Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1961 v7 No 1 Spring
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 7 FEBRUARY 1961 NUMBER 1
Graduate Education in Botany
The following are digests of papers presented at a panel discussion on Graduate Education in Botany, before the Teaching Section of the Botanical Society of America at Stillwater, Oklahoma, August 31, 1960.
GRADUATE WORK IN BOTANY
University of Maryland
Let me say at the outset that I personally see nothing fundamentally wrong with graduate work in Botany as it is now presented in the United States. It perhaps needs some revision in the light of current trends but many pro-grams at many institutions have already made such changes particularly along biochemical and biophysical lines. There is however one factor which I think deserves the very serious attention of all of us because, if continued could make our position in the biological fraternity untenable. This problem is the utter neglect of recruitment of candidates of real quality for graduate work in the whole Plant Science field in such numbers that a greater selection is available to us.
My contention is based on five statements that would prevail in any common forum.
I. That obtaining really qualified younger faculty or staff with the doctorate is becoming increasingly difficult and there is certainly no question that this will get worse with increasing student enrollments.
Many of us who came out of graduate school in the depression are personally responsible for this predicament because over a twenty year period we made it quite clear, when the opportunity presented itself, that we simply were presenting General Botany as an intellectual or cultural subject to enlarge the horizon of our students. Many of us said bluntly that there was little opportunity in our field. Occasionally we allowed our own personal feeling, enthusiasm and interest to creep thru this pessimism and some students chose to work in our field. It has come to my attention recently that others have sensed this need; a few have embarked on this type of recruitment program, in addition to a few colleges which have always done this, and that they have been successful. The skeptical recall the days of austerity and wonder if we would not work our-selves into this situation again. I think not, particularly if we paint our true pictures, at any level even back to junior high schools, that we are concerned with a science which is the real basis of life and presents challenges that will test any intellect and the best training available. If each one of us in his own bailiwick and at every opportunity preaches this gospel and gives it more than lip service we will soon fill our beginning ranks at the graduate level with properly oriented and qualified students. As these students move up the ranks to faculty positions all our really serious problems will be solved. Surely if we do not have faith in our own field nobody else will and the all too often response of being too busy to be bothered should be laid aside.
Our concern in science fairs, the training of secondary school teachers, the opportunity of explaining our field and doing a commensurate job in General Botany, the constant prodding of the students about the unparalleled opportunity as they progress through the undergraduate pro-gram and finally the use of prizes, workshops and summer employment of those who excel as they progress will assure our future. Many of us followed a similar program and have had no cause to regret it even though we did forget it for many years.
If one-half the membership of the Botanical Society of America can add one outstanding student to our discipline in the next five years, in addition to what is being done now, many if not all of our fears for the future will be dispelled.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND IN RELATION
RALPH E. CLELAND
There exists at present a shortage of Ph.D.'s in botany, as well as in other fields, and there is a definite possibility that this shortage will grow. Ray Maul (I) estimates that
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CHANGES OF ADDRESS: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America. Inc., Dr. A. J. Sharp, Department of Botany, University of Tennessee, Knoxville t6, Tennessee.
SUBSCRIPTIONS for Libraries and persons not members of the Botanical Society are obtainable at the rate of $a.00 a year. Send orders with checks payable to "Botanical Society of America, Inc." to the business manager, Dr. Lawrence J. Crockett, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Tea-neck, New Jersey.
MATERIAL SUBMI l TED FOR PUBLICATION should be typewritten, double-spaced, and sent in duplicate to the Editor.
Graduate Education in Botany
(Continued from page i)
college enrollments will increase by 2,870,000 between 1957-58 and 1969-70. In biology, there were 11,800 college teachers in 1958-59. By 1969-70 it will be necessary to train 25,155 new college teachers of biology (about half of them to re-place those retiring, half to care for increasing enrollments). In 1958-59, however, only 1103 Ph.D.'s were awarded in biology; at that rate, in the II years to 1969-70, only 12,133 will be turned out, less than half the needed number. We must double the production of Ph.D.'s just to keep abreast of the demand from our colleges and universities. At the same time, however, industry and government are increasing their demand for Ph.D.'s, and our colleges and universities are having to meet a growing competition for the products of our graduate schools. As a result, the percentage of new college teachers with Ph.D.'s is decreasing. In 1953-54, 40.5% of new college teachers had the Ph.D. (all fields). By 1956-57 the percentage had dropped to 23.5%, a 25% decrease (2). While this competition for Ph.D.'s affects botany less than it does chemistry, physics or mathematics, it is still a factor of growing importance.
