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N. Y., Lewis E. Saunders, vice-president of the Norton Company in Worcester, and Arthur T. Hinckley, chemist for the National Carbon Company at Niagara Falls, N. Y. Managers elected were Dr. Colin G. Fink, research director of the Chile Exploration Company of New York; Acheson Smith, vicepresident and general manager of the Acheson Graphite Company of Niagara Falls, and H. B. Coho of the United Lead Company of New York; treasurer, Pedro G. Salmon, of Philadelphia, and secretary, Dr. Joseph W. Richards, professor of metallurgy at the Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WISCONSIN
THE celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Academy of
Sciences, Arts and Letters will be the occasion of an important gathering at the University of Wisconsin on April 23. Professor T. C. Chamberlin, professor emeritus of geology at the University of Chicago, will give an address on "The founding of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters," at an all-university convocation in the morning. Professor Chamberlin is one of the two or three living members who helped to establish the academy in 1870 for the purpose of preserving the scientific studies of the state. He was then professor of science at Whitewater Normal School. He was president of the University of Wisconsin from 1887-92, when he became professor of geology at the University of Chicago. The regular business meeting of the academy will be held in the morning, April 23, an alluniversity convocation will be held in the afternoon, and a banquet in the evening.
President E. A. Birge, of the University of Wisconsin, will preside at the afternoon meeting. Professor John M. Coulter, of the University of Chicago, will speak on "The relation of the local academy to the national organization," and Professor C. E. Allen, of the University of Wisconsin, will speak on "The proposed plan of affiliation of the local academies with national organizations."
The Wisconsin Academy was the first important means in the state of gathering scientific
material and has preserved it in annual volumes, published at state expense. An anniversary volume of the proceedings, containing the papers of the members, will be published as the twenty-first volume of the Transactions of the academy.
A bronze medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the academy is to be struck for the anniversary meeting. The medal will bear on its face the portraits of Dr. Increase A. Lapham, pioneer archeologist and antiquarian, Philo R. Hoy, naturalist and antiquarian whose collection of birds is in the Racine Public Library, George W. Peckham, authority on certain groups of spiders whose collection of the Attidæ species is in the Milwaukee Public Museum, Professor R. D.
Irving, geologist and at one time head of the U. S. Geological Survey in the northwestern states, and Professor William F. Allen, authority on Roman history and antiquities. All were prominent in the early history of the academy. Under the portraits will appear the words, "Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, 1870-1920, Natural Species Ratioque." The obverse will bear the figure of Minerva, holding the lamp of learning, and the words "Nature Species Ratioque."
SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS
DR. JOHN ALFRED BRASHEAR, of Pittsburgh, distinguished as a maker of astronomical and physical instruments and an astronomer, died on April 9, in his eightieth year.
AT the recent commemoration day exercises at the Johns Hopkins University, a portrait of Dr. J. Whitridge Williams, dean of the medical school, was presented to the university by Professor William H. Welch, and a portrait of Dr. Florence R. Sabin, professor of histology, by Professor William H. Howell.
THE National Institute of Social Sciences, at its annual meeting on April 22, will confer a gold medal on Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research.
DR. JOHN W. CHURCHMAN, professor of surgery at Yale University, who had previously been made officier de l'instruction
publique by the French government, has been named officier d'Academie (silver palms). The decorations are in recognition of work done as Medecin-chef of Hôpital militaire 32 bis. during 1916.
SIR JOSEPH LARMOR, of the University of Cambridge, has been elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in the section of geometry.
PRESIDENTS of sections of the British Association have been appointed as follows: A (Mathematics and Physics), Professor A. S. Eddington; B (Chemistry), Mr. C. T. Heycock; C (Geology), Dr. F. A. Bather; D (Zoology), Professor J. Stanley Gardiner; E (Geography), Mr. J. McFarlane; F (Economics), Dr. J. H. Clapham; G (Engineering), Professor C. F. Jenkin; H (Anthropology), Professor Karl Pearson; I (Physiology), Mr. J. Barcroft; K (Botany), Miss E. R. Saunders; L (Education), Sir Robert Blair; and M (Agriculture), Professor F. W. Keeble. As has already been announced Professor W. A. Herdman will preside over the meeting which opens at Cardiff on August 24. DR. C. G. STORM, formerly lieutenant colonel, Ordnance Department, U. S. A., has resigned as assistant director of research with the Trojan Powder Co., Allentown, Pa., to accept the position of professor of chemical engineering in the Ordnance School of Application, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and will also be engaged in research work on explosives and other ordnance materials.
