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ing from north of west clear across the sky, almost to the zenith, down to south of east, made a very beautiful and impressive sight. It was very much admired by those I called out to see it.

I should like to know if this display was noticed in other parts of the country and if others have observed similar phenomena at other times.




May 2, 1919, at 11:30 P.M.


TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: I have read with much interest Dr. Felix Neumann's article published in your number of April 4 and I heartily agree with him that the creation of a new section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to be devoted to the history of science, would be most desirable.

I think it is hardly necessary to demonstrate the necessity of such historical studies, but I beg to submit the following arguments in support of Dr. Neumann's proposition.

1. The history of science has a real and full signification only for scientifically trained people, and it appeals equally to scientists of all kinds, hence it is natural that its study be promoted by such an association as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

2. Such historical studies, however, are very different from scientific studies proper; they require a special turn of mind, a special equipment and special methods without the use of which no high standard of accuracy can be obtained, hence it is necessary that they be promoted by an independent section.

3. Such independent sections have been organized many years ago by the Versammlung deutscher Naturforscher und Aerzte and by the Società italiana per il Progresso delle Scienze, notwithstanding the fact that societies exclusively devoted to the history of science exist both in Germany and in Italy. GEORGE SARTON




THE passage through a standing committee of the House of Commons, without amendment, of the so-called "Dogs' Protection Bill" has rudely awakened to a danger too lightly regarded, every one who in any way realizes the importance of the issues involved. In the Times of April 8, Sir Philip Magnus tells how the past master of parliamentary tactics who introduced the bill was able to bring it up for second reading unexpectedly, at the close of a sitting and to secure, almost without discussion, its reference to a standing committee. The committee was aparently composed in the usual way, mainly of members selected with reference to their political affiliations, without any regard to their competence to deal with an essentially scientific question; three or four medical members were added and a contingent of nominees of the members in charge of the bill, who could be trusted to know his own supporters. In two short sessions, and with the help of the closure, the bill passed through this committee without amendment. The next stage will be that it will come before the House for third reading at the next opportunity, which may occur any week.


The effect of the bill, if it should pass into law, is plain enough. It would render any one who made an experiment of any kind upon a dog liable to prosecution. Its enactment would cripple progress, so far as this country is concerned, in some of the most important fields of medical investigation. The whole weight of informal opinion must be brought to bear to prevent such a calamity. Letters of protest and warning have appeared in the Times of April 5, 7, 8 and 9, from Sir Edward Sharpey Schafer, Dr. Thomas Lewis, Dr. Leonard Hill, Professor Langley and Professor Starling. The Morning Post of Apri! 7 published under the heading, "A Blow to Medical Science," an admirable statement of the case against the bill. The lay press is fulfilling a valuable function in thus enlightening general opinion.

So far as our own readers are concerned, we are preaching to those who need no conver

sion, but it may be doubted whether the medical profession as a whole has fully realized its responsibility to the public in this matter. The unscrupulous agitation, which has at length come so perilously near to achieving an instalment of its purpose, has been aided by the prevalent ignorance of the public, and by the power of appeal to a sentiment which is strongly developed in all Englishmen--in medical men as in others. The dog has established a proper claim on man's sympathy and affection, and the public have the right to inquire whether its use for experiment is essential for the progress of medical science, and to be satisfied that the practise involves no significant amount of pain. The materials for assurance on both points are in the hands of every medical man who has thought about the matter and has made himself acquainted with readily accessible facts. The Research Defence Society has done valuable work, but the ordinary man or woman has more confidence in the friend with expert knowledge than in the publications of societies. He has the right to expect that his feelings, harrowed by an insistent campaign of misrepresentation, shall not be treated merely with good-humored tolerance. The plain facts of the case are easily made clear, and would be accepted by the vast majority of laymen from the medical advisers whom they trust. If lay opinion had not been left so much at the mercy of a mendacious agitation, it is incredible that even a tired and apathetic remnant of the House of Commons would have allowed this bill to pass its second reading almost without discussion.-The British Medical Journal.


The Game Birds of California. Contribution from the University of California, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. By JOSEPH GRINNELL, HAROLD CHILD BRYANT and TRACY IRWIN STORER. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1918. Large 8vo. Pp. i-x+1642, 16 colored plates and 94 text-figures. Price, cloth, $6.00 net.

