PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 2, NUMBER 4, OCTOBER, 1956
HARRY J. FULLER, Editor 203 Nat. Hist. Bldg., University of Illinois, Urbana,
George S. Avery. Jr. - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Harlan P. Banks - Cornell University
Harriet Creighton - Wellesley College
Sydney S. Greenfield - Rutgers University
Paul B. Sears - Yale University
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Golden Jubilee Merit Citations
Fifty Years of Botanical Teaching
Stimulation of Interest Among Undergraduates in Botany
BOT. SOC. TEACHING BULLETINS AVAILABLE
Programs of Interest to Botanists at AAAS Meeting
Botanical Society Council Meetings
NEW CORRESPONDING MEMBERS
WANTED - SCHMEIL BOTANY
GOLDEN JUBILEE FUND
NEW BOTANY QUARTERS AT INDIAN A UNIVERSITY
DATURA RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE
BOTANY AND THE PRESS
AAAS BOOK ON ARID LANDS
CHANGE OF TITLE AND COVERAGE
Institute of Botany at Cornell University, Summer 1956
INCREASED CHARGE FOR STAIN CERTIFICA TION
Golden Jubilee Merit Citations
(At the 50th anniversary banquet, held on August 29th at Univ. of Conn., President
Creighton presented Certificates of Merit to the distinguished botanists whose
names appear below for their contributions to botany. As she read each name,
the President read also the citation following each name. Chairman of the committee
which selected the recipients of these citations was B. S. Meyer.)
HENRY ARDELL ALLARD, for his pioneer investigations of photoperiodism
in plants and for his long continued contributions to our knowledge of this
phenomenon and to other areas of botanical science.
EDGAR ANDERSON, for his extensive contributions to the general
problems of evolution; including the species problem, self-sterility, and particularly
his sponsorship of the idea of introgressive hybridization.
DIXON LLOYD BAILEY, discerning analyst and interpreter of
the concepts of plant pathology, enriching influence in the lives of his associates,
and outstanding contributor to the vigor of scientific study in Canada.
IRVING WIDMER BAILEY, plant anatomist and inspiring teacher,
for his outstanding contributions on the structure of the cell wall and the
histology of the cambium, and for his application of anatomy and morphology
to problems of evolution of angiosperms.
HARLEY HARRIS BARTLETI, for his unflagging support and encouragement
of the whole field of botany and its students, and for his diverse contributions
to paleobotany, enthnobotany, ecology and systematics.
GEORGE WELLS BEADLE, for his long list of contributions to
the cytogenetics of Zea mays and Drosophila and the tremendous impetus he has
lately given to the field of physiological and chemical genetics, particularly
ERNST ATHEARN BESSEY, who with an undeviating zeal for accuracy
has fashioned our generation's magisterial presentation of the science of mycology.
SIDNEY FAY BLAKE, for his scholarly contributions to the taxonomy
of the Composite and other vascular plants, and to our knowledge of the floras
of the world.
EMMA LUCY BRAUN, for her contribution to our knowledge of
the origin and structure of the Eastern American deciduous forest. Her critical
evaluation of the works of others, her capacity to observe correctly in the
field and to interpret forcefully have given biogeographers a new point of departure.
STANLEY ADAIR CAIN, whose sensitive perception of complex
environmental problems and intimate understanding of conflicting points of view
have provided us with many new insights. His courage in opening up new areas
has made him an outstanding interpreter and a leader of men.
RALPH WORKS CHANEY, for his notable achievements in paleobotany,
which have so greatly enriched our knowledge of the Tertiary floras.
AGNES CHASE, one of the world's outstanding agrostologists
and preeminent among American students in this field.
JENS CHRISTIAN CLAUSEN, for his work toward the improvement
of our understanding of the nature and origin of plant species.
RALPH ERSKINE CLELAND, for his extensive researches into the
species relationships and segmental interchange problems in Oenothera and also
for his statesmanship in representing plant science at the national level.
HENRY SHOEMAKER CONARD, taxonomist, morphologist, mycologist,
ecologist, bryologist, shining proof that versatility may serve only to multiply
excellences, and above all a beloved teacher.
WILLIAM SKINNER COOPER, one of the creators of an American
tradition in ecology. His deep feeling for the relatedness and parallel developments
of geology, physiology, taxonomy and vegetation science has been a guiding light
to a whole generation.
JOHN NATHANIEL COUCH, whose studies of the small, the intricate,
and the odd among fungi and their relatives have come to fructification in the
vivid, the significant, and the delectable.
BERNARD OGILVIE DODGE, whose perceptive researches into the
taxonomy, evolution, and pathological relations of the fungi have not been surpassed,
but only overshadowed, by his discovery and exploitation of Neurospora as a
principal source of genetical truth.
BENJAMIN MINGE DUGGAR, for his outstanding researches in plant
physiology, plant pathology, and mycology for over half a century and for his
wise and patient counseling to many students for whom be provided inspiration,
imagination, and high standards of scholarship.
ARTHUR JOHNSON EAMES, plant anatomist and morphologist, for
his sustained researches on the morphology and anatomy of vascular plants and
for his noteworthy contributions to our knowledge of floral development and
KATHERINE ESAU, plant anatomist and histologist, for her numerous
contributions on tissue development of vascular plants and in particular for
her outstanding studies on the structure, development, and evolution of phloem.
ALEXANDER WILLIAM EVANS, who to a fruitful life as the honored
master of hepaticology has added a second as profitably devoted to the disentangling
of the noble genue Cladonia.
HENRY ALLAN GLEASON, for his work on tropical and temperate
floras of America, and for the ideas and inspiration which be has supplied to
the field of systematic botany.
THOMAS HENRY KEARNEY, for his early theoretical contributions
to plant geography, his work in cotton breeding, his systematic studies in the
Malvaceae, and his part in the preparation of the Flora of Arizona.
GEORGE WANNAMAKER KEITT, for his many contributions to plant
pathology, and in particular for his excellent researches on fruit tree diseases,
for his leadership in plant pathology administration, and for his patience and
kindness in counseling many students for whom he provided by illustrative example
the life of a true gentleman.
PAUL JACKSON KRAMER, for productive investigations in various
branches of plant physiology, and especially for significant contributions to
our knowledge of plant water relations and tree physiology.
LOUIS OTTO KUNKEL, for his researches and indefatigable efforts
in experimentation; for his wise counseling of associates and students, for
experimental techniques and publications; and for his productive studies on
the nature of plant viruses.
DANIEL TREMBLY MACDOUGAL, for numerous contributions over
many years, to our knowledge of various phases of plant physiology and plant,
ecology, and especially for advances in our understanding of growth and physiology
of tree species.
GEORGE WILLARD MARTIN, courageous investigator, teacher, editor,
and philosopher, who has brought to the elucidation of the classification of
the fungi field familiarity, laboratory exactness, and a critical intelligence
that neither claims nor acknowledges authority.
MAXIMINO MARTINEZ, for his many technical and semipopular
books and articles on the plants of Mexico. His works have made him a recognized
authority on the Mexican flora, and on the use of plants by man.
FREDERICK WILSON POPENOE, for his efforts toward the improvement
and increased utilization of horticultural crops in tropical America.
WILLIAM JACOB ROBBINS, a physiologist whose studies have enlarged
our knowledge of the growth and nutrition of plants, and an administrator the
breadth of whose labors has notably contributed to the growth and nutrition
of all phases of botany.
