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the result, most probably, would be that the ferred, Dr. W. Engelmann of Leipzig, has American publishers would urge Congress to likewise informed me that he, at least, has put high import-duties on them, as has been abolished all foreign surtaxes on journals the case with scientific instruments. Or else, published by his firm. (It is a matter of another group of people would get alarmed regret to him that he is not (yet?) at liberty, at the flood of German literature coming into owing to the binding regulations of the the country and would interpret it as a re- “ Börsenverein ” to do the same with his own vival of German propaganda.
books.) Nevertheless he finds it hard to get In either case it is easy to conjecture as to as few as 150 subscriptions to some of his who is finally to become the loser. There is publications, a modest figure indeed, the atno doubt but that in either case the scientist tainment of which is necessary to continue the will suffer the most, the broad-gauge scientist publication of such invaluable periodicals as who holds the view that science has no polit- the Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie; ical limits or national boundaries.
Groth's Zeitschrift für Kristallographie und Only a week or so ago I received a letter Mineralogie, (now under the editorship of from my German book-dealer, a prominent the eminent. Swiss mineralogist, Professor publisher, by the way, who has from the start P. Niggli, of Zürich); the Botanische Jahrstrongly opposed the placing of any surtax, bücher; and others. Two or three dollars whatsoever, on the export of German books in German money now enables an American and publications. He informed me that at scientist to take out a personal subscription last the German government has urged the for a whole year. I trust an appeal to inter“ Börsenverein des deutschen Buchhandels" nationally minded scientists and others is not (the central organization that controls the out of place here. Subscriptions for foreign price of books in Germany and abroad) to
periodicals are needed and are most timely lower its export-tax (Valuta-zuschlag). The at the present writing in that they will help suggestion was acted upon favorably by this
over times of difficulties such highly impororganization and as a result the tax has been
tant journals of international scope as have lowered and fixed, for the time being, at 200
been mentioned. Such an aid now is sure to
benefit all parties concerned, both immediately per cent. above the current price in Germany.
and in the future. To all appearances this percentage is not
In conclusion I may add that another scilikely to go any higher since the rate of ex
entific journal of high worth must receive change, which has so far determined the sur
financial support, either through subscriptions tax, has an upward trend. Even at the
or voluntary gifts, if it is to be saved from present rate a German book would cost much
permanent suspension. I am this time reless in this country than before the war.
ferring to a publication devoted to soils, Before one may pass judgment on the cases
namely the International Review of Pedology that seem discriminatory to the disadvantage
or, as it is designated abroad in French and of the foreign buyer in favor of the German,
in German respectively: Revue internationale one should consider the fact that nowadays
de pédologie and Internationale Mitteilungen and for a long time to come, the outlay for a
für Bodenkunde. A group of Dutch agriculbook of say 60 marks entails a much greater
tural chemists have taken steps to insure the sacrifice for the German scientist than three
continuation of that publication and voluntimes or even five times that amount in Ger
tary gifts and subscriptions are solicited. man marks to the scientist in America.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. It is the principle of “Relativity” that D. J. Hissink, in care of the Agricultural should guide us more in our judgments if Experiment Station, Groningen, Holland. they are to be unbiased.
M. W. SENSTIUS The German publisher to whom I have re- SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
THE COST OF AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS IN
open its columns to the study of that question. ROUMANIA
I am at the disposal of the readers of TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: Foreseeing the
SCIENCE who would desire any explanation high soar of science in the United States and
about our university and who would like to desiring to be acquainted with the scientific
transmit us directly their ideas or proposievents in that country and to pursue the ac
E. G. RACOVITZA, tivity of my numerous American friends and
University professor, director of the acquaintances, I have been for twenty years
Institute of Speology a subscriber to SCIENCE.
