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The Academy during the Great Depression WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (~93 ~—~935) If Herbert Hoover, an Academy member since ~922, seldom called for the advice of the Academy or the Research Council while he was Secretary of Commerce (~9~-~9~8), he ceased to do so altogether when he became President of the United States in ~9~9. Nevertheless, the twenties were busy years for the Academy, which received re- quests for information on peripheral concerns of the federal depart- ments. As the initial panic subsided after the stock market crash in October ~9~9, Hoover instituted market and bank reforms and poured funds into state and federal public works in an effort to shore up the shattered economy. Suddenly in ~93~ the currencies and markets of Europe collapsed, and nothing here or elsewhere could stay the worldwide depression that ensued. The year that Europe collapsed and this country entered into the Great Depression, Campbell, then in his seventieth year, was elected 317

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318 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) William Wallace Campbell, President of the Academy, ~93~-~935 (From the archives of the Academy). President of the Academy. He held office through one of the unhap- piest periods in the administrative history of the Academy. William Wallace Campbell came of Scottish pioneers who settled in Ohio in the late eighteenth century. The last of six children. he was 7 born on April ~ I, ~862. He demonstrated all through school a marked talent for mathematics, and with the encouragement of his teachers entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in ~88e to , · . · . study ClV1 englneerlng. In his third year at Michigan, he read Simon Newcomb's Popular Astronomy (~8~8), found a friend in John M. Schaeberle, the Director of the University Observatory, and discovered his lifework. His read- ing of James C. Watson's Theoretical Astronomy (~868) inspired him to make his first calculations of comet orbits. After graduation, Campbell was Professor of Mathematics at the University of Colorado for two years. In ~888, when Schaeberle resigned his position at Ann Arbor to join the staff of the new Lick Observatory at the University of California, Campbell was invited to Michigan as an instructor in astronomy. In October ~889, Campbell wrote Director Edward S. Holden at Lick, asking if he could spend the time from June to September at the observatory learning about the

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 319 instruments and helping in any way he could. He was granted permission and did so. In November 1890, he applied as a special student at Lick for the summer of ~89~, and was again accepted. However, on April 22, ~89~, Holden nominated Campbell as as- tronomer, and he came to Lick in that capacity. Campbell appears to have been a compulsive and tireless worker all his life; and he found his calling at a propitious time, for astronomy in the decades around the turn of the century was a wonderfully fertile field for newcomers. His career was launched when the international interest in the discovery of a brilliant "new" star in ~89~ led him to the study of the spectra of nebulae. He noted that the spectral lines did not have the same relative intensity in all parts of a nebula. This conclusion was hotly disputed by other astronomers, but Campbell marshaled evidence that compelled its general acceptance. His assertion in ~894 of the relative scarcity of water-vapor and oxygen in the Martian atmosphere provoked another controversy, whose final resolution seetns only now in sight. The debate lasted for well over a decade, as his continued observations questioned the long-held beliefs of many able astronomers in the possibility of life on Mars. In agog he made interesting observations of Polaris, which suggested it was a multiple system. Later observations have shown that Polaris is a binary system of which the main component is a pulsating star. Campbell's appointment as Director of Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton in egos, the year before he was elected to Academy mem- bership, turned him with reluctance to administrative duties, which proved no deterrent, however, to the long years he was to spend on observations of the radial velocities of stars and nebulae. In ~896 he had begun recording these quantities, fundamental to the calculation of the scale and structure of our stellar system and of the "universe," and finally, with Dr. Joseph H. Moore, assembled and published the great catalogue, Radial Velocities of Stars, in ~ 928. He considered it the most important work of his career. His observations of the gravitational deviation of light, which he made during an eclipse in 9, first made a definitive verification of Einstein's prediction of that phenomenon from his general theory of relativity. It was on Campbell's return from another eclipse expedi- tion in ~923 that he was met by a delegation of the regents and offered the presidency of the University of California. While retain- ing the direction of his Observatory, he guided the University firmly for the next seven years. In Ago, in his sixty-eighth year and with failing sight in one

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320 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) ey~he lost it two years later he announced his retirement. Hon- ored as President Emeritus of the University and Director Emeritus and Astronomer Emeritus of the Observatory, he retired to his home on Mount Hamilton. Ten months later he received word that he had been nominated to succeed Dr. Morgan as President of the Academy, and was persuaded by his long-time friend, fellow academician, and colleague at the Observatory, William Hammond Wright, to accept the office.2 He did so, as his good friend E. B. Wilson said, "after a long and most distinguished astronomical career more or less isolated atop Mt. Hamilton," to pilot the Academy through what seemed likely to be a static period in its affairs.S Dr. Campbell's close associates in what he called "the higher admin- istration of the Academy" were E. B. Wilson, managing editor of the Academy Proceedings since ~9~4 and one keenly aware of the Acad- emy's intimate history; David White, former Chief Geologist of the Geological Survey and Vice-President of the Academy; Arthur L. Day, Director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institu- tion of Washington and, in ~933, successor to White as Academy Vice-President; Fred E. Wright, petrologist in the Carnegie Institu- tion's Geophysical Laboratory and Home Secretary of the Academy; and John C. Merriam, President of the Carnegie Institution, White's predecessor as Vice-President of the Academy, and Chairman of several of the Academy's standing committees.4 Reorganization of the National Research Council At the outset of Campbell's presidency, the Academy and the Re- search Council were, like the nation, reacting to the onset of the Depression. Funds for the administration of the Academy had always been inadequate, and those for the Research Council had become so reduced that plans were being made for curtailment of its operations.5 Contributing to the uncertain state of Council affairs was the sudden illness and resignation in the winter of ~93~ of Vernon L. Kellogg, ~ William H. Wright, NAS, Biographical Memoirs 25 :3~75 ( ~ 949); Science 71 :50~50 (May ~6, ~93°). 2 Biographical Memoirs, ibid., pp. 5 I, 53. E. B. Wilson to Frederick Seitz, June Id, ~964 (NAS Archives: ORG: Historical Data). ~ See William W. Campbell to Fred E. Wright, June So, ~933 (NAS Archives: ORG: NAS: General). 5 NAS, Annual Reportfor 1929-30, pp. 20, 22; 1930-31, p. 2-3.

