Page images
[blocks in formation]


PROFESSOR ISAO IIJIMA, head of the department of zoology in the Imperial Uinversity, died of apoplexy at his home in Tokyo on March 14. His father, a Samurai of the Daimyo Inouyé of Shizuoka, was one of those devoted to foreign learning in the decades before the restoration: proceeding to Nagasaki, he studied European ideas through the medium of the Dutch language-later suffering imprisonment on account of these interdicted studies. The son Isao, born Bunkyuni-nen (1860), followed the father's footsteps, was early a student of foreign languages and science, and was eager to master physiology and anatomy. So he found his way presently to the Imperial University of Tokyo, which then was beginning its famous career. he came under the guidance of the American zoologist, Professor Edward S. Morse, whose inspiration soon turned him from medical studies to pure science. Thereafter he went to Leipsic, where he took his doctorate with Professor Leuckart. Returning to Japan about 1885, he was appointed a member of the faculty of the Imperial University, where he was to remain until the day of his death; in the last years he was also professor in zoology at the Nobles' College, Tokyo. Foreign zoologists will always remember Iijima, side by side with Kakichi Mitsukuri, as taking foremost and genial place in all zoological matters in Japan. His knowledge of the general subject was unusually wide: a fluent lecturer, an attractive personality, he

popularized zoology and brought help to it from many sides; for not only was he the trained morphologist, but the old school naturalist as well, bird expert notably, having among his friends collectors and gunners in all part of Japan; his hobby took him everywhere, and as a good shot he was as welcome in the hunting parties of the Emperor as with the pheasant-stalking peasants on the hillside near Misaki-where for many years he spent his summers. Here was the seaside laboratory of his zoological department, and offshore were the great depths of Okinosé (6,000 meters) from which many a red-turbaned fisherman, and Kuma Aoki especially, brought him the rarest of glass-sponges. These Iijima made his life-long study: and he dealt with them in memoirs which, published in the main in the Journal of the Science College, are classics, indeed-though Iijima himself would be apt to add, in his joking way, that this was not as great a feat as it seemed, since he was the only life-long specialist in the field! In point of fact, these sponges were poorly represented throughout the world (large museums had sometimes not more than a few small specimens—usually a ragged Hyalonema, or a defective Venusbasket), till the discovery was made of many species, genera, and even families of them in Iijima's district of the Pacific where nature seemed to have taken many pains to keep them alive in an early geological "garden."

In a practical direction Iijima's studies carried him to the culture of "artificial" pearls, and several of his students, the late Dr. Nishikawa especially, developed this industry with great success-having devised new modes of causing the pearl oyster to produce hemispherical, more-than-hemispherical, and in the latest time completely spherical pearls. BASHFORD DEAN



(From a correspondent)

THE organization of research is now receiving so much attention that the fear is ex

pressed that more fundamental considerations are being overlooked. The words of Edwin T. Meredith, former Secretary of Agriculture, may, then, serve as a timely warning. In a statement published under the title "My Year in the Department," in the Country Gentleman for February 26, 1921, he points out as requisite for the successful prosecution of research in a large organization these fundamentals: Securing the right kind of men; providing them with adequate appropriations for research; freeing them from irksome restrictions in the expenditure of those funds; and providing for adequate publication of their results. That Mr. Meredith speaks with full appreciation of the importance of research, is shown by his administration and by its straightforward statement in the same article.

Research is the foundation of agricultural progress. Without it most of our agricultural activities could not exist. Our most important methods are based on the results of years of patient investigation. There is no real progress without scientific study applied to everyday problems. So much had been accomplished through research that many people may fall into the error of thinking that not much more work of this character is needed and that the requirements of the day relate merely to the application of knowledge already in hand. Research is more essential now than ever before, and the need does not relate wholly to taking care of the future. We are confronted today with serious problems of the most pressing nature, about which we know very little.

Without minimizing in any degree any of the activities of the department or the other suggestions that have been made for strengthening certain features of the work, I place particular emphasis at this time on the importance of personnel, the value of research and the need of the most intensive study possible of marketing problems. I place the problem of personnel first. It is the corner stone, you might say, of the whole structure. To secure the right kind of men the department must be able to pay higher salaries, and it must be free from some of the limitations which are now imposed on the expenditure of its appropriations. I am not decrying legal safeguards, which always must be imposed on the expenditure of public money, but I do deplore unnecessary re

strictions which result in subordinating good judgment and business-like management to routine and fiscal control.

Appropriations for research are the equipment of the worker, and unless he is properly equipped he can not be expected to get results. And in this connection I regard, as a part of his equipment, funds for publishing the results of his work. Nothing is more discouraging to a scientific worker than to be denied the right to publish the facts he has learned after years of patient investigation. So much has been written recently of the alleged inefficiency of government workers that it is inspiring to hear, from an executive officer on the eve of his retirement, a quite different statement.

The work of the department, taking it all the way through, is done by as earnest and as able a lot of men and women as any with whom I have ever come in contact. On the whole, they work as many hours a day and as efficiently, I believe, as employees in most private establishments, and they are paid less. Large numbers of them are held to their work by their love for it. Many formerly with the department were offered so much more money in private employment that, in justice to themselves and their families, they could not refuse to go.

