Page images

the Conference that there should be created an organization "to further the public welfare wherever technical knowledge and engineering experience are involved and to consider and act upon matters of common concern in the engineering and allied technical professions" and that this organization should consist of societies or affiliations, and not of individual members.

On the basis of these fundamentals, the attached constitution and by-laws were unanimously adopted by the conference. These contain full information concerning The Federated American Engineering Societies, the American Engineering Council, its executive board, and of the various officers and committees. The basis of representation therein stated for the American Engineering Council is one representative for from 100 to 1,000 members and an additional representative for each 1,000 members or major fraction thereof.

At the gathering in Washington, which was the greatest event in the history of the engineering and allied technical organizations in this country, steps were taken which created "The Federated American Engineering Societies," which will have a far reaching influence on the future of these professions. The fact that this action was taken without a dissenting vote indicates that the psychological moment had arrived and that there was a unanimous desire on the part of the representatives of these professions for the organization formed.

The joint conference committee, the ad interim committee would ask each organization invited to take favorable action in the matter of membership in the organization at the earliest possible moment and to advise the committee promptly of the names of the delegates who will attend the first meeting of the American Engineering Council in November of this year.

The joint conference committee is confident that with the universally acknowledged need for such an organization, there will be a prompt affirmative response to this invitation.

SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS SIR NORMAN LOCKYER, director of Solar Physics Observatory, London, and editor of Nature from its establishment over fifty years ago, died on August 16 at the age of eightyfour years.

On the occasion of the meeting of the British Association at Cardiff this week the University of Wales proposed to confer the honor

ary degree of D.Sc. on Dr. H. F. Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History, or, if he is unable to attend, Professor C. A. Kofoid, University of California; Professor G. Gilson, University of Louvain, or, if he can not attend, Dr. C. H. Ostenfeld, University of Copenhagen; Don Gullermo Joaquin de Osma, Madrid; and Professor Yves-Guyot, Paris.

DR. IRVING FISHER, professor of political economy at Yale University, has been elected president of the Eugenics Research Association.

PROFESSOR FREDERIC S. LEE, of Columbia University, and Professor Graham Lusk, of Cornell Medical College, were recently elected members of the board of the Institut Marey of Paris.

DR. G. C. SIMPSON, F.R.S., meteorologist to the government of India, has been appointed director of the British Meteorological Office as successor to Sir Napier Shaw, who retires on reaching the age-limit.

DR. HENDRIK J. VAN DER BIJL, who has for the past seven years been in charge of researches in thermionics and in vacuum tube operation at the Research Laboratory of the Western Electric Company, Inc., sailed on August 4 for Pretoria, South Africa, where he has been appointed scientific and technical adviser to the Department of Mines and Industries of the Union of South Africa.

N. H. BOWEN has resigned his professorship in Queens University, Kingston, Canada, and has rejoined the staff of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

THE board of scientific directors of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research announces the appointment of Edric Brooks Smith, B.S., as business manager, and Frederick Stanley Howe, A.B., as assistant business


H. W. VAUGHAN, professor of animal husbandry in the University of Minnesota, has resigned to become one of the editors of the Duroc Digest.

MR. CHARLES W. TRIGG, who has been engaged in research on coffee at the Mellon Institute for the past four years, has taken charge of the technical department of the King Coffee Products Corp., Detroit, Mich. Mr. Trigg will remain a senior fellow of the institute.

DR. IRVING HARDESTY, professor of anatomy in the school of medicine, Tulane University, has been granted a leave of absence for 19201921, which he will spend at the University of California.

WHITMAN CROSS, E. E. Larsen and C. P. Ross, of the U. S. Geological Survey, have spent the summer field season in the southern part of the San Juan region, Colorado.

CHARLES T. KIRK, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has spent five months as economic geologist in Colombia and other Spanish-American countries.

DR. STEPHEN S. VISHER, assistant professor of geography, Indiana University, has been granted a semester's leave and is now in Europe. He is working on the problem of contributions to civilization, with special reference to Spain, France, Ireland and Scotland.

H. FOSTER BAIN has been making geological examinations in Yunnan, southern China.

PROFESSOR HOMER R. DILL, director of the vertebrate exhibit in the museum of the University of Iowa, is in charge of an expedition to Honolulu. Upon returning to the United States in October, Professor Dill will lead a party to the region on the border between Washington and British Columbia where collections will be made for the museum.

MR. WILLIAM L. FINLEY has been commissioned by the National Geographic Society to secure motion pictures of the rarer birds and mammals of North America. Mr. and Mrs. Finley have visited Arizona and the Gulf Coast of Texas, in the pursuit of this work.

