Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 1956 v2 No 2 SummerActions


A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.


HARRY J. FULLER, Editor 203 Nat. Hist. Bldg., University of Illinois, Urbana. Illinois
George S Avery - Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Harlan P. Banks - Cornell University
Harriet Creighton - Wellesley College
Sydney S. Greenfield - Rutgers University
Paul B. Sears - Yale University

Some Problems of Professional Botanical Journals
Education Committee Venture
Soviet Opposition to Lysenko
The George R. Cooley Awards in Taxonomic Botany
AIBS and the Society

Some Problems of Professional Botanical Journals*
Editor, American Journal of Botany, and Professor of Biology Stanford University

My remarks here will apply primarily to the peculiar characteristics of those journals published by a society--or membership journals--in contrast to non-membership journals operated with funds derived from subscriptions or outright grants-in-aid. Within the category of membership journals, my comments will be confined to botanical journals, although they may apply also to journals in other fields.

The editor of a scientific journal supported by the membership dues of a professional society has certain advantages over the editor of a non-membership journal, but he also suffers some disadvantages. Ralph B. Smith underlined these differences very neatly in his paper entitled "Publishing as Applied Science," presented before this conference last year. Speaking of the 27 McGraw-Hill publications he represented, he remarked as follows: "It is no enterprise in which to play hunches, gamble on sheer editorial intuition, trust to tradition, or bet that habits don't change. The cold facts that perhaps hit us first in our exposed position must also blow upon the somewhat less naked society and institutional publications. Indeed, I imagine that an ill-wind blowing upon them from some quarter of reader-discontent can be noisier, if not more disturbing, than the quiet dropping of renewal percentages that has been our historic warning of trouble. I am told that hell hath no fury like a dues-paying professional society member grown scornful of his society publication."

With clear perspective, Smith recognized precisely the basic element that most clearly differentiates the problems of subscription vs. membership journals--the emotional conviction of the society member that his payment of dues entitles him not only to full participation in the activities of his society, but also of its journal. He feels completely free to suggest or to urge drastic measures for the betterment of his journal, whereas the clientele of the non-membership journal, when displeased, just quietly fails to renew subscriptions. If the editor of a membership journal does not agree to some extent with the principle that members have the privilege of voicing their opinions, his problems are multiplied to the point of frustration. My own experience comes entirely from the restricted area of membership publications-four years as editor of the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, associated with an incomparable editor, Dr. Eugene S. McCartney; seventeen years as editor of the Bryologist, journal of the American Bryological Society; and now as editor of the American Journal of Botany, official publication of the Botanical Society of America. My remarks, which will reflect this rather specialized experience, will emphasize questions and problems of policy facing the American Journal of Botany, the major journal in an important field.

When the editor of a membership journal presents his annual report to the business meeting of the society of which he is the somewhat unruly servant, all aspects of the journal and of its operation are open for full discussion, whether he likes it or not. Although an editor may wish to stand on tradition or behind the by-laws that govern his activities, he still cannot help but be impressed by well-taken points, especially if they have the approval of a large segment of his society. Even large and conservative societies will bring considerable pressure on their journals if the ill-wind of reader-discontent blows too strongly. For example, some years ago an influential segment of the Botanical Society of America protested the high cost and the long delays in publication of the American Journal of Botany. From the advice given by a competent committee established to study the problems, the journal was completely reconstructed in typography, format, and policy. Largely because of this revision, the American Journal of Botany is now one of the few major membership-supported scientific journals that is financially solvent and that has no appreciable back-log of manuscripts--when any issue goes to the printer, no finally accepted and revised manuscripts remain on hand. Of course, the editor of the non-membership journal could say, with justifiable complacence, that he would have taken these steps much earlier and with- out the intervention of a committee, because of his much more independent status and responsibility.

One of the problems that tends to be debated perennially at business meetings concerns the number of issues per year. At present, the American Journal of Botany appears monthly, except for August and September. With surprising frequency members suggest that the Journal appear bi-monthly for purposes of greater economy--and economy would undeniably result thereby, since covers, addressing, envelopes, mailing, etc., for each issue cost at least $100.00. However, when this problem was put to the editorial committee, the majority
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The Editor is gone (on a sabbatical-a European junket, purportedly educational), long live the Editor, say we, the "acting" editorial "we." The quarterly issuing of this Bulletin is one of the important activities of our Society. Besides providing for publication of short articles of interest primarily to botanists, it is the Society's only means of conveying to all of its members requests, news and notes of concern to us as professional botanists. Within the past few months we have talked with representatives of several other Societies which are planning to publish similar bulletins because they feel the need of an inexpensive means of communicating with their membership. Most of us regret the need for spending time and effort in communicating, but in this day of highly organized professional groups we botanists have to get ourselves together or we will be left out in the pasture. We have as good or better ideas about teaching, about research, about ways of furthering understanding of basic science and applied science than any other group of scientists. If a members' bulletin can help us develop an esprit de corps, let's back it by submitting articles, announcements and notes, and by discussion of the articles already published in it. The Editorial Board will be glad to hear from you. George S. Avery, Jr., who is editing the June issue, will be especially glad for contributions.

(continued from page 1)
voted to maintain the monthly schedule, primarily for subjective reasons. The Committee felt that a journal appearing frequently is far more in the scientific mind than one appearing bimonthly or quarterly, and that the prestige of a monthly journal is worth the extra cost to the Society, especially as this cost represents only a small percentage of the annual cost of printing.

The American Journal of Botany has a hard and fast regulation that no paper may exceed eight printed pages, including illustrations and tables, unless the author is willing to accept responsibility for the extra cost, at approximately $25.00 per page. Each page of the journal (with 6000 characters) contains as much material as two pages of many single-column journals, yet many authors complain at being confronted by the dilemma of choosing between what they consider to be a too frugal page allowance and a too generous cost of extra pages. In spite of the occasional hardship it causes authors in fields that require detailed descriptions and longer manuscripts, a firm policy on length of papers seems justified because it enables more author-members to publish in each volume. One of my friends who serves as editor for a journal without restrictions on the length of papers has to ask almost every author to reduce his paper by a certain percentage--and he finds that authors pad their manuscripts in advance of revision in order to achieve the amount of space they really want! The suggestion by one of our most sincere contributors that joint authors should be allowed to add together their page allotments and thus build up longer papers without extra cost is an excellent one--if less conscientious authors would not multiply themselves for this specific purpose and if some fields would not benefit at the expense of others.

Few authors realize that their papers will be read in their entirety by a shockingly small (to them) proportion of those who receive the journal. Long tables are expensive out of all proportion to straight composition and yet are rarely read. Consequently, we now recommend strongly to authors that they make overly extensive tabular material available through photoduplication by the ADI Auxiliary Publications Project of the Library of Congress, and refer to the document number and price in a footnote to their article.

In a recent symposium on improved communication of scientific information, Dr. Ralph Cleland predicted that journals may eventually be forced by several considerations to restrict themselves to the publication of short versions or digests of papers and to make the whole contribution available, on request, in the form of photoduplicated copies (microfilm, microcard, etc.), to those relatively few individuals who wish to read it in extenso.

The editorial control of content is a point at which membership and non-membership journals in the same field usually diverge sharply. The editor of a non-membership journal is free to determine arbitrarily the content of each issue and of each volume, and to restrict the scope in any way, especially since he can hold manuscripts as long as he wishes, or as long as the author will permit him to. The membership journal, however, is expected to cover the whole field represented by the society that publishes it, and botany, for example, is a large and complex field. However, the editor has the obligation to accept the better papers without regard for the segment of the whole field into which they fall or for the conformity with readers' interests, percentagewise. Consequently, issues and even volumes may show a preponderance of papers in some area that is developing rapidly. Readers complain that occasional issues contain too many papers on morphology and that others have too much physiology. Some minor fields, better unspecified, complain continuously of lack of representation. The editor's only retort to the complaining member can be to ask him how recently he submitted an acceptable paper himself, since the most carefully prepared statistics are apt to fall on deaf ears. In other words, the content of a membership journal tends to be


determined solely by the accident of what authors put into the editor's hands. Although a back-log of unpublished manuscripts would enable an editor to achieve a much better balance for each issue, prompt publication is demanded by the authors and expected by the membership. For those aesthetic reasons peculiar to editors I would prefer a better balance in the content of issues, yet I am convinced that the editor of a journal publishing the results of original research has an obligation to publish manuscripts as promptly as possible.

