From the December 28, 1929, issue


“Captain Sylvia,” aged 6 weeks, and her

mother, Mrs. J.E. Williamson upon the cover of

this week’s issue look at a strange world full of

fishes, corals, sharks, morays, and other

denizens of the deep. The youthful scientist,

symbolic of science itself and its aspirations,

was a member of the Field Museum-Williamson

Undersea Expedition to the Bahama Islands,

which brought back tons of corals collected after

cruising many miles under the sea.


In the air, under sea, and on the surface of the earth, man’s searchings into

the mysteries of the universe have progressed during 1929.

The earth was circumnavigated by airship for the first time. Airplanes flew in

the Antarctic, one of them reaching the South Pole. The depths of the sea

yielded new secrets. Telescopes reached farther and more searchingly into

the depths of the universe. Less spectacular but perhaps more important to

posterity were investigations on life, chemistry, and the constitution of

matter conducted in quiet laboratories.

Aeronautics: The plane “St. Louis Robin” made a record refueling flight of

420 hours, 21 minutes, or more than 17 days.

Anthropology and Archaeology: Two human skulls and other bones were

found associated with the remains of American camel and other Ice Age

animals in Conkling Cavern, N.M., raising the question of whether the men

and animals were contemporaries.

Astronomy: Four comets were discovered during the year. All were new

comets, with the possible exception of the last, as only one observation

was obtained of it and its orbit could not be determined.

Biology: The Mediterranean fruit fly, one of the most destructive of all insect

pests, was discovered in Florida in April.

Chemistry: The Nobel prize in chemistry for 1929 was awarded to Dr. Arthur

Harden of London University and Prof. Hans von Euler of the Stockholm

High School for their work on yeasts and sugars.

Engineering: The largest earth-filled dam in the world on the Saluda River,

South Carolina, neared completion.

Geology and Geography: The “Carnegie,” a nonmagnetic yacht of the

Carnegie Institution of Washington, was destroyed by fire following a

gasoline explosion while lying in Apia harbor, Samoa.

Medicine: A poisonous sugar, the only known sugar that has a toxic

reaction, was discovered in tuberculosis bacilli by Dr. R.J. Anderson, Yale

University chemist.

Physics: The Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Prince Louis Victor de

Broglie of Paris for his studies in wave mechanics.

Psychology and Psychiatry: Experiments in the progress of human

development conducted with twin babies at the Yale Psycho-Clinic indicated

that babies do not begin to practice new activities until their nerve structures

are ripe for them.

Radio and Television: The Federal Radio Commission assigned special

bands, each 100 kilocycles wide, for radio television, and a number of

stations made regular broadcasts.


Solution of problems of new diseases and also of some of the old, familiar

ones are hoped for by medical scientists during 1930. The ever-widening

extent of undulant fever, the threat of a meningitis outbreak, the increase in

malaria and pellagra in the South will be subjects of study and investigation

in laboratories and in the field during the coming year. Progress in the

control of one or all of these is to be looked for, public health experts


In the view of the earnest scientific effort being expended throughout the

world in cancer research, progress will undoubtedly be made in this field,

though it is perhaps too much to hope that the discovery of a “cure” will be

made in the new year….

Several interesting astronomical events are scheduled for the new year.

Chief of these are two eclipses of the sun. Two comets will almost certainly

put in their appearance, while three others may possibly reappear. And,

while comets are notoriously irregular, it is most likely that two or three new

comets will be found.

From the Nature Index

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