MR. SHERMAN LEAVITT, formerly professor of chemistry and agriculture in Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill., has become food chemist for the War Department, stationed in the Bureau of Chemistry laboratory at St. Louis.
DR. EDWIN LINTON, professor of biology in Washington and Jefferson College, having reached the age of sixty-five years, will retire at the end of the present college year. He expects to devote his time to research work.
PROFESSOR HENRY PARKER MANNING, of the department of mathematics of Brown University, has resigned. Professor Manning has
been connected with Brown University for twenty-nine consecutive years.
PROFESSOR ORA MINER LELAND, of the faculty of civil engineering at Cornell University, has resigned his professorship and taken a position with the J. G. White Company of New York.
MR. H. DEWITT VALENTINE has resigned from his position as instructor in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., and is now retained as chemical engineer and bacteriologist by the Ozone Company of America, Milwaukee, Wis.
PROFESSOR ERNEST MERRITT lectured recently on "Methods used for the detection of submarines" before the Cornell chapter of the Sigma Xi. During the war Professor Merritt conducted investigations that proved of great value in diminishing the danger of submarine attack.
PROFESSOR C. F. HOTTES gave the address before the Illinois chapter of Sigma Xi, at the meeting of March 17. The subject of the address was 66 Algae as rock builders."
DR. LOUIS A. BAUER gave the evening lecture at the joint meeting, held in Columbus on April 2, of the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America, the Ohio College Association and the Ohio Society of College Teachers of Education. His topic was The deflection of light observed during the solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, and its bearing upon the Einstein theory of gravitation," illustrated by lantern slides. He also gave public lectures on "The solar eclipse of May 29, 1919 and the Einstein theory" at Ohio State University, April 3, at Ohio Wesleyan University, April 5, and at the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio, April 6.
A COURSE in fractures is being given at the Cornell Medical College, during April by Dr. Joseph A. Blake, Dr. George W. Hawley and Dr. James N. Hitzrot Five. Dr. Alexis Carrel will also give one lecture. Other exercises will be held by Dr. H. H. M. Lyle, Dr. Burton J. Lee and Dr. John C. A. Gerster.
THE annual initiation of the Columbia Chapter of Sigma Xi was held on Friday evening, April 9, at Columbia University.
The initiation was followed by a dinner for which the following program was arranged: Toastmaster: MARSTON T. BOGERT, professor of organic chemistry.
Engineering research: GEORGE B. PEGRAM, dean of the schools of mines, engineering and chemistry. Research in forest products: SAMUEL J. RECORD, professor of forest products, Yale University. Science in the industries: M. C. WHITAKER, vicepresident of the U. S. Industrial Alcohol Company.
Applied psychology: E. L. THORNDIKE, professor of educational psychology.
The new members: STEPHEN P. BURKE.
AT the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Society for Mental Hygiene held March 9, 1920, the following resolution was adopted:
The directors of the Massachusetts Society for Mental Hygiene desire to express their deep sorrow and their great sense of loss in the death of Professor Elmer Ernest Southard. To many of them he was a warm personal friend whom they will sorely miss. His great natural abilities, his extraordinary powers of insight and deduction were most valuable to the society in which he took an active and stimulating interest.
The directors feel that they have lost not only a most valuable adviser and colleague but one on whose sympathy and friendship they could always depend.
DR. GEORGE EGBERT FISHER, professor of mathematics in the University of Pennsylvania, died on March 28, aged fifty-seven years. The following resolutions have been passed by faculties of the university:
The faculties of the college, the graduate school and the school education have learned with profound sorrow of the death of George Egbert Fisher, professor of mathematics and sometime dean of the college.
Professor Fisher's connection with the faculty dates from 1889, when he was appointed assistant professor of mathematics.
