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outgrowth of work done in the Chemical Warfare Service to develop soda-lime for military purposes. Soda-lime for industrial purposes, however, must have much greater activity and capacity and, on the other hand, need not be so hard and need not contain an active oxidizing agent, both of which requirements seriously limited the efficiency of the soda-lime used for military purposes. The paper

describes extensive experiments designed to determine the best method of manufacturing soda-lime in order to get maximum activity and capacity against the different gases. The factors determining the brand of lime to use and the best percentage of caustic soda and water were found to be the most important variables after the basic method of manufacture was decided upon. Slides will be shown to indicate the effect of each of these variables on the efficiency of the resulting product against CO2, SO2, phosgene, chlorine, superpalite and hardness. The final formula developed as the result of these experiments has been used with great success for a variety of commercial purposes and has been found to be many times as efficient as any of the commercial grades now on the market which are made by radically different processes and contain much more alkali. Flow of viscous liquids through pipes: ROвT. E. WILSON and M. SELTZER.

New solvents for rosin extraction: H. K. BEN-SON and A. L. BENNETT. The use of Douglas fir as a source of rosin and turpentine is discussed and the method of tapping the forest trees now in use to a limited extent is described. Attention is called to the very large quantities of resinous mill waste which could be made available for rosin production under proper organization. Realizing that rosin extraction has been under a heavy handicap due to the retention of the solvents by the wood to an extent of as high as 25 gallons per cord in some commercial plants, a search for more easily recoverable solvents was undertaken. Among those that lend themselves to rosin extraction are 5 per cent. ammonium hydroxide and 70 per cent. denatured alcohol solutions. Analytical data are presented on the effect of time and size of wood, on the efficiency of extraction, the decomposition of the ammonia extract, the separation of humus from rosin and the recovery of ammonia from the wood by steam distillation. The following conclusions are presented: (1) When resinous wood of pulp size is treated with 8 times its weight of 5 per cent, ammonium hydroxide for 10 hours 94.5 per cent, of the rosin is extracted.

(2) The ammonia extract decomposes slowly in the air at ordinary temperatures and at 90°-100° C. is rapidly and completely decomposed yielding ammonia vapor and finely divided rosin and humus in suspension. (3) Humus does not retain more than 1.7 per cent. of petroleum ether upon heating at 100° C. for thirty minutes. (4) Wood chips saturated with ammonia solution give off the ammonia completely when steam distilled. (5) Denatured ethyl alcohol at a dilution of 70 per cent. is as efficient a solvent for rosin as ammonia, benzene, turpentine or petroleum ether.

Comparative study of vibration absorbers: H. C. HOWARD. A simple instrument for obtaining records of horizontal and vertical vibration in buildings was constructed. Comparative measurements of the vibration absorbing capacities of various materials and devices, such as cork, felt, rubber air-bags, rubber balls and suspensions were made. Certain arrangements of rubber balls were found to be very effective.

Note on catalysis in the manufacture of ether: HUGO SCHLATTER. Senderens' experiments (Comptes Rendus, Volume 151, page 392) on the action of aluminum sulphate in the manufacture of ether were repeated in glass apparatus and confirmed. When the same experiments were carried out in a small ether still constructed of lead, no difference in production was observed between the usual method of procedure and the process in presence of aluminum sulphate. The author's conclusions are against Senderens' theory of the formation of a double salt, inasmuch as not only lead sulphate, which is normally present in the lead stills used in factory practise, but broken porcelain also gives the same results as aluminum sulphate.

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SCIENCE

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 1921

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THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCE IN THE AMERICAN
ASSOCIATION FOR THE
ADVANCEMENT OF
SCIENCE1

Ir is certainly within the recollection of the youngest member of Section O that the attachment of the designation Agricultural at once removed the matter under discussion from the scientific field. Agricultural botany, agricultural physics, agricultural chemistry, and the other agriculturals were simply the reflections of the glories of the pure sciences into the dark, unfathomed caves of everyday living. No real botanist would study the corn plant. No real chemist would waste his time on its chemical composition. The physics of the soil was certainly beneath the physicist. Such lights in the darkness as Darwin, Liebig and Pasteur (whose great work was done with domesticated plants and animals, soils and industries agricultural in the broad sense) failed to sensitize the blind spots in the minds of the pure scientists of yesterday. To-day this situation no longer exists, not so much because of any change in the sciences themselves, but more because of the sensitization of the blind spots in the minds of those who devote themselves to scientific study.