While the conservation of the wild game of a state is one of the most important problems

with which the commonwealth has to deal, it is rarely that it receives the expert attention that it should and that is usually possible. Too often the fish and game committees of the legislature and the game commissions are composed of men who are merely sportsmen, interested of course in the preservation of game according to theories that they as shooters of game have conceived, but not cognizant of the more fundamental principles which only the trained zoologist or conservationist understands.

California is to be congratulated upon securing the services of such competent zoologists as Dr. Grinnell and his associates at the University of California-Dr. Bryant and Mr. Storer -in preparing this admirable volume upon the game birds of the state.

The plan of the work is well conceived and is carried out with a painstaking regard for accuracy and uniformity of treatment. Under each species we have full descriptions of the various plumages, with special emphasis on "marks for field identification," the call notes, nest and eggs are then described and a statement of the distribution of the species in general, as well as in California, is added. Then follows a general account of the life history of the bird, its food, actions, etc., with now and then pertinent extracts from the works of various authors. This systematic portion of the work naturally forms the bulk of the volume, and is a repository of information which will benefit readers far beyond the boundaries of California, since the list of game birds of the various states of the union includes many of the same species, and Dr. Grinnell and his associates have spared no pains in gathering together all the information that was to be had. The published literature and manuscript records have been exhaustively studied and the museums of the whole country have been visited in order to secure descriptions of the various plumages that game birds present at different ages and seasons.

The earlier chapters of the work discuss the more general problems of game preservation and their careful study by those framing game legislation in all parts of the union will be well worth while.

The tremendous destruction of game in California is well known, but few probably realized its extent until the actual figures were placed before them. When we read that 72,000 ducks were handled by one Game Transfer Company at San Francisco in the season of 1910-11 and 20,000 geese by another company in the preceding year, while the estimated number of these birds sent to market has decreased from 350,000 in 1911-12 to 125,000 in 1915-16, we can readily understand why there is serious apprehension as to the future of the game supply!

Ducking clubs and their influence upon the preservation of wild bird life come in for very careful consideration. It is freely granted that they provide and maintain better feeding grounds for the ducks while additional food is supplied in the form of "bait." Indiscriminate and illegal gunnery is prevented on the areas under the club's control and hunting is limited to a few days a week and to relatively few shooters. At other times the grounds form an admirable refuge for the birds.

On the other hand, the attractiveness of the protected grounds concentrates the duck population in a limited area where a very heavy toll is levied, and the shooting is done by highly trained marksmen with the best of weapons, and large annual bags result. And the authors consider that the extermination of the ducks is far more rapid than when they remain scattered over wide areas, and are hunted by gunners of varying skill.

Other topics connected with conservation are discussed in the same careful manner, while the treatment of the life histories of the various species is very full. Turning to the chapter on the Valley Quail we find, besides the description of the bird, nest, habits, etc., evidence to show that the males act as sentinels; while it is pointed out that the species lays more eggs than any other game bird and suffers corresponding mortality and means of controlling the latter are suggested. The relation of the species to agriculture is considered carefully and also the problem of hunting this bird for the market.

This is a work of reference which should be in every western library and one that should

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CITRUS canker is a disease recently introduced into the Gulf states from Japan. At present attempts are being made to eradicate this disease entirely in those states, by burning trees on which infections are found, thus eliminating the sources of new infection.

The senior writer has shown that citrus canker is not closely confined to the species of Citrus as hosts but affects plants of a large number of other genera of the Rutacea. It is believed that this work has been corroborated by workers in the United States.

More recently inoculations of plants outside of the Rutaceae have been attempted. The lansones (Lansium domesticum) of the Meliaceæ, a tree cultivated in the Philippines for its edible fruit, was the first non-rutaceous plant employed. Needle punctures made through a suspension of Pseudomonas citri placed upon the actively growing midribs of leaves and upon the petioles and main stems of this plant have produced swellings which later cracked and erruptions of tissue have resulted. In some cases the swellings have been surrounded with the yellow halo typical of canker upon citrous hosts. Control inoculations made with river water under the same conditions have remained negative.

