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British chemists have now a clearing house for their ideas and discoveries, whilst the Government knows that it has the expert chemical advice of the country at its immediate disposal.

It is not going too far to say that practically without exception the services of the scientific laboratories of the universities, university colleges, and technical colleges have been offered to the Government. Very many-perhaps all of these laboratories have done, and are doing, important public work relating to the war and the industries of the country. In this connection the Royal Society War Committee has done good work in organising special chemical work of an urgent character in the above-mentioned laboratories, and in obtaining from them competent young men to assist in the carrying on of the special chemical manufactures required at the present time.

The Institute of Chemistry has done excellent work in various directions. Particularly deserving of mention is the splendid public work done by the Glass Research Committee. The important scientific results obtained by this Committee have been made public (see NATURE, April 15, p. 192), and are therefore at the disposal of every manufacturer.

There is not a scientific society, scientific laboratory, or scientific man in the country that is not anxious and willing to help. Much good work has been already done. But there is undoubtedly a feeling that with better organisation and knowledge a vastly greater amount could be done. Speaking in the House of Lords on Friday last, Viscount Bryce urged that

Every possible effort should be made to utilise the services of scientific men. They all knew to how great an extent the German Government had turned the services of scientific men and establishments for investigation and research to account for military purposes. We possessed in this country a body of scientific men not, indeed, so numerous, but fully equal in competence and fully equal, he need hardly, say, in earnestness and zeal to serve their country. He understood that there had been during the past months a certain amount of regret among scientific men that they had not heard from the Government how they could help. Any efforts which the Government made to give them a chance of coming in, and enabling them to turn their scientific knowledge, whether in chemistry or engineering, to the common purpose we all had at heart would, he was certain, be welcomed by them. The universities, in which there were so many scientific men, would gladly drop all their work in order to assist.

It is to be hoped that these wise words will be taken well to heart.

Science is standing Germany in good stead at present. It is known that the Badische Works, employing the process initiated by the scientific researches of Prof. Haber, had arranged for an enormous output of synthetic ammonia during the present year. About twelve years ago Prof. Ostwald, foreseeing (as he has himself publicly stated) a nitric acid famine in Germany during a period of war, investigated the conditions for the economical oxidation of ammonia to nitric acid. This process has been worked for several years at

a factory near Vilvorde in Belgium. It is rumoured that Prof. Haber and the Badische Works have greatly improved the process, and that in conjunction with the synthetic ammonia process it now provides a large part of the nitric acid required by Germany for the manufacture of her explosives. Ohne Phosphor kein Gedanke said the materialist once upon a time. So might he now say, "No nitric acid, no war." Interesting notices have appeared from time to time in the Chemiker Zeitung relating to the activity of organised German science during the past twelve months. A new industry of zinc extraction has been developed, and it is reported that means have been found to replace the French bauxite required for the production of aluminium.

The shortage of copper has been discounted by the use of special alloys. It is also stated that processes have been developed for the manufacture of gasoline and lamp oil. Alcohol is being largely used in internal combustion engines.

We may feel sure that not only the universities and technical high schools, but also the splendid special laboratories of the Kaiser Wilhelm Forschungsgesellschaft are working at high pressure in the service of their State.

It is necessary-urgently necessary-that we should do as much, if not more. Let Britain call, British science is ready. It is straining at the leash. All that is wanted on the part of our leaders are imagination and sympathy. A little more of these, and the good that has been done can be magnified a thousandfold.



MR. ROOSEVELT'S second book dealing

with his East African experiences will probably be more valued by naturalists than his first, though some portions of it may leave the naturalist cold where they excite to frenzy the man of primitive instincts, who still thinks

Cet animal est très méchant, Quand on l'attaque il se défend. To the mammalogist Homo sapiens, even in his Caucasic variety and English or Anglo-American race, is not more interesting than Felis leo or Loxodon africanus; and he is just as shocked and pained at the death agonies of the latter as of the sportsman who fails to kill dead at the first shot and is afterwards eaten up or trampled under foot. In fact, I for one, when I read in

a newspaper some ten years ago that a German hunter who had frequently evaded my inquiries in East Africa as to big-game regulations and had at last-thank goodness!-been killed by a rhinoceros after having needlessly slain about seventy-three rhinoceroses for no purpose whatever but sheer love of killing, could not resist an expression of delight.