ANDREW DENNY RODGERS III, a unique figure on the American
literary scene. His biographies of well-known botanists and histories of phases
of the development of botanical science are readable, scholarly, and authentic.
JACQUES ROUSSEAU, whose explorations of the unknown North
have provided an important contribution to Pleistocene biogeography. His sympathetic
interest in Indian and Eskimo folklore and ways of life, and his encyclopedic
knowledge of the history of Canadian exploration have yielded a rich harvest
of ethno-botanical studies.
KARL SAX, for his classical studies on the chromosomes of
wheat, his continued interest in the chromosomes of the ornamental woody plants
and his extensive contributions about the effect of irradiation on chromosome
breakage and chromosome structure.
PAUL BIGELOW SEARS, whose pioneering efforts in pollen analysis
and continued interest in geochronological problems have made him the leader
of all in this field, on our continent. The keenness of his mind, the warmth
of his personality, the quality of his writing, and his capacity to relate all
scientific problems to man, have earned for him the distinction of an exemplary
figure in American Science.
HOMER LEROY SHANTZ, plant physiologist, plant ecologist, and
administrator of note. His contributions to the understanding of drought resistance
in plants, to the ecology of grasslands, and to world wide plant geography have
been laudable achievements in botanical science.
EDMUND WARE SINNOTT, morphologist, anatomist, geneticist,
and botanical statesman, for his numerous, varied, and sustained contributions
to plant anatomy, histology, evolution, and botanical theory.
FOLKE KARL SKOOG, for outstanding contributions to knowledge
in various subdivisions of plant physiology, especially tissue culture, hormonal
regulation of plant growth, and algal physiology.
GILBERT MORGAN SMITH, morphologist, for his numerous contributions
to cryptogamic botany and in particular for his study of life histories of marine
and fresh water algae.
ELVIN CHARLES STAKMAN, for his illustrious international leadership
in science; for his recognized world leadership in researches on the pathogens
of cereal smuts and rusts and for his genius in inspiring students and workers
to labor untiringly to provide food for mankind.
GEORGE LEDYARD STEBBINS, for his specific contributions to
the cytogenetics of parthenogenesis, hybridization and polyploidy: particularly
in Guayule, Kok-saghyz and the forage grasses; and his outstanding review of
the whole problem of evolution in plants.
JOHN ALHERT STEVENSON, whose encyclopedic knowledge of the
fungi of the world and the diseases they induce has with generosity and humility
been placed at the service of a generation of botanists.
KENNETH VIVIAN THIMANN, for his extensive and preeminent contributions
to the biochemical physiology of green and non-green plants, and to the physiology
of plant growth.
EDGAR NELSON TRANSEAU, for his lifetime of support and encouragement
of botanical science in its broadest sense, both in its educational and scientific
aspects. He has made substantial contributions to plant ecology, algology, and
to botanical education at all levels, from high school to graduate school.
CORNELIS BERNARDUS VAN NIEL, whose studies in the realm where
kingdoms and classes scarcely exist have provided illumination for syntheses
of diverse phases of biology.
JOHN ERNST WEAVER, for his lifetime of researches on the ecology
of grasslands. His investigations have contributed to the understanding of the
dynamics of vegetation and have helped provide a necessary background for new
policies in range management.
FRITS WARMOLT WENT, for his breadth of constructive interest
in botanical science and especially for his contributions in the fields of plant
physiology and ecology. The first botanist to put the assay of auxins on a quantitative
basis, he subsequently has added substantially to our knowledge of the hormonal
relations of plants. He has also been an outstanding investigator of growth
of plants under controlled environmental conditions.
RALPH HARTEY WETMORE, plant anatomist and student of morphogenesis,
for his numerous investigations of the developmental anatomy of vascular plants
and for his studies on morphogenesis of vascular cryptogams.
TRUMAN GEORGE YUNCKER, for his lifetime of effective teaching
at the undergraduate level, which has resulted in launching many able young
scholars into careers in botany, and for effective contributions in taxonomy,
especially of the Piperaceae.
Fifty Years of Botanical Teaching
EDMUND W. SINNOTT, Yale University
(Note: By popular request. the papers presented at the Teaching Section symposium.
"Trends in Botanical Teaching." on August 28, 1956, at Storrs, are
being published in slightly abbreviated form in this organ. Two papers are presented
in this number, the two remaining papers in the January 1957 number, if the
consensus of members is that PSB should be continued. Dr. Sinnott's paper was
first on the symposium. Dr. Palmquist's third.)
A significant fact about our meetings this year is that the problems of teaching
have such an important place on the program. Not only the AIBS but the AAAS,
the NAS, the NRC, the NSF and various other a1phabetica1 agencies are now concerning
themselves with the problems of science teaching. This matter has lately assumed
national importance because of the growing deficit of men and women trained
in the sciences.
As botanists we are particularly interested in the teaching of our own science,
and our concern with it is shown by the establishment of a section in our society
to serve as a center for the discussion of teaching problems. Fifty years ago
such concern was much less evident. Botany had only recently become a science
in the modern sense, and botanists devoted their meetings almost wholly to reports
of research. Formal recognition of teaching problems was rare. Many of the best
botanists of early days, however, such as Asa Gray, C. E. Bessey, W. J. Beal
and L. H. Bailey were good teachers and gave much attention to their students.
The first official recognition by botanists of the importance of teaching seems
to have been in 1900 when the Society for Plant Morphology and Physiology appointed
a committee to formulate a high-school course in botany acceptable to the College
Entrance Examination Board. This committee, consisting of Professors W. F. Ganong,
F. E. Lloyd and H. C. Cowles, presented four reports between 1901 and 1908.
The first examination was held in 1902. The course they outlined was an inclusive
one consisting of three parts: Anatomy and Morphology, Physiology and Ecology,
and Plant Groups and Classification. The importance of high-school work in botany
was thus recognized early. This committee was taken over by the Botanical Society
of America when the latter was organized and in 1907 was made its standing committee
on education. It apparently did nothing further.
The next milestone was the address of Prof. W. F. Ganong as retiring president
of the Botanical Society at the Boston meeting in 1909. Prof. Ganong was the
first botanist of note to devote himself almost entirely to teaching problems
and he suffered somewhat in reputation thereby among certain of his colleagues.
He wrote several texts, perfected a set of apparatus for physiological experiments
and developed a notable greenhouse teaching laboratory at Smith College.
His address. "Some Reflections upon Botanical Education in America"
(Science 31: 321-334, March 4, 1910), has a very modern tone. It pleads for
a more humanistic teaching of botany, and points out four reasons why botanical
teaching is often unsatisfactory: (1) we do not develop the scientific spirit
in our students; (2) we give more thought to our subject than to our students;
(3) we trust too much in systems and too little in persons, and (4) our methods
of training teachers of botany are wrong.
At the botanists' dinner during the Minneapolis meeting in 1910 there was an
informal discussion of teaching problems. Prof. Bessey warned against expecting
too much of our young teachers at first. He urged the importance of choosing
good people for teaching. Prof. Caldwell emphasized the need for research on
problems of botanical education, and the necessity of good teaching in high
schools. Dr. Clements pleaded with his colleagues not to discourage prospective
botanists by giving them a host of technical terms. He advocated doing away
with lectures, texts and quizzes and would confine botanical instruction to
laboratory and field work. Dr. Coulter defined a good teacher as one who puts
the fewest obstructions in the way of the student. Dr. Newcombe believed that
we try to give the student too much subject matter and too little opportunity
to work for himself. A report of this discussion was published in Science 33:633-649,
April 28, 1911.
