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book, and we confess to a feeling akin to disappointment after a perusal of the volume. The work is good as far as it goes, but the treatment is less suggestive, and the grip less firm than we had been led to anticipate.
The effects of the salts of five elements, viz., copper, zinc, arsenic, boron, and manganese upon plant growth have been studied, and the surprisingly deleterious results which follow on the addition of minute traces of some of them to plants grown as water cultures are described, and are also illustrated by excellent photographs. The conclusion is reached that no stimulation of growth follows the addition of even the smallest amounts of salts of copper, zinc, or arsenic, whilst some improvement does occur when salts of boron or manganese are employed. This is of interest when the somewhat widespread notion of the beneficial action of traces of copper salts, in some instances, at any rate, is recalled. Naturally, however, one must accept with caution conclusions based on the results of water-culture experiments in any endeavour to extend them to plants growing under ordinary soil conditions. This is the more necessary when one reflects how differently plants may behave in pot culture and in the field, and that even in the field itself it is not possible always to predict results at all accurately when the soil, aspect, drainage, and other factors as well are all subject to variation. We need a far more intimate knowledge of the physical conditions, as well as of the chemical processes that are in part, and often largely, governed by those conditions in the soil, before we shall be in a position even to formulate these fundamental questions, a satisfactory answer to which must form the basis on which our real knowledge of the plant, in this connection, will have to be built up. Miss Brenchley is fully aware of the difficulties which surround the whole subject, and her summing up of the whole position is admirable in its caution. Index to Periodicals. Compiled by various authorities and arranged by A. C. Piper. Vol. i., April-September, 1914. Pp. Xxxii + 192. (London: Stanley Paul and Co., for The Librarian and Book World.) Price 21s. net. THE general editor of this classified and annotated index to the original articles contained in some of the principal weekly, monthly, and quarterly periodicals, Mr. A. J. Philip, rather disarms criticism by recounting in the preface the difficulties due to the war under which the index has been prepared. The idea of such an index of the important signed articles in periodical literature. was excellent, and had it been possible to carry it out with some completeness, the result would have been widely welcomed.
It is difficult to understand on what plan the 109 periodicals indexed have been chosen. The preface says that foreign periodicals have been omitted, yet the names of a few appear in the list of those indexed. The Journals of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Microscopical Society, the Royal Sanitary Institute, and the Royal Statistical Society have been dealt with, but the
publications of the Royal Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, the Chemical Society, the various engineering institutions, and scores of others of equal importance are ignored. Similarly in education, attention is confined apparently to the Educational Times, the Journal of Education, and the Parents' Review, while no mention is made of the Preparatory Schools Review, the School World, the Schoolmaster, and a host of others. The Classical Review is indexed, but the periodicals concerned with modern languages, English studies, nature study, and so on, seem to have been forgotten.
While appreciating the enterprising beginning which has been made, it may be hoped that in the next volume the compilers will cast their nets more widely, and so secure a more representative production.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. No notice is taken of anonymous communications.]
The National Organisation of Scientific Effort. FOR readers of NATURE one of the most striking features of the war is that the German Government should be approved and supported by its prominent men of science, in spite of the fact that it uses methods of warfare which we regard as being outside the pale of humanity and common civilisation. It seems inconceivable that anything like it should happen in this country. If the British military authorities had transgressed against the written and unwritten laws of humanity as Germany has done, we feel sure that our men of science would have found a voice in condemnation of the Government. In this country it is no unusual thing for men of science to find a voice in condemnation of the Government, both for what it does and for what it leaves undone. Such condemnation used, in fact, to be, in peace time, a staple article of scientific public-speaking, the like of which one did not find in Germany. One never heard there even in private conversation the kind of criticism of Government action or inaction which in this country is reiterated commonplace.
The difference in practice may be attributed to the fact that in Germany scientific effort is organised by Government, which stands to scientific work in the relation of creator, provider and guardian, on its own terms. In Germany, Government is the providence of science; and to rail against Government, even when its ways are dark and mysterious, is not to be thought of. The attitude of the man of science in Germany towards his Government recalls Cowper's hymn. Changing the grammatical gender to avoid irreverence :
Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan Its work in vain, It is Its own interpreter And It will make it plain.
We have nothing like it in this country, and this reflection prompts the question: What is the corresponding organisation in this country? For organisasponding organisation tion there must be, whether it be simple or elaborate, effective or ineffective, intentional or haphazard.
Our organisation is, in fact, haphazard, a matter of history and tradition; and, on examination, it
will be found to be at least moderately efficient as regards persons, but woefully inadequate as regards subjects.
