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W. P. RUYSCH, inspector-general of the public health service of the Netherlands and since 1912 president of the public health advisory council, has died at the age of seventytwo years.
PROFESSOR CELORIA, director of the Milan Observatory died on August 17, at the age of seventy-eight years.
THE Observatory announces the death of Professor A. Berberich, of the Astronomische Rechen-Institut of Berlin, sometime editor of the Astronomischen Jahresbericht and of Robert Philippovitsch Simon Vogel, professor of astronomy and geodesy in the Vladimir University in Kieff, and since 1901 director of the Kieff Observatory.
THE U. S. Civil Service Commission announces an examination for computer, Bureau of Mines, on November 3, 1920, to fill a vacancy in the Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, Pa., at $1,500 a year.
THE eighth annual Indian Science Congress will be held in Calcutta from January 31 to February 5, 1921, under the presidency of Sir R. N. Mukerjee.
THE Carnegie Institution of Washington published on September 9, 1920, the second volume of the Cactaceae by N. L. Britton and J. N. Rose. The first volume of this work was issued June 21, 1919.
MANY American nations, as well as Great Britain, Spain and Portugal, are to be formally invited to participate in the national festivities in November and December in commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the Straits of Magellan. The festivities will center principally in Santiago and Punta Arenas, the latter the world's southernmost city, where the occasion will be marked by inauguration of important public works, including port improvements, lighthouses in Smith Channel, a highway between Punta Arenas and Natales on the South Atlantic coast and laying of a cornerstone of the Punta Arenas University. It is expected the foreign delegations will visit the straits in December, when warships of the Chilean navy will be assembled there. It was
through these waters that Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer, first passed in November, 1520.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
UNDER the will of the late Mrs. William J. Wright Harvard University has been left over $23,000, to be known as the "William J. and Georgiana B. Wright Fund," the income to be used for medical research and the advancement of the medical and surgical sciences. A bequest of $14,000 has been made by the late Dr. James Ewing Mears, of Philadelphia, for the maintenance of a scholarship in medicine and for the work of the Cancer Commission. Edwin F. Atkins, of Boston, has given $12,000 for tropical research in economic botany.
DR. ROBERT WAITMAN CLOTHIER, professor of farm economics in the Mississippi College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, has become president of the New Mexico College.
AT Yale University Adolph Knopf, Ph.D. (California), from the U. S. Geological Survey, becomes associate professor of physical geology and petrology, and Robert A. Patterson, Ph.D. (Yale), assistant professor of physics.
PROFESSOR OSCAR H. PLANT goes to the University of Iowa this year as professor and head of the department of materia medica and pharmacology. Dr. C. S. Chase, who has been head of the department for many years and a member of the faculty since 1892, remains with the university as full professor in the department and will teach pharmacology and engage in research and writing.
DR. OTTO STUHLMAN, JR., formerly at West Virginia University, has been appointed associate professor in physics at the University of North Carolina, which has enlarged its physics staff since the completion of Phillips Hall, the new laboratory.
IT is reported in Nature that Dr. R. M. Caven has been appointed to the chair of inorganic and analytical chemistry in the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, This vacancy was caused by the transfer of Dr.
F. J. Wilson to the chair of organic chemistry in succession to Dr. I. M. Heilbron, who was recently appointed professor of organic chemistry in the University of Liverpool. Dr. Caven was for many years lecturer in chemistry at University College, Nottingham, a position he resigned to become Principal of the Darlington Technical College.
DR. HAROLD ST. JOHN, formerly assistant at the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, has accepted an assistant professorship of botany at the Washington State College.
