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tion of new knowledge as the appreciation of its value, and the necessity of employing scientific methods in all departments of the national executive. We regard the Government scheme as a measure of acknowledgment of the principles of State responsibility and guidance advocated by the guild; and the only regret is that action on these lines was not taken long ago, as it would have been if we had been governed by far-seeing statesmen instead of party politicians. The consequences of Government recognition will certainly be that science will secure increased attention in the thought of the nation generally, and will receive more sympathetic consideration from the industrial world.
The country, as a whole, will be influenced by the lead of the Government. "It appears incontrovertible that if we are to advance or even maintain our industrial position, we must as a nation aim at such a development of scientific and industrial research as will place us in a position to expand and strengthen our industries and to compete successfully with the most highly organised of our rivals." The attitude of mind of the British people, as a nation, towards science, and public estimation and appreciation of its value, must undergo a profound change. It is for the purpose of effecting this change and directing the resulting activity that the Government has established a permanent organisation for the pro
motion of industrial and scientific research.
The main channels of activity of the organisation, of which the advisory council of seven experts is the most important part, will apparently lie in three directions. First, the advisory council will act as scientific advisers to all Government depart
ments concerned with or interested in scientific research; secondly, the advisory council, with the co-operation of the various scientific societies, will consider the application of science to industry, and will seek to enlist the interest of manufacturers; thirdly, the advisory council will advise the Board of Education as to steps which should be taken for increasing the supply of workers competent to
undertake scientific research.
With regard to relations between the manufacturers and the advisory council, it is sincerely to be hoped that the former will lend their utmost assistance to the scheme, which is devised largely in their interests.
On the educational side the work of the advisory council will be of the greatest importance. has recently been emphasised by Dr. Beilby, our colleges have two distinct functions to perform, and it is best that this should be clearly recognised, first to allow the future leaders in applied science to come naturally to the top during their training, and secondly, to prepare a large number of well-trained professional men for the organisation and development of industry." How best to secure these two classes of men in adequate numbers, and, more important perhaps, how to induce an adequate number of the right kind of men to enter the chemical profession, will require careful consideration on the part of the advisory council.
It may, however, be hoped that the council will not pin its faith too much to bursaries and scholarships, but will rather seek to create inducements in the shape of posts which are adequately remunerated, more highly remunerated certainly than has been the case in the past.
MODERN PROCESSES OF MANUFACTURING HYDROGEN FOR AIRSHIPS. N the Revue Générale des Sciences for June 15, M. A. Fournois reviews the earlier methods for the preparation of hydrogen for balloons, and describes in some detail the more modern processes for its manufacture, especially those adapted to field use. The large amount required in the present campaigns can be conjectured from the capacity of the latest type of Zeppelin, which is stated to be some 30,000 cubic metres.
Many of the earlier processes now possess little beyond theoretical interest. The well-known zincsulphuric acid reaction always presented difficulties in the transport of materials, of which large amounts were required. The dangers attendant to the transport of the acid were largely overcome by absorption with acid sodium sulphate, the solid material being dissolved as required, but some 15 kilos. of the mixture were necessary for the preparation of one cubic metre of the gas.
The electrolytic production was a great advance, although the process was naturally expensive, and only possible at fixed generating stations. When the preparation of chlorine by the electrolysis of salt solutions was developed, hydrogen, being a by-product, was available at a cheaper rate. Such gas must always be supplied compressed in the usual gas cylinders, and here again transport difficulties arose, to say nothing of the dangers inherent to the transport of gas at 150 kilos. pressure into the field. One of the ordinary waggons will carry only some 13 kilos. of hydrogen-a small proportion of the total weight of the load-and this is roughly only onehundredth of the gas required for an ordinary dirigible.
Naturally therefore great attention has been directed during the last few years to methods of preparation suitable for field use. The most
successful of these have been the action of water on calcium hydride (CaH) (hydrolite), and the action of caustic soda on ferrosilicon or silicon itself.