The difference is well pointed by an incident at a dinner in connection with a scientific meeting a few years ago. The speaking, after dinner, had become rather informal, and one of the foreign representatives urged the desirability of a professorship in, say, seismology-the particular subject is unimportantand, in reply, the chairman said that he had recognised the need for a long time, and was uncertain whether the best way of approaching its satisfaction was to appeal directly to the universities, or to begin with the schools and so create a demand which the universities would find it to their interest to meet. The German representative on leaving the diningroom remarked: "But, of course, your Government must create a professorship." The only reply to that is that it is not our way.
Then what is our way?
To what authority in this country does one appeal for the promotion of the study of any scientific subject which is felt to be in want of support?
There is the Royal Society, which is known to be a remarkably powerful body for discriminating between the merits of the scientific workers in this country. Some years ago one of its presidents devoted a series of presidential addresses to the claims of science in education; but to ask the Royal Society to put machinery in motion to supply the need for university professorships in certain subjects would be simply to court a rebuff, and for an obvious reason. It is understood that the Royal Society, though it is, for some purposes, a representative body, does not regard itself as the proper body to take the initiative in approaching the Government for the support of a new scientific project. The proper course is supposed to be for those who are interested in the project to approach the Government themselves, and for the Government to refer the matter to the Royal Society as a kind of jury. By that mode of procedure the promoters, without the official support of the representatives of science, have first to convince the Government that their project comes within its province, a task that in itself is enough to damp the ardour of many enthusiasts.
If the Royal Society is shy of approaching the Government, it would be still more shy of approaching directly an academic corporate body. That is not to be thought of. Besides, it is itself academic enough to know the answer without going through the formality of making the inquiry.
Nor is it likely that an avenue to the purse of the private benefactor could be found through the corporate action of the Royal Society, although without such action any appeal is prejudiced from the start. It can scarcely be doubted that if the Royal Society would from time to time set out the gaps in the professorial ranks of the universities on account of subjects of deep human and scientific interest which have no exponents in the academic life of this country (and so, by conscious or unconscious imitation, of the British Empire), the appeal would carry conviction to some of those who are willing to consider a worthy outlet for part of their wealth. The contention that the British Empire is not rich, or at least not rich enough to staff its universities properly, will not really bear examination; and yet the very dignity of the Royal Society seems too great for it to undertake the duty of appealing for funds for separate subjects that need support.
So we are back again at the usual refuge for science in distress: the Government. The front door is closed, as we have seen, but we can try the back.
Let us concentrate our attention on the "research" aspect of the question and appeal for support to the Government grant for scientific research" which is administered with a free hand by a committee appointed by the Royal Society. It is common knowledge that the committee acts ostensibly on the principle that for research in this country all that the Government needs to provide is a number of small doles to enthusiastic workers who find themselves deficient in apparatus and materials. The sums necessary for the maintenance and remuneration of these workers have to be provided by other means-into which the Government Grant Committee is careful not to inquire.
But with the neglected subjects to which we have been referring, research has to be initiated and workers found and paid: the Government Grant Committee draws the line there. It is a very unfortunate conclusion, because any appeal to Government for research from anybody but the Royal Society can be, and indeed is, rightly estopped by a reference to the provision which already exists for scientific research, and which is not officially known to be inadequate.
Here again the Royal Society shows itself admirably efficient in discriminating between the merits of the persons who apply for the doles, but it has practically nothing to say to the appeal for subjects left entirely in the cold.
Is it unjust to sum up the situation with regard to the subject-aspect of our national organisation of scientific effort by saying that it is in this unfortunate position: that on the one hand nothing can be done without the Royal Society, and on the other hand, with all respect and admiration, nothing can be done through the Royal Society?
Yet things are done from time to time; ways out of the dilemma have been found; our existing organisation must have other aspects. Parenthetically it is a matter for wonder how the subject of mineralogy came by the provision which it now enjoys at the older universities. One has the feeling that if it had not been endowed long ago it would never be endowed now. It seems even further from the important consideration of the "main chance" which appeals to the universities than some other subjects which have still no academic status.
Looking back at the history of the other subjects which may be included in the title of out-of-door physics, we find that the British Association for the Advancement of Science stands out as the specialised organ of our national organisation for giving things a start. One knows the mode of procedure quite well. Certain prominent men of science (who when they are back in London will be the Royal Society) meet in some provincial town, discuss the matter, appoint a committee, and make a grant out of the members' pounds for out-of-pocket expenses. The subject prospers by the unpaid work of some indefatigable member of the committee; after some years an appeal is made to Government. The British Association conducts the appeal, which is thereby guaranteed respectful consideration; and its reception by the Royal Society jury is also guaranteed by the personnel of the committee; there is no element of danger in the reference, and so the plan is brought to some sort of fruition.
