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A medal, presented to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales by the American Numismatic Society on the occasion of the Prince's recent visit to the United States
The medal was presented to the Prince in a case made of the wood of an elm which his grandfather, King Edward VII, at that time Prince of Wales, planted in Central Park, New York City, in 1860. A limb from this tree is on exhibition in Memorial Hall at the American Museum, through the courtesy of the New York Scenic and Historic Preservation Society and the Commissioner of Parks. The tree has grown to a height of 62 feet and at the time of its planting Central Park was only partly developed, and the whole region west of the park was "in the country." There were only a few houses and Manhattan Square, now occupied by the American Museum of Natural History, was still in its natural wild state, containing a small lake which contributed its waters to the lake in Central Park
DR. GEORGE ELLERY HALE, director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, and, during the war, chairman of the National Research Council, now holds the honor of being foreign associate of the Paris Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hale was elected honorary chairman in perpetuity of the National Research Council after his resignation as chairman, in recognition of his services during the war.
DR. CHARLES D. WALCOTT, geologist, and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has been elected foreign associate of the Paris Academy of Sciences to fill the vacancy left by the death of Dr. Élie Metchnikoff. Foreign associates are limited to twelve. This distinction has been previously held by five Americans, Benjamin Franklin, Count Rumford, Louis Agassiz, Simon Newcomb, and Alexander Agassiz.
A SUITABLE tablet has been erected on the grave at Philadelphia of Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, botanist and zoologist. The grave had previously been unmarked. Rafinesque, born in Turkey, of French and German parentage, made his first trip to the United States in 1802 to collect botanical specimens in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He settled permanently in this country in 1815. Shortly after his emigration he occupied the chair of botany in Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. Rafinesque wrote extensively in English, French, and Italian on his special researches.
A DEPARTURE in government recognition of science was evidenced in the appointment of Professor C. E. Mendenhall, of the chair of physics in the University of Wisconsin, as scientific attaché to the United States Embassy in London. The appointment, however, was a war measure only and has since lapsed.
THE proposal has come from various high scientific quarters to convert Heligoland into a bird sanctuary. The island is only a little rock of about one fourth of a square mile in extent, lying in the North Sea forty miles northwest of the mouth of the Elbe River. Although no birds regularly nest there except the English sparrow, it is a resting
place for myriads of feathered travelers during the two annual migrations. As the island has been retained by Germany, however, with only the stipulation that the fortress be reduced, it will remain with that government to make this island, one of the greatest bird migration observatories of the world, a pro
AT Pilawin, southeastern Russia, the great game preserve of Count Potocki, one of the very few preserves in Russia, has been completely destroyed by the Bolsheviki, according to a letter from M. Pierre AmédéePichot of the French National Society of Acclimatation, printed in the Zoological Society Bulletin, New York. "Hundreds of deer, wapiti, European bison, and animals of all sorts were kept in 7000 acres of enclosed forest, which was part of a great tract of 30,000 acres. The place was invaded by 2000 Bolshevik Red Guards, who shot every animal, and left the carcasses to rot on the ground. The palace, its furniture, and collections were destroyed, and the servants and keepers of the game were tortured to death."
DESTRUCTION of the herd of elephants in the Addo Bush Forest Reserve (South Africa) was authorized by the provincial council of the Cape of Good Hope in the summer of 1919. This herd of from 100 to 200 animals was the last remnant of a variety (Elephas africanus capensis) which once ranged over the whole of southern Africa. The variety is characterized by a strongly arched forehead and enormous ears recorded as 4 ft. 5 in. x 4 ft. for a female 8 feet high (in the British Museum). The preserve at Addo Bush near Port Elizabeth has been opened up to agriculture by irrigation projects and the elephants naturally assumed that the improvements were for their benefit and acted accordingly. To confine the elephants would have required a thirteen-mile fence, costing at least £20,000, and in addition it would have been necessary to provide a water supply for them. All this makes it appear that African elephants are likely to fare worse than our American bison before the onrush of civilized man because they are so difficult to hold and care for in captivity.
THE Yucca House National Monument in the foothills of Sleeping Ute Mountains just
west of Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, has been established by a proclamation of President Wilson. This monument contains the ruins of what was once an extensive Indian village. Mr. Henry Van Kleeck, of Denver, donated to the Federal Government the ten acres on which the ruins stand.
DR. CLARK WISSLER, curator of anthropology in the American Museum, has been elected chairman of the Section of Anthropology and Psychology of the National Research Council.
SIR E. RAY LANKESTER, the distinguished British zoologist, has just completed fifty years' editorship of the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science.
THE National Academy of Sciences, Washington, has awarded a gold medal to Dr. A. Fowler, professor of astrophysics in the Royal College of Science and secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, London, in recognition of his researches in astronomy.