DR. FREDERICK STARR, associate professor of anthropology in the University of Chicago, is giving three illustrated lectures at the university on August 25, 26 and 27. The subject of his first lecture will be "The Nosatsu Kai," of the second "Ema," and of the last, The Ascent of Mount Fiji." Professor


Starr returned a few months ago from anthropological researches in Japan and Corea.

WE learn from The Condor that the National Parks Service this year inaugurated a system of instruction in natural history for visitors to Yosemite National Park. Through cooperation with the California Fish and Game Commission, Dr. H. C. Bryant gave instruction from June 1 to August 31. Dr. L. H. Miller, department of biology, Southern Branch, University of California, was in Yosemite during part of the summer and toward the end of the season he conducted similar work at Fallen Leaf Lake, in the Tahoe region. The programs include lectures on the plant and animal life of the mountains, to be illustrated in part by lantern slides and moving pictures. Field trips will be arranged for parties of different ages.

THE Civil Service Commission announces an examination for naturalist in the Bureau of Fisheries for duty on the steamer Albatross, at $2,200 a year. Applicants must have graduated from a college or university of recognized standing and have had at least two years' experience in biological or hydrographic. investigations.

THE Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society states that Gustav Foch, of Leipzig, offers for sale the library of the late Professor Moritz Cantor, of Heidelberg, the historian of mathematics. The library consists of about 2,000 volumes and 2,500 pamphlets.

NEW laboratories for research on the origin and treatment of tropical diseases were opened at Liverpool on July 24 by Lord Leverhulme. The laboratories are named after Sir Alfred Jones, the Liverpool shipowner, who took a great interest in the pioneer work done in the investigation of tropical diseases at Liverpool, and made provision in his will for the erection of a laboratory and for the buildings in which the work had hitherto been carried on.

THE second International Congress of Comparative Pathology will be held at Rome in the spring of 1921 under the presidency of Professor Perroncito. Communications should be

[ocr errors]

sent to the secretary, Professor Mario Tevi Della Vida, via Palermo 58, Roma.

THE Faraday Society and the Physical Society of London have arranged to hold a general discussion next October on colloidal physics and chemistry.

THE thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Society of Chemical Industry was held at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on July 13-16. The gold medal of the society was presented to M. Paul Kestner, president of the Society of Chemical Industry of France. Sir William J. Pope was elected president for the ensuing year and an invitation to hold the next annual general meeting at Montreal was accepted.

THE Scientific American is offering $5,000 for the best essay of 3,000 words explaining the Einstein theory. All essays must be in English and written as simply, lucidly and nontechnically as possible. They must be typewritten and must reach the office of the Scientific American, 233 Broadway, New York, by November 1, 1920. The right is reserved to divide the prize between two contestants if in the opinion of the judges the best two essays are of equal merit.

THE Journal of the American Medical Association records the appropriation by the Swedish government of 5,000 crowns to aid the Swedish Medical Association in publishing three journals, the semimonthly, quarterly and transactions. Three journals devoted to hygiene are given from 1,000 to 1,500 crowns, and four specialist journals from 500 to 1,200. To aid in starting the new Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 4,000 crowns are appropriated. Each of the journals specified is to donate a number of copies to the university libraries.

Ir is reported from Paris that the mosquito plague was so serious there last year that the Pasteur Institute has been devoting special

attention to the destruction of the larvae. An old plan was to pour oil on the waters where mosquitoes breed, but this also killed any fish there might be in the waters, besides making it unfit for drinking. M. Roubaud, of the Pasteur Institute, has now discovered a method

of destroying the larvæ by sprinkling powdered formaline on the surface of the water. It is said that this does not injure fish or make water impossible to drink, and is more rapid and effective than oil.

THE gift of a collection of fossils and shells which makes the University of Illinois collection of fauna and flora representing the coal period the largest extant was announced at the recent meeting of the trustees of the university. The collection was made by J. C. Carr.


THE family of the late Sir John Darling, of Adelaide, South Australia, have contributed the sum of £15,000 towards the cost of erecting a new building for the medical school of the University of Adelaide. This building will be designed to accommodate the departments of physiology, biochemistry and histology and the medical library. The building will be erected and equipped at a cost of £25,000.

MR. WALTER MORRISON, of Balliol College, Oxford, has just paid to Bodley's librarian the sum of £50,000 for the capital account of the library. Mr. Morrison had previously given £10,000 to each of three university funds-one for the readership in Egyptology, another for the promotion of the study of agriculture, and a third towards the establishment of a professors' pension fund.

