Mendel Newsletter letterhead
Table of contents
  n.s. 10 (February 2001)

A Word from the Managing Editor ...

In the past several years I have used this space to make some brief observations about the direction of genetics research, and the historians, ethicists and others who are the observers and interpreters of each new development. One such individual is the highly regarded historian Diane Paul of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, who this year stepped down as editor of the Mendel Newsletter. Dr. Paul has generously donated her time and expertise to the acquisition of much of the content of Mendel Newsletter for the past several years. The extent to which our newsletter has recently grown in both sophistication of presentation and subscription requests owes much to her, and for that, we are extremely grateful. Good luck, Diane, and stay in touch; we will miss you here at Mendel Newsletter.

While we will indeed miss Diane Paul's terrific work, we are certain that her successor, Dr. Michael Dietrich of Dartmouth College, will uphold the high standards of his predecessor. Dr. Dietrich will already be well known to many of the readers of Mendel Newsletter, but his current work interests include:

  • Research on the history of molecular evolution with new work on the history of the molecular clock and the molecularization of evolutionary biology.
  • Research on Richard Goldschmidt and the fate on biologists forced to flee Nazi Germany. He is completing a biography of Goldschmidt, and has begun researching the fate of the developmental biologist, Johannes Holtfreter.
  • And, he and Paula Findlen are currently co-authoring an introductory textbook on the history of women in science. In addition, he is currently researching the role of women in the development of Drosophila genetics.

From the staff of the Mendel Newsletter, and on behalf of our benefactor and publisher, the American Philosophical Society Library, a heart-felt welcome to Dr. Dietrich. We hope that Michael enjoys his tenure and association with Mendel Newsletter.

Martin L. Levitt
American Philosophical Society

 


Salting Slugs in the Intellectual Garden:
James V. Neel and Scientific Controversy in the Information Age

R. S. Cox
American Philosophical Society

His dark, secret love does thy life destroy
--William Blake

When Alexander Humboldt sought to demonstrate the unity of all nature, he turned to Amazonia, that Eden of the mind. Two hundred years later, it remains a garden of delights and dangers for those who inhabit it and those who exploit it, a region on which the desires of all who enter are writ larger and bolder. But like any good Eden, Amazonia threatens to fade away, caught in the ancient tide of greed and the erosive currents of modern life. This September, a previously unknown threat from the Amazonian past emerged into glaring new light when a remarkable open letter written by two American anthropologists, Terence Turner and Leslie Sponsel was released on the internet. Patrick Tierney's article in the forthcoming New Yorker, they warned, was about to reveal "an impending scandal" in their profession, a dark secret that "in its scale, ramifications, and sheer criminality and corruption," was "unparalleled in the history of Anthropology."1 The book to follow, Darkness in El Dorado, promised still more, putting mumblings on the tongues of anthropologists, geneticists, ethicists, and "the public" within days.

Situated at the heart of Darkness are the population geneticist James V. Neel and his colleague, the anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon.2 Spurred in part by the International Biological Program on human adaptability, Neel had begun the study of "unacculturated" South American Indians during the early 1960s, gathering researchers in the U.S., Brazil, and Venezuela to form a "multidisciplinary" team to assess population structure, selectional pressure, and evolutionary microdifferentiation among a "primitive" people.3 Their goals, as outlined in 1964, were framed in an explicitly evolutionary context, and included the estimation of genetic divergence among Indian peoples and the identification of "significant biological parameters" affecting Indian evolutionary histories, however, in certain respects, the key goal was the reconstruction of the disease environment in the Americas both prior to and after European contact.4 As a major selectional factor shaping the early evolution of humanity, disease was a priority for Neel from the start, and from the start, he was aware of the fragility of health in Indian populations experiencing "transition."5

For over two fruitful years beginning in 1962, the Neel team collected blood, saliva, urine, and stools among the Xavante of Brazil, and generated reams of genealogical, anthropometric, and immunological data. As promising as this Xavante pilot study was, Neel continued to search for a less acculturated alternative, and he did not hesitate when the opportunity arose in 1966 to turn to the Yanomami of Venezuela and Brazil - the tribe subsequently made famous by his graduate student, Chagnon. More insulated from European contact than the Xavante and technologically more "primitive," Neel was well aware that the tribe in no way typified "primitive humanity" or the "pre-Columbian state," but he considered them "only as one of the better approximations thereto remaining in South America," and as "really quite representative" of "tropical rain forest people."6 Once again, Neel's protocol relied upon the extensive collection of blood to perform antibody assays and to test for other evidence of disease and health conditions.

All this might be little more than a footnote to an obscure academic study were it not for the fame that accrued to Chagnon through his Yanomami studies -- and were it not for 1968. Even in anthropology, a field renowned for intellectual endocannibalism, Chagnon is a lightning rod, earning his share of enmity through disputes over professional praxis, motivation, and theory, inextricably bound up with conflicts over style, politics, professional jealousies and personal disdain. Darkness in El Dorado leaves none of Chagnon's stones unturned, but it is the events of 1968 and Neel's part in an epidemic of measles that swept the upper Orinoco early that year that are of greatest concern to historians and practitioners of genetics. In scenes reminiscent of the first European invasion of the Americas, an uncounted number of Amazonian Indians died ghastly deaths in their first exposure to a deadly western disease.

Tierney's book situates both Neel and Chagnon at the center of devastation. At times Tierney touches on the comic: he cannot refrain from saying that Chagnon wished to get the "long-haired hippies" to "rejoin the march of Darwin," or from insinuating that both Chagnon and Neel were draft evaders.7 At times, though, he levels accusations that read like excerpts from the Nuremberg trials: Neel took blood without the permission of "Venezuelans," he used the Yanomami for medical research that could have no impact on their health, and most serious of all, he instigated a deadly epidemic to feed his quixotic scientific interests.8

As Darkness makes clear, there is a mysterious coincidence between the timing and location of measles outbreaks and Neel's schedule of drawing blood, from which Tierney infers that Neel's studies inherently "maximized [Yanomami] exposure to a host of new germs" as his "assembly-line" blood collecting regimen became a "formula for disease propagation."9 Neel, in other words, was a viral vector, but he may have been more. The epidemic as Tierney reconstructs it began in mid-January, immediately after Neel arrived in Venezuela bearing a "live virus" measles vaccine, Edmonston B, which his team (or missionaries on their behalf) proceeded to administer to the Yanomami. This "primitive measles vaccine," Tierney writes, was "contraindicated" for use in pre-contact populations because of the high fevers it produced, and while the simultaneous use of gamma globulin was known to "cut the reaction rate in half," Tierney claims that "double vaccination was cumbersome," and in any event, Neel repeatedly failed to provide gamma globulin, and vaccinated only half of each village he visited. Without gamma globulin, Tierney continues, "in several cases, the reactions were fatal."10

Intimating that these failures to provide proper care were intentional, Tierney concludes that the tests must have been "part of a broader plan to gather data on measles vaccine both with and without gamma globulin," with half the village designated as a control and left medically to fend for themselves.11 Noting slyly that Neel "was careful never to vaccinate without gamma globulin himself," Tierney adds that he "was less scrupulous about his subordinates," and was guilty of providing inadequate or inappropriate after-care, or no care at all. All of this exacerbated the epidemic, increasing both morbidity and mortality.12 It is even likely, in this reading, that the only "measles" in the area at all were caused and spread by the Edmonston B vaccine, which Tierney believes became as transmissible and deadly as the virus it was supposed to prevent.

