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The Even tics: ;Neza Horizons . I, . an Sconce ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (1923 - 1927) Robert A. Millikan, who came to the recently organized University of Chicago in 1896 as an instructor in the Physics Department, remem- bered Albert A. Michelson, head of the department, as possibly the most irascible and single-minded man of science he ever knew. He remained in Michelson's department for twenty-five years and wrote one of the most understanding of biographical memoirs of his former chief. Millikan commented on "the mellowing effect of [Michelson's] later years," when he had come to know him again as President of the Academy. ~ Michelson was born in Germany in ~85z and brought as a child to this country. At the age of sixteen he was appointed to the Naval Academy, and eight years later, in ~877, became Professor of Physics there. It was then that he began the research in the velocity of light Robert A. Millikan in NAs, Biographical Memoirs 19:127 (~938). 281
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282 / ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (1923 - 1927) Albert Abraham Michelson, President of the Academy, ~923-~927 (Photograph by H. P. Burch, Assistant to I. H. Breasted of the Oriental Insti- tute, courtesy the Michelson Museum, Naval Weapons Cen- ter, China Lake, California). and in optical measurement to which he devoted himself to the very end of his life. He was at the Case School of Applied Science when he was elected to the Academy in ~888, the year after he and Edward W. Morley conducted their experiment in interferometry to determine the earth's motion through the ether. The negative results of that most important experiment were resolved later in Einstein's general theory of relativity. Michelson was universally recognized as the most distin- guished of American physicists, and Cattell ranked him first in his list of American men of science in ~ go3. Four years later he received the Nobel Prize, the first awarded to an American scientist, in recognition of his methods of precision measurement and his investigations in spectroscopy.2 At the annual meeting of the Academy in ~9~3, Michelson, who had been Vice-President under Walcott since ~9~7, was elected Presi- 2 Chemist Theodore W. Richards, awarded the Nobel Prize in ~9~4 for his determina- tion of atomic weights, was the second American to be so honored; the third was Millikan, in ~924, for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect.
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 283 Albert A. Michelson, Albert Einstein, and Robert A. Millikan at the California Institute of Technology in ~93~ (Photograph courtesy the archives, California Institute of Technology). dent, John C. Merriam, Vice-President, and David White, Senior Geologist in the U.S. Geological Survey, Home Secretary.3 Michelson was in his seventy-first year when elected President of the Academy, and Hale recalled that his "most striking characteristic was his honesty and frankness. He always said just what he thought...."4 In ~9~6 Thomas Alva Edison, who, fifty years before, at the last meeting over which Joseph Henry presided, had dem- onstrated his phonograph and carbon telephone before the Academy? "Minutes of the Academy," April ~923, pp. 200-20~. Henry F. Osborn disclosed that Hale was approached for the presidency, "be- cause . . . the Academy needs guidance during the next five years of the kind that President Michelson is not likely to be able to give, although he has the best intentions in the world" [Henry F. Osborn to Hale, May 2, ~924 (Carnegie Institution of Washington and California Institute of Technology, George Ellery Hale Papers: Microfilm Edihon, ~968, Roll 48 Frame 44~)]. See also E. B. Wilson to Hale,.~anuary 8, ~923 (NAS Archives: E. B. Wilson Papers). Hale to Emile Picard, Secretary, Academie des Sciences, May 29, ~934 (Hale Micro- film, Roll 47, Frame 294).
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284 / ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (1923—1927) Thomas A. Edison demostrating his tin-foil phonograph at the National Academy of Sciences meeting in April ~ 878 (Mathew Brady photograph, courtesy the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, Inc.). was proposed for membership. Charles G. Abbot of the Smithsonian recorded the event: During my term [as Home Secretary, ~g~g-~g23] the Section of Engineering was set up. ELater] some engineers favored Thomas Edison but Academicians of long standing defeated that nomination. At the next council meeting Dr. R. A. Millikan was persuaded by engineers to endorse Edison. Perhaps you may have seen Millikan balancing on his toes up and down, while speaking, like little lizards in the West. He was going splendidly, saying "I am sure that no physicist would wish to oppose Mr. Edison's nomination!" Dr. A. A. Michelson, at that time thought to be the greatest physicist in the world, was sitting in the front row. He rose quietly and said: "I am that physicist." Perhaps you've seen bubbles burst. However Edison was elected the year after.5 5 Charles G. Abbot to Frederick Seitz, June z9, ~964 (NAS Archives: ORG: Historical Data); Abbot, Adventures in the World of Science (Washington: Public Affairs Press, ~958), pp. 76-77. For Edison as scientist, see NAS, Biographical Memoirs 15:296 (~934), and Science 76:96 (~932). For his demonstration at the Academy, see NAS, Proceedings I: 130 (April 1878). The approach of the Academy in ~9~5 to its Constitutional limit of 25O members led biometrist Raymond Pearl to prepare a study of vital statistics on past and present members, disclosing that the mean age of the membership then, almost sixty-one, was ten years more than that of the incorporators [NAS, Proceedings II:752-768 (December