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William Henry Howell, Chair- man of the National Research Council, ~ 932- ~ 933 (From the archives of the Academy). The Academy during the Great Depression / 321 Permanent Secretary of the Research Council since ~9~9 and a key ~ . . . figure In its operations. The need to consider reorganization of the Research Council led to the reactivation, in the early spring of ~932, of its long-dormant Committee on Policies.6 On April ~9, with Robert A. Millikan presid- ing, the committee met to reconsider, in the light of almost fifteen years of activities, the structure and policies of the Research Council. It appointed a subcommittee to recommend changes in the organiza- tion that would see it through the next decade.7 6 The committee had last met briefly in April ~928 and found "no formal change in the structure of the Research Council necessary or desirable" (report in NAS Archives: EX Bd: Committee on Policies: ~ 9~ 8 ). For a restatement of the relationship of the Research Council to the Academy at that time, see "Minutes of Meeting," Committee on Policies, April 24, Age, p. ~7; Merriam statement in NAS, "Minutes, Exec. Com. Meeting," October 25, ~932, pp. 479-480. 7 NAS, Annual Report for 1931-32, pp. 38-39. To the normal complement of Millikan, ]. S. Ames, G. K. Burgess, Gano Dunn, V. Kellogg, and R. Pearl, the committee on that occasion also included Campbell, I. Bowman, K. T. Compton, S. Flexner, G. E. Hale, W. H. Howell, F. Jewett, F. R. Lillie, J. C. Merriam, and F. E. Wright (NAS, Annual Report for 1931-32, p. ~56). Others attending later committee meetings included E. G. Conklin, John Johnston, Max Mason,

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322 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) The committee agreed on the need for the National Research Council, but felt that it had become overorganized. In seeking the widest possible representation of national scientific societies, its divi- sions had grown cumbersome. The size of some divisions, said the Chairman-elect of the Research Council, Dr. William H. Howell, approached "the characteristics of a national society itself." The ad- ministrative apparatus was overstructured, and the Council as a whole had tended to emphasize organization rather than projects. It was further hampered by its dependence upon outside donors. Provision should somehow be made for assured and adequate operating funds; and more substantial research endowment funds ought to be at its own disposal.8 Instead of basing its activities largely on the divisional organization, as it tended to do, the Research Council should be promoting ac- tivit~es of the widest possible importance to the nation by actively aiding industry, stimulating greater research efforts in science and industry, urging more and better research equipment, and encourag- ing exploration in new fields.9 It ought to promote more education in science, more training in new scientific techniques, and greater coor- dination of research activities. The Research Council should be, as Arthur A. Noyes declared, the "one central unifying national organi- zation of science."~° Millikan suggested that with strong direction in the Council it might be possible to abolish the divisional organization completely and simply organize around the Chairman and research projects. This, however, was left to the Policies Subcommittee, appointed to consider ~1. A. Noyes, F. K. Richtmyer, William H. Welch, and A. L. Barrows. (The italicized were involved in the founding of the Research Council in ~9~6.) The subcommittee that met on May 26 under Millikan comprised I. Bowman, K. T. Compton, S. Flexner, W. H. Howell, F. B. Jewett, J. C. Merriam, F. R. Lillie, and F. E. Wright. The committee, subcommittee, and invited participants in the deliberations numbered almost fifty and had prepared a 26g-page "Consolidated Report Upon the Activities of the National Research Council from ~9~9 to ~932," subsequently revised as "A History of the National Research Council, ~9~8-~933" and published in Science 77 (April-July ~933) and as a volume in the NRC, Reprint and Circular Series (No. bob, ~933). See R. A. Millikan to A. L. Barrows, March 5, ~932 (NAS Archives: ORG: NRC Reorganization). Committee on Policies, "Minutes of Meeting," April ~9, ~932, p. I; ibid., "Transcript," April 24, ~932, pp. 25, 28, 32 (NAS Archives: ORG: NRC Reorganization). 9 Ibid., "Transcript," April 24, ~932, pp. ~7-~9, 26, 29-3~. The much-discussed "new fields" referred in almost every instance to "overlapping projects" and "interrelated research," soon to be better known as "borderland re- search." Tibia., "Transcript," April 24, ~932, pp. 20, 26-27.

