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CHAPTER IV THE ACADEMY AS THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISER OF THE GOVERNMENT THE Academy started out in the stormy days of the Civil War with the idea and the intention of helping the Government. It has helped the Government. Its re- ports have been accepted, its recommendations have been adopted, and the Government has shaped its course in several matters of importance in the light of the course! which it received from the Academy. If it has not sought that course! as frequently and as eagerly as the founders hoped and expected, the defection has been due rather to the changes which time has wrought in the public service, than to any lack of confidence in the counsellors. In an earlier chapter we have shown that the idea of helping the Government was prominent in the minds of some of the founders of the Academy, that it was incorporated in the charter and constitution, and that Professor B ache and others thought that in this direction lay a very important if not the most im- portant, function of the Academy. It remains now to consider more in detail to what extent and on what subjects the advice of the Academy has been sought by the Government, how far its recommendations have. been adopted, and what results have followed. It will be readily understood that with the increase of large scientific organizations in the country, the growth of public opinion relative to scientific matters of more or less practical importance, and the development of the scientific bureaus of the Government, it has happened less frequently that the Academy has stood alone in its recommendations. Even at the outset some of the committees appointed to consider questions of public policy were joint committees of the Academy and of other kindred organizations, or had among their members 201 ;
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202 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES officers of the Government, who were detailed to assist in the deliberations. It is well to note also that from the beginning the membership of the Academy included many officers of the Government and that these were frequently selected to serve on committees of the Academy. On one occasion at least this led to some embarrassment, for the reason that through this double relationship it was thought that the views of subordinate officers might control the action of those higher in authority. As might be expected, there has been no regularity in the number of committees appointed on behalf of the Government from year to year. As marry as seven have been appointed in a single year, while, on the other hand, two periods of five years each passed in which no calls were received from Congress or the Executive Departments. The records show, however, that of the whole number of committees more than one-third were appointed in the first five years. After this the number fell off in a marked manner, but increased again during the decade be- ginning with ~878. Between that year and ~8, twenty com- mittees were appointed. In the twenty-four years that have elapsed since ~ 888, only seven committees have been appointed. The subjects brought to the attention of the Academy by the Government have covered a wide range, but among them, matters in which physics, astronomy and chemistry were con- cerned have predominated. It should be remarked, however, that some of the most important questions which the Academy has been asked to consider, have not related to any particular branch of science, but rather to matters of public policy. On the general subject of committees appointed at the request of the Government, Professor B ache ire his first report as Presi- dent of the Academy remarked as follows: " It was obvious that the only effective and prompt mode of action by members scattered over the United States, as were the fifty named in the charter, must be through committees. Action must originate with committees, and be perfected by discussion in the general meetings of the Academy, or in the classes or sections. Decisions to be finally pronounced by the entire body. " To avoid delay in reports which might be desired by the government to be promptly furnished, the President of the Academy was authorized to transmit
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 203 such reports on their reception. It has not appeared to me, except, perhaps, in one case, and in that the conclusions of the Committee had not reached me, that there was occasion to present the reports until they had been discussed in the Academy itself, and the views had been adopted; especially as this was, as I have said before, a first trial of the working of our organization. One of the committees thus acting has been able to' meet so often, and with so many members at a meeting, as to show that in important cases, where consultation and discussion must be had, there will be little difficulty in effecting meetings; while in most cases correspondence amply suffices for the settlement of the questions involved, and to bring out the results in the form of a report with suggestions. " It will be seen by the spirit and words of our laws, enacted by the authority of the charter, that the members of the National Academy put their time and talents at the disposal of the country in no small or stinted measure, freely, fully, by the binding authority of an oath; asking no compensation therefor but the consciousness of contributing to judicious action by the government on matters of science. The more the wealth of such men can be drawn out from the treasury of their knowledge, the richer will the nation be; and I for one do not fear that even the suggestions which may be made to Congress on subjects in which that knowledge may be most profitably employed for our country and times, will be subject to any supposed taint of self-seeking as to power or influence. Subject to the taint of supposed desire for remuneration it cannot be, by our charter, and all our laws look away from such a center." ~ COMMITTEES APPOINTED BY THE ACADEMY ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT T. Committees appointed in accordance with Acts of Congress. ~87~. On the Transit of Venus (p. 256) . ~872. On Preparing Instructions for the Polaris Expedition (p. 40~. ~878. On a Plan for Surveying and Mapping the Territories of the United States ~ p. 268 ~ . ~879. On a National Board of Health (p. 50~. ~894. To Prescribe and Publish Specifications for the Practical Appli- cation of the Definitions of the Ampere and Volt (p. 3~3~. ~908. On the Methods and Expenses of Conducting Scientific Work Under the Government ~ p. 330) . a. Committees appointed at the request of Joint Commissions and Committees of Congress. ~884. On the Signal Service of the Army, the Geological Survey, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and the Hydrographic Once of the Navy Department (p. Egg. 1 Ann. Nat. Acad. Sci., ~863-6, pp. 49, 50. For an annotated list of committees to ~879, see Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for z879, pp. 7-~3. . l