To the operation of the British Association can be traced the origin of what provision there is (outside the Royal Observatories, the Hydrographic Department of the Navy, and one division of the Meteorological Office) for meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, solar physics, seismology and the so-called "Standardisation of instruments, now represented by the National Physical Laboratory. For each of these one
or more committees of the British Association could be named, one of which dates as far back as 1842, early days even for the British Association. There are, no doubt, many other enterprises in other branches of science which have a similar history.
So the organisation of scientific effort on our side which corresponds with the Government organisation of Germany may be expressed by this precept for anyone who has a project for scientific work: "You first attend a meeting of the British Association and get a strong committee appointed; then you work for a number of years without pay, but with a mind conscious that you will thereby acquire merit with the Royal Society, the great discriminator; then if you have not money enough to pay for apparatus you can appeal to the Government Grant Committee with an assured prospect of success; then when you find it necessary for somebody to be paid, you can move the Council of the British Association to approach the Government for the money. The Government will then take the opinion of the Royal Society, and that will be quite all right, because your own committee will be in force there; and then, if you are moderately fortunate, Government will give you half of what you ask as a grant in aid,' and for the rest you must look out for yourself."
We are therefore by no means devoid of organisation; what we have is almost venerably historic and very elaborate; but it is long and tortuous and sadly inefficient for the following obvious reasons:
First, that in spite of our pride in private effort, and our prejudice in its favour as being vastly superior to anything that Government can do, our process leads ultimately to Government and nowhere else. It gives no footing in the universities or in any other body, corporate or incorporate, whose members control the temporary destinies of the British Association. course, at the end of the chapter the Government could approach the universities, but with the present relations between Government and the universities this is a perilous thing for a Government to do. It was done in one instance lately; and there is "a smile on the face of the tiger."
Secondly, it leads to accepting Government money in the form of what is called a 'grant in aid," which means public money with public responsibility, but no official prestige and no official purpose. The grant is made as a concession to somebody's enthusiasm; the responsibility for success rests with the unfortunate enthusiast, and the limitation of ways and means rests with somebody else. One of the common forms of our scientific attitude is that Government support chills and discourages private effort. The scientific societies are fond of adopting it because it leaves them in a sort of control of things; and, of course, Government "as at present advised" is not likely to demur. But what attracts and stimulates private effort is really efficiency, whether public or private; it is frequently the case that support by Government lacks that stimulating quality simply because it represents not a purpose, but a concession. The situation recalls a remark once heard at a college dinner-table, when a country clergyman thus expressed himself concerning the Nonconformist discontent about education: "I cannot see what these dissenters have to complain of; we tolerate them." So with our national organisation of scientific effort: it ends in toleration by the Government, and the "establishment" looks on with a sort of bewildered wonder at our insatiable discontent.
Among the changes which will follow the war, whatever the issue may be, the reorganisation of scientific effort must find a place. All the afterdinner speeches about the parsimony of the Treasury,
and all the complaints in Science Progress and at the meetings of the British Science Guild, punctuated by what has been brought to light since the war began, mean at least that.
We may learn from our enemies and let the Government' take over the control of our scientific effort, or, appalled by the result in the case of Germany, and sharing the feeling of Prof. Brants and the Dutch for whom he speaks in the March number of the Nineteenth Century and After, we may have the courage to be ourselves and manage things in our own way. The future will show; only we must have a way which is recognisable and recognised. Behind the Government, whether in association with a special Minister or not, there must be a powerful advisory committee with facilities for initiation as well as discrimination, a sort of Privy Council for Science with public responsibilities, to whom the public as well as the Government can appeal.
Before that can be established the Royal Society must settle what its function is to be. At present it claims to discriminate in its corporate capacity, and leaves to its individual members the duties of initiation. The British Science Guild has sought to remedy this state of affairs, and is prepared to take the initiative in an organised way. But it is evident that, if the Royal Society is to exercise the power of discrimination, the two bodies must be in reality the same persons, as in the case of the initiative of the British Association, or the scientific body politic will be divided against itself; therefore the first question to be settled is whether the Royal Society's claim to the power of discrimination is to be confirmed and supplemented by the faculty of initiative, or whether both faculties are to be vested in a recognised and responsible body of Government advisers.
The Royal Society is by no means an ideal institution for the purpose, and it was not created for such work; its full body of four hundred and fifty members is too numerous to carry the responsibility, and its Council of twenty-one too small, too much selected for the purpose of personal discrimination, too transitory, too full of work of other kinds, too much unpaid, and not sufficiently representative of the subjects with which a national organisation must deal in the long run because they are not adequately represented at the universities.