Only a small proportion of those who are capable of obtaining the Ph.D. are actually reaching this goal. In a given age group approximately 7% are capable of scoring I30 or better (the average Ph.D. level) on the Army General Classification Test. At present rates, only 46% of these will finish college, and only 1.7% of the 7% capable of scoring 130 or better will obtain the Ph.D. (3). Many of the remaining 98.3% capable of graduate study should be encouraged to work for an advanced degree.
I believe that attainment of the Ph.D. is important, not only for those who have a flair for research but also for those who would prefer to devote their energies to college teaching. A person who has done research is more likely
to inspire future researchers, to show students not only what has been discovered but also how discoveries are made, than the person who has not had this experience. Teachers, as well as investigators, must have a first hand knowledge of what is involved in research, if they are to be instrumental in persuading students to become scientists.
In discussing future plans, therefore, with undergraduates and high school students of high intelligence, what should they be told? First, I would call their attention to the growing shortages, the fact that the demand for Ph.D.'s will exceed the supply for a long time to come, as a result of which there should be abundant opportunity for talented scholars both in academic and non-academic fields.
Second, I would advise them that the best way to pre-pare at the undergraduate level for graduate work in science is to obtain as broad an education as possible. I would urge them to gain a rich background in the humanities and social sciences, to emphasize especially the arts of writing and speaking, and to acquire a good grounding in foreign language (preferably in two languages). Over-emphasis on science at the undergraduate level leads to the development of high grade mechanics. We need scholars, not mere technicians, in the field of science. Given comparable abilities, the graduate student in botany who has a broad education is much to be preferred to the person who has overspecialized in his chosen field as an under-graduate at the expense of a liberal education.
Third, I would make it clear that the cost of graduate education is steadily becoming less of a problem to the students of science. The great majority of science graduate students in our universities have assistantships or fellowships that in many cases approach or cover all of their costs. Most universities are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the teaching assistants they need, and stipends are increasing so rapidly that the situation is almost getting out of hand. It is much easier, therefore, to pay one's way through the graduate school than through the undergraduate school.
Finally, a word or two about the graduate program itself. What sort of program should we provide for our students? I believe that we should encourage our students to secure a broad and solid basis upon which they can later build. The true scholar will be a student all his life, but he must have a foundation upon which to build if he is not to lose much precious time. The graduate program should be broad enough to give the student the necessary foundation, not only in his restricted field, but also in those related fields that will be useful to him in his later work. A botanist should be well grounded in zoology, and if he is to be equipped to enter an experimental field he should have a good beginning in chemistry, physics and mathematics. His graduate program should be so arranged that he can acquire this background, and he should be encouraged to take the necessary time to gain this needed preparation.
In the second place, I believe that all graduate students should be required to obtain some teaching experience
during their graduate careers. The pros and cons are often argued as to whether the graduate school can train students at one and the same time in research and teaching. Some discount this possibility. I believe, however, that it is entirely possible to give both types of training at the same time. I would not require or even suggest courses in Education, but I would require every graduate student to serve as a teaching assistant during at least part of his graduate career. I would start him out as a laboratory assistant in the elementary course, under the direction of an experienced instructor. After he had become accustomed to working individually with students, I would assign him the task of directing a laboratory exercise, and of conducting the discussion of specific topics in a quiz section. This type of assignment, coming with increasing frequency, would pre-pare the student to take over the direction of a laboratory section and quiz section. After he had obtained experience in the elementary program, I would assign him to assist in a course in his own field of specialty.