The backbone of the operation of the American Journal of Botany is the large group of highly competent botanists who are willing to read and criticize manuscripts in their special fields. This system is especially important in a field as complex and as extensive as botany, since no person could be competent to evaluate papers in all aspects of the field. I am continually impressed by the thoughtful and detailed reviews, which are helpful to the authors as they are to the editor. In fact, I have seen reviews that represented as much thought as the original manuscript, and one review contained so much additional information and original thought that it had to be published! In the reviewing operation, especially, the feeling of participation that membership gives becomes extremely important, as most members appear to feel an obligation to prepare reviews, without recompense, simply as a benefit to their journal. Few requests for reviews are refused, and then the member usually feels called upon to give some valid reason for his refusal. This remarkable situation contrasts strongly with that in one of the best non-membership botanical journals, whose editor told me recently of his difficulty in finding competent reviewers.

The reactions of authors to the reviews, in general, are good, although occasionally they are hurt by strong criticisms or by the reviewer's lack of comprehension of what they meant, commentary on the author's writing. The cloak of anonymity usually conceals the identity of the reviewer, although some authors delight in shrewd guessing. Others, not realizing how blunt their friends and colleagues can be, angrily suggest that we resubmit the manuscript to someone who really knows the field, and may nominate the very persons whose reviews so irritated him. Occasional reviewers insist on signing reviews and others correspond directly with authors, an admirably sincere approach. However, since anonymous reviews naturally tend to be franker than signed ones, they thereby give the editor better criteria for the selection of papers and the author reason for more careful revision.

Perhaps the most difficult editorial task is the rejection of an author's manuscript. Certainly this is the point at which editor and author find themselves opposed on an ancient battlefield! Manuscripts represent the last step of an investigation, and the author tends to identify himself with his research and his written words. Consequently, the rejection of a manuscript is not infrequently taken as a rejection of the individual. The sense of disappointment and of outrage felt and expressed by many authors upon the rejection of their papers becomes especially acute if they are members of the organization publishing the journal, since consciously or unconsciously they feel that the payment of their dues gives them the right to publish. The editor of a non-membership journal finds himself in a relatively less vulnerable position, therefore. The emotional component inherent in the rejection of a manuscript is clearly recognized in a recommendation in the policy and style manual assembled by previous editors of the American Journal, as follows: "In the case of rejection, ordinarily the comments of reviewers or of the editorial committee members should not be sent to the author as this usually results only in long and profitless argument." However, my predecessor chose not to follow this recommendation and decided to return reviews with rejected papers. I have continued this procedure with gratifying results, as after the first shock, many authors write to say that they understand why the paper was rejected and that they are grateful for the information by which now to rewrite the paper or recast the experiment. Moreover, some of the onus is thus removed from the editor, who becomes the agent of the editorial committee, rather than an unreasonable individual, who has rejected the paper for some vague reason. Of course, rejection imposes considerable burden on the editor's judgment and discrimination, since he must first convince himself that unfavorable reviews do not represent the reviewers' possible bias or lack of comprehension. Perhaps the worst crime to be committed by an editor would be the rejection of a good paper because of unfavorable criticism from reviewers belonging to an opposing school of thought. The editor of a membership journal has to remember his peculiar responsibility to protect the equity of the author as well as the standards of the journal.

In conclusion, then, it appears that the problems of editors of membership and non-membership journals differ. In spite of some exceptions, the editors of membership journals are not generally free to be arbitrary but must depend on group decisions, since all important matters of policy are decided by the editorial committee or larger groups. The acceptance and rejection of papers depends also on a group decision, since in areas unfamiliar to the editor, he must depend largely on the opinions of the reviewers. The only real autonomy possessed by the editor is his responsibility for the maintenance of standards of excellence for manuscripts and for illustrations. The editor of a membership journal is peculiarly exposed to criticism, constructive and otherwise, by the membership and by authors who may feel a certain vested right to publish in their journals regardless of the quality of their contributions. The problem of the editor is to select those ideas and suggestions that will benefit the journal, and to stand firm against those that will not be helpful. Moreover, he has to accept the fact that the content of his journal depends more upon the accident of what is submitted than upon any design. However, these hazards are more than compensated for by the warm feeling of participation in the operation of the journal demonstrated by authors, reviewers, and the membership at large.

