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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/210

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
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is especially noteworthy. An exhaustive study of the trees of the ebony genus has been made by Mr. Herbert Wright. Mr. E. H. Lock has also done some remarkably good work in plant-breeding experiments which deserve special mention. Various students have worked on minor problems, with results which have been published in both European and American journals. In June, 1.901, there was begun the publication of the Annals of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya.[1] This publication is issued at irregular intervals at a nominal price. It contains contributions from the director and other members of the scientific staff of the gardens.

The West Indies and the Philippines will, no doubt, attract more students of botany from America than will Ceylon, but in a few years no one will claim to be a trained botanist unless he has had the advantages of study in some tropical laboratory. There is no tropical land which offers better opportunity than Ceylon for botanical study. Nor can one find any tropical country with a more intelligent and progressive population, finer cities or more beautiful scenery.

One will naturally make comparisons between botanical opportunity at Peradeniya and at Buitenzorg,[2] in Java. It may be said that the establishment at Buitenzorg is much older and better provided with funds, but that Peradeniya is a more comfortable place to live, that traveling is much less complicated and communication more easy because of the use of English by the natives. In Java one must learn Malay in order to communicate with servants. On account of the very moist climate, Buitenzorg presents a more luxuriant vegetation, but this very great moisture makes work harder, and in the afternoons it is practically impossible to do any kind of study in the garden on account of rain. To many people the large number of visitors in the Buitenzorg gardens seems a detriment. The place is too much "civilized." At Peradeniya, on the other hand, the number of casual visitors is rather small, and they do not embarrass the student by their presence or their questions. It will be seen that it is impossible to say which of the two places will be better for the student. Something depends on the kind of work he wishes to do and very much depends on his own temperament. In fact, both gardens should be visited, and the length of time spent in each be determined by conditions as they arise.

  1. Students interested in knowing more concerning the opportunities for research at Peradeniya should consult the first number of the Annals in which these opportunities are fully set forth. An excellent account of the island of Ceylon with a statement of its resources is given in the "World's Fair Handbook of Ceylon," prepared for the St. Louis Exposition.
  2. See an article by the present writer in this magazine for November, 1905.