If the motives of a geneticist in causing such an epidemic seem unclear, Tierney provides the key. First, these studies were funded by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and are thus apparently impeachable by association. The study may have been intended as a baseline against which to compare Neel's studies of radiation-induced mutation rates, so long supported by the AEC. The vaccination program conveniently gave Neel a chance to test his "extreme eugenic theories," and specifically a gene for "leadership" or "innate ability."13 The mechanics of the relationship between the epidemic and "leadership" remain underexplored, yet thinking of Tuskegee, or perhaps of the genocidal Jeffrey Amherst and his smallpox infested blankets, Tierney approvingly cites one historian who refuses to rule out intent: "After all, Indians in this country were used for medical experiments," he suggested, "and down there in the jungle - Who was to know?"14

Who was to know? How massive must the conspiracy have been to smuggle a deadly vaccine into South America, to induce an epidemic that killed hundreds for a secretive scientific enterprise, and to cover up the results for the good of the (American) state? But in the Amazon, that vast garden of desire, any such scheme seems possible. Tierney finds it suspicious that he was unable to locate information on which villages Neel chose to vaccinate, "much less which individuals," and sees this as a sign of the malevolent success of this dark secret.15

Beginning in late September, 2000, a number of historians, geneticists, and anthropologists have taken Tierney's bull directly by the horns to address these and other allegations, and a series of valuable websites have sprung up to document the dialogue. Perhaps predictably, the organizations with which Neel was affiliated -- including the University of Michigan, the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Genetic Epidemiology Society -- have weighed in officially to dispute key elements of Tierney's argument, and a few of the individuals involved in the dispute have contributed substantially.16 The developer of the Edmonston B vaccine, Samuel Katz, for example, has written that the Edmonston vaccine was "a justifiable, proven and valid approach" in 1968, and that years of testing had demonstrated that its effects were in no way transmissible and that deaths from its use were exceptionally rare.17 Among historians, Susan Lindee -- a strong critic of Neel's studies in Japan -- was the first to respond and to provide evidence calling many of Tierney's conclusions into question.18 Diane Paul and John Beatty have thoroughly addressed the issues surrounding the AEC funding of Neel's research and have spoken to Neel's alleged eugenic propensities, rejecting Tierney's aspersions for their failure to provide context and for their fundamental misrepresentation of Neel's published and unpublished views.19 However the magnitude of the charges, in quantity and moral weight, requires still further discussion.

Fortunately, the collection of James Neel's papers at the American Philosophical Society offer an opportunity to examine the field season of 1968 in some detail, down to and including the names of particular villages and individuals vaccinated. The picture revealed is at significant odds with that painted by Tierney, and in the limited space available here, I wish to add to the developing conversation simply by providing a partial alternative reconstruction of the chronology of 1968 as Neel and his colleagues understood it.

By the time that Neel visited the Yanomami in 1968, he was no longer an ingenue, having accumulated strong evidence from his antibody assays of 1966 and 1967 that few Yanomami had been exposed to measles or to the other major epidemic European diseases.20 Only in two of the villages surveyed -- including Ocamo, the first Venezuelan village stricken in 1968 according to Tierney -- did a significant number display measles antibodies.21 As his antibody data became clearer, Neel's concern quickened for what might happen when inevitably, as he saw it, epidemic diseases at last reached the Yanomami.

As he often would in the Amazon, Neel assiduously courted the missionaries of the Unevangelized Fields Mission (UFM), the New Tribes Mission, and the Mission Aviation Fellowship for assistance in facilitating his work, but in the wake of his immunological findings, he considered introducing an explicitly clinical component to his agenda.22 His first discussion of vaccination per se may have been in 1966, only a few months after his first field season among the Yanomami. In October, he wrote to the field leader of the UFM, Neill Hawkins, to say that he was "intrigued by the opportunity" to redress "the usual immediate medical ill-effects of increasing contact with our cultures and our diseases." "Technically," he wrote, "we cannot propose any such procedures, but I believe that if a good program were evolved, a way could be found."23 Hawkins responded favorably, and in the following March, Neel sketched out a general program for Yanomami health that stressed preventative measures, including a systematic program of immunization, the discouragement of their "pattern of warfare," and improvement in child nutrition.24 Hawkins' response was again favorable, expressing a desire "to press for at least a beginning of a vaccination program," and hoping to "widen the outreach progressively later."25

By September, 1967, Neel had expanded his orbit to Venezuela, writing to the New Tribes missionary Dan Shaylor to suggest inoculating the Yanomami there to "minimize the effects of these diseases when they finally do reach the Indian." At the very least, he said that in the forthcoming field season he planned to bring a quantity of medical supplies and would "be prepared to practice a good deal of medicine as we go."26 In hindsight, this concern was well placed and preternaturally timed: reports of measles began to circulate as early as September, 1967, by which time Neel was already soliciting charitable donations of vaccine.27

When measles was reported among Indians in Brazil in November, having been introduced at Toototobi by the daughter of the missionary, Keith Wardlaw, Neel responded by entering negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for measles vaccine. "Although our orientation is primarily research," he wrote to one missionary in Venezuela, "we are also quite concerned with the humanitarian implications of extending proper medical services to the Indian, and would try very hard to lay a vaccination program onto our medical studies."28 From Neel's perspective, the urgency of the situation began to peak in late November when measles coursed up the upper Orinoco (above Mavaca), directly threatening the Yanomami there, and Neel hurriedly obtained donations of vaccine from Lederle Laboratories and Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals, sending an urgent letter to Miguel Layrisse of the Instituto Venzolano de Investigaciones Cientificas (IVIC) imploring him to secure Venezuelan governmental permission to import and use it.29

By the time they left the United States in January, 1968, Neel's team had acquired two different batches of Edmonston B vaccine totaling 1,000 doses along with a precisely similar quantity of gamma globulin and a significant quantity of other medical supplies. Neel transferred 1,000 additional doses of vaccine to Brazilian missionaries.30 His intent was to administer the available vaccine as his team made its circuit through Yanomami villages, distributing the rest to missionaries to use in still other villages, hoping to encircle the outbreak and prevent its wider spread.31 Their protocol called for avoiding the vaccination of infants, the acutely ill, the elderly and infirm, but more importantly, team member Willard Centerwall, a pediatrician, advised vaccinating only half of each village at a time, "so the unvaccinated individuals will be able to care for the needs of the vaccinated ones."32 At Ocamo, Neel administered gamma globulin to those who by virtue of age, illness, or other factors were not candidates for vaccination and who were not already ill, and he advised they "isolate & vaccinate all visitors to any place there is vaccine" available for use.33

