THE recent by-election in the University of Cambridge to choose a successor to the late Sir John Withers in the House of Commons was of unusual personal interest to scientific workers in that the two candidates must be well known to many of them. Prof. A. V. Hill, Foulerton research professor of the Royal Society, formerly Jodrell professor of physiology in University College, London, has been one of the secretaries of the Royal Society since 1935. Prof. John A. Ryle, regius professor of physic at Cambridge since 1935, has had a distinguished medical career in London, and recently completed a four-year term on the Medical Research Council. Both candidates adopted the adjective 'independent', and while Prof. Hill accepted the support of the Cambridge Conservative Graduate Association, Prof. Ryle preferred to style himself 'progressive'. Prof. Ryle's advantage as a Cambridge resident was offset by the fact that Prof. Hill, as a former scholar and fellow of Trinity College, is well known in Cambridge.