In addition to these assignments, I would require him to make regular presentations before the journal club or graduate club, and would also require regular enrollment in seminar courses where preparation and delivery of papers is expected. I would insist that, in the delivery of all papers, only outline notes be used. I would also assign each student who reads a paper to a member of the faculty who would serve as a critic of his performance. Any student reading a paper at a regional or national meeting would be required first to present the paper before a local group and subject himself to a discussion of his paper and to subsequent criticism by his major professor.
It is remarkable what progress students make who are subjected to this regimen. In my experience, a program involving two or even three years of such teaching and histrionic experience will not ordinarily prolong the Ph.D. program beyond a four or five year period, provided the student devotes full time to his total program and utilizes the summers as well as the winters.
Colleges frequently complain that their new instructors, fresh from the graduate schools, cannot teach. This, T believe, is partly the fault of graduate instructors, in not insisting that their students receive teaching experience, a fault that is likely to be magnified as fellowships become increasingly available. This situation, however, is partly the fault of the colleges themselves, in that they offer low salaries, require heavy teaching loads and offer no time for research, as a result of which they have to take the poorest of the products of the graduate schools. Many colleges offer too many courses in a given field. Tf they were less insistent on trying to keep up with the universities in the matter of undergraduate specialization, they could reduce teaching loads, give time for research, and in some cases reduce the size of staff and raise salaries accordingly.
Our job in the graduate schools is to help the students, not only to acquire the techniques and ideals of research, but also to help them to think clearly and logically, and to organize their thoughts for oral and written presentation. They can acquire these abilities only by constant practice.
If they are to develop these capabilities, their instructors must be willing to devote considerable time to them. The ideal situation exists where the professor does not direct the work of too many students (I heard recently of a professor who has 27 doctoral candidates working under him), and where he lives in close association with his students, serving less as a supervisor than as a companion in research, offering suggestions upon request, offering criticism even where it is not requested, advising in regard to those aspects of the student's program that will help him develop into an informed, productive and articulate scholar.
NEWS AND NOTES
THE GERTRUDE S. BURLINGHAM SCI-IOLARSHIP IN MYCOL-
OGY for advanced predoctoral study at the New York Botanical Garden will be available for the summer of 1961. The stipend is $700; work under this appointment may be-gin at any time after June 1 and should continue for approximately three months. Nominations or applications should be sent before April 15, to The Director, The New York Botanical Garden, New York 58, New York.
THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF DEVELOPMENT AND
GROWTH has announced the election of the following officers for this year: President—William P. Jacobs, Princeton University; Secretary—Armin C. Braun, The Rockefeller Institute; and Treasurer—H. Clark Dalton, Washington Square College, New York University.
THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
Princeton, New Jersey, has moved into its new research extension, the Moffett Laboratory, which doubles the space available to the Department, and includes new facilities for botanical research. Among the latter are a new attached greenhouse, running sea-water aquaria, three large model National plant-growth chambers, a radio-isotope laboratory, and numerous cold-rooms and darkrooms. Planned for the immediate future are humidity-controlled rooms ("Avena rooms") and plant-growth rooms with high intensity lights. The botanical side of the Biology Department includes John T. Bonner who works on morphogenesis of slime molds, William P. Jacobs working on experirmental development of vascular plants and algae, Bruce Eberhart working on biochemical genetics of Neurospora, and a new appointee, Ray Jones who works on algal biochemistry. With new space and facilities, the Princeton University Biology Department can now accommodate a much larger number of graduate students. Well-qualified students are encouraged to apply.
SEEDS OF SOLANACEAE WANTED: Dr. H. David Hammond
of the Botany Department, Howard University, Washing-ton 1, D. C. is seeking to obtain seeds of species of genera in the Solanaceae, especially of tropical froms, either by exchange or purchase.