Hydrolite is an expensive material-about five francs per kilo.-but the total cost of the outfit for 50,000 cubic metres is given as only about one-third of the cost of the gas in cylinders, one vehicle sufficing for the transport of the hydrolite plant, as against twelve required for gas cylinders. A vehicle carrying six generators gives an output of 500 cubic metres per hour.
In the ferrosilicon process the fine material falls into caustic soda, which is covered with a layer of hydrocarbon oil to prevent frothing. A base plant has an output of 1500 cubic metres per hour; a field plant, comprising two waggons, 400 cubic metres.
Hydrogenite—a mixture of ferrosilicon with dry caustic soda, which only requires addition of water for generation of the gas-has been used in the French service. One cubic metre of the gas is produced from 3 kilos. of the hydrogenite. The German Schuckert process employs silicon alone, an expensive material, and one which requires external heating of the generators.
Two other most interesting processes for the preparation of gas for balloons are mentioned. The decomposition of acetylene in strong steel cylinders by electric sparks is of particular interest by reason of the gas prepared in this way having been used at the Zeppelin factory at Friedrichshaven. The process gave rise to a serious explosion in 1910. The finely divided carbon deposited in the decomposition cylinders is used for the manufacture of printers' ink.
Another process, of Dutch origin, that of Rincker and Wolter, has also been used in Germany. Generators filled with metallurgical coke are blown to incandescence, the air blast shut off, and suitable oils injected until the fall of temperature necessitates a further air blast. portable plant described in a recent issue of the Scientific American, one waggon carries two generators, with oil tanks, blower, &c.; a second car carries the purifiers. The gas passes through the generators in series, and purification is effected by sulphuric acid scrubbing, and finally by caustic soda to remove carbon dioxide. highly incandescent coke the gas is stated to be nearly as light as hydrogen; it has some illuminating value, and is also stated to be suitable for use as an auxiliary gas for furnace work.
SCIENCE, MUSEUMS, AND THE PRESS.
TECHNICAL workers in science and in allied
fields are accustomed to say that the general Press either pays no attention at all to subjects which they themselves believe to have a very important bearing upon the welfare of the people, and to be if properly treated of great public interest, or that it seizes upon only some isolated facts which are capable of being treated in a sensational way so as to furnish "good copy," but with the result of conveying an erroneous and often harmful impression. It is, we are constantly assured, the fact that newspaper editors really would like to have good and accurate popular articles on various branches of science, both pure and applied. The difficulty in obtaining them is twofold. First, that the ordinary journalist, untrained in special subjects, cannot be expected to see the really essential points or to present them in an accurate manner. Secondly, that the scientific worker generally has far too heavy a touch to appeal to the public. An attempt is sometimes made to bring the journalist and the man of science into co-operation by means of an interview, but in this country, at any rate, the scientific worker is apt to dread personal advertisement, and on the other hand he may not altogether care about giving news or opinions of pecuniary value for
another person to take the reward. At any rate the interview generally results in the man of science being made to utter some notable absurdities.
There is, however, another intermediary through which the technical worker can approach a wider public, and that is afforded by the public galleries of our museums, which are coming more and more to rank as educational establishments of prime importance, catering not only for advanced students, but also for school children, and for many who might object to any title so serious as that of students. In so far as the exhibited series of our museums are intended to appeal to this wider and less educated public, they must do so by means of striking objects, attractive installations, and specially prepared labels. To these may be added: printed guides, which are purchased by a very small percentage of the visitors, and in any case are not as a rule written in a style alluring to those who seek amusement rather than instruction; human guides, who may take a perhaps larger but still a small percentage of the visitors round the galleries; and lastly, lectures with the added attraction of lantern-slides, dealing with special portions of the collections.
Many museums, both in Europe and America, are working hard along these lines, and have effected a considerable increase in the number of their visitors. But when all is said and done the proportion of visitors to the number of the surrounding population is indeed a small one. Some American museums claim a proportion as high as 35 per cent., but this, it must be remembered, refers to the number of visits, not to the number of visitors, which is certainly considerably less. Now it is absurd to spend money, time, and trouble in producing an attractive exhibition and then to leave members of the public to find out the fact for themselves. The museums must not be above taking the same steps as are taken by all other caterers for public amusement and instruction. In some form or other the museum must advertise. Here, then, may possibly be found a solution of the difficulty with which we started. Let the museum frankly admit that it must advertise, and let it take the Press for what it is, as the best advertising agent. The Press, on the other hand, welcomes good copy, and in return for that will not in the least mind directing attention to a public non-commercial institution. To accomplish this, the museum should have under the control of the director, a Press department, composed of the best writers on the staff, each of whom should be instructed as part of his official duties to draw up striking articles, not falsely sensational, but none the less abounding in "crispness," "crispness," "snap," and "go."
Some such course as that just advocated is now being taken by the Smithsonian Institution, which for the past year or two has distributed to the general and scientific Press free articles written in lucid, popular fashion, dealing with all kinds of matters of novel interest in the United States' National Museum, and with other branches of the
Institution's work. Among the subjects of those which have lately been sent to us may be mentioned: "Orchids," "Stegosaurus,' "Whetstones,' American History,' "Fashions," "Gerenuk Gazelle," "Printing for the Blind," "Relics of the Grinnell Expedition, Spectroscopic Determination of Minerals," "Gypsum," and "Printing Ink." Some of these deal with publications, others with accessions to the collection or with special exhibitions. Newspaper editors are at liberty to make what use they please of these articles, condensing or embroidering at their fancy. But the result, it is doubtless hoped, is that readers of the newspapers will either send for the publications referred to or visit the exhibition. The Press statements are distributed a few days before it is intended that they shall appear, and editors are requested to return a card of acknowledgment that they have been so used. We shall probably learn the result of the experiment in some future report of the Smithsonian Institution, to which museum curators in this country will look forward with much interest. Although some of our museums, both national and provincial, already utilise the Press in this direct official manner, we are under the impression that their communications are neither so frequent nor so freely distributed as those of the United States National Museum appear to be; neither are they written with quite the same obvious intention of furnishing easy reading for the average citizen.
EXPLORATION IN THE KARAKORUM.
R. FILIPPO DI FILIPPI'S paper to the Royal Geographical Society on June 14 is the record of an expedition more thoroughly equipped, from a purely scientific point of view, than any that has yet attacked the many problems still awaiting solution in the dreary solitudes that lie beyond the valley of the upper Indus. To one who knows by experience the labour involved in transferring himself for a few months only, with no more elaborate outfit than a single tent, a geological hammer, and a camera, to the higher regions of the Himalaya, it seems almost incredible that such items should be included in the impedimenta as a complete wireless installation; pilot balloons, with the hydrogen for their inflation carried in sixteen steel cylinders; and other scientific gear; to say nothing of tents for a party numbering one hundred and fifty persons, and the provisions, amounting to some forty-six tons, requisite for a sojourn of many months in that most inhospitable country. Yet the task was brought to a successful conclusion, in the face of every obstacle that Nature in her most inclement mood could oppose to it. We are left to imagine with how great an expenditure of patience and energy, for the modest narrative of the leader of the expedition,. Signor Filippo di Filippi, makes light of this aspect of the achievement.
The programme was certainly ambitious. included a topographical survey of the Karakoram east of the Siachen glacier, where the great Remo
glacier was found to possess some of the features of an ice-cap, its upper basin being described as a vast circus filled to the brim with ice, which overflows between the surrounding peaks, while one of its branches sends its waters down the Yarkand river into Central Asia, and another feeds the Shyok, a tributary of the Indus: a series of gravimetric observations designed to connect the work of the survey of India along the southern flanks of the Himalaya with that of the Russians in Turkestan determinations of longitude by means of wireless time signals transmitted from Lahore a comprehensive study of the geology, not confined to the main route traversed by the expedition, combined with a collection of anthropological data: and lastly, astronomical and meteorological observations, with complete photographic and cinematographic records.