UNIVERSITY OF CLUJ, In December last, I renewed my subscrip- ROUMANIA tion of seven dollars, which cost now in Roumanian money 595 lei instead of 35 lei in 1914. REQUESTS FOR BIOLOGICAL PUBLICATIONS
In the university library of Cluj, otherwise PROFESSOR CARL J. Cori has resumed his well furnished, and in the libraries of the vari- academic relations with the German univerous institutes, the American publications are sity at Prague, Czecho-Slovak republic, in almost completely wanting; in the laborator- consequence of the transfer of the Marine ies and clinics of our university there is no Biological Station at Trieste, of which he was instrument or apparatus of American fabri- formerly director, from Austrian to Italian cation. The Hungarian administration, that control. He desires to receive reprints and had governed this university until 1919, had other biological works, especially those pubnot yet discovered America.
lished since the outbreak of the war, which The leaders and professors of the actual
American biologists may wish to send him, Roumanian University are very desirous to
at the Zoological Institute of the German uniacquire the American books and periodicals;
versity at Prague.
CHARLES A. Koro they would like to make use of the best instruments and apparatus constructed in the United States. They can not conceive that a
SCIENTIFIC BOOKS modern and progressive university, as theirs,
Root Development in the Grassland Formashould lack the intellectual and technical co
tion, a Correlation of the Root Systems of operation of the American science.
Native Vegetation and Crop Plants. By But a microtome “Spencer” cost me 15,000 JOHN E. WEAVER. Carnegie Inst. Washinglei and a binocular “ Spencer” 12,000 lei, to ton Publ. 292. 18 X 26 cm., 151 pp., 25 pl., which must be added the transport and insur- 39 text fig. Washington, 1920. ance expenses, etc.
Students of plant physiology, ecology, agriThere is no scientific institute that could culture and forestry, when they have taken afford such an expenditure, and no Rouman- occasion to survey the general field in which ian institution can make "scientific pur- their own particular interests lay, must often chases ” in the United States as long as the have been greatly impressed with the extreme dollar is worth 90 lei.
paucity of our knowledge of plant roots. I take leave to draw the attention of the Plant species have been described and redereaders of your journal to this sad result of scribed, typical individuals have been photothe world's war and to ask them if there might graphed and painted, and thousands of pages not be found any means to cure this evil, in our libraries are devoted to the results of which is detrimental to both our nations. these descriptive studies and to their theo
I have great hopes that from the American retical interpretation--but the far greater part practical spirit and high love of science will of our accumulated knowledge of higher spring the best solution of this great difficulty plants is closely confined to those portions of and therefore I beg the.editor of SCIENCE to the plants that are readily seen and may be easily examined. Until very recently no at- generally to be a consideration of the inditempts have been made to extend observation vidual plant as a machine operating under and description to the subterranean parts of the controlling conditions of the surroundland plants, but excellent beginnings in this ings, both above and below the soil surface. recondite province of botany are now avail- Since the work of charting root systems is able and enough has been accomplished to very arduous and since the physiological procdemonstrate that a well-rounded knowledge esses of agricultural plants deserve attention of plants or of any plant individual must in- before native plants are to be thoroughly clude just as thorough study of root systems
studied in this way, it is especially gratifying as has been devoted to the aerial parts.
that a goodly number of crop plants have Publication No. 292 of the Carnegie Insti- received attention at the author's hands. tution of Washington is perhaps the most Some striking points are shown by the followvaluable contribution yet available in this new ing illustrations (from p. 139): Sweet clover field. In this book Weaver presents the re- (Melilotus) 116 days old had tops 1.8 ft. high sults of an enormous amount of detailed study and roots about 5 ft. deep in lowland soil, devoted to the form and distribution of the while the tops were only 1.5 ft. high and the roots of plants growing in the grasslands of roots were mainly about 5.8 ft. deep in upland the United States, this study being a continua- soil. Oats (Avena) 75 days old had tops 3 ft. tion of the author's earlier volume on “ The high in lowland and 2 ft. high in upland soil, Ecological Relations of Roots." "Practically the corresponding “working depths” of the all of the grassland dominants have now been
roots being 2.6 and 3.1 ft., respectively. studied, many of them in two or more asso
The presentation of the results of these ciations and under widely different conditions
valuable investigations might rather easily of environment." Descriptions of 38 new root
have been rendered more generally clear and systems of native plants are here presented and
more readily comparable with the results of more than 80 examinations of the root sys
other similar studies, if the author had emtems of crop plants have been made in widely ployed a meter-stick instead of his foot-rule.