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204 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ~902. On the Establishment of a National Forest Reserve in He South- ern Appalachians (p.323). a. Committees appointed at the request of the President of the United States. ~870. On the Protection of Coal Mines from Explosion by Means of Electricity (p. 253 ~ . agog. On Scientific Explorations in the Philippines (p. 325~. 4. Committees appointed at the request of the Treasury Depart- ment. 863. On the National Currency ~ Confidential ~ . ~863. On Weights, Measures, and Coinage (p. 206) . ~ 863. On Saxton's Alcoholometer (p. 2~ 8 ~ . ~-- ~86~. On Materials for the Manufacture of Cent Coins (p. 227~. ~866. On the Prevention of Counterfeiting (p. 33~. ~866. On Spirit Meters (p. 239~. ~866. On Proving and Gauging Distilled Spirits and Preventing Fraud (p. 239~. ~866. On Metric Standards for the States (p. 2~. ~870. On the EEect of Chemicals on Internal Revenue Stamps (p. 254~. ~87-3. On an International Bureau of Weights and Measures (p. 2~2~. i875. On Water-proofing the Fractional Currency (p. 26~ ). ~875. On Means of Distinguishing Calf's Hair from Woolen Goods Confidential) . ~876. On Artificial Coloring of Sugars to Simulate a Lower Grade According to the Standard on which Duties are Levied Confidential) . ~876. On the Use of Polarized Light to Determine the Values of Sugars (p. 264~. ~877. On Demerara Sugars (p. 264) . ~878. On Building Stone to be used for the Custom House at _ it, Chicago. ~ No report. ~ ~882. On the Separation of 3/lethyl Alcohol, or Wood Spirits, from Ethyl Alcohol (p. 29~ ). ~882. On 7882. On Glucose tp. 293) . Triangulation Connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. (No report.) ~884. On Philosophical and Scientific Apparatus (p. 3021. ~885. On the Tariff Classification of Wools (p. 306~.
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 205 886 and ~ 887. On the Morphine Content of Opium ~ p. 309 ~ . ~887. On Quartz Plates used in Saccharimeters for Sugar Determi- nations ~ p. 308 ~ . ~890. To' Formulate a Plan for a Systematic Search for the North Magnetic Pole (p. 3~. 5. Committees appointed at the request of the Navy Depart- ment. ~863. On Protecting the Bottoms of Iron Vessels (p. ala ~ . i863. On Magnetic Deviation in Iron Ships (p. 2~5~. ~863. On Wind and Current Charts and Sailing Directions (p. 2~91. ~864. On the Explosion on the United States Steamer Che~za?2go (P. 230~. ~864. On Experiments on the Expansion of Steam (p. 226~. ~877. On Proposed Changes in the American Ephemeris (p. 267~. 88 I. On the Transit of Venus ( p. 256 ~ . ~885. On the Astronomical Day, the Solar Eclipse of ~886, and the Erection of a New Naval Observatory (p. 303~. 6. Committees appointed at the request of the War Department. ~864. On the Question of Tests for the Purity of Whiskey (p. 225~. 866. On the Preservation of Paint on Army Knapsacks. ~ No report. ~ ~867. On Galvanic Action from Association of Zinc and Iron (p. 232~. 873. On the Exploration of the Yellowstone. ~ No report. ~ ~88~. On Questions of Meteorological Science and Its Applications (p. 290~. 7. Committees appointed at the request of the Department of State. ~ ~866. On the Improvement of Greytown Harbor, Nicaragua (p. z47~. ~903. On the Restoration of the Declaration of Independence (p. 279~. 8. Committees appointed at the request of the Department of Agriculture. Woo. On Silk Culture in the United States (p. 33~. ~88~. On Sorghum Sugar ¢p. 284) . 9. Committees appointed at the request of the Department of the Interior. ~880. On the Restoration of the Declaration of Independence (p. 279~. ~896. On the Inauguration of a Rational Forest Policy for the Forested Lands of the United States (p. 3~4~. IS
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206 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES COMMITTEE ON WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND COINAGE. 1863 Five committees were appointed at the request of the Govern- ment within a month after the organization of the Academy. The first of these, which was known as Committee No. I, was appointed at the solicitation of the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, on May 4, ~863, not to consider any question relating to the conduct of the Civil War, but on the subject of the " Uniformity of weights, measures and coins, considered in rela- tion to domestic and international commerce." Secretary Chase had previously referred to this matter in his annual report for 86~, p. 28' as follows: " The Secretary desires to avail himself of this opportunity to invite the atten- tion of Congress to the importance of a uniform system and a uniform nomencla- ture of weights and measures, and coins to the commerce of the world, in which the United States already so largely shares. The wisest of our statesmen have regarded the attainment of this end, so desirable in itself, as by no means impos- sible. The combination of the decimal system with appropriate denominations in a scheme of weights, measures, and coins for the international uses of commerce, leaving, If need be, the separate systems of the nations untouched, is certainly not beyond the reach of the daring genius and patient endeavor which gave the steam engine and the telegraph to the service of mankind." 2 The committee was originally one of eight members, namely, Joseph Henry (chairman), J. H. Alexander' Fairman Rogers Wolcott Gibbs, Arnold Guyot, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., Wm. Chauvenet, John Torrey. To these members were added A. D. B ache, by resolution of the Academy, John Rodgers, Ll. M. Rutherfurd and Samuel B. Ruggles. Ruggles was not a member of the Academy, but was designated in accordance with a pro- vision of the constitution which permitted the President " to call in the aid, upon committees, of experts, or men of remarkable attainments, not members of the Academy." (Act a, sect. it.) He was the delegate of the United States to the International Statistical Congress held in Berlin in ~86~. The original committee was discharged in ~ 866, but the following year another committee was appointed under the same 2 Rep. Seer. Treas. for Adz, p. z8.