1 "Life-Histories of African Game Animals." By Theodore Roosevelt and E. Heller. Vol. i., pp. xxviii+420. Vol. ii., pp. x+421-798. (London. John Murray, 1915.) Price 425. net. Two vols.

However, the whole purport of Mr. Roosevelt's expedition, which for the most part has received unqualified approval on the part of serious-minded naturalists, was to enrich science with necessary specimens of beasts and birds for American and British museums, and above all to study the life habits of all interesting creatures in East Africa. There was no indiscriminate slaughter and good use was made of everything killed.

All persons who are worth anything in intellectual valuation have their special tic, some detail or some subject about which they worry unnecessarily, and in regard to which they would unhesitatingly send to the stake all who differed from them. The subject over which Mr. Roosevelt frets-I think unduly-is the coloration of mammals perhaps also that of birds, reptiles, insects. He is angered by the extremes to which

lead to the betterment of the species or the wellbeing of the individual. Just as the summum bonum of daily fare on British steamers used to be governed by the steward's ideal of what he liked best in his humble home at Liverpool or Southampton, so the markings and outward aspect of this and that species of mammal, bird, and insect in some cases evince nothing of "divine" foreknowledge in the pattern, but seem rather to be the expression of some low, and possibly stupid, "intelligence": an ideal formed in the continuous mind of the species which passes on from individual to individual. Yet in most cases this ideal in colour and markings has unquestionably served a purpose, if a base one.

Wild creatures are far less conspicuous-unless they desire to advertise themselves-in natural habitat than are the domestic animals of



Roosevelt Sable: adult male. From Shimba Hills, British East Africa. From "Life-Histories of African Game Animals."

the theory of protective or assimilative coloration has been carried by some writers who have probably wrenched facts to suit far-fetched conclusions; and seemingly he would go to the opposite pole and, apart from the flagrant cases which no one denies of bold advertisement coloration-would almost refuse to admit that there is any purpose in coloration at all.

Those who have seen much of beasts, birds, and insects in the tropics or in the wild regions of the temperate zone still adhere to the general theory that the coloration of living things has been gradually developed to serve a purpose useful in the main for the preservation and prosperity of the species. Yet the direction of this mental reflex on corporeal matter by no means seems allwise from the point of view of the human critic. It does not as Mr. Roosevelt points out-always

man's creation and protection. I remember once on the borders of Ovampoland, when I was comparatively new to Tropical Africa, gazing from a hillock over a vast swampy plain to see if there was any big game to be shot. My eye at once noted the great herds of native cattle- -red, brown, black, black and white-distinguishable from their surroundings with the utmost ease. I decided there was no game in sight, but my native guides pointed excitedly in another direction. At first I could detach nothing from the shrubs, the anthills, the sedges, and the thorns, until at length, by the mere fact that they moved, I made out the forms of buffaloes and antelopes. The creatures the mind action of which was subordinated to ours, and which cared nothing for concealment, were at once visible to the eye, detached from their surroundings, and there, as elsewhere, an

easy prey to the Carnivora. But the wild fauna of the country was most difficult to detect by the eye; and other facts which have come to my notice have shown me that many of the great Herbivora actually escape notice by lions, leopards, chitas, hunting-dogs, and so forth, unless the wind turns against them and their presence is detected by a sense of smell. However, I do not wish to cross lances with Mr. Roosevelt, whose own theories in the main tally with the facts, but who always seems to me to get unnecessarily contentious about what he has in indirect ways himself to admit that there is a purpose, even if it be at times a paltry one, running

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through the coloration of all the living creatures of this planet.

