The late Prof. E. B. Wilson, For.Mem.R.S

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    REFERRING to Prof. E. W. MacBride's obituary article on Prof. E. B. Wilson in NATUBE of April 1 “a gracious appreciation of the work of an eminent fellow biologist”, Prof. G. N. Calkins and Prof. J. H. McGregor write that the statement that “His ill-health and subsequent death were due to a tragic accident which befell him when he was conducting a body of students, men and women, on a cruise up the Pacific coast of Canada” is incorrect. On the return journey the boat struck a rock and foundered. They write that they were members of the Columbia University party referred to and have been closely associated with Prof. Wilson ever since until his death. It is true that the ship struck a submerged rock and sank, but no one suffered the slightest physical injury and no one was in the water. The sea was calm, there was no panic, the transfer of passengers and crew to the lifeboats was conducted in an orderly manner and more than two hours elapsed after striking the rock before the ship finally disappeared. This occurred on August 5, 1897. By far the greater part of Wilson's cytological research and much of his work in experimental embryology were done after the shipwreck. His last contribution to cellular biology was published in 1937, when he was eighty years of age, and his last visit to the laboratory was one week before his death.

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    The late Prof. E. B. Wilson, For.Mem.R.S. Nature 143, 1014 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431014b0

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