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SCIENTIFIC EVENTS CHANGES IN THE FRENCH POPULATION IN 1918
THE minister of labor has completed the birth and mortality statistics for France for the year 1918. According to the Paris correspondent of the Journal of the American Medical Association the statistics show that the civil population of France decreased during the year 1918 by 389,575, not counting the war losses. The statistics, based on civil records, continue to cover only the seventy-seven departments that were not directly affected by military operations. This is the same as it was during the first four years of the war. It will be the same for the year 1919, and not until the beginning of 1920 will the statistics of all French territory, made complete by accession of Alsace and Lorraine, be included.
If one compares the statistics of the years 1917 and 1918, for the seventy-seven departments of which account was taken, one will note that last year shows not only the persistance of an excess of deaths over births, but even an increase of the excess over that of the preceding year. In 1917, the population of the seventy-seven departments not invaded decreased 268,838, whereas the decrease in 1918 has risen to 389,575. This result is due to the considerable increase in the number of deaths during the second half of 1918, ascribable to the influenza epidemic; for the number of births showed a slight increase over 1917. A comparison of the statistics of the years 1917 and 1918 is given in the accompanying table:
An analysis of the table reveals the fact that in 1918 there was: (1) an increase in the number of marriages; (2) a corresponding increase in the number of births, and (3) an increase in the number of deaths. This increase in mortality affects exclusively the second half of last year. During the first half of 1918, 316,077 deaths were recorded, as compared with 354,554 during the first half of 1917; and during the second half of 1918, 472,539 deaths were registered, as against 258,594 in 1917. According to the preceding figures, the number of civil victims claimed by the influenza last year may be placed at approximately 200,000.
A PUEBLO RUIN IN NEW MEXICO
THREE years ago Earl H. Morris, representing the American Museum of Natural History, undertook the excavation of an ancient Pueblo ruin in Astec, New Mexico. The work was begun at the suggestion and through the courtesy of the H. D. Abrams, the owner of the property, and is being financed from the Archer M. Huntington fund for surveying the southwestern United States. During the past month the museum party has uncovered a new section of the ruin revealing several rooms filled with sand and
fallen débris. These rooms were in perfect condition, just as left by the last occupants. The ceilings were standing and the objects left by the inhabitants scattered about on the floor. Nothing has disturbed them except the fine layer of dust sifted over all. One of the rooms had been filled to the ceiling and was found to be a burial room.
Mr. Morris writes:
In two second-story chambers there was a large accumulation of dry refuse. One of these yielded some excellent specimens of textiles and a burial with wrappings in a very good state of preservation.
Above the refuse in the other room there was upon the fallen third floor a surprising number of stone implements, several bone tools, some beautifully worked wooden boards, seven coiled basket plaques (three well preserved), and a digging implement with handle of wood and blade of mountain sheep horn. In the refuse beneath this layer we have to date found the burials of five children (three with wrappings perfectly preserved), four baskets in excellent shape, a wooden dipper, some beads and various odds and ends. Three fourths of the deposit is still to be gone over. The outer covering of the wrapped bodies is particularly interesting. Each body was placed upon a rush mat. Then the sides were folded inward, and one doubled upward. The whole was then tied into a long package with cord or yuca strips. As yet I have not opened any of the bundles, so do not know what the interiors may contain besides the bones. These finds certainly are important. They are different from anything we have previously uncovered.
As a result of the excavations Aztec has become a popular resort for visitors. About 100 miles southwest of the Mesa Verde Park (in which the finest cliff-houses are to be found), and not over two hours' ride from Durango, Colorado, the ruin at Aztec is an attraction to all automobile tourists. During the present year more than 1,200 people
visited the ruin.
THE AMERICAN CONGRESS OF SURGEONS THE ninth annual convention of the American Congress of Surgeons was held in New York City, beginning on October 20. Wartime developments in surgery and the possibility of their adoption to industrial and civil
practise were the principal topics for discussion.