I, too, have my tic: and that is the classification, the phylogeny, of the Bovidæ. Probably it is Mr. Heller with whom I am about to fall out, and not Mr. Roosevelt. But one or other has introduced into the work under review theories and diagrams as to the descent and interrelationships of the antelopes and other bovids which are not only a perpetuation of nineteenth-century errors and misconceptions, but do not square with the facts of the comparative anatomy of the bovids, as set forth even as far back as the early 'eighties by the late Prof. A. H. Garrod; and in a very lucid and remarkable manner in our own day by Mr. R. I. Pocock, of the Zoological Society,



well as by the authorities of the British Museum (including the late Mr. Lydekker). do they agree with what may be deduced from the most recent palæontological discoveries in Europe and North America.

In Mr. Roosevelt's book sufficient emphasis is not laid on the marked distinction existing between the tragelaphs and the antelopes. The mistakes in classification, which have travelled so far from Sclater and Thomas's otherwise admirable book of antelopes, have infected the ideas of either Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. Heller. These ideas include an unnatural isolation of the hartebeests and gnus, a misconception of the position of the oryx sub-family, and of the relations in general between the true antelopes with annulated horns, the goats, sheep, and capricorns (likewise with annulated horns where they retain primitive. features), the oxen (with a trace of annulation on the horns of the most primitive types of Congo buffalo and anoa), and the tragelaphs (eland, bongo, kudu, bushbuck, and nilghai) without annulations.

This last sub-family has a few more primitive features in its skeleton and anatomy than the other divisions of the Bovidæ, though the ancestors of the oxen may have been not unlike the nilghai in appearance and anatomy, and in some way link the ancestral tragelaphs with the other groups. Notable among these "primitive features are the ancient ungulate white spots and stripes, prevalent in some perissodactyls, in swine, tragelids, deer, tragelaphines, and Asiatic buffaloes; but absent from antelopes, sheep, and goats. Probably the most primitive of the existing tragelaphs is the four-horned antelope of India. Its existence there, and that of the nilghai, conveys an idea that the tragelaphines originated in Asia, spreading thence to Southeastern Europe and Africa, on the one hand, and even to North America on the other. Amongst the true antelopes themselves, the duykers and neotragines are obviously the most primitive of existing forms, and apparently first developed from the basal stock of the bovids in France or Southern Europe. From them arose the gazelles, or gazelle-like forms, which have "proliferated" in course of time into pallas, topis (Damaliscus). hartebeests, and gnus. The pallas pallas have specialised in some points, such as reduction of the mammæ, but they are very suggestive in others of the vanished link between gazelles and hartebeests. The neotragines, possibly, were ancestral to the Cobus group; and the primitive Cobine stock seems to have given birth to the remarkable orygine sub-family (addax, hippotragus, and oryx).

Mr. Roosevelt's book throws a good deal of light on the problem of the origin and descent of the Bovidæ, even though his or Mr. Heller's theories are not in all points acceptable-at any rate to this reviewer of his book.

The book is most effectively illustrated by photographs, drawings, maps, and diagrams. H. H. JOHNSTON.



HE Board of Scientific Advice for India was


established in 1903. When first created it was composed exclusively of, and still includes, the officers for the time being in administrative charge of the various scientific departments of the Government of India. The object primarily in view was to enable the heads of these departments to meet at stated intervals for the purpose of considering the programmes of work proposed to be undertaken by each during a coming season. The number of problems awaiting attention in so vast an area as our Indian Dependency has always been greater than the staffs of the combined scientific departments can ever hope to deal with at any one time. The avoidance of wasted effort is, therefore, in India more urgently essential even than at home. The degree to which interest attaches to problems that lie on the borderline where the activities of cognate departments meet is just as great in India as elsewhere. Questions relating to the soil are of paramount importance in a land in which agriculture is the fundamental industry; such questions often affect the officers of the Geological Survey as much as they do those of the Department of Agriculture. Questions relating to the constituents of an indigenous flora are often only second in importance to those concerning cultivated plants; such questions may be of equal interest to the Botanical Survey and the Forest Service. Yet other questions may be of interest to the zoologist on the one hand, to the veterinary officer, the forester, or the agriculturist on the other.