EVOLUTIONARY MORPHOLOGY OF PLANTS
by A. L. Takhtajan, Leningrad University
H. P. BANKS
Takhtajan has assembled a vast body of data from comparative morphology in concise form. Many of these data are seldom found between the covers of one publication and are scattered through the literature. Specific examples are the lengthy treatment of "recapitulations" in chapter 6 and of teratology in chapter 7. Advanced students and teachers alike can profit from the easy accessibility of this material in the translation. Of equal importance is the copious bibliography that introduces Western scientists to many Russian authors. The bibliography published in the translation includes only the Russian citations, but references in the text to non-Russian workers, both past and present, are very numerous and again very helpful to the reader. Citations can be found in the original Russian paper or through secondary sources. Throughout the book the author follows current Darwinian thinking in all evolutionary studies.
Brief statements concerning individual chapters will serve to introduce the kind of materials selected by the author.
Chapter i, almost a quarter of the book, is a very convenient and useful summary of the historical development of plant morphology.
Chapter 2 deals with the problems of adaptive evolution, including progressive evolution, specialization and retrogressive evolution. Lepidodendrids and calamites are cited as an example of organisms that were well adapted to their environment but that lacked the adaptability to change as the environment changed.
Chapter 3 treats "evolutionary age differences of characteristics." Numerous examples are given such as Winteraceae with primitive homoxylous xylem but with numerous advanced characteristics in their flowers. This difference in "evolutionary age" is more pronounced when uncorrelated organs are compared, e.g. wood and flowers. It is less pronounced when characters of one organ or a single system are studied independently, e.g. a series of characters of secondary xylem elements. Takhtajan's explanation is that elements that are linked functionally, such as the elements of the xylem, evolve more uniformly and show less evolutionary age difference whereas organs that are little correlated may evolve independently and show considerable difference in evolutionary age. The author also believes that differences in evolutionary age are more common in the more primitive families. As a result, a phylogenetic series that is based on a single character can be set up more easily in the case of advanced families than primitive ones.
Chapter 4 is a brief discussion of the concept of an individual plant and how it contrasts with an individual animal because of its very different mode of growth which involves the addition of "new organs and tissues throughout its organic life."
Chapters 5 and 6 constitute the bulk of the book. In the former Takhtajan emphasizes the evolutionary importance of changes that occur early in the ontogeny of individuals as opposed to those that occur at maturity. Evolution of monocot from dicot embryos and of tricolpate from monocolpate microspores are two examples of evolutionary changes that occurred in early ontogeny. Origin of simple leaves in gymnosperms from more primitive, compound leaves, origin of monocot leaves, of bud scales, and of phyllodes are offered as examples of evolution that occurred in the middle stages of ontogeny. The production of palmately and pinnately compound leaves in palms by breakdown of certain areas of an entire leaf is an example of evolution in late stages of ontogeny. Chapter 5 abounds in examples of neoteny or "protraction of youth" as a means of evolutionary change. Many of the examples would be treated by some morphologists simply as examples of reduction, Phylloglossum for example. Takhtajan believes that sharp divergences that occurred in embryonic stages have resulted in the discontinuity that is found between adult individuals. He considers that the sharpness of the divergences (evolutionary changes) is one way to account for the lack of phylogenetic links between groups of plants.
In Chapter 6 Takhtajan reviews the concepts of ontogeny and the "biogenetic law" and provides a wealth of examples of what he interprets as recapitulation in plants.
Chapter 7 is a discussion of teratology, with many examples and with an analysis of the use to which teratology has been and can be put.
Chapter 8 is a brief warning of the dangers inherent in the use of the ontogenetic method in morphology.
Chapter 9 is an excellent summary of the trends of evolution (adaptive evolution) in angiosperms, with emphasis on the conducting system, the leaf and the flower.
In sum, the essays are a stimulating review of several aspects of comparative morphology, some of which are not easily accessible elsewhere and some of which are treated with a view toward synthesizing the botanical and the evolutionary approaches to morphology. Literature citations are copious and inclusive. It is probably unnecessary to add that one need not argree with all of Takhtaj an's interpretations, such as the importance of neoteny in evolution, or that all of the supposed examples really demonstrate recapitulation, in order to derive some benefit from the publication. The careful reader will certainly discount those dogmatic statements that are unsupported by proof and will find for himself some erroneous statements de-pending on his particular field of interest.
