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With this inadequate sketch of present on a very large scale at the flying fields in scientific knowledge regarding life at great this country and in France. altitudes as a background, we may turn to That this program was successfully carthe application of this knowledge to the ried through, and was approaching compleproblems of human engineering in the avia- tion when the armistice was signed, was due tion service of our army during the war. chiefly on the scientific side to the brilliant In September, 1917, I was appointed chair- work of my colleagues Majors E. C. man of the Medical Research Board of the Schneider, J. L. Whitney, Knight Dunlap Air Service and was asked to lay out a plan and Captain H. F. Pierce, and on the adfor the development of a method of testing ministrative side to the splendid cooperathe ability of aviators to withstand altitude. tion of Colonel W. H. Wilmer and Lieuten
You will readily guess the line along ant Colonel E. G. Seibert. which one would attack such a problem. It We have recently published a group of consisted in the development of an appa- papers, brief but fairly comprehensive in ratus from which the man under test their technical details, and I shall not now breathes air of a progressively falling ten- repeat what has there been said, but shall sion of oxygen. The particular form which confine myself to a few salient points. One we use is called a rebreathing apparatus. of these is a final and striking demonstraIt consists of a steel tank holding about 100 tion of our main thesis. Schneider and liters of air, connected with a small spirom- Whitney went into the steel chamber and eter to record the breathing, and a cartridge the air was pumped out of it until the containing alkali to absorb the CO, which barometer stood at only 180 mm., 23 per the subject exhales. Breathing the air in cent. of the pressure outside: the equivathis apparatus through a mouthpiece and lent of an altitude of 35,000 feet. Throughrubber tubing the subject consumes the out the test they were supplied with oxygen oxygen which it contains, and thus pro- from a cylinder through tubes and mouthduced for himself the progressively lower pieces. They experienced no discomfort and lower tensions of oxygen which are the
except from flatus: the gases of the stomphysiological equivalent of altitude. To
ach and intestine of course expanded nearly control and test the accuracy of the results
five fold. with the rebreathing apparatus we installed
In comparison with this observation is in our laboratory at Mineola a steel cham- to be placed the recent record ascent by ber, in which six or eight men together can
Captain Lang and Lieutenant Blowes in sit comfortably, and from which the air can England to a height of 30,500 feet. They be exhausted by a power driven pump
were supplied with oxygen apparatus; but down to any desired barometric pressure.
a defect developed in the tube supplying
Lieutenant Blowes and he lost consciousSuch apparatus was however only the beginning. The practical problem was to de
ness. Captain Lang seems to have suffered
only from cold. termine the functional changes—pulse rate,
From this it might appear that the arterial pressure, heart sounds, muscular coordination and psychic condition occur
9 Y. Henderson, E. G. Seibert, E. C. Schneider, ring in the good, the average and the poor
J. L. Whitney, K. Dunlap, W. H. Wilmer, C.
Berens, E. R. Lewis and S. Paton, Journal Americandidates for the air service, and then to
can Medical Association, 1918, Vol. 71, pp. 1382systematize and introduce these standards 1400.
simplest way to solve the problem of lofty other hand these tests pick out a small ascents would be by means of oxygen appa- group of 5 to 10 per cent. who, without apratus. The Germans evidently made use parent immediate physical deterioration, of such apparatus, for it was found in the withstand oxygen deficiency corresponding wreck of one of the German planes shot to altitudes of 20,000 feet or more. down over London. The British also had It is particularly interesting to note that such apparatus, but it was difficult to manu- when the rebreathing test is pushed beyond facture, wasteful in operation, and in other the limit that the man can endure, be it the respects left much to be desired. In fact equivalent of only 10,000 or 25,000, two the devising of such apparatus and its different physiological types with all graadaptation to the peculiar requirements of dations between them are revealed. The the human wearer are a problem which can fainting type collapses from circulatory be solved only by the close cooperation of failure and requires an hour or two to rea physiologist and a mechanical engineer. cover. Often the heart appears distinctly Mr. W. E. Gibbs, of the Bureau of Mines, dilated. The other and better type, on the with whom I had cooperated in developing contrary, goes to the equivalent of a tremine rescue oxygen apparatus, took up this mendous altitude on the rebreathing appaproblem and produced a device which ratus and loses consciousness, becoming should prove valuable. Unfortunately the glassy-eyed and more or less rigid, but common tendency to favor ideas and ap- without fainting. When normal air is adparatus coming to us from Europe oper- ministered such men quickly recover. ated against the adoption of the better Perhaps I ought to say at least a few American device.