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The Academy during the Great Depression / 3 2 3 whether to continue the present organization or streamline it and whether or not to put "more emphasis upon research projects than upon science-divisional machinery" and its relations with national societies. ~~ If Millikan's committee was highly concerned that the Council was "depressed financially like everyone else," Isaiah Bowman, on the subcommittee, was more concerned that science was in imminent danger of becoming the scapegoat for the current plight of the nation. There was a serious challenge, he said, "from the assumption of historians, economists and educators that physical scientists have . . . a smooth-running scheme . . . [and] that the physical sciences are essentially materialistic and [so] have . . . contributed to the chaos of the times." He proposed that the Council prepare a "Charter for Science" that would counter this image and the idea that science consisted solely of making discoveries for the increase of material safety or comfort. No charter was produced, however, and science remained on the defensive throughout the decade. The report of the subcommittee in May ~932, with its concern for maintaining close relations with the national societies, recom- mended no change in the organization of the seven science and technology divisions, but instead reduction to committee status or even discontinuance of the Divisions of Foreign Relations, States Relations, and Educational Relations. It also recommended longer terms of office for division chairmen and appointment of a full-time Research Council Chairman at a substantial salary. An absentee member of the subcommittee, Frank R. Lillie, mailed in his report. His proposal was designed to promote a greater sense of unity in the Research Council and foster interdisciplinary or border- land research, but more immediately to simplify the Council's cum- bersome structure and adapt it to reduced resources. He recom- mended consolidating the four divisions of general relations into one and the seven science divisions into threes Specifically, he proposed 3 Ibid., "Transcript," April 24, ~932, pp. ~3, ~5-~6; "Minutes . . . ," April ~9, ~932, p. 3. '2 Ibid., "Minutes. . . ," April ~9, p. 2, and "Transcript," April 24, ~932, p. 35; Isaiah Bowman to William H. Howell, May 9, ~932; Barrows to Subcommittee on Policies, May 23, ~932 (NAS Archives: ORG: NRC Reorganization). Bowman's "Charter" was prompted by Charles A. Beard, A Charter for the Social Sciences in the Schools (New York: Scribner's, ~932), for the American Historical Association. Bowman was on the AHA commission on direction. ` "Minutes of Meeting of Subcommittee," May 26, ~932. ~4 Frank R. Lillie to Subcommittee on Policies, May 23, ~932 (NAS Archives: ORG: NRC Reorganization).

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324 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (~93 ~—~935) a division of physical sciences merging physical sciences, chemistry and chemical technology, and geology and geography. A new biologi- cal sciences division would comprise medical sciences, biology and agriculture, and anthropology and psychology. A new division of engineering and technology would combine the Division of Engineer- ing and Industrial Research and the Research Information Service. An advisory committee in each of the new divisions, selected by the principal national societies concerned, was to represent jointly its subdivisions. At some variance with the subcommittee recommendations, the reorganization plans assembled a month later by Howell and Noyes, with modifications by Millikan, proposed a permanent full-time Chairman (variously designated as Director, President, Secretary, and Chairman) with powers and salary comparable to those of a university president; retention of all divisions, general and scientific; and three-year appointments for division chairmen, unsalaried in the general divisions, part-time and salaried in the scientific divisions. A last-minute letter from George Ellery Hale supported a reduction in the structure of the Research Council, but strongly urged retention of all existing divisions and particularly of the support of the national scientific societies.~5 In April ~ 933, sixteen months after Kellogg's resignation, the revisions made in the Articles of Organization and Bylaws of the Research Council left the divisional structure intact and combined the functions of the Permanent Secretary and the Chairman in the latter's office. Instead of being elected annually, the Chairman was to hold office at the pleasure of the Council's Executive Board. The executive and administrative structures of the Research Council were simplified and their effectiveness further increased by extension of the term of division chairmen from one to three years. Finally, the membership of divisions and committees remained constant, but the total number of members in the Research Council itself was decreased by a reduction in the number of members-at-large. The effect was greater centralization in the administration of Council affairs and increased interest in projects of larger scope than had been practicable before. The reorganization greatly enhanced the status of the Chairman of the National Research Council, a position previously unsalaried and of brief tenure, but in which now rested the ~5 "Minutes of Meeting," June 2~, ~932, and attached reorganization plans and Hale letter (NAS Archives: ORG: NRC Reorganization). '6NAs,AnnualReportfor1932-33, pp.28-2g, ~37-~4~;1933-34, pp.48-4g.

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Isaiah Bowman, Chairman of the National Research Council, ~933-~935 (From the archives of the Academy). The Academy during the Great Depression / 325 initiative for policymaking and the direction of research projects that had previously belonged to the Permanent Secretary.~7 Seeking a vigorous executive to head the renascent Research Coun- cil, Millikan persuaded recently elected Academy member Isaiah Bowman to accept the nomination. Bowman had been a member of the wartime Research Council, Director since ~9~5 of the American Geographical Society, and the country's leading expert in geography. He was aggressive, highly articulate, and a tireless worker, qualities reflecting his evangelical background. Some years before, while he was serving as physiographer for the Justice Department in a bound- ary case, his somewhat augural testimony was disputed, and he is alleged to have replied: "I am called a major prophet; my name is Isaiah."~9 The calling was clear, as Bowman became Chairman on July I, ~933. The nation was now in the depths of the Depression. Although invested with new aims and energy, the Research Council had again to 7 See Appendix G for the succession of NRC Chairmen. ~8 Millikan to Frank B. Jewett, July ~2, ~946 (NAS Archives: Jewett file 50.7~). ~9 Of many versions of Bowman's retort, this is from Current Biography 1945, p. 66.