ORIGINS OF ANGIOSPERMOUS PLANTS
Translated by Olga H. Gankin, Edited by G. L. Stebbins
H. P. BANKS
Speculation about the origin of angiosperms is the subject of many recent papers. This particular contribution of 57 pages might equally well be called "An Introduction to the Comparative Morphology of Angiosperms" because, although it offers little that is new on "Origins," it does summarize considerable published data on the most primitive families of dicots. Its presentation is that of a series of lectures or an introductory text on the subject because it draws freely on the literature with a minimum of reference to the authors of the various hypotheses that are advanced. Despite the warning clearly expressed in the author's preface, an uncritical reader may be misled into accepting as fact, ideas that are unproved regardless of how logical they may sound.
The first two chapters (6 pages) simply list a number of the economic uses of angiosperms and some of the characteristics (e.g. adaptation to diverse habitats) possessed by the group, characteristics which the author suggests may account for their position of dominance in the modern floras. There are also some (to me) unconvincing statements about the evolutionary significance of the adaptation of angiosperms to light.
In the third chapter (3 pages) the author accepts the hypothesis that angiosperms may have arisen as upland types in Triassic time, that they are represented by fossil pollen in Jurassic time, and that they became dominant in Cretaceous time. In recent years, particularly, the idea of a very early origin of angiosperms has gained considerable acceptance, but it is too often accepted without a critical analysis of the evidence for pre-Cretaceous angiosperms. I therefore commend to readers of Takhtajan's essays two recent papers, each of which questions the validity of this evidence (Harris, 196o; Scott, Barghoorn and Leopold, 196o). These two papers agree that angiosperms could have arisen early but both suggest that we still lack unequivocal evidence for this early origin. Scott et al. (p. 288-291) present a strong case against the validity of the hypothesis that angiosperms must have occupied the up-lands during pre-Cretaceous time. They cite several examples of the discovery of remains of upland plants in sediments deposited around lowlands. If their argument be accepted, we can not explain the absence of pre-Cretaceous angiosperm fossils by the hypothesis that the plants grew only in uplands.
In chapter 4 (11 pages) Takhtajan accepts the hypothesis that orogenesis and transgressions and regressions of the sea produced such climatic changes that only a group with the supposed plasticity of the angiosperms could rapidly extend its distribution (For a contrasting viewpoint see Scott et al. pp. 291-292). Takhtajan is convinced that improvements in the conducting system (e.g. development of vessels) followed by the development of broad leaves and consequent improvement in photosynthesis were significant adaptive changes in angiosperms. To them he adds the development of insect pollination followed by the evolution of a closed carpel, the reduction and specialization of the female gametophyte, and the ability of angiosperms to pro-duce complex communities of trees, shrubs and herbs, communities that were able to migrate rapidly and take over new areas. This series of events would make a very convincing story if we could be certain that it is a single chain of cause and effect. However, we have no proof that it is more than a series of related events and it must be treated as intriguing speculation.
In the fifth chapter (5 pages) the author gives some of the reasons for rejecting various groups such as Gnetales and Bennettitales as ancestors of angiosperms. He concludes that angiosperms are monophyletic and that because of the prevalance of scalariform pitting among their primitive species they must have originated from some primitive seed ferns. He is convinced that no seed plants have arisen directly from the ferns, although angiosperms and Bennettitales may have arisen fairly close together from primitive seed ferns. Only the future can provide the answer but certainly some morphologists will want to know the full meaning of the statement that "we do not know of one single group of seed plants which could have arisen directly from the ferns and by passed the stage of seed ferns." Certainly the possibility does exist that angiosperms evolved directly from ferns. If they did, it might be only a question of semantics whether or not they passed through a seed-fern "stage." In any case the reader must not assume that either the speculation or the search for the truth is over. It is my opinion that this chapter contains more of the material that Takhtaj an's preface calls "the author's personal view" than any other chapter.
Chapter 6 (15 pages) is a rather complete summary of the information on the highly interesting primitive angiosperms Magnoliaceae, Degeneriaceae, Winteraceae and their relatives.
