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cases, located in the posterior half of the possible service in our'war program; other conanimals. In a few individuals one extra siderations, such as ideals of accuracy, comvacuole was found in the anterior end.
pleteness and scholarship must be regarded as 5. It was tentatively suggested that this secondary. Suggestions for making the new new character might have been the result of department as useful as possible will be welheat, as the animals in the original culture come from all quarters. had been used in temperature experiments.
HENRY BLUMBERG The last statement now seems doubtful, for
810 W. OREGON ST., since the appearance of these papers I have
URBANA, ILL. heard from other investigators of similar paramecia being observed in widely separated parts
QUOTATIONS of the country. They have been reported in
SCIENCE AND THE CIVIL SERVICE Wisconsin, Indiana, Massachusetts and Con
The great technical developments of the necticut. Those discovered in Indiana pos?
nineteenth century, which were due in a large sessed either three or four vacuoles.
measure to the influence and progress of sciThis note was prepared in hope that at
ence, have undoubtedly introduced not only a tention might be attracted to the vacuole
great transformation in the internal affairs of numbers so that more data on this variation
the country, but also an altered outlook in the may be obtained. The possession of extra external relations of the state. In consecontractile vacuoles makes this race of para
quence, many and extensive have been the mecia exceedingly important, not only because
changes gradually brought about, during the it is a variation of the common type but be
past century, in the duties and responsibilities cause the sensitive response of the vacuole
of the civil service. Every government denumber to changes in the environment may
partment has been affected to some extent; in make these individuals useful as indicators in
some of them there have come into existence certain classes of experiments.
innovations which are of a very far-reaching ROBERT T. HANCE
character. The outstanding feature of this ZOOLOGICAL LABORATORY,
evolution is that the work of government deUNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
partments has to-day entirely ceased to be of a
purely administrative order, whether it be in MATHEMATICAL INSTRUCTION AND THE WAR
relation to legislative measures referred thereto In view of the evident desirability of estab
for preparation, revision, or criticism, or to lishing a central agency for the gathering and
the operations conducted therein, or to the dissemination of information pertaining to
sphere of human activity superintended, conmathematical instruction in relation to the
trolled, or managed thereby. The business of war, the American Mathematical Monthly is
every government department is to-day to opening a new department, entitled "Collegiate
some extent technical or scientific; in the case Mathematics for War Service.” Any reader of
of some departments the administrative aspect SCIENCE in possession of suitable information
predominates; in others it is the technical or is urged to send it in at once. If the informa
scientific aspect that plays the more important tion is of sufficient importance, and in the
rôle. opinion of the editorial staff of the Monthly,
What, then, has the state done to ensure delay in publication might greatly diminish
that the personnel of the civil service, through its value, preprints will be made for the earliest
whom its responsibilities must be largely expossible distribution. Already preprints of sev ercised, shall be properly qualified and equiperal articles dealing, in the main, with mathe- ped for dealing, under present-day conditions, , matical training for naval service, are in the with the social, industrial and commercial course of preparation. The chief consideration problems which must come before it for legisrelative to the new department is maximum lative, executive, or other action?
One important step has been taken in rela olized by men whose learning is entirely litertion to this matter: it has been definitely laid ary. Further, the technical officers—that is, down that candidates for the civil service those in whose education science has played shall, before appointment, be required to un the preponderating rôle, and on whose skill and dergo some test as to their knowledge and knowledge the welfare of many of the public capacity. To give effect to this decision the services very largely depends—are almost enCivil Service Commission was, by an order tirely excluded from a share in the important in council dated May 21, 1855, appointed to administrative posts; needless to say, much to organize a system of examination; the Com the injury of the public services. mission continues to be charged to the present Could it be shown that a purely classical or day with the duty of providing suitable candi literary education really tends to develop or to dates for the public services. In 1870 the produce administrative talent in an individual principle of open competition was introduced superior to that which can be obtained by for the purpose of filling certain specified situ means of a scientific education and technical ations in the civil service, without, however, training, as is sometimes claimed, there might entirely abolishing“ patronage" appointments.