AT the British Empire Forestry Conference in London Lord Lovat dealt with the question of education. According to the London Times he said that higher forestry education subsidized by the state had been carried on until recently at eight or nine educational centers. The Forestry Commission had arrived at the conclusion that the forest authority subsidies should only be granted to those centers of education and research which were directly required to carry out the state's forest policy. Educational centers quired for higher forestry education for the training of men who wished to take up forestry as a career, i. e., the forest-officer class; for education in the theory and practise of woodland management for owners and managers of private woodlands; and for education in practical forestry for working foresters and foremen who intended to go in for state or private forest service. The Forestry Commission have therefore come to the conclusion that as far as state assistance I went their interest should be confined to the following objects: (1) To assist in the establishment of the machinery (staff equipment and facilities) for a complete course of higher forestry education at one of the universities in the British Isles. (2) To subsidize certain specialized courses, of which forestry engineering should certainly be one, which could be taken as a post-graduate or fourth-year course at one of the other universities. (3) To be responsible for the payment of a lecturer in forestry at certain universities and colleges where adequate agriculture and estate management courses are
established, and to set aside sufficient state woodland for practical instruction. (4) Subject to certain payments by private owners, to be responsible for the establishment and upkeep of not less than seven or more than ten working foresters' schools.
A MEMORIAL has been presented to the German National Assembly urging the formation of an Imperial Chemicotechnical Laboratory, which it is recommended should be formed from the Military Test Bureau which existed during the war. Nature, quoting from the Zeits. des Vereines deutscher Ingenieure says that it is suggested that the functions of the new laboratory should be, inter alia, the execution of scientific and technical investigations relative to raw materials, and particularly (1) the production of materials of importance to the public, e. g., spirit from wood and acetylene instead of from potatoes, and of fatty acids from the products of coal- or lignite-tar or paraffin, and the utilization and improvement not only of cellulose as a substitute for cotton, but also of ammonium nitrate obtained synthetically in large quantities as a fertilizer; and (2) the determination of substitutes for chemical and metallurgical products not available in the country or of which there is a shortage, i. e., substitutes for paraffin, camphor, and glycerine, for substances used in the preservation of leather and metals, also substitutes for lubricants, rubber, gutta-percha, etc. In addition, the proposed new institute would carry out researches of general interest, e. g., on rustprevention and the corrosion of metals, on the determination of stresses in internal- combustion engines, on the effect of winter cold and the upper-air temperatures on implements and raw materials, and on the testing and improvement of aeroplane and airship fabrics. It is also suggested that scientific and technical investigations should be carried out dealing with the prevention of accidents and the protection of workers in a number of important industries.
WE learn from Nature that Mr. John Quiller Rowett has contributed £10,000 towards the endowment of an Institute for Research
in Animal Nutrition in connection with the University of Aberdeen and the North of Scotland College of Agriculture. The new institute, which will be named the Rowett Research Institute, has secured the services of Dr. J. B. Orr, the director, recently associated with Professor E. P. Cathcart in the conduct of a study of the energy output of soldiers, and Dr. R. H. A. Plimmer, chief biochemist in the institute, a research worker in the Physiological Institute of University College, London.
PROFESSOR GEORGE C. COMSTOCK, director of the Washburn Observatory of the University of Wisconsin, forwards the following extract from a letter to be published as a warning to prospective victims: "A short time ago, a man representing himself to be a nephew of yours and giving his name as Mr. R. L. Denny, of 64 Riverside Drive, New York City, obtained a loan of $8.00 from me after putting up a good story of having lost his pocket-book, being a stranger in the city, etc. I have not heard of him since. I have reason to believe that he is a clever crook' working among college men."
