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ciation for the Advancement of Science, to be held in Chicago on December 27 to January 1, with its anticipated large attendance of sections and affiliated scientific societies, it is desirable to call attention to the fact that a symposium of papers or conference upon the History of Science will be held.

It is desirable at this time, also to formulate some plan for reorganizing section "L" to be known in time as the History of Science section, and to receive the report of the executive committee of the Council of the Association relative to the original plan of the History of Science section, to whom application and letters of endorsement have been sent.

It is also an appropriate time for those interested in this field of research and study to give some expression for a more progressive and effective means of advancement, which can only be done by cooperation through a well organized section.

The idea of the formation of an organization of this sort has been in the minds of the students of the history of science for some few years. During the early part of 1919 a number of communications were published in SCIENCE1 advocating the desirability of such a section, and, urgent as the communications were, no action was taken. However, the Executive Committee of the Council is quite ready to do all in its power to the furtherance of this movement, providing a sufficient demand is forthcoming. Therefore, it is greatly desired that all those interested in this proposed section, express themselves in some definite manner, preferably by being present at the symposium at the Chicago meeting.

From the very foundation of the Royal Society of London, in 1662, cooperation was the prevailing spirit; which gave strength and impetus to further scientific progress. Our

1 SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. XLI., March 5, 1915, pp. 358-360; Vol. XLIX., April 4, 1919, pp. 330–331; Vol. XLIX., May 9, 1919, pp. 447-448; Vol. XLIX., May 9, 1919, pp. 447-448; Vol. XLIX., May 23, 1919, p. 497; Vol. XLIX., July 18, 1919, pp. 66-68.

own venerable institutions, namely: The American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts and Science, founded in the intellectual and scientific centers of Colonial life, were also imbued with the principle of cooperation, which laid the foundation of America's preeminence in science today. The National Research Council is in itself the highest spirit of cooperation. In fact, all scientific and literary societies realize the value of cooperation. It is, therefore, only too evident what note cooperation plays in the history of science, and the same idea must prevail in the study and research in the history.

Heretofore the development and encouragement of the study of the History of Science has been left solely to individual efforts, and much remains to be accomplished if the subject is to have the same relative standing as the study of physics, chemistry, astronomy and other divisions of the sciences. The question of a new section among the already large number of sections affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science is not a cause for amazement-quite to the contrary, but one indicating a healthy state of intellectual growth-in science, and to the "Association."

That we need more historical background for our ever growing technical subjects is so apparent to scholars that no further recognition of this fact will be taken here. Nor do we need to dwell upon the place science occupies in the history of civilization. What we are interested in wholly at present is the subject itself, in the field of scholarship and the need for a more decisive impulse and sympathetic understanding.

In the spirit and faith of a modern Humanist, who says:2

It is true that most men of letters, and, I am sorry to add, not a few scientists, know science only by its material achievements, but ignore its spirit and see neither its internal beauty nor the beauty it extracts continually from the bosom of nature. Now I would say that to find in the

2 Dr. George Sarton, "The Faith of a Humanist," Isis, No. 7, Tome III., January, 1920, p. 5.

works of science of the past, that which is not and can not be superseded, is perhaps the most important part of our own quest. A true humanist must know the life of science as he knows the life of art and the life of religion.

The life of a science is not its daily practise in technic, building theories, testing hypotheses and handling results as worth so much-it is the story of trials and errors-the struggle of the mind for new concepts of nature and man's relation to this progress, and in the words of another true humanist,"

The student should be led to see that human history is a continuous process, not a succession of catastrophies. The real growth of humanity takes place in quiet; by war it is interrupted or reversed. For war is never the motive force of progress, and the spread of great ideas is not often facilitated by it. The forward trend of civilization is largely conditioned on science-itself a product of peace.

With each new advance in science, each phenomenon of event shows only too conclusively how closely knit is the history of the discovery bound up with it, that no discussion of the theory or final result can be clear without its antecedent proceeding. The evolution of scientific progress clearly shows that there is no finality in science. The recent work in "Relativity and Gravitation" is the best example of concomitancy of theory and history-from the philosophical concept of the Greeks, to the present most rigorous and complex mathematical and physical understanding of Einstein's theory. The whole field of physical science has been reset with historical importance which has never been realized since Newton.

And surely our own progress in science in America warrants us to become more introspective, namely-viewing the present in the light of the past. If we are to have a distinct type of culture, worthy of any great intellectual epoch, it must depend upon our ability for introspection. To this end, then, it is interesting to note, that throughout the country there is awakening a new interest

8 David Starr Jordan, "Building for the Future," The Public, May 3, 1919, p. 462.

in the history of science. This movement is but natural and in conformity with the growth of science progress itself.

Some few years ago it was pointed out to what extent the interest in the history of science had grown, especially as an educational factor in our colleges and universities.* Fortunately the "great war" has not lessened the interest, but it may have retarded the developments.