* Portion of a paper presented at the Third Conference on Scientific Editorial Problems at AAAS meetings. Berkeley. Calif., Dec., 1954.


Education Committee Venture
HARLAN P. BANKS, Cornell University

In his retiring address as President of the Society, Dr. Ralph Wetmore suggested at Gainesville, Florida, in September 1954 that consideration be given to summer courses at which botany teachers from small colleges could acquaint themselves with current work in the field. Following the Gainesville meetings H. P. Banks and G. H. M. Lawrence of Cornell wrote a proposal, embodying this principle, for submission to National Science Foundation. The Council of the Society agreed to its submission under the name of the Society but funds for the support of 1955 summer institutes were by then exhausted.

During the following year, aided by officers of the National Science Foundation and by data collected at previous Foundation-supported summer institutes. Banks recast the proposal and presented it to the Education Committee of the Society at the East Lansing meetings. September 1955. This Committee had previously given considerable thought to ways and means of ensuring a high level of proficiency throughout the profession. The Committee added its revisions and recommended its acceptance by the Council as a "Botanical Society of America proposal for a summer institute for Botany teachers from small colleges-to be held at Cornell University July 2-August 11. 1956:' The Council approved its submission with H. P. Banks as Director. A committee consisting of the then-President-elect Creighton, Past President Wetmore, and the Director will make the stipend awards. The aims of the Institute are to present advances in subject matter and in methods by leaders in specialized fields of botany, to encourage free discussion of subject matter by persons with common interests, and to encourage, and to offer advice on, the initiation of modest personal research programs. If we experience the same glowing results that have accompanied summer institutes in other disciplines, improvement in the competence of the teachers, in the content of the curriculum and in the enthusiasm with which the material is handled will inevitably result.

On December 27. 1955, President Creighton was notified of the award of $31,400 by the National Science Foundation to the Society for the implementation of this project. Both the Foundation and the officers of the society are keenly aware of the key role played by teachers in increasing our technical potential and of the necessity of helping teachers fulfill their role in the production of high quality scientists. It is gratifying to many that the Botanical Society is undertaking a form of leadership that has long been commonplace in some of the physical sciences.
The key points in the summer institute are good lecturers and 50 stipends of $300 each that are available to college teachers currently giving course work in at least one area of botany. In addition, 100 dependency allowances of $75 each are available to stipend holders. It is our earnest hope that those awarded stipends will secure some additional aid from their own institutions.

A preliminary announcement was mailed to each member of the Society and a longer brochure has gone out to all, or nearly all, colleges in the country.

The subject matter to be covered includes Plant Physiology, Plant Anatomy, Plant Geography, and Phycology. Approximately sixteen outstanding lecturers will participate.

Our institute is unique in being confined to Botany. It is further unique in being confined to Botany for College teachers. Examination of the twenty-one institutes being supported this summer by National Science Foundation and of the twenty-odd additional programs otherwise supported, emphasizes the importance that is being attached to the refreshment of High School teachers. It is our belief that Botany has a key role to play and that botanists at small colleges who have produced so many leaders in the Field are equally deserving of this kind of opportunity. Let us hope that all concerned can demonstrate that Botany can produce results worthy of continued recognition and support.

For further information write Dr. Harlan P. Banks, Director, Summer Institute of Botany, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.


It has been suggested to the Editor that PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN should publish for the information of members of the Society the policy concerning Corresponding Memberships. Section d of Article II of the By-Laws of the Society states: "Corresponding Members. Corresponding members shall be chosen from authors of important contributions to the science of botany. The number of such members shall be limited to forty. Corresponding members will be nominated by the Council, which will receive recommendations and credentials submitted by members. Corresponding members will be elected only by The Society in open meeting."

The Treasurer's records indicate that the Society now has 29 corresponding members. Although the above- mentioned By-Law does not so specify, all present corresponding members are citizens of foreign countries. Corresponding members pay no dues, receive the Amer. Jour. of Bot., and enjoy the same privileges as all other members of the Society. Any member of the Society in good standing (or any group of members) may suggest botanists for corresponding membership; such suggestions accompanied by letters of recommendation, bibliographies of published works of the nominee, and other supporting materials, should be sent to the Secretary of the Society well in advance of the annual meeting of the Council, held each September.


