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A NEW AGENCY FOR THE POPULARI
ZATION OF SCIENCE In a democracy like ours it is particularly important that the people as a whole should so far as possible understand the aims and achievements of modern science, not only because of the value of such knowledge to themselves but because research directly or indirectly depends upon popular appreciation of its methods. In fact the success of democratic government as well as the prosperity of the individual may be said to depend upon the ability of the people to distinguish between real science and fake, between the genuine expert and the pretender.
The education of children in schools and of a few in colleges is not sufficient for this. It must be carried into maturity through such channels as the newspapers and the motion pictures. Unfortunately the rapid advance and increasing complexity of modern science has made it difficult for the general reader to follow its course and he has often given up the attempt in despair. Consequently we find the reading public divided into two classes as may be discerned in any public reading room; a minority that habitually read the scientific journals and a majority that never touch even the most popular of them.
In the effort to bridge this gap and to aid in the dissemination of scientific information, a new institution, the Science Service, has been established at Washington. It is chartered as a non-profit-making corporation and all receipts from the sale of articles, books or films will be devoted to the development of new methods of popular education in science. The governing board of fifteen trustees consists of ten scientists and five journalists.
The charter is a wide one, authorizing Science Service to publish books and magazines, to conduct conferences and lecture
courses and to produce motion pictures. Its propaganda unless it be propaganda to urge first conference was held last summer at San the value of research and the usefulness of Diego, California, on the problems of the science. Pacific, and another is planned for next The first board of trustees of Science summer on urbanization and ruralization. Service is composed as follows:
Science Service will not at present under- Three representatives of the National Academy of take to publish any periodical of its own, for Sciences it is believed that much better results can be Dr. A. A. Noyes, director, chemical research, obtained by devoting the same effort and ex- California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, pense to reaching a wider range of readers California. through newspapers and to directing atten
Dr. R. A. Milikan, professor of physics, Unition to the various well-edited periodicals of
versity of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. popular science already in existence rather
Dr. John C. Merriam, president, Carnegie Insti
tution of Washington, Washington, D. C. than attempting to rival them.
Three representatives of the American Association Science Service will aim to act as a sort of
for the Advancement of Science liaison officer between scientific circles and
Dr. D. T. MacDougal, director, Desert Laborathe outside world. It will endeavor to inter- tory of the Carnegie Institution of Washing. pret the results of original research as they ton, Tucson, Arizona. appear in the technical journals and proceed- Dr. J. McKeen Cattell, editor, SCIENCE and ings of societies in a way to enlighten the Scientific Monthly, Garrison-on-Hudson, New layman. The specialist is likewise a layman
York, in every science except his own and he, too,
Dr. George I. Moore, director, Missouri Botanneeds to have new things explained to him
ical Gardens, St. Louis, Missouri. in non-technical language.
Three representatives of The National Research
Council We may not all go so far as Tolstoy who
Dr. Vernon Kellogg, permanent secretary, Nasaid that you can explain Kant to a peasant
tional Research Council, Washington, D. C. if you understand Kant well enough. But it
Dr. George E. Hale, director, Mount Wilson Obis evident that part of the indifference of the
servatory of the Carnegie Institution of Wash. public to scientific questions is due to poor ington, Pasadena, California. presentation. When we can find writers who Dr. R. M. Yerkes, chairman, Research Informaknow their subject and are willing to devote tion Service, National Research Council, Washas much attention to putting it in effective
ington, D. C. form as though it were a poem or short story
Representatives of the Scripps Estate there will be less reason to complain of lack
Mr. E. W. Scripps, Miramar, California.
Mr. R. P. Scripps, Cleveland, Ohio. of interest. Science Service will spare no
Dr. W. E. Ritter, director, Scripps Institution pains or expense in the endeavor (1) to get
for Biological Research of the University of the best possible quality of popular science
California, La Jolla, California. writing and (2) to get it to the largest pos
Representatives of the Journalistic Profession sible number of readers. If in doing this it can make both ends meet, so much the better.
Edwin F. Gay, president, New York Evening
Post Company, New York City. If not, it will do it anyway.
Chester H. Rowell, former editor, The Fresno Through the generosity of Mr. E. W.