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science / 285 Relations between the Academy and the National Research Council Early in Michelson's presidency that same forthright manner led to some friction in relations between the Academy and the Research Council. As E. B. Wilson recalled, the Academy traditionally elected as President "one of its most internationally famous scientists without any expectation of his having much annoying detail to han- dle . . . Econfining] himself to the larger policy matters." Since Michel- son at that time divided his year between Chicago and Pasadena, it was expected that the detail could be safely left to the Vice-President of the Academy, John C. Merriam, who was then also a Vice- Chairman of the Research Council; to Home Secretary David White; Treasurer Ransomer and former Home Secretary Arthur L. Day, all residing in Washington.6 But Michelson, as Vice-President during the past six years, realized that some members of the Research Council, partly as a consequence of the Carnegie and Rockefeller funds and the magnitude of resulting activities, had lost sight of the role of the Academy in its operations, despite the ruling of the Attorney General in Anglo. The Academy had been at fault, also, in its reluctance to assume more active responsibil- ity for the direction of the Research Council in the postwar years. The lack of knowledge in the Academy of the activities of the Research Council was partly owing to the fact that the Academy Council and the Executive Board of the Research Council had ceased to meet together several years before.7 Michelson at once made clear his determination to reassert that leadership. As he said in his first Annual Report, "Ethel growth in influence, scope of activities, and actual volume of work accomplished by the Research Council naturally increases the administrative re- sponsibility of the Council of the academy and is receiving greater attention from the latter...."8 He wrote Gano Dunn a month later, however, "I may as well confess that I have had serious doubts as to ~925); cf. ibid., 35:117-125 (March ~949)]. For the extension of the limitation to BOO, see NAS, Annual Reportfor 1924-25, pp. 8-~o; 1929-30, pp. I, 7-8. 6 E. B. Wilson to Frederick Seitz, June ~8, ~962 (NAS Archives: ORG: Historical Data). ~ E. B. Wilson and A. L. Day, ~924-~925 (correspondence in NAS Archives: E. B. Wilson Papers); Gano Dunn to L. J. Henderson, December 3, ~924 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Relationship between NAS & NRC: Selected Correspondence: Second Series). NAS, Annual Report for 1923, p. 2; C. D. Walcott to S. W. Stratton, May I, ~923 (Smithsonian Institution Archives: C. D. Walcott Papers, Personal Correspondence, ~922-27) anticipated the event.
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286 / ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (1923—1927) Gano Dunn, Chairman of the National Research Council, ~ 923- ~ 928 (From the archives of the Academy). the possibilities of the smooth workings of two such really indepen- dent organizations."9 The issue came to a crisis in a speech before the American Philosophical Society in April ~924 by outspoken Academy mem- ber Lawrence I. Henderson, Harvard biological chemist, who publicly, without naming either the Academy or Research Council, castigated a "mechanism, excellent for some purposes, and conceived with the highest motives, [that] has all but taken control of the men whom it should serve," so that "the men of science in America, in their corporate capacity . . . now find themselves allied and almost in partnership with industry and business."~° A fortnight later, on April 27, the day before the dedication of the new Academy building, Michelson appointed a Committee on the Relationship between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council, headed by Gano Dunn, the new Research 9 Albert A. Michelson to Dunn, May 2~, ~923 (NAS Archives: ENG: Relations with Engineering Foundation). to Henderson, "Universities and Learned Societies," Science 59:477-478 (May 30, ~924); E. B. Wilson to Frederick Seitz, lone ~8, ~962 (NAS Archives: ORG: Historical Data).
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 287 Council Chairman. Its members were John C. Merriam, Arthur Day, and Raymond Pearl. In the year that followed, the committee devised and saw enacted major changes in the Constitution of the Academy designed to determine "more precisely the scientific and business relations of the two bodies and a satisfactory procedure for common interests" that would ensure "the full responsibility" of the Academy for the research activities of the Research Council and vest in the Academy "final authority of control" over the administration and operation of the Council. Most significant was the creation of a seven-member Executive Committee of the Academy Council, composed chiefly of members within commuting distance of Washington, who would be able to hold frequent meetings for consideration of proposals for new Research Council projects. The members of the Executive Committee were, in addition, made ex officio members of the Research Council's Executive Board. And, removing any lingering doubts about the building, the Coun- cil of the Academy was authorized to appoint a Custodian of Build- ings and Grounds to control "all buildings, grounds, furniture, and other physical property belonging to the National Academy of Sciences or the National Research Council, or intrusted to their care." Provision was also made for the transfer to the Academy of any patent rights developed as a consequence of Research-Council- sponsored activities.~4 In a related action, in June ~924, the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Corporation had changed the wording of its ~ 9 ~ 9 resolution governing the endowment fund. Instead of directing that the fund be used "for the gradual development and permanent support of the 1i The correspondence of E. B. Wilson suggests that the principal "Academy politi- cians" or "uplifters" were Hale, Noyes, and "the newly discovered evangelist" Millikan; their critics, Henderson, Wheeler, Cattell, and Morgan; and the moderators between them, Day, Merriam, Dunn, Jewett, Pearl, Kellogg, and Wilson (correspondence in NAS Archives: ADM: ORG: Historical Data: ~962-~964, and ibid., E. B. Wilson Papers); "Minutes of the Council," April ~924, p. 235. "Report on the Relations. . . unanimously adopted by the Committee," April ~6, ~925 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Relations between NAS & NRC: Report: General); NAS, Annual Reportfor 1924-25, p. ~4~; 1925-26, pp. 7-~ I, 55. t, Dunn to H. E. Howe, May I, ~923 (Hale Microfilm, Roll 48, Frames 42-44); Dunn to President, NAS, and Chairman, NRC, April ~2, ~924 (ibid., Roll 48, Frames 228-233), copies in NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Allocation of Space in Building: Jnt with NRC; NAS, Annual Report for 1925-26, pp 7-~2. As the corporate body, the Academy, through its Council, was required to approve all contracts proposed by the Research Council. 14 "Minutes of the Council," April ~925, pp. 306-307.