PRELIMINARY plans have been made for an International University, which will hold its first session in Bruxelles from September 5 to 20. The courses cover practically the whole field of higher education, but will lay special weight on questions of current interest. They will be given in the building of International Associations, and there will at the same time be held a number of congresses and meetings. The names of those who will give the courses are not announced in the preliminary program, issued in July.

DR. R. I. WOLD, for the past five years connected with the engineering department and

the research laboratories of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company and the Western Electric Company, has accepted the position of head of the physics department at Union College and will cooperate with the research laboratories of the General Electric Company in certain research work.

PROFESSOR JAMES T. ROOD, of the University of Illinois, has been appointed professor of electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Professor Rood was graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1898 and obtained the degree of doctor of philosophy at Clark Institute in 1906. He taught nine years at Lafayette College and has since been two years on the Illinois faculty.

FRED C. WERKENTHIN, associate professor of botany in New Hampshire College, has been elected to an instructorship in botany in Iowa State College.

DR. G. R. BISBY, formerly of the University of Minnesota, has accepted the position of professor of plant pathology at the Manitoba Agricultural College, Winnipeg, Canada.

PROFESSOR J. T. WILSON has been elected dean of the faculty of medicine in the University of Sydney in succession to the late Sir Thomas Anderson Stuart.


IN SCIENCE of February 6, 1920, Mr. F. B. Headley, of Fallon, Nevada, took occasion to call attention to imperfections in methods of studying soil alkali used by the Utah Station and some other institutions. His criticism seems to center around two ideas: (1) that we consider that salts added to the soil represent the true concentration of the soil solution; (2) that we did not analyze soils to which salts had been added and that we were therefore entirely ignorant of the amount of alkali the soil contained.

Answering these in order, I may say that

in Utah we have never considered salts added to the soil to be anything but salts added. Workers in soil science are fully aware of the fact that when such salts as carbonates are added to the soil they immediately undergo transformations that are not well understood. No one, so far as I know, would undertake to tell just what the soil solution as it affects plants really is. It is somewhat like trying to tell the composition of living protoplasm. As soon as an attempt is made to analyze the protoplasm, it is killed and its composition is probably changed. Numerous methods for arriving at the concentration of the soil solution have been suggested. These include (1) direct chemical analysis of leachings of the soil, (2) subjecting the soil to high centrifugal force in an attempt to throw off some of the real soil solution, (3) placing the moist soil under very heavy pressure to press out some of the solution, (4) attempting to obtain the osmotic pressure of the soil, (5) obtaining the conductivity of the soil to a current of electricity, (6) determining the concentration of salts by the lowering of the freezing point, and (7) getting the vapor pressure of the soil in order to determine the concentration of the soil solution.

None of these methods has been entirely satisfactory, but each one has been useful in connection with certain studies. I think it can be said therefore that at present we have no means of measuring the exact concentration of the soil solution as it affects plants. Neither the amount of salt added to the soil nor the amount recovered by chemical analyses represents the true value, and in making any interpretation it is necessary to state specifically in each case whether reference is made to "salts added" or salts extracted." At the Utah Station we have been very careful to say which of these we referred to in every case.

In a recent publication (Utah Station Bulletin No. 170) we have taken occasion to show the relation of "salts added" to "salts recovered" by extraction using various quantities of water and stirring for different lengths of time, by the freezing point method,


and by the conductivity method. It is evident from these results that in discussing the toxic limits of alkali it will be necessary to state the method used, the same as in discussing the amount of phosphoric acid in the soil it is necessary to say whether the soil was extracted with weak citric acid, weak hydrochloric acid, or fused. The result will vary with the method of extraction.

Mr. Headley mentions several times that we have made no analyses and consequently we do not know what the soil contains. As a matter of fact, we have made thousands of analyses of soils after adding salts to them as well as soils direct from the field. In one of the papers mentioned by him1 we have given four tables aggregating about 650 determinations to show the relation of "salts added" to "salts recovered" by extraction and as determined by depression of the freezing point.

In Utah Station Bulletin No. 170 we have given the following table:

the sulfates very much more was recovered than was added. This came largely from calcium sulfate which was present in the soil and which was leached out by the comparatively large quantities of water used in extracting the soil. In the soil itself the calcium sulfate is not sufficiently soluble to cause injury to plants; hence, it should be subtracted from the total sulfates obtained. In the case of the sulfates the "salts added" are doubtless a more reliable index to the real concentration of the soil solution than the "salts recovered."

With the carbonates it will be seen that only a part of the salts added could be recovered by extraction. This means that in the case of carbonates a correction factor must be used for the "salts added," although this in many cases is probably just as satisfactory as to use "salts recovered."

Even though we have in all our work had available data on "salts recovered," we have in many cases preferred to indicate the con

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »