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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 This page in the original is blank.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 WILLIAM JACOB ROBBINS February 22, 1890-October 5, 1978 BY FREDERICK KAVANAGH AND ANNETTE HERVEY1 DR. WILLIAM JACOB ROBBINS lived several lives: botanist, teacher, administrator, educator, valued advisor, and avid fisherman.2 A scientist most of his life, he earned his living as a teacher for twenty-eight years and an administrator for nearly fifty. Yet Robbins kept his separate lives apart so successfully, few who knew him in one role knew of his accomplishments and problems in the others. A robust man about five-feet-eight inches tall and weighing 175 pounds in his prime, Robbins rarely missed a day of work. During the years he was director of the Garden he lived in a large house in Bronxville and—until he was seventy-three—maintained garden and grounds himself. A man of prodigious energy, he often slept only a few hours a night and in 1949 compained "that he was no longer capable of working more than fourteen to sixteen hours a day without some diversion."3 Since Robbins worked discreetly behind the scenes, his 1 A longer version of this essay appeared in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 108(Jan.-March 1981): 95-121. 2 David R. Goddard, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote: "It is my evaluation that Dr. Robbins played a larger part in the NRC and NAS than any other botanist in the last several decades," in letter to the editor of the Biographical Memoirs dated March 10, 1982. 3 [Mrs. Henry] Steeger, "Our Director," Garden 2(September 1949).
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 influence was much greater than the public record indicates. His extensive correspondence shows he was often consulted on matters of American science and that his judgment of people was consistently sound. An old-fashioned man, he believed that position and power carried with them responsibilities and that people and organizations should live within their means. He believed in hard work, perseverance, and honesty—and that promises and confidences should be kept. EDUCATION AND EARLY LIFE Frederick Robbins, William's father, grew up on a farm near Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where Robbinses had lived since 1794. When his son William Jacob was born, Frederick was principal of the high school in North Platte, Nebraska. A year later he took a job as principal of a school in South Williamsport, and the family returned to Pennsylvania. For the next twenty-seven years Frederick Robbins served as high school principal, then Superintendent of Schools, in different Pennsylvania towns, keeping up all the while the skill he had developed in his youth as a cabinet maker. William remembered his father as a quiet but forceful man whom he revered for his scholarship and rectitude. Another influential man in his life was his Uncle Clint, with whom he spent many summers on the farm as a boy. Clara Jeanette (Federhof) Robbins, William's mother, was a highly intelligent and gregarious professional journalist. A lifelong Democrat, she remained active in politics all her life. Her son was devoted to her and took care of her and her affairs in her later years. From 1906 to 1910, William attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While there he spent a summer on the river taking water samples to be tested for bacterial contamination and found it a marvelous way to make a living.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 This experience, coupled with summers spent working on his grandmother's farm, got him interested in biology and impelled him to go on to Cornell University, where he expected to become a plant pathologist on the way to becoming a scientific farmer. When he got to Cornell in 1911, however, he found that Professor H. H. Whetzel could not accept him in plant pathology for lack of space. Instead, Dr. Lewis Knudsen took him in plant physiology. It was at Cornell that he met both Dr. B. M. Duggar and Liberty Hyde Bailey—both had beneficial influences on his life. Robbins spent the summers of 1912, 1913, and 1914 as Duggar's assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. They apparently got along beautifully, for Duggar was later instrumental in getting Robbins posts at the Alabama Experiment Station and the University of Missouri, and it was he and Bailey who later persuaded Robbins to accept the directorship of the New York Botanical Garden. Robbins's own education was unusual for a botanist in that he studied—in addition to Greek, physics, and botany—zoology, Latin, and mathematics during his four years at Lehigh University. On the subject of education, he had decided ideas: "I am, as you know, a plant physiologist," he wrote Harry Kelley in 1960. "My first course was given by a zoologist who gave me a textbook by Genung and a place in which to work. I had no lectures, no instruction and no fellow students. What I did, I did myself and little as it was I think it had much to do with making me a plant physiologist, at least of a sort. "I never learned that I could think for myself until I was a junior in college. I was a good student and studied the assignments given to me. There was considerable satisfaction in the process, as my teachers were likeable and just and the answers were always in the book or, if not, the teacher had them. "In my junior year, I was given by the professor of psychology (and education) a major theme to prepare which differed from the usual type