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288 / ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (1923 - 1927) work of the Research Council" alone, the amended resolution stated that the fund was "for the purposes of the Academy and the National Research Council."~5 Several days later the Academy realized its only benefit from the new wording when the Executive Board agreed to provide funds from the endowment income for the Academy's first full-time staff member. Paul Brockett, Assistant Secretary of the Academy, who was previously a part-time employee with an office at the Smithsonian Institution, was moved to the new building and was appointed, as well, the Academy's Custodian of Buildings and Grounds. Thus, attention to the Academy's interests was assured on a day-to-day basis, in its relations with both the government and the Research Council. In a reflective moment, as the Academy-Research Council relation- ship neared resolution, E. B. Wilson reassured a distressed Gano Dunn that "Ea] meeting of the Academy isn't a directors' meeting. It is more like our old fashioned New England Town Meeting." And as he observed in another letter, "What the critical members of the Academy do not recognize is that of the ego members of the Research Council, 69 are members of the Academy and more would be drafted if they would accept appointment." Moreover, another 47 Academy members were involved in the Research Council projects, making in all ~ lo, or almost half of the Academy membership.~7 Engineering and Andes trial Research Michelson's assumption of office and his reassertion of the Academy's role came just as the Research Council was extricating itself from an IS NAS, Annual Report for 1924-25, p. 7. For the reasoning behind the original wording, see Elihu Root to C. D. Walcott, January 29, 1920 (NAS Archives: FINANCE: Funds: Grants: Carnegie Corporation of NY: Building and Endowment Fund). ~6 NAS, Annual Reportfor 1925-26, pp. 3, ~ ~-~2; G. K. Burgess to David White, July ~5, ~9~4 (NAS Archives: ORG: Staff: Assistant Secretary: Paul Brockett). The Academy's limited access to the fund was "in accordance . . . with the under- standing reached by all concerned prior to June ~9~4...." W. W. Campbell to F. P. Keppel, November 30, ~934 (NAS Archives: FINANCE: Funds: Grants: Carnegie Corpo- ration of NY: Building and Endowment Fund: Enlargement: Proposed). Paul Brockett, Assistant (later, Executive) Secretary of the Academy since ~9~3, held that of fire and the custodianship of buildings and grounds until his retirement in ~ 944, when the latter responsibility was transferred to the Business Manager of the Academy-Research Council [F. B. Jewett to Brockett, G. D. Meid, and W. H. Kenerson, January ~4, ~944 (NAS Archives: Jewett file so.~o.8)]. For the succession of executive
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 289 administrative impasse with its founding sponsor, the Engineering Foundation. A new Research Council division, the Division of Research Exten- sion, had been organized in June ~9~9 to act for the science and technology divisions in the Research Council in promoting their interests in industry. Its original designations as "industrial rela- i~ons" and then "industrial research" conflicted with primary concerns of the Division of Engineering. Research Extension was intended par- ticularly to encourage industrialists to broaden their research ac- tivities and to persuade smaller industries having common interests to join forces in establishing research laboratories. Within three years it had facilitated the organization of a Crop Protection Institute for research in plant diseases and insect pests, a Horological Institute, a Corrosion Committee, and a Tanners' Council. However, conflicts developed not only with the Division of Engineering, but also with the Engineering Foundation. The Research Council's Division of Engineering, its offices still in the Engineering Foundation building in New York, had reorganized after the war to stimulate and coordinate both fundamental and engineering research in industry by bringing together scientists and technologists. In the spring of ~92 I, the division Chairman, Harvard engineer Comfort A. Adams, proposed that the Foundation assume the functions of the Division of Engineering of the National Research Council, in order to coordinate better the similar efforts of its con- stituent societies representing civil, mining and metallurgical, me- chanical, and electrical engineering.l9 Initially, both the Foundation and Research Council looked with favor on the proposal, but before long it came under mutual suspi- cion. The young Foundation, with its meager funds, feared that it was about to be absorbed into the Research Council's much larger Division of Engineering. To the Research Council it seemed that, with en- gineering inextricably "interwoven in our scheme," as Hale said, any such move might well result in similar proposals in other divisions and threaten the whole structure of the Research Council.20 secretaries and executive officers of the Academy and National Research Council, see Appendix H. ~7 E. B. Wilson to Gano Dunn, April 7 and ~5, ~925 (NAS Archives: E. B. Wilson Papers). 8 NAS, Annual Reps for 1 91 9, pp. 74-75, 80. For the origins of that extension division in a wartime Division of General Relations, see Annual Report for 1918, pp. 60-6 I, 64, ~ 02. ~9 Telegram, Dunn to Hale, April ~ I, ~92 I, and "Revised Draft, April . . . ~92 I" (Hale Microfilm, Roll 53, Frames 86, 88-go). 20 "Minutes of the Interim Committee," April ~ 6, ~ 92 I; Vernon Kellogg to A. D. Flinn,