The point is obviously a difficulty; but in the long last it can only be settled in one way, and the sooner the Royal Society takes the field with a proposal for an initiating and discriminating advisory body other than its own Council the sooner will it be possible to take a definite step in the direction of the national organisation of scientific effort. F.R.S.
IN connection with the recent discussion, at the Faraday Society, on osmotic and vapour pressures, it seems worth while to state that a long and laborious series of vapour pressure measurements which Mr. Hartley and I have undertaken is nearly completed, and I hope will be published shortly.
The results so far go to show that by taking RT 22.3909 (in litres and atmospheres, and with O=16), which is the value for nitrogen and close to that derived from water vapour at 30° C., a very good agreement is obtained between the direct and indirect values of the osmotic pressure of cane-sugar at oo C., and incidentally of calcium ferrocyanide.
I also take the opportunity of mentioning that if p be the osmotic pressure, V and v the volume of solution and volume of water containing one gram-mole
cule of cane-sugar, respectively-both being measured when compressed to the osmotic pressure-then p(v-bv/V)=RT is found to give a fair fit to the results both at o° C. and at 30° C.
A closer approximation is obtained with
in which case the same constants give the values of p for both o° C. and 30° C.
I also find that a somewhat less good fit is obtained from (p+a/v2)(v – vb/V)=RT; this last equation, however, has the advantage that it gives a value of V when dp/dV=0, which, assuming that this point is the limit of supersaturation, we know is about right; that is, V is greater than the molecular volume of cane-sugar in the solution, and less than its value in a saturated solution, i.e., a solution containing about 960 grams per litre at 30° C.
I would reserve the discussion of the meaning of these equations and others, which I have also obtained, until our final results are published.
Foxcombe, near Oxford, May 15.
A Bibliography of Fishes.
THE time is ripe-and has, indeed, long been ripefor the publication of a carefully prepared bibliography of fishes, to cover the entire range of the subject: fishes fossil as well as living, and fishes from many points of view, such as anatomy, physiology, embryology, pathology, parasitology, distribution, taxonomy, everything, in short, excepting matters which deal with clerical details of the fisheries. Such a compilation, it is clear, means much for this branch of zoology, for the literature of the fishes is vast, widely scattered, and ill-digested. In fact, I believe that there is scarcely an investigator to-day who has not been obliged, needlessly, to give weeks or months of his time to searching for references.
The importance of such a bibliography was brought home to me about 1890; at that time I began the work of collecting references to be used in my studies, and as years passed I was able to build up a cardcatalogue giving author and subject, which proved indispensable. Later my catalogue became known to correspondents, who in turn found it of use in their studies; and they, for their part, were generous in contributing references, and thus added notably to its value. It next, through the kindness of the Smithsonian Institution, absorbed the bibliography which Prof. Goode undertook to publish, and which his death left unfinished. Thus the value of the work became greater year by year. About 1910 the American Museum of Natural History allowed me secretarial help in the direction of editing the catalogue for publication. And thereafter, for about a year and a half this secretarial work was carefully carried on under the supervision of my colleague, Dr. Louis Hussakof, and since 1914 by Dr. C. R. Eastman, of the American Museum.
The scope of the undertaking may be understood when one considers that nearly 50,000 references are brought together. These have been gathered from all sources, notably from all accessible bibliographies, serial publications, and book catalogues. Finally, the effort was made to complete the lists of titles by bibliographies secured in so far as possible from authors themselves. To this end circulars were sent out to several hundred writers on ichthyology, many of whom responded cordially.
There still remain, however, a number of individual writers who have not contributed the titles of their publications. I have, accordingly, been led to publish the present note in the hope that any who have not
already sent to Dr. Eastman or myself their bibliographies, may be reminded that we are especially anxious to make the work as complete as possible. We urge that their lists be sent in without delay, for the work is undergoing its final revision, and the first volume is shortly to go to press. This is the "author's" volume, which will consist of about 1000 pages, and include under the names of writers a serial list of their publications. The second, or "subject " volume, will be a classified index of the titles in vol. i. Here one has access to special papers in the various branches; for example, in anatomy, distribution, embryology. BASHFORD DEAN.
American Museum of Natural History, New York.