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 since it required an answer to a question; the question, what is art? I discovered to my surprise, and somewhat to my horror, that there was no agreement in the books I read as to what art is. I was forced to make up my own mind, and in the process I learned that I could think, that I could consider a variety of different answers to a question and decide for myself what I believed to be correct. For the first time I was not looking for an answer which was given in the back of the book or in paragraph 6 on page 25 in footnote 5, Chapter 3, or in the pronouncement of one of my revered teachers. I was on my own, using the brains I had by a procedure which had been drilled into me by a long and thorough grounding in mathematics, namely—analyze and define the problem and then seek for its solution. ''I am inclined to believe that there are too many scholarships and fellowships and too few assistantships. I should like to see more use made of assistantships in the small institutions, as this in my opinion would encourage more boys and girls to follow a science career. This leads to my last point, and that is the importance of encouraging women to enter science. There are not enough opportunities and not enough encouragement and rewards for good women scientists. "All of this is intended to emphasize the benefits to be derived from active participation. There are lectures and lecturers who perform a most useful function in arousing interest and stimulating an individual to pursue a subject. Such lecturers are not common. Nothing in my opinion takes the place of the 'do it yourself approach."4 Christine Chapman Robbins and the Robbins Family On July 15, 1915, shortly after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell, Robbins married Christine Faye (Chapman) Robbins, who soon became the most important person in his life. Herself a trained botanist, Christine Robbins was also a gracious hostess and a scholarly scientific biographer. Robbins had complete confidence in her intelligent understanding, and their discussions contributed significantly to his success. Born November 24, 1889, in Palmer, Massachusetts, Christine Chapman was the second daughter of Harvey 4 W. J. Robbins, in a personal letter to Dr. Harry Kelley of the National Science Foundation, January 26, 1960.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 Chapman (1860-1926) and Lydia Caroline Sharpe (1861-1913). John Chapman, the American primitive naturalist known as ''Johnny Apple-seed," was related to her father through a collateral line. She graduated from Wellesley College and, encouraged by Margaret C. Ferguson, head of Wellesley's Botany Department, entered a Ph.D. program in botany at Cornell. Upon obtaining her M.A. degree, she returned to Wellesley to teach for two years. Then, much to Dr. Ferguson's disappointment, Christine abandoned further education in botany to marry William Robbins. William and Christine Robbins were true American intellectuals. Superb, careful, and critical workers, both were Phi Beta Kappa as undergraduates, and their common interests in plants, nature, and science continued to bind them—along with family matters, gardening, current affairs, fishing, cooking, and travel—for the rest of their lives. Mrs. Robbins was also an active member of the League of Women Voters for many years. A member of the Colonial Dames of America, Mrs. Robbins could trace her American ancestry back to the 17th century, while the earliest known American of her husband's line was Daniel Robbins (1765-1864), of New Jersey. In her later years, Christine Robbins became a meticulous genealogical scholar. In addition to preparing comprehensive genealogies of the Robbins and Chapman lines, she wrote book-length biographies of David Hosack (C. Robbins, 1960) and John Torrey (C. Robbins, 1968). As a gift to each son, she and her husband drew up a comprehensive "family bible" that included charts, photographs, and biographies. Christine Robbins died of heart disease February 9, 1974, in New York City. The oldest Robbins son, Frederick, entered the Army Medical Corps during World War II after two years at the University of Missouri Medical School. He completed his medical studies at Harvard, and—with John E. Enders—suc-
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 ceeded in growing poliomyelitis virus in tissue culture. In 1954, Enders, Robbins, and Thomas Weller received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Frederick became professor of pediatrics and later dean of Case Western Reserve University Medical School. In 1980 he went to Washington, D.C., to become president of the Institute of Medicine. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1972. William Clinton Robbins graduated from Cornell Medical School and served in the Navy. He became an internist in private practice in New York City and clinical associate professor of medicine and associate attending physician at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Daniel Robbins attended Columbia University and also served in the Navy. After earning an M.S. in engineering he went on to become vice president of engineering for the Itek Corporation's Graphic Equipment Division in Rochester, New York. THE INTERIM YEARS: 1916-1919 In February 1916 the Robbins family moved to Alabama, where William had accepted a post as professor and chairman of the Botany Department and plant physiologist for the Agricultural Experiment Station. Arriving in Auburn with very little money, they rented a house for $25 a month. The cash book Mrs. Robbins kept from February to August, when Frederick was born, makes interesting reading. But if the position at Auburn offered only a small increase in salary (it paid $2,000 a year), it offered the more important opportunity for Robbins to make his own, independent decisions. A year later, however, Mrs. Robbins's father fell ill, and the couple moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, to be near him. From August 1917 to July 1918, Robbins managed Chapman & Brooks, the family's wholesale hardware business, discovering through a mathematical analysis of the busi-