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ago / ALBERT ABRAHAM MICHELSON (~9~3—~9~7) Much discussion and some acrimony occurred on both sides for almost two years; and early in Age, as Gano Dunn reported, "the Engineering situation. . . flared up again as sometimes flares up a battle to cover a retreat." A measure of harmony was assured upon the appointment of Frank B. Jewett, Vice-President of Western Electric, as Chairman of the Division of Engineering. Soon after, Maurice Holland became the full-time Director of the division a newly created office and mining engineer Charles F. Rand, Pres- ident of the Foundation, was appointed an ex officio member of the Research Council's Executive Board.22 Nevertheless, the first close ties between the Foundation and the Research Council had been weakened and remained so for the next three decades. The question in the Research Council, of the increasingly overlap- ping activities of its Research Extension and Engineering Divisions in their promotion of industrial research, was resolved in January ~924 with the consolidation of Research Extension in a new Division of Engineering and Industrial Research.23 Jewett and Holland set about revitalizing the division. For an advisory committee they called on division members-at-large, includ- ing Bureau of Standards Director George K. Burgess (whose agency during the war had acquired a huge industrial research building), consulting engineer John R. Freeman, Arthur D. Little, and Ambrose Swasey. Through a massive speaking and publication effort they proceeded to "sell the 'research idea' " to industrial executives, trade associations, and the public, and to promote expansion where re- search already existed.24 Added impetus came from the Academy's National Research En- dowment campaign, soon to get under way, and foreshadowed in division plans for the stimulation of larger industrial organizations, which may be in the situation to maintain their own independent laboratories, to see the advan- September 26, ~922; Dunn to Kellogg, September So, ~922; Dunn to Kellogg, Decem- ber 2, ~922; Hale to Dunn, December 3, ~922 (NAS Archives: ENG: Relations with Engineering Foundation). 2~ Dunn to Kellogg, May 24, ~923, (NAS Archives: ENG: Relations with Engineering Foundation). 22 "Minutes of the Interim Committee," February 26, ~923, p. 3; NAs,Annual Reportfor 1923, pp. 4o, ~25; "Engineering Foundation ~9~4-~954," Engineering Foundation, Annual Report for 1953 -54, p. ~4 (copy in NAS Archives). 23 Dunn to Executive Board, NRC, May lo, ~923 (NAS Archives: EX Bd: Com on Policies); NAs,Annual Reportfor 1923-24, pp. 83-84; "Minutes of the Council," November ~924, p. 278. 24 NAS, Annual Report for 1923-24, pp. 6~, 84; 1924-25, pp. 75-76 et seq.
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 291 tage of contributing to the support of pure science for the sake of increasing the fundamental scientific knowledge on which future progress in applied science absolutely depends.25 Those laboratories in industry had begun to proliferate since the turn of the century, when there had been fewer than half a dozen, including the first, set up by Thomas Edison in ~870, and those of the Pennsylvania Railroad, B. F. Goodrich, Bethlehem Steel, and General Electric. In Ado, when the Research Council issued its first directory of industrial laboratories, they totaled fewer than three hundred. A decade later, stimulated equally by booming business and industry and by the energetic efforts of the Research Council, the number had risen above sixteen hundred. The expenditure on applied research in industry, in professional schools, technical colleges, and in govern- ment bureaus was estimated in ~925 at $200 million a year.26 Pioneering in the Field of Conservation The settlement of the engineering question had a salutary and stimulating effect on the Academy and came almost simultaneously with the first detailed report of its special Committee on Forestry. The accomplishments of that committee had been an extraordinary suc- cess and represented precisely what the Academy was set up to do. The committee had not only been requested to make the study by a government agency, the U.S. Forest Service, but had been adequately funded, first with Academy assistance and then by a General Educa- tion Board grant. It began with a paper on forestry problems particularly the re- forestation of cutover lands- presented at the annual meeting in ~924 by the Chief of the Service, William B. Greeley. Upon his request for the help of the Academy, Michelson appointed a commit- tee under Wisconsin plant pathologist Lewis R. ~ones, with Herbert 25 NAS, Ann?`al Report for 1923-24, pp. 6 ~-62. 26"Research Laboratories in Industrial Establishments...," NRC, Bulletin 2 (~920) . . .Bulletin 81 (~93~); Charles E. K. Mees and John Leermakers, The Organiza- tion of Industrial Scientific Research (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., ~920, ad ea., to), a. ~ I, reported 462 companies with q,~,~,o laboratory workers and expenditures --7 r- --7 --rig =~ r-~ -- =7~ - ---_ J _ _ 1 of $29 million in ~92 I, the number of workers doubling by ~927, and 2,350 companies with 70,033 workers and expenditures of $234 million in Ago. For Vannevar Bush's estimate of the magnitude of industrial research in the Ages, see NAS, Annual Report for 1938-39, p. 4~ .