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 207 name. It became a standing committee, and, although rated as a committee on business of the Academy, it has reported a num- ber of times on matters referred to the Academy by the Govern- ment. During the forty-six years that have elapsed since ~867, twenty-two members of the Academy have served on this com- mittee, including three who belonged to the original Committee No. I. These are J. H. Alexander, F. A. P. Barnard, C. B. Com- stock, Henry Draper, Wolcott Gibbs, B. A. Gould, Henry, Hilgard, Covering, Meigs, Mendenhall, Michelson, Morley, Newcomb, H. A. Newton, C. S. Peirce, Saxton, Sellers, W. P. Trowbridge, Webster, R. S. Woodward, Young. In regard to the sub ject-matter which the original Committee No. ~ was to consider, Professor Bache remarked in his first report as President of the Academy (~863), as follows: " It is not a little strange in our country, where the decimal system of coinage proved at once acceptable, notwithstanding the capital errors committed in, for a long time, keeping in use foreign coins of no convenient relation to the decimal system, that nothing of the kind was effected for weights and measures, and still more strange that the antiquated and cumbrous variety of tables by which articles of different classes were bought and sold should have been retained, that even in our preparation of a national system intended for practical use neither the deci- malization of the weights and measures nor the simplicity of one weight of one name should have been adopted. The influence of great names can alone probably explain this, without justifying it." 3 The proceedings of the committee were not reported in full, but Professor B ache informs us that " the discussions in the body of this committee were strongly in favor of the adoption of the French metrical system, but more strongly, in fact unanimously, in favor of the effort to arrive at a thorough international system a universal system of weights, measures' and coins, available for the general acceptance of all nations." 4 It will readily be understood that the committee was not pre- pared to submit at once a general report on so comprehensive and important a matter. They adopted the plan of dividing into subcommittees, each of which should inquire into the system of weights and measures employed by one or more countries. Hav- 3 Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for ~ 8 63, p. 4. 4 [OC. Cit.
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208 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ing made known this arrangement to the Academy on January 9, ~864, the committee was continued, with power to act. Two years later, on January 27, ~866, the committee submitted its first definite report in the following terms: " Report of the Committee on Weights, Measures, and Coinage, to: the National Academy of Sciences, January, ~866. " The Committee are in favor of adopting, ultimately, a decimal system; and, in their opinion, the metrical system of weights and measures, though not without defects, is, all things considered, the best in use. The Committee therefore suggest that the Academy recommend to Congress to authorize and encourage by law the introduction and use of the metrical system of weights and measures; and that with a view to familiarize the people with the system, the academy recommend that provision be made by law for the immediate manufacture and distribution to the custom-houses and States of metrical standards of weights and measures; to introduce the system into the post offices by making a single letter weigh fifteen grammes instead of fourteen and seventeen hundredths or half an ounce; and to cause the new cent and two-cent pieces to be so coined that they shall weigh, respectively, five and ten grarnmes, and that their diameters shall be made to bear a determinate and simple ratio to the metrical unit of length." 5 This report was considered by the Academy and was trans- mitted to the Secretary of the Treasury! Hugh McCulloch, with a letter, signed by Joseph Henry, Vice-President of the Academy, giving the views of the majority and minority on the general question under consideration. This very interesting communication was as follows: 6 SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON, D. C., " February ~7, ~866. " SIR: I have the honor herewith to transmit a report of the National Academy of Sciences on weights, measures, and coinage, adopted at its late meeting in January, after considerable discussion, but not with entire unanimity. " The subject is one of much perplexity. While, on the one hand, it is evident that a reform of our present system of weights and measures is exceedingly desirable, on the other, the difficulty of adopting the best system and of introducing it in opposition to the prejudice and usages of the people is also apparent. " The entire adoption of the French metrical system involved the necessity of discarding our present standard of weights and measure~the foot, the pound, the bushel, the gallon—and the introduction in their place of standards of unfamiliar magnitudes and names. 5 Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for ~865, p. 5. ~Loc.cit.,p.4.
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 209 " Such a change, in my opinion, can only be, in a government like ours, the work of time and through the education of the rising generation, for this purpose, should the resolution now before Congress to establish a bureau of education be adopted, the French metrical system might be taught under the sanction of the government in all the common schools of the country. " The system, however, is not considered by many as well adapted to the Anglo- Saxon mind as one which might be devised, and it was therefore the opinion of a minority of the academy, that, could England and the United States agree upon a system for adoption, it would in all probability in time become universal. " The argument in favor of the French metrical system is, however, that it has been already adopted in whole or in part in several nations. " I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, JOSEPH HENRY, " Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences. " HON. H. MCCULLOCH, " Secretary of the Treasury." The recommendations of the Academy reached Congress either through the President or the Secretary of the Treasury, and were printed in the report of the House Committee of the 38th Congress on Coinage, Weights and Measures on the bills relating to the metric system then pending. as follows: This report begins " In considering the general subject of a uniform system of coinage, weights and measures, your committee had before them- " First. That part of the message of the President and accompanying docu- ments relating to these subjects. " Second. The report of the National Academy of Sciences, embracing their resolutions approving the metric decimal system of weights and measures. " Third. The report of the United States commissioner to the statistical con- gress at Berlin.7 " Fourth. Various memorials of universities and colleges of the United States, urging a uniform system of weights and measures, also invariably commending the metric decimal system. " Fifth. The petition of the mayor, judges, and citizens of Baltimore praying for the adoption of the metric system of weights and measures. " Sixth. Several memorials of citizens in different parts of the United States in behalf of the same object. " Seventh. The bill H. R. no. 25z, referred to them, and proposing the com- pulsory and exclusive use after a limited period, of the metric system..... 7 Hon. Samuel B. Ruggles.
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RIO NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES " .... They also received the assistance of those distinguished members of the National Academy of Sciences who constitute the special committee of that learned society having charge of these subjects, and particularly Professor Newton, of that committee, whose efforts in aid of their purposes have been patient and persevering." 8 After this follows a resume of the history of the coinage, weights and measures of the United States, Great Britain and France, and a comparison of the existing weights and measures with the metric system. Finally, on page no of the report of the House Committee it is said " Your committee unanimously recommend the passage of the bills and the joint resolutions appended to this report. They were not prepared to go, at this time, beyond this stage of progress in the proposed reform." The reasons are then given and the report concludes with a list of the bills recommended. These are as follows: " A bill making it lawful to use the metric system. " A joint resolution directing the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish metric standards to the States. " A bill to authorize the use in the post offices of weights of the denomination of grams.9 " A joint resolution to authorize the President to appoint a special commissioner to facilitate the adoption of a uniform coinage between the United States and foreign countries." The bills legalizing the use of the metric system, directing the Secretary of the Treasury to furnish metric standards to the States, and authorizing the use in post-offices of weights of the Denomination or grams passed the mouse on Play I7' IbOt), with- · ~ out c lscusslon. . . .. , . .. ** ~ ~ in,, 8 House of Representatives, 38th Congress, fist Session. Report no. 62. Coinage, Weights and Measures. (To accompany bills House Res. nos. 596 and 597, and House Res. no. ~4~.) May ~7, ~866. Ordered to be printed. p. I. 9 The text of this bill is as follows: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, etc., That the Postmaster General be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to furnish to the post offices exehang- ing mails with foreign countries, and to such other offices as shall think expedient, postal balances denominated in grams of the metric system, and until otherwise provided by law, one-half ounce avoirdupois shall be deemed and taken for postal purposes as the equivalent of fifteen grams of the metric weights, and so adopted in progression; and the rates of postage shall be applied aeeordingly."