After 1910 there was a considerable period in which little formal attention
was given to teaching problems. Many of the younger botanists, however, were
interested in these matters and held numerous informal discussions about them.
Among these were L. C. Petry, E. N. Transeau, H. H. Bartlett, E. J. Kraus, G.
M. Smith, J. R. Schramm, H. C. Sampson, E. L. Stover and a number of others.
A Round Table on teaching was held at the Philadelphia meeting in 1926. Before
this a questionnaire was sent out to a considerable num- her of botanical teachers.
This asked (1) whether there should be an organized effort by the Botanical
Society to encourage better teaching either by an annual session or a section
devoted to this subject or by the setting up of a committee; (2) what are the
best methods to make our students familiar with plant science--lectures? texts?
discussions? personal conferences? laboratory? field work? and (3) how can we
best inculcate the valuable by-products of a course in botany? This Round Table
led to some interesting discussion but no very definite conclusions.
Among other informal sessions devoted to botanical teaching may be mentioned
one at the International Botanical Congress at Ithaca in 1926 and another at
the summer meeting of the Society at Dartmouth College in 1929. One session
of the General Section of the Society at the Nashville meeting of 1927 was devoted
to problems of teaching.
In 1934 a meeting was held at the Iowa State College to celebrate six decades
of modern botany, with particular reference to the coming of Prof. C. E. Bessey
to Ames in 1870. Among other events was a stimulating session on the teaching
of general botany at which twelve papers were read by persons particularly interested
in this subject. These were later published in Volume 1 of the Iowa State College
Journal of Science in 1935.
At the Boston meeting of the Botanical Society in 1933 a standing committee
on teaching was proposed and tentatively named but little action seems to have
followed. At the St. Louis meeting of 1935, however, a committee for this purpose
was formally set up consisting of ten botanists with Prof. E. L. Stover as chairman.
This committee reported at the Atlantic City meeting in 1936 and was then authorized
to study the teaching of botany in the colleges and universities of the United
States. This task was made possible of accomplishment by a grant of $5,000 from
the General Education Board. Dr. Clark W. Horton aided the committee as research
This committee distributed widely an extensive questionnaire and, on the basis
of returns from this, published in 1938 a notable report entitled "An Exploratory
Study of the Teaching of Botany in the Colleges and Universities of the United
States." This was followed in 1939 by a report by Dr. Horton, sponsored
by the committee, entitled "Achievement Tests in Relation to Teaching Objectives
in General College Botany." Both these reports, deserving of wide reading
today, are still available from Dr. Ernest L. Stover at Eastern Illinois State
College, Charleston, Illinois.
This committee was discharged in 1947, when the section on Botanical Teaching
was formally organized. As a result of the ensuing discussion of teaching problems
a Committee was appointed at the New York meeting of the Society in 1949, under
the chairmanship of Prof. Sydney S. Greenfield, to study the role of botany
in American colleges and universities. This committee reported at the annual
meetings in 1950, 1951, and 1952. Among its final recommendations was the appointment
of a Standing Committee on Education, which was done in 1952. Prof. V. A. Greulach
is the present chairman of this committee.
One of the accomplishments of the committee has been the inauguration of Plant
Science Bulletin, the first issue of which, under the editorship of Harry J.
Fuller, appeared in January, 1955.
This brief historical account makes clear the growing concern of botanists
during the past fifty years over problems of botanical teaching. Interest has
centered in three main questions: (1) What are the objectives of the general
course in botany? Should it primarily give knowledge and appreciation of plants,
inculcate the scientific attitude, train for research, prepare for professional
work or combine various of these objectives? (2) What methods should be employed
— lectures, text books, laboratory, field work, discussions, or others?
(3) What should be the content of the elementary course? This has obviously
been affected somewhat during recent decades by the advances in genetics. Physiology,
biochemistry and other subjects but the main problems still continue. Beyond
this is the perennial question as to whether botany should be combined with
zoology in a course in biology.
This historical account emphasizes the fact that the problems of fifty years
ago were much the same as those which we still discuss today. Most of them are
by no means settled. Does this mean that we have failed to make progress toward
better botanical teaching and a clearer recognition of the importance of botany
in higher education? Certainly one would wish that we might have advanced further
in these matters. The inertia of botanical teachers and of college curricula
have hindered the coming of many changes which would have been salutary.
In some respects, however, very definite progress has been made. First, botanical
teaching is now recognized as a highly respected part of our profession, as
shown by the great interest and support it commands. Botanists no longer have
to discuss teaching almost surreptitiously, or at least with only informal recognition
at our meetings. Second, there is general acceptance of the fact that much can
be gained by conference and experiment. Some methods and some types of courses
have been clearly shown to be superior.
One general conclusion, however, that we can draw from our experience is that
it is both impossible and undesirable to regiment our teaching and run all teachers
and students into the same mold. There are many kinds of good courses and of
methods for good teaching. Institutions and their problems differ, and there
are differences among teachers and among students. Whatever methods work in
attracting good students, arousing their interest and training them well are
to be encouraged. The main problem is to find and train good teachers who have
interest in their work and in their students. They will make almost any system
succeed. The teacher should be a spark plug and not simply a fuel pipe.
History should give wisdom for the future. What has it done for us? At least
it has shown clearly what our problems are and has staked out the road we must
follow. When we celebrate the centennial of the Botanical Society of America
fifty years from now, we shall have made. I am sure, some very substantial progress
Stimulation of Interest Among Undergraduates in Botany
EDWARD M. PALMQUIST
Program Director for Education in Sciences
National Science Foundation
At the beginning of a summer quarter at the University of Minnesota during
the last war, about fifty naval officer trainees were told to register for a
course in general botany. As they assembled around the registration table I
overheard two of them greet each other as follows:
"Hi-ya Grady, are you taking Botany too?" "Yeah," the Commander
said, 'Take Botany.' "I don't get the idea but here I am."
"But Grady what good is it? What do we do in Botany?"
"Oh I guess we'll grab a little bee somewhere and tear him down,"
Early one spring morning a few years ago as I worked in my garden, my new neighbor,
a university professor, approached with a long stick, on the end of which was
a huge slug.
"What is this thing?" he asked, "It isn't a snake is it?"
"No, it's a slug, which I believe is more closely related to the snails."
"Well thanks," he smiled with some relief, HI knew
you could tell me because it is in your line.
You're a botanist aren't you?"
These incidents are cited to support my thesis that people in general do not
have a very accurate picture of what botany is or what botanists do. The student,
Grady, thought bees, or maybe all "bugs" were the business of botanists;
my neighbor too had us dealing in the animal kingdom. To be sure, these are
extreme cases, but even among those who associate us with plants there are many
with far fetched ideas about what we do. The impression is still widespread
that a botanist is largely occupied with wandering through fields and woods,
a tin box slung over one shoulder and trowel in hand, gathering plants to be
dried, pasted on sheets of cardboard, and given polysyllabic Latin names.
There seems also to be a general impression that the study of botany is, in
terms of practical usefulness, about on a level with the study of Greek coins,
or Sanskrit. This, paradoxically, in spite of the fact that a large share of
our people earn their livelihood by dealing directly with plants or plant products.