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326 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931 - 1935) retrench as both its operating and maintenance funds continued to drop at the rate of more than 15 percent each year.20 And science and technology were under increasing attack, stigmatized as the source of the excessive production that had led to runaway inflation and the collapse of world markets. Three months after taking office, Bowman had the opportunity to exercise some of its new prerogatives and to restore confidence in the estate of science. This opportunity, described in Chapter is, was the creation and extraordinary adventure of the Research Council's Science Advisory Board. Borderland Science An interested participant in the reorganization of the Research Coun- cil was Floyd K. Richtmyer, physicist, Dean of the Cornell Graduate School, and Chairman of the NRC'S Division of Physical Sciences. All meetings of the Committee on Policies had been greatly concerned with the promotion of new fields of science, and Richtmyer's division was then involved in developing two such fields, biochemistry and biophysics. Notable advances were being made in both fields as a result of the application of the quantitative methods of physics and physical chemistry to investigations of biological and medical phenomena through the use of new microscopic, spectroscopic, and photometric techniques. The words "interdiscipline" and "multidiscipline" did not appear in dictionaries until the Ages, but the crossing of disciplines, as a potentially valuable tool of science, had been advocated by George Ellery Hale as early as agog. The theme of a lecture he gave at the Royal Institution in London that year, on the rewarding results of applying the methods and principles of one science to the exploration 20 Between ~93~ and ~937, total operating funds disbursed by the Research Council plummeted from $~,oo4,6~s to $474,284, and general maintenance funds, for the expenses of the divisions and their committees, salaries, publications, supplies, and other expenses, from $~66,365 to $90,234 (NAS, Annual Report for 1930-31, pp. 45-46 · 1936-37, p. 39). 2~ The history of biochemistry dates from the late eighteenth century. Biophysics goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century and the discourses of Antoine Lavoisier and Claude Bernard on the necessity of applying the exact sciences to the empirical sciences of life. See P. Lecomte du Nouy's introduction to "Molecular Physics in Relation to Biology," NRC, Bulletin 69 (May ~929).

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 3 2 7 Charles G. Abbot, Floyd K. Richtmyer, Herbert E. Ives, and James McKeen Cattell at the Academy meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, November 20, ~934 (Photograph courtesy the Smithsonian Institution). of another, was one that he elaborated again and again throughout his career.22 In the spring of ~ 9 ~ 2, Hale had proposed that the Academy foster, as the scientific societies could not, interest in "subjects lying between the old-established divisions of science: for example, in physical chemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, etc.," where recently some of the greatest advances in science had been made. "Such subjects as physi- ology and psychology have been transformed," he said, "by the application of physical and chemical methods," and by encouraging attention "to papers in departments of science other than their own, [Academy] members are almost sure to encounter valuable sugges- tions regarding research methods which can be anolied. directly or in modified form, in their own field of work."23 ~ ~ , 22 Helen Wright, Explorer of the Universe: A Biography of George Ellery Hale (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., ~966), pp. 227, Rio. An early instance of "the interfiliation of seemingly divergent scientific research," or interdisciplinary research, was reported in the New York Daily Tribune on October 3 I, ~873, in a note on Academy member Alfred M. Mayer's investigation of "the hum of the musketo's wing." See also NAS, Biographical Memoirs 8:253-254 (~9~6). 23 G. E. Hale to C. D. Walcott, May ~7, ~9~2 (NAS Archives: NAS: Future of NAS). The "inter-relations of the fields of science" was a major theme of Hale's National Academies and the Progress of Research (Lancaster, Pa: New Era Printing Co., n.d.), reprinted from his Science articles, ~ 9 ~ 3- ~ 9 ~ 5.

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336 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931 - 1935) widespread ignorance on the part of physicists and medical re- searchers of each other's methods, problems, and capabilities.45 Brackett's proposal in ~933 offered renewed hope, and Richtmyer promptly appointed Williams Chairman of an Advisory Committee on a Service Institute for Biological Physics. A year later, in June ~934, the Washington Biophysical Laboratory came into being. A new Research Council Committee on Biophysics, under Lyman I. Briggs of the National Bureau of Standards, became adviser to the Laboratory and also constituted its Board of Directors. The Labora- tory was an innovation of some complexity; it took shape slowly, sustained by the Research Council and the interest of the Research Council's new biologist Chairman, Dr. Lillie.46 More than two years passed in planning a program and formulat- ing policy, during which, in order to emphasize its contemplated independent status and to attract funds, the Laboratory was renamed the Washington Biophysical Institute (WBl) and Frederick Brackett became Director. In February ~937 the Rockefeller Foundation made a grant to the Research Council of $7s,ooo over a f~ve-year period for the Institute's planned joint researches with the U.S. Public Health Service and National Bureau of Standards, beginning with a long- planned study of the photochemistry of sterols.47 Later in the year, with a new type of recording spectrometer and two spectrographs, the original staff of the Institute a sterol chemist and his assistant, a biophysicist, and an instrument maker set to work in a laboratory provided at American University and in shop space made available at the Bureau of Standards. Several months later, the main group moved into a new industrial hygiene laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.48 45 Richtmyer to Trowbridge, January lo, ~92~ (NAS Archives: PS: Committee on Physiological Optics); "Conference on Biophysics," February 2~, ~920; Trowbridge to Horatio B. Williams, December so, ~920 (NAS Archives: PS: Committee on Biophysics). 46 NAS, Annual Report for 1934-35, p. 54; WBE, "Report on Activities . . . ," April 28, ~935; Barrows to Brackett, November 23, ~935; "Program Proposal," n.d. but probably early summer ~935 (NAS Archives: PS: Board of Directors of WBl). Members of the ~933 Advisory Committee were Briggs; Detlev W. Bronk, Director of the University of Pennsylvania's Johnson Foundation for Medical Physics; E. Newton Harvey, Princeton physiologist; and Kenneth S. Cole, Columbia physiologist. Members of the committee and Board of Directors (~934-~937) were Briggs; Richtmyer; Vincent du Vigneaud, Professor of Biochemistry at the George Washington University School of Medicine; George W. McCoy, Director of the National Institute of Health; James W. Jobling, Columbia physiologist; and F. S. Brackett, Secretary of the Board and Director of Research (NAS, Annual Reportfor 1933-34, p. 66). 47 NAS, Annual Report for 1935-36, pp. 48-49; 1936-37, p. 37. 48 Secretary, Rockefeller Foundation, to Hektoen, February z4, ~937 (NAS Archives: PS:

