By National Academy of Sciences, Office of the Home Secretary

Biographical Memoirs is a sequence of essays containing the lifestyles histories and chosen bibliographies of deceased contributors of the nationwide Academy of Sciences. The sequence presents a checklist of the lifestyles and paintings of a few of the main extraordinary leaders within the sciences, as witnessed and interpreted by means of their colleagues and friends. They shape a biographical historical past of technological know-how in America--an very important a part of our nation's contribution to the highbrow history of the area.

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B. Peterson, also a well-known soil physicist and chemist, who had left Iowa State University to become department head at Purdue. From the most humble of beginnings Barber rose to become one of the best known and respected soil scientists in the world. At Purdue, Barber was given wide latitude in the choice of specialty to follow. With his strong background in physics and chemistry he elected to study the uptake of nutrients by plants. Until this time, plant nutrition had been studied in nutrient solutions and through field trials that were analyzed statistically.

Dave and the others were attracted by Revelle’s concept of “building from the top down,” meaning that Revelle would hire department chairs, who would have a free hand to appoint faculty, who would Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. html BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS bring and attract grad students. This would all have to occur before the first undergraduates showed up on campus. It was a wrenching tragedy that David had so few years left to begin all of this work. Nevertheless, he left an indelible mark upon UCSD.

This work led to the conclusion that the genetic unit may be more complex than anticipated and may be composed of genetically separable subunits. Bonner presented this view in a tightly argued paper (1956) entitled “The Genetic Unit” at the 1955 Cold Spring Harbor Symposium. He wrote: “We have an increas- Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. html BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS ing number of facts with which to work and from these facts each of us enjoys a number of fantasies. ” (1956, pp.

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