Pseudomonas citri has been reisolated from such lesions, the numbers of colonies in the isolation plates indicating that there was abundant reproduction of the organism in the lansones tissue.

1''Further Data on the Susceptibility of NonRutaceous Plants to Citrus Canker," Journal of Agricultural Research, Volume 15, No. 12, December 23, 1918.

Inoculations have been repeated several times and each time there was produced a reaction not shown in the controls. These results have been obtained both on potted trees and trees growing under field conditions. The experimental conditions were at the optimum for canker development with very favorable moisture environment and vigorously growing host plants. The results warrant the statement that P. citri upon stem tissue of Lansium domesticum produces a reaction not evidenced in control inoculations.

These results are recorded as of possible interest in throwing new light on the character of the canker organism. It is conceivable that a chain of circumstances in the field might produce extreme optimum conditions that would lead to infection of highly resistent host plants, which from observation under ordinary conditions would be regarded as immune. Lesions on such hosts then would be capable of serving as sources of reinfection to citrus plants. H. ATHERTON LEE, ELMER D. MERRILL







THE program of scientific sessions of the meeting held in Lincoln on May 2 and 3, was as follows:


Afternoon Session

The algal flora of some of the sandhill lakes: ELDA R. WALKER.

Corn adaptation studies: F. D. KEIM.

The development of Cyathus and Crucibulum: LEVA B. WALKER.

Stem rust control through barberry eradication: E. MEAD WILCOX.

Root habits of plants of prairies, plains and sandhills: J. E. WEAVER.

Notes on Nebraska trees: R. J. PoOL.

Bacteriology and pathology of influenza: H. B. WAITE.

The seasons in 1918 from the standpoint of the zoologist: ROBERT H. WOLCOTT.

The mental testing for college entrance: Rufus C. BENTLEY.

Validity of the intellectual tests: CHARLES

The need of community educational and human wel-
fare get-together clubs: G. W. A. LUCKEY.
Future world war: A. E. SHELDON.
Projection charts: H. G. DEMING.
The state academies of science: D. D. WHITNEY.

Evening Session

The annual presidential address, by David D. Whitney, professor of zoology, University of Nebraska. Subject: "Recent progress in the study of heredity."

SATURDAY, MAY 3 Morning Session

Place names in Nebraska: SUSAN HARMON.
A coin display case for museums: E. E. BLACKMAN.
Radioactivity in the high school: FLOYD DOANE.
A plea for elementary astronomy in the schools:

A new way of tracing cardioids: WILLIAM F.

Some electrical phenomena connected with rainfall: J. C. JENSEN.

What weather makes a great wheat yield: G. A. LOVELAND.

The two great observatories in California: G. D. SWEZEY.

On a phase of chemistry in modern warfare: C. J. FRANKFORTER.

Fat substitutes: MARY L. FOSSLER.

Automobile accidents: O. W. SJOGREN.

Notes on personal experiences in the potash fields:

Oil shales of Wyoming: E. F. SCHRAMM.
Potash surveys: G. E. CONDRA.

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THE pandemic which has just swept round the earth has been without precedent. There have been more deadly epidemics, but they have been more circumscribed; there have been epidemics almost as widespread, but they have been less deadly. Floods, famines, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have all written their stories in terms of human destruction almost too terrible for comprehension, yet never before has there been a catastrophe at once so sudden, so devastating and so universal.

The most astonishing thing about the pandemic was the complete mystery which surrounded it. Nobody seemed to know what the disease was, where it came from or how to stop it. Anxious minds are inquiring to-day whether another wave of it will come again.

The fact is that although influenza is one of the oldest known of the epidemic diseases, it is the least understood. Science, which by patient and painstaking labor has done so much to drive other plagues to the point of extinction has thus far stood powerless before it. There is doubt about the causative agent and the predisposing and aggravating factors. There has been a good deal of theorizing about these matters, and some good research, but no common agreement has been reached with respect to them.

The measures which were introduced for the control of the pandemic were based upon the slenderest of theories. It was assumed that the influenza could be stopped by the employment of methods which it was assumed would stop the other respiratory diseases. This double assumption proved to be a weak reed to lean upon. The respiratory diseases as a class are not under control. They constitute the most frequent cause of death, yet it is not known how they can be prevented. Three main factors stand in the way of pre

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