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306 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927—1931) The rival plans simmered until 1 9~ a, when the International Chamber of Commerce, at the instigation of its American section, requested the League of Nations to appoint a committee of inquiry. Five years later, in September 1927, the League, with 195 proposals from fifty-four countries, asked those nations to appoint national committees to study and report on calendar reform. (Cotsworth, meanwhile, had come to the United States, where he found in George Eastman an enthusiastic supporter for his calendar. Eastman, certain that "the progress of the world is determined by the progress of business," and that this calendar was the best "unit of economic life," saw Cotsworth's reform as inevitable and no more difficult to establish than the world adoption of standard time in 884. Acting on the request of the League of Nations, Eastman in November ~927 called on Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg. In January, Kellogg agreed that Eastman might, with the sanction of the State Department, convene an unofficial committee of men and women prominent in business and social life, and of representatives from interested federal departments, to determine national sentiment before he appointed the formal committee requested by the League.64 At the same time that Eastman saw Kellogg, he also requested the Academy's opinion on the matter. At its annual meeting in ~9~8, the Academy formally and unanimously adopted the resolution of Wright's Committee on Calendar Revision to support the establish- ment of a twenty-eight-day, thirteen-month calendar, its new month, as yet unnamed, to be inserted between tune and July.65 With that endorsement, Eastman organized his twenty-two- member National Committee on Calendar Simplification in July ~9~8 and asked it to determine the extent of public sentiment for reform. Appointed to eleven special assisting committees were some one hundred persons representing industry, transportation and com- municaiions, finance, science and engineering, labor, education, ag- r~culture, law, journalism, women's interests, and social and public interests.66 64 The advantages and disadvantages of the two calendars are described in a booklet, The Question of the Calendar (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Calendar Revision: ~927-~929), prepared for Eastman's committee in July ~928 and widely distributed. The booklet disclosed that some sixty industrial concerns in this country then used for their internal accounting an auxiliary calendar of thirteen periods of twenty-eight days each. 65 Eastman to Michelson, November 12, ~927; Committee Report, April ~2, ~928 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Calendar Revision). 66 The Science and Engineering Committee of the National Committee, under National
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science I 307 It was anticipated that the promotion for calendar reform by the Nanona1 Committee would attract public sentiment. The committee might then press for U.S. representation at a proposed international conference that would promulgate an international treaty establishing the new calendar, whose adoption in this country would be effected by an Act of Congress. The plan was "greatly advanced," Eastman wrote Vernon Kellogg, when in December ~ 928 Representative Stephen G. Porter of Pennsylvania introduced ajoint resolution in the Seventieth Congress requesting the President to seek an international conference.67 The hearings on the resolution before Porter's House Committee on Foreign Affairs, just prior to Christmas ~ 9~8, disappointed Eastman when they brought to light strong objections to calendar change from religious groups and vigorous opposition from orono- nents of the World Calendar of equal quarters. ~ - -r At a General Conference called by the League of Nations in ~93~ and attended by representatives of forty-four nations, the World Calendar and its variants, along with over 350 other plans, formally entered the lists. Although the Conference found the thirteen-month Fixed Calendar theoretically more perfect, and the twelve-month World Calendar least disruptive of acquired habits, it made no choice, concluding that the year ~93~ was not a favorable time for reform.68 During the next eight years, ascendancy passed from the adherents of the International Fixed Calendar League to those of the World Calendar Association; and when in ~936 the latter sought Academy Bureau of Standards Director George K. Burgess, had among its members Vernon Kellogg, Elmer A. Sperry, and Fred E. Wright. Well-known names on other special committees included Adolph S. Ochs of the New York Times, novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart, American Federation of Labor President William Green, Gerard Swope of General Electric, Yale's Irving Fisher, Henry Ford, Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors, Paul M. Warburg, Secretary of Labor James l. Davis, financier Roger W. Babson, Yale's James R. Angell, MIT'S Samuel W. Stratton, Mount Holyoke's Mary G. Woolley, Paul D. Cravath, Harvard Law School Dean Roscoe Pound, Hearst's Editor-in-Chief Ray Long, Ralph Pulitzer, George M. Putnam, the National Geographic's Gilbert Grosvenor, Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, and James P. West, Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. For the complete roster, see The Question of the Calendar. 67 Eastman to Vernon Kellogg, December ~ 2, ~9~8, and copy of loins Resolution, H. [. Res. 334, December 5, ~928 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Calendar Revision). Eastman reported still another advance on December ~ ~ when the National Research Council independently approved a resolution on the thirteen-month calendar. 68 Reported in A. E. Kennelly, "Proposed Reforms of the Gregorian Calendar," Proceedings of the AmericanPhilosophicalSociety 75:71-110 (~g3s),especiallypp. ~o3- lo4.
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308 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927—1931) support for a new approach to Congress, Fred Wright reconvened his committee. Its consensus was that the possibility of any proposal for calendar reform now appeared remote, that no scheme presently advocated could be practical before 1950, and that in any case it would not be wise for the Academy to join a crusade to influence Congress when that body might later wish to ask the advice of the Academy. In 1936 the Academy rescinded its action on the thirteen- month calendar taken eight years before.69 The calendar of equal quarters proved hardy. In 1942 the Academy, persuaded to canvass its members, received replies from more than half of them, of which over JO percent supported the World Calendar. The time was still not propitious, however, and the next practicable date, January 1, 1g4s,would prove no more so.70 Dr. Campbell, who long before had pointed out to the superstitious the hazard in substituting a thirteenth month for Friday the Thir- teenth, had been prophetic as well in declaring that the greatest difficulty in reform would be the essential conservatism of national governments. He might well have agreed with his fellow academician Arthur E. Kennelly that resolution might be nearer were the Church to abandon the lunar portion of its calendar, reducing it to a purely solar phenomenon: "The disturbing influence of the vagrant moon," Kennelly said, "has been a burden on the Christian world for more than sixteen centuries."7~ The movement for calendar reform persisted, but at the annual meeting of the Academy in ~947, Fred Wright formally discharged his committee. Except for the loss of Dr. Campbell, whose place was never filled, it had served unchanged for nineteen years.72 The National Research Council and the Chicago World's Fair In ~ 9~8, the Academy became involved in a different kind of calendar event, the "Century of Progress" World's Fair, scheduled to open in 69 Wright to committee members, March ~8, ~936 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Calendar); NAS, Annual Report for 1935-36, pp. 25-26. The thirteen-month calendar was "now definitely dead," and the Academy's standing resolution placed it in an anomalous position [E. B. Wilson to W. W. Campbell, April ~6, ~936 (NAS Archives: E. B. Wilson Papers)]. 70 W. E. Castle, "Calendar Reform and the National Academy of Sciences," Science 95:195 (February 20, ~942). 7~ Kennelly, "Proposed Reforms . . . ," p. ~7. 72 NAs,Annual Reportfor 1946-47, p. 26; see also NAS Archives: ORG: Projects Proposed: Calendar Reform: ~ 960—.