He does not appear to be consistently opposed varying soil types and conditions of growth.”
to the use of the metric system, for some The root systems have been excavated with
measurements are recorded in millimeters, painstaking care and their form and distribu
etc., and he has grafted the decimal chartion are set forth by descriptions and by dia
acteristic of the better system on to the unit grams drawn to scale, being frequently also
of the worse; he dealt primarily with feet and illustrated by reproductions of photographs.
inches but reduced his final values to terms The point of view is primarily that of what
of the foot and its decimal fractions. may be called the Nebraska school of ecology.
The root characteristics of a given species with much emphasis on the concept of plant are found to be “ often as marked and dissuccession and on the practical value of a tinctive as are those of the aerial vegetative knowledge of native vegetation as an indicator
parts," in spite of profound differences freof agricultural possibilities.
quently concomitant with marked differences The phenomena of plant succession, whether
in habitat conditions. Different species of the ecesis, competition, or reaction, are controlled so same genus are sometimes markedly different largely by edaphic conditions and particularly by in their root characteristics. water-content [of the soil] that they can be prop- The volume should be familiar to all who erly interpreted and their true significance under- are interested in the relations that obtain stood only from a thorough knowledge of root re
between plants, on the one hand, and the soil lations.
and air conditions of their surroundings, on But the discussions involve much of the the other. physiological, and the author's aim appears
B. E. LIVINGSTON
NOTES ON METEOROLOGY AND of food by active exercise, and upon the taking of CLIMATOLOGY
such exercise depends the proper vigorous func
tion of the digestive, respiratory and vascular orPHYSIOLOGICAL METEOROLOGY
gans. Consequent on this, too, is the vigor of the In opening his presidential address before nervous system and keen enjoyment of life. So, the American Meteorological Society at Chi- too, the healthy state of joints, muscles and ligacago in December, Professor Robert DeC. ments, and freedom from rheumatic pains depend Ward directed attention to the fact that the
upon proper exercise of the body, neither over use
nor under use, either of which may be associated Constitution of the Society states as its first
with malnutrition and lowered resistance to inobject the advancement and diffusion of
fection. The hothouse conditions of life suitable knowledge of meteorology, including clima
for the failing powers of the aged, the injured in tology, and the development of its application a state of shock and those in the last stages of to public health ...." He said further that, wasting disease are mistakenly supposed to be in spite of the intimate relations existing suitable for the young and healthy. The tradi. between meteorology and health, there are few
tional fear of cold is handed down from mother physicians who have even
to children at her knee. For fear of their "catch
an elementary training in meteorology, and perhaps fewer
ing cold,” they are confined indoors and over
clothed. They are debilitated and exposed at the meteorologists who are competent to deal with
same time to massive infection in crowded places. the physiological and medical relations. It
They require well-chosen food containing all those appears, however, that more and more thought
vitamines or principles of growth which are found is being given the subject, both at home and
in milk, the young green shoots of plants, grain abroad; and this interest is finding its ex- foods with the germ and outer layers not removed pression in various researches and numerous by the miller. At the same time they require the papers, these, in turn, being applied practic- stimulation of abundant open-air exercise to make ally in the control of air conditions in hos
them eat and metabolize their food. Household pitals,2 factories, and, in fact, in many other expenses will go up as more food is eaten by chilplaces where human health and mechanical
dren excited by open-air exercise to keen appetite,
but an immense national economy will result from efficiency must be maintained at their best.
a healthy, vigorous, efficient people. Numerous papers bearing upon the subject of physiological meteorology have been pub
But to obtain quantitative measures of the lished from time to time in the Monthly
meteorological conditions most closely related Weather Review, and among the most im
to bodily comfort and health (these condiportant of these is one by Dr. Leonard Hill
tions being temperature, vapor-pressure, and of Essex, England, on “Atmospheric environ
velocity of air movement), recourse must be
had to other devices than the familiar wetment and health."4 Says Dr. Hill:
and dry-bulb thermometers. The thermomThe body is fashioned by nature for the getting eter, Dr. Hill points out, is a static instru
1" Climate and Health, with Special Reference ment, while the body is dynamic, since heat to the United States." Author's abstract in
is produced at a certain rate and must be Monthly Weather Review, December, 1920, pp. 690–
lost at an equal rate. To meet this need, 691. Published in The Scientific Monthly, April,
Dr. Hill, in 1913, devised the katathermom1921. 2 See Huntington, Ellsworth, “The Importance
eter, which has given excellent results. The of Air Control in Hospitals,” The Modern Hos.