As Tierney suggests, the Edmonston vaccine induced a strong febrile response -- although with gamma globulin, the response was greatly attenuated -- which was treated with aspirin and fluids, and the complications of wild measles, including bronchopneumonia, were treated with antibiotics. During the chaotic and confusing weeks that Neel was in the field, reports of measles at more or less distant villages were greeted by forwarding vaccine and gamma globulin when possible, though in at least one case, members of Neel's team discovered that many or most Yanomami had fled their villages.34 They also distributed penicillin to ailing Indians out for fear that "the current epidemic of 'grippe' could interact deleteriously with the measles."35

By February 18, Neel's team had administered 1033 doses of measles vaccine, failing to administer gamma globulin with the vaccine only under Roche at Ocamo.36 If the course of the measles tracked Neel's party, as Tierney insists, it is because Neel was effective in tracking the course of measles. Nor did the efforts at vaccination end there: Neel arranged for at least one additional shipment of measles vaccine after his return to the U.S., and he arranged for the donation of various vaccines on other occasions until at least 1976.37

No one should be confused with being a saint, of course, nor should one argue that Neel is a candidate. Like all of us, he had foibles and faults that many will find perplexing. For him, the epidemic was simultaneously tragedy and scientific opportunity, and his ability to erect a clinical distance between his scientific interests and emotional response may be hard for some to fathom. Scientifically, his work can be criticized, as it was at the time, for questionable views of the "primitive," though he was hardly naïve, and he may be said to have been stalked by the spectre of selectionism, or to have remained open to (though suspicious of) sociobiology.38 More generally, many of us feel unease at his studies of "foreign" populations under conditions that might give pause for the relations of power they reproduce - and Neel seldom paused. But the Neel revealed through his writings and deeds is virtually unrecognizable in the Neel that Tierney limns.

We are now at the stage of salting slugs in the intellectual garden, responding to the congeries of allegation, assertion, and inference that is too convoluted to deal with and too grave to ignore. The basic elements of Tierney's thesis are troubled: the epidemic began well before Neel's arrival, and from a clinical, epidemiological, and scientific perspective - perhaps a moral one, as well -- many of the allegations are easily shown to be distorted or erroneous.39 To many, however, the narrative will remain compelling because it confirms the uncomfortable truth that western science and society have so often visited devastation upon third world cultures, and particularly upon the least "technologically advanced." It confirms that the behavior of the "civilized" fraction of the world is mimetically more savage than the "savages" they purport to study. To others, though, the converse will be true: the falsity of so much of Tierney's argument will only serve to invalidate the urgent issues that lie beneath.

Here we come to the crux: the tragedy of the Neel affair is only partly the collateral damage done to scientists and their relatives, it is that this work stands to compound the very real suffering of a people faced with problems that threaten their existence. In a sad example of missed opportunity, Tierney has evaded serious discussion of the very real issues surrounding the ethics of anthropological and population genetic research, the implications of informed consent in a cross-cultural context, or the power dynamics of first world scientists -- or journalists -- operating upon third world peoples, opting instead to erect a proverbial scarecrow ripe for beating. Those rushing to Tierney's defense, such as Les Sponsel, have complained that "in all of this ugly mess," it appears that "very few individuals appear to have the YANOMAMI as their first priority" - implying that those who objected to the most outlandish of Tierney's claims were anti-Yanomami.40

In a way, Sponsel is right: as a result of the charges, people have forgotten the Yanomami, as might be expected under the circumstances. It is not enough to claim that the ends of justice for Indians -- aims for which Neel believed he was working -- justify the means used to attain them, or that regardless of the veracity of Darkness, the ensuing discussion will be productive of good. By tendering such sensationalized and unwarranted accusations, Tierney shines the klieg lights solely upon himself, his stories, and the sale of his book. By tendering such accusations, he only lends strength to those who would discredit the legitimate complaints of the Yanomami in their dealings with the world beyond Amazonia. It is precisely because Tierney has written the book as he has that the Yanomami fade into the background -- a new twist on the vanishing Indian.

End Notes:

  1. See Karen Rader, "C. C. Little and the Jackson Laboratory Archives: Some Notes on the Intersecting Histories of Eugenics, Mammalian Genetics, and Cancer Research," The Mendel Newsletter, 1996, New Series, No. 5: 1-7.

 


The Edgar Anderson Papers at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Kim Kleinman1
Missouri Botanical Garden

On December 14, 1966, Edgar Anderson (1897-1969) wrote his long-time collaborator Thomas Whittaker of the United States Department of Agriculture, "Among other things I am now nicely finished in clearing out my office, throwing and giving away things for which I no longer have any need and getting what is there organized so I can work with it." In fact, as he neared the end of his life, Anderson threw out much of his correspondence and gave away his library. He wrote his former student William L. Brown of Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn, "There went off to you, on the afternoon of Friday, January 26 [1968], a package containing all my extant correspondence with Paul Mangelsdorf... It is yours to dispose of in any way you see fit..."

Today, the extant seven boxes of Anderson correspondence at the Missouri Botanical Garden Archives consists largely of material returned to the Garden by such correspondents as Brown, Mangelsdorf, Whittaker, Charles B. Heiser, Jr., and Hugh Iltis. While sufficient along with Anderson's published works to sustain biographical research, there are obvious, agonizing holes.

Anderson bears study as a fascinating figure in twentieth-century evolutionary biology. His "The problem of species in the northern blue flags, Iris versicolor L. and Iris virginica L."2 was highly regarded. He shared that research with R.A. Fisher during a sabbatical he took in 1929-1930 at the John Innes Horticultural Institution (he also worked with J.B.S. Haldane and C.D. Darlington at that time) which opened a fruitful mutual collaboration. Fisher developed his linear discriminant function using Anderson's Iris data.3 Anderson's own conclusion about the species problem in his 1928 Iris paper was "to deny the slow accumulation of individual differences an important role in species building" against "the general theory...held by many Drosophila workers who see in the gene mutation the unit of process which, compounded a thousand-fold, results in specific differences."4 Instead, Anderson explored hybridization as an evolutionary mechanism.

In the 1930s, he turned his attention to Tradescantia, collaborating with Karl Sax and Robert Woodson. His 1938 paper with Leslie Hubricht,5 also part of this project, marked the first use of "introgressive hybridization" to describe what Anderson saw as an important source of genetic variation. He would develop these ideas in the late 1940s and early 1950s in several works, especially his 1949 book.6

While speculating along these lines with his old Harvard graduate school roommate Paul Mangelsdorf, Anderson raised the possibility that Teosinte originated from a cross of maize and Tripsacum. In 1937, much to Mangelsdorf's surprise, his data began to support this conclusion. When he and R.G. Reeves published their "tripartite hypothesis"7 on the origin of Zea mays they acknowledged Anderson's contribution. From 1942 to1954 Anderson himself focused on maize research, asking questions at the junctions of several fields-agronomy, archaeology, genetics, and taxonomy among them. He described himself as an expert in what was NOT known about corn.8

Anderson, who trained as a geneticist, acknowledged the impact of his Missouri Botanical Garden colleagues and students on his career. They urged him to take a serious interest in taxonomy. It was from this "hybridization" that Anderson approached Iris in the 1920s, Tradescantia in the 1930s, and maize in the 1940s. And it was these insights that led to Anderson sharing the 1941 Jesup Lectures with Ernst Mayr. They discussed "Systematics and the Origin of Species" from their viewpoints of botany and zoology. Mayr's book based on those lectures is, of course, a major cornerstone of the evolutionary synthesis while Anderson did not deliver his manuscript.