Chapters 7 and 8 (15 pages) summarize evidence for believing that Monochlamydeae are derived from Magnoliales and that monocots arose as aquatic derivatives of such dicots as Magnoliales and Nymphaeales, although not all will agree with Takhtajan's hypothesis that the Nymphaeales were "originally vessel-less (homoxylous),"
An appendix of seven pages presents Takhtajan's System of Angiosperms.
Although there is little new material in this text, the convenience of having some of the data, particularly those in chapters 6, 7, 8, summarized in convenient form, makes it a desirable item to have readily available.
Harris, Tom M. 1960. The origin of angiosperms. Address at British Assoc., Cardiff Meeting. 1960. In, The Advancement of Science No. 67.
Scott, Richard, A., E. S. Barghoorn, and E. B. Leopold. 196o. How old are the angiosperms? Am. Jour. Sci. 258A: 284-299.
The Botanical Society of America has recently received a legacy of $500 from Dr. Eduard Rubel. The Society is not often remembered by botanists in their wills, but for those who would like to promote the welfare of the science to which they have devoted their lives, this is an appropriate, and very nice, gesture. A brief biography of our benefactor follows.
Eduard Rubel was born in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 18, 1876, as the youngest son of a German-American silk industrialist. He studied at the Gymnasium of his native town, and also in Lausanne. Later, he studied chemistry at the Eidgenosse Technische Hochschule (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), in Zurich, where he received the degree of Chemical Engineer, in 1899, and a Ph.D. for which he offered a thesis on a material die, in 1901. After his studies, he entered the family silk business and made in this association many trips abroad. At his father's death, his elder brother became head of the firm, which allowed him free time to follow his early inclination for botany.
The influence of his former teacher and intimate friend Carl Schri ter was decisive in turning Eduard Rflbel to re-search in geobotany, that part of botany which includes plant geography, plant sociology and ecology. On this subject, he published about loo papers alone, or in collaboration with Carl Schrōter, Braun-Blanquet (then Josias Braun), Li.idi, and Brockmann-Jerosch. His main work is his monograph on the plant associations of the Bernina-Pass, which earned him the nickname of "Rex Berninae."
In 1918, he founded the "Geobotanisches Forschungs Institut" (Geobotanical Research Institute) with headquarters at his private home, on Ziirichberg Strasse. This Institute moved in 1929 into a new building donated by the Rubel sisters, which was built at the other end of his own garden. It has been, since its foundation, a place of national and international exchange of thought, the seminars given there on geobotany always being open to anyone interested in this field, whether or not he was connected with one of the two universities at Zurich. The Rubel Institute has granted its hospitality to many scientists from all over the world and has supported them in their work. For his scientific activity, the Eidgenosse Technische Hochschule awarded him the title of Privat Docent in 1918, and of Professor in 1923.
Eduard Riibel was a born organizer. He used his talents to promote numerous international field trips which took him to the Swiss Alps, the Canary Islands, North Africa, the British Isles, the Caucasus, North America, and Scandinavia. These extensive travels are reflected in many of his publications, and in his close relationship with the leading ecologists of his time.
In 1958, when Dr. Werner Li.idi, the recent director of the "Geobotanisches Forschungs Institut Rubel" reached the age of retirement, Eduard Rubel donated his institution with its library and collections, together with the sum of nearly two million Swiss francs, to his Alma Mater. Thus he saw his well-known Institute incorporated into the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology shortly before his death.
Eduard Rubel died in Zurich, on June 24, 1960. Widely travelled, and primarily interested in the distribution of plant species on the earth, and in the causes of changes in the vegetation, he was a man deeply attached to his native city. Besides associating with many scientific societies, he served as a member on the Regional School Board, the City Council, and the State Council. It is interesting to note, in this time of instability, Eduard Rflbel's example of stead-fastness. He was born on Zflrichberg Strasse, years later bought his home there, built his Institute in his garden, and died at the age of nearly 84 years old, in the same Zurich-berg Strasse.
