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in Asia where maize is but little grown and should not have come to light on the American Continent where maize is cultivated so extensively and the varieties are so much better known.
If it is admitted that the waxy character is the result of a single mutation then all discussion of the time when it arose is of course idle, for a single mutation may have occurred as well at one time as another. There still remains the peculiar distribution of waxy endosperm and the differentation of other characters as evidence of the antiquity of the waxy mutation. The Shanghai variety in which waxy endosperm was first discovered possessed other peculiarities, the most conspicuous of these being erect leaf blades, monostichous arrangement of the upper leaf blades and an early development of silks while the ear is still enclosed in the leaf sheath. Unlike waxy endosperm, these characters are not definitely alternative in inheritence, but appear in varying degrees in crosses with varieties not showing these characteristics.
Although the expression of all these plant characters is variable even in the uncrossed waxy strain, pure stocks of this variety always present a distinctive appearance that immediately separates them from any other variety. It has been demonstrated that none of these plant characters is correlated with endosperm texture nor are any of them correlated with one another. It is, therefore, not surprising that the plants grown from the waxy seeds from Upper Burma did not resemble the Shanghai variety in any other particular. If the view that the waxy maize of Shanghai came originally from the region of the eastern Himalayas be accepted, we must conclude that sufficient time has elapsed since the intro
duction for the Shanghai variety to acquire
its distinctive characters.
In the light of our present knowledge this unique character of an American plant appears to be confined to three isolated localities in Asia. Unfortunately, nothing is known regarding the maize varieties of Yunnan or other points along the route from Burma to
Shanghai. If the waxy character originated in only one of these localities, however, it would seem much more reasonable to assume Burma as the region from which Shanghai received the character than vice versa. This is indicated by the inaccessibility of the region occupied by the Hill Tribes of Burma, the specialized uses of the plant, and the extensive series of named varieties.
The finding of this peculiar type of endosperm in the mountain region of Upper Burma supports the idea that maize entered China from the west instead of the east. This is in accord with the early Chinese accounts of maize as presented by Dr. Laufer. A more thorough knowledge of the maize varieties of the Himalayan regions promises to be the key to the distribution of maize in Asia. G. N. COLLINS
BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY,
PHYSICAL MEASUREMENTS IN PSYCHOLOGY
THE recent article by Dr. Paul E. Klopsteg1 on physical methods and measurements and the obligation of physics to other sciences, carries a strong appeal for those psychologists who are obliged to prepare students for research in the investigations of human be havior. The specialization found in the psychological laboratories is often merely due to the development of a special technique in physical measurements suited to a whole series of problems, rather than to a restricted psychological interest. Recent progress in psychological methods demonstrates very clearly that every problem dealing with the fundamental aspects of human behavior is
also partly a physical problem. Much of the
apparatus used in making measurements is "home-made" and while good results have been secured, it is equally true that better experimental results would be secured and much time saved if some expert in physical measurements, who is also interested in the
1 SCIENCE, April 16, 1920, N. S., 51, 384-386.
application of objective methods to research work in psychology, were available when the apparatus is designed.
Under the present methods of preparing for a research problem requiring apparatus, the student in psychology begins to look through the literature to find how the phenomena that he expects to investigate were measured by other investigators. The original method of measurement may have been merely an accident of time, place and the available equipment. If the student is not mechanically expert, imitation is the only alternative. By the trial and error method, improvements do gradually develop but at a great loss of time and at the expense of accuracy and reliability.
While as a rule the men in physics show a fine cooperative spirit, students do not feel free to take up the time of a professor when such cooperation is not a regular part of the instructor's duties. The writer is not in sympathy with the view that better preparation in applied physical measurements should be given in the elementary course. Even the relatively extended course in "engineering physics" is little enough physics for the student in psychology. The problem of adequate training in physical measurements seems, to the writer, to belong to the graduate school, and should be as integral a part of the preparation of the science student as his preparation in foreign languages. The graduate faculty should support the department of physics in developing a course in applied physical measurements whose prime function is not that of teaching physical principles but that of preparing students to take advantage of the latest technical developments in physics. The more comprehensive the student's knowledge of the fundamental principles of physics, the better, but it must be recognized that the adjustment between physical principles and the principles of the other sciences, is always a compromise.
Perhaps one reason why courses in applied physical measurements have not been developed, although every scientist will admit their
value, is because the graduate students of any one department do not form a large enough group to justify the expenditure of the necessary amount of money for the extensive equipment necessary to adequately carry on such a course. If, however, all the graduate students in the biological and physical sciences were gathered together under the direction of a high-class instructor, the time devoted to applied physical measurements would actually result in a saving of time and secure better cooperation from the department of physics than is usually accorded. Such a course should be in the hands of an instructor who is willing to keep abreast of what is going on in the other sciences. Such a man should be especially well grounded in general scientific theory so he can understand the problems of the other sciences. Developmental work in the applications of physical measurements to the other sciences should offer as good research opportunities as "pure" physics for the man whose interests are in the applied field. It is a mistake to assume that an expert machinist is the man wanted.