THE British Ministry of Agriculture is arranging a series of investigations and exhaustive experiments with regard to certain aspects of foot-and-mouth disease, and for this purpose the Admiralty is placing obsolete warships at the disposal of the Ministry for use as floating laboratories. The ships will be fitted with every essential for the study of the disease, and it is understood that there is no intention of disclosing off which coast the ships will be stationed. An official of the ministry informed a representative of The Times that the experiments are to be carried out at sea to obviate any risk of the disease spreading from the experimental station. The investigators will include members of the staff of the ministry and other scientists, including several distinguished foreigners. In dealing with a disease of which the virus is presumed to be ultra-microscopical, and of which the contagion may be air-borne, the difficulties must be very considerable, and the research may last for years. A previous attempt was
made to solve the problem by sending a commission of investigation to India, where it was found that cattle were immune. The necessity of stamping out the disease, it was pointed out, is imperative, if England is to maintain her large cattle exports. Foreign buyers will not take the risk of purchasing cattle in England for transport to the Continent while the danger of foot-and-mouth disease exists. contagious is it that a healthy animal, passing along a road that had been traversed twelve hours previously by an infected animal, may contract the disease.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE SILURIAN AND DEVONIAN IN SHROPSHIRE AND FRANCE
DURING the German occupation of Lille, Professor Charles Barrois and his able assistant, Dr. Pierre Pruvost, being confined to the city, busied themselves as much as was allowed studying the many undetermined fossils that had been accumulated during the past twenty years by various coal companies of the Calais basin. Not only this, but they also studied in greater detail the local stratigraphy, with the result that we now have a preliminary statement from them entitled "Sur les couches de passage du Silurien au Dévonien dans le bassin houiller du Pas-de-Calais."1 The complete work is to follow later.
The chief conclusion reached is that the line between the Silurian and Devonian should be drawn at the base of the lower Gedinnian, which in the Ardois is the Bois-Bernard arkose immediately beneath the tentaculite shales of Méricourt; in the Ardennes and Brabant this is the conglomerate of Fépin, which lies at the base of the Mondrépuits shale. To make this matter clearer, the authors also correlate the various horizons studied by them with those of Shropshire, with rather surprising results. All of the " passage beds" (Temeside shales at the top, followed beneath by the Downton Castle sandstone (= Tilestones), and the Ludlow bone-bed) are referred to the base of the Lower Devonian. The Silurian of the
1 Comptes rendus, Acad. des Sciences, Vol. 167, 1918, pp. 705-710.
type area, therefore, ends with the Chonetes flags of the upper Ludlow.
These correlations have been accepted by L. D. Stamp for Shropshire and South Wales.2 In southern Wales the Grammysia beds are regarded as transitional between the upper Ludlow and the lower Gedinnian, here the Trichrûg beds.
The evidence for drawing this boundary between the Silurian and Devonian systems is primarily based on diastrophism, though fossils have always been given full consideration, lithology being regarded as of least value.
It now appears clear that the black limestones of Bohemia known as the Ffi beds, and the Tentaculite limestone or the Manlius of New York must also go into the Lower Devonian. Just where the division line in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey will be drawn is, however, not so clear, for here there appears to be a more or less complete transition from the Silurian (Tonoloway) into the Manlius equivalent. The last worker on this problem, J. B. Reeside, was not able to adjust the matter. CHARLES SCHUCHERT
THE MEASUREMENT OF POSTGLACIAL TIME
TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: The proposal of DeGeer to measure postglacial time in North America by the lamination of glacial clays and its criticism by Fairchild are of special interest to phytogeographers who see in early postglacial migrations of plants the fundamental explanation of the present conditions of plant distribution. Fairchild has taken exception to some of DeGeer's statements, especially his estimate of 20,000 years for postglacial time, and has apparently adopted Taylor's computation of 75,000 to 150,000 years for the recession of the ice from Cincinnati Mackinac. In this connection it is of interest to refer to a paper of DeGeer's published in 1908. In it he stated that the recession of ice in southern Sweden was as slow as 25 meters per year, rose to 130 meters, stopped for 100 to 200 years, began again at 20 meters, and gradually accelerated to 400 2 Geol. Mag., April, 1920, pp. 164-171.
3 Prof. Paper 108-K, U. S. Geol. Survey, 1917.
meters per year. If one assumes DeGeer's minimum figure of 20 meters as an average annual rate in Michigan and Ohio, 36,000 years would be sufficient to cause an ice recession from Cincinnati to Mackinac. Since this region is farther south and with less rainfall than Sweden, it is fair to presume that the rate was much more rapid. Assuming DeGeer's average figure of 200 meters per year, 3,600 years would have produced the same result. Neither is it necessary to invoke the precession of the equinoxes to explain the fifteen frontal moraines on the way. DeGeer states that frontal moraines were formed in Sweden during a stationary period of 100 to 200 years. Such periods may have resulted from cylic variations in temperature, as DeGeer believes, or from similar variation in precipitation. The latter are of course well authenticated through the researches of Huntington and others. Allowing 400 years for such stationary periods, the total time of ice retreat over this distance is still within 10,000 years.