words regarding the other aspects of the It is doubtful however whether any appa- work at Mineola : for example the valuable ratus of this sort will ever quite take the psychological investigations and the conplace of physical vigor and capacity to re- troversy over the rotation tests, which has sist oxygen deficiency on the part of the figured so largely in our medical journals aviator himself. Imagine him, when fight of late. It seemed best, however, to confine ing for his life above the clouds, handi- myself this evening to my own special field. capped by goggles over his eyes, wireless Nevertheless I can not suppress a public telephone receivers on his ears, a combined expression here of my sympathy for the telephone transmitter and oxygen inhaler brave and able scientific men in the psychoover his mouth, and a padded helmet on his logical group at Mineola, who insisted on head!
investigating the validity of the rotation The importance of determining the avia- tests. I am sure that you will feel as I do, tor's inherent power of resistance to oxy- when I tell you that they were threatened gen deficiency, if he is to be even for a few with punishmnet for insubordination when moments without an oxygen inhaler, is they refused to recognize that a regulation demonstrated by the results of the routine of the army, which prescribes the duration examinations made with the rebreathing of nystagmus after the rotation test, necesapparatus in the laboratory. These results sarily makes this a physiological fact. show that 15 to 20 per cent. of all the men I would gladly devote a few minutes also who pass an ordinary medical examination to pointing out some of the lessons to be are unfit to ascend to the altitudes now re- drawn from the rather unusually good opquired of every military aviator. On the portunities which fell to my lot to observe the mingling of science and militarism. path of science must lead to the top, and at The chief lesson can be put in a single- the top must still be science. To achieve phrase: They do not mix. The War Gas this ideal, the scientist must show generosInvestigations, which formed the nucleus on ity toward colleagues and subordinates, an which the Chemical Warfare Service finally enthusiastic recognition of their merit and developed, and the Medical Aviation In
an abnegation of self-aggrandizement, no vestigations, of which I have spoken this less than skill in plan and energy in execuevening, were both successful largely be- tion. It is essential also that he should decause at first they were developed under velop methods for conserving time and civilian control, under that splendid scien- strength by assigning clerical work to clerks tific arm of the government, the Bureau of instead of becoming a clerk himself, in Mines and its able director. It is a wise order that he may keep mind and desk clear provision of our government by which the for the really important things. Secretary and Assistant Secretaries of War The Chemical Warfare Service was a are always civilians. It would also be wise success largely because the chief of the Refor the general staff in any future war to search Division followed these principles keep scientific men on a scientific status in- as the spontaneous promptings of science stead of practically forcing them into uni- and patriotism.10 Medical research in aviaform.