The high traditions of all branches of the public service in India are of long standing, and to the self-effacement which is so characteristic of her officers has been united a singular absence of jealous rivalry and a peculiar readiness to render mutual aid. Instances of the simultaneous and conscious undertaking by two departments of the investigation of the same problem have therefore been in India remarkably rare. This being the case, the establishment of a Board of Scientific Advice, with as one of its main objects the automatic elimination of overlapping of work, was perhaps less essential than the institution of such a body might be in certain other countries. Still, if in this respect the functions of the Indian Board have scarcely had to be exercised, the existence of such a body remains a desirable precaution, while since the Board was constituted it has proved advantageous by bringing about what it was in a manner constituted to prevent. For when some border-line problem now suggests itself for study to some one department, other departments are in a position to consider, at the outset, its bearing on their own work and interests. Two departments are now sometimes able to deal with one problem, and by simultaneous attack along different lines to secure results which neither de1 Annual Report of the Board of Scientific Advice for India for the Year 1913-14. Pp. 175. (Calcutta: Superintendent Government Printing, India, 1915.) Price is. 4d.

partment, working alone, might hope to attain in double the time. In connection with this aspect of its activities the Board has, to the public advantage, been strengthened by the addition of scientific men who are not necessarily at the head of Government departments.

Since its inception, this Indian Board has taken into consideration, along with programmes of future work, the progress of inquiries actually in hand and the results of investigations which have been concluded. Such inquiries are made the subject of an annual report. This report by the Board, it should be understood, is not to be taken as a substitute for or even as a resumé of the annual reports of the different scientific departments represented thereon. Those who desire to make themselves acquainted with the operations of the Surveyor-General, the Meteorological Reporter, the Inspectors-General of Forestry or of Agriculture, the Directors of the Geological or the Botanical Surveys, must study the official reports issued by these various officers. But the reader who has no such special object in view, yet wishes to form some estimate of the extent to which scientific studies are being systematically prosecuted and scientific results are being economically applied in India, will find in the Report of the Board of Scientific Advice succinct accounts by authorised and competent officers of these scientific activities during a given year.

The report of the Board for 1913-14, which lies before us, testifies to the variety of these activities and to the attention bestowed on investigation and research in India. Among the more generally interesting items in this particular report are an account by Mr. G. T. Walker of the equipment of the Solar Physics Laboratory at Kodaikanal; a note by Mr. H. H. Hayden on the materials available for the construction of Imperial Delhi; a report by Mr. R. C. Burton on the quantity of pitchblende available in the Singar mica mines; the record by Lieut.-Colonel G. P. Lenox-Conyngham of the completion of the Indian portion of the connection between the triangulations of Russia and India; and the more hopeful prospects with regard to the cultivation of the African plant known as Java Indigo, reported in a note by Mr. A. Howard of the Pusa Institute. But the whole report repays perusal, while one of its most useful features is the list of publications which accompanies each of its sections.


IT is officially announced that Admiral of the Fleet 'Lord Fisher of Kilverstone has been appointed chairman of the Inventions Board which is being established to assist the Admiralty in co-ordinating and encouraging scientific effort in its relation to the requirements of the Naval Service. A further announcement will be made as to the personnel of the new Board and the address of its offices.

In reply to a question asked by Sir Philip Magnus in the House of Commons on July 1, the Minister of

Munitions, Mr. Lloyd George, said he was fully alive to the great importance of securing the co-operation of scientific workers, and of utilising so far as practicable the laboratories and workshops of our universities and technical schools for experiments and for making munitions of war. Replying to further questions, Mr. Lloyd George added that he hoped in a very short time to be able to do something in the nature of the work done in France by M. Albert Thomas, who was bringing officers from the Front to confer with members of the Academy of Science; and that he had within the past few days been discussing the question of establishing a central committee or bureau.

In the House of Lords on July 2, Lord Bryce urged the Government to make every possible effort to utilise the services of scientific men, and said that a call to co-operation would be welcomed by all British chemists and engineers. Replying at the end of the debate, Earl Curzon referred to the surprise expressed that, considering the great resources of scientific ability in this country and the willingness shown by our men of science to be of service, more use had not been made of them. He fancied, he said, a great deal more advantage had been taken of these than was known generally. For instance, a committee of the Royal Society had rendered valuable aid, and the Admiralty and War Office could give a number of cases in which offers of scientific assistance had been accepted and advantage had ensued. He held out the hope that it would be possible to arrange to make still greater use of the services of men of science.

Ar the annual general meeting of the British Academy held on June 30, Lord Bryce, president, in the chair, the following were elected Fellows of the Academy :-Mr. H. Stuart-Jones, Director of the British School at Rome 1903-5; Sir Charles Lyall, Prof. D. S. Margoliouth, Mr. W. L. Newman, Sir James H. Ramsay, Bart., of Banff, and Prof. W. R. Scott.

AMONG the recent additions to the zoological department at South Kensington are some specimens which are surely destined to possess historical interest for posterity. They consist only of two or three examples of harvest-mice and one house-mouse, but they were caught in the trenches in northern France, in that part of the trenches, in fact, occupied by some of our Indian troops. These specimens were collected and presented to the museum by one of the officers of an Indian regiment, whose keenness for his favourite pursuit of natural history allowed him in the intervals of being heavily shelled by the enemy a little relaxation in the way of trapping and skinning any animals for the national museum in London.

THE Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh has awarded the Makdougall-Brisbane prize for the biennial period 1912-14 to Prof. C. R. Marshall, Dundee and St. Andrews, for his studies on the pharmacological action of tetra-alkyl ammonium compounds. The prize and medal were presented at the meeting of July 5. These researches of Prof. Marshall's may be described as the direct outcome of investigations

which were published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Prof. Crum Brown and Sir Thomas Fraser in 1869-more than forty-five years ago—and have been continued since by various pharmacologists, amongst others by two distinguished graduates of Edinburgh University working in collaboration, Sir 'Lauder Brunton and Prof. Theodore Cash, whose work was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1884.

THE Council of the Salmon and Trout Association

is seeking data as to the possibility of increasing the supply of fly-food in trout streams, and is inviting anglers and fishery owners to give details of cases in which the valuable water-bred flies have been in

creased substantially in number by any special measures such as the introduction, by the planting of eggs or larvæ, or the liberation of mature flies on the banks of a river or lake; and the improvement of a stream or lake by the cultivation of special weeds, careful removal of mud, and so on. The tabulation of specific results, with an account of the measures taken, would be of interest and value, and if sufficient information is forthcoming, it is hoped to publish it in the association's quarterly journal, the Salmon and Trout Magazine. Communications, addressed to the honorary secretary, Sir Wrench Towse, or to the editor of the magazine, Fishmongers' Hall, London, E.C., will be acknowledged.

THE death is announced, at seventy-seven years of age, of Mr. F. E. Kitchener, who served as Assistant Commissioner to the Royal Commission on Secondary Education, and was the author of a "Geometrical Note-Book," "Naked Eye Botany," and other works.

WE regret to record the death, at Dulwich, on June 26, of Mr. A. C. Hurtzig. Some particulars of his career are given in the Engineer for July 2. Mr. Hurtzig was born in September, 1853, and was educated at Ware Grammar School and at University College, London, where he was one of the earliest students in the engineering faculty. His early experi ence was gained on railways and harbours in Ireland. In 1888 he became chief assistant to Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. Sir John Fowler died in 1898, and, on the death of Sir Benjamin Baker, Mr. Hurtzig became head of the firm. He completed Sir Benjamin Baker's work for the Egyptian Government in respect of the raising of the Assuan Dam and the building of the Isna barrage, and was engineer of the Forth Bridge Railway Company to the time of his death. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and also of the Iron and Steel Institute.

MR. C. E. P. SPAGNOLETTI, a well-known British electrical engineer, of Italian origin, who was born at Brompton in July, 1832, died at Hampstead on June 28. He was employed by the Electric Telegraph Company from 1847 until 1855, when he entered the service of the Great Western Railway as chief of their telegraphic department. He remained chief electrician and telegraph engineer of that railway company for thirtyseven years. In 1865 the London Metropolitan Rail

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