Republican, Berkeley, California. Scripps, of Miramar, California, the Science
William Allen White, editor, The Emporia GaService has been assured of such financial sup- sette, Emporia, Kansas. port from the start as to insure its independ- Dr. W. E. Ritter is president of the board, ence. It will not be under the control of any Mr. R. P. Scripps, treasurer, and Dr. Vernon clique, class or commercial interest. It will Kellogg, vice-president and chairman of the not be the organ of any one association. It executive committee. This committee is comwill serve all the sciences. It will supply any posed of five members, one selected from each of the news syndicates. It will not indulge in group of trustees from the different organizations represented on the board. The pres- an effort will be made to find the best authorent members of the committee are the presi- ity to write it.
EDWIN E. SLOSSON dent and vice-president of the board, Dr. J.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF HOOKWORMS McKeen Cattell and Dr. J. C. Merriam. A member from the journalistic group is yet to
IN THE ZOOLOGICAL REGIONS be selected.
INCIDENTAL to the pursuit of some publicThe headquarters of Science Service have health problems in the Orient I observe what been provisionally established in the build- seems to me to be a peculiar zoological and ing of the National Research Council, at 1701 geographical distribution of two species of Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D. C. hookworms which parasitize man, Ancylostoma
As editor the board of trustees has selected duodenale and Necator americanus and I feel Edwin E. Slosson, Ph.D., who for twelve years confident that a study of the distribution of was professor of chemistry in the University these obligate parasites of man will throw of Wyoming and for seventeen years literary some light on problems dealing with the editor of The Independent, New York. He migrations of races of mankind in the past has been associate in the Columbia School of as well as other problems in ethnology. Journalism since its foundation and is the Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator ameriauthor of "Creative Chemistry," "Easy Les- canus parasitize man with equal facility. It sons in Einstein,” “Great American Universi- is as easy for a white man, Chinese, Polyties," “Major Prophets of To-day,” lives of nesian, East Indian, Malay or Negro to beRumford and Gibbs and other scientific and come infected with A. duodenale as with literary publications.
N. americanus and they may become infected As manager of the new enterprise the board with either or both species of worm, but it has selected Howard Wheeler, formerly editor was rather remarkable to find that just as of the San Francisco Daily News, Pacific the races of man were primarily distributed coast manager of the Newspaper Enterprise in Urasia, Africa and Oceania so there seems Association, managing editor of Harpers to have been a primary and distinctive distriWeekly, and for five years editor of Every- bution of A. duodenale and N. americanus for body's Magazine, war correspondent and I found that Japanese, East Indians and author of "Are We Ready?”
Chinese from north of say twenty-three The editor of Science Service desires to degrees north latitude, that is men of the receive advance information of important re- Holarctic region, harbored a very marked searches approaching the point of publicity predominance of A. duodenale. On the other in order to arrange for their proper presenta- hand southern East Indians, i.e., Tamils and tion in the press. He also wishes to secure Malabaris say from south of twenty degrees correspondents in every university and center north latitude well as Malays from of research who have the time, disposition Sumatra, Borneo, the Malay Peninsula and and ability to write for non-technical jour- Java, that is to say, men of the Oriental nals. He particularly wants to get in touch region, harbored a marked predominance of with young men and women in the various or were exclusively parasitized by N. amerisciences who have literary inclinations and would be willing to submit to a rigorous In studying the hookworm content of an course of training with a view to making the uncontaminated group of Fijians, a mixed writing of popular science a part of their life Polynesian and Melanesian stock, I found work.
A. duodenale to be entirely absent. N. ameriThe manager wants to learn from news- canus and a few A, ceylanicum, picked up papers and periodicals what sort of scientific from dogs, represented the worms harbored. news they need. If editors will notify Sci- In South Africa among Kaffirs from south ence Service by mail or telegraph whenever of twenty-two degrees south latitude and they want an article on any scientific subject, among some tropical natives, that is to say
men from the Ethiopian region, Necator was almost exclusively by A. duodenale, while the only hookworm encountered. The search man of the Oriental and Ethiopian regions was not an exhaustive one. Leiper and others, parasitized exclusively or almost exclusively however, have recorded only Necator from this by Necator americanus. This finding in any region.