In a single year 8,000 of these workers left the department. Those who left last year received from private concerns and other institutions an average increase in salary of more than 50 per cent.; and there are instances of increases running as high as 500 per cent. If the men and women in the department were not efficient private industry would not be offering them such increases in salary. Those remaining are as efficient as those who have gone, and many of them have declined just as tempting offers. They have said in spite of low salaries and high living costs they are going to stay where they render the greatest service to the nation.


THE Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences notes the following matters of scientific interest in the third session of the Sixty-sixth Congress convened on December 6, 1920:

Under a special rule adopted on December 14, the joint resolution (S.J. 191) to create a

joint commission on reorganization of the administrative branch of the Federal Government was brought up for two hours' debate on that date and passed by the House, having already passed the Senate on May 10. The bill became Public Resolution No. 54 on December 30 without executive approval. The resolution requires the committee to make a report in December, 1922. Mr. Smoot announced in February that the committee would do the work personally and would not turn it over to the Bureau of Efficiency or any other governmental agency. Considerable shifting and rearrangement of the scientific bureaus has been predicted as a probable outcome of the reorganization movement.

The House Committee on Patents recommended on December 10 that the Nolan Patent Office bill (H.R. 11984) be sent to conference, but unanimous consent for such reference was refused in the House. Later, on December 14, the bill was sent to conference, and hearings were reopened by the conference committee in January. Section 9 of the bill, providing for the issuance of patents to Federal employees, continued to meet with opposition from commercial and industrial interests, but was retained in the bill. The House agreed to the conference report on February 16. Opposition developed in the Senate, and the bill did not reach final action before the end of the session on March 4.

The bill for Federal supervision of the nitrate plants (S. 3390), including provision for research on the fixation of nitrogen, was made the unfinished business in the Senate on December 15. After several debates and the adoption of a number of amendments, the bill passed the Senate on January 14. The House took no final action.

The American Society of Zoologists, at its annual meeting on December 28-30, 1920, passed resolutions protesting against the passage of that part of H.R. 7785 (the scientific apparatus tariff bill) which abolishes the 66 duty-free privilege" to educational institutions. Occasional protests against this feature of the bill have been discussed in current scientific and technical periodicals. This feature of the bill was brought up in a hear

ing on the Fordney emergency tariff bill before the House Committee on Ways and Means on February 14, and the sentiment of the committee seemed to be strongly in favor of eliminating the duty-free privilege on chemical glassware, chemical porcelain and apparatus. The Fordney bill passed both houses, but was vetoed by the president.

As for the special bill for a tariff on scientific supplies (H.R. 7785), although it had passed the House as long ago as August 2, 1919, the Senate took no final action and it lapsed with the adjournment on March 4.

[ocr errors]

A bill "to fix the metric system of weights and measures as the single standard for weights and measures was introduced in the House by Mr. Britten on December 29 (H.R. 15420), and in the Senate by Mr. Frelinghuysen (by request) on December 18 (S. 4675). The bills are said to have been "fathered" by the World Trade Club of San Francisco. They were referred to the respective weights and measures committees and no further action was taken.

The Smith-Towner bill to create a Department of Education (S. 1017 and H.R. 7) after lying dormant through nearly the entire life of the Congress, was reported in the House on January 17 and in Senate on March 1, but progressed no further.

A step toward the erection of the proposed building for the National Academy of Sci

ences was taken in the introduction of S. 4645, "to authorize the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to close upper Water Street between 21st and 22d Streets, N.W." The bill pased the Senate on February 24, but advanced no further.

With the adjournment of the Sixty-sixth Congress at noon on March 4, various other bills and resolutions which are of interest to scientific men either perished in committees or at an intermediate stage of progress.



THE Academy of Science and Letters of Sioux City, Iowa, arranged for the present year a weekly lecture program as follows:

"The culture areas of the early Iowa Indian," Professor Charles R. Keyes, Cornell College.

"The origin of the prairies," Professor B. Shimek, Department of Botany, University of Iowa.

"From Iowa to New Zealand and back," Rev. L. M. Dorreen, Sioux City.

"How we Americans select our President,'' Professor L. E. Aylesworth, Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska.

"Problems of Jackson's administration," Professor H. W. Caldwell, Department of History, University of Nebraska.

"Transmutation of elements, "Professor M. E. Graber, Department of Physics, Morningside College.

"The last stand of the Sioux," Hon. Doane Robinson, State Historian, Pierre, S. D.

“Unfinished Iowa,” Professor O. E. Klingaman, director of Extension Department, University of Iowa.

"History of American art," Professor Paul H. Grummann, Dean of the Department of Fine Arts, University of Nebraska.

"The history of the Missouri,'' Professor Freeman Ward, Department of Geology, University of South Dakota.

"Periods of architecture in America," W. L. Steele, Architect, Sioux City.

"Becoming acquainted with the suns," Professor G. D. Swezey, Department of Astronomy, University of Nebraska.

"Survey of prehistoric man," Professor H. G. Campbell, Department of Philosophy, Morningside College.