This change has come about largely as the result of the work of the agricultural experiment stations. It is true that in the beginning much was done by workers in the stations in the name of science that was not scientific, but that has always been true, even more in the history of so-called pure science than in this period of the beginning of agricultural science. It is generally true to-day. In the beginnings of agricultural science,

1 Abstract of the address of the vice-president and chairman of Section O, Agriculture, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chicago, 1920.

speaking generally, the workers of necessity came from the so-called pure science field. While they doubtless lost caste for a time, many of them have lived to see the old opposition die. The best universities in the land are now proud to call these men from the agricultural experiment stations to their highest research positions.

The worker in the land grant college, the experiment station or the National Department of Agriculture, as in other fields, is now accepted on his merits as a research worker. Research in the field of agriculture has, as in the days of Darwin, been so fruitful in results of scientific as well as economic value that it is receiving the attention of such institutions as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Chicago, as well as of the great state universities, and most recently by the Rockefeller Foundation for Medical Research in its laboratories for animal diseases under the direction of Dr. Theobald Smith, formerly in the Bureau of Animal Industry, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and later in the Bussey Institution of Harvard University. This Foundation also contemplates a similar laboratory for phytopathological research.

The latest development in this field is the organization of the Division of Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council, an agency established by the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the President of the United States, to organize and conduct research in every field necessary during the world war. After the close of the war the President requested that the Council be reorganized for the promotion of research of value to the nation and placed on a permanent basis. This was carried out in a cómprehensive way, supplementing existing agencies, governmental and private, without supplanting them; in fact, the National Research Council is now a clearing house of research agencies of the United States, also having relations with similar organizations abroad through an international association. It supplements the work of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,

and through stimulating research in general it will, without doubt, increase the interest of scientific workers in this association, which is the greatest organized scientific forum of the United States. Every live scientific worker in America should join this association through the sections in which he is especially interested. Section O should be the largest and livest Section of the Association. We draw from all sciences and are interested in all, including those usually designated as social and economic. We may be members also of special affiliated societies, like the Botanical Society of America, the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science, etc., but that is all the greater reason why we should be members of Section Othe agricultural focus of this association.

It has been proposed to merge the famous old Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science with Section O. I believe that this is a wise move. Possibly the same idea could be carried out with reference to some other societies in relation to other Sections. We need but two types of society organization based on subject matter-one small, select, highly specialized group and one generalized group. There are now too many organizations covering practically the same field. Time and money are not available to keep in touch with all. Let us carefully study the problem and consolidate wherever it can be done to advantage. All of the great research organizations ought to be affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and hold their meetings at the same place in such way as not to conflict with each other. This has been accomplished in part. It should now be completed.

While much has been accomplished in agricultural investigation in the past we are just entering what may rightly be termed the scientific phase of agricultural development. Research in this field must be greatly intensified. The mere mention of some of the fields such as genetics, plant and animal nutrition, plant and animal disease, disease resistance and immunity, and soil biology will recall to your minds at once the fact that we are just

at the beginning. If we are to feed and clothe the increasing population of the world and still retain some time for culture and recreation we shall need to conduct scientific research in all fields to an extent hitherto unheard of. This is especially true in the fields represented by this section. Unless we succeed in furnishing food and clothing nothing else avails. Except for temporary displacements, due to faulty distribution, population increase has been more rapid than food production. The time is at hand when we should have scientific information regarding disease control, genetics, maintenance of fertility and cultural methods which we do not now possess. It may take years of patient study to get it. We must educate the public to understand the need and provide for it. It is a part of the duty of this association to take part in this educational work. It is the special duty of this section in regard to agricultural science. Let us be a federation of inspiring spirits as well as active workers for its promotion. A. F. WOODS

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

INVESTIGATION OF THE FLORA OF

NORTHERN SOUTH AMERICA1

IN the summer of 1918, after consultation and correspondence by members of the staffs of the New York Botanical Garden, the United States National Museum and the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, a cooperative investigation of the botany and plant products of northern South America was organized and has since been prosecuted. It is planned to include geographically the Guianas, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and the adjacent Caribbean islands Trinidad, Tobago, Margarita, Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba.2

The reasons for the investigation are the deficiency of exact information relative to the vegetation of the region and the paucity of specimens of plants inhabiting it in museums

1 Read at the Princeton meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.

2 See SCIENCE, 48: 156, 157, 1918.

and herbaria of the United States. By far the larger representation of the species is in European institutions. A great number of them have been collected only once, and records of habit and habitat are either altogether lacking or quite inadequate. Owing to the necessity of making comparisons of specimens with the types preserved in the European collections, much of the material which has hitherto found its way into American institutions has remained incompletely determined. While the published literature of the subject is large, it is widely scattered, and there are no complete lists of plants or descriptive floras of any part of the area under investigation; such monographs or lists of species of genera or of families as have been attempted by authors are incomplete and very many species have been erroneously identified. As to plant products, we are as yet uninformed in many cases as to the identity of the species of plants yielding them and whether or not the supply of such products can be increased by the cultivation of the species from which they are derived.