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 33 7 With a somewhat larger staff the next year, the Washington Biophysical Institute expanded the original program of exploratory research in biophysical problems and development of instruments and methods in quantitative biology to include a third objective, the initiation of specific investigations having immediate application to federal research projects. One proposal contemplated construction of a mass spectrograph for studies in potential application of some of the new isotope tracers; others looked to studies for the development of a large-scale plant for the separation of heavy isotopes and to an investigation of some of the speculations on uranium fission raised in the pages of the Physical Review in the autumn of ~939.49 In October ~93' Alexander Hollaender, University of Wisconsin biophysicist, arrived at the Institute to extend his studies of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on microorganisms.50 A year after his arrival, Hollaender went to the National Institute of Health with his project, in keeping with the announced policy of the Biophysical Institute that it would initiate or support researches that might not otherwise be undertaken and, when they had demonstrated their value, turn them over with their investigators to an established agency.5~ During the five-year life of the Institute, twelve of its members, invited to study problems of sterol chemistry, the photodynamic action of sunlight, new methods of ultraviolet microscopy, radiation measurement, ul- traviolet emission, and photoisomerization and photochemolysis, left for permanent positions at the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution, and the U.S. Weather Bureau. Even the Bureau Board of Directors of WBl); memorandum, "History and Explanation of WBI," April 28, ~937 (NAS Archives: PS: Committee on Service Institute for Biophysics: Advisory); Brackett, "Annual Report of the WBI, ~938-~939," April 7, ~939, p. ~ (NAs Archives: Division of Physical Sciences Series: INST Assoc: WBl); NAS, Annual Report for 1938-39, PP ~3, 39-4°. 49 NAS, Annual Report for 193940, pp. 52-53. 50 Hollaender had been working for several years at Wisconsin on this problem without success under a grant from the Research Council's Committee on the Effects of Radiation. See NAS, Annual Report for 1928-29, p. 89. . .1936-37, pp. 60-6~; A. Hollaender and Walter D. Claus, "An Experimental Study of the Problem of Mitogene- tic Radiation," NRC, Bulletin 100 Duly ~937). 5~ WBI, "Statement of Policy" [November 30, ~935] (NAS Archives: Ps: Committee on Service Institute: Advisory); "Report of the First Year's Activities of the WBl" [March 4, ~938]; "Annual Report of the WBI, ~938-~939," April 7, ~939, pp. ~-2 (NAS Archives: Division of Physical Sciences Series: INST Assoc: WBl).

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338 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) of Standards made an acquisition before the program ended, hiring away George Steinacher, the Institute's prized instrument maker.52 By the spring of 1941, a biophysical nucleus had been established in the National Institute of Health. Most of the Washington researches had either been transferred or were nearing completion, and the new instruments and methods in biophysical research had been proved. In June 1942, as the original appropriation ran out, the Institute was formally terminated.53 Engineering and Industracll Research From its peak of activity in the l920S, when it was one of the most flourishing elements in the Research Council, the Division of En- g~neering and Industrial Research came close to dissolution during the Depression, according to its Chairman Vannevar Bush, Dean of Engineering and Vice-President of MIT. For a time it seemed to him only a question of "whether it should be discontinued or reduced to a mere paper existence."54 With its office in New York it was the only organizational unit of the Research Council not in Washington the division had continued after World War I as it had during it, as the principal distributor of Engineering Foundation funds and administrator of research proj- ects for its affiliated engineering societies and institutes. It survived a proposal made in the spring of ~92~ that the Foundation take over the division from the Council and achieved new vitality when in ~9~3 Maurice Holland came over from the Army Air Service, where he had been Chief of the Industrial Engineering Branch, to become head of the division staff in New York with the title of Director.55 In January ~924, the division merged with the Division of Research Extension with the expressed purpose "to encourage, initiate, or- ganize and coordinate fundamental and engineering research in the field of industry and to serve as a clearing house for research information of service to industry."56 52 "Annual Report of the WBI, ~94~-~942," p. 7. 53 "Annual Report of the WBI, ~g40-~g4~," p. 4; ink., "~g4~-~g42,"p~sim; NAS, Annul Reportfor 194041, pp. 54-55; 194142, pp. 40-42. 54 Bush report, "The Problem of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research," September 29, ~937, p. ~ (NAS Archives: E&JR: Problem of Division of E&IR). 55 Kellogg to Hale, February 22, ~923 (NAS Archives: ENG: Relations with Engineering Foundation). 56 See Chapter lo, pp. 29~29 I.