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 2r I They were brought up in the Senate on July by, 1866, by Senator Sumner, who made a speech on their merits, and were passed on that day without discussion. The last two above mentioned were approved on the same day, July z7, ~866, and the first on July 28, ~866. Thus, it appears that in this instance the recommendations of the Academy were received and accepted by Congress, and that the action taken was in accord therewith. It is clearly a case in which the Academy helped the Government. At the same time at which the use of metric measures was legalized, Congress enacted a law enabling the Secretary of the Treasury to supply a set of the standards to each of the States of the Union. The Secretary requested the National Academy to advise him as to the kind and form of standards that should be furnished, the material of which they should be made, and the proper means of verifying them. The request was referred to the Committee on Weights and Measures which reported to the Academy at the meeting of August, ~867. The report was transmitted to the Treasury Department and the recommenda- tions which it contained were adopted.~° Congress passed a third act at the same time with the other two, as we have seen, authorizing the use in post-offices of weights of the denomination of grams. The Academy appears not to have been directly concerned in the passage of this measure, but at the annual meeting of the following year ~ ~867) a resolution was adopted to the effect that the Academy considered it " highly desirable that the discretionary power granted by Congress to the Postmaster-General to use the metrical Freights in the post offices (should) be exercised at the earliest convenient day." As we have noted in a previous chapter, a committee was appointed in ~868 to urge upon the Postmaster-General the importance of adopting the action mentioned in this resolution, but no results followed at that time. The interest of the National Academy in metric measures did not end with these proceedings. It will be recalled that two 10 Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for ~879, p- x3. t'
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322 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Act entitled 'An Act to repeal the timber-culture laws, and for other purposes,' approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and Acts supplemental to and amendatory thereof, after such lands have been so reserved, excepting such laws as affect the surveying, prospecting, locating, appropriating, enter- ing, relinquishing, reconveying, certifying, or patenting of any of such lands." 275 At the beginning of the fiscal year this bureau, known as the Forest Service, had in its employ 82~ persons of whom ~53 were professionally trained foresters. In ~908 the force comprised ~779 persons, consisting of 29 inspectors, 98 forest supervisors, 6~ deputies, 33 forest assistants, 8 planting assistants, 94~ rangers, 52~ guards and 88 clerks.~76 The scope and magnitude of the activities of the Service have increased year by year since that date. Thus, after the lapse of fifteen years since the committee of the Academy made its recommendations, the Government has provided an effective organization for the protection of the public forests one which may be fairly said to possess the principal features, though not the exact form, which the com- mittee considered desirable. Instead of a bureau of forests in the Department of the Interior we have the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture. Instead of a " director " and " assistant director," we have a " chief forester " and " associate forester "; instead of " head foresters " and " foresters " we have " forest supervisors " and " deputies." The division into depart- ments has been adopted. The formation of a special " board of forest lands " has not been carried into effect, the locating and surveying of forest lands and kindred duties remaining in charge of the General Land Office of the Department of the Interior. The plan of recruiting officers from West Point and providing for retirement for age has not been adopted, while the forest schools connected with universities and colleges have supplied the means of educating young men in the principles of forestry 175 Stat at Large, vol. 33, part I, p. 628, s8th Congress, ad Session, chap. 288, sec. I, egos. 76 Rep Dep. Agric. for egos, P- 4~7
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 3 23 and the organization of a forestry school by the Government has not been necessary. Regarding the importance of the work of the committee of the Academy in the promotion of the forestry interests of the United States, Mr. Gifford Pinchot, who was a member of the committee, and has also been the most conspicuous advocate of scientific forestry in America, wrote in 1905: " The work of the committee of the National Academy of Sciences, while it failed of much that it might have accomplished, nevertheless was the spring from which the present activity in forest matters was derived. The proclamation of the reserves which it recommended drew the attention of the country as nothing else had ever done to the question of forestry. Vigorous discussion of forest matters by the public press led to a widespread interest, and that in turn to a keen appreciation of the value of forests in the economy of each State, and to a willing- ness to take measures to protect them. It may fairly be assumed that, as one of the results of this awakened interest, the policy of making Government forest reserves is now established beyond the reach of further question." 277 rr me. . ~ . . ~ . ~ . . . . The following data were culled from the report of Secretary Wilson for ~ 9 ~ 2: In the midsummer of ~9~2 the Forest Service employed a total of 4O97 persons and had an appropriation of over $5,ooo,ooo for the current year. This bureau employed only thirteen persons sixteen years ago. Its administrative and pro- tective duties alone are discharged in thirty-four States and in Alaska. Besides having charge of the national forests, this bureau offers to provide owners of woodlands an opportunity to obtain practical advice and assistance looking toward the introduction of forest management on their holdings. Grazing of the forest lands, which was formerly done destructively, is now permitted under control of this Department. Grazing permits are issued, and in ~9~ over 26,ooo permits were issued for the grazing of ~,4OO,OOO cattle, g5,ooo horses, and nearly 7,5OO,OOO sheep. In the care of the national forests much timber is sold, and in ~9~2 the timber sales numbered nearly Too and embraced 800,000,000 board feet, from which the receipts were over $~,ooo,ooo. The area of the national forests, June SO, ~ 9 ~ 2, was over ~ 87,ooo,ooo acres. COMMITTEE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL RESERVE IN THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS. 1902 In 1902 the Academy received a letter from the chairman of the Senate Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game relative to the establishment of a reservation in the Yearbook of the Dep. Agric., ~899, p. 297. 1