indeed be some excuse for the retention of the Afterwards, in 1876, the clerical establishment principle of selection adopted; but there is none of the civil service was divided into a higher
in actual fact. There exists, on the contrary, and a lower division; in 1890 the name “lower
abundant evidence to prove conclusively that division
administrative talent is no exclusive privilege was altered to “second division,” and a provision introduced making it possible
or quality of those who have received a purely for a “second division" clerk to be promoted
classical or literary education: the names are to a higher division clerkship. It is the cler
familiar, in wide circles, to high and low, of ical establishments of the civil service which
men who have proved themselves capable adhave alone received attention in the foregoing sing the capacity of a Cromer or of a Kitch
ministrators of the highest order; men, posseslegislation. Obviously, it is on the complete success of
ener, in whose education instruction in science
also occupied a very prominent place; men the competitive examination scheme in force
whose early years were, too, spent in technical that the welfare of the civil service, and,
spheres. therefore, the protection of the public interest,
The opinion has been gaining ground for must depend. It is here that a serious failure
some time past that the administrative system has occurred; the open competitive scheme has
of government departments is unsatisfactory. not been an entire success; it has been pro
The extracts from the reports of the Exchequer ductive of a very unfortunate result. The sys
and Audit Department published from time to tem of marking adopted in the examination
time, wherein publicity is given to the defects favored candidates whose education consisted in the administrative arrangements in conlargely in the learning of ancient Greece and
nection with the public services, have provided, Rome, and handicapped those whose forte was in relation to such matters, authentic evidence science.
tending to confirm, in the public mind, the unFurthermore, in practically every case the favorable opinions that prevail so widely as to officials who have in recent years received the unbusinesslike methods of the civil service “ patronage” appointments in the higher divi and the general lack of capacity shown by a sion of the civil service are men whose educa large majority of its members. Other authention and training have been identical in char tic evidence is available—some recorded, some acter with those of civil servants entering the not; some public property, some not—which service by open competition. In consequence, provides an indication that scientific knowlat the present day the highest administrative edge and technical experience are held in disposts in nearly every department are monop repute in many, happily not in all, government
departments; and, further, that the professional the flowers of others were strongly fragrant. opinions of technical officers too frequently One with pale pink flowers, which may be are not given the due weight which they de called plant A, was especially pleasing in this
Science has done much for the civil respect. In showing it to my assistant, Mr. service; it has not, in return, received the B. T. Avery, Jr., I remarked that it should be recognition which it merits.—Nature.
called an arbutus verbena since the flowers re
sembled the arbutus in both color and odor. SCIENTIFIC BOOKS
To my surprise he failed to find any fragrance
at all in the flowers of this plant. Moreover, The Physical Chemistry of the Proteins. By T.
when he arranged the pedigree according to BRAILSFORD ROBERTSON. New York, Long
the strength of fragrance which they gave to mans, Green and Co. Pp. 483. $5.00.
him it was roughly in the reverse order from The limiting adjective "physical” might be
that in which I should have arranged them. omitted from the title of Robertson's new edi
The most fragrant of all to him was a redtion, so completely does it cover the field of
flowered plant the flowers of which to me were protein chemistry. Part I., including the first absolutely without fragrance. This for conthird of the book, is devoted to the chemical
venience we may call plant B. The flowers constitution of the proteins, their preparation,
of plant B then were fragrant to him but not methods of estimation, and the various types
to me while those of plant A were fragrant to of compounds which they form with each other
me but not to him. Each of us agreed that and with acids, bases, salts, heavy metals, etc.