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 339 By 1930 the division administered some fifty projects through such long-lived committees as those for Highway Research (since ~9~), Welding Research ~ ~ 92 ~ ), Electrical Insulation ~ ~ 92 2), Heat Trans- mission ~ ~ 923), and Industrial Lighting ~ ~ 924~. Recognition of the importance of scientific research to industrial progress seemed to the new division Chairman, Elmer A. Sperry, so well established that he discontinued its further promotion. Instead, he had begun a national industrial research survey to determine the need and opportunities for more pure research in industry, and was trying to promote in trade associations research of particular benefit to the fields they represented.57 It was not a good time for such a project. In the major cities of the nation, the reverberations of the stock market crash still sounded, although its full effects were yet to be felt. A year later, ~ 93 I, the division asked the industrial research labora- tories canvassed in its national survey for an estimate of the impact of "changed economic conditions" on their research. The continuing survey recorded the first serious downturn in ~93~.58 Elsewhere the downturn appeared more profound and more ominous. Between ~9~9 and ~93e, in the wake of the market crash, s,ooo banks closed their doors and 9 million savings accounts were wiped out. Eighty-five thousand businesses with liabilities of $4.5 billion failed. The resulting massive unemployment accelerated, as major industries slashed their payrolls by almost 40 percent. Wage losses in the nation amounted to $~6 billion. Against this background the Great Depression deepened.59 In the search for causes of the profound depression that had settled across the nation by ~933, the people blamed science and industry, the faith in science of the Egos, and the national religion they had made of business and industry. Such rapid technological advances had been made in industry that the resulting mass production and overproduction, so they believed, led inevitably to surfeit and eco- nomic disaster.60 S7 NAs,Annual Reportfor 1928-29, pp. 66-67; 1929-30, pp. 7O-7~; 1931-32, p. 53; "A History of the National Research Council, ~ 9 ~ 9- ~ 933," NRC, Reprint and Circular Series 106:19 (1933). 58 NAS, Annual Report for 1932-33, pp. 42-43. 59 Dixon Wecter, The Age of the Great Depression, 1929-1941 (New York: Macmillan Co., ~948), pp- ~7-~8. For Roosevelt's deep disillusionment with business and industry by ~ 937, see lames A. Farley, Tim Farley's Story (New York: MacGraw-Hill Book Co., ~948), pp. coy, cob, and John M. Blum, From the Morgenthau Diaries: Years of Crisis, 1928-1938 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., ~959), p. 390, entry for November 2, ~937. 60 Dexter S. Kimball, Cornell Dean of Engineering, "The Social Effects of Mass Produc-

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340 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931-1935) Industry had been slow to recognize the importance of research, but once convinced, the number of industrial research laboratories had risen spectacularly, increasing from 297 in 1920 to almost ~,ooo in ~927, and in the next four years rose to 1,625.6i The promotion of such laboratories had been a primary interest of the Research Coun- cil's Division of Engineering and Industrial Research. In the reorganization of the Research Council in 1933, the unique structure of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research was acknowledged as essential to meeting the need for an especially wide range of outside relations and for its necessarily extensive promo- tional and educational activities. That special status was to be con- tinued "in view also of the possibility that this Division might eventu- ally become self-supporting on a rather large scale."62 The "possibility" was a plan to reconstruct the division as a central service bureau for the research laboratories of industry. Still nebu- lous, and with industry then unable to entertain such a long-range design, the plan was temporarily shelved. The efforts of the division were instead temporarily channeled into projects for the Research Council's Science Advisory Board. tion," Science 77:~-7 January 6, ~933); William E. Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Pros- perity, 1914-1932 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ~958), pp. ~87- ~88, 22 I, 245, 258-259, 267 For Frank B. Jewett's defense of science, see his "The Social Effects of Modern Science," Science 76:23-26 (July 8, ~932). 6~ George Perazich and P. M. Field, Industrial Research and Changing Technology (Philadelphia: Works Project Administration, logo), p. 7. The data for this eighty-one- page study came from the six editions of "Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States," published as NRC Bulletins between ~920 and ~938. Although industry resisted the panaceas for recovery proposed for it, it continued on its own to erect research laboratories, until by ~ 938 the WPA study found they numbered more than ~,750. Despite temporary retrenchment during the initial "severe business contraction," industrial research, almost alone in the industrial structure, obtained increasing funds as the emphasis in research turned from the lowering of production costs to the development of new products, greater production efficiency, and, as the laboratories reported, increase in quality of current products (l~AS, Annual Reportfor 1931-32, p. 53; 1932-33, p. 43) The NRC division publication in ~932, Malcolm H. Ross (ed.), Profitable Practice in Industrial Research (New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers), designed for executives contemplating establishment or expansion of research laboratories, was followed a year later by the widely distributed pamphlet, Holland and Sprargen's Research in Hard Times (Washington: National Research Council), a report on the reorientation of research in a time of contraction. 62 "Minutes of Meeting, Subcommittee of the Committee on Policies," May 26, ~932, p. 3 (NAS Archives: ORG: NRG Reorganization).

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 341 Serving that Board as liaison with the Department of Commerce, the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research worked with Commerce on means for stimulating the development of new and noncompetitive industries, on plans for centralizing railway research, on means for increasing the safety of ships at sea under conditions of fog and low visibility, and on a study of the relationship of the patent system to the growth of new industries.63 By ~ 936, when Vannevar Bush became Chairman of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research, the Science Advisory Board had recently been dissolved, and the division had just three active committees: Electrical Insulation, Heat Transmission, and the High- way Research Board. It faced a crisis. Where a decade earlier the division had been practically alone in its field, since then, Bush noted in his report of that crisis, the organiza- tion of research agencies in national engineering societies and trade associations, the increasing industrial research in the universities, and the proliferation of commercial testing and consulting laboratories, to which industry and federal bureaus had access, all but nullified the division's promotional functions and reduced it to routine administra- tive activities. Its income had shrunk in half, its ties with the Engineer- ing Foundation had weakened as that agency had retrenched, and efforts to obtain support from other foundations for new projects it proposed had been fruitless.64 A way out of the impasse, and one that would provide long-term support for the division, eventually came from a suggestion first made by Maurice Holland in ~g30 and raised again by the division Chair- man, Dugald C. Jackson, in ~932. The proposal was that the division sponsor a central organization, supported by industrial research laboratories, that would keep industry informed of relevant research and research problems in university and government laboratories and 65 Science Advisory Board, Report, 1933-1934 (Washington, September 20, ~934), pp. 25-26; ibid., 1934-1935 (Washington, September I, ~935), pp. 49-50, 63-64, 32~- 34o; NAS, Annual Report for ~ 934 -35, pp. 47, 58. Maurice Holland, Director of the New York office, in a "Summary of Analysis of the Division's Organization and Operations ...," October 5, ~934, p. 5 (NAS Archives: E&JR: Analysis of Division's Organization and Operations . . .), had reported coopera- tion between federal bureaus and the division as "sporadic," and its utilization by the Science Advisory Board "a disappointment." The participation of the division in the Board the next year was, as it had been, limited to cooperation with the Department of Commerce. 64 Bush report, "The Problem of the Division 14. " September 29, ~937, pp. 7, 9-~o,

