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wonder is it that these men are prone to fall
to the commonplace to regetate, as it were, and fel even to keep pace with the progress m her own dolls! There is only one read It is aciem. And research is action that extends to the very roots of the scienFisch Ning of, indood, he be a true scientist at 4), and regenerates his whole profosional attituda
There are furthermore, certain very pracpoal advantages to be gained from a reasonable activity in research. One can not engage in such work without becoming tolerably familiar with the field in which it lies, and with the subjects associated with it. It furnishas an incentive to more thorough study on the part of the teacher himself, and gives a mastery and a self-confidence in teaching, along these particular lines at least, that could hardly be gained otherwise. The professor of physics, for example, who has worked out some little line of inquiry connected with radio activity, even though it be with the aid of a home-made electroscope housed in a tin can, and utilize no more expensive radio-active preparation than a castoff Wellsbach mantle, has had first-hand experience with the obstinacy of electroscopes
and the practical difficulties of radioactive experiments generally that will give him the Sealing of knowing what he is talking about vhen it comes to teaching that part of his subject. The same circumstance gives the teacher the more complete confidence of his students and colleagues, who justly feel that a man who is making original contributions to his science is one who can be trusted to esch it with some authority. Nor is this feeling confined to the individual: it reflects credit upon the college and gives it character among scholastic institutions in such proportion as its researches are published and become known to the intellectual public.
There is also a still more direct benefit to the college whose professors are engaged in productive research in the laboratories of their own departments. Students like to see things. However reassuring may be the knowledge that their teachers have formerly studied and done research in some university or other, there is nothing so stimulating to their immediate interest as the opportunity to see research actually going on, to see new truth actually coming to light. The botanist who can beckon to his students to the microscope and say that here is a form of life never before described, or the geologist who can take his class to a rock exposure that disproves some prevalent theory of local geology, excites at once the interest and confidence of his pupils. No text-book statement is half so convincing. And the college student takes a measure of pride, and experiences a sort of awe, in the presence of what seems to him to be genius.
Can any one deny that the students in our hundreds of small colleges have as good a right to such advantages as the students of the few large universities of the land?
Now there seems to be an unfortunate impression among scientific people that research is practicable only with the elaborate equipment and in the surcharged atmosphere of the great university graduate school. It must be admitted that there are many research problems of which this is in a measure true. But research, like music, has its rôles, of which the minor ones have their own
peculiar importance and offer their peculiar opportunities. If every musician aspired to play the pipe organ or to conduct a fifty-piece orchestra, it would indeed be an expensive and ambitious undertaking to become a musician. But some of the finest music is produced on the simplest instruments, or by the unaided voice; and it should be remembered likewise that successful research depends more upon the industry and personality of the man who engages in it than upon the apparatus which he may have at his disposal.
If college men are not recognized as research workers, it is because they do not produce; and if they do not produce, it is because they do not have it in them to do so, or else it is because they do not try.
The institution represented by the writer is not wealthy, but it is illustrative that, out of a dozen or more pieces of research in physics undertaken within as many years, only two have called upon any assistance whatever in the way of equipment from outside sources. Right-minded college authorities (and there are such) are not averse to making some reasonable provision for research work. I have observed that presidents and trustees gauge their appropriations largely by the confidence which they have in the man asking for equipment, in the wisdom and economy of his selections, in the uses to which he is likely to put the material purchased, and in the care which he is likely to take of it; and if they know that he will take every precaution to save the institution unwarranted expense, that fact will go a long way toward liberalizing their policy. Problems can be selected that depend upon diligence, care and skill, rather than upon elaborate apparatus.
A most encouraging circumstance also is the fact that there are great research agencies which have expressed themselves as only too glad to lend a hand in any worth-while problem that the college man may wish to enter upon. This is true of the great universities themselves; it is true of the National Research Council. To test this point, let any
competent college scientist who genuinely wishes to do research work, but who lacks certain essential items of equipment, confer with the head of the appropriate department in this or any other graduate university, or make known his needs to the National Research Council at Washington, and discover how readily these institutions will give him, not only their material cooperation, but the best of their wisdom as well, in the problem to which he is addressing himself. The Research Council has even gone so far as to initiate a sort of bureau of exchange of research apparatus for the assistance of workers in just such cases. And the writer finds it difficult to express his appreciation of the ready liberality, and evidence of confidence, with which his own alma mater has supplied the somewhat heavy demands that some of his more recent work has made upon her resources.
A common plea among non-productive scientists is that they do not have time. That excuse is threadbare and in tatters. Men have time for what ever is worth while in the exercise of their powers. The amount of work a man can accomplish depends upon his determination and upon how well he has learned to systematize his day or his week. I am convinced that no college man, or university man either, can make real progress in research without setting apart a definite portion of his program for that exclusive purpose, and then sticking to it even to the extent of locking his doors, if necessary, against interruption while he is so engaged.