Fourth Summer Institute for College Teachers of Botany
Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, will be the site of the Botanical Society's Institute for College Teachers of Botany, June 26 to August 4, 1961. Sup-port from the National Science Foundation will provide stipends for 50 participants. Botanists who have agreed to serve as lecturers are: Daniel I. Axelrod, Paleobotany; Theodore C. Broyer, Nutrition; Harriet B. Creighton, Genetics; Arthur Cronquist, Taxonomy; Rexford Daubenmire, Ecology; Ralph Emerson, Mycology; Katherine Esau, Anatomy; Solon A. Gordon, Radiobiology; Jacob Levitt, General Plant Physiology; Harlan Lewis, Cytotaxonomy; George F. Papenfuss, Phycology; Aaron J. Sharp, Bryology; John D. Spikes, Photosynthesis; J. Herbert Taylor, Cytology; Kenneth V. Thimann, Growth; Jens Clausen, Evolution; Bernard O. Phinney, Experimental Morphology, and David R. Goddard, Metabolism. Adolph Hecht and Howard E. Brewer of Washington State University, will serve as Director and Associate-director of the Institute, respectively.
Changes of Address
Members of the Botanical Society who wish to change the address at which they receive Plant Science Bulletin and the American Journal of Botany should notify the Treasurer of the Society, Dr. A. J. Sharp, and not the Editors. A single address list is kept corrected by the Treasurer for members. Institutional subscribers and persons not members of the Society should notify the Business Manager, Dr. L. J. Crockett. Your cooperation will insure prompt and accurate changes in our records.
Back Issues of the
In April, 1960, Harold C. Bold, Editor of the journal, appointed a committee (John Behnke, chairman, Lawrence J. Crockett, and Sydney S. Greenfield) to consider the possibility that methods of handling and distributing the back issues of the American Journal of Botany needed improvement.
The committee studied procedures used by other journals, and also, the past sale records of AJB. It presented a report with recommendations to the Council of the Botanical Society in August, 196o. These were approved by the Council.
Analysis of various factors revealed that methods used for storing and selling back issues were inefficient. Also, seventeen (17) issues were out of stock, and reprinting these issues would have been financially unsound.
The business manager was empowered to open negotiations for selling the back issues. Precedent for this was established by the former business manager (James E. Canright) when he sold volumes 1-7 to the Johnson Re-print Corporation. The agreement between Dr. Canright and Mr. Johnson included an option on the right to purchase all later volumes.
Outright sale of about 66,000 issues was seen to be impossible almost at once. No company will spend between $75,000 and $90,000 for the back issues of a scientific journal. However, the Johnson Reprint Corporation was willing to draw a contract in which the company would assume the responsibility for storing, insuring, selling and mailing most of the stock of back issues. At the end of each year, the Journal will receive a complete and detailed accounting, and one half of the profits.
The Johnson Reprint Corporation also agreed to reprint the seventeen out-of-stock issues. Further, the Botanical Society of America still owns the back issues of AJB and may, upon six months notice, cancel the contract and re-claim the unsold copies.
Volumes 8-44 are included in the present contract. But purchase of numbers included in Volumes 45 to the present, may still be arranged by writing to the business manager, L. J. Crockett. New prices are given on the inner cover of the January 1961 issue.
The office of the business manager will be relieved of a great part of its work load and expense. Ordering of back issues will be more efficient, as the order need no longer pass through several offices. The most valuable feature, however, is that complete volumes of the Journal will now become available to scientists and universities wishing to complete their sets.
Association of Midwestern College
The Association of Midwestern College Biology Teachers was founded at Drake University in 1957 and has a membership of about 300 college and university teachers of biological sciences. Its purpose is to further the teaching of biological sciences at college and other levels of educational experiences; to bring to light common problems involving biological curricula at the college level by the free exchange of ideas in the endeavor to resolve these problems; to promote research by both teachers and students; and to create a voice which will be effective in bringing the colletcive views of college biology teachers to college and civil government administrations. Any teacher of the biological sciences in a college or university located in a midwestern state is invited to become a member and attend the meetings. Membership dues are $2.00, payable to the Secretary-Treasurer.
