from the peck of Red Rock sent to Mr. Odell four years before. In 1919 there were about 60,000 acres of Red Rock in Michigan. Several others of our breeding products have likewise been taken care of.
FRANK A. SPRAGG
MICHIGAN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
SCIENCE AND POLITICS
AT the St. Louis meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the council passed the following resolution:
That sectional officers avoid placing on their programs papers relating to acute political questions on which public opinion is divided.
I know nothing of the circumstances leading to this resolution. If papers offered to the sections were inspired by partisan politics rather than by science, they would deserve condemnation and exclusion. But the resolution does not refer to such papers; it implies that scientific men should not discuss matters relating to acute political questions on which public opinion is divided. To one who believes that in the present chaos of conflicting opinions and purposes the finger of science should point the way to safety, this seems almost incredibly stupid. I am of course aware that a scientific man who tries to throw the light of truth on the field of political discussion is not unlikely to be abused for his pains. He may find honest people doubting his integrity or his intelligence.
He himself is only too well aware of his liability to error. But in the face of all this, he must and should persevere, knowing well that his feet are set upon the path of progress. T. D. A. COCKERELL
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO,
THE DUES OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION AND THE SALARIES OF SCIENTIFIC MEN THE revised constitution of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as presented at the Baltimore meeting, was adopted at St. Louis with only one substantial change an increase of the annual dues to five dollars. This change had been recommended, after careful consideration, by the committee on policy and the council and was adopted by unanimous vote at the opening general session of the association. The increase in the dues only meets the general situation. All the expenses of the association have increased in some such proportion, except the salaries of
the officers, and it would be unfair to them and a bad example to other institutions, to retain nominal salaries paid in depreciated dollars. This has been done in the case of teachers in many institutions of learning and for scientific men in the service of the government, while commensurate with the increased cost of living have been the increases in wages for many of the working classes, and of the earnings of most professional and business men.
Institutions of learning and the scientific bureaus of the government have suffered alarming losses from their staffs. At the present time many men of science are hesitating between loyalty to their institutions and research work, on the one hand, and duty to their families and the attraction of new opportunities, on the other. In one government bureau three men are now holding open offers of twenty to thirty thousand dollars a year to see whether the Congress will increase their salaries to six or eight thousand.
If men are driven away from positions where they are using their ability and their training for the general good, and if those who remain are compelled to use time that should be devoted to research or teaching to earning money from outside sources, the future of science and with it the welfare of the nation will be jeopardized. A generation might pass before there would be recovery from the resulting demoralization. It would be indeed humiliating to conquer Germany in war and then permit it to surpass us in the arts of peace.
It is certainly unfortunate that the American Association should be compelled to increase its dues, as measured in dollars, at a time when all costs are advancing to such an extent that those living on fixed salaries find it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. It would, however, be a still more serious misfortune to permit the work of the association and its publications to be crippled. These are important factors in the advancement of science and in impressing on the general public the place of science in modern civilization and the need of maintaining research work for the national welfare.
The meetings of the association and the