the other's favorite had a very slight odor that Part II. is devoted to the electro-chemistry of
could be best described as a leafy or plant odor the proteins; Part III. to their physical prop
which apparently was the same as that of the erties, such as gelatinization, swelling, coagu
foliage. Moreover, he described the fragrance lation, viscosity and surface tension, not in
from plant B as of a spicy nature resembling cluded under Part II.; and Part IV. to the
that from a carnation flower to which I am not hydrolytic and synthetic actions of enzymes
insensible, while the fragrance of plant A on proteins. Throughout the work statements
seemed to me to closely resemble that of and discussions are placed on a quantitative
arbutus, with which he is also familiar. It basis by the use of mathematical treatment
did no seem to be the case that we both perwherever data sufficiently complete and accu
ceived the same odors but, having different rate to justify it are available. Biological applications are kept continually in view. De
preferences, dignified the one which we liked
with the term fragrant. Rather the facts inspite the fact that he covers so wide a field and
dicated that he was insensible to the odors in thoroughly reviews the literature, the author
the flowers of A while I was insensible to odors seldom fails to augment the interest of his
in those of B. We repeated the tests many material by presenting it from a view-point
times under various conditions with the same developed from his own experimental and in
results. He never was able to perceive any tellectual researches. DONALD D. VAN SLYKE
fragrance from A while, except upon a few occasions when I detected a slight odor such as
he had described, I was unable to find any SPECIAL ARTICLES
fragrance in his favorite. UNLIKE REACTION OF DIFFERENT INDIVID.
In addition to ourselves, others in the comUALS TO FRAGRANCE IN VERBENA FLOWERS
munity were tested for their reaction to fraIn classifying the floral colors in a certain grance in our plants A and B. The later tests pedigree of verbenas, the writer noticed a con were made in October. Due perhaps to the siderable difference in the amount of fragrance lateness of the season or to other conditions, evident in their flowers. Some plants ap the few remaining flower clusters then propeared to have flowers devoid of odor while duced by plant A were not always fragrant.
In making the tests, an A flower cluster that tion of odors. The condition suggests colorwas fragrant to me was used in contrast with blindness, but those who are color-blind react a B flower cluster that was adjudged fragrant to both of two colors when they are unable to by Mr. Avery or by one who had been found to distinguish between them. About two thirds react to it in the same manner in which he did. of the individuals tested with the verbena The person to be tested was asked to decide flowers were “blind" to odors in the flowers of which of the two was the more fragrant. plant B while perceiving odors in A. On the There was an amusing uniformity in the man other hand, about one third were “blind" to ner of response. The subject would generally odors in A while perceiving odors in B. It is say he feared he was not smelling well that as if my black looked white and my white, day, would then blow his nose and almost black to Mr. Avery and his group; while from at once pick out either A or B and wonder his viewpoint, I and the group that agreed how any one could think the other fragrant. with me were equally distorted in our vision. When questioned as to fragrance in the It is well known that people differ considerflowers that were not preferred, he would ably in their ability to hear tones of higher generally say they were not fragrant but musical pitch. Many can not hear the notes had a slight odor variously described as being of the cricket. Other insects produce sound a plant odor or an odor like a dead leaf. vibrations of so high a pitch that they are
The pleasure obtained from odors is often inaudible to any human ear, though perceived closely bound up with other associated percep by related insects. The peculiarity in the pertions. For this reason, in some cases the in ception of the verbena fragrance might redividuals tested were asked to smell the flowers semble the individual peculiarities in the with their eyes closed. Color associations were powers of hearing if it were true that a large shown to have no controlling influence in the group of people could hear the extremely high reaction. In some instances the tests were re musical notes and not the lowest tones while peated but without affecting the results.
another group could hear the lowest and not Of the men, 17 preferred the flowers of A
the highest. while 9 preferred those of B-a ratio of 2 to 1.
The acts brought out in the foregoing disOf the women, 9 preferred A while 4 preferred
cussion furnish an added example of the diffiB. In general the results were clear-cut and
culty in classifying characters studied in inthe individuals tested found fragrance in one
heritance. A group of different individuals in of the two flowers and not in the other. A
investigating fragrance in our pedigree of verfew, however, found a slight fragrance in the
benas would be classifying their own olfactory flowers that they did not prefer and two women
perceptions as well as the actual odors in the found fragrance in both and could not decide
flowers. It is well for us to recognize the between them.
limitations of the personal equation. DiscrepFlowers from the two plants were exhibited at a staff meeting of the Carnegie Station and
ancies in conclusions reached by different inwere repeatedly smelled by the seven members
vestigators may not be due to any fault in present. Five found fragrance in A and not in
logical reasoning or to lack of intellectual honB and two showed a reversed reaction.