Following the initial meeting held at Drake, there have been annual meetings at Western Illinois University (1958), and Mankato State College (1960). The fifth annual meeting will be held at Illinois State Normal University on October 20-21, 1961.
Officers for 1961 are William K. Stephenson (Earlham College), President; James M. Barrett (Marquette University), 1st Vice-President; Loren Mentzer (Illinois State Normal University), 2nd Vice-President; John M. Hamilton (Park College, Parkville, Missouri), Secretary-Treasurer.
William T. Penfound, ecologist at the University of Oklahoma, has taken sabbatical leave and will sail for Australia and New Zealand on February 20. He plans a series of studies on the fresh-water, aquatic vegetation of Australia and is particularly interested in the brackish and fresh water swamps and marshes along the coast. He plans to study the transition between brackish and fresh water vegetation types. Dr. Penfound has received requests for information on the control of water hyacinth, which has recently invaded Australia, and hopes to be able to help with this problem. If time permits, he will investigate some of the wetland and aquatic plants of the interior lakes.
While in Australia, Dr. Penfound plans to visit all the major museums and universities. He has been invited to present lectures on "National Parks" and "The Vegetation of North America." Mrs. Penfound will accompany him.
William C. Steere was elected president of the Torrey Botanical Club at the recent annual meeting of the Club. Other officers elected are Lindsay S. Olive, vice president; Annette Hervey, corresponding secretary; Rita M. Mc-Mahon, treasurer; James E. Gunckel, editor: Howard Swift, manager of publications; Howard W. Rickett, historian; and Clark T. Rogerson, bibliographer. Lela V. Barton was elected a member of the Board of Managers of the New York Botanical Garden, representing the Club at that institution.
David J. Rogers, Curator of Economic Botany at the New York Botanical Garden has been appointed trustee to represent the Garden in the new Bio-Mathematical Center, Rockefeller Plaza, New York Ctiv.
The Membership of the Botanical Society of America
At the annual meeting of the Council of the Botanical Society of America at Stillwater in August, 196o, President Kenneth Thimann requested the Secretary, Dr. B. L. Turner, to draw up a report covering the membership of the Society during the past few years. Dr. Turner's report has taken the form of the excellent graph published here, and clearly illustrates the three-fold growth of the Society during an eventful 40 years.
During his term of office as President (1959), William C. Steere conducted an informal membership campaign by sending membership application forms to one member of the Society in each of several hundred institutions together with a request that each one serve as local representatives of the Society, to issue invitations to prospective members and also to reinspire those whose membership had lapsed. The effectiveness of the technique used in this unofficial effort brought about the appointment by President Thimann of a more formal membership committee, consisting of: Harold C. Bold, Carl Leopold, Leland Shanor, W. H. Wagner, Jr., Ira L. Wiggins and William C. Steere, Chair-man. Each committee member has accepted definite responsibility for encouraging new membership in his and in several adjoining states. The committee hopes to bring the membership to a new high level of 2500 within a year or two, and asks for the help of every present member in attaining this important end.
DARBAKER CONTEST IN PHYCOLOGY FOR. 1961
The Committee on the Darbaker Prize of the Botanical Society of America will accept nominations for an award to be announced at the annual meeting of the Society at Lafayette, Indiana in 1961. Under the terms of the bequest, the award is to be made for meritorious work in the study of the algae. Persons not members of the Society are eligible for the award. The Committee will base its judgment primarily on the papers published by the nominee during the last two full calendar years previous to the closing date for nominations. At present, the award will be limited to residents of North America. Only papers published in the English language will be considered. Nominations for the 1961 award accompanied by a statement of the merits of the case and by reprints of the publications supporting the candidacy should be sent to the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Robert W. Krauss, Botany Department, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland in order to be received by June 1, 1961. The value of the Prize for 1961 will depend on the income from the trust fund but is expected to be about $250.00. Other members of the Committee are George F. Papenfuss, Paul C. Silva, Jack E. Myers, and Richard C. Starr.