NEWS AND VIEWS

From the archive

How Nature reported a resource of animal sounds in 1969, and an analysis of psychiatric disorders in 1919.

50 Years Ago

Assisted by off-stage noises which included a belching elephant seal, a giant toad in mating cry … and the song of a wren played at slow speed, the British Library of Wildlife Sounds (BLOWS) was opened recently by Mr David Attenborough … The library … aims to be the national reference collection of wildlife sounds of all descriptions … Used in conjunction with other biological reference collections, BLOWS should have an important part to play in research into animal behaviour, taxonomy and evolution … The library’s target is 10,000 recordings (disk or tape) of 2,500 species of animal in five years, and Mr Attenborough appealed for copies of commercial gramophone records … and for copies of properly documented tape recordings of any animal sound made by either professional or amateur tape recordists.

From Nature 12 July 1969

100 Years Ago

In the April issue of the Journal of Mental Science … Capt. O. P. Napier Pearn describes the differences and similarities in the actual insanities (psychoses) found in military and civil practice … He has collected and tabulated the facts relating to 200 cases which made a sufficiently good recovery to warrant their being returned to duty … [W]hile at the onset of a mental disorder in civil life the friends and relatives usually co-operate with the sick person in shielding him from medical advice, such a patient in the Army … is much more likely to receive attention from his medical officer at an early stage. The effect of this early care is that these cases respond to treatment in a very gratifying way … The article, while laying claim to no new discovery, lays additional emphasis upon the urgency of the early treatment of mental disorders.

From Nature 10 July 1919

Nature 571, 181 (2019)

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