More than 2,000 surgeons were present from all parts of the United States. Major General Sir Anthony Bowlby, who served as consulting surgeon to the British forces in France; and Sir Robert Jones, chief consulting surgeon and specialist in restoration of injured limbs at the army hospitals in France, England and Ireland, were present at the meeting.
The convention was opened by an address by Dr. J. S. Hill, of Bellows Falls, Vt., president of the congress. The remainder of the day's session was given over to technical discussions. Dr. William J. Mayo, of Rochester, Minn., delivered the inaugural address on the evening of October 20, the sessions continuing throughout the week.
A series of clinics covering every phase of modern surgery, another of afternoon meetings devoted to technical discussion of the morning's work, and a program of evening sessions, which, while arranged especially for surgeons, held much of direct interest to the general public were in progress during the week. The following program was presented:
PRESIDENTIAL MEETING, MONDAY
Address of welcome, Dr. J. Bentley Squier, New York, chairman of committee on arrangements. Address of retiring president, Dr. John G. Clark, Philadelphia.
Inaugural address, Dr. William J. Mayo, Rochester, Minn.
Introduction of foreign guests, Sir Robert Jones, Liverpool; Major Gillies, R.A.M.C., Sidcup; Sir Anthony Bowlby, London.
Sir Anthony Bowlby, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., F.R.C.S., London: "Fractures of the femur." Discussion, F. N. G. Starr, M.D., Toronto.
Dr. Harvey Cushing, Boston: "Brain tumor statistics." Discussion, Dr. Charles H. Frazier, Philadelphia; Dr. Allen B. Kanavel, Chicago; Dr. Charles A. Elsberg, New York.
Dr. Alexis V. Moschcowitz, New York: "Empyema; with particular reference to its pathogenesis and treatment." Discussion, Dr. John L. Yates, Milwaukee; Dr. James F. Mitchell, Washington.
Sir Robert Jones, F.R.C.S., Liverpool, Eng.: "Stiff and flail joints." Discussion, Dr. Joseph A. Blake, New York; Dr. John L. Porter, Chicago; Dr. Joel E. Goldthwait, Boston.
Dr. George W. Crile, Cleveland: "Surgical treatment of exophthalmic goiter." Discussion,
Dr. J. Chalmers DaCosta, Philadelphia; Dr. Dean Lewis, Chicago; Dr. Charles H. Mayo, Rochester, Minn.
Dr. Otto P. Geier, Cincinnati: "The physician and surgeon in the industrial era." Discussion, Dr. John J. Moorhead, New York; Dr. William O'Neill Sherman, Pittsburgh; Dr. Jonathan M. Wainwright, Scranton; R. M. Little, Safety Institute of America, New York.
Dr. John B. Deaver, Philadelphia: "The acute abdomen." Discussion, Dr. J. M. T. Finney, Baltimore; Dr. George E. Armstrong, Montreal.
Major Gillies, R.A.M.C., Sidcup, Eng.: "Plastic operations for facial burns.''
Dr. C. Jeff Miller, New Orleans: "Radiotherapeutic and other methods for treatment of cancer of the uterus.' Discussion, Dr. James F. Percy, Galesburg, Ill, "Cautery'"'; Dr. Henry K. Pancoast, Philadelphia, "X-ray"; Dr. Harold C. Bailey, New York, "Radium."'
Convocation of the American College of Sur
Conferring of honorary fellowships. Presentation of candidates for fellowship. Presidential address, Dr. William J. Mayo, Rochester, Minn.
Fellowship address, Sir Arthur Bowlby, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., F.R.C.S., London.
SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS
THE National Academy of Sciences, as already announced, will hold its autumn meeting at Yale University, New Haven, on November 10, 11 and 12. Professor Henry A. Bumstead is chairman of the local committee, the other members being Professor Lafayette B. Mendel and Professor Ross J. Harrison.