It often happens, however, that the worst intruder is one's own temptation to depart from his schedule. The research period arrives. There is a pile of test papers on his desk to be corrected, or a pile of ashes in his cellar to be carried out. Why not let the research go this week? After all, the research is only a side-issue. To minimize this, the writer has several times adopted the expedient of getting one or two college students to register for "advanced laboratory work" along the line of his own research, the laboratory period coming at regular scheduled
hours, and making it obligatory for the teacher to be on hand and to decline other engagements, which might otherwise be given precedence.
Such an arrangement adds zest to the work, in that it creates the atmosphere of mutual understanding and interest so much prized in the graduate school, and clarifies the teacher's own thinking as he explains the details to the students. It may afford, moreover, some little positive assistance, for there may well be parts of the routine experimental work or calculations that students can become skilful enough to perform with entire satisfaction. Several years ago, for example, I had on hand a piece of work in which an important part of the procedure was the repeated performance of very accurate weighings. I trained four students, at various times, in the theory of the balance and the practise of precise weighing, and while I prepared specimens, the students weighed them with as much skill and care as I myself could have done it. By no means the least benefit of this plan is its effect upon the student. No better training in perseverance and accuracy, no greater incentive to advanced study, no clearer insight into the real spirit of research, could be afforded the young learner than by this means. The realization that he is actually contributing to the sum of human knowledge is, to his developing nature, exhiliarating in the extreme. And best of all, no greater opportunity could be offered the teacher for that personal touch and influence which is the sacred privilege of the teacher's profession.
The research worker should make his work known. It is a most helpful thing to crystallize one's ideas from time to time in the form of connected statement, or better still, to keep a continuous written account of his procedure, his difficulties, and his results. To this end, he will find it of advantage to identify himself, by correspondence at least, with some not too distant university seminar, and contribute to its programs at suitable intervals in the form of research reports; to participate actively in the work of scientific organizations such as the Academy of Science, the American Physical Society, etc.; and to prepare his com
munications in suitable form for printing, at least in abstract. Another helpful feature is found in having a local scientific club, similar to the Baconian Club of this university or the Kelvin Society of Coe College, where people of somewhat kindred interest may get together and exchange experiences and catch something of one another's vision. In these ways the research worker gains the benefit of friendly encouragement and equally friendly criticism, and often has cause to appreciate the maxim that "two heads are better than one."
Above all, let us realize that we are never too old to learn, and that the most dangerous thing a teacher or a scientific man can do is to cease studying. Let the college scientist read books on new phases of his subject as they come out, even if he does not follow every technical detail, and even if he is obliged to borrow them from some university library for the purpose. Let him keep a classified card index of all the periodical literature available on his subject, noting especially articles that may suggest lines of investigation of particular interest to himself. Let him think beyond the daily topics of the classroom, let him mingle with practical men and get the bearing of his science on the affairs of the world. And what is most important, let him keep in touch with others of his calling, through visits and correspondence, so that in every possible way he may be open to the inspiration which comes with the pursuit of truth. For it is in these ways that the man who contributes to the welfare of mankind through scientific research lays his heavy foundations.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa,
LEROY D. WELD
WAXY MAIZE FROM UPPER BURMA A VARIETY of maize introduced from Shanghai, China, in 1908, was found to have seeds with a new type of endosperm. In the seeds of this variety the texture of the starchy tissue is unlike that of any variety previously known. This new type of endosperm has been called waxy. Although distinct from other types, waxy endosperm is by no means
conspicuous, and since all the previously known types of endosperm are very widespread, essentially coextensive in fact with maize on the American Continent, it seemed not improbable that the existence of waxy endosperm in America had been overlooked. With the hope of discovering the origin of this type of endosperm the collection of maize varieties in the Office of Crop Acclimatization was gone over with endosperm texture particularly in mind. The geographical distribution of the varieties examined was as follows: North America, north of Mexico, 369 varieties; Mexico, 152; Central America, 105; West Indies, 9; South America, 378; Europe, 60; Asia, 78; Africa, 22; Islands of the Pacific, 3.
The results of this investigation were entirely negative. The variety imported from Shanghai was the only one in which waxy endosperm was found. Not only was waxy endosperm absent from the American continent, but it appeared to be confined to the one locality in Asia.
In 1915 Mr. H. O. Jacobson was commissioned to make a special study of the distribution of the waxy type of maize in China. He found it at Tanyang near Suchou and at Táitsáng, but in both of these localities it was found to have been introduced from Liuho near Shanghai. Mr. Jacobson's observations are summarized in his report as follows:
1. The distribution of the waxy corn is very limited. When found away from Liuho, the original seed can be traced back to that community. Dr. Farnham states he noted the white waxy variety as Liuho fifty years ago.
2. The reason for limited distribution is that but little corn is grown in the immediate vicinity of Liuho, because it is not as profitable as other crops.
Secondly, it is a poor yielder when compared with the varieties grown about Nanking, and, thirdly, it perhaps does not make as good "grits" as the corneous sorts.
3. I can not find any legend whatever. Among the farmers it is known by the usual name applied to maize and at Táitsáng, at least, no difference is made between the waxy and non-waxy.