The investigation is making progress in remedying these conditions, through the study of series of specimens recently obtained in Dutch Guiana, British Guiana, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, Curaçao, Colombia and Ecuador, collectively providing specimens representing several thousand species, and further field expeditions are being arranged. The collections when received, are divided among the three cooperating institutions, field agents being instructed to obtain three specimens of each plant collected whenever possible, and also to make record of habit, habitat and color of flowers and fruits and to make other notes which may be of importance. Specimens beyond three in number may be sent to other institutions or to specialists, and the cooperation of many experts has been obtained.

Preliminary studies of the collections already made prove that the investigation is very well worth while. Dr. Francis W. Pennell, of the New York Botanical Garden staff, expert in the Family Scrophulariacem, has detected and partly described some 70 species

new to Science from his own collections made in Colombia and in those made in Ecuador by Dr. J. N. Rose. These collections have yielded to Dr. B. L. Robinson, of the Gray Herbarium, expert in the genus Eupatorium, some 20 undescribed species, and to Dr. J. M. Greenman, of the Missouri Botanical Garden, expert in Senecio, about a dozen. Many grasses new to science were collected by Dr. A. S. Hitchcock, Agrostologist of the United States Department of Agriculture, in Venezuela, British Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, and those obtained by other collectors have been classified by him. Much important information about the Cacti and some 10 new species were obtained by Dr. J. N. Rose, in Venezuela and in Ecuador. Dr. S. F. Blake, of the Bureau of Plant Industry, has done much work on the Carduaces.

Mr. W. R. Maxon, of the United States National Museum, is engaged in identifying the Ferns and Fern Allies, Mrs. Britton, at the New York Botanical Garden, is studying the Mosses, and Professor Alexander W. Evans, of Yale University, the Hepatics. Dr. W. A. Murrill and Dr. Fred. J. Seaver, of the New York Botanical Garden, and Dr. J. C. Arthur, at Purdue University, have partially identified the Fungi collected. Several other students are investigating smaller

groups.

Much desultory work in identifying plants incidental in various families has been accomplished by Dr. J. N. Rose, by Dr. B. L. Robinson and by me. In order to make comparisons with types and authentically named specimens, I took this summer several hundred recently collected specimens of several families to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England, and compared them with the great collection preserved in the herbarium there; the wealth of undescribed species in the region under study is well illustrated by the fact that I was able to match only a small proportion of them.

In order to obtain a view of the vegetation and to increase the collections, I spent March and April in Trinidad, the part of the region perhaps the best known botanically, but even

there I was able to add some fifty species to the known flora of that island, some of them new to science, through specimens collected by myself and members of my party and by studying the fine herbarium of the Botanical Garden at Port of Spain.

The field work has mostly to be done by collectors sent from the north, but we have highly valued cooperation from Mr. W. G. Freeman, Director of Agriculture of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mr. W. E. Broadway and others of his staff; Mr. Henri Pittier, Agricultural Expert of the Venezuelan government, is sending material from that republic; when Dr. Pennell was in Bogota, Colombia, he secured the cordial cooperation of the Christian brothers there, who are forming a Natural History Museum, and when Dr. Rose was in Ecuador he secured the interest of Mr. A. Pachano; we are also assured of cooperation through the governments of French Guiana, Dutch Guiana and British Guiana.

The investigation is also adding much to the knowledge of the natural geographic distribution of species, especially as regards those ranging into Panama and the West Indies.

It is becoming increasingly evident that we should obtain as much exact information as possible concerning the vegetation of tropical and subtropical America.

N. L. BRITTON

NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN

PRACTICAL PSYCHOLOGY1

Ir is not easy to find an adjective describing adequately the applied psychology of tomorrow. "Solvent psychology," even apart from the alliteration, makes a certain appeal, for it designates a science capable of meeting all obligations; but the word has implications of deductive solutions reminiscent of metaphysics, Christian Science, psychical research, psycho-analysis, and other mysteries. William James, our distinguished master, has given

1 An address before the Section of Psychology at the Chicago meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 29, 1920.

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