Anderson was also a gifted teacher and popular writer, as witnessed by his delightful Plants, Man and Life.9 One wishes, therefore, for more letters for sheer exuberance of his prose as well as the scientific insights they would provide.

While I hope to fill in some of the gaps in this important correspondence, scholars interested in the history of the evolutionary synthesis and twentieth-century botany still have some valuable resources to plumb with the Anderson papers at the Missouri Botanical Garden archives. The Anderson papers consist of 40 boxes, reflecting seven series. In addition to the seven boxes of correspondence dating from 1931 through posthumous letters (series 3), the holdings include diaries (series 1); biographical memorabilia including photographs (series 2); 12 boxes of research materials reflecting the wide range of Anderson's work (series 4); bibliographic material and manuscripts (series 5); research photographs (series 6); and more biographical and miscellaneous material (series 7). Other small groups of Anderson material exist in the four large boxes that William L. Brown donated to the MBG and in the Ewan Collection in the Garden's library.

In the first series of the Anderson papers themselves, there are 12 diaries. At various points in his life, Anderson kept a record of his activities in the form of short daily notes. For example, he opened a diary in February 1943 as he began his Guggenheim Fellowship to study maize. Running until 1947, this diary also reflects Anderson's participation in such key evolutionary synthesis events as the founding of the Society for the Study of Evolution in St. Louis in 1946 and the 1947 Princeton Conference sponsored by the Committee on Common Problems of Genetics, Paleontology, and Systematics. However, it is primarily a diary of the corn project. Other diaries reflect school experiences at Michigan Agriculture College and Harvard's Bussey Institution; his travels, including his sabbaticals at the John Innes Horticultural Institution, in the Balkans, and at Stanford; and important phases of his Garden career (including part of his directorship).

Series two includes important biographical memoribilia from estate information and awards. There are also three boxes of personal photographs, both family and from his school days in Ann Arbor and Cambridge. Series six also includes photographs, largely reflecting such research concerns as his 1934 Balkan trip and vegetation at the Missouri Botanical Garden Arboretum in Grey Summit, Missouri. The last series, number seven, is a miscellany which in many ways echoes the second group with more estate records, material relating to Anderson's participation in the 1959 Darwin Centennial at the University of Chicago, and Arboretum records.

Series four reflects the range of research interests Anderson and his students took up. Included here is a binder that collects responses to a survey Anderson conducted of his colleagues on the genus concept. In 1937, Anderson had been asked to contribute to a symposium on "The Concept of the Genus" from the viewpoint of cytogenetics. Since his initial thought was "that on this problem genetics could contribute nothing and cytology very little,"10 he instead chose to "learn something of them [genera] as they exist in the minds of taxonomists" (Anderson's emphasis). The responses of 48 colleagues, including such grand old men as Liberty Hyde Bailey and young workers like G. Ledyard Stebbins, are preserved in this binder. Along with Anderson's summary, these materials are an important window into contemporary thinking on an important theoretical issue at a point when new ideas were emerging on evolutionary issues. Much of the rest of the material in the series reflects Ernst Mayr's opinion that "Anderson probably did more than any other plant scientist to spread the population concept among botanists by demonstrating with his students how plant populations could be studied in nature."11 Starting with several "Biometry" folders through those on various plants (among Guar, Helianthus, Lettuce, and Tradescantia), one can see the way Anderson worked at capturing variation of natural populations through such innovative pictorial methods as scatter diagrams and ideographs.

Of special interest in series five is a lightly annotated copy of Plants, Man and Life reflecting the possibility of an unrealized second edition. More extensive revisions, written in Anderson's own hand, exist in a copy of the book in the Ewan Collection in the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. Another noteworthy part of the Anderson file in the Ewans' "Botanical Album" is an original mimeographed copy of the only newsletter circulated in 1941 by the Society for the Study of Speciation. That organization called the meeting at which the Society for the Study of Evolution was founded at the March 1946 St. Louis meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Anderson is listed as one of 12 members of the SSS executive committee in that 1941 newsletter.

Correspondence, though, is the primary coin of the historian's realm. Concerning Anderson and the MBG Archives, a fortune was lost but a more than comfortable holding remains. The early holdings are particularly light; the first box of seven runs from January 17, 1931 through May 9, 1946. Thus, there is no record of his education or the important Iris research years. Since these papers have largely been reconstructed by copies being redonated to the Garden, what holdings exist provide a rather full picture of certain aspects of Anderson's career while they are silent on many others. For instance, only a small handful of letters to and from G. Ledyard Stebbins survive and Anderson's Jesup Lectures in 1942 receive only passing mention. On the other hand, in the full exchange with Charles B. Heiser, Jr., one can see Anderson's mentorship of one of his Washington University's undergraduate students develop through Heiser's study with Stebbins at California and then Heiser's rich career at Indiana. Once Heiser arrives at Indiana, Anderson asks after his Helianthus research and welcomes field trips from groups of Indiana botany students and their young professor. Manuscripts are exchanged, families grow, and careers unfold.

Thanks to donations from William Brown and Paul Mangelsdorf, Anderson's maize work is reasonably well documented. Brown was another student whose career at Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn was one basis for Anderson's lengthy collaboration with the firm. Pioneer provided Anderson with a vast pool of data and opportunities to test various ideas. The letters between Anderson and Brown are full of observations and measurements to be sure, but also contain a wide-ranging discussion of the ideas about where maize came from and implications for corn-breeding that data were meant to probe. It was a comfortable collaboration.

More volatile is his relationship with Mangelsdorf. Sending his part of it to Brown, Anderson confided that "Some years ago, when I felt the grimmest about some of his [Mangelsdorf's] behavior, I sorted out what I had at that time and put it in rough chronological order. Gradually the heartache and the spleen got replaced by better materials." For his part, Mangelsdorf felt compelled to tell Hugh Iltis in 1979,

In my first year at the Bussey, as Edgar's roommate, he frequently chided me for my lack of sophistication in literature, drama, architecture and other arts and he undertook, with some degree of success, to educate me, but he did recognize the fact that as a first-year graduate student I probably knew more about genetics and its application, than he did as a last-year student. Edgar could be general [sic] and magnanimous, as well as insulting. As a boy in the Public School of East Lansing EA must have been a precocious--an obnoxious-brat.

Iltis had his own tensions with Mangelsdorf, but he deserves singular credit in rebuilding the Anderson correspondence through convincing "Uncle Paul" to photocopy his letters to and from Anderson to donate them to the MBG. The Mangelsdorf correspondence reflects Anderson's early interest in maize and contributions to the "tripartite hypothesis" as well as much useful collaboration. Anderson took Mangelsdorf criticisms of his 1945 article, "What is Zea Mays -- A Report of Progress,"12 to heart in a remarkable June 15, 1946, letter where he acknowledges the way corn is changing his work style. But, tenser exchanges emerged around an Anderson quip about "Harvard men" which provoked Mangelsdorf and, later, Anderson's collaboration with someone Mangelsdorf felt scooped by. By 1951, their correspondence became rather guarded. It is, nonetheless, a rich resource in the history of maize research.