katathermometers consists of “a large-bulbed pital, April and May, 1920, pp. 271-275 and 348–
spirit thermometer of standard size and shape, 353; noted in Monthly Weather Review, May, 1920, graduated between 100° F. and 95° F. The pp. 279-280.
8 Cf. Jacob, Robert A., "The Katathermometer: 3 Mount, Harry A., “Making Weather to An Instrument to Measure Bodily Comfort," Order," Scientific American, March 5, 1921, pp. Monthly Weather Review, September, 1920, pp. 188 and 198.
497-498, for history, description and photographs 4 December, 1920, pp. 687-690.
of the katathermometer.
bulb is heated in hot water in a thermos flask in the same robust and vigorous physical conuntil the meniscus rises into the small top dition in which the outdoor worker finds himof the bulb. It is then dried, suspended and self. The economic importance of giving atthe time of cooling from 100° to 95° F. taken tention to these considerations is obvious. with a stop watch in seconds. The number A study of the relations between weather of seconds, divided into a factor number (ap conditions and the incidence of certain disproximately 500, and determined for each in- eases in north Atlantic states has been made strument) gives the cooling power by con- by Mr. John R. Weeks, U. S. Weather vection and radiation on the surface of the Bureau meteorologist at Binghamton, N. Y. “kata” at approximately skin temperature From his studies he has drawn the following in millicalories per square centimeter per conclusions: second. The operation is repeated with a First, that a moderate degree of humidity, cotton muslin finger stall on the bulb and about 70 per cent., and a moderate temperathe wet “kata” cooling power obtained, a ture, about 68° F., should be maintained in cooling power due to evaporation, radiation dwellings; and convection. The difference between the Second, that crowding and mingling with two readings gives the cooling power of the persons having cough should be avoided; evaporation alone.
Third, that sunshine and plenty of interior It is shown by a table to what low values light should be sought; and the cooling power can fall in stagnant air at Fourth, that schools for janitors should be even moderate temperatures-values that are provided in order that the heating and ventimuch too low for any except the most seden- lation of public places may be properly cared tary occupations. And yet it is true that in for. many factories and mills where great heat The objection that a relative humidity as is generated by rapidly moving machinery, high as 70 per cent. indoors in winter would or where workmen are subjected to high tem- be difficult to maintain with a temperature peratures in engine rooms and about furnaces, as high as 68° F. is, no doubt, a valid one; no provision is made for the introduction of but such a temperature would probably be cool air, nor even for keeping the warm air in too high for comfort with that humidity. circulation. The result is that the proper Since it would be much easier to maintain a vigorous activity of the respiratory and high humidity with a lower temperature it vascular organs is not maintained and ill- probably would be possible to find a practicness, or general depression, with its conse- able combination of temperature and humidquent inefficiency results. An excellent ex- ity which would be entirely comfortable. In ample of the effect of providing proper means an article by William E. Watt, principal of for cooling is that of a large steel tube fac- the Graham Public School, Chicago, on tory in England, where air ducts supply air “ How I run my school," it is found that a so cool that the men working before the huge temperature of 60° F. is sufficiently high for furnaces actually feel cool when the furnace comfort if sufficient humidity is maintained. doors are shut. The effect is quite like the By introducing live steam into his warm air heating and cooling on a summer's day with ducts he found it possible to maintain such passing clouds. It is said that the output of conditions, with beneficial results to teachers that factory is greater than that of any other and pupils. of its kind, and there is no industrial unrest. In addition to the necessity for local conThus it is, that by reproducing as far as
6 Abstract and discussion in Bulletin of the possible within doors the slight variations of
American Meteorological Society, February, 1921, temperature and air movement which outdoor workers experience, it is possible to make 7 The Ladies' Home Journal, September 1, 1910, some progress in keeping the sedentary worker