IN accordance with the vote taken at the Baltimore meeting, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the
national scientific societies affiliated with it will hold their annual meeting at St. Louis, beginning on Monday, December 29. Dr. Simon Flexner, director of the laboratories of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, will preside and the address of the retiring president will be given by Professor John M. Coulter, of the University of Chicago.
THE next general meeting of the American Chemical Society will be held at St. Louis, Mo., with the St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society, from April 13 to 16, inclusive.
THE thirty-fifth annual meeting of the Indian Academy of Science will be held on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6, at Indianapolis.
DR. FRANK SCHLESINGER, of the Allegheny Observatory, was elected president of the American Astronomical Society at the recent Ann Arbor meeting. Dr. Schlesinger succeeds the late Edward C. Pichering, who for many years in succession had been elected to this office.
MAJOR GENERAL W. C. GORGAS has been elected an honorary member of the National Academy of Medicine of Peru.
PROESSOR ANTON J. CARLSON, chairman of the department of physiology at the University of Chicago, who was commissioned captain in the Sanitary Corps in 1917, made major in 1918, and lieutenant colonel in 1919, has returned to his regular work at the university. In the spring of 1919 Dr. Carlson was called to Paris and made the director of the division of the American Relief Administration known as the Children's Relief Bureau. He has since visted Poland, CzechoSlovakia, Austria, Jugo-Slavia, Finland, the Baltic states and parts of western Russin, paying particular attention to putting the child-welfare work on a national and permanent basis.
HERBERT E. GREGORY, who for the past five months has been serving as acting director of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, has returned to take up his work at Yale University.
Ir is announced that Dr. J. Rodríguez Carracido, the chemist and president of the University of Madrid, is a member of a Spanish delegation leaving soon for the United States.
CAPTAIN CAFFE, formerly of the Royal Air Force, left Winnipeg, Manhattan, in an airplane on October 31, to attempt the rescue of J. B. Tirrell, the geologist and mining engineer, reported to be "frozen in" and without supplies in the Rice Lake district. Attempts made to reach Mr. Tirrell by boats have been unsuccessful.
SIR BERTRAM WINDLE, F.R.S., in his annual report to the governing body of University College, Cork, announces that his resignation of the presidency of the college will shortly take effect. He has accepted an invitation from St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto to deliver a course of lectures on "Science in relation to the scholastic philosophy" during the first three months of next
DR. R. H. A. PLIMMER, reader in physiological chemistry, University College, London, has been appointed head of the biochemical department of Craibstone Animal Nutrition Research Institute, which is under the direction of Aberdeen University and the North of Scotland College of Agriculture.
DR. DONALD W. DAVIS, Ph.D., has returned to his position as professor of biology at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va. He spent the last three months of his stay overseas in research work in genetics at the John Innes Horticultural Institution.
PROFESSOR GEORGES E. DREYER, of Oxford University, delivered the first lecture at Western Reserve University School of Medicine on the H. M. Hanna Lecture Fund, on October 27, the subject being "Vital capacity and physical fitness."
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL NEWS
IT is planned to establish a post-graduate school in medicine in Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. The department is intended to offer opportunities for further
study of practising physicians who desire to acquaint themselves with current medical and surgical investigation. The course will begin next June, and is being arranged by a committee of three members of the faculty of the school of medicine. There will be short, intensive courses, without degrees, and a longer course, which will lead to the degree of A.M. in medicine. The latter is especially designed for regular students who may wish to continue their study before taking up their practise. It will be in connection with the establishment of several teaching fellowships.
LLOYD'S Register of Shipping has presented £10,000 to the fund which is being raised to establish a Degree in Commerce at the University of London.
IN the Towne Scientific School of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Milo S. Ketchum, has been made professor of civil engineering, he filling the post made vacant by the death of the late Dr. Edgar Marburg. He brings with him as assistant professor Dr. Clarence L. Eckel, from the University of Colorado. This department loses Dr. William Easby, Jr., professor of municipal engineering and Charles L. Warwick, assistant professor of structural engineering.