Leaving Skardu, where it had passed the winter, in February, 1914, the expedition, making its way over passes deep in snow, arrived in the beginning of June on the Depsang plateau, a desolate expanse of minute detritus, at an altitude of 17,400 ft. above the sea, "entirely devoid of vegetation except for occasional patches of a yellowishgreen plant which at first view suggests, more than anything else, some malignant disease of the soil." On this plateau, constantly swept by an icy wind, and deluged with storms of hail and sleet, the scientific work of the expedition was carried on until late in August, when the journey to the plains of Russian Turkestan was resumed and successfully accomplished early in November.
The scientific results of this expedition will be awaited with eager interest. They cannot fail to throw light upon the geodetic aspects of the Himalayan problem, which have recently been the subject of much discussion, and on meteorological questions of great moment in India. It will be interesting also to compare the geological results with the observations of Stoliczka, who traversed the same route more than forty years ago, and whose classification of the formations met with in the N.W. Himalaya remains practically impaired to the present day.
T. H. D. L.
THE Moxon gold medal of the Royal College of Physicians has been awarded to Prof. J. J. Déjerine, of Paris, and the Baly gold medal to Dr. F. Gowland Hopkins.
WE learn from Science that the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of New York City has passed a resolution authorising the issue of 20,000l. corporate stock of the City of New York to provide means for permanent improvements at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, including the completion of the laboratory building and plant houses. This action was taken following the generous offer of Mr. A. T. White, chairman of the Botanic Garden Committee of the Brooklyn Institute trustees, to secure a like sum by private subscription. The amount was subscribed by
Mr. White and the donors of the original endowment of the garden. Plans are now being prepared for the completion of the buildings, only one-fifth of which has been erected.
THE death is announced on July 23 of Dr. Edmund Owen, consulting surgeon to St. Mary's and other hospitals. He was also surgeon-in-chief to the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Dr. Owen was in 1867 appointed demonstrator and in 1876 lecturer in anatomy at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School. In addition to numerous more technical works, he published in 1890 a "Manual of Anatomy for Senior Students." The article on "Surgery" in the current edition of the "Encyclopædia Britannica" was from his pen. He was a member of the council of the Royal College of Surgeons for sixteen years, and a vice-president of the college. He became a member of the British Medical Association early in his career, and in 1883 he was secretary of the Section of Surgery at the Liverpool meeting, from which date he took an increasingly important part in its affairs. In 1906 he delivered the Bradshaw lecture on cancer, and in 1911 the Hunterian oration.
THE following additional lists have reached us of members of scientific staffs on active service with H.M. Forces:-DUBLIN: Geological Survey of Ireland:-T. Haigh, professional assistant (chemist and soil analyst), Sergt. 7th Batt. Royal Dublin Fusiliers; H. T. Kennedy, geologist, Lieut. Royal Scots Fusiliers; R. L. Valentine, geologist, Lieut. 8th Batt. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. LONDON: Geological Survey-C. H. Cunnington, geologist, 2nd Lieut.; R. J. A. Eckford, fossil collector, Lance-Corpl. ; R. du B. Evans, geologist, 2nd Lieut. (wounded and prisoner); P. A. Frisby, assistant clerk, Sergt.; D. Haldane, fossil collector, Sergt. ; W. B. R. King, geologist, Lieut.; R. W. Pocock, geologist, 2nd Lieut.; H. H. Read, geologist, private; J. E. Richey, geologist, 2nd Lieut.; A. P. Stewart, general assistant, private; T. H. Whitehead, geologist, Lieut.-Dr. E. N. da C. Andrade, who held a John Harling fellowship in the University of Manchester at the outbreak of war, and was engaged in physical researches, though not on the teaching staff, is a 2nd Lieut. in the Royal Garrison Artillery.