Indeed, to conclude, the entire Anderson collection at the Missouri Botanical Garden Archives will be valuable for anyone studying the development of evolutionary theory, biosystematics, and the study of human-plant relationships.

 


The Social Dynamics of Animals and Ecologists:
The V.C. Wynne-Edwards Papers

The announced completion of the mapping of the human genome, and the attendant recognition of its size and complexity, may have temporarily halted the scramble to assign certain behaviors to their appropriate genetic cause, nevertheless, the interest in the relation of biology and behavior long precedes the Human Genome Project and will only become more intense as time goes by. Indeed, particular aspects of behavior (both human and animal) have been the subject of intense scrutiny since the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. The identification of altruistic behavior in various species, and the need for an evolutionary explanation of the phenomena, was described by Darwin as one of the greatest difficulties for his theory. One of the many individuals who addressed this problem, and generated a great deal of research as a result of his theory, was the British naturalist Vero Copner Wynne-Edwards. The collection of Wynne-Edwards' papers at the archives of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario provide an excellent resource for any scholar interested in the relation of biology and behavior.

Vero Copner Wynne-Edwards and Group Selection

Vero Copner Wynne-Edwards was born in 1906, the son of John Roslindale Wynne-Edwards, a canon in the church of England, and the headmaster of the Leeds Grammar School. Wynne-Edwards attended Leeds, and then Rugby, where he developed an interest in astronomy and botany, before matriculating at Oxford University in 1924 to read zoology with Julian Huxley. Although Huxley left Oxford the following year, Wynne-Edwards was fortunate to have Charles Elton, a leading researcher in population studies, as Huxley's successor. Under Elton's guidance, population regulation and distribution became the focal point of Wynne-Edwards' career. The first part of Wynne-Edwards' professional career was spent in Canada as professor of zoology at McGill University in Montreal. It was on his first Atlantic crossing, studying the distribution of sea birds, that Wynne-Edwards made his first significant contribution to the literature. His 1935 paper "On the Habits and Distribution of Birds of the North Atlantic" won the Boston Society of Natural History's Walker Prize and reigned as the standard work on North Atlantic birds for nearly twenty years.1 Two years later, on an expedition to Baffin Island, Wynne-Edwards conducted research on the non-breeding members of the fulmar populations. In the course of his research, Wynne-Edwards problematized the phenomena of non-breeding and identified it as a behavior which fell outside the boundaries of the normal explanatory paradigm. On the standard Darwinian account, all mature members of the population should strive to maximize their representation in subsequent generations through breeding. This anomalous non-breeding behavior required a new theory of selection to explain its origin and persistence. The theory that Wynne-Edwards was to develop over the following two decades came to be known as group selection.

In 1945 Wynne-Edwards returned to the United Kingdom as the Regius Professor of Zoology at Aberdeen University in Scotland. Wynne-Edwards remained at Aberdeen until his retirement in 1974 and, as head of the department, established the Culterty Field Research Station, oversaw the transition of the department into new and larger laboratory facilities, and contributed to the reputation of Aberdeen as a center for the study of ecology and field biology. In the mid-1950s, Wynne-Edwards began to publish articles which laid out the theory of group selection that he had been developing. The first presentation of his theory was at the 11th International Ornithological Conference in Basel, Switzerland. In his presentation to the congress, some of his ideas regarding the theory of group selection were introduced in qualified terms. He wrote, "it is theoretically possible to regulate the numbers in the population by density dependent control of the recruitment rate alone.." and "Control of the this could be largely intrinsic, that is depending for its operation on the behavior-responses on the members of the population themselves."2 This statement of theory juxtaposed with the contemporaneous work of David Lack, which advocated a strict individual selectionist approach to population regulation and non-breeding behavior led to a session on population at the 1959 meeting of the British Ornithological Union at Cambridge University, that pitted Wynne-Edwards theory of group selection against the individual selectionist theory of Lack.

In this paper, Wynne-Edwards succinctly presented his theory to an interested, if skeptical audience. The final paragraph of the paper states his position quite clearly.

The hypothesis put forward here, therefore, suggests that animals have become adapted, with varying success, to control their own population densities, limiting them at the optimum level-this being the level that offers the best living to the largest number, consistent with safeguarding the food-supply from damage from so-called over fishing. It suggests that the result is achieved by interposing artificial, conventional goals as substitutes for direct competition for food.3
This became the work of the remainder of Wynne-Edwards intellectual life. Social behavior, especially in the form of conventional competition, is presented as the causal mechanism in the regulation of population density.

In 1962, Wynne-Edwards published his magnum opus, Animal Dispersion in Relation to Social Behavior, the book that was to bring him world wide renown.4 The initial response to Animal Dispersion, a work in which Wynne-Edwards applied his idea of group selection not merely to bird populations, but to every organism from plankton to pachyderms, was generally positive. In the year after the publication of Animal Dispersion, Wynne-Edwards lectured at over 60 universities in 15 different countries. He received encouraging letters from Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders, Sir Julian Huxley and Charles Elton with regard to his theory. A letter from J. Z. Young, the well known Oxford developmental biologist, commented: "I think you have a really important point here and you have put it across with a tremendous range of evidence set out in an unboring sort of way."5 Young, who had known Wynne-Edwards since his student days at Oxford, was also impressed with the continuity of Wynne-Edwards' thought, from his early papers on night jars and starlings to his most recent achievement. Despite these accolades, it was not long before the neo-Darwinian, individual selectionists began a vigorous critique. In 1966, George C. Williams published Adaptation and Natural Selection, and David Lack published Population Studies of Birds, both of which took careful aim at the Wynne-Edwards' theory of group selection.6 Williams was responding to what he described as a "pervasive inconsistency in the use of the theory of natural selection."7 His dissatisfaction was sparked by a lecture of Alfred E. Emerson, the Chicago ecologist and termite specialist, in which Emerson posited beneficial death, an idea that senescence was evolved to cull the old and impaired from populations so that fitter youthful individuals could take their place. Williams dismissed this kind of thinking and returned the focus of evolutionary theorizing to its proper, Darwinian locus, the individual. The success of these arguments, combined with the increasing application of genetics to evolutionary theory, particularly in the form of kin selection, served to marginalize Wynne-Edwards' theory. Despite the turning of the tide against his theory, Wynne-Edwards continued to publish and lecture throughout the sixties and seventies in support of group selection. In 1986, he published a second book-length treatment of group selection that he had begun working on almost immediately following the publication of Animal Dispersion. The 1986 book, Evolution through Group Selection, was largely a failure.8 By the time Evolution through Group Selection was published, Wynne-Edwards was 80 years old. He had been retired from Aberdeen University for over a decade, and yet he was still an active advocate for his theory. In fact, after the negative response to the book, Wynne-Edwards became an even more persistent agitator for his theory. Based on the success of a précis of Animal Dispersion, published in the Scientific American in 1965, which sold 350,000 off-prints, Wynne-Edwards started soliciting editors to publish a similar article summarizing the second book. An article presenting Wynne-Edwards last word "A Rationale for Group Selection" was published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 1993.9 Wynne-Edwards died in Aberdeen, at the age of 90, in January of 1997.