Soviet Opposition to Lysenko
Research Supervisor, Department of Defense

Botanists who remember the elevation in 1948 of Trofim D. Lysenko to virtual dictatorship over Soviet biology will probably receive with some interest the news that he has been subjected during the past three years to a mounting stream of criticism in the technical journals and the Party press.

The focal point of the controversy is an article by Lysenko entitled "New Scientific Developments Concerning Biological Species," originally published in the November-December 1950 issue of Agrobiologiya, and containing the following major theses:1

(1) Although Darwin was right in his "materialistic" theory of evolution, he was wrong in stressing the quantitative nature of differences (Lysenko insists that they are qualitative), in deriving from Malthusian doctrine the idea of intraspecific competition and divergence (Lysenko says Malthus' doctrine is "reactionary" and "pseudoscientific"), and in postulating an evolutionary continuum which lacks hard and fast lines between species and varieties (Lysenko postulates "leap-like" changes from one species to another as well as hard and fast lines of demarcation, because these things accord with the dialectic mode of development postulated by Marx);

(2) "A species is a special qualitatively well-defined state of a living form of matter. . . . The qualitative distinction between intraspecific interrelationships and interspecific interrelationships constitutes one of the most important criteria for distinguishing between species and varieties”; 2

(3) A species gives rise to another species by means of a "leap-like" change which results in the direct formation of an "embryo" of the new species within the "womb" of the old, the process taking place as a direct result of a change in the environment;

(4) Data published by various Soviet biologists demonstrate that cultivated plants directly give rise to seeds of their own "weeds" (hard and soft wheat give rise to each other and to rye, oats to oat grass, and branched wheat to both hard and soft wheat), which proves the correctness of the theory of species formation. Except for the last two items, which are more in the nature of technical elaborations than new developments, these views of Lysenko do not differ from those he has long publicly upheld, and it was not until 1952 that Botanicheskij Zhurnal initiated the controversy by announcing that the problem of species and species formation needed to be publicly discussed. The journal opened the discussion (in its issue of November-December 1952) with articles written by N. V. Turbin and N. D. Ivanov.

In their discussions, both authors attacked Lysenko's original article. Turbin, by quoting extensively from Engels, Stalin, and Michurin, tried to prove Lysenko guilty of heterodoxy because of his (Lysenko's) rejection of Darwin's views (see item 1 above). Turbin also contended that Lysenko's views on species formation (see items 3 and 4 above) were ill-supported by evidence despite the numerous specific case-histories and examples published by Soviet authors in 1951 and 1952. Ivanov, on the other hand, indulged in some extraordinary verbal and logical gymnastics in order to demonstrate that Lysenko's position is both theological and teleological, as well as very similar to the "mutation" theory of the "Weismannist-Morganists." Like Turbin, he quoted from Soviet "authorities" (Stalin, Timiryazev, Michurin) in order to demonstrate Lysenko's theoretical and ideological heterodoxy.

Although the "discussion" was initially confined to the pages of various technical journals, the controversy eventually resulted in the publication (in a dozen or so periodicals) of several hundred articles, about 40 of which have been examined (most of them in the original Russian). The anti-Lysenko articles repeated (with variations) the themes set forth by Turbin and Ivanov, refuted some of the specific examples of "leap-like" changes, and charged further that Lysenko and his followers employed poor technique, engaged in deliberate misrepresentation, and did not understand the criteria employed in according specific and varietal status. The content of the pro-Lysenko articles ranged from ideological quibbling and name-calling to simple citation of further examples of "leap-like" changes.

Of the articles which started appearing in the general press late in 1953, the most significant were probably Pravda articles of 21 and 26 March 1954, in which Lysenko was held up to public ridicule and contempt because of his ill-advised attempt to force the granting of a doctorate to a student who had written a dissertation of species transformation (Khrushchev, 1954 and Stankov, 1954); a March 1954 editorial in Kommunist which criticized Lysenko's V. 1. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences for "suppressing living scientific thought"; and a Pravda article of 2 July 1954, in which Academician S. N. Sobolev criticized editors

1 Based on detailed examination of a reprint published (at Lysenko's request) in Botanicheskij Zhurnal [Botanical Journal] 38(1): 44-56, January-February 1953. The article was also printed in at least four other media.
2 Ibid., p. 48. (Translated by this writer.)


who refused to publish articles because "their authors disagreed in some way with the established views of certain scientists--for example, Academician T. D. Lysenko. . . "

In the March-April, 1955, issue of Botanicheskij Zhurnal, the editors closed down their discussion section by calling for an end to scientific dogmatism, observing in conclusion that "much harm was done not only to agriculture and forestry but to the teaching of biology in secondary schools by T. D. Lysenko's opinions."

