Reference numberRR/16/18
TitleReferee's report by William Maddock Bayliss, on a paper 'Mechanical and electrical response in plants' by Jagadis Chunder Bose
Date28 October 1904
DescriptionSectional Committee: Physiology [and Botany]

Finds considerable difficulty in giving an opinion on the revised paper since in its present form it does not conform to the recommendations made in his former report, although it appears to be in accordance with the demands of the Committee as set out in the 'Copy of Resolution of the Physiology Sectional Committee (June 15, 1904) with reference to Professor Bose's paper'. The paper has undoubtedly been improved by condensation and if further condensation is desired he suggests that the historical introduction be omitted. Notes that when he recommended more reference to the work of other investigations, what he had in mind was correlation of their work with that of the author. This has been done to some extent and Bayliss has some doubt as to whether Bose's knowledge of physiology is sufficiently wide to enable him to do it more effectively, so that it would be useless to insist upon it. Thinks it is to be regretted that Bose has not referred more generously to Dr Waller's work, especially since it appears that he has not acted in a very straight forward way about it. Cannot express an opinion regarding the real question of priority between the two gentlemen but notes that regarding electrical changes in ordinary plants neither Bose nor Waller can be credited with the discovery which he thinks belongs to Dr Georg Hörmann in his 1898 '[Studien über die] Protoplasmaströmung bei den Characeen'. Thinks a reference should be given in section VI to Burdon Sanderson's 1873 work, concerned with electrical changes in excitable plants. Discusses Bose's use of electrical change as a means to follow the transmission of the wave of excitation, mentioning the work of Macdonald and Waller.

Bayliss is unable to regard the omission of so many of the curves as an improvement; some of the other figures might be spared, but the curves are, so to speak, protocols of the experiments, and convey more than a much larger space of letterpress can do.

If the full paper is published in Philosophical Transactions, he does not see the need for printing the abstract. Suggests alterations if the abstract is printed. The original title is better than the revised one. He suggests the title 'The Excitatory Process in Plants' might perhaps be better.
It appears to Bayliss that Bose has complied with the demands of the Committee as far as could be expected unless more specific information had been given him. Does not think the paper can be returned to Bose again without some amount of unfairness and under the circumstances he can only consider it possible to accept the paper as it now stands.

[Not published]

Endorsed on verso as received 2 November 1904.
Physical descriptionLetter on paper
Digital imagesView item on Science in the Making
Access statusOpen
Related records in the catalogueRR/16/10
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7858Bayliss; Sir; William Maddock (1860 - 1924)1860 - 1924
NA7962Bose; Sir; Jagadis Chunder (1858 - 1937)1858 - 1937
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