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 ness that a trusted employee had been stealing from the company. The Springfield episode ended when Robbins, an ardent patriot, enlisted in the Army in 1918. A second lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps, he was sent to Yale to study bacteriology, but the war ended before he could be sent abroad. THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI (1919-1938) After a stint of a few months in Washington, D.C., where Robbins was a soil biochemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he accepted a post as professor and chairman of the Department of Botany at the University of Missouri. In September 1919 the family moved to Columbia, Missouri. With a beginning salary of $2,400 a year, Robbins was expected to teach all courses in botany and only after 1924 was able to shift the beginning courses to Dr. H. W. Rickett. Rather unusually for his time, Dr. Robbins liked and respected women as scientists. He himself had many female graduate students and assistants and in 1936 persuaded Dr. Barbara McClintock to come to the University of Missouri. She stayed six years working on the genetics of corn, and he gave her fine work the same due he gave to that of his male colleagues. When Robbins moved to the University in 1919, his administrative duties were limited to the usual hiring of staff and selection of students for graduate study. When he returned there from Europe in 1930, he added the responsibilities of dean of the Graduate School and—during Walter Williams' absence in 1933-1934—of acting president of the University. In 1935, Franklin Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which made funds available for new building and improvements. Robbins was immediately ready with the University of Missouri's construction plans,
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 and, under his direction, the University was able to complete its library, several classroom buildings, a small research building on the shores of Lake Lefevre, and many badly needed improvements. Yet Robbins managed to live strictly within his means. He did not spend money he did not have and deficits, under his management, did not occur. Imbued with the idea that authority meant acting in the best interests of the organization, he was also ready when necessary to give corrective interviews, change his subordinates' jobs, and let staff go. He tried not to let his personal opinions influence his judgment and withstood personal rebuffs with indifference. He did not compromise on certain matters of personal behavior, and some considered him "stuffy." Yet his sound fiscal policies gave stability to the institutions he managed, and if his efforts were not universally appreciated, he managed to instill unflagging loyalty in those who worked with him most closely—H. W. Rickett, E. E. Naylor, W. E. Maneval, and C. M. Tucker. Highly intelligent, well educated and organized, Robbins enjoyed his work and worked hard. He always found time for reading—The New York Times, magazines, and books—if not for social activities. During the four months before moving to New York, he was able to finish a substantial part of his pioneering work on the growth of excised roots and the vitamin requirements of fungi. THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN (1938-1958) Cleaning House When they visited England's Kew Gardens in 1888, Dr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Lord Britton were so impressed they decided, on their return home, to establish a Botanical Garden in New York. The Garden, managed by the private, nonprofit corporation they began, is also a public institution supervised by the City Parks Department. The city owns the 250-acre
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 public park complete with renowned rose and rock gardens and magnificent display houses; the corporation owns the contents. As a scientific institution, the Garden in its early years was best known for its taxonomic work and some outstanding research in plant physiology. A leading mycological journal and several taxonomic publications were also edited there. Until 1930 Dr. Britton was the Garden's nominal director (though he invariably left New York during the winter months), but it had been operating under acting directors for years when Robbins arrived to take over on March 1, 1938. Robbins quickly learned that his new job was more challenging and onerous than that at the University of Missouri. The senior staff consisted of Dr. Fred J. Seaver (mycology), Dr. Arlow B. Stout (compatibility in higher plants), Dr. B. O. Dodge (a plant pathologist who, in 1928, had done the ground-breaking work with Neurospora in microbial genetics), Dr. Henry Allan Gleason (head curator and chief taxonomist of the higher plants), and Dr. John Hendley Barnhart (the librarian, who obtained prized books for the Garden even if it meant buying them himself). Dr. Britton had wanted the Garden to function as the Botanical Department of Columbia University, but this was not to be. As head of the Columbia department, Robert A. Harper also held a seat on the Board of Managers of the New York Botanical Garden, and when the two men were at loggerheads, relations between the institutions cooled. When Harper retired, Robbins was able to establish a program with Columbia and with Fordham University (whose campus adjoins the Garden) whereby graduate students could receive degrees for work at the Garden. The funds he obtained encouraged students, more of whom chose the taxonomy of the higher plants than any other botanical discipline. Neglected administratively for many years, the institu-
