By William Steere
A 50th birthday is an effective one to celebrate-old adequate to be ex perienced and mature, yet now not so previous as to be an vintage. And if the fifty years have spanned as a lot switch in medical affairs as has happened throughout the life of organic Abstracts it really is definitely time for a stocktaking. The leaders of biology in 1926 easily couldn't have imagined the condi tions of 1976. And few biologists energetic in 1976 can think what 1926 was once like. That was once earlier than the explosive development of federal money for study and improvement, earlier than the massive swelling of graduate enrollments and levels, ahead of global warfare II, even earlier than the nice melancholy! a number of old-timers can bear in mind 1926, and invoice Steere will forgive me for calling him an old-timer. finally, he offers the proof himself; as a graduate scholar he met the 1st editor whilst organic Abstracts used to be basically 3 years previous, and he has identified all its later editors and administra tive officials. What he doesn't say is that tn size of provider to BIOSIS, in seniority, he stands between just a couple of earlier and current participants of the board of trustees; nor does he point out that no less than as usually as the other biologist he has been referred to as upon to serve on governmental and associational councils and committees facing coverage and technique in regards to the abstracting, class, and dissemination of clinical wisdom. absolutely he was once definitely the right option to write this history.
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Additional resources for Biological Abstracts / BIOSIS: The First Fifty Years. The Evolution of a Major Science Information Service
Its contemporary, Botanical Abstracts, and its successor, Biological Abstracts, had to face many crises, some of them nearly fatal, whereas Abstracts of Bacteriology had a comparatively uneventful and tranquil nine years of existence. In addition to the fact that it was easily derived from the Journal of Bacteriology, which already contained abstracts, largely as a matter of expediency, it also gained much of its stability from being the organ of a large and successful society, the Society of American Bacteriologists, which is today the largest of all biological societies, the American Society for Microbiology.
J. Conn), botanical education (c. Stuart Gager), cytology (c. J. Chamberlain), ecology and plant geography (Henry C. Cowles), forestry (Raphael Zon), genetics (G. H. Shull), history, biography, and bibliography (J. H. Barnhart), horticulture (W. H. Chandler), morphology (E. W. Sinnott), paleobotany (E. W. Berry), pathology (Donald Reddick), pharmacognosy (Henry Kraemer), physiology(B. M. Duggar), and taxonomyO. M:GreenmanandJ. R. Schramm). " It is perfectly obvious that a great deal of thoughtful preparation, planning, and behind-the-scenes arranging had been done by the botanical editors in advance of these meetings in order that the second meeting, on December 30, should have been so productive of wise and necessary decisions.
Correspondence about the defaulted bonds still continues as they turn up in the files of deceased botanists. A typical exchange of letters is repro~ duced here. After the merger of Botanical Abstracts with Biological Abstracts at the end of 1925, Prof. Harley H. Bartlett of the University of Michigan, who had been the last chairman of the board of control, arranged for the files of back numbers of Botanical Abstracts to be transferred from their expensive warehouse to the University of Michigan for storage at no cost.