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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, 1939

Biological Society

page 74

Biological Society

It is the purpose of the Biological Society to provide a rendezvous for students who have a live interest in things botanical and zoological outside the scope of the Degree Courses, and for those who, though not taking science, are interested in living organisms. The usual dreariness of the annual General Meeting was dispelled this year by Professor Kirk's "Reminiscences of the Biology Department," and after this auspicious beginning there followed a series of excursions and lectures in which interest was well maintained.

Botany and zoology shared the programme equitably. Mr. C. E. Palmer, M.Sc., Lecturer in Zoology, speaking on "Hormones in Insects," gave an interesting insight into a typical field of current research in zoology. The presidential address on "Photoperiodism, Vernalisation and the Phasic Development of Plants" performed a corresponding service for botany. A symposium on aims and methods in the collecting of plants and molluscs, illustrated by a wealth of specimens, aroused much interest. The films on biological subjects shown last year proved so attractive that another programme was arranged; the venture was again successful, over eighty students attending.

The best event of the year was undoubtedly the visit, made in conjunction with the Chemical Society, to Massey Agricultural College and the Grasslands Division of the Plant Research Bureau at Palmerston North. The Sunday excursion train gave only a brief time in which to visit such interesting institutions, but thanks to the hospitality of the staffs we saw a wealth of things and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Local excursions were organised, to the Otari Native Plant Museum and to Island Bay, for example. Professor Kirk has given us every facility for working upon material collected; and it is hoped that next year, when we have moved into the commodious new building, more work of this kind will be possible.

This year the Society is to sustain a severe loss in the departure of Mr. C. E. Palmar. M.Sc., Lecturer in Zoology during the past four years, who leaves to take up a position in the Government Meteorological Office. Mr. Palmer was one of the founders of the Society, and its first President. Since joining the staff of the College he has continued to take a keen interest in the Society's welfare, and we shall miss his inspiration and help.