In response to the circular letter referring to offers of service connected with the war, sent to fellows of the Chemical Society on July 1 (see NATURE, July 8, p. 523) more than 900 forms have been received, together with many letters and suggestions. In that letter it was stated that in dealing with these replies the council would have the assistance of special committees, each of which would be formed by a kindred society. The following societies are co-operating Royal Agricultural Society, Biochemical Society, Society of Chemical Industry, Society of Dyers and Colourists, Faraday Society, Institute of Chemistry, Institute of Metals, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Pharmaceutical Society, Physical Society, Society of Public Analysts. Each of these societies will nominate six experts who, together with two members of the council of the Chem
Society, will form a committee to consider and report on matters referred to it by the council. In addition to these special committees, a general committee is in course of formation which will consist of about twenty members, two being nominated by each of the co-operating societies. The function of this general committee will be to deliberate on all questions of general policy with reference, not merely to questions directly relating to the war, but
also to all matters on which it is desirable to have the opinion of a body thoroughly representative of every department of chemical science.
IN the course of a statement on the work of the Ministry of Munitions, made in the House of Commons on July 28, Mr. Lloyd George said :—"I have just completed arrangements to constitute an Inventions Branch of the Ministry of Munitions, and I hope it will do for inventions for land warfare what Lord Fisher's Board is doing for naval warfare. The War Office is handing over the whole question of Army inventions to the Minister of Munitions, and careful arrangements are being made to secure that the new branch will keep in close touch both with Lord Fisher's to avoid duplication and overlapping, and also with War Office experts and Army authorities, who must, of course, have an ultimate voice in deciding whether a particular invention is of practical service to the conditions of actual warfare in the present campaign. I have appointed Mr. C. W. Moir, a distinguished engineer, who has already given valuable assistance to my Department on a voluntary basis, to take charge of the new branch, and he will not only have an expert staff to deal with any project that may reach him, but also a panel of scientific consultants to assist on technical and scientific points. I think to save disappointment I ought to say that it ought to be clearly understood that only a very small minority of inventions are of practical value, especially under the stringent conditions of modern warfare. Many projects fail from technical defects, many others, although technically perfect, are unsuitable for the practical conditions of war. The new branch will have justified its existence if one project in a hundred, or even one in a thousand, turns out to be of practical utility in the present emergency."
SCIENCE in Oxford has suffered a further loss by the death of Dr. A. J. Herbertson, of Wadham College, professor of and reader in geography. A native of Scotland, Prof. Herbertson prepared himself for his scientific career by a course of study in Germany, where he graduated as Ph.D. of the University of Freiburg. Appointed reader at Oxford in 1905 and professor in 1910, he was enabled by the liberality of the Royal Geographical Society, and with the support of the University, to establish and equip a department representing not unworthily a branch of natural knowledge which it must be confessed had up to ten years ago received scant recognition in Oxford. It is not too much to say that to the zeal and energy of the late professor is mainly due the flourishing condition of the school of geography now housed in the wellknown building which was for so long the abode of the late Sir Henry Acland. He spared no effort in
urging upon the University the importance of his subject, whether from the scientific or the historical point of view. He secured the services of able colleagues, and by his own powers of organisation and the unceasing labour which he brought to bear upon his work, he succeeded in vindicating for geography something like its proper place in the studies of the University. Prof. Herbertson had done good service as a member of the Royal Commission on Canals and Waterways, and in 1910 he was president of the Section of Geography of the British Association. His numerous publications are well known to all geographers, two of particular scientific importance being an "Atlas of Meteorology" (with Mr. J. G. Bartholomew) and "The Distribution of Rainfall over the Land." His death took place on July 31, at fifty years of age, after a somewhat protracted period of illhealth.