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 tion's staff was depleted yet contained many in need of superannuation. It had no policy for retirement, few young people, and no long-term goals. Over the next several years, Dr. Robbins strove to change this condition of institutional anarchy. Keeping the administrative structure he found in place, he used scientific production as his only yardstick, retaining many whom others would have fired on grounds of age or behavior. If someone was a bad administrator but otherwise useful, Robbins either did the administrative work himself or assigned it to others. He dealt even-handedly with all facets of the Garden. He established a two-year training course for professional gardeners, who were badly needed to staff the private gardens in the area. He gave the study of South American flora (a long-term interest of taxonomists) a great boost by bringing in Bassett Maguire as its head. He promoted horticultural activity, through flower shows and prizewinning displays. As financial capabilities permitted, he increased and improved the Garden's plantings. To alleviate the plight of the city employees who worked a seven-day week operating the power plant in the winter, he asked the Parks Department every year for more men, and, in 1945 he got them. City employees were becoming unionized at about that time. Although Dr. Robbins was opposed to unionization, he negotiated the Garden's first contract with its union employees. Because he could not tolerate dishonesty and expected employees at all levels to earn their pay, he was unpopular with some, but a member of the first union negotiating committee said that the committee trusted whatever Robbins said. In addition to dealing with the Garden's staff, employees, and Board of Managers, Robbins immediately established friendly working relations with Columbia University, Com-
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 telephone, appealed to Robbins, who liked to hear loons call at night; sight deer, osprey, and eagles; and tell fish stories.18 LAST DAYS Robbins smoked cigars, cigarettes, and a pipe during much of his adult life and in 1957 could not walk a block without having to stop three or four times because of pains in his chest. On January 1, 1958, after a heart specialist had diagnosed cardiac insufficiency, he resigned as director of the New York Botanical Garden, put his affairs in order, and prepared to die at any time. Then Mrs. Robbins suggested he stop smoking cigarettes, which he did, and his anginal pain cleared.19 As his health improved and he realized death was not imminent, he took on many administrative assignments and established his own laboratory at the Rockefeller University. The last few years of Robbins's life were made difficult by his wife's lingering illness and her death in 1974, as well as his own cataract operations and increasing deafness. When he could no longer hear conversations even with a hearing aid, he stopped going to meetings and conferences. Dr. Robbins walked the quarter-mile between his apartment and the Rockefeller University every day, but in 1976 his legs began to give him problems and his physician told him to stop smoking entirely. He went home, put away his pipes, gave away his tobacco and cigars and—breaking a habit of sixty years' standing at the age of eighty-six—never smoked again. Still, the circulation in his legs did not improve. On October 1, 1978, he suffered a massive stroke. He died on October 5 at the New York Hospital, having worked 18 Personal communication from J. Hunsaker, Jr., to Annette Hervey, February 22, 1979. 19 W. J. Robbins in a taped interview with C. R. Long, N.Y. Bot. Garden Oral Hist. Prog., July 20, 1973.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 the day before in the laboratory as usual. All his bills were current. His ashes are buried beside his wife's in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. HONORS AND DISTINCTIONS In 1941 Dr. Robbins was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society, the oldest and one of the most distinguished learned societies in America, started by Benjamin Franklin in 1743. He was its president from 1956 to 1959 and was executive officer in 1960 when the Society's million-dollar Benjamin Franklin Library was completed. David R. Goddard published a biographical memoir of Robbins in the Society's Yearbook in 1980.20 Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1940, he was its treasurer from 1948 until 1960. At the request of General MacArthur, he and five other Academy members formed a Scientific Advisory Commission to Japan in 1947 to evaluate Japanese scientific activities and suggest future directions. According to Dr. Robbins the Commission's real mission was to reestablish contact with Japanese scientists, which they did. Robbins was also a member and director of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc., for twenty-nine years and a member of its Executive Committee for twenty-four years. In 1973, the Institute passed a resolution honoring him that stated: ". . . His consistently offered wise counsels . . . on matters both large and small and has been an inspiration to its managing director and scientists." He was a trustee of the Rockefeller University from 1956 to 1965. Upon establishing his laboratory at the University, he 20 David R. Goddard, Yearb. Amer. Philos. Soc., 1980, pp. 100-1.