MR. WILLIAM HENRY FOX, director of the Brooklyn Museum, of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, New York City, has been named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French Government.
International Control of Minerals is the subject of a pamphlet by C. K. Leith, professor of geology in the University of Wisconsin, issued by the United States Geological Survey. His purpose is, apparently, to state the problem in its various phases rather than to argue for or against it, and to put emphasis on the imperative need for study of the world mineral situation. The joint organization and systematic distribution of the mineral output of the world, brought about under pressure of war, has illustrated the possibility of international control. There are several fundamental facts in reference to the world's mineral supply which make it a matter of international concern: (1) About one third of the mineral output moves between nations; (2) In most instances it moves along a few restricted routes to a few centers, for instance, manganese is exported from three sources to four or five consuming centers; (3) No country is entirely self-supporting, for example, the United States lacks almost entirely nickel, platinum, and tin, and imports a large part
of its aluminum, chrome, magnesium, and potash. Free trade in the metals instead of giving unrestricted opportunity has rather concentrated the materials in a few hands, a fact which at times hinders both national and industrial developments in other countries or localities. The question has accordingly arisen as to "the extent to which national interests can and will be subordinated to international interest" and the centralized control of the war maintained. There seems to be official sanction in Great Britain and France for such a control, the aim of which will be to insure an equitable distribution of the minerals of which there may be a world shortage, an adjustment of ship space, and an equality in the use of basic raw materials. An important aspect of the control would also be the part it might possibly play in the maintenance of peace.
THE International Research Council was opened at Brussels, July 18, 1919, in the presence of King Albert, by M. Harmignie, minister of science and arts, who welcomed the members to Belgium. Statutes for the Council were agreed upon and its objects outlined, according to Science, as follows:
"(a) To coördinate international efforts in the different branches of science and its applications.
(b) To initiate the formation of international associations or unions deemed to be useful to the progress of science.
(c) To direct international scientific action in subjects which do not fall within the province of any existing association.
(d) To enter, through the proper channels, into relations with the governments of the countries adhering to the council to recommend the study of questions falling within the competence of the council.”
Brussels will be the legal domicile of the Council where it will hold triennial meetings, but the special associations affiliated therewith will probably maintain the custom of meeting successively in different countries. Between the triennial meetings the work of the Council is intrusted to an executive committee of five, consisting for the present of Professor E. Picard (France), Dr. A. Schuster (England), Dr. G. E. Hale (United States), M. Volterra (Italy), and M. Lecointe (Belgium). The general secretariat will be established at Burlington House, London, where the Royal Society has set aside a room for its use. All of the nations which remained neutral during the war were unanimously invited to affiliate with the Council.
DR. W. W. CAMPBELL, director of the Lick Observatory, headed the American delegation to the meeting of the International Research Council at Brussels. This delegation included representatives from the National Academy of Sciences, the American Astrophysical Society, the American Mathematical Society, the American Physical Society, the Naval Observatory, and the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. As a result of the Brussels meeting two subsidiary societies came into existence, the International Astronomical and the International Geophysical unions. The American Section of the Geophysical Union was organized under the Division of Physical Sciences of the National Research Council and, as approved by this Division, will include geodesy, seismology and volcanology, meteorology and aërology, earth and ocean tides and mareology, and terrestrial magnetism. Mr. William Bowie, chief of the division of geodesy of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, was appointed acting chairman of the American Section.
PROGRESS in Negro education is reviewed in a recent Bulletin of the United States Department of the Interior by Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, of the Bureau of Education of that department. Because of the exodus of Negro labor from the South the legislatures of southern states have taken a more active hand in this question, and Texas has even appointed a state supervisor of rural Negro schools. The great illiteracy of the southern Negroes was called to public attention by the examinations of Negro recruits in the late draft. Short terms (frequently only a few weeks), poor schoolhouses, and low salaries for teachers, however, will demand correction in many localities before the deplorable state of affairs can be ameliorated to any notable extent.
MEDICINE as a determining factor in war was discussed by Dr. Alexander Lambert in his presidential address before the 1919 meeting of the American Medical Association. The death rate in the Civil War of killed in action or died of wounds was 33 per thousand and of death by disease 65 per thousand. The American Expeditionary Force lost from wounds in action 31 per thousand and from disease only 11 per thousand. Malaria, which was the great scourge of the Civil
War, has become almost negligible, while typhoid, which caused so many deaths in the Spanish American War and 22 per cent of the deaths in the Civil War, was chargeable with only 0.4 per cent of deaths in the World War. Pneumonia was the most dreaded disease of the recent war and to it are ascribed 85 per cent of all deaths from disease. The pneumonia, however, was part of a world-wide epidemic and beyond control. Dr. Lambert points out that, if the Medical Department is to increase its usefulness, it requires representatives on the General Staff, for authority must be united with responsibility. An example of what lack of authority entails is found in the case of meningitis which caused 4 per cent of deaths as opposed to 2 per cent in other wars. The increased morbidity and fatality were owing in this case, Dr. Lambert says, to overcrowding and bad ventilation of barracks, factors outside the control of the Medical Department.
