THE Right Hon. Viscount Cranborne, Secretary of State for the Colonies, was present at the inaugural meeting of the Colonial Research Committee held on June 29, and defined the scope and purpose of the Committee's work (see NATURE, July 4, p. 17). He said that the Committee will have two functions. In the first place it is to advise the Secretary for the Colonies on schemes for assistance from the £500,000 a year which is provided under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act for “research and inquiry”. But this is only part of a wider function ; what is needed is a broad survey of the whole range of research in Colonial studies. We need to know, first, what subjects ought to be studied, secondly, what is being done now, and thirdly, what can and should be done to fill the gaps. In several respects the field is not at present adequately covered. The older sciences have in this respect the advantage ; but there are newer sciences, the application of which to Colonial questions has not at present gone very far. Many of these could render work of immediate practical value to the Colonial Empire.