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
H. A. GLEASON
EXPLORATIONS IN THE PANHANDLE OF
THE third expedition to northwestern Texas and Oklahoma completed its labors about the first of July. This expedition found more than two hundred small stone buildings in groups scattered through a territory approximately 200 X 100 miles in extent. It appears that these are not distinct Pueblo type of architecture but rather mark the gradual evolution of a nomadic buffalo-hunting tribe of Indians to people who lived in stone dwellings. Near the Oklahoma line the buildings are small and rudimentary, and as one proceeds westward they increase in size and numbers. The art also develops. A preliminary paper has been published setting forth the observations on the artifacts, irrigation ditches, pictographs and buildings. These will be mailed free of expense to any interested persons by the author.
W. K. MOOREHEAD
THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION AT CARDIFF
THE Cardiff meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science came to a successful end last night. Any attempt to follow, or, still more, to report, its proceedings in detail was baffled by the multitude of subjects covered, and the subdivisions of the association into specialized sections. There were eleven sections and one subsection at
work simultaneously every day, to say nothing of a number of committees, subcommittees, and conferences. Some of the papers and discussions dealt with questions of the widest interest; there were others apparently admitted only to gratify individual readers or speakers, or to pander to notoriety. There was a notable tendency to combination of the sections for the discussion of borderland questions, and on every occasion where this took place the attendance at the combined meetings was much larger than the sum of the attendances at separate meetings. It is understood that such concentration has the sympathy of the council and officers. We trust that it will be encouraged, and we could wish that it would lead to a permanent fusion, at least for the purpose of the public meetings, of kindred sections. The general standard of the proceedings was highest in Section A, which has most successfully resisted subdivision, although it covers mathematics, astronomy, and the physical sciences.
The leading scientific feature of the meeting was the president's exposition of the need and advantage of increased study of the sea. The Lord Mayor expressed the hope that some of the merchant princes of Cardiff might be led to establish a department of oceancgraphy attached to the university or to the National Museum of Wales. Far be it from us to offer advice that might chill local generosity. Hitherto private munificence has played a greater part in the encouragement of learning and research in America than in England and Wales. But oceanography requires expensive equipment. The chair established by Professor Herdman himself at Liverpool and
the station of the Marine Biological Asscciation at Plymouth still need encouragement and support. Much better work might be accomplished by two good than by three indifferent centers. Although research must have a local habitation, its results are of universal benefit. If the hearts of the magnates of Cardiff warm to the science of the sea, their benevolence, although bestowed on Plymouth and Liverpool, would still assist the fisheries and the ocean traffic of their own
city. But if local munificence must have an object characteristically local, there are many opportunities for research strictly bearing on other industries of South Wales.
The President made the interesting suggestion that the time had come to prepare a new "Challenger" expedition. He was supported by all the sections concerned, by physicists, astronomers, zoologists, botanists, gecgraphers, and geologists, all of whom know of scientific and practical problems requiring investigation at sea. Mr. F. E. Smith, Director of the Admiralty Board of Research, at the conference held on Thursday afternoon, stated that the Lords of the Admiralty favored the idea, with the reservation that the whole cost of an expedition, which would have objects far beyond naval requirements, should not fall on the Navy Estimates. The original "Challenger" expedition was financed by the government, on the invitation of the Royal Society. From 1872 to 1876 the ship sailed all the oceans of the world, except the Indian Ocean, which the government of India wished to be reserved. The results were issued in fifty volumes issued from 1880 to 1895, under the guidance of the late Sir John Murray. By general admission the "Challenger" expedition was the greatest scientific exploit in aim and achievement undertaken before or since. But, like all scientific research, it showed the need of further research, for the deepest dredge can not bring up all the secrets of nature. The general committee of the British Association recommended their council to appoint a small expert committee to devise a program of work, and to consider the technical apparatus and the scientific staff