Wynne-Edwards Collection at Queen's University Archive

Given the intensity and the length of the controversy over group selection, it is perhaps not surprising that Wynne-Edwards' collection of correspondence is quite extensive. Adding further interest to the collection is its breadth. Wynne-Edwards' papers span the century, beginning with a grammar school paper on the Flora of Austwick, which he wrote in 1918, and concluding with various correspondence to the end of his life in 1997. The special collections library at Queen's also houses Wynne-Edwards personal library. This collection consists of nearly 1800 volumes on Natural History, Botany, and Ecology, among other subjects.

Wynne-Edwards' papers came to Queen's University by virtue of a long standing family connection. His daughter Dr. Janet Sorbie is a medical doctor, and a former member of the medical school faculty, his son Dr. Hugh Wynne-Edwards was head of the geology department, and his granddaughter Kathy Wynne-Edwards is currently a professor in the biology department. The V. C. Wynne-Edwards papers were brought to the Queen's University Archives by the family shortly after his death in 1997. The papers had been moved about a good deal over the years, as Professor Wynne-Edwards moved about and were in no overall order. Some records, correspondence files from his years at the University of Aberdeen for example, were carefully kept and have been left in their original order. Other papers, such as correspondence that he conducted after his retirement, were in no particular order. A former student and assistant on a couple of Arctic expeditions, Sandy Anderson, went through the material and removed much of what he felt was extraneous before he packed and shipped it to Canada. The Wynne-Edwards family had taken careful account of all that was in the fonds before sending it on to Queen's. The archives has retained virtually all of the records donated, the only exceptions being off-prints or re-prints of other authors work that were sent to the Special Collections Library at Queen's to be housed with the Wynne-Edwards Library there.10

The collection of Wynne-Edwards' papers has been organized into eight series which consist of correspondence, files (administrative), writings, manuscripts, 'found in books', images, diaries and notes, and finally, folio. The correspondence file contains letters from many great 20th century biologists including, Julian Huxley, Gavin De Beer, Sewall Wright, J. T. Bonner and J. Z. Young. The most interesting sub-groups of correspondence include an extensive collection of letters to David Lack. These two naturalists began corresponding in the 1930s, and continued a collegial exchange despite their differences over theory, through the 1960s. Wynne-Edwards also wrote and received many letters from his students, who later became his colleagues. These included David Jenkins and Adam Watson, principal investigators on the Red Grouse research which formed the basis of Wynne-Edwards' 1986 redux on group selection. This group also included George Dunett, who succeeded Wynne-Edwards as the regius chair of zoology at Aberdeen. There are also a couple of instances where Wynne-Edwards' students serve as surrogates for him and his theory. The correspondence includes reports from various conferences and lectures regarding reactions to, and comments on, the viability of group selection theory. Some of the most striking letters in the collection come from the files containing the correspondence from the mid-1980's to the early nineties. Included here are the letters to the editors of many of the major journals, imploring them for an opportunity to present his theory of groups selection once more to a large audience. These letters illustrate the commitment that often develops between the theorist and his or her creation. It is also an interesting window onto the process of publishing in the scientific literature, and some of the contingencies that come to play a very important role in that process. This is perhaps the most interesting part of the Wynne-Edwards collection.

Another fascinating part of this collection is the diaries and notes series. These include Wynne-Edwards' personal diaries beginning with his student days at Rugby and continuing through his Oxford years, up to his appointment as Regius Chair at Aberdeen in 1946. The early diaries provide an excellent resource for any researcher interested in scientific education in early twentieth century England. Wynne-Edwards' diaries include not only a review of daily activities both inside and outside of class, but also descriptions of lectures by such well known individuals as Julian Huxley and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These journals also include Wynne-Edwards' accounts of his later expeditions in Northern Canada. Wynne-Edwards participated in five Arctic and sub-arctic expeditions between 1937 and 1953. These experiences had a major impact on Wynne-Edwards' view of nature and animal population, and the diaries bear this relationship out. The diary from the 1937 Macmillan Expedition provides a detailed account of life as a member of the expedition to Baffin Island, as well as a bridge to the expeditions of previous generations of naturalists. It was on this voyage that Wynne-Edwards first began to systematically examine the phenomenon of non-breeding behavior that led to the development of groups selection theory. Also included in this series are Wynne-Edwards' bird logs and daily appointment books. Wynne-Edwards began keeping a record of all the birds he had seen, every day of his life, in the 1920s. This practice he continued until he passed away in 1997. Although the logs begin at Oxford, then move to Canada for twelve years, they continue essentially unbroken from 1946 to 1996 in Aberdeen. It seems to me that this record could provide the basis for an interesting longitudinal study of bird populations around Aberdeen. Finally, in the diaries and notes series is a collection of notebooks in which Wynne-Edwards recorded his thoughts and comments on contemporary work which he deemed important or interesting to his own pursuits. It is through these notebooks that the researcher can trace Wynne-Edwards' path through the literature, responding to critics such as John Maynard-Smith and W. D. Hamilton, and trying to sort through the ideas of his intellectual predecessors including W. C. Allee and Sewall Wright, and ultimately attempting to assimilate the new theories of groups selection from David Sloan Wilson and Michael Wade. Each of the entries is systematically recorded: author, date, title, journal and page reference, and often a passage from the work, is copied out long-hand and commentary follows. In several instances there is also correspondence with these individuals. Wynne-Edwards also included in these notebooks various ideas for lectures and articles, responding to various criticisms of his theory.

 


Profiles in Science: Biomedical Research in the 20th Century

Paul Theerman
National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science is a digitization project in the history of medicine and science, based at the National Library of Medicine. Through websites devoted to the life and work of winners of the Nobel Prize, the project hopes both to tell the story of post-War biomedical science and to illustrate that story with original documentary materials. Profiles is a research product of NLM's digital library research program, based at its Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications. The Lister Hill Center has developed the software and hardware standards for the project, as well as doing the necessary programming. It has worked with the Digital Manuscripts Program of NLM's History of Medicine Division, which collects, processes, digitizes, and interprets the documentary record.

Most of the scientists in Profiles have been career researchers at the National Institutes of Health, and their interests reflect post-War science: genetics, especially bacterial genetics and the genetic code; regulation of cellular and metabolic processes; and neurobiology. The first figure to be profiled was a bacterial geneticist. Profiles in Science was launched in September 1998 with a selection of papers devoted to the life and work of Oswald T. Avery (1877-1955), a Rockefeller University bacteriological researcher. Avery was a founder of modern molecular biology and established that genetic information is encoded in DNA. The digitized materials come from a collection of papers by and about Avery that was assembled by Joshua Lederberg, reflecting his interest in the older scientist's work.. In March of 1999, Profiles mounted a site devoted to the work of Joshua Lederberg (b. 1925), who did path-breaking work in genetics as a student at Yale University. He then had a distinguished career at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University before becoming president and now research scholar at Rockefeller University. This digital archive reflects Lederberg's wide-ranging work in bacterial genetics, artificial intelligence, exobiology, biological warfare, and public health, as well as his role as a public figure in issues of science and society. Lederberg received the Nobel Prize in 1958, at the age of 33, for "his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria." Profiles continues to scan material from the Lederberg collection and add them to the site.