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3 24 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Appalachian Mountains. This letter and the report of the com- mittee of the Academy appointed to consider the matter are given in full in the Report for the year mentioned. As they are self-explanatory, they are quoted in full in this place. UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREST RESERVATIONS AND THE PROTECTION OF GAME, "April ~6, ~902. " PROF. ALEX. AGASSIZ, "President National Academy of Sciences, Washirz~ton, D. C. " DEAR SIR: There is now before Congress a bill looking to the establishment of a national forest reserve to include the higher and larger masses of mountains in the Southern Appalachian region. " This measure is to be considered at an early date by the Senate Committee on Forest Reservations, and in order that the best interests of the country may be served in this connection I will be greatly pleased if the Committee on Forest Reservations may have the benefit of the Academy's advice. " Yours very truly, J. R. BURTON. BOSTON, April 30, 1902. ALEXANDER AGASSIZ, ESQ., " President National HI cademy of Sciences. " SIR: The committee of the Academy to whom you have referred the request of the chairman of the Committee on Forestry of the Senate of the United States for an opinion on the advisability of establishing an Appalachian forest reserve, have examined Senate Document No. 84, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, being the message from the President of the United States transmitting a report of the Secretary of Agriculture in relation to the forests, rivers, and mountains of the Southern Appalachian region (without the accompanying illustrations), and a copy of Senate bill 5228, for the purchase of a national forest reserve in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region, to be known as the ' National Appalachian Forest Reserve,' and beg to state that they are in full sympathy with the principle of forest reservations intended to preserve the gradual distribution of rainfall in the flow of rivers heading therein. " They do not feel, however, without a personal examination of the region in question, qualified to give an opinion as to whether the recent disastrous floods in various rivers flowing from the Appalachian Mountains, recounted in the reports transmitted by the Bureau of Forestry and by the Geological Survey and con- tained in Document No. 84, resulted from the actual destruction of the forests, and as to whether their repetition could be prevented by a restoration of the r ~ ~ · r I' `_
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COMMITTEES ONT BEHAI,F OF THE GOVERNMENT 325 forest growth. No data or records are presented to show that floods equally large did not occur in older times. " To make a proper report would require a certain time, as well as an appro- priation to meet the expenses incurred by the committee of the academy. " As regards the provisions of the bill, it appears to the committee to be abso- lutely essential that the Government shall have full ownership and control of all reserved lands, and that these shall be in large continuous blocks. To limit such ownership to detached lots, surrounded by areas held by private parties upon whose concurrence success must depend, would seem to be entering on a dangerous copartnership likely to result in large expenditures and litigation. C. S. SARGENT, HENRY L. ABBOT, WM. H. BREWER, " Committee." COMMITTEE ON SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. 1902 Near the close of the year agog, President Roosevelt sent the following letter to Professor Alexander Agassiz.~78 WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, December 26, 1902. " MY DEAR MR. AGASSIZ: I should like much a report from the National Academy of Sciences on the desirability of instituting scientific explorations of the Philippine Islands and on the scope proper to such ad undertaking. The National Academy is the official scientific adviser of the Government, and I would like its cooperation in planning a comprehensive investigation of the natural resources and natural history of the islands. It will of course rest with Congress to decide the extent to which such a plan can be carried through; but I should like, at any rate, to have a plan formulated and to do what I can to have it adopted. " Sincerely yours, " PROF. ALEXANDER AGASSIZ, " President of the National HI cademy, Cambridge, Mass." Professor Agassiz was absent in Europe when this letter reached Cambridge, and it was placed in the hands of the Vice- President, Asaph Hall, who, after consulting with members of THEODORE ROOSEVEI,T. 378 Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for z904, p. 22. l