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 became Trustee Emeritus, avoiding thereby even the appearance of conflict of interest. A life member of the Torrey Botanical Club, Robbins was elected president in 1943 and served on the nominating, program, grants, and endowment committees. His good advice helped the Club's treasurer to increase the return on the endowment funds from one to five percent and more, and he often advised the Council and the officers of the Club unofficially. He was a guest speaker on several occasions and published frequently in the Bulletin. MAN AND SCIENTIST Dr. Robbins believed in authority and respected the requests of those in positions of responsibility. Living this way himself, he expected others to. Though he did not always agree with the Board of Managers at the Garden, he lived under their control, even turning down requests from the U.S. State Department because of their objections. He was, however, a steadying influence on the Board. Once, when several women of the advisory council were offended by a supervisor's abusive language, he smoothed the situation over by creating a non-supervisory post for the man rather than firing him. Many who criticized Robbins for a certain managerial and social rigidity did not realize that he was upholding standards of a managerial Board not always in agreement with those of the community. He also had no administrative assistant in the early days and could not do everything requested of him. Staff members trying to obtain funds for their own activities resented his apparent unresponsiveness, though they often benefited by becoming more self-reliant as fund-raisers. Robbins had a well-developed sense of humor and in his younger days played practical jokes and was a great tease.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 Those who thought him stuffy never realized that his delightful humor could be so dry as to be dusty! While at the University of Missouri it was Dr. Robbins's practice to go through Lefevre Hall upon his return from summer vacation shaking hands and talking with the permanent support staff, including the two Negro janitors. For a white man to shake hands publicly with a Negro in Columbia, Missouri, in 1932 was very unusual, but Robbins treated everyone with the same courtesy. Despite his stringent standards for himself, he had an extraordinary tolerance for error and incompetence in the people who worked for him. He rarely lost his temper, and when he did the outburst was brief. He respected opinions even when they differed radically from his own—a kind of forbearance that is considered a handicap in an administrator today. To Robbins, the most exciting thing in life was to identify a problem in nature and attempt to solve it. He was happiest when he was in the laboratory, yet he spent most of his time in administration, leaving little time to do what he liked best. After refusing many full-time administrative positions (including the presidencies of several large universities) he took the job at the New York Botanical Garden in the expectation of having more time in the laboratory. In reality, he had no more time for research there than he had had at Missouri. Yet he enjoyed position and power and often accepted calls upon his time he could have avoided. He valued his own satisfaction and the private opinions of his peers more than public acclaim and was therefore unwilling to have the Garden's research laboratory named after himself. He guarded his good scientific name jealously, reacting vigorously to any fancied or real attempts to obtain unauthorized benefit from association with him. Working ever to the exacting standards of the inner man, he delayed publishing his pioneering work on growth of excised plant roots for six years.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 His high principles caused him on at least one occasion to refuse a large increase in salary offered to him by the Board of Managers of the Garden. Although he and his family certainly could have used the money, he felt that an increase for him alone would cause too great a disparity between his salary and that of others at the Garden. He was one of those rare persons who can project to the future, be it nine months or nine years, and see the consequences of an action taken or avoided today. Spending much of his life with people for whom the future meant next week, he yet obtained their support for his programs by giving thoughtful answers to their questions. He never rushed into projects without first considering their effect upon both the people and the institution. Finding research important to the welfare of man fun, he preferred to spend his Sunday mornings working in his yard or in his laboratory rather than in church. He professed not to understand preachers, whose sermons made no sense, yet had little patience with those who questioned the value of laboratory work because less than one percent of it was of value. "It may be one-tenth of one percent," Robbins wrote, "But the one-tenth . . . is what has brought us from the darkness and barrenness of the scholasticism of the middle ages."21 Alone of all the presidential portraits at the American Philosophical Society, Robbins's shows him in a laboratory coat. Dr. Robbins was a true conservative in the best sense of the word—in matters personal, financial, administrative, political, and scientific: "Science is democratic, not autocratic, for in science no man's word is taken as law," he wrote with some urgency in the dark years preceding World War II. "Any discovery he makes, any statement given as truth, must be 21 Geoffrey T. Hellman, "A square deal among the fungi," New Yorker (July 19, 1947).