The popular concept of botany also has an aura of femininity. Dr. Sinnott has
mentioned the eloquent statement of this aspect of botany in the preface of
Mrs. Lincoln's textbook of last century. Even today some student advisers feel
that if a young lady in college is required to take a course in a biological
science it should be botany rather than zoology. The basis for this, I believe,
is that pulling apart the petals of a flower, or even cutting sections of a
stem, is less traumatic to sensitive natures than dissecting an earthworm or
a frog. All these elements of botany in the public image give the teacher of
introductory college botany an advantage, in terms of stimulating student interest
in his subject, over the teacher of introductory courses in other subjects.
The student on entering his first course in botany, with his preconceptions
in accord with the popular image of the subject, does not expect much. How different
the expectations of the student on entering his first course in psychology;
now at last he will be given the word on how to win friends and influence people.
Pity the poor psychology professor; he can't possibly live up to expectations.
The professor who teaches General Botany, on the other hand, can give his students
many pleasant, unexpected surprises. They are like the dinner guests who, sitting
with their host, expected beans and bread, and then were served filet mignon
with all the trimmings.
The teaching botanist in an introductory college course has two responsibilities
to his profession with respect to the generation of student interest: ( I) to
stimulate the minds of the general students whose predilections in other directions
or lack of aptitude preclude them from consideration as prospective career botanists.
and (2) to so heighten the interest of the relatively few with high aptitude
for work in botany that they will give serious consideration to it as a career
field. The successful teacher makes some progress toward both of these goals
which I shall treat briefly in turn.
1. The general students.
The run-of-the-mill students, who are not likely prospects as career botanists,
can be a source of utter discouragement to the neophyte teacher. In his first
professional year, the beginning teacher learns that some of the students in
his class have less than his degree of interest in plants. He learns that his
classes include a large fraction of students whose orientation does not appear
to be "academic"; they did not enroll because of a burning desire
to learn about plants, but rather because the course fulfills a science requirement
or, if there is an agricultural college in school, because it is prerequisite
to courses in practical plant sciences.
Many students entering a general course appear to be neutral, but some are
negative. While perhaps not formally challenging the teacher to "reach"
them, some appear to consider it a sign of weakness to show interest in learning,
and often outwardly affect an attitude of studied boredom.
These general students, the neutral and the negative, need the warm and liberalizing
influence of a professionally mature, but not necessarily old, and interested
teacher who has a real mastery of his subject and is excited about the facts
and ideas he is teaching. By
"excited" I do not mean exuberant or gushy, but rather with an unaffected
and contagious sense of the importance and implications of his subject.
The subject matter of introductory botany provides ideal material for such
a teacher. It is almost entirely new to the general student, and as understanding
of such phenomena as photosynthesis, respiration, cell division, inheritance,
infection, and evolution grows, so does understanding of their import. To the
degree that a teacher develops interest in such phenomena, he contributes to
the liberal education of the general student and at the same time raises his
profession in public esteem.
Whereas some of the botanist's colleagues in the social studies and humanities
are largely limited in their classes to "talking about" their subjects,
the botanist, along with other scientists, deals with ideas related to material
"things" that can be seen. The botanist does not follow the philosophy
of Thomas Carlyle who said. "The true university is a collection of books"
but heightens the presentation of his subject matter by the use of appropriate
materials in laboratory and classroom demonstrations, illustrating the research
spirit and pointing to fields yet unconquered.
The economic importance of plants gives the teaching botanist an advantage.
Some students seem to be interested only in what they deem "practical";
these, and many with less limited outlooks, are attracted by the role of plants
and plant products in the everyday life of man. An introduction of our science
to college students should not be "man-centered" nor oriented around
the utilitarian, but neither should it avoid the practical importance of plants
Finally, the teaching botanist has a wealth of instructive narrative he must
tell. None of the popular historical novels, even the best seller, is based
on happenings more dramatic or of greater significance to man than some of those
in the history of plant science. The factual stories of Hooke, Leeuwenhoek,
Priestly, Mendel, Pasteur, Darwin and Huxley are fascinating as well as instructive.
2. Highly able students.
Almost any class in introductory botany or biology will include a few students
who have greater native ability or aptitude for work in some phase of botany
than their teacher has. No teacher, except the con- firmed egotist, can fail
to recognize this. In terms of advancing the profession, spending time with
his best students is the most profitable investment a teacher can make.
In the study reported in The Origins of American Scientists by Knapp and Goodrich,
an attempt was made to determine the common characteristics of the science professors
whose records indicated that they were markedly successful in motivating capable
undergraduates to take graduate work in their science. While the personal traits
and instructional procedures of these teachers were diverse, the combination
of characteristics shared most generally were those in the complex designated
by psychologists as the "father figure." In addition to performing
well in the classroom, these professors appeared to take a warm, personal, almost
paternal, interest in their students.
Apart from doing a skillful job in formal course work, the teacher of an introductory
botany or biology course can stimulate the interest of his most able students
by becoming personally acquainted with them. He can augment it by giving close
attention to their individual course projects, aiding them in developing the
skills and techniques necessary for successful work on their projects, and providing
the most interested ones a place to work in the botany building even if only
a table in a corner.
Highly able students who show a predilection for particular kinds of work in
botany can be further encouraged by specialists on the staff who may not have
a part in the introductory course. The teacher of the introductory course can
strengthen the interest of his most able students by arranging for them to meet
and discuss their work with other members of the staff. Earlier this month it
was my privilege to visit the first Summer Institute for college teachers of
botany sponsored by the Botanical Society of America. The Institute, supported
by a grant to the Society from the National Science Foundation, was held at
Cornell University under the direction of Harlan Banks. It was attended by about
sixty teaching botanists from colleges in twenty states.
With this aliquot of our corps of teaching botanists concentrated in one lecture
hall, and anticipating the preparation of this paper, I could not resist the
opportunity to gather some relevant data. The participants in the Institute
graciously wrote brief answers to the following questions:
(1) What was the most important factor in awakening your early interest in plants?
(2) What was the most potent single influence that led you to adopt botany as
a career field?
(3) In working with students, what particular activities have you found most
likely to capture their interest in botany?
Of the 53 answers to the first question: 22 reported that their early interest
in plants was awakened directly by contacts with them in informal day-to-day
childhood activities; 19 reported that their early interest in plants was generated
by participation in planned programs, especially through courses in school and
boy scout work; and 12 reported that their early interest was awakened by a
particular person, usually a teacher or parent.
The 53 answers to the second question, "What was the most potent single
influence that led you to adopt botany as your career field?" may be summarized
as follows: A particular teacher-25; a general liking for plants-13; the offer
of a graduate assistantship-7; their recognition of the economic importance
of plants-3; a particular course in botany-2; parents or friends-2; that he
was "drafted" by his department (biology) chairman-1.
These answers, if at all representative of the profession as a whole, emphasize
the importance of teachers in recruiting career botanists. Many of the twenty-five
extolled the teacher mentioned; this high esteem was warmly expressed, as exemplified
by one respondent who wrote that his teacher, ". . . did such a wonderful
job that he became more or less my idol."