Earnest in purpose, lofty in ideals, a patient and inspiring teacher, he invariably won and held the respect and love of his students.
We of the faculty wish to bear testimony to our appreciation of the profound scholarship of our departed colleague, and to our recognition of his exceptionally deep and abiding love for mathe
matics. It was always his aim to foster a more general interest in this subject. We would testify also to his ready and sympathetic cooperation in all that was for the best interests of the university.
SIR ANDERSON STUART, professor of physiology in the University of Sydney since 1883 and the dean of its medical faculty, died on February 29, aged sixty-four years.
THE magnetic survey vessel, Carnegie, arrived at St. Helena Island, on March 30. She will sail again early in April, bound for Cape
THE American Medical Association, as has been already noted, will hold its seventy-first annual session in New Orleans, beginning on April 26. This is the fourth time the association has convened in New Orleans. The twentieth annual session under the presidency of Dr. William Owen Baldwin in 1869 aided in bringing the members of the medical profession in the south into cordial relationship with the national association following the Civil War. In 1885, under the presidency of Dr. Henry F. Campbell, the thirty-sixth annual session was held in New Orleans. In 1903 the association met in the city in its fifty-fourth annual session under the presidency of Dr. Frank Billings. The present meeting will be opened under the presidency of Dr. Alexander Lambert, of New York, and Dr. William C. Braisted, surgeon-general of the U. S. Navy, will be inducted into the office of president.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
THE legislature of the state of Mississippi has passed a bill appropriating the sum of $350,000 for a new building for the University of Mississippi, to house the department of chemistry and the school of pharmacy.
DR. ARTHUR TWINING HADLEY, since 1899 president of Yale University, has presented his resignation, to take effect in June, 1921, when he will have reached the age of sixtyfive years.
ALBERT W. SMITH, dean of Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering, Cornell Univer
sity, has been selected by the trustees' committee on general administration to be acting president of the university until a permanent successor to Dr. Schurman is appointed.
THE professorship of electrical engineering at Lafayette College, made vacant by the resignation of Professor Rood, who left Lafayette to go to the University of Illinois, has been filled by the appointment of Professor Morland King, of Union College, as associate professor of electrical engineering.
DR. WALTER K. FISHER, of the department of zoology at Stanford University, has been promoted to an associate professorship.
DR. MAX MAILHOUSE has resigned as clinical professor of neurology in the Yale School of Medicine, his resignation to take effect at the close of the present college year.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE A SUGGESTION AS TO THE FLAGELLATION OF THE ORGANISMS CAUSING LEGUME
A VERY interesting note by Hansen on the flagellation of the legume nodule organisms (Rhizobium) appeared recently in this journal.1 There has been a dispute for some time as to whether these bacteria have one or several flagella. Burrill and Hansen not long ago2 claimed that they are monotrichic organisms, whereas various other investigators, including the present writers have observed peritrichic flagella. Hansen now says that he, too, has found peritrichic flagella on cultures obtained from clover, vetch and alfalfa, and calls attention to the fact that his earlier studies had been on organisms from cowpea and soy bean. Hence he suggests that there may be two different groups, one peritrichic and the other monotrichic. It is, indeed, gen
1 Hansen, Roy, "Note on the flagellation of the nodule organisms of the Leguminosa,'' Sci., N. S., 50: 568-569, 1919.
2 Burrill, T. J., and Hansen, R., "Is symbiosis possible between legume bacteria and non-legume plants?'' Ill. Agr. Exp. Sta., Bul. 202, 1917.
3 Breed, R. S., Conn, H. J., and Baker, J. C., "Comments on the evolution and classification of bacteria," Jour. Bact., 3, 445–459, 1918.
erally recognized that the organisms of cowpea and soy bean differ from the other varieties of Rhizobium in certain cultural features, primarily in respect to vigor of growth.
Hansen's suggestion is very interesting, but does not explain all the facts that have been observed. Wilson has found peritrichic flagella on cultures of the soy bean organism. To be sure, as insisted by Hansen, Wilson has not published any photomicrographs; but the statement he makes is definite and no one need question it. We have seen one of Wilson's microscopic preparations (soy bean organism) and also one of Hansen's (cowpea organism); and find four or five flagella on some of the bacteria in Wilson's preparations, but only one each on those in Hansen's.