It would probably be wrong to conclude that Soviet biology has returned from its long exile, for while the attempt of the anti-Lysenko faction to prove the pro-Lysenko faction guilty of Communist heresy may represent a token obeisance, it also suggests an attempt to substitute one rigid doctrine for another. Moreover, whatever the motivation of the anti-Lysenko group may be, the Soviet articles published during the past three years indicate fairly conclusively that Lysenko still has strong support, and Soth (1955), as recently as August 1955, noted that there was "little sign of dissent [from Lysenko' s doctrines] in the agricultural institutes." About the most that can be said at this time is that he has lost the position of preeminence which he enjoyed from 1948 to 1952, and that his theories no longer have the force of law in all biological circles.

"Discussions: Expand and Intensify Creative Discussion of Species and Species Formation," Botanicheskij Zhurnal 40(2): 206- 213, March-April 1955 [translated in Current Digest of the Soviet Press 7(24): 5-8, 27 July 1955]
"(Editorial)--Science and Life," Kommunist No.5, pp.3-13, March 1954 [translated in Cur. Dig. Sov. Press 6(14): 3-7, 19 May 1954]
Ivanov. N. D. "O Novom Uchenii T. D. Lysenko o Vide [Concerning T. D. Lysenko's New Doctrine on Species]," Bot. Zhurn. 37(6): 819-842, November-December 1952
Khrushchev, N. S. "On Further Increasing the Country's Grain Production and Putting Virgin and Idle Lands in Cultivation" [a report given at the Party Central Committee Plenary Session of 23 February 1954], Pravda, pp. 1-5, 21 March 1954 [translated in Cur. Dig. Sov. Press 6(12): 3-13. 5 May 1954]
Lysenko, T. D. "Novoe v Nauke o Biologicheskom Vide [New Scientific Developments Concerning Biological Species]," Agrogiologiya No.6, pp. 15-25, November-December 1950, and Bot. Zhurn. 38(1): 44-56, January-February 1953
Sobolev, S. N. "A Scientist's Notes: On Scientific Cricitism, In- novation and Dogmatism." Pravda, p. 2, 2 July 1954 [translated in Cur. Dig. Sov. Press 6 (26): 15-16, 11 August 1954]
Soth, Lauren. "Soviet Farm Research is Bent to Fit Theories," Des Moines Register and Tribune, pp. 1 and 4, 26 August 1955 [one of a series of 12 articles]
Stankov, S. "Letters to the Editor: Concerning a Faulty Dissertation," Pravda. p. 2. 26 March 1954 [translated in Cur. Dig. Sov. Press 6(12): 13,5 May 1954]
Turbin, N. V. "Darvinizm i Novoe Uchenie o Vide [Darwinism and the New Doctrine on Species]," Bot. Zhurn. 37(6): 798-818, November-December 1952

The George R. Cooley Awards in Taxonomic Botany

Through the generosity of Mr. George R. Cooley, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists is able to offer two cash awards yearly for five years. One of these awards carries an honorarium of $500.00, the other an honorarium of $100.00.

The award of $500.00 is to be given for a published paper based on original research and concerned largely with the taxonomy of plants of Southeastern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Papers published in the calendar year prior to that in which the award is given will be considered by a committee of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists appointed for the purpose. The committee will select an award paper using excellence as the primary guide. Any and all phases of the paper and the research reported upon may be taken into account. If, in the judgment of the committee, no paper is submitted that is meritorious and of sufficiently high quality, the award may be postponed, and the over-all period in which awards will be given will thus be extended.

The committee to administer the above award is composed of Dr. Donovan S. Correll, Chairman (U. S. Department of Agriculture, Plant Introduction Section, Beltsville, Md.); Dr. Harold W. Rickett (New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park, New York 58, N. Y.); and Dr. Edgar T. Wherty (Botanical Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 4, Pa.). Papers should be sent to Dr. Correll for consideration.