tion was productive just so long as it purWe all hope that we are done with war, sued a similar course. and with soldiers—at least for a generation. He who charts this course, so that others We can, however, derive certain broad les- may follow it through the pathless seas of sons applicable to the conditions of peace the future, will make a great contribution from the experiences and intense activities to science, education, government, and inof war,
when almost unlimited funds were deed to nearly every phase of trained activobtainable for research and the experiences ity in America. ordinarily scattered over years
YANDELL HENDERSON crowded into a few months. One of these YALE UNIVERSITY lessons is that scientific men need to develop the capacity to become the heads of large A NEW DEPOSIT OF URANIUM ORE1 enterprises without ceasing to be scientific, HITHERTO the known deposits of radiumwithout degenerating, as is too often the uranium ore of commercial importance in the case, into the super-clerk, who seems to be United States have been confined to the the American ideal of the high executive carnotite fields of Colorado and Utah, and to official. It is not enough for the scientific a much smaller extent to the pitchblende of man to become the expert adviser to the Gilpin county, Colorado. In the spring of unscientific administrator. If the latter has
1918, a new uranium deposit was discovered at
Lusk, Wyo., which is hundreds of miles from the responsibility he will use his power as
any other known fields, and which has proved he, and not as the scientific man, sees fit.
to be the first isolated deposit of uranium ore To this rule I have known only one splendid to produce commercial quantities. The deexception.
posit at Lusk has now proved itself by the For the most part among us the great
10 Cf. G. A. Burrell, Journal of Industrial and prizes go to the man who works up through Engineering Chemistry, 1918, Vol. II, p. 93. clerical rather than through expert lines. 1 Published with the permission of the director We must find some way to change this. The of the U. S. Bureau of Mines.
production of several carloads of ore contain- intimate mixture of a small quantity of ing about 3 per cent. Ug0g.
uraninite in the quartzite. In the absence of The discovery was made quite by accident coloring by these extraneous oxides, the minby Mr. Ross Lambert, of Casper, Wyoming. eral approaches a canary yellow, resembling Having purchased some land near Lusk, with- that of carnotite. In some cases, the colors out any reference to its mineral value, Mr. are found absolutely different in a single piece Lambert found on the ore dumps of a former of quartzite without its chemical composition silver mine which had been abandoned more or the uranium content differing in the vathan thirty years ago a mineral that at
This is due to the high colortracted his attention by its peculiar yellowish- ing power of a slight predominance of one or green color. Mr. Lambert had a complete the other oxides. A very small proportion of analysis made of some picked specimens by uraninite in the quartzite can color it almost Mr. W. L. Piers, of Denver, who reported a jet black. among other things a content of uranium It has been very difficult to obtain pure corresponding to more than 20 per cent. of crystals of the uranium mineral itself suit. U,Og
able for purposes of identification. However, In September, 1918, one of the writers had Drs. F. B. Laney and E. D. Larsen, of the the privilege of visiting the deposit which is U. S. Geological Survey have been kind situated at Lusk, Wyo., on the Chicago and enough to examine some specimens collected Northwestern Railway, about twenty miles by one of the writers. Dr. Larsen's measurefrom the eastern boundary of Wyoming, near ments of the optical properties indicate the Nebraska-South Dakota intersection. Al- very decidedly that the mineral is identical though considerable prospecting has been done with uranophane, a hydrated calcium silicate in the region since Mr. Lambert's discovery, containing some barium and lead, to which the uranium ore so far appears to be confined the formula CaO(UO,),(Si0,),.6H,0 has to a single hill about one quarter of a mile in usually been assigned. It is readily soluble circumference at its base and tapering up to in acids. The chemical evidence of the a sharp conical top about 350 feet above the writers does not show correspondence with base. The hill was known by the Indians as this chemical formula, but further work, both Silver Cliff Hill, and still carries this name. chemical and optical, is desirable before more It is about one half mile north of Lusk, and definite statements can be made about the lies at the extreme eastern edge of the Hart- crystal form or chemical composition. Dr. ville uplift. The uranium occurs entirely in Laney's microphotographs of polished sections quartzite which lies between mica schist and indicate that the uraninite in the quartzite granite. The ore is marked by its extreme was introduced subsequent to the deposition variations in appearance. The most typical of the sandstone and replaced the cementing variety is a greenish-yellow very intimately material, and to a less extent, the sand grains mixed with quartzite having well rounded themselves. Dr. Laney believes the mineral is grains resembling tapioca in structure and probably an oxidation product of uraninite color. However, the predominance of other (U203). oxides can completely alter the color and ap- The chemical evidence of the writers on pearance of the ore without the uranium con- material not so pure as could be desired tent being affected. For example, a variety (about 80 per cent. pure) indicates that the containing iron oxide has a rich chocolate- soluble bases and acids account for each other brown color, and yet contains 12 to 15 per without reference to the uranium oxide at all. cent. U,0, in some cases. Predominance of This was taken to indicate the existence of a greenish shades is due to the presence
free higher oxide, probably UOg. Since the copper carbonates. Other specimens occurrence of this oxide in nature has not black with a glassy lustre, owing to a very been reported, if confirmed, it would con
stitute a new mineral which it has been pro- (Brooklyn); Low, of Erasmus Hall High posed to name "lambertite” for its discoverer. School (Brooklyn), and Zabriskie, of WashAs already stated, the confirmation must ington Irving High School (Manhattan), await further chemical and optical evidence Principal Denbigh, of Packer Collegiate Inon pure crystals if obtainable.