THE fact that 34.19 per cent of the late draft in the United States was rejected from military service on the basis of physical inferiority raises serious questions in the field of public hygiene. Dr. J. Howard Beard, of the University of Illinois, analyzes in the Scientific Monthly the principal causes of rejection with a view to their preventability. All in all, the draft demonstrated that, if the country is to conserve its human lives as well as its other natural resources, it must turn its collective attention to adequate medical care and instruction in the schools. And, further, parents must be educated to save themselves expense by paying the family doctor a small sum to prevent, rather than a large sum to cure, illness in their children.
THE decoration of Commander of the Order of the Crown of Belgium was presented to President Henry Fairfield Osborn on November 20 by Colonel Osterrieth, chief of the Belgian Military Mission to the United States, representing the King of Belgium. Two volumes of the scientific researches made as a result of the Congo Expedition of the American Museum have been sent to King Albert, inscribed with the following legend:
"In grateful appreciation of the generous cooperation of the Belgian Government in
promoting this scientific research, the contributions in these two volumes representing the reports of the Belgian Congo Expedition so far as published, have been assembled for presentation to his Majesty, the King of Belgium, by the President and Trustees of the American Museum of Natural History on the occasion of his visit to America."
THE collection of big game trophies made by the late Captain F. C. Selous, D.S.O., who was killed in action during the British campaign in East Africa, has been presented by Mrs. Selous to the British Museum (Natural History). Captain Selous hunted during a period of forty years in Africa, Canada, Newfoundland, the southern Carpathians, and Asia Minor, and it is said that the collection is one of the largest ever brought together.
AN expedition to Africa under Mr. Edmund Heller sailed from New York on July 15 for Capetown whence it will proceed to Victoria Falls, from there entering the Belgian Congo and traveling eastward to Lake Tanganyika. Mr. H. C. Raven has been delegated by the Smithsonian Institution its representative on the expedition.
AN expedition to discover the sources of the Wahi Shebeli River which flows from Abyssinia through Italian Somaliland, left Naples during October. It was under the leadership of Prince Luigi, Duke of the Abruzzi, who was commander in chief of the Italian navy during the war, and has held both farthest north and highest altitude records, the one made in an attempt to reach the North Pole from Franz Josef Land, the other by an ascent of Mt. Austin, India, to a height of 24,000 feet. On a previous expedi tion to equatorial Africa he scaled Mt. Ruwenzori, altitude 16,801 feet.
THE British Imperial Antarctic Expedition under Mr. John L. Cope plans to leave New Zealand in July on the ship "Terra Nova." In announcing his expedition Mr. Cope says that it will aim to ascertain the position and extent of mineral deposits in Antarctica, to locate any waters abounding in whales, to investigate the meteorological and magnetic condition in the Ross Sea area and at Cape Ann, and to circumnavigate the Antarctic Continent.
THE death is announced of Herbert Ward, British sculptor, traveler, and author. Mr. Ward early went to Africa and was one of the survivors of Stanley's Emin Pasha Relief Expedition in 1888. He later turned to sculpture and exhibited in Paris many notable bronzes of African natives, some of which are now in the Luxembourg. As sculptor he received the decoration of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. In 1916 Mr. Ward lectured in the United States for the benefit of the work of the American War Relief. Among his books are Five Years with the Congo Cannibals (1890), My Life with Stanley's Rear Guard (1891), and A Voice from the Congo (1910).
THE creation of a Mexican government bureau of archæology and ethnology has been announced by the Secretaría de Agricultura y Fomento. The bureau will carry on scientific investigations of the Mexican aboriginal cultures on the basis of a regional survey of the country.
THE erection of signposts, indicating distance and direction of watering places, through the deserts of southern California and Arizona under the direction of the United States Geological Survey has progressed rapidly. The water supply of the region is of strategic importance because it includes about 350 miles of the Mexican frontier. All the watering places of the region have been examined and 635 signs erected. All maps and data have been turned over to the United States Army for incorporation in the progressive military map of the United States. The work will ultimately be extended to all the western arid lands.
A COMPREHENSIVE outdoor course in biology was successfully conducted last summer by the department of zoölogy of Oberlin College under Professor Lynds Jones. Students of ecology were taken on an automobile trip to the Pacific Coast of Washington, including in their route the Yellowstone Park and part of the Columbia River. In the summer of 1920 the department expects to conduct a similar trip through Colorado to the Yosemite Park, California.
A MUSEUM of natural history has been founded in Yellowstone National Park by the Department of the Interior. Such