From a recent survey over practically the same field of investigation, it is extremely encouraging to note a few prominent features of this development. These facts will be given in order that a clearer understanding may be had for one of the many reasons why the History of Science work should be organized to form section "L" (Historical and Philological Sciences). Heretofore section "L" has not functioned, so that the field is open for organization and for productivity.

The most prominent and effective step in this growing movement was the establishment of a full professorship at the University of California in 1918 in the history of mathematics. The well-known scholar and historian of mathematics, Dr. Florian Cajori, has for two years offered courses in the history of mathematics and history of physics, besides for graduate work two seminar courses are offered in the history of algebra and of infinite series.

The next forward step of equal importance was the establishment of the post of research scholar in the history of science in the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The new position (Associate in the History of Science) was eminently filled by the appointment of Dr. George Sarton, who has for the last few years been offering courses in the history of science in Harvard University. From an extract concerning Dr. Sarton's work it is of value to note the importance the authorities of the Carnegie Institution place upon the future of this movement.

4 SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. XLII., No. 1091, pages 746-760, November 26, 1915.

5 Year Book No. 18, Carnegie Institution, Washington, D. C. (1919), pages 347-349.

In recognition of the fact that the progress of astronomy in America has made magnificent contributions to that science, it is befitting that we should find in the oldest school for astronomical graduate work a course pertaining to the history of astronomy in America. The Detroit Observatory of the University of Michigan has in itself a wonderful history, in respect to training astronomers who have all been leaders in astronomical research. Dr. W. Carl Rufus's work in the history of astronomy consists of two courses-the first being the general history of astronomy and the second following with the history of astronomy in America. The second course is of particular interest to us now, since it is building the framework upon which the history of science in America must rest.

A cooperative course in the history of science is now being offered for the first time at the Northwestern University. It is given in two divisions, namely: the history of the physical sciences, given by Dr. Henry Crew, and the history of the biological sciences, by Dr. William A. Locy.

We may venture here to state that this form or division of the history of science teaching is probably the most satisfactory form in which to conduct the whole subject, since it is becoming more apparent that no single individual will be able to teach the subject as a whole.

At the University of Chicago we find a rather unique institution in the form of two historical courses being offered in the correspondence-study department by Dr. G. W. Myers. The history of mathematics and the history of astronomy are given primarily with emphasis placed upon the cultural value. Aside from the regular established course in the history of mathematics and biology, and a new course being offered in the history of astronomy, Yale University has announced a series of public lectures in the history of science." These lectures clearly emphasize this growing movement for a more sympathetic understanding of the past, a regard for the past

• SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. LII., No. 1347, p. 383-384, October 22, 1920.

human relationship of those whose labors have prepared the way.

And, finally, it is to be accepted as a recognition of the worth and importance of the history of science when we read of the successful conference the American Historical Association carried on in December, 1919.7 The interest the historian of the social and political sciences has in the history of science, is decidedly different from the historian of the sciences themselves. One may be termed the cultural interest, whereas the other is the technical interest. That is, the former is interested in the history of science from the point of view of methodology and the influence science has had on civilization-the latter is mainly concerned in the development of the concepts in science, and the growth of the subject matter and its influence upon related problems. It is evident that the interest can be, with profit, fostered by two widely different organizations, which never meet in common.

Such has been the progress of the movement to cultivate the history of science in the United States within the last few years. The remarks concerning these various steps of the progress are necessarily brief, but sufficient has been quoted to indicate that a new cultural epoch in the intellectual history of America is dawning. This cultural epoch must, from the very fact of its influence and interpretation, come to be known as the new Humanism."

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DURING recent years numerous investigators have devoted considerable time and resources to the study of the salt requirements of various plants. Plans have been proposed for the extension of this work, with the hope that certain fundamental data may be obtained which shall indicate the composition and concentra

7 SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. LI., No. 1312, pages 193194, February 20, 1920.

tion of the solution or solutions best suited to the growth of the plant. It now seems to be an opportune time to raise the following questions: first, is it probable that the plant has any definite response within broad limits, to a particular ratio of salts or ions contained in the complete nutrient solution; and second, assuming the existence of such optimum solutions, are the methods generally employed adequate to determine their composition?

With regard to the second point, in a previous communication the writer1 has attempted to show that in many experiments the total supply of nutrients may have limited the yield of crop, rather than the salt proportion. In another article2 it is shown that insufficient attention has been given to the possible limitation on growth with certain solutions, due to the insolubility of iron, when this element is added in the form of the phosphate. Recent work by Waynick and Davis has emphasized the necessity for inter

Composition of Nutrient Solutions

may be suggestive in connection with the first point mentioned in this note. Three series of nutrient solutions were prepared:5 (a) Solution used by the author. (b) Shive's best solution, R,C2.

(c) Shive's solution diluted to 1/3 of its concentration in b.