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326 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES the council residing in Baltimore and Washington, appointed the following committee to formulate a plan of explorations in accordance with the President's wishes: William H. Brewer (chairman), George F. Becker, C. Hart Merriam, F. W. Put- man, and R. S. Woodward. The committee completed and adopted its report on February 7, ~903. The plan proposed covered the following subjects which the committee recom- mended should receive attention in the order here given pro- vided they could not all be taken up at the same time: Coast and geodetic surveying and marine hydrography, land topog- raphy, including surveys and classification of public lands, geology and mineral resources, botany, systematic forestry (or forestry problems), zoology, anthropology. In order to properly coordinate the work, the committee proposed that it should be in charge of a board of scientific experts, to be selected from the various scientific bureaus of the fly a sclentlnc council, to consist or one crew newt officers or tne several bureaus engaged in the work and presided over by a member of the n~lpplne Commission. ~ ne council was to have an officer of the Engineer Corps of the Army and a naval officer associated with it. Government. 'l'he board was to be assisted . , , , , ~ . . , ~ . . ~ , . . TV_ · 1 · · ~ · ' ~1 This report was transmitted to President Roosevelt on Feb- ruary 12, ~903. On March g, ~903, about a month after'the committee of the Academy had presented its report, President Roosevelt appointed a board, called the Board of Scientific Surveys of the Philippine Islands, for the purpose of developing the plans out- lined by the Academy. CC 11 '_ ~ A . WHITE HOUSE, CC WASHINGTON' March 9, 1903. lVlY DEAR SIR: At my request, the National Academy of Sciences has outlined a comprehensive plan for scientific explorations of the Philippine Islands in a report, a copy of which I transmit herewith for your information. " A plan of exploration so broad and systematic has never hitherto been pre- pared for any region, and if it can be carried into effect, it will add to human
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 3 27 knowledge a contribution of great importance, highly commendable to the United States. " Before taking any further steps in this matter, I desire to have estimates of the cost of such explorations prepared, assuming that the work is to be completed in ten years, and that the various branches of the scientific surveys cooperate with one another systematically and heartily. " I therefore appoint the following Board of Scientific Surveys to prepare such estimates and to make such suggestions as may appear to it pertinent in the cir- cumstances, viz: MR. CHARLES D. WALCOrr, Chairman. MR. FREDERICK C. COVILLE MR. BARTON W. EVERMANN MR. W. H. HOLMES MR. C. HART MERRIAM MR. GIFFORD PINCHOT MR. OTTO H. TIrrMANN. " Sincerely yours, ,, ~ 1 " To the Senate arid House of Representatives: -1 HEODORE ROOSEVELT. The board held five meetings in March, May and June' 1903, appointed a committee on plans and organization. nrenare] estimates of expenditures, drafted a bill for the consideration of Congress, drew up various memoranda, and transacted other business. After that the matter was held in abeyance for two years, but on February 7, ~905, President Roosevelt sent the report of the committee of the Academy to Congress, with the following message: -em -I r--r-~ WHITE HOUSE, " February 7, 1905. " Circumstances have placed under the control of this Government the Philip- pine Archipelago. The islands of that group present as many interesting and novel questions with respect to their ethnology, their fauna and flora, and their geology and mineral resources as any region of the world. At my request the National Academy of Sciences appointed a committee to consider and report upon the desirability of instituting scientific explorations of the Philippine Islands. The report of this committee, together with the report of the Board of Scientific Surveys of the Philippine Islands, including draft of a bill providing for surveys of the Philippine Islands, which board was appointed by me, after receiving the report of the committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences, with l
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328 l NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES instructions to prepare such estimates and make such suggestions as might appear to it pertinent in the circumstances, accompanies this message. " The scientific surveys which should be undertaken go far beyond any surveys or explorations which the government of the Philippine Islands, however com- pletely self-supporting, could be expected to make. The surveys, while of course beneficial to the people of the Philippine Islands, should be undertaken as a national work for the information not merely of the people of the Philippine Islands, but of the people of this country and of the world. Only preliminary explorations have yet been made in the archipelago, and it should be a matter of pride to the Government of the United States fully to investigate and to describe the entire region. So far as may be convenient and practical, the work of this survey should be conducted in harmony with that of the proper bureaus of the government of the Philippines; but it should not be under the control of the authorities of the Philippine Islands, for it should be undertaken as a national work and subject to a board appointed by Congress or the President. The plan transmitted recommends simultaneous surveys in different branches of research, organized on a co-operative system. This would tend to completeness, avoid duplication, and render work more economical than if the exploration were under- taken piecemeal. No such organized surveys have ever yet been attempted any- where; but the idea is in harmony with modern, scientific, and industrial methods. " I recommend, therefore, that provision be made for the appointment of a board of surveys to superintend the national surveys and explorations to be made in the Philippine Islands, and that appropriations be made from time to time to meet the necessary expenses of such investigation. It is not probable that the survey would be completed in a less period than that of eight or ten years, but it is well that it should be begun in the near future. The Philippine Commission, and those responsible for the Philippine government are properly anxious that this sur- vey should not be considered as an expense of that government, but should be carried on and treated as a national duty in the interests of science. ' THEODORE ROOSEVELT. 1Ta The papers of the President's board were transmitted to Con- gress with the report of the committee of the Academy, and printed in the same document. The plan proposed by the board conforms in all its essential features to that recommended by the Academy, except that no provision is made for an advisory council consisting of the heads, or chief field agents, of the various surveys. The message, with the accompanying documents, was referred to the Committee on the Philippines and ordered to be printed, 79 Congr. Record, vol. 39, part 2, pp. 2052, 2057. 80 It forms Sen. Doc. no. 145, Seth Congress, ad Session, February 7, I90S.