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 susceptible of confirmation by others. As Sir Thomas Brown says, 'The mortallest enemy unto knowledge and that which hath done the greatest execution unto truth has been a preemptory adhesion unto Authority.' "Liberty, equality, and fraternity are as necessary attributes of science as they are those of the political philosophy of republican France. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are conditioned as much by the progress of science as they are by the continuance of our democratic form of government. "So I would say to the politicians and to the statesman—cherish science, it yields large profits and exemplifies the principles you profess. To the layman—embrace science, it offers you freedom, equality, and fraternity. To the scientists—guard science, lest those who do not understand cripple it with strictures which mutilate its body and destroy its soul."22 DOCUMENTS PERTAINING to Robbins's years at the Rockefeller University and the New York Botanical Garden are in the latter's archives along with a twenty-nine-page transcript of his contribution to the Columbia University oral history program. Those from his years at the University of Missouri are in the American Philosophical Society and National Academy of Sciences archives. We were unable to locate reports made to the Rockefeller Foundation for 1928 to 1930. The authors obtained other materials from Dr. Robbins during our long association with him (forty-six and thirty-six years, respectively) as teacher, employer, and friend. In addition his son, William C. Robbins, M.D., supplied biographical information about his father, mother, and grandfather. J. Hunsaker, Jr., furnished the information about the fishing at the Quartet Camp. James Bonner and Vernon Stoutemeyer made evaluations of Dr. Robbins as a botanist and as a friend. Marjorie Anchel provided information about the chemical programs and gave the manuscript a critical reading. Harold Rickett and Carol Woodward read a version of the manuscript and made editorial and factual corrections. We thank these and the others who contributed to this publication. Bernice Winkler, Dr. Robbins's secretary who stayed on at the Harding Research Laboratory after his retirement, deserves special thanks for the assistance she provided. 22 W. J. Robbins, "Science and Scientists," Proc. Missouri Acad. Sci. 3(1937): 43-49.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 SERVICE TO THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL23 1976 Member Emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences 1962-1965 Chairman, Advisory Committee on Research to National Park Service May 1960 Organizer, Conference on Tropical Botany. 1948-1960 NAS Treasurer 1949-1960 Committee on Chemicals 1941-1960 Executive Board of the NRC (Committee on Policies, 1941-1946; Committee on Exhibits, 1945-1947; Acting Chairman, Committee on Insect Control, 1945-1946) 1953 Committee on Publications of the Academy 1948-1951 Atomic Energy Commission Postdoctoral Fellowship Board in the Biological and Agricultural Sciences 1948-1955 Advisory Board on Quartermaster Research and Development 1946-1948 Committee on Quartermaster Problems 1946-1949 Chairman, Subcommittee on Germicides, Insecticides, and Biologicals 1945-1949 Panel on Botany (Chairman, 1946-1948) June 1947 NAS Scientific Advisory Mission to Japan 1944-1947 Chairman, NAS Botany Section 1940-1945 NAS Committee on National Science Fund, (Chairman, Board of Directors, 1941-1945) 1941 NAS Finance Committee 1940 Member, National Academy of Sciences 1931-1937 Chairman, NRC Fellowship Board in the Biological Sciences 23 We are indebted to Janice Goldblum of the National Academy Archives for this list, which she included in a letter to David R. Goddard on February 15, 1979. We have omitted references to Dr. Robbins's service on temporary, Council, and award committees. Editor