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 309 The Hall of Science at the Chicago World's Fair in ~ 933 (Photograph courtesy the U.S. Information Agency). Chicago in June 1933 in celebration of that city's one-hundredth anniversary. The exposition theme, international in scope, was "the contribution of pure and applied science to industrial development during the last one hundred years"; and the Research Council was asked to assist in its formulation and staging. In a letter to George K. Burgess, Chairman of the National Re- search Council, Rufus C. Dawes, as President of the Board of Trus- tees of the World's Fair, wrote: To carry out successfully an exposition which contains the possibility of such dramatic interest and permanent influence requires the attention of the best minds of the nation. We feel greatly the need of assistance in formulating, announcing and developing this theme, and under these circumstances we appeal to the National Research Council for advice and assistance.73 The invitation was attractive in view of the National Research Fund campaign in progress, the opportunity "for the first time in his- tory . . . to popularize the great contributions made by science in all the fields of human activity," and as an occasion on which to hold world congresses and conventions. The Research Council appointed a Science Advisory Committee of six under Frank B. Jewett, assisted by more than thirty professional and technical members and eighteen 73 Rufus C. Dawes to NRC Chairman G. K. Burgess, August 2 I, ~928 (NAS Archives: EX Bd: Com on Chicago World's Fair Centennial Celebration); NRC Science Advisory Committee pamphlet, October I, ~929 (NAS Archives: EX Bd: Science Advisory Com- mittee to Trustees of Chicago World's Fair Centennial Celebration: Brochure).
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310 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927—1931) members at large, drawn from the Academy, from the Research Council, and from science and industry. Altogether, the committee sought the counsel of more than four hundred experts in the plan- ning of the exposition and its construction. The task of the committee was completed in the spring of 1931.74 The preliminary report and plan called for a Temple of Science at the center of the exposition and, surrounding it, exhibits demonstra- ting "the compass of the principal sciences, their methods of work, and some of the outstanding results of science," with their applica- tions to industry, commerce, and the professions. The exhibits were also to include representations of "historical background prior to 833.~' From all accounts, the Fair was a resounding cultural and financial success, the only major world fair to end debtless and with a surplus of cash despite the fact that it took place during the Depression. Its eight-acre Hall of Science was, like others of the principal structures, a marvel of design and construction, innovative in its use, for the first time, of prefabricated materials, uniform lighting, and air condition- ing. In the Hall, with its mural-lined walls, animated exhibits traced the developments in the major sciences, and a geological time clock presented the record of ~ billion years of earth's history. A featured exhibit of the medical sciences was a transparent man, and, in as- tronomy, a Zeiss optical planetarium. Prominently displayed, too, were the exhibits from the Academy building brought in six crates from Washington.75 Committees on Drug Addiction In ~9~9 the Bureau of Social Hygiene transferred the work of its Committee on Drug Addiction, together with supporting funds, to the Research Council's Division of Medical Sciences. It proved to be one of the Council's longest-lived endeavors, for the problem con- tinued to grow. In ~ 924 the Public Health Service had considered drug addiction to be a steadily declining problem, with perhaps one hundred fifty thousand addicts in the nation. Just five years later authorities esti- 74 NAS, Annual Reportfor 1928-29, pp. 5, 53; 1929-30, pp. 5O-52; 1930-3Z, pp. 3~4O, 155. 75 NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: Com on Exhibits: Joint with NRC: Loan of Exhibits to Chicago World's Fair: ~93~-~934. For the dedication of the Hall of Science, see Science 76: 21-26(July8,~g32).
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George Kimball Burgess, Chairman of the National Re- search Council, ~928-~932 (From the archives of the Academy). The Twenties: New Horizons in Science / 3~ ~ mated at least a million users of opium, morphine, or their deriva- tives. They declared addiction resulting from whatever reason~drug use in medical treatment, in the relief from pain or emotional stress, or because of the influence of other addicts a greater problem here than in any other country.76 Other authorities, who included alcohol among the addictive drugs in the United States, admitted that no real knowledge existed as to the extent of addiction. Many insisted it was a medical as well as a legal problem; but unfortunately, as the Research Council committee stated in ~938, there was little actual knowledge of the causes of addiction or methods for its prevention.77 William C. White, consultant to the National Institute of Health (later, National Institutes of Health) and Chairman of the Research 76"Drug Addiction in the United States," Science 59:Suppl. 10 (June 27, ~924); Morris Fishbein, "Drug Addiction," Scientific American 144:412~13 (June ~93 I). 77 Charles E. Terry and Mildred Pellens, The Opium Problem (New York: Bureau of Social Hygiene, Inc., ~ 928), pp. I, 52, 924; American Medical Association, The indispensable Use of Narcotics (Chicago: American Medical Association, ~93 I); Lyndon F. Small et al., Studies on Drug Addiction, Supplement 138 to U.S. Public Health Report (Washington: Government Printing Office, ~938), Introduction.