In November 1999, a selection from the papers of Martin Rodbell (1925-1998) was posted. From 1956 until his death, Rodbell was an NIH biochemist and molecular endocrinologist at the National Heart Institute and the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, and, from 1985, he was Scientific Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He shared the Nobel Prize in 1994 for the discovery of "G-proteins and the role of these proteins in signal transduction in cells," that is, for studies of inter- and intra-cellular communications systems. In May 2000, the Julius Axelrod (b. 1912) collection was made available on Profiles. Axelrod is an NIH pharmacologist and neuroscientist who shared the 1970 Nobel Prize for the discoveries "concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation." After starting out at New York City Department of Laboratory of Industrial Hygiene, he came to NIH in 1949, first at the National Heart Institute and then the National Institute of Mental Health, where he did his most famous research project on the activity of neurotransmitter hormones.

The Christian Anfinsen (1916-1995) collection was mounted on Profiles in November 2000. Anfinsen was the American biochemist at NIH and the Johns Hopkins University who shared the 1972 Nobel Prize for work that helped to explain the structure - the "native conformation" - of enzymatic proteins in living cells. The Marshall Nirenberg (b. 1927) collection is planned to be put on the web in 2001. The site will focus on his seminal work in deciphering the genetic code that maps sequences in DNA to protein composition. For this accomplishment he shared the Nobel Prize in 1968.

Profiles in Science works both in the archival sphere and in the historical one. Archivists on the project work with donors to acquire the materials. Then they arrange and describe the papers, producing traditional archival finding aids, and once this work is complete, the collections are available to on-site researchers. The archivists add the "metadata"-item-level cataloging data-into the database that manages the digitization process. They oversee the scanning process, ensuring good quality images for storage and for use, and they request permission for web publication of the documents from copyright holders.

Historians of medicine and science interpret the documentary materials for the web publication. First of all, they select the materials to be digitized - very few digitization projects are comprehensive - focussing on materials produced by the subject or where he played a significant role. The historians then research and write introductory "exhibits" for each site: narrative accounts of the life and work of the subject combined with a selection of about 75 documents and photographs from the digital collection. These exhibits form the main introductions to the collections. (Nonetheless, the exhibit sections lead directly only to a portion of the digital collections. Access to the full digital collection is through alphabetical and chronological listings as well as by means of a search engine. In the future, access will also be through an on-line finding aid.)

Though predominantly textual materials, the collections that we deal with are quite various. They contain both published and unpublished items, including books, journal articles, pamphlets, diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, audiotapes, video clips, and other materials. In some cases, "digitally born" items, that is, those composed directly on computer, form part of the collections as well.

Profiles in Science will finish its first six websites in 2001. The project will continue after that along two paths. First, NLM staff are now in the planning stages of a joint project with the American Philosophical Society to digitize portions of the papers of Barbara McClintock. The Library is also in discussion with Oregon State University Library about digitizing selections from the Linus Pauling papers. Second, the project will be turning its attention to significant figures in biomedical research administration or public health, such as papers of NIH Directors or papers of the Surgeons-General. In this way, The library the project plans to expand the context for biomedical research by looking at how research is supported and directed, and at its implications for public health.

Digitization and web publication are exciting ways of making history and archives widely available. We think that we have the best of both worlds. The collections of Nobel Prize winning scientists have fascinating documents in them as well as fascinating stories underlying them. With the figures that we have to work with, the stories often interlock as well, given that many had careers at the National Institutes of Health. Combining traditional archival techniques with digital technology, we can put researchers instantly in contact with primary documentary materials. Combining traditional methods of historical research and interpretation with digital technology, we can write good history and bring it to anyone with an internet connection. In this way, we are adding to the story of post-War biomedical science, and encouraging others to add to it as well.

Profiles in Science is on the web at www.profiles.nlm.nih.gov. The Project Director of Profiles in Science is Alexa McCray, Ph.D., Director of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, while Elizabeth Fee, Ph.D., provides oversight in the History of Medicine Division as its Chief. Current project staff include Paul Theerman, Ph.D., Interim Digital Program Manager, Digital Archivists Christie Mawhinney and Gregory Pike, Historians Dr. Walter Hickel and Dr. David Serlin, Archivist Kim Dixon, Indexer Lisa DeHoff, Technical Project Leader Marie E. Gallagher, and many other archivists, historians, programmers, scanners, and technical support personnel. Inquires about Profiles may be directed to profiles@nlm.nih.gov. Inquiries about research in the historical collections may be directed to the reference desk of the History of Medicine Division at hmdref@nlm.nih.gov or 301-402-8878. The Library is located at 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland (Washington Metro stop: Medical Center) and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. In the preparation of this article, the assistance of the staff of the Lister Hill Center and the Digital Manuscripts Program is gratefully acknowledged.

 


New Collections at the American Philosophical Society: Bentley Glass and Frances E. Clayton

R. S. Cox
American Philosophical Society

Bentley Glass
Bentley Glass (b. 1906) received his first lessons in inheritance when he was born to Baptist missionary parents in Laichowfu, Shandong Province, China, on January 17, 1906. From that point on -- from his earliest experiences in teaching natural history (in Chinese) to junior college students in Hwanghsien in 1923, to the latest stages of his career -- Glass evinced a stubborn missionary streak manifested in his passion for promoting genetics and his commitment to guiding secondary education in the sciences.

After graduating from Baylor University (AB, 1926; MA, 1929), Glass entered the exciting program at Texas (Austin) lead by H.J. Muller and J. P. Patterson, earning a doctorate at the height of the Great Depression in 1932. Following a two year NRC fellowship in Oslo and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, he was appointed instructor at Stephens College in Missouri (1934-1938), followed by ten years at another women's college, Goucher, in Maryland. He earned promotion to full professor there in 1946. Although teaching duties suppressed his rate of publication during the later 1930s, Glass remained productive and his reputation in the field grew steadily. His first academic paper -- a 1931 study of respiration in the ever-popular hibernating horned toad of Texas -- was followed in the next year by his first paper on the organism with which he is most closely associated, Drosophila. His early work on mosaic eye-color mutants and crossing over in D. melanogaster, developed, by 1940, into a long-term interest in the study of radiation-induced mutation and chromosomal aberrations. In the 1940s, too, he pursued an active research program in human genetics, examining blood group polymorphisms, radiation-induced damage, and gene flow between populations. Perhaps the best known of these studies focussed on the Dunkers, a semi-isolated religious sect, in which Glass provided the first convincing evidence of the operation of genetic drift in a human population.

