The unfortunate situation which exists in the Department of biology as explained by Professor Parker in the present issue turns out to be another argument for limitation of numbers by the "appeal" method. To be sure Professor Parker is anxious that facilities should be increased to accomodate the increasing number of applicants to courses in Biology; but limitation of the total enrollment by a change in the nature of "Harvard education" would conceivably bring fulfillment of his hopes.
A smaller enrollment in the University as a whole might or might not mean a smaller enrollment among courses in Biology. At any rate, in Biology I, where now the pressure appears to have reached its peak, the percentage of course membedrs to college members would undoubtedly remain the same. For Biology I, in the state into which it has now evolved, is as much a cultural course as general courses in History or English. Nobody, in suggesting changes in the course menu, would desire to have all science courses black-balled. There are, no doubt, courses in science as in other departments, although probably more in science, which should be marked "Primarily for graduates"--courses of a direct trade-school nature. But Biology I is not such a course.
If diminishing the number of undergraduates would not greatly diminish the number enrolling in biology I, wherein lies the suggested cure? The Coroporation has declared that at present another course is out of the question. This must be due to lack of means in money and room space. The elimination of undergraduate "trade" courses should relieve to a considerable extent both the present congestion of class-room conditions and the drain upon University funds. In such a case the Corporation might find its present difficulties melting pleasantly away.
Conditions in Biology I now are hard both upon students and upon Professo Parker. The hardship which the Biology-bent student may have to undergo are sufficiently pointed out by him. What he himself is undergoing, although unmentioned, is quite apparent. In large measure it has been due to Professor Parker's efforts that the interest and value of the Biology department have been growing so rapidly. To have that interest arbitrarilly restricted is naturally discouraging to the preson largely responsible for its creation.