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342 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) act to promote closer relations among the three groups of labora- tories.65 When Charles F. Kettering succeeded Jackson as Chairman in 1933, he suggested that the division act as a national clearinghouse to bridge the gap between the fundamental research in the universities and the applied research of industrial laboratories. Vannevar Bush was cool to the idea. He pointed out that there already existed an effective interchange of information between industry and the uni- versities through attendance at scientific meetings, the discussion of technical papers, and the visits of scientists back and forth between the two types of laboratories. He saw a real opportunity for service, however, on the part of a national organization such as the Research Council "to develop a policy and outline procedure by which patents resulting from university research will be licensed to industries and the returns therefrom turned back to the universities to further develop fundamental research."66 He pointed out that "generally speaking" industry had tended to exploit university research and the resulting patents and in consequence to dry up the source of funds for the support of fundamental research in the universities. Nevertheless, as the fortunes of the division declined, the idea of a clearinghouse for industrial research gained favor; and when Bush, persuaded by Jewett and Gano Dunn, took over the division chair in ~936, Holland in New York had already won a number of industrial firms to a new plan, a "national association of research laboratories," operating under the sponsorship of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research. Independent, but affiliated with the division, the association would serve as the connecting medium in the activities of some sixteen hundred industrial research laboratories and, as Bush envisioned it, would link that research with government through the Research Council in the event of a national emergency.67 65 The plight of the division and the idea of a "central clearing house" for the laboratories appeared in Holland to Barrows, June 5, Age, and attached report, "Present Status and Future Possibilities of the Division" (NAS Archives: E&JR: Present Status and Future Possibilities of the Division); "Annual Report of the Division . . Year ending June 30, ~932," pp. ~2-~3 (NAS Archives: E&JR: Annual Report). 66 Holland, "Brief Report of . . . conference with Vice President Vannevar Bush of MIT. . . on May 2~,~934 (NAS Archives: E&JR: General). Holland's suggestion that the division be reorganized as a "national research Council" for industry and its research laboratories appeared in his "Summary of Analysis . . . ," October 5, ~934, pp. 7-8. Kettering's plan is on p. 4. 67 Bush, "The Problem of the Division . . . ," p. ~3; "Minutes of Meeting, Executive Committee, Division of Engineering," February Al, ~936, p. ~ (NAS Archives). Memorandum, Holland to Barrows, December ~3, ~935, with his prospectus of

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 343 The prospectus Holland prepared in October 193' reviewed the current operation of industrial research laboratories and their com- mon problems of organization, staffing, management, and perform- ance. The proposed national association, initially developed around the staff of the Research Council's Division of Engineering and Industrial Research, would provide, for an annual fee, a central forum and information service to which member laboratories could turn for advice and counsel. Such an association would provide a much needed service to industry, said Bush, but would contribute little to the revitalization of the division that events abroad were making increasingly necessary.68 By December ~937, it was becoming clear that Germany, Italy, and Russia were using the Spanish Civil War for the field testing of modern weapons. Bush urged that the division set about a restructur- ing that would "hold it ready for extraordinary action in emergency." It was a wartime organization that he intended; and the first stage was to be the transfer of its traditional activity, the fostering of industrial research, to the proposed association. Supported by Frank Jewett, Howard A. Poillon (President of Research Corporation and Vice- Chairman of the division), Gano Dunn, and Ludvig Hektoen, Bush obtained President Lillie's approval to proceed with planning the association, which Maurice Holland would manage full timed As admittedly "a somewhat radical step," Bush intended to reconsti- tute the division membership by bringing in key men in industry, engineering, and research who would be capable of acting effectively in a time of emergency, particularly in preparing plans with govern- ment departments and bureaus for the mobilization of research and industry. Bush thought that when the association became established, his division "should quite frankly . . . do practically nothing in time of peace except keep the organization alive." Much of the current membership, as members-at-large, would carry on the several cur- rently active committees, and the New York office would act princi- pally to maintain the lines of communication vital in an emergency.70 September 3, ~935, for a "National Research Laboratories Association . . . for Indus- trial Research and Development" under NRC auspices, said it had been worked out with the help of Jewett and Jackson and discussed thorou~hlv with Bush at MIT (NAS Archives: E&JR: NRLA: Proposed). 68 Copy of prospectus, p. lo (NAS Archives: E&JR: NRLA: Proposed: ~937); NAS, Annual Reportfor 1937-38, p. 4o; Bush, "The Problem of the Division . . . ," p. ~2. 69 Bush to Lillie, December 20, ~937, and replies December 24 and 27; Bush to Lillie, December 3~, ~937 (NAS Archives: E&JR: Reorganization of Division: Proposed). 70Ibid., Bush to Lillie, December 20, ~937. v ~