In response to question 3, about twenty different class activities were listed
as likely to capture student interest in botany. Some of these were more commonly
listed than others. The most frequently mentioned, and the number of teachers,
of 53, that mentioned them were as follows: Field work and the identification
of plants-26; experiments in plant physiology-17; first hand study of living
plants-16; economic importance of plants-12; individual student projects-10;
greenhouse work, especially plant propagation-6.
These categories are, obviously, not mutually exclusive, and the activities
described by the respondents were classified on the basis of their primary intent.
There was wide endorsement of independent work by students as a method for generating
interest. As stated in one answer, "Suggest to them an elementary, but
sound problem they can solve by their own collections, anatomical study, or
physiological experiments- a problem on which they can receive and use guidance,
yet one on which they can come to a conclusion of their own. ... and the pontifical
word 'research' need not enter the picture."
Considering positive means to stimulate student interest in botany almost automatically
leads to the consideration of practices that deaden such interest. A number
of such negative practices were mentioned on the questionnaires. Individual
discussions with other college teachers and with students have also brought
out habits that tend to alienate interest. Among these are the following:
1. Appearing before a class without sufficient planning. I was told of one
professor who left his re- search laboratory reluctantly at the sound of the
class bell and appearing before his class in plant physiology said, "Now
tell me, what did I talk about last time?" Then, on being told, "Oh
yes, I remember. Now class, what would you like me to talk about today?"
The late Dr. Irion once said, "If a teacher plans merely to cover certain
topics, that is what he usually does; that is, he buries them." 2. Assuming
that students have much more background or preparation for a topic than they
actually do. 3. Adopting the role 'of an oracle. Interest is not generated by
teachers who answer why questions by explaining "This is true because I
said so," and still less by those who brook no questions at all. 4. Evading
students out of hours. One professor of general botany, now no longer teaching,
refused to have his name painted on his office door because he didn't want his
students to find him. 5. Showing partiality in grades or otherwise. 6. Reading
long tracts in class. Several graduate students recalled as the dullest of all
their professors one who in taxonomy classes read page after page from Gray's
Manual, including the keys.
The effect of such practices on student interest is so obvious it is hard to
see how any mature botanist could follow them and expect to attract students
to his field. Perhaps we should spell out a decalog for botany professors. I
recommend the following:
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE TEACHING BOTANIST
1. Thou shalt have no other goals before leading students to learn.
2. Thou shalt not take unto thy class any dried or pickled plants, or graven
images thereof, when living specimens can be found.
3. Thou shalt not take the name, "Great Scientist," unto thyself,
nor be vain.
4. Remember the sabbatic leave, if any; take it regularly to keep thee wholesome.
5. Honor thy students and thy colleagues, and respect them as equals except
only in thy special field.
6. Thou shalt not kill-the enthusiasm of thy students by over-burdening them
with trivial busy-work.
7. Thou shalt not commit adulteration of student grades, even for a pretty face
or pressure from the parents or the Department of Athletics.
8. Thou shalt not steal-away from the laboratory classes, leaving them solely
to student assistants.
9. Thou shalt not bear false information to thy students, nor bluff, nor improvise
10. Thou shalt not covet the zoologist's space, nor his budget, nor the bright
man students and the maid students he receiveth from the premedical and nursing
programs, nor any other thing that is zoological.
Samuel J. Golub, for the past 8 years assistant prof. of botany
at Brandeis Univ., has been appointed Senior Research Associate at Fabric Research
Laboratories, Inc., Dedham, Mass. In his new post, Dr. Golub will be concerned
with relations of microorganisms and fungi to textile fabrics, the morphology
of natural fibers, and other biological problems centering upon natural fibers.
Recent deaths of botanists: W. W. Garner, USDA, Washington,
D.C.; B. M. Duggar, Lederle Lab., Pearl River, N.Y.; A.
G. Tansley (Corresponding Member of Bot. Soc.), Grantchester, England;
A. R. Bechtel, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana; Fred
R. Jones, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.; Patrick Butler,
Biol. Labs., Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass.; C. L. Shear,
USDA, Monroe, La.; Ivar Tidestrom, USDA and Catholic Univ.,
St. Petersburg, Fla.; W. W. Lepeschkin, Nat. Naval Med. Center,
E. M. Gilbert, Univ. of Wis.. Madison. Wis.; Roy
E. Clausen, Univ. of Calif.. Herkeley. Calif.
Univ. of Michigan has made the following appointments in Botany to begin with
the 1956-57 academic year; Charles B. Beck, Instructor in Botany;
Wm. S. Benninghoff, Assoc. Prof.. to head program in plant
ecology; Peter Hyypio, Instructor in Botany and Research Assoc.
at Bot. Gardens; Peter B. Kaufman, Instructor in Botany and
Research Assoc. at Bot. Gardens; Rudolph M. Schuster, Asst.
Prof. of Botany and curator of Bryophytes in Univ. Herbarium.
Leland Shanor has resigned his professorship at Univ. of Illinois
to become Professor and Head. Dept. of Biology, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee,
as of Sept. 1, 1956.
George W. Martin, professor-emeritus, State Univ. of Iowa,
has been appointed Visiting Prof. of Botany at Univ. of 111. for 1956-57 to
handle work in mycology.
Edward M. Palmquist, who has been Program Director for Education
in Sciences. National Science Foundation, has returned to the Univ. of Missouri
and has acquired a new portfolio, that of Associate Dean of the College of Arts
The George R. Cooley Award of $500 for outstanding papers published in 1955
on southeastern flora of the U.S. was shared by Robert F. Thorne,
State Univ. of Iowa, and Robert L. Wilbur, N. Car. State College.
Dr. Thorne's paper, "The Vascular Plants of Southwestern Georgia."
was published in Amer. Midland Naturalist. Dr. Wilbur's "A Revision of
the North American Genus Sabatia (Gentianaceae)" in Rhodora. The George
R. Cooley Award of $100 for the outstanding paper presented before the Amer.
Soc. of Plant Taxonomists at its meeting held with AIBS meetings at Storrs went
to Henry J. Thompson, UCLA, whose paper was "A Genetic
Approach to the Taxonomy of Mentzelia lindleyi."
The Darbaker A ward for excellence of publication in phycology was made to
Robert W. Krauss, University of Maryland, primarily for his
work on metabolism of Scenedesmus and other microscopic algae. The amount of
the award made at the Storrs meeting was $200.
BOT. SOC. TEACHING BULLETINS AVAILABLE
"An Exploratory Study of the Teaching of Botany in the Colleges and Universities
of the U. S.," published in 1938 by the Bot. Soc. Committee on Teaching
of Botany in American Colleges and Universities, and "Achievement Tests
in Relation to Teaching Objectives in General College Botany," published
in 1939 by the same committee, are still available to members who would care
to have one or both. Order them from E. L. Stover, Dept. of Botany, Eastern
Illinois State College, Charleston. Illinois. There is no charge for these,
except for postage; send Dr. Stover 10c in stamps if you want both bulletins,
7c in stamps for one.
Programs of Interest to Botanists at AAAS Meeting, New
York, Dec. 26-31, 1956
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS AND UNITS OF SCIENCE
AAAS General Symposium:
Thurs., Dec. 27, 2: 00 p.m., Ballroom, Hotel Statler:
1. Opening discussion by Panel which includes Paul Weiss, Head, Lab. of Developmental
Biology, Rockefeller Inst. for Med. Res., N.Y.