DR. A. G. HOGAN has left Kansas State Agricultural College to take the chair of biochemistry in the medical school of the University of Alabama, at Mobile. He will be succeeded at the Kansas college by Dr. J. S. Hughes.
PAUL EMERSON, Ph. D. (Iowa State), has resigned as associate bacteriologist at the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station to accept the position of assistant professor of soils and assistant chief in soil bacteriology at Iowa State College. In that institute H. W. Johnson, M.S., has been transferred from his position of assistant in soil bacteriology to that of associate professor of soils and assistant chief in soil chemistry in humus investigations.
SINCE Fordham Medical School closed the registration in the freshmen and sophomore classes and decided to close in 1921, Dr. Carl
P. Sherwin has been transferred from the medical school, where he held a professorship in physiological chemistry, to the university. The department of chemistry in the university has been entirely reorganized with Dr. Sherwin as the head; John A. Daly and George J. Shiple are are professors and Walter A. Hynes, William Wolfe and William J. Fordrung, assistant professors.
DR. H. L. IBSEN, of the University of Wisconsin, has been appointed assistant professor of animal husbandry in charge of the courses and the experimental work in genetics at the Kansas State Agricultural College.
CHARLES HARLAN ABBOTT, Ph.D. (Brown, '18), has become instructor in zoology in Massachusetts Agricultural College.
MR. HUBERT SHEPPARD has been elected instructor in anatomy in the University of Kansas.
DR. A. E. HENNINGS, formerly professor of physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, and more recently assistant professor of physics at the University of Chicago, has accepted an appointment in the department of physics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. departmental staff as now constituted is represented by Drs. T. C. Hebb, A. E. Hennings, J. G. Davidson and Mr. P. H. Elliott.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE NATURAL FIELD SANITATION IN CHINA
IN the thickly populated parts of South China there are a considerable number of people who financially are very poor; it is a constant struggle with them to obtain food for themselves and for any live stock which they may possess, such as chickens and ducks, a few hogs, or possibly a carabao. Fuel is also very scarce and such waste vegetable matter as becomes dried is promptly utilized for heating purposes. This struggle for food and fuel leads to a prompt utilization of all waste vegetable material. Small leaves, insignificant to us for this use, are picked up sometimes one by one and it is a very common sight to see small boys and girls, too small as
yet to do heavy labor, picking up or sweeping up fallen leaves for fuel. Gardens and fields therefore are usually entirely free of old decaying vegetable material. In this connection an observation upon the absence of leaf spot diseases on field crops in South China is of possible interest.
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), turnips (Brassica campestris), onions (Allium cepa), chard (Beta cicla), beans (Phaseolus sp.), carrots (Daucus carota) and cauliflower (Brassica sp.) are commonly grown in South China. Observation of these field crops has shown them to be surprisingly free from the leaf spot diseases which would ordinarily affect these crops in the United States. These observations have been at two separate periods, at both times the weather being very moist and with temperatures which would not limit development of the causal fungi. It would seem as if these farmers in their utilization of all waste material as fuel and the consequent removal of sources of infection, maintain their crops almost entirely free from these diseases. That is, apparently the absence of leaf spot diseases may be accounted for by the field sanitation, practised unknowingly by the Chinese farmers.
These observations are put forward only as an illustration of what may be called field sanitation, carried out on a large scale with apparently successful results. This would suggest that in the United States much could be gained by more careful field methods and the
1 Professor F. H. King in his very interesting book, "Farmers of Forty Centuries," discusses the use of compost heaps very completely. The use of compost heaps containing remnants and wastes of plant material is of course a great means for the dissemination of diseases of crop plants. Since one reading Professor King's work might consider it to refute the present suggestion, it seems well to explain that in South China such compost heaps are much more uncommon than in the region around Shanghai and Shantung province, and although compost heaps have been seen near Canton they are few and do not seem to play the part in the agricultural scheme that they do farther north.