It must be recognized that the students taking applied physical measurements will probably not contribute directly to the advancement of physics. This implicitly may develop the attitude on the part of the professor in charge that these students are mercenaries who are commercializing physics. If this attitude is general in the department of physics, it is easy to see why no particular attempt is made to get the equipment and the type of instructor necessary to teach this work as satisfactorily as in the courses intended for students specializing in physics. It is the same attitude that is so often found in the instructors who are obliged to teach "scientific" German or French.
For students specializing in experimental psychology it is coming to be recognized more and more that in the work for the doctorate, training in the allied sciences and methods of physical measurements is quite as important as training in psychology. There is no danger that the student will neglect his psychology, but he may neglect important pre
paratory courses unless they are taken before the doctorate is completed. Every psychologist recognizes his own limitations in applied physical measurements and a course as outlined by Dr. Klopsteg would do much toward extending the limits for the younger men.
In the writer's opinion the best time for taking such a course is before the student has begun experimental work on the problem which is to be the basis for his dissertation. At this time the question of method is uppermost and the problem has already been outlined. If the student is working on apparatus this is the time that the advice of the professor of applied physical measurements is of greatest benefit. These conditions arise in the first year of graduate work, or in a few cases, during the senior year. The course itself, however, should be under the supervision of the graduate school.
Of the seventeen types of physical measurements suggested by Dr. Klopsteg the following would form an excellent background for the experimental psychologist: (1) The accurate measurement of long and short time intervals. (2) Measurement of temperatures by methods other than that of the mercury thermometer. (3) Temperature regulation and control. (4) Precision calorimetry. (5) The microscope and reading telescope. (6) Spectroscopic analysis. (7) Colorimetry and photometry. (8) The galvanometer. (9) Electrical measurements, both alternating and direct. (10) Graphic and smoke records.
With a practical knowledge of the use of these methods the student is qualified to undertake almost any problem in experimental psychology with the assurance that he is using the most approved methods of measuring his conditions and results.
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
A. P. WEISS
GENERAL WILLIAM C. GORGAS WILLIAM CRAWFORD GORGAS, Surgeon General, U. S. Army, during the four years of the European War, 1914-18, and well-known for
2 SCIENCE, April 29, 1919, N. S., 50, 199-202.
his work as chief sanitary officer of the Panama Canal, died in London on the early morning of July 4, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He had sustained a stroke of apoplexy on May 29, lingering for more than a month in hospital with some hope of recovery, but renal complications intervened and he passed away in unconsciousness.
General Gorgas was born at Mobile, Alabama, on October 3, 1854. He was the son of General Josiah Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance of the Confederate Army, and received his earlier education in the South, graduating from the University of the South in 1875. He then went to New York to study medicine, and received his medical degree from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1879. He was intern at Bellevue Hospital during 187880, and in the last year of his residence in hospital, took an examination for admission to the Medical Corps of the U. S. Army, receiving his commission as surgeon on June 16, 1880. He was promoted captain in 1885 and during the Spanish-American War, served as a major and brigade surgeon of volunteers, receiving his majority in the Regular Army on July 6, 1898. At the close of the SpanishAmerican War, he was appointed Chief Sanitary Officer of Havana, holding this position from 1896 until 1902. In connection with this important detail, it fell to his lot to apply to the sanitation of Havana the discovery of the late Major Walter Reed, that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes, which was accomplished by Reed, as the head of an Army Board sent to Cuba to investigate yellow fever in 1900-1901. In February, 1901, shortly after Reed's discovery was established, Gorgas began to screen yellow fever patients and to destroy fever-bearing mosquitoes by oiling the surface of all pools or collections of water where they were likely to breed. In three months time, Havana was freed from yellow fever for the first time in nearly two centuries. For this work in eliminating the disease from Havana, Gorgas was made a colonel and assistant surgeon general by special act of Congress on March 9, 1903. On March 1, 1904, he was appointed chief sanitary officer
college is an isolated missionary among barbarians who know not even his language, and who can give little inspiration to his particular work. And as the foreign missionary must refresh himself first-hand at the source of all spirituality, so ought the college scientist to get his needed inspiration by digging into Nature's secrets and striking for himself the fountains of scientific truth. Too much can hardly be said by way of caution to college professors against growing "stale." Shut out from the intellectual communion which they crave by their virtual isolation from their own particular species (except at long intervals on such happy occasions as this); oppressed by a monotonous routine of hearing recitations, conducting quizzes, correcting papers and notebooks and attending faculty meetings; and oft-times discouraged by a lack of all evidence of appreciation, at least as expressed by any adequate compensation or equipment: what wonder is it that these men are prone to fall into the commonplace, to vegetate, as it were, and fail even to keep pace with the progress in their own fields? There is only one remedy. It is action. And research is action that extends to the very roots of the scientist's being (if, indeed, he be a true scientist at all), and regenerates his whole professional attitude.
There are, furthermore, certain very practical 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 furnishes 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 feeling of knowing what he is talking about when 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 teach 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 Own 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.
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