stitute (Brooklyn); Dr. Edgar A. Bedford, The present development work of the prop- professor of biology in Stuyvesant High erty has not been sufficient to show how much School (Manhattan), in charge of a class in uranium ore it can be expected to produce. general science at Hunter College; Dr. George The fact that it has already produced about C. Wood, president of the New York Asso100 tons is very encouraging.
ciation of Biology Teachers; Dr. James E. The writers have been much indebted by Peabody, chairman, Committee on Biology the courtesies extended by Messrs. Ross Lam- National Educational Association; Professor bert and H. A. Duncan, owners of the prop- R. A. Harper, Torrey professor of botany, erty, and by Messrs. E. D. Morimer and E. A. Columbia University, and Dr. Otis W. CaldDufford, who were in charge of the property well, director of the Lincoln School of Teachat the time of the writer's visit. It is also ers College. an especially pleasant obligation to acknowl- The purpose of the meeting was to secure edge the kind interest and valuable assistance an expression of opinion primarily from adof Drs. Laney and Larsen in the examination ministrative officials of New York City high of this material.
schools as to the actual and possible value of S. C. LIND, elementary biology as a high-school subject
C. W. DAVIS the proposed introduction of courses in genGOLDEN, COLO.,
eral science and community civics in first March, 1919
year of New York City high schools created
the possibility of the elimination or serious SCIENTIFIC EVENTS
curtailment of biology. CONFERENCE ON HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY
It was the unanimous opinion of every An educational conference on biology in
speaker that biology, both in content and in
educational discipline, contributes something New York City high schools was held under
essential in the preparation of young men and the auspices of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, laboratory building, on Friday evening, April young women for citizenship, which is not
afforded by any other subject and it was the 4, 1919, Dr. C. Stuart Gager, director of the Botanic Garden, presiding. The meeting was
expressed opinion of all the principals that the outcome of a symposium and conference
the elimination or curtailment of general on botanical education in secondary schools
biology from the high-school course of study on March 11, under the auspices of the Torrey
would be an educational mistake. All of the Botanical Club at the American Museum of
speakers emphasized the necessity of planNatural History. The conference was com
ning a content of the course so as to make a posed of members of the faculties of Columbia very intimate and obvious correlation with the University, Barnard College, Brooklyn Train- everyday life of the individual. ing School, The Lincoln School of Teachers
The conference is considered by many as College, and the scientific staffs of New York the most important meeting for the considerBotanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanic Gar- ation of this question that has ever been den. The speakers of the evening included: held in New York City and the result was Dr. R. A. Rexford, representing Dr. John L. especially significant in view of a commonly Tildsley, associate superintendent of schools, expressed opinion-shown by this conference in charge of high schools in New York City; to be wholly erroneous—that many if not all Principals Bogart, of Morris High School of the high-school principals were opposed to (Bronx); Janes, of Boy's High School the subject of elementary biology.