The Use of the Term "Pinacoid in Crystallography. CAN any of your readers help me as to the original definition of the familiar term "pinacoid"? I suspect that it was introduced by C. F. Naumann about 1830; it was derived from Tira, a slab, and appears from the first to have included two parallel planes. Naumann, for instance ("Anfangsgründe der Krystallographie," 1841, p. 126), uses "basal pinacoid” for the pair of planes parallel to the two lateral crystallographic axes. But he restricts the use of pinacoid to the three possible pairs in a crystal that cut only one of the three axes, and (p. 19) defines a pinacoid as including “two parallel planes which are parallel either with the base or one of the other coordinate planes."
In 1856 we find Tennant and Mitchell ("Mineralogy and Crystallography") using pinacoid for a single plane of any of these pairs, and this, which is clearly a mistake, has been followed by writers of very recent date. Story-Maskelyne ("Crystallography," 1895, p. 20) agrees with Naumann, calling the single plane a "pinacoid plane." This latter fact has not been observed by the authors of the Oxford Dictionary. P. Groth (Physikalische Krystallographie") in 1876 and 1885 employed the term in Naumann's way; but in his third edition of 1895 he introduced the term "pedion" (p. 337) for any single plane, and defined pinacoid (p. 340) as consisting of any two parallel planes.
This extension of Naumann's
the term pinacoid from original usage has been adopted by Lewis, Liebisch, Miers, and Tutton in their authoritative works. The pinacoids parallel to the three co-ordinate planes are thus left without a distinctive title, and in my own small "Outlines of Mineralogy" (1913) I have styled them "principal pinacoids." If the history of the matter is as I have traced it, it would seem better if Groth had invented a new term, side by side with pedion, rather than, as was so often done by Rosenbusch in the nomenclature of rocks, employed a well-established term in a new signification.
GRENVILLE A. J. COLE. Royal College of Science for Ireland, Dublin, May 11.
A Mistaken Butterfly.
A FEW Summers ago I noticed a fine cabbage butterfly executing a number of gyrations in front of a milliner's shop in New Bond Street, and making every effort to get through the plate-glass window. Immediately inside the window was a lady's hat (or bonnet, I am not sure of the distinction), ornamented by an enormous artificial scarlet poppy. It was quite clear that the object of the butterfly's attention was the poppy. Apparently he was guided by sight, and not by smell. EDWARD A. MARTIN. Grange Wood Museum, South Norwood, May 12.
ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDIES IN
HE two volumes of "The History of Melanesian Society," by Dr. Rivers, represent two methods of the study of mankind, the ethnographical and the ethnological. The first volume is devoted to an ethnographical study of a considerable portion of southern and central Melanesia and of various Polynesian islands; the account of Tikopia is of especial interest, as, although situated in Melanesia, it is inhabited by Polynesians, who have scarcely been affected by external influences. Most of the data were collected under the auspices of the Percy Sladen Trust. In the second volume the author breaks new ground in ethnology, as he synthesises and gives explanations of an even wider array of facts than those accumulated in the first volume.
Those who are acquainted with the previous writings of Dr. Rivers are well aware that, whether recording new facts or correcting and expanding information
quired by others, he has always paid great attention to method; indeed, he has perhaps done more than anyone else in this country to establish ethnology on scientific methods. It is interesting to note that until he began writing the theoretical discussion in the second volume, he was a firm adherent of the current English school, being almost exclusively interested in the evolution of belief, custom, and institution, and paying little attention to the complexity of the several cultures. He came to see, however, that Melanesian culture was more complex than had at first appeared, and that it was necessary to dissect out, so to speak, the associated elements in each of the component cultures.
Graebner, on the other hand, the process of blending of cultures resembles rather a physical mixture in which the component elements exist side by side readily distinguishable from one another. . . He assumes that social institutions and religious practices can be carried about the world and transplanted into new homes as easily, and with as little modification, as weapons and implements. . . . Such an assumption is impossible to anyone who appreciates the far more vital and essential character of the less material elements of culture" (ii., p. 585).
By means of the genealogical method Dr. Rivers has discovered several remarkable forms of marriage in Melanesia, or has deduced forms which have existed previously. For example,
FIG. 1.-Pudding-knives from Ureparapara, Fanks Islands. From "The History of Melanesian Society."
cross-cousin marriage (i.e., between the children of a brother and those of his sister) occurs in widely separated parts of Melanesia, and wherever found is accompanied by features of the systems of relationship which are clearly the direct result of this form of marriage; these features are found in places where cross-cousin marriage does not now take place, but they must certainly be survivals of it. The same applies to marriage with the wife of the mother's brother. The extraordinary system of the island of Pentecost owes its special features to two anomalous forms of marriage which either still exist or have been practised on the island, viz., marriage with the wife of a mother's brother, and with the grandFor the latter, there daughter of the brother.