The award of $100.00 is to be given for an oral paper on any phase of plant taxonomy delivered before the membership of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists at its annual meeting. All papers given on the program will be considered and judged on their excellence by a committee consisting of Dr. Robert T. Clausen, Chairman (Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.); Dr. John M. Fogg (Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.); and Dr. H. L. Mason (University of California, Berkeley 4, California).

Papers presented at the next annual meeting to be held at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, August 26-30, 1956, will be considered for the award. R. C. Rollins, Secretary, American Society of Plant Taxonomists.


The Plant Science Department at Yale University has recently moved into its new offices and laboratories in the Josiah Willard Gibbs Research Laboratories. The new quarters provide controlled-condition growth chambers and other research facilities in plant physiology, cytogenetics, and pollen analysis, together with other laboratory facilities.


AIBS and the Society

Most of us realize what a good job the AIBS is doing for our Society and for each of us as professional botanists by representing us in Washington governmental conclaves and at manpower, science education, teacher training, and other sorts of meetings. Unless we realize the number of such gatherings where engineers, chemists, doctors, etc., are represented and so taken into account, we can have no idea how important it is that an AIBS representative, often a botanist, is present to see that we are not overlooked, and to present a biological point of view, if there is one. The following report from Hiden T. Cox, Executive Director, a member of the Botanical Society, gives some good news of the financial progress of the AIBS. The Committee on Education mentioned has as its Chairman. Oswald Tippo, and two of its members are Ronald Bamford and Harriet Creighton. Watch the AIBS Bulletin for reports of its activities.

"A significant milestone has been passed that is most gratifying to all of us on the AIBS staff. The Bulletin has completed its fifth full year of publication and the January issue marked the beginning of Volume 6. Perhaps you noticed the congratulatory advertisement on the back cover. The gradual development of the Bulletin into a publication of importance is the product of the efforts of many people during the past five years. I feel, however, that a major share of credit is due its editor--Mrs. Ileen E. Stewart--and that all of us are greatly indebted to her.

"The AIBS contract for providing advisory services to the Office of Naval Research is in process of being renewed on a longevity basis through December 31, 1957. Previously this contract has been annually renewable. The new plan not only will give us a rather considerable financial cushion for the next two years, but I think it bespeaks the growing confidence that governmental agencies have in the future of AIBS.

"The newly formed Committee on Education and Professional Recruitment held its first meeting in New York City, January 12th and 13th. Many recommendations were made and a number of projects were proposed. There is not space to enumerate them here, but most of them will be noted in future education columns of the Bulletin.

"Two plans for financial underwriting of the publication of an AIBS symposium series are now under consideration by the Executive Committee. In either case, AIBS would be able to inaugurate a series of letterpress printed, board-bound volumes at a price considerably lower than others now on the market.

"I have been informed unofficially that the Society of Systematic Zoology voted at its last meeting to become an Affiliate of AIBS. This brings to thirty-three the number of societies who are Affiliates or Members of AIBS. I think this action also might be interpreted as an expression of confidence from biologists in the future of AIBS."


The Committee appointed at Paris in 1954 to carry out the directives of the Nomenclature Section of the Congress held a meeting at Utrecht November 13-18, 1955. All members were present: J. Lanjouw, Utrecht, chairman; C. Baehni, Genève; W. Robyns, Bruxelles; R. C. Rollins, Cambridge; R. Ross, London; J. Rousseau, Montréal; G. M. Schulze, Berlin; A. C. Smith, Washington; R. de Vilmorin, Paris; F. A. Stafleu, Utrecht, secretary. The changes authorized by the Congress were incorporated in a new edition of the Code, which is expected to be published about the middle of 1956. Parallel English, French, and German versions will be provided, together with a key showing the fate of the Articles and Recommendations of the present (1952) edition. The Committee does not guarantee that the new edition will solve all the problems of taxonomists.

The Committee enjoyed the hospitality of the botanical staffs at the Universities of Utrecht and Leiden, being at a reception at each of the Universities, and on one occasion participating in an afternoon outing on the seacoast with the botanists of the two institutions who seldom, it is rumored, get together so amicably. It is hoped that social activities did not interfere with the Committee's nomenclatural judgment.