"Our raw material," Professor Hattie Plum Williams, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska.

"Our native landscape of Mid-America," Mr. Jens Jensen, Ravinia, Ill.

"Our local bird life," Professor C. S. Thoms, Department of Sociology, University of South Dakota.

"Remaking the face of Iowa,' "Professor R. B. Wylie, Department of Botany, University of Iowa.



COORDINATION of the work of voluntary national health agencies has been effected on May 1, a number of these organizations will take possession of two floors of the Penn

Terminal Building, in Seventh Avenue at Thirty-first Street, New York City. The National Health Council was formed last fall by organizations, each of which will retain full autonomy. The new arrangement is in no sense a merger, but an effort to bring the organizations together for economy in overhead expenses and for cooperation in health programs. In addition to its work in coordinating the efforts of private health agencies, the council will maintain an inter-organization information service; a health legislative bureau, which will keep track of national and State health legislation and keep council members fully informed on it, and a statistical bureau. It also expects to aid in the development of health educational material and will foster periodic joint conferences among members of the various participating organizations.

On the fifteenth floor of the Penn Terminal Building will be the offices of the American Social Hygiene Association, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, the National Organization for Public Health Nursing cooperating with the American Nurses' Association and the League for Nursing Education, and the National Tuberculosis Association.

On the sixteenth floor there will be offices for the American Public Health Association, formerly in Boston; the Bureau of Social Hygiene, the Child Health Organization of America, probably the liaison office of the United States Public Health Service, the National Health Council, with the Common Service Committee; the Maternity Center Association, the New York Diet Kitchen Association, the New York Community Service, and probably the American Society for the Control of Cancer.

The Federal Board of Vocational Education already has its New York offices in the Penn Terminal Building, on the fourteenth floor.

Officers of the National Health Council, which not only maintains its offices in New York, but has a national headquarters office in Washington, are: Chairman, Dr. Livingston Farrand; vice-chairman, Dr. Lee K.

Frankel; secretary, Dr. C. St. Clair Drake; acting treasurer, Dr. William F. Snow; acting executive officer, Dr. Donald B. Armstrong.


THE fifth meeting of the American Meteorological Society will be held on April 20 and 21 at the Central Office of the Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C. Including the six papers to be presented at the meeting of Section (c), meteorology, of the American Geophysical Union on April 19, the program as published in the April Bulletin of the society contains 27 titles of varied interest. Abstracts of all these papers and of such discussions as may follow them will be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; and most of the papers themselves will probably be published in the Monthly Weather Review.

The proceedings of the first annual meeting of the society at Chicago on December 29, 1920, were published in the January issue of the Bulletin. A motion to increase the annual dues from $1 to $2 was lost because of the desire not to curtail the membership merely for money, which could be raised in other ways. A resolution favoring the Weather Bureau's estimates for increased appropriations was passed, but it had no effect in persuading Congress to recognize the dire straits of the bureau with its present program of service. Rather full information about the 32 papers on the scientific portion of the program appeared in the February and March Bulletins. Many of these papers have since been published in the Review.




FROM Nature we learn that for the meeting of the British Association, which will be held in Edinburgh on September 7-14 next, the following presidents of Sections have been appointed: Section A (Mathematics and Phys

ics), Professor O. W. Richardson; B (Chemistry), Dr. M. O. Forster; C (Geology), Dr. J. S. Flett; D (Zoology), Mr. E. S. Goodrich; E (Geography) Dr. D. G. Hogarth; F (Economics), Mr. W. L. Hichens; G (Engineering), Professor A. H. Gibson; H (Anthropology), Sir J. Frazer; I (Physiology), Sir W. Morley Fletcher; J (Psychology), Professor C. Lloyd Morgan; K (Botany), Dr. D. H. Scott; L (Education), Sir W. H. Hadow; and M (Agriculture), Mr. C. S. Orwin. Sir Richard Gregory has been appointed president of the Conference of Delegates of Corresponding Societies. Among the subjects of general interest which are being arranged for discussion at joint sectional meetings are: The Age of the Earth, Biochemistry, Vocational Training and Tests, The Relation of Genetics to Agriculture, The Proposed Mid-Scotland Canal, and The Origin of the Scottish People. The president of the association, Sir Edward Thrope, will deliver his address at the inaugural meeting on Wednesday evening, September 7, and discourses will be given at general evening meetings by Professor C. E. Inglis on The Evolution of Cantilever Bridge Construction, involving a comparison between the Forth and Quebec bridges, and by Professor W. A. Herdman, the present president, on Edinburgh and Oceanography. Measures are being taken towards a more effective coordination of the daily programs in order to avoid the clashing of subjects of kindred interest.

SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS PRINCE ALBERT of Monaco, sailed on April 9 for New York on his way to Washington to receive the Alexander Agassiz gold medal awarded by the National Academy of Sciences to him in recognition of his promotion of oceanographic research. He will give an address before the academy on the evening of April 25.

PROFESSOR ALBERT EINSTEIN will be the guest of Princeton University from May 9 to 15, and will give five lectures on the theory of relativity. Professor Einstein and Dr. Weiz

« PreviousContinue »