Upon enquiry we find that Wilson's cultures were sometimes as old as 28 days at the time of staining; while it appears from Burrill and Hansen's paper that their preparations were only a few days old. In this connection it is an interesting fact that a certain organism (belonging to a different group) studied in this laboratory was found to have a single polar flagellum when a few hours old, but two or three polar flagella when a day or more old. This naturally raises the question whether the cowpea and soy bean organisms may not be monotrichic in young cultures and peritrichic when they are older. This suggestion is further borne out by the fact that Hansen found (as shown by statements in his text and by his photomicrographs) the single flagellum to be attached at the corner or even at the side more often than exactly at the pole. This is just what would be expected if it were a matter of chance which one of the peritrichic flagella developed first in a young culture.
Ever since the appearance of Burrill and Hansen's paper we have wanted to investigate the truth of the matter. As we have not had the chance to do so, we take this occasion to put the idea in print that any one else inter
4 Wilson, J. K., "Physiological studies of Bacillus radicicola of soybean (Soja Max., Piper) and of factors influencing nodule production," Cornell Agr. Exp. Sta., Bul. 386, 1917.
ested in this rather puzzling question may study it to see whether there is anything in the theory suggested here.
H. J. CONN, R. S. BREED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION, GENEVA, N. Y.
PENSIONS FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
THE American Association for Labor Legislation calls attention to the very serious evils arising from the lack of a pension system in the government bureaus at Washington. They say: "It is now reported that of a total of 878 employees in one federal bureau in Washington, 303 are over 65 years old, 104 over 75, and 29 over 80. The Treasury Department alone has 1,000 aged who average only 25 per cent. efficiency-1,000 drawing full pay for work that could be done by 250."
This is a matter which concerns scientific men. I remember several years ago calling on one of the most eminent zoologists in the National Museum. I found that he was writing all his letters by hand, because the stenographer assigned to him was too old to do the work. He explained that of course he could not, or would not dismiss her; but as a result he was left without the assistance he should have had. I recall a scientific assistant, retained by a bureau long after he had ceased to be able to do anything of value, but required to spend his days at his desk. No one would have thought of turning him away unless he could be adequately provided for. The effect of these conditions on the progress of science is obvious and lamentable.
It appears that there is now a bill before Congress, providing for retirement on part pay at 65, the employee contributing 24 per cent. of wages, the government the rest. It should certainly be supported.
T. D. A. COCKERELL
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, March 1, 1920
THE RECENT AURORAS
THE Weather Bureau is compiling observations of the auroras of March 22-23, 23-24,
and 24-25, 1920, as seen in the United States, or elsewhere, with a view to publishing a detailed account of this remarkable display in the March, 1920, issue of the Monthly Weather Review. It is hoped that those who observed an aurora on any of the dates mentioned will notify the bureau, and if details were noted will send copies of their notes. Information about any display which may be seen on April 18, 27 days after the brilliant night in March, or auroras observed on other dates in 1919 or 1920 will also be appreciated. Communications should be addressed to "Editor, Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C.," and should reach Washington by the end of April.
CHARLES F. BROOKS, Meteorologist-Editor
CIVIL SERVICE PENSIONS
AFTER years of half-hearted consideration Congress seems about to pass a bill for the retirement and pensioning of employees in the federal service. It will be applicable only to those in the classified service, about 300,000 in all. It is a measure of justice and at the same time a measure of economy, for the government hasn't been heartless enough to turn the superannuated loose. Thousands of them retain their places, but do little or no work.
The government retires employees in the military and kindred services. It ought to set a similar standard for faithful civil employment. The retirement age in the army is sixty-four, and in the navy sixty-two. Taking into consideration the easier conditions of civil employment, the bill which has just passed the Senate fixes seventy as the civil retirement limit. The allowances will vary according to length of service, from thirty years down to eighteen years. Persons disabled through disease or injury in the line of duty may be retired before reaching seventy.
Another distinction is to be made between civil and military beneficiaries. An annuity assessment of 2 per cent. will be levied annually on the salaries of civil employees until a retirement fund is accumulated. This assess