2. Addresses by invited speakers: a. Physical Sciences. Jerrold R. Zacharias,
Director, Lab. of Nuclear Sci., Mass. Inst. of Tech. b. Biological Sciences,
Ralph W. Gerard, Mental Health Res. Inst., Univ. of Michigan. c. Social Sciences.
Robert MacLeod, Sage Prof. of Psychology, Cornell Univ.
Fri., Dec. 28,2:00 p.m., Ballroom, Hotel Statler:
3. Fundamental Concepts and Units of Science: A Synthesis. Michael Polanyi.
Prof. of Social Studies, Univ. of Manchester, England.
4. Concluding discussion by panel and speakers.
AAAS-Gordon Research Conferences.
Silver Anniversary Dinner and Address by Glenn T. Seaborg. Dec. 27, evening.
SECTION E-GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY. Symposium (3 sessions) : Recent advances in
Geochronometry, cosponsored in part by Sections F, G, H.
J. Laurence Kulp. Lamont Geol. Obs., Columbia Univ. Dec 26 and Dec.27, 28 mornings.
SECTIONS F AND G - BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES:
Symposium: Biochemistry of the Cell Nucleus
(Sect. F. and Genetics Soc. of Amer.) A. W. Pollister, Columbia Univ. Dec. 28,
morning. Speakers: A. W. Pollister, Cecilie Leuchtenherger, J. Herhert Taylor,
Max Alfert, George T. Rudkin. Symposium: Some Unsolved Problems in Biology,
program of Sect. G. cosponsored by the Soc., Sect. F. and Amer. Soc. of Pl.
Physioi. Speakers: Bernard D. Davis, Barry Commoner, A. E. Mirsky, K. W. Cooper.
Dec. 28, Morning.
Symposium (2 sessions): Problems of Aging in Plants and Animals, joint program
of Sects. F, G,
and I, cosponsored by Amer. Soc. of Zoo1., Atomic Energy Com., and Brookhaven
Nat'l Lab. Howard J. Curtis, Brookhaven Nat'l Lab., Paul J. Kramer, Duke Univ.,
Conrad G. Mueller, Columbia Univ. Dec. 29, morning and afternoon. Speakers:
A. I. Lansing, W. J. Robbins, Alhert L. Delisle, N. W. Shock, Hardin Jones,
H. A. Blair, Irving Lorge.
AMER. SOC. PLANT PHYSIOLOGISTS:
Contributed papers in plant physiology jointly with Sect. G, cosponsored by
the Society of Gen- eral Physiologists and the Bot. Soc. Dec. 30, morning.
ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA:
Symposium: Values in Human Ecology. George B. Happ, Principia College. Dec.
28, morning. Symposium: Ecology of Grasslands. Herbert C. Hanson, Catholic Univ.
Dec. 27, afternoon. Contributed papers in plant ecology, cosponsored by Sect.
G. Dec. 27, morning. Invited papers: Social Significance of Ecological Research.
Murray F. Buell, Rutgers Univ. Plants, Dec. 29, morning.
NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES:
Symposium (2 sessions): New Ideas on Spontaneous Generation, cosponsored by
Sects. F and G. Ross F. Nigrelli, New York Acad. Sci. Dec. 26. Speakers: Robert
C. Warner, Stanley L. Miller, Sidney W. Fox, Harold Blum, Seymour H. Hutner,
Addison Gulick, George Wald, David Harker, Carl C. Lindegren, Philip H. Abelson,
SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF EVOLUTION:
Contributed papers. Dec. 27, 28, mornings; Dec. 29, afternoon.
Symposium: Biotic Communities in the Past and Today, cosponsored by Amer. Soc.
of Naturalists. Soc. of Vert. Paleontology, and Sections F and G. Harlan Lewis,
Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles. Dec. 29, morning. Speakers: Jens C. Clausen, Erling
Dorf, J. T. Gregory, Paul Sears.
SECTION G-BOTANICAL SCIENCES:
Symposium: Genetics of Fungi, jointly with Mycological Soc. of Amer. Lindsay
S. Olive, Columbia Univ., and Alma W. Barksdale, N. Y. Bot. Garden. Haig Papazian,
Patricia St. Lawrence, Alec Carr, H. E. Wheeler.
Botanists Dinner, in honor of Bot. Soc. of Amer., and address by Paul J. Kramer,
Vice-President elect of AIBS and VP for Sect. G. Dec. 27.
TORREY BOT. CLUB:
Contributed papers, general botany, jointly with Sect. G. David Keck, N. Y.
Bot. Garden. Dec. 27, morning.
Exhibit of spores formed in tetrads - fungi, mosses, ferns, higher plants. Clara
S. Hires, Mistaire Labs.
SECTION O-AGRICUL TURE:
Contributed papers. Dec. 27, 28, mornings, eves. Symposium (4 sessions): Grasslands
in Our National Life, cosponsored by Sects. G and K, Amer. Soc. of Range Management,
Amer. Meteorological Soc., Eco1. Soc. of Amer. Howard B. Sprague, et aI., Penn.
State Univ. Dec. 29 and 30, mornings and afternoons.
AMER. SOC. OF RANGE MANAGEMENT:
Symposium: Range Management. F. G. Renner, Soil Conservation Serv., USDA. Dec.
28, after- noon. Speakers: Wesley Keller, John I. Schwendiman, Charles E. Poulton,
C. W. Tomanek, H. G. Reynolds, Arnold Heerwagen.
COM. ON AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY, AMER. METEOROLOGICAL SOC.:
Symposium: Agricultural Meteorology and Grass- lands. John Mather. Drexel Inst.
Lab. of Climatology, Centerton, N. J. Dec. 28, afternoon.
AAAS Pres. address by George W. Beadle, and Reception. Dec. 28, evening.
AAAS Smoker. Dec. 29, 8:30-11 :00 p.m. AAAS Annual Exposition of Science and
Industry. Dec. 26-30, inc.
AAAS Science Theatre. Dec 26-30, inc. Coupons for sleeping accommodations and
advance registration will be found in Science and Scientific Monthly.
Bot. Soc. Council Meetings, Univ. of Conn., August 1956
SUMMARY OF SECRETARY'S MINUTES
Results of ballots for officers were reported and approved: President-George
S. Avery; Vice-President- Paul Weatherwax; Member of Editorial Com.-James Bonner.
(These were later approved as 1957 officers of Bot. Soc. by members at an open
business meeting of the Society) . . . Council approved publication of a new
Yearbook about Jan.!, 1957 and instructed Secretary to obtain bids for printing.
Item of $2200 in 1957 budget set aside for this, but Secretary indicated that
he might get the job done for less. . . Treasurer
reported on membership as of Aug. 15: total members 1868 (regular-1606; grad.
student- 222; family memberships - 26; life memberships- 14) . . . Treasurer
presented an interim report which was approved by the Council, later presented
to and approved by members at open business meeting. . . Bus. Mgr. of Amer.
Jour. Bot. presented an interim report which was approved by Council. later
by members at business meeting (both reports included in detail in the minutes).
. . Editor of Amer. Jour. Bot. reported statistical information on papers received,
published, etc. and
stated that, on the average, about 6 months intervene between receipt of a
ms. and its publication. . . Editor of Pl. Sci. Bull. reminded Council that
two-year trial period of that organ would expire with Oct. 1956 number. Council
authorized him to seek, via questionnaire, reaction of members to its continuance
and. on basis of this reaction, to recommend to Exec. Com. of Council the continuation
or abandonment of PSB . . . Brief reports were received from chairmen of 8 Sections
. . . W. C. Steere announced that 50 botanists had been invited to prepare special
papers for the Golden Jubilee vol. of Amer. Jour. Bot., that 12 had sent mss.
to him, that others were promised, and that McGraw- Hill Book Co. would publish
these special mss. in book form in 1957 . . . The president announced her appointment
of Victor Greulach as chairman of the Committee on Education, a subcommittee
of which, with Marie Taylor as chairman, is preparing a current list of botanical
films for publication in PI. Sci. Bull. . . . B. S. Meyer, chairman of the Committee
on Merit Awards, reported on the work of this committee. Council commended Dr.
Meyer and his committee, decided to appoint a new committee for 1957, with one
holdover member. . . The president as chairman of the Com. on the 1959 Int.
Bot. Congress, reported that it will cooperate with the Canadian committee in
preparation for the Congress. . . Harlan Banks reported on the Institute for
Teachers of Botany in Small Colleges, held at Cornell, summer 1956, and supported
financially by NSF, presented a prospectus for a second such institute to be
held also at Cornell, in 1957. Council approved this prospectus. Council suggested
that similar institutes might be held in future summers in other parts of U.
S. . . . Council discussed problem raised by some taxonomists who charge that
page-restriction rules of Amer. Jour. Bot. discriminate against their papers,
expressed sympathy with their feeling, but took no decisive action, pending
further study of the question. . . Chairman of Membership Committee reported
on its activities, expressed belief that best potential pool of new members
was graduate student group. . . Committee on Corresponding Memberships recommended
election of 4 foreign botanists to such memberships; Council and. subsequently,
members at business meeting approved this recommendation (see another section
of this Bulletin) . . . Committee on Guidance has prepared a booklet on Plant
Science Careers. Exec. Com. of Council was authorized to arrange for printing
and distribution of this booklet . . . Committee on Darbaker A ward recommended
that 1956 award go to R. W. Krauss, Univ. of Md. Check presented to Dr. Krauss
at Bot. Soc. banquet. . . Chairman on AAAS Coop. Com. on Teaching of Science
and Math, presented a brief report, incorporated in the minutes. . . Bot. Soc's,
representative to AAAS, Ronald Bamford, presented report, incorporated in minutes.
. . Council approved affiliation of Bot. Soc. with newly organized Council for
Basic Education. . . Bus. Mgr. of Amer. Jour. Bot. presented proposal for microfilming
back-issues of Journal. Council suggested
that he investigate also possibility of using microcards for this purpose.
Action postponed, pending further investigation. . . Term of Bus. Mgr. expires
this year; discussion held concerning possible replacement; no action taken.
. . Harlan Banks proposed that Bot. Soc. seek funds to establish summer grants
to aid teachers in smaller colleges in working summers in labs, of prominent
research botanists. Council approved pro- posal . . . Treasurer presented proposed
budget for 1957; approved by Council and later by members at open business meeting.
. . Bus. Mgr. of Amer. Jour. Bot. presented proposed budget for 1957; approved
by Council and later by members at open business meeting.
NEW CORRESPONDING MEMBERS
At its meeting at Univ. of Connecticut. the Society elected the following foreign
botanists to Corresponding Memberships in the Society: Andre Lwoff. Head, Dept.
of Microbial Physiology, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France; W. H. Schopfer, Director,
Botanical Institute, Univ. of Hern, Hern, Switzerland; Martin Cardenas, Prof.
of Botany, Univ. of Cochabamba, Cochabamba, Bolivia; Jean Feldmann, Sorbonne,
WANTED - SCHMEIL BOTANY CHARTS
The Botany Department at Yale is interested in obtaining a set of Schmeil Botany
Charts, especially those of fern, pine, leaf, wheat rust, and mitosis. If you
have any extra Schmeil charts which you would be willing to sell, please write
to Oswald Tippo, Osborn Botanical Lab., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
GOLDEN JUBILEE FUND
Donors to this fund, intended to defray partially the expenses of the Golden
Jubilee ceremonials, were H. H. Clum, Harriet Creighton, B.O. Dodge. Louise
T. Dosdall. H. J. Fuller. Sydney Greenfield, W. I. Illman, Conrad V. Morton,
Hilda Rosene, Wm. Randolph Taylor, and Ralph Wetmore. In addition, the fund
received a sizeable donation from Hugh Iltis from sales of extra copies, long
stored at Univ. of Wis., of Proc. of the Ithaca Congress. (The Treasurer is
still receiving donations to this fund.)
NEW BOTANY QUARTERS AT INDIAN A UNIVERSITY
The botany department of Indiana University recently moved into the newly completed
Jordan Hall of Biology, which it shares with the bacteriology and zoology departments.
Built at a cost of $5.750.000, including equipment, the air-conditioned structure
contains greatly improved facilities for teaching and research, 42 constant
temperature rooms, shops for metal and wood working, x-ray and electron microscope
rooms, and laboratories for radioisotope work. The herbarium, of library stack
construction. has a capacity
of 250,000 sheets, and greenhouse space attached to the building covers 13.600
square feet. The library, which currently receives more than 600 periodicals,
has a shelf capacity for 75.000 volumes and a reading area seating more than
80 persons. Excellent accommodations are provided for graduate students, including
single rooms for advanced students. In addition to Jordan Hall facilities, the
botany department maintains an experimental field of eight acres, with laboratory
and green- house. Jordan Hall was dedicated June 8. 1956.
DATURA RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE
The Smith College Genetics Experiment Station was discontinued at the end of
1955, a year after the death of Dr. Albert F. Blakeslee. its founder and director
since 1942. For many years the investigations of Dr. Blakeslee and his colleagues
at Smith College, and earlier at the Department of Genetics of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington, had resulted in the announcement of many new facts
and principles resulting from new chromosomal varieties of Datura with duplicated
chromosomes or chromosome sections.
However, there are many unfinished research problems and opportunities for
investigations with Datura in genetics, cytogenetics, plant physiology and morphology.
The ten herbaceous species of Datura provide an excellent opportunity to study
many angles of the species problem: hybridization, compatible and incompatible
crosses, the barriers to crossability. Tetraploid, as well as diploid lines
of most species as well as chromosomally different races are available. In Datura
stramonium there are available many 2n + 1 types. nearly a hundred different
chromosomal races (Prime types), as well as many gene types. Some races have
been maintained by selfing for more than forty generations. The National Science
Foundation has recently made a grant to Smith College to finance the assembling
of the data on Datura genetics and related problems, and its publication in
a mono- graph on Datura. This will be in charge of Amos G. Avery, and the principal
contributors will be Dr. Sophie Satina, and Dr. J. Rietsema. Datura is almost
an ideal plant for research. It is easy to grow either in the greenhouse or
field; selfing and crossing are simple and a large number of seed is produced.
As many as four generations a year have been obtained in special instances although
two or three are usual. It is also readily propagated by cuttings or grafting.
Seed of all the species and of most of the races and types have been grown and
placed in controlled cold storage. These are available to any investigator who
desires to continue some phase of the Datura research. Application should be
made to Dr. H. H. Plough, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts indicating
the seeds desired and the general nature of the investigation planned. Seeds
will be mailed promptly.
Committee of the Genetics Society of America for the Preservation of A. F.