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312 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927 - 1931) Council's Division of Medical Sciences, was asked to head the divi- sion's committee in early 1 9~9. The committee saw its ultimate goal as the development of medically effective but nonaddictive substitutes for all narcotic drugs. A second objective was the education of physicians in the appropriate uses of narcotics so that they would substitute for narcotic medicines reliable nonaddictive drugs when these were available. The committee hoped by these measures to reduce the production of alkaloids and, correspondingly, the neces- sity for police controls.78 Within two years, research programs were begun at the Universities of Virginia and Michigan to identify and eliminate chemical features of morphine related to addiction, to develop synthetic substitutes, and to initiate pharmacological trials of what might usefully emerge. A fellowship program had also been set up, and the cooperation of concerned federal agencies and drug manufacturers obtained. A decade later the research had produced a number of new synthetic drugs, the work on morphine yielding a promising derivative, Meta- pon, with high analgesic action and significantly decreased addictive characteristics, as well as several new compounds approximating the effectiveness of codeine.79 The work was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation until ~ 94 I, but, upon the establishment of a unit of chemotherapy in the National Institute of Health that year, the direct research functions of the committee were transferred to the Institute. The Research Council's committee became the Advisory Committee on Drug Addiction, serv- ing the Institute, the Armed Services, the Veterans Administration, and other federal agencies dealing with narcotic addiction. In ~947, with progress in the synthesis of morphinelike substances, particularly the German-developed methadone, a powerful synthetic drug, the Research Council reestablished a Committee on Drug Addiction and Narcotics with broader interests and a broader membership. With support from the pharmaceutical industry, a grants program for evaluation of analgesia, side effects, and abuse potential was inaugu- rated.~° 78 NAS, Annual Report for 1928-29, pp. 85-86 et seq.; Science 73:97-98 January 23, i93 I) 79 Report of the Committee on Drug Addiction, 1929-1941 (NRC collected reprints, ~ ,58 pp.), pp. xxiv, xxx. 8° Nathan B. Eddy, "The Committee on Drug Addiction and Narcotics," NAS-NRC News Report 4:93-96 (November-December ~954); Eddy, National Research Council Involve- ment in the Opiate Problem, 1928-1971 (Washington: National Academy of Sciences, ~973). (Continued)
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 3 ~ 3 National Research Council Studies in Geophysics and Physics The "discovery" of the new world of atomic physics and the publica- tion of Ernest Rutherford's Radio-Activity in egos opened up an extremely active field in the Research Council in the decade following World War I. Studies were undertaken of the nature of atomic structure, of the X ray, of X-ray spectra, and of radiation in gases. An early application of"the new science," as Charles S. Peirce called it, was made by the geologists in a Committee on the Measurement of Geological Time by Atomic Disintegration, who undertook to calcu- late the age of the earth by the rate of atomic disintegration of radioactive materials in rocks of different geologic ages.82 The research in geological time was begun in ~9~4, in cooperation with the Carnegie Geophysical Laboratory, Harvard, MET, federal and state geological and mining bureaus, and the assistance of atomic chemist Theodore W. Richards, Nobelist and member of the Academy. It focused on the rate at which uranium and radium in rocks degraded into helium and lead. The committee remained active for thirty-four years, its accumulation of data admittedly "largely potential," but, as intended, furnishing much needed information to many outside agencies as well as to other committees in the Research Council. It made substantial contribution, for example, to National Research Council Bulletin 80, The Age of the Earth, including a new estimate of its antiquity as ~.6 billion years. That 487-page publication, appearing The National Research Council has continued to concern itself with various aspects of the drug addiction problem. Committees succeeding the earlier ones and reports of their activities beyond the time span of this history are documented in the archives of the Academy. 8~ See Chapter 9, pp. 262-263. C. S. Peirce reviewed Radio-Activity in The Nation 82 :61 (January GOOD). 82 NAS, Annual Reportfor 1923-24, p. 89; 1957-58, p. 4~. 83"Minutes, Exec. Com., Div. of Earth Sciences," February 8, ~958, in ES Annual Report, p. 26 (NAS Archives: ES: Annual Report: ~958). For the committee's important contributions in geochemistry and nuclear geophysics, see "Report of the Com . . . ~ 954-55," Preface. 84 Studies of measurement of geological time by means of radiation and atomic physics suggested its age as not less than ~.6 billion years ("The Age of the Earth," pp. 2, 3, 454); based on sediments and life traces, a conjectural 4so million years (pp. 2,62); and the age of the oceans as loo million years (p. 7 ~ ). More recent works estimate its age as 4.5 billion years [Henry Faul, Nuclear Geology, A Symposium on Nuclear Phenomena in the Earth Sciences (New York: John Wiley & Sons, ~954), p. 278; Robert L. Heller (ed.), Geology and Earth Sciences Sourcebook (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, ~962), p. 3O8; Science 150: 1805-1807 (December 3 I, ~ 965)].
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314 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927—1931) in 193~, was one of nine in a series entitled "The Physics of the Earth," produced in cooperation with the American Geophysical Union by a committee of the same name in the Division of Physical Sciences. The committee was organized in ~9~6 to provide systematic data, in nine fields comprising the principal matter of geophysics, which were much needed then by scientists engaged in exploring oil and mineral properties.85 The publication of its studies "Volcanol- ogy," "The Figure of the Earth," "Meteorology," "The Age of the Earth" (all in ~ 93 ~ ); the 58 ~ -page survey "Oceanography" In ~ 932; "Seismology" in ~ 933; "Internal Construction of the Earth" and "Terrestrial Magnetism" in ~939; and "Hydrology" in ~942 com- pleted the work of the committee. "Roentgen Rays" and radium, the results of radiation research in Europe, were, for more than a quarter century after the discovery of the X ray in ~895, exhibited as public entertainments, exploited, and frequently misapplied as wonders of medical therapy. At the same time, they were being explored as challenging new instruments of science, but it was not until the early Ages that the first authoritative X-ray and radiation standards of measurement and protection be- came available. In ~928, the year after Hermann l. Muller, a member of Morgan's group at Columbia, demonstrated that X rays were capable of chang- ing the heredity of living things by producing gene mutations,86 the Research Council authorized a Committee on the Effects of Radiation on Living Organisms. W. C. Curtis was Chairman, and the commit- tee's function was to sponsor, guide, and where necessary support university research in the largely unknown field. Several years later, the committee, having devised the necessary safeguards, began to accelerate its research. It was active for eleven years and sponsored more than four hundred research papers.87 Changes in the Organization of International Science Morgan's term of office also witnessed new activity in international science. The German domination of the International Association of Academies organized in egos had led Hale during World War I, with Academy approval and the moral support of the Royal Society, to 85 NAS, Annual Report for 1926—27, p. 4~; 1931—32, pp. 43, so, 63. 86 Hermann ]. Muder, "Artificial Transmutation of the Gene," Science 66:~87 Duly 27, 1927). 87 NAS, Annual Reportfor 1927-28, pp. 72-73; 1938-39, pp. 4g-so.