Glass's increasing scientific reputation earned a call to the Department of Biology at Johns Hopkins (1948-1965) and later to the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1965-1976). Despite extensive administrative commitments -- including a six year stint as Academic Vice President at Stony Brook -- Glass was immensely productive throughout the 1950s through 1970s, and by the mid-1990s, his list of publications had grown to over 390. Fittingly, for a man of such productivity, he was also sought after as an editor. Most famously, Glass was the heart and soul of Quarterly Review of Biology for over fifty years, serving as editor, associate editor, and emeritus editor, but he served as well on the editorial boards of Journal of the History of Biology; Journal of the History of Ideas, Isis, and the Mendel Newsletter. Glass was granted emeritus status when he retired from Stony Brook in 1976.

The Glass Papers hold promise as a major resource for research into the history and practice of genetics during the latter half of the 20th century, and particularly for the relation of genetics to larger social and governmental structures. Documenting every phase of Glass' career, the collection contains approximately 90 linear feet of correspondence, research notes, publications, and administrative records concentrated in the period beginning with his arrival at Johns Hopkins until the mid-1990s. Because of his extensive academic and administrative commitments, Glass's papers reflect a much broader scope than an interest in the humble Drosophila might imply. His own research is characterized by an inherent interdisciplinarity, mingling an underlying interest in in evolutionary processes, an intense awareness of the social context (and complications) of the genetic enterprise, and an early and avid interest in the history of his discipline.

As author of works such as Science and Liberal Education (1960) and Science and Ethical Values (1965), Glass spoke directly to the ethical and social implications of genetic work, and he commented regularly on eugenics and human evolution throughout the 1950s and 1960s. His committee work brought him into regular, intimate contact with the federal government, not only as a grantee, but as consultant, advisor, and occasionally watchdog. For eight years beginning in the mid-1950s, Glass was a member of the AEC Advisory Committee for Biology and Medicine, growing out of his research into the induction of mutations at low levels of radiation, and he became responsible for visiting and reporting on the AEC laboratories at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Brookhaven. In another guise, he was chair of the AAUP Special Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure in the Quest for National Security during the height of the McCarthy era. In part, Glass was responsible for monitoring attempts to censure or expel academics for their political views. Perhaps not coincidentally, he was simultaneously president of the Maryland Chapter of the ACLU (1955-1965).

The Glass collection includes particularly thorough documentation -- more than ten linear feet-- of Glass' part in developing standards for biology education in high schools . From his formative years teaching high school biology at Timpson (Texas) High with studying for his masters degree, Glass served on committees such as the Committee on the Teaching of Biology in the Secondary Schools of the United States, the Union of American Biological Societies (1937-42), and the Committee on Science Education (which he chaired, 1967-71). The most important of these appointments was as chair of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, on which he served for ten years and chaired from 1959 to 1965. The BSCS exerted a profound influence on biological education in American high schools through the three text books they authorized in the early 1960s which came to account for almost half of all the high schools biology texts used in the country.

From the 1940s, Glass's attention was often directed to writing about the history of his profession. Through his editorial activities, he had a major impact on the writing of the history of genetics in America both as author and editor, but from the perspective of Chestnut Street, he is particularly remembered as the Director of the History of Genetics project from 1977 to 1987. Through that project, the papers of dozens of American geneticists were preserved, many ending their days by belying our favorite native, W. C. Fields, residing happily in Philadelphia.

The Glass Papers will be available for research by the late Spring, 2001, with full cataloging to follow.

Frances Clayton

The papers of Frances E. Clayton arrived at the APS in January, 2001, too late for a more complete review. A native of Texarkana, Clayton exhibits a number of peculiar career parallels with Bentley Glass, though she seems never to have strayed from her place of birth for long. Like Glass, Clayton settled early into the study of Drosophila, receiving her doctorate under Wilson Stone at the University of Texas in 1951 for a study of Phenotypic Abnormalities of the Eyes of Lozenge alleles in Drosophila melanogaster. After a brief appointment as instructor at the University of Arkansas while completing her dissertation, Clayton returned to Austin for three years as an instructor and postdoctoral fellow. Three years later, it was back to the University of Arkansas, where she remained until the end of her career.

Following a period of interest in radiation-induced mutation in Drosophila, Clayton embarked on the most ambitious project of her career, a study of "undisturbed" populations of Drosophila in Hawaii conducted between 1963 and 1983 with attention to the systematic relations and patterns of chromosomal evolution of Hawaiian Drosphilidae. During most of this period, Clayton maintained a close working relationship with Hampton Carson, whose papers also reside at the APS.

Clayton's papers comprise approximately 25 linear feet of correspondence, research notes, photographs, course notes, and publications. Her earliest work, prior to 1965, is not particularly well documented, however the fruits of her Hawaiian years are well developed. The collection includes a rather extensive set of teaching notes for courses in genetics, human genetics, and evolution at the University of Arkansas, and approximately half a linear foot of materials relating to the legal battle against the law pass in Arkansas during the early 1980s mandating "equal time" in teaching of "Creation Science" and evolution. Clayton's papers will be available for research in the Spring, 2001.


 


APS Library Resident Research Fellowships
2001-2002

The American Philosophical Society Library is accepting applications for short-term residential fellowships for conducting research in its collections. The Society's Library, located near Independence Hall in Philadelphia, is a leading international center for research in the history of American science and technology and their European roots, as well as early American history and culture. The Library houses over 7 million manuscripts, 190,000 volumes and bound periodicals, and thousands of maps and prints. Outstanding historical collections and subject areas include the papers of Benjamin Franklin; the American Revolution; 18th and 19th-century natural history; western scientific expeditions and travel; the Peale-Sellers papers; American Indian languages; anthropology; the papers of Charles Darwin and his forerunners, colleagues, critics, and successors; genetics and eugenics; biochemistry, physiology, and biophysics; 20th-century medical research; and modern physics. (The Library does not hold materials on philosophy in the modem sense.)

The fellowships, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, are intended to encourage research in the Library's collections by scholars who reside beyond a 75-mile radius of Philadelphia. The fellowships are open to both U. S. citizens and foreign nationals who are holders of the Ph.D. or the equivalent, Ph.D. candidates who have passed their preliminary exams, and . independent scholars. Applicants in any relevant field of scholarship may apply. The stipend is $2,000 per month, and the term of the fellowship is a minimum of one month and a maximum of three, taken between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002. Fellows are expected to be in residence for four consecutive weeks during the period of their award.

There is no special application form and this notice provides all the essential information needed to apply. Applicants should submit the following: (1) cover sheet stating a) name, b) title of project, c) expected period of residence, d) institutional affiliation, e) mailing address, f) telephone numbers, and g) social security number; (2) a letter (not to exceed three single-spaced pages) which briefly describes the project and how it relates to existing scholarship, states the specific relevance of the American Philosophical Society's collections to the project, and indicates expected results of the research (such as publications); (3) a c.v. or resume; and (4) one letter of reference (doctoral candidates' must use their dissertation advisor). Published guides to the Society's collections are available in most research libraries, and a list of these guides is available on request. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Library staff by mail or phone regarding the collections.

Address applications or inquiries to:

Mellon Fellowships
American Philosophical Society Library
105 South Fifth St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386
Telephone: (215) 440-3400.
Applications must be received by March 1 of application cycle year.