4. At Taitsang the non-waxy sort is cultivated, as well, and judging by the percentage of non
waxy seed ears saved, the waxy seed ears are very much in the minority.
No additional examples of this new type of endosperm came to light until late in 1915 when a few waxy seeds were found in a sample of maize collected for the Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction by Mr. F. Kingston Ward in Upper Burma.
Breeding experiments showed the endosperm character from the two localities to be genetically identical. Independent origin seemed very unlikely nor was it probable that seed could have been imported from Shanghai into this remote region of Upper Burma. It was therefore assumed that although the sample contained but few waxy seeds, there must be somewhere in the Burma region, at least one locality where waxy maize was the prevailing type.
This expectation has been fully realized, the demonstration coming in the form of a collection of maize varieties recently received by the Office of Seed and Plant Introduction from Mr. E. Thompstone, Deputy Director of Agriculture, Northern Circle, Burma.
The collection consisted of 46 samples from the Northern and Southern Shan States and the Pokokku Hill Tract, most of the varieties with distinctive native names. Of the 46 samples twelve were found to have a horny endosperm, 19 a waxy endosperm and 8 were mixed. The remaining samples had been completely destroyed by insects.
One of the lots from the Southern Shan States consisted of eleven ears all of a uniform dark blue color and all waxy. Another sample consisted of 8 ears which were uniformly white, blue or pink, all of them having a waxy endosperm.
The discovery of this unique character of a plant of American origin in two isolated localities of Asia makes it of interest to learn something of the agricultural practises of the people growing this type of maize.
An excellent account of the various tribes of Upper Burma is given by Scott.1
From this and other official accounts it
1 Scott, J. G., "Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States," 5 vols. Rangoon, 1901.
appears that the growing of maize is largely confined to the less civilized tribes living in the more mountainous and inaccessible parts of the country. Thus
The Tingpan Yoo are an agricultural people, but they cultivate only in the hills and not generally at a lower altitude than from 4,000 feet above sealevel. They grow paddy, cotton, maize and poppy.2
Another primitive tribe, the Wa, grow maize and buckwheat as their only crop plants. So isolated is this tribe that Mr. Scott, writing in 1846, makes the statement that
One British party has passed through the heart of the wild Wa country and they are perhaps the only strangers who have ever done so.
This isolation is due to the natural inaccessibility of the country which is six or seven thousand feet above sea level and exceedingly broken in character and to the dangers to which travelers are exposed from the natives. The Wa are still such ardent head hunters that few outsiders care to enter
their country. Yet head-hunting with the Wa seems to be an agricultural rather than war-like practise. It is furthermore subject to certain restrictions as the following quotation shows:
Though heads are taken in an eclectic, dilettante way whenever chance offers, there is a proper authorized season for the accumulation of them. Legitimate head-cutting opens in March and lasts through April. The old skulls will ensure peace for the village, but at least one new one is wanted, if there is not to be risk of failure of the crops, the opium, the maize and the rice.s
In the Sagaing district, which is just south of Mandalay, maize is grown with lima beans, the maize plants serving as supports for the beans. This in one of the regions where the crop is grown for the husks rather than the grain.
When young the cobs are enveloped in large, soft, leaf-like sheaths. These sheaths, when dried, are known to Burmans as pet and are used as
2 L. c., vol. I., Pt. I., p. 602.
3 Scott, J. G., "The Wild Wa," The Imperial Asiatic Quarterly Review, 1896, p. 143.
wrappers for Burmese cheroots. The production of pet is the most important use of the plant. The cobs or female inflorescences are rarely allowed to mature, unless when wanted for seed, but are boiled and eaten as a vegetable.4
In Scott's Gazetteer the husks, as cheroot wrappers, are repeatedly mentioned as the most important use of maize. It also appears that the native varieties are especially adapted to this purpose, thus it is stated that in Pakokku
American maize was grown for a time experimentally, but the husks proved too coarse for cheroot covers.5
We may therefore assume that the "Whackin white cheroot" of Kipling's Supi yaw lat was wrapped in the husks of waxy maize.
During the past season waxy endosperm has been discovered in still another part of Asia by Dr. W. H. Weston. Four ears grown at Los Baños in the Philippine Islands from seed originally from the Island of Mindanao were sent to the Department of Agriculture by Dr. Weston. All these ears contain a small percentage of waxy seeds.
At present there is no way of deciding whether this occurrence of waxy endosperm in the Philippines is the result of a recent introduction from Shanghai or whether it represents another of the early stations comparable with Burma and Shanghai.
Waxy endosperm has been used extensively in genetic experiments and has been crossed with all other known types of endosperm. It continues to behave as a single Mendelian unit inherited in a strictly alternative manner. It is in fact the only character of maize studied at all exhaustively, for which no modifying factors have been found.
The strictly alternative inheritance of waxy endosperm would suggest that it had originated through a single mutation. Parallel mutations are not uncommon but it is difficult to believe that the same mutation should have occurred independently in two localities
McKerral, A., Agricultural Surveys No. 2, Dept. of Agri., Burma, p. 10. 1911.
3 L. c., Pt. II., Vol. II., p. 723.