In each case 15 barley plants were grown for six weeks under favorable and uniform conditions of sunlight. The containers were of one liter capacity and only one plant was grown in each bottle. The solutions were changed weekly. Thus the total volume of solution provided for each plant was considerably larger than that used in most experiments of this type. Iron tartrate was added twice each week to all cultures. All the plants grew at a uniform rate and there was no apparent difference between the three sets at any time. The initial composition of the three solutions and the weights of the plants air dried were as follows:

Data on Plants

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preting the data obtained in plant culture experiments with due consideration given to the variability of plants. In the majority of previous experiments this question has been almost completely overlooked.

During the course of an investigation on certain phases of plant nutrition, an incidental experiment has been carried out which

1 D. R. Hoagland, SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. XLIX., pp. 360-362 (1919).

2 D. R. Hoagland, Jour. Agr. Res., Vol. XVIII., pp. 73-117 (1919).

3 D. D. Waynick, Ann. Rep. College of Agr., University of California, 1918-19, p. 67.

4 A. R. Davis, Univ. of Calif. Pub. in Agr. Sci. (in press).

5 J. W. Shive, Phys. Researches, Vol. 1, pp. 327-397 (1915).

It is evident that solutions a and b produced equally favorable growth within the limits of error of this experiment, while the smaller yield from c is not necessarily significant, although in this case it is possible that the total supply of nitrate was insufficient. Thus in this experiment (a number of other experiments not now reported lead to the same conclusion) solutions of radically different concentrations and salt proportions have not affected the yield of the crop to any important extent. There is, however, no intention to give the impression that certain solutions (possibly including those containing large proportions of magnesium salts) may not inhibit plant growth because of unfavorable physiological balance. The point which

it is desired to make is that the range of equally favorable ratios between nutrient salts is probably a very broad one, no doubt including the solutions of most soils. This is not a surprising conclusion in view of the observation that under proper climatic conditions many different types of plants can grow vigorously on any fertile soil, while a given type of plant may grow equally well on various soils, the extracts of which have entirely different proportions of nutrients. Again, plants of equal development may store nutrient elements in very different ratios, when grown in different soils or solutions.

It has sometimes been suggested that solution and sand culture experiments offer a fundamental means of determining fertilizer requirements of soils, in connection with a proper physiological balance for the plant. If one considers the dynamic nature of the soil system, with its constantly fluctuating soil solution and the reactive properties of the soil minerals, it seems scarcely within the limits of possibility to alter a soil solution to fit any particular ratio of nutrients. The addition of any one fertilizer salt may affect all the various components of the soil solution. Moreover, many elements are present in the soil solution besides those added to the artificial culture solutions and it may not be assumed that these are without effect on the physiological balance of the solution, if indeed such a balance is of importance ordinarily.



day Thursday, and excursions Wednesday afternoon and Friday. Full details of the meeting and program will be found in the October issue of the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. The registration was one thousand three hundred and eight.

The combined outdoor and indoor entertainment on the campus of Northwestern University on Tuesday afternoon was a new feature which met the hearty approval of all as it offered both a varied entertainment to the members and special opportunity for becoming acquainted.

General public addresses were given by Thomas E. Wilson, president, Wilson & Co., on "The value of technical training in the reconstruction of industries," and by Professor A. S. Loevenhart, head of the department of pharmacology of the University of Wisconsin, on "Chemistry's contribution to the life sciences."' The chief public address was the president's annual address given by Dr. W. A. Noyes, in the Gold Room of the Congress Hotel, and was entitled, "Chemical publications." General addresses on Tuesday afternoon were given by H. P. Talbot on "Relation of educational institutions to the industries," and by W. A. Patrick on "Some uses of silica gels.'' The banquet, held on Thursday evening, September 9, filled the Gold Room of the Congress Hotel to overflowing. At the general opening session Charles L. Parsons reported on the International Conference of Pure and Applied Chemistry held in Rome, June 22 to 25, of which he was vice-president and to which he was a delegate from the American Chemical Society.

Abstracts of a larger part of this paper presented follows:


THE 60th meeting of the American Chemical Society was held in Chicago, Ill., Monday, September 6, to Friday, September 10, 1920. The council meeting was held on the 6th and a general meeting on September 7th, in the morning at the Congress Hotel, Chicago, and in the afternoon at Northwestern University, Evanston. Divisional meetings were held all Wednesday morning and all


R. A. Gortner, chairman,

A. W. Dox, secretary

Diet and sex as factors in creatinuria in man: HOWARD B. LEWIS and GENEVIEVE STEARNS. There appears to be no direct relation between the phases of the menstrual cycle and the appearance of creatine in the urine of the normal adult female. Protein per se is not a causal factor in the production of creatinuria and there is no more tendency toward the production of creatinuria by high protein diets during the menstrual than in the intermenstrual periods. The retention of creatine ingested per os by women does not differ markedly from that by men.

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