The Darbaker Prize Committee of the Botanical Society of America will accept nominations for an award to be announced at the annual meeting of the Society in 1956. Under the terms of the bequest, the award is to be made for meritorious work in the study of the algae, particularly the microscopic algae. The Committee will base its judgment primarily on the papers published by the candidate during the last two full calendar years previous to the closing date for nominations. Only papers published in the English language will be considered. Nominations for the 1956 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 in order to be received by May 15, 1956. The value of the prize for 1956 will depend on the income from the trust fund but is expected to be about $150.00.

Harold C. Bold, John D. Dodd, Ruth Patrick, Richard C. Starr, George F. Papenfuss, Chairman, Dept. of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, California.


As stated on page 8 of the October 1955 BULLETIN, the Society needs contributions from its members to help defray expenses of its Golden Jubilee to be celebrated in 1956. If you wish to help, send your check to President Harriet Creighton, Dept. of Botany, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. Your check should be made payable to "Bot. Soc. 50th Anniversary Fund."



At its last annual meeting the Botanical Society of America decided upon the awarding of fifty Certificates of Merit at its 50th Anniversary meeting to be held this year at Storrs, Connecticut. These awards are intended for living American botanists who have made outstanding contributions to botany. The term "American" is interpreted in its widest sense to apply to any botanist who has done all or a substantial part of his professional work in any part of the Americas. The term "botany" is also interpreted in a broad sense to cover all fields of plant science. Recipients of these awards need not be members of the Botanical Society of America. Members of the undersigned committee have been appointed to select the recipients of these awards. However, in order to insure that as nearly as possible no person qualified for consideration will be overlooked, we have decided to first solicit nominations from members and friends of the Society. Any such person may make one or more nominations; each such nomination should include at least a brief statement of the qualifications of the nominee. Nominations will not be accepted for persons who are members of the committee. Nominating letters should be sent to the chairman of the committee at the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Ohio State University, Columbus 10, Ohio, not later than May 15, 1956.

Ronald Bamford, Norman H, Boke, Pierre Dansereau, James H, Jensen, Rogers McVaugh, Donald P. Rogers, Bernard S. Meyer, Chairman.


The Council of the Botanical Society, polled by mail ballot, has approved the organization of a Phycological Section. A group of phycologists presented a petition to establish such a section to the officers of the Society at the E. Lansing meeting. The petition cited the increasing number of investigations dealing with algae and the increasing importance of the latter in basic research. In view of the number of botanists who are members both of the Botanical Society and of the Phycological Society of America, it is planned to hold joint program meetings of the Section and the Phycological Society. Harold C. Bold of Vanderbilt Univ. is serving as acting chairman of the new section and Paul C. Silva, Univ. of Illinois, as its secretary. Members of the Botanical Society who wish to affiliate with the Phycological Section should notify one of these officers.


The difficulties encountered with the projection of lantern slides is a major source of irritation at the National Meetings. Mr. William G. Smith, biological photographer of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, calls to our attention that certain standards have been established for the preparing of engineering and scientific charts for lantern slides.

These standards are fully explained in the booklet, Engineering and Scientific Charts for Lantern Slides (ASA-ZI5.1-1932, reaffirmed 1947). This may be purchased from The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 29 West 39th Street, New York 18, N. Y., at a cost of ninety cents per copy.

Members of the profession are urged to obtain a copy of this booklet and see that their slides conform to the standards approved by the American Standards Association.


THE SIXTH ANNUAL SPRING WILD FLOWER PILGRIMAGE in the Great Smoky Mountains will be April 25, 26, 27, and 28. There will be hikes for those interested in wild flowers and photography, bird walks led by competent ornithologists, two evening illustrated lectures on Southern Appalachian topics and two evening wild flower clinics. The Saturday morning hike is to see ferns and mosses. For further information write the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Chamber of Commerce.


Plans for the annual meetings to be held with many other Societies belonging to the AIBS are going forward under the guidance of our Local Representative, W. H. Camp. There will be field trips before the meetings for those who want to learn, or review their acquaintance with parts of New England. Several symposia of general interest will be scheduled and of course there will be the Dinner for All Botanists at which the retiring President, O. Tippo, will be the speaker.


William Easterly needs flower buds, pressed specimens and seeds of any of the 6 species of Ptilimnium for a morphological study. He will pay cash on delivery. Write him for details at the Dept. of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va.

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