esty. Their diverse conclusions may be inIt is a trite proverb that in matters of taste
evitable, given only differences in their sensory there can be no argument. The assumption is
reactions and in their mental experience. that though we differ in our preferences, our
A. F. BLAKESLEE perceptions are essentially the same. In the CARNEGIE STATION FOR EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION case of the verbena flowers under discussion, however, it has been shown that preferences of
THE WHITE-SPOT DISEASE OF ALFALFA different individuals in regard to fragrance are For a number of years the writer has obbased upon radical differences in their percep served the white-spot disease of alfalfa, par
ticularly in the middle-western, intermountain plants have started to grow. Recently, howand Pacific Coast states. Usually this disease ever, Crabill indicates (letter of April 17, is not considered serious by alfalfa growers, 1918) that he did not always find a crown rot but in many instances the writer has noted of the affected plants and he thinks that crown that the disease may be more or less disastrous rot may, therefore, be only a circumstance and, and may produce a very decided loss in yield. after all, not the true cause. During the last few years particular attention In carrying out some experiments on the has been paid to this disease because of its treatment of soils with various water-soluble very great prevalence in the intermountain substances, the writer, to his surprise, found states. In the Salt Lake Valley, Utah, this that white spot suddenly appeared in a large disease has been considered by many of the number of the treated plots. Each plot covers farmers as being due entirely to the smoke an area of 25 square feet, composed of fifty from the smelters. However, the writer has plants from two to three years old. The plants found it to be quite as serious in districts far have been very carefully cultivated with a hoe removed from the Salt Lake Valley where soil and the crowns have never been injured in and climatic conditions are the same. Because any way. In general the white spot appeared of the importance of the disease the writer has within sixty to seventy hours after the soil had made some studies of which a preliminary re- been treated. In no case did a single speciport is given below.
men of white spot appear in the check plots. Reference to the literature indicates that Furthermore, white spot did not appear in any very little has been done to determine the real of the plots where the total water-soluble subcause of the disease. The earliest reference stance applied was below a certain amount. to the disease is that by Stewart, French and Further experiments indicated that the “soi] Wilson. These authors indicate that they be- solution ” alone would not produce white spot, lieve this disease to be due to a physiological but that the factors of soil temperature, atdisorder of some kind. The next references mospheric temperature, relative humidity of are by Reed & Crabilla and by Clinton. The the atmosphere and light are important. In most recent reference is by Crabill,4 who be- other words, it requires a certain coincidence lieves that white spot is due to the wounding of these various factors at what we shall term of the tissue of the crowns of the plants. His the optimum before an effect was produced experiments indicate that by cutting away a upon the plants such as would cause white portion of the tissues the typical white spot spot to appear. was produced. The occurrence in nature, he It may be stated here that the experimental believes, is due to the fact that the injury to plants are growing in a sandy-loam soil and at the plants is produced in the late fall or no time previous to the experiment had white winter because of the fact that he has only ob- spot appeared. served the disease in the early spring. The The work has progressed to the point where wounding of the plants in cultivation, he be- the writer believes that the osmotic pressure of lieves permits the entrance of certain fungi the soil solution is one of the important factors which tend to rot the crowns and later the in the production of white spot, not only under roots. Such plants, he has found, will show experimental conditions but under field conwhite spot in the early spring, shortly after the ditions as well. With conditions for trans
1 “Troubles of Alfalfa in New York,” by F. C. piration at the optimum, lessening or preventStewart, G. T. French and J. K. Wilson, Bulletin
ing endosmose, by reason of a soil solution No. 305, November, 1908, New York Agricultural
having a higher osmotic effect upon the cells of Experiment Station, Geneva, N. Y. 2 Va. Station Technical Bulletin, 2, 39, 1915.
the transpiring organs. The degree of injury 8 Conn. Sta. Report, Report of the Station Bo
produced will depend upon the factors enutanist, 1915, 425.
merated above, together with the time factor 4 Phytopathology, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1916, pp. 91. which is all important. If these factors are