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The Twenties: New Horizons in Science 1 3 ~ 5 propose an International Research Council (1RC), for closer and more active cooperation in science among the Allied and neutral nations. The conference of twelve nations that formally inaugurated the International Research Council in July ~ 9 ~ 9 drafted the statutes establishing the ~RC'S International Unions of Astronomy, Geodesy and Geophysics, and Pure and Applied Chemistry, and anticipated subsequent Unions of Radio-Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Biolog~- cal Sciences, and Geography. The conference continued, however, the specific exclusion of the Central Powers from the Council and its unions. The question of their readmission, brought up repeatedly by the neutral nations at subsequent meetings, and supported by the Academy after 1923, approached resolution in 1925, when Great Britain and the United States joined in the request of the neutral countries. A year later the International Research Council admitted Bulgaria and Hungary.89 Although invited, Austria and Germany steadfastly refused. In ~ 93 I, as the original convention expired, the International Research Council was reorganized as the International Council of Scientific Unions (~csu) to emphasize the potentialities of the interna- tional unions over and above those of the constituent national academies and research councils. ~csu gave the unions a larger and more active role in the parent body and freedom to accept as mem- bers national committees from nonmembers of the Council, particu- larly Germany and the Soviet Union, both of whom participated in several of the unions.90 Over the next decade, Use, legally established in Brussels with its administrative headquarters in Cambridge, England, became a "united nations" of science, with members from the research councils of twenty-six countries and thirteen others represented through their governments or designated government bureaus.9~ ~csu was affected only incidentally by the Depression. Its meetings 88 Cf. Chapter 7, pp. ~77-~79; Chapter 8, pp. 329-330. 89 "Minutes of the Academy," April ~9~9, p. 466, reported the resolution to admit the neutral countries to the IRC, the "Minutes" of April ~923, pp. ~95-~96, the resolution that "the time has arrived" to include all nations once again in international scientific . . Organizations. 90 Esther C. Brunauer, International Council of Scientific Unions (U.S. Department of State, Publication 2413, 1945), pp. 4-5 (copy in NAS Archives); Development of Interna- tional Cooperation in Science, a symposium (NAS-NRC, ~952), pp. 2-5. 9~ Brunauer, International Council of Scientif c Unions, pp. 5-6. Upon the organization of UNESCO late in ~946, ~csu became its coordinating and representative body for science (The Yearbook of ICSU, ~962, pp. 88-89).
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316 / THOMAS HUNT MORGAN (1927 - 1931) were fewer and its project planning curtailed. The unions, however, suffered prolonged distress, and, as in the Academy's Research Council, depended upon special supporting funds for the next twelve years.92 Those years were a time of reappraisal and reorganization for the Research Council.93 The members, as they had since Anglo, still num- bered between s80 and ~go, of whom more than so were members of the Academy. Nevertheless, the 80-odd committees in the early post- war years had grown to almost 130 a decade later.94 Yet, industrious and productive as the committees continued to be, the Research Council itself over the years suffered from accretions of structure and procedure. As Roger Adams, a long-time member of Research Coun- cil committees, of the Research Council itself, and then of the Academy, recalled: The ineffectiveness of the National Research Council during the ten to fifteen years following World War I was due in large measure to the frequent changes in those administering the Council and its Divisions . . . Las well as to a continuing] lack of consensus regarding the objectives of the NRC and how it should be organized.95 92 For congressional payment of the American share of expenses of ~csu and its unions beginning in ~935, see NAS, Annual Reportfor 1935-36, p. ~5. In ~963 ~csu's statutes were revised to give the national members a voice in the governance of ~csu comparable to that of the unions (NAS Archives: IR: lU: ICSU: Com on ~csu Future Structure: ~963). 95 The years before, under Hale's influence, had often been confusing, not to say daunting. As anthropologist A. V. Kidder, Chairman of the Division of Anthropology and Psychology, said in ~927: "I believe that all chairmen go through four periods: (I) bewilderment, (2) a great burst of energy, (3) discouragement, and (4) a return to normalcy. The greatest problem of the chairman is that he is given a large handsome machine and no gas to run it" [S. S. Stevens, "The NAS-NRC and Psychology," American Psychologist 7: 123 (April ~ 952 )]. 94 The Research Council, in theAnn2`al Reportfor 1931-32 ( p. 32), showed 282 members of the Council and 888 members on its ~35 committees. 95 Roger Adams to Philip Handler, March lo, ~970 (NAS Archives: PUBS: NAS: History: Chapter Review: Comments). See also NAS Archives: ORG: Methods & Systems: Proce- dure for Initiating and Financing NRC Projects: Criticism: ~93~.
Representative terms from entire chapter: