Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 5 (1926-27) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
" 174 
most important, but Thomas argues that you cannot separate the two. 
Thomas had a great deal to say about Rubner, with whom he had been 
for many years. Thus, he says that Rubner thinks out a thing, fights it 
out, calculates it out quietly, weighing everything in his study, and then 
it is very hard to get him to change his views. He does not argue well and 
he does not give in a point until everything is all carefully thought out. 
Rubner’s treatment of other individuals has been subjected to a great deal 
of criticism, as he apparently is very reserved and some think very domi¬ 
neering. Thomas stated that when he was an assistant in the laboratory, it 
was nearly two years before Rubner said "Good morning" on the stairway. 
Thomas feels that Rubner says, "Here, is there arytbing in this chap? If so, 
it will come out. If not, I cannot bring it out. Let him go it alone until 
he shows something". Thomas said it was not until he got onto the "biolog¬ 
ical value of the proteins" that Rubner became interested in him. Rubner 
thought that the surface area law showed the facts existing at that time 
and was the best idea, but nowhere, Thomas believes, has Rubner made the 
statement as solid and unyielding as many modern writers. Thomas says that 
Rubner is disinclined to discuss scientific matters, and that even with him 
(Thomas) he does not discuss things. Lusk told Thomas that Rubner would 
look about the laboratory and see everything, but would not express himself 
or say what he was personally doing. 
In considering the matter of polemics and answering criticism, Thomas 
cited the faot that Pflüger had criticized Rubner, but Rubner did not 
answer. Rubner waited ten years and then appeared with his book "Die Ener¬ 
giegesetze" which was the answer. Thomas furthermore states that he strongly 
defends Rubner. He said that Rubner wrote somewhere (he did not recall 
where) that he (Rubner) did not know how the surface area law would apply to 
ruminants, as his work dealt only with dogs and rabbits. I told Thomas 
hat I felt as if the cutting off of the rabbit's ears looked very fishy. 


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