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Council most conspicuous. During the war, the Council was able to bring about a large number of coöperative research undertakings, but these were mainly represented by the appointment of committees, each of whose members was a specialist in the same scientific field, and they worked together by dividing the problem and allocating its several phases to one or another of their members. This is a highly profitable form of procedure where time is of crucial importance, as in war, but it is less likely to commend itself to scientists in time of peace. Meantime, there are abundant problems, and among them many of fundamental national importance, which can only be solved coöperatively and by the joint action of specialists representing quite diverse scientific interests.
The Division of Biology and Agriculture has created a committee for the study of the problems of food and nutrition. The general field of work has been subdivided into that of human nutrition and of animal nutrition. A group of some fifteen eminent scientists have come together and made a preparatory survey of the general problem. These scientists represent chemistry, physiology, zoology, physiological and biological chemistry, vital statistics, agriculture, animal husbandry, and household economics. If, as their work develops, need arises, they will take in representatives of other branches of science. The war made it quite plain that there is a problem of national nutrition quite distinct from that of merely individual nutrition, and to this the committee will also give attention. It will at best be several years before the full fruits of this work will begin to come in, but the coercive and essentially practical character of the problem is evident the moment one faces the facts, and particularly in our own country, where the preparation of large parts of the food material of the people is in the hands of a few great industries. The old-fashioned community lived mainly upon its own immediate neighborhood. The modern community puts under contribution for its food the remotest corners of the earth. The committee has already made an excellent beginning in its work, the cost of which will
probably be largely met by the more directly interested industrial concerns.
The Institute of Baking may serve to illustrate coöperation among the consumers of research. The big industrial concern can often afford to establish its own research laboratory, and many instances of such procedure might be cited. But the small manufacturer cannot afford this luxury, and he must either go without it or join with other small concerns to establish a coöperative research enterprise. The National Research Council has been carrying on an active campaign to introduce the formation of such coöperative arrangements in a considerable group of industries, and thus far with very encouraging success. The Institute of Baking is one in which the Council,
. through its Research Extension Division, has had some part.
The Institute has secured the use of an admirably equipped laboratory, has engaged a scientific director, who has entered into advisory relations with the Council, where he can command suggestions from the ablest men in the country in the various problems of physics, chemistry, bacteriology, etc., involved in the industry. The 28,000 members of the baking trade in this country will be the direct beneficiaries of this work, and indirectly the entire community will profit by it.
Many other instances of research work inaugurated by the Divisions of Science and Technology might be adduced, but these must suffice, and may serve to convey some impression of the character of their activities.
Through its system of publications, to which reference has already been made, the Council attempts to give some publicity to its own work and to the scientific results which accrue from it, although the extant agencies for scientific publication will no doubt care for the larger part of such requirements. In addition, however, to this attempt to bring its work before the public, the Council has entered upon a system of exhibits, which deserves brief mention.
In a new building, which will serve as a permanent home for the National Academy of Sciences as well as for the Council, there will be certain permanent exhibits of fundamental scientific interest, but perhaps more significant will be the system of rotating exhibits designed to show the latest discoveries in pure and applied science in ways readily intelligible to the general public. These exhibits will then be shown in other large centers throughout the country wherever satisfactory arrangements can be made. At the present moment, there is being shown a most striking exhibit of the wireless telephone and of the essential discoveries in pure science which have led up to its perfection. This exhibit has been prepared by the American Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Western Electric Company, with assistance from the Signal Corps of the army.
It is hoped by these methods to arouse a much deeper and more widely disseminated public appreciation of the progress which is constantly going on in scientific work, and of the significance of this work for the prosperity of the commonwealth. If the Council can accomplish some fraction of the general purposes which have been outlined in this chapter, it may well feel that it has served its purpose. Its organization is plastic, and can be made to conform to the changing needs of successive generations. It is based upon an unselfish devotion to the development of human welfare through the most energetic prosecution of the resources of science.
Abstracts, scientific, 432
Charcoal, and gas warfare, 156
service, 148 ff.
history of, 150
inorganic research, 166
of explosives, 123 ff., 134 ff.
organic research, 163
union for, 414
Civil War, science in, 8
Color photography, 97
Commission, Food, 267
Conference, of Divisions of Phys-
ical Sciences and Engi-
Congresses, international scien-
examples of, 396 ff.
Council, of National Defense, 16
Northern France, 190
Death rate, in A. E. F., 346
in camps, 331
de Tocqueville, Democracy in
Diseases, communicable, 329
prevalent in army, 291 ff.
Geography, contributions of, 177
contributions of, 196 ff.
al Research Council, 420
quantities of, 146
Food Administration, 273
problem, 265 ff.
National Research Council,
Hale, G. E., 3, 13, 393, 405
Research Council, 26, 190
of signalling, 221 ff.
Gangrene, anti-gas serum, 301
Illiteracy, in army, 376