Blakeslee's Datura material: H. H. Plough, Chairman; R. E. Cleland; M. Demerec;
P. C. Mangelsdorf; E. W. Sinnott.
BOTANY AND THE PRESS
The Hartford, Conn., Courant carried this UP item on page 2 of its August 29th
edition: "Botanist Fooled By Poison Ivy Storrs, Aug. 28 (UP) -The president
of the Botanical Society of America presided over its golden jubilee meeting
today with red face and arms. Dr. Harriet Creighton of Wellesley College blushingly
admitted to fellow plant experts that her arms were itching because while searching
for a lost golf ball she wandered into a bed of poison ivy."
The moral: Never get Rhus-ty on your poison ivy!
AAAS BOOK ON ARID LANDS
Members of Bot. Soc., which designated an official representative to the International
Arid Lands meetings held in New Mexico in April-May 1955 under AAAS auspices,
will be interested to know that the papers presented at that symposium have
been published in book form. This volume, "The Future of Arid Lands,"
edited by G. F. White, Dept. of Geography, Univ. of Chicago and containing 34
papers on botany, zoology, meteorology, agriculture, etc. of arid lands, may
be purchased from AAAS (price $5.75 to AAAS members by prepaid order, $6.75
to others). The volume contains also a list of 31 recommendations made concerning
arid lands and their problems by members of the symposium.
CHANGE OF TITLE AND COVERAGE
Council of Biological and Medical Abstracts. Ltd. (London) has changed the
title of its Journal from British Abstracts of Medical Sciences to International
Abstracts of Biological Sciences. This journal will henceforth publish abstracts
of a wider range of subjects than those of medical sciences alone and will publish
translations of Russian papers appearing in Soviet Biological Abstracts and
in Soviet Abstracts of Biological Chemistry, to be published simultaneously
with their appearance in Russian. Inquiries may be sent to Pergamon Press, Ltd.,
122 E. 55th St., New York 22. N.Y.
The Council of Bot. Soc. would like your advice to help it determine whether
or not to continue publication of Plant Science Bulletin, the two-year trial
period of which ends with this number. Will you, therefore, check the appropriate
space below, clip this coupon, and send it to the editor, H. J. Fuller, 203
Nat. Hist., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. Add suggestions or criticisms if
0 Plant Science Bulletin should be continued. 0 Plant Science Bulletin should
Institute of Botany at Cornell University Summer, of 1956
Harlan Banks of Cornell reported at length at the Bot. Soc. meeting at Storrs
on the 1956 Summer Institute of Botany for Teachers at Small Colleges, held
at Cornell. This institute, sponsored by Bot. Soc., supported by a National
Science Foundation grant, and directed by Dr. Banks, had several objectives:
to improve the subject-matter competence of botany teachers in small colleges,
especially in recent scientific advances in botany; to strengthen the capacity
of these teachers to stimulate their students to consider careers in botany;
to give these teachers personal contact with leading research scientists, with
a view to increasing their interests in botany; to stimulate these teachers
to initiate or continue research activities in botany in their several institutions.
Brochures and application forms were sent to majority of colleges and universities
listed in Education Directory of U. S. Office of Education; large universities
were excluded from this mailing list. Notices of the institute were sent also
to a number of scientific journals which print news items. By April 15. 1956,
110 applications had been received, plus numerous letters of inquiry. A week
later the selection committee (Pres. Harriet Creighton of Bot. Soc., Ralph Wetmore,
and Harlan Banks) made awards. Forty-nine full stipends or $300 were made and
one was split between 2 applicants, making a total of 51 awards. Dependency
allotments were disbursed among the 51 applicants. By the end of April, all
recipients had been notified and all accepted the awards. In addition to the
stipend-holders, 14 other botanists attended all or some of the sessions. Twenty
participants reported that their home institutions contributed to their expenses.
Participants came from 29 states, D.C., and 3 provinces of Canada.
The scientists who gave lectures, conducted demonstrations, and led discussions
were: E. C. Abbe (Univ. of Minn.), Ernest Ball (N. Car. State College), R. S.
Bandurski (Mich. State Univ.), Harold Bold (Vanderbilt Univ.), Robert Emerson
(Univ. of Ill.), A. W. Galston (Yale), E. M. Gifford, Jr. (Univ. of Calif.,
Davis), David R. Goddard (Univ. of Penn.), Herbert L. Mason (Univ. of Calif..
Herkeley), G. M. Smith (Stanford), K. V. Thimann (Harvard), and D. S. Van Fleet
(Univ. of Missouri). The program consisted of three lectures each morning, Monday
through Friday, with laboratory sessions 3 afternoons per week, conducted by
each of the lectures for the week. Afternoons were used for special events:
a trip to Bausch and Lomb Optical Co. plant at Rochester, picnics and field
trips, visit to the experiment station at Geneva, special lecture demonstrations
by Cornell faculty members, and a chicken barbeque (apparently the only fowl
aspect of the institute!). Several paleobotanical field trips were held on Saturdays,
and a camping-collecting trip to the Adirondacks was made by 20 participants.
Somewhat less rigorously scientific jaunts were made to Niagara Falls, Corning
Glass Works, Farmers Museum, and Baseball Hall of Fame by some participants.
Most faculty and student participants were housed in a Cornell dormitory. Marie
Taylor (Howard Univ.) was chairman of a committee on educational problems, which
discussed textbooks, lab. manuals, sources of Kodachromes, photographic techniques,
educational films, etc. At the end of their committee sessions, members drew
up an exchange list of plant materials which they could make available to other
members throughout the year. Several exhibits of scientific equipment were set
up at the institute by Bausch & Lomb and by the Will Corporation. In addition,
several publishing companies and university presses arranged exhibits of their
books in plant sciences. At the end of the session a free-for-all discussion
acquainted Director Banks with reactions, suggestions, etc., about the institute.
A final banquet. held on Aug. 9, was attended by President Creighton of Bot.
Soc. Super-salesmanship raked in 18 new members for Bot. Soc. (Treasurer's note:
Thank you!). Kind words were said about Plant Science Bulletin (Editor's note:
Thank you!) Recognition of attendance in the form of letters sent out by Dr.
Creighton to administrator's of the participants' colleges has been accomplished.
Summary: participants in the institute. both staff and students, expressed
unanimously enthusiastic endorsement and appreciation of the activities of the
institute, with commendation of Dr. Banks and Dr. Taylor for their work. So
successful was the institute that Dr. Banks has applied to National Science
Foundation for a grant to finance a 1957 Summer Institute of Botany, to be held
again at Cornell, if the request is granted by NSF.
It is the opinion of the Editorial Board of Plant Science Bulletin that Dr.
Banks deserves a turgid and orusing vote of thanks from all members of Bot.
Soc. for his heroic efforts in planning, in arranging for the financing of,
and in directing the work of the institute. Equally deserving of expressions
of gratitude are-those scientists whose lectures and discussions aided in the
successful outcome of the session.
INCREASED CHARGE FOR STAIN CERTIFICATION
The Board of Trustees of the Biological Stain Commission has found it necessary
to increase the price of Certification Labels by 5 cents effective September
1, 1956. This will result in a change from the current charge of 15 cents to
a new charge of 20 cents per bottle to the purchasers of Certified Stains. This
price increase has been necessitated by increasing costs in the operation of
the Commission, and is the first such increase in almost 20 years. (Conway Zirkle)