case suggests the possibility of the distribuI have not worked in Europe or northern tion of the two species of worms in distinctly Africa but Looss, Boycott and others report different zoologic as well as geographic regions the exclusive presence of A. duodenale in Eng- being due to there having been two primitive land, western Europe, Italy and Egypt, that races of man, each one originally parasitized is to say in the European moiety of the by a particular species of worm. Certain it is Holarctic region.
that N. americanus is found more exclusively The introduction of the negro, East Indian among black- and brown-skinned races, while and Mediterranean peoples into America has A. duodenale is found exclusively or greatly obscured the picture here and research among predominates at the present time among Cauisolated and uncontaminated Indian tribes casian and Mongoloid stocks. has yet to be undertaken. This research will It may be that a Eurasiatic race of man, no doubt yield some interesting data, helpful possibly the Pithecanthropus of Trinil, Java, possibly in tracing the origin of the Amerind became split off and furnished the stock from populations; it may be possible to trace a which man of Oriental and Ethiopian regions relationship for them with Mongoloids from sprung. Proliopithecus emerging from HolHolarctic or from Oriental regions.
arctic Africa may have been not only the While there is a sharply marked out parent form of man, gibbon, chimpanzee, regional distribution of the worms in certain gorilla and the orang-outang, but he may have areas, in others time has brought about some harbored the parent form from which have overlapping of the two species.
arisen the different hookworm species found The absence of Necator from Europe indi- in the various species of anthropoids of tocates pretty positively that European soil has day. Possibly the ancestral tree of the not been contaminated by a Negroid race from primates can be revised after a study of the the Ethiopian region, that is Africa south of host relationships of their respective obligate the Sahara desert. The absence of A. duo- nematode parasites. At any rate we can say denale from secluded groups of mountain that it seems likely from the present distribupeople in the Oriental and in Ethiopian tion of A. duodenale and N. americanus as regions is explained in a similar way. In determined in surveys
recently made of mid-Java and in a few coast and river towns selected groups that there were originally in Fiji, East Indians have brought in large
of man parasitized exclusively by numbers of A. duodenale within historic A. duodenale and inhabiting the Holarctic times.
region, that is Europe, Asia, north of the The movements of negroes, Oriental and Oriental region and northern Africa; and Mediterranean peoples are modifying the that there were other races of man parasitized primitive worm-species-formula of non-migra- exclusively by N. americanus and inhabiting tory people, hence interpretations must be the Oriental region, that is the southern penmade from carefully selected surveys only. insulas of Asia and Indonesia or the Malay
It is held by some that man and his obligate Archipelago; and also the Ethiopian region, parasites living in symbiosis have come along that is, Africa south of the Sahara Desert. through the ages together, that the relation- The subject is an enticing one to pursue ship has not been recently or casually ac- but further deductions should probably not be quired. If this be true we should expect to hazarded at this time by one who is merely find man parasitized always by the two ob- peregrinating parasitologist. ligate forms and not to find man of the
SAMUEL T. DARLING Holarctic regions parasitized exclusively or INTERNATIONAL HEALTH BOARD
The workers who have contributed our various large area maps doubtless realize better than any one else the impressionistic nature of their final product. In most cases these men have done the utmost possible with scanty and vague local data. There have been, however, a few instances of buoyant dis regard of the deadly principle of accumulation of error which ought not to have happened. One author, mapping a fairly large area, secured local data from a source whose authority few would care to question and then from his distant vantage point cut and trimmed until, speaking mildly, the accuracy of a considerable sector of his map was seriously impaired.
In preparing careful local maps of vegetation the question of procedure varies greatly, and is seldom an easy one. The two sources of help outlined below have been put to rather
pretty generally relied upon. Happily, too, there have been few serious errors in running linescertainly nothing like the gross blunders of some of the surveyors of a later day who worked in states farther west. When one considers the genuine hardships and dangers unconsciously revealed by the field notes covering the Connecticut Western Re serve (done before 1800), for example, the excellence of the work is remarkable.
A means of utilizing these notes has been worked out after some experiment, and combines economy of time with accuracy. A set of arbitrary generic symbols was devised which could be logically grouped and readily memorized. Three typical series of symbols are shown in the accompanying table. They consist of familiar units of penmanship and can be written without much effort, while their number can be increased to cover almost