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344 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931 - 1935) Both Millikan, Chairman of the Council's Committee on Policies, and Max Mason, the California Institute of Technology mathe- matician who was invited to that committee's deliberations, approved the objectives of Bush's radical move and felt the Research Council as a whole should be similarly functional rather than merely representa- tive, as it had been since its inception. This had been discussed at length but not accomplished in the reorganization of the Council five years before; and when apprised of Bush's intentions, President Lillie confessed that he, too, had become "quite concerned of late with the idea that the present organization of the Academy and the Council is not well suited to fad time of stress and emergency, and freor- ganization] . . . should have serious consideration."7~ The Chairman of the Research Council, Ross G. Harrison, and the Council's Executive Secretary, Albert Barrows, found "rather ex- treme" (despite the unique status of Bush's division in the Council) his proposal to change the division bylaws to permit the selection of its members by the Academy and Research Council or by the division itself, independent of the national societies. Acknowledging the high merit of the basic proposal, Harrison suggested that a limited number of engineering societies continue to be represented, but that Bush should recommend appropriate individuals to the society presidents. To do more would require amendment of the Research Council's Articles of Organization.72 To accommodate the changes Bush wanted, the administrative committee of the Research Council subsequently proposed a revision in the Bylaws even more radical than Bush had contemplated, for it overturned a policy dating from the establishment of the Research Council and applied to all the divisions of science and technology. Where for twenty years the Articles of Organization had said the divisions "shall consist . . . of representatives of such national societies as seem essential . . . to the Division," the Article now said that the divisions "shall consist . . . of such members as may be authorized by the executive board, which may include representatives of the Gov- 7t Millikan to Barrows, January 2~, ~938; NRC Office Memo 470, February i, ~938; Lillie to Bush, December 24, ~937 (NAS Archives: E&JR: Reorganization of Division: Proposed). As Bush wrote to Ross G. Harrison on February 23, ~938 /(NAS Archives: ibid.), his problem was allied "with the entire problem of the Council and the Academy." 72 Harrison to Bush, March 9, ~938 (NAS Archives: ibid.); Barrows to Millikan, April ~ I, ~938 (NAS Archives: EX Bd: Com on Policies: General).

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The Academy during the Great Depression 1 345 ernment, representatives of national scientific societies. and members-at-large. "73 The change in the Articles, approved by the Executive Board of the Research Council in April ~939 and by the Academy that June, substantially effected Bush's reforms. His reorganized division com- prised nine members from the national engineering and technical societies, nine from the engineering section of the Academy, and nine members-at-large, selected, as Bush said, "to make the research resources of industry available in the event of emergency needs."74 By then, too, the Holland-Bush industrial research organization was a going concern. The year before, on February 25, ~ 938, at a meet- ing held in the division offices in New York, the National Industrial Research Laboratories Institute "as a last piece of promotional effort" by the division, said Bush—had been launched under the Executive Committee of the division for a trial period of two years.75 It was true, as Bush reported, that a "business situation which appeared immediately after it was launched" the deepest of the periodic slumps in the uneasy market had delayed it, but by the end of winter it should be on its feet and either on its way to "an independent self-supporting basis, or else liquidated."76 He was not a patient man. The next year showed a substantial increase in the membership, and the National Industrial Research Laboratories Institute was for- mally renamed the Industrial Research Institute.77 By ~945 it had become an independent organization.78 Meanwhile, in January ~g40 Bush turned the division over to his successor, William L. Batt, President of SKF Industries, but kept in touch as Vice-Chairman. Four months later he met with President 75 For the change in Article Ill, section ha), see NAS, Annual Reportfor 1937-38, p. ~ 2 I; 1938-39, pp. ~ 2 I-} 22. 74 NAS, Annual Report for 1938-39, p. 4~; Bush to Holland, October 5, ~938, and Barrows to Administrative Committee, NRC, February a, ~939 (NAS Archives: E&JR: Reorganization of Division). 75 Bush to Harrison, February 23, ~938; Barrows to Bush, January 24, ~938 (NAS Archives: ibid.); "Proceedings, Organization Meeting of the IRI," February 25, ~938, ~3~ pp. (NAS Archives: E&JR: IRI: Meetings: Organization Meeting). 76 Bush to Harrison, July ~5 and October 4, ~938 (NAS Archives: E&JR, Reorganization of Division). 77 In its second year the Institute had twenty-three corporation members; in its sixth year, fifty-five (NAs,Annual Reportfor 1938-39, p. 4~; 1942~3, p. 39). 78 NAS, Annual Report for 1940-41, pp. 57-58; "Minutes, Executive Committee, E&IR," July ~5, ~943; NAs,Ann2`al Reportfor 1943~4, p. 35; resolution, "Dissolution of Formal Relations between NRC and {RI, n.d. (NAS Archives: E&JR: IM: ~945).

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346 / WILLIAM WALLACE CAMPBELL (1931—1935) Roosevelt to propose the organization of scientific resources for the national emergency that the war in Europe had precipitated. In June ~g40 he became head of the President's National Defense Research Committee (NDRC). The Division of Engineering and Industrial Research, abolishing the position of Director, transferred its New York office to Washing- ton on November I, ~94~, a move that "contributed materially to the usefulness of the division in connection with the war effort," its "close contact with the executive offices of the Academy and Research Council . . . Emore conducive] to promptness and efficiency in meet- ing situations as they arise." That same month it began organizing the metallurgical committees for NDRC that were to be a major wartime activity of the division.79 79 NAS, Annual Report for 1941-42, p. 42; Durand to Barrows, October 24, ~94~ (NAS Archives: E&JR: Reorganization of Division); correspondenceinE&~R: General: ~94~; NAS, Annual Report for 1942-43, p. 38.