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY24 1922 Cultivation of excised root tips and stem tips under sterile conditions. Bot. Gaz. Chicago 73: 376-90. Effect of autolyzed yeast and peptone on growth of excised corn root tips in the dark. Bot. Gaz. Chicago 74: 59-79. 1926 The isoelectric point for plant tissue and its importance in absorption and toxicity. Univ. Mo. Stud. 1: 1-60. 1935 The graduate school and research. Gamma Alpha Record 26: 79-84. 1936 With E. Kobs. Hydrogen-ion concentrations and the toxicity of basic and acid dyes to fungi. Am. J. Bot. 23: 133-39. 1937 With M. A. Bartley. Vitamin B1 and the growth of excised tomato roots. Science 85: 246-47. With F. Kavanagh. Intermediates of vitamin B1 and growth of Phycomyces. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 23: 499-502. Science and scientists. Proc. Mo. Acad. Sci. 3: 43-49. National Research fellowships in the biological sciences. Science 86: 429-34. 24 A more complete bibliography appears in the Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 108(Jan.-March 1981): 116-121. Regarding Robbins's published works, Frederick Kavanagh writes: ''In a scientific career spanning sixty-two years, Dr. Robbins published at least one scientific article in fifty-six [of them]. He did non-scientific work in seven years. He published in at least seven areas of botany. I have titles of 206 scientific publications. He had twenty-four co-authors. He wrote at least forty popular articles . . . [His] longest period of collaboration was [with] Annette Hervey, who [worked with him] on thirty-three [joint] publications. She was much more than a collaborator. To do justice to her would take many pages. I [myself] had . . . twenty-three publications with Dr. R," personal communication to the Biographical Memoirs, September 24, 1990.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 1938 With M. B. Schmidt. Growth of excised roots of the tomato. Bot. Gaz. Chicago 99: 671-728. 1939 With H. W Rickett. Botany. 3rd ed. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company. Growth substances and gametic reproduction by Phycomyces. Bot. Gaz. Chicago 101: 428-49. 1942 With V. Kavanagh. Vitamin deficiencies of the filamentous fungi. Bot. Rev. 8: 411-71. With V. Kavanagh and F. Kavanagh. Growth substances and dormancy of spores of Phycomyces. Bot. Gaz. Chicago 104: 224-42. 1944 With F. Kavanagh. Temperature, thiamine and growth of Phycomyces. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 71: 1-10. With A. Hervey. Response of Pythiomorpha gonapodyides to manganese. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 71: 258-66. 1945 With M. B. Schmidt. Effect of cotton on the germination of Phycomyces spores. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 72: 76-85. 1948 With F. Kavanagh and A. Hervey. Synergism between some antibacterial substances. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 75: 502-11. 1949 Some factors limiting growth. Growth Symp. 9: 177-86. 1957 The influence of Jacques Loeb on the development of plant tissue culture. Bull. Jard. Bot. Bruxelles (Jubilee vol.) 27: 189-97. Gibberellic acid and the reversal of adult Hedera to a juvenile state. Am. J. Bot. 44: 743-46.
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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 60 1958 The plains and the prairies. In: A prairie reserve. Univ. Mo. Bull. (Handb. 5) 60: 9-17. 1960 Further observations on juvenile and adult Hedera. Am. J. Bot. 47: 485-91. 1962 Bernard Ogilvie Dodge, 1872-1960. In: Biographical Memoirs, vol. 36, pp. 85-124. New York: Columbia University Press for the National Academy of Sciences. 1964 Topophysis, a problem in somatic inheritance. Proc. Am. Philos. Soc. 108: 395-403. 1974 With A. Hervey. Toxicity of water stored in polyethylene bottles. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 101: 287-91. 1978 With A. Hervey. Development of plants from leaf discs of variegated Coleus and its relation to patterns of leaf chlorosis. In Vitro 14: 294-300. With A. Hervey. Auxin, cytokinin, and growth of excised roots of Bryophyllum calycinum. Am. J. Bot. 65: 1132-34.
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