UNDER the title of "War, Wounds, and Disease," Sir William Osler has published a very useful little article in the July number of the Quarterly Review. He takes for his text a dismal old saying, that "Disease, not battle, digs the soldier's grave." It dug that grave deep for the Walcheren Expedition : 23,000 deaths from disease, against 217 killed in action. Again, in the Russo-Turkish war of 1829, there were 40,000 Russians in the hospitals. Sir William Osler reproduces here a very notable diagram, from an article by Kozlovski, showing the losses from disease, and the losses of killed and wounded, in the Crimean and other wars. We are often told that the Japanese, in the Russo-Japanese war, were notably free from disease; but it appears, from Capt. Culmann's paper in the Journal of the R.A.M.C., vol. xiii., that they had no fewer than 51-4 of their strength on the sick list. In the present war, we are justly proud and thankful that the incidence of disease has been light, thanks to the splendid work of the Army Medical Department and the Army Transport Service. Sir William Osler directs attention to the very large proportion of our wounded who are able to return to their arduous duty; it is no fewer than 60 per cent. Then, after noting the unhappy frequency of illnesses from exposure-pneumonia, bronchitis, rheumatismhe reviews the diseases of infection, most of which, in other wars, have been so terrible: wound-infection, tetanus, gas-gangrene, typhus, cerebro-spinal fever, typhoid, cholera, and venereal disease; and to these he adds a note on cases of over-strained and overborne "nerves." Happily, he is able to give a very good report of the general health of the Army; but he warns us that the danger is not yet past. "On the whole, the country may be congratulated on the comparatively small part disease has so far played in the great war. There has been no epidemic on a large scale; and with effective measures it may be hoped that we shall escape the terrible experiences of South Africa and the Crimea."
THE United States Government in the Philippine Islands has displayed laudable zeal in collecting information on the ethnography of the native races. In 1911 the Governor-General directed that each provincial governor should call together the old men of each
tribe and collect all available information about the community in his charge. In reply to this circular about 600 reports of varying interest and value have been received. As a first instalment, Mr. J. A. Robertson, librarian, Philippine Library, Manila, has compiled a monograph on the Igorots of Lepanto, published in the Philippine Journal of Science for November, 1914, giving a number of interesting facts on the social life, manners and customs, magic and religion of this tribe. The report is provided with a bibliography and some useful photographs, and may be recommended to ethnologists.
THE Pioneer Mail of June 18 reports an interesting lecture delivered at Simla by Capt. Acton, health officer, on snakes and snake-charmers. Many snakecharmers pretend that they owe their immunity to graduated doses of venom, but examination of several individuals failed to verify this statement. The snake. charmer at the Calcutta Zoological Gardens rubs venom into any cut he receives, but he uses permanganate and anti-venene whenever he is bitten. Unless graduated injections could be carried on for a year, or at least six months, they would not be sufficient to resist the huge dose of venom from a cobra's bite. Many of them often carry about the nonpoisonous John's earth snake, which is shown to the credulous as double-headed. As a matter of fact, immunity is secured by careful handling of the reptiles, the charmers being taught the art from early youth. Their remedies fall into three classes: snake-stones; drugs and herbs like arsenic, antimony, arislotochia, and opium; invocations and magical formulæ. "It is," he observed, "a well-recognised principle in medical science that any disease which has a host of reputed cures means only one thing that there is no cure, and that the disease has a small death-rate. About 90 per cent. of the cases survive whatever remedy is employed, and this large percentage gives sufficient excuse for reputed cures."
SOME interesting notes on the habits of the fourhorned spider-crab (Pisa tetraodon) appear in the Zoologist for July, by Mr. H. N. Milligan. The author's observations were made upon captive specimens in the aquaria in the Horniman Museum, where this species appears to thrive. The facts recorded refer mainly to the behaviour under the stimulus of fear, the manner of attaching seaweed and other foreign bodies to the shell, and the apparently abnormal relish which the females exhibit for their own eggs, which are devoured almost as soon as laid. Since these are of a bright vermilion colour, and very conspicuous, they would seem to be warningly coloured in so far as other egg-eating animals are concerned. Whether Pisa tetraodon habitually devours its own eggs when at large there is at present no means of discovering. Two admirable essays, the one on the "Home Life of the Kestrel," by Mr. Oswald Wilkinson, the other on 'Hobbies in the Vale of White Horse," by the Rev. J. G. Cornish, appear in Wild Life for July. In each case a most careful study of the nesting habits and care of the young is given, and these notes are supple. mented by a series of very beautiful photographs.