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COMMITTEES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 3 29 but was not reported back, and the projected surveys were, there- fore, never undertaken. They appear to have failed to obtain sup- port mainly on account of the opposition of the late Dr. Paul C. Freer, who thought that they would interfere with the scientific work in the Philippines which was under his jurisdiction as head - of the Government laboratories in Manila. Senator Lodge gave notice on February lo, loos, of an amendment which he intended to propose to the Sundry Levi! bill for the fiscal vear look. con- sisting of an item for the expenses ot tne noaro Sun Congress, ad session), but on March ~ he wrote: " ~ went before the Com- mittee on Appropriations in regard to the amendment and said all ~ could for it, but, ~ am sorry to say, they refused to put it in." Scientific explorations and investigations were, however, carried on under the Philippine Commission. Nearly three years before President Roosevelt addressed his letter to the Academy, the Philippine Commission had already begun to establish scientific bureaus to investigate the natural resources of the islands, and for other similar purposes. A Bureau of Forestry and a Bureau of Mines were established in Croci. The following year a Health Bureau, an Agricultural Bureau, a Bureau of Government Laboratories, an Ethnological Survey (first called a bureau of Non-Christian Tribes), a Weather Bureau, and a Bureau of Coast and Geodetic Surveys were estab- lished. These have all continued to the present time, but in ~~o6 the Bureau of Government Laboratories and the Bureau of Mines were combined under the designation of the Bureau of Sciences, while the Ethnological Survey was incorporated in the Bureau of Education in ~905, and also the Agricultural Bureau in Also. The Bureau of Education had in the meantime become the Department of Public Instruction. The coast survey and geodetic work has been carried on jointly by the Philippine government and the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. All these organizations have issued numerous reports, scientific papers and other publications relating to the Islands. - ~ .' ~ ~ ~ ^.' ~ ~ — 7
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33o NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES COMMITTEE ON THE METHODS AND EXPENSES OF CON- DUCTING SCIENTIFIC WORK UNDER THE GOVERN- MENT. 1908 The Sundry Civil Act for I908-I909' approved May 27, 1908' contained the following section: " SECT. 8. The National Academy of Sciences is required, at their next meeting, to take into consideration the methods and expenses of conducting all surveys of a scientific character, and all chemical, testing, and experimental laboratories and to report to Congress as soon thereafter as may be practicable a plan for consoli- dating such surveys, chemical, testing, and experimental laboratories so as to effectually prevent duplication of work and reduce expenditures without detri- ment to the public service. " It is the judgment of Congress that any person who holds employment under the United States or who is employed by or receives a regular salary from any scientific bureau or institution that is required to report to Congress should refrain from participation in the deliberations of said National Academy of Science on this subject and from voting on or joining in any recommendation hereunder." 28t Immediately upon the passage of this Act, President Remsen appointed a committee consisting of R. S. Woodward, W. W. Campbell, Edward :~. Nichols, Arthur A. Noyes, and Charles R. Van Hise to consider and report on the subject in question. The committee submitted its report to the Council on January 9, ~909, and President Remsen on January ~6, addressed it to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was transmitted to Congress by President Roosevelt on January ~8 and referred to the Committee on Appropriations of the House and orderer! to be printed. The principal conclusions of the committee are embodied in the following paragraphs: " From a general survey of the field of work under consideration three facts appear to be clearly established, namely: "First. That the amount of actual duplication of work now carried on by the government bureaus is relatively unimportant; but that the duplication of organizations and of plants for the conduct of such work is so considerable as to need careful attention from Congress in the future. 181 Stat. at Large, vol. 35, part I, p. 387, 60th Congress, Use Session, chap. 200. 182 It constitutes House Doc. no. ~337, 60th Congress, Ed Session.
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COMMII~I'EES ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT 33 I " Second. That while the consolidation of some of the branches of work now carried on in several organizations is probably advisable, specific recommendations in reference to such consolidation can be made wisely only after a careful con- sideration of all the facts by the board hereinafter suggested or by some similarly competent body. " Third. That there has never been hitherto and there is not at present any- thing like a rational correlation of allied branches of scientific work carried on by the Government. " This last fact appears to your committee by far the most important one pre- sented for consideration." i83 It was suggested by the committee that the permanent board referred to above should consist of the heads of the various scien- tific bureaus, two delegates from each house of Congress, and " five to seven eminent men of science not connected with the government service." The recommendations of the Academy have not as yet been adopted by Congress.~84 1S3 Op. Cil., pp. 3, 4. 1S4 In the foregoing account of the committees appointed by the Academy at the request of the several branches of the Government, no mention is made of the following, whose work was either of minor importance, or of such a character that its history is not accessible: On National currency, z863 (Confidential). On prevention of counterfeiting, ~865 (Confidential). On the preservation of army knapsacks, ~ 868. ( Correspondence in the files of the Academy indicates that this committee never reported. The question was one of restoring knapsacks valued at a million dollars, the paint on which had become soft and sticky.) On silk culture in the United States, ~870. (See Proc., vol. I, pp. 75, 77, Rep. for z879, p. II.) On the exploration of the Yellowstone region by General Stanley, z873. On distinguishing calf's hair goods from woolen goods, ~ 875 ~ Confidential ) . On building stone for the custom house at Chicago, z878. On triangulation connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, z882. The Academy had some correspondence with the Department of the Interior in z893 relative to the appointment of a committee on a conventional standard of color. The committee, however, was not appointed. (See Rep. Nat. Acad. Sci. for '893, pp. 43-46; also for z894, p. 7.)
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Representative terms from entire chapter: