Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Harvard Laboratory of Animal Psychology and the Franklin Field Station
Yerkes, Robert M.
It is proposed that this private field station shall meet two 
keenly felt needs of the Harvard Laboratory; the one, that of a 
suitable place for purely naturalistic field work; and the other, 
that of a similarly suitable place for the conduct of laboratory 
investigations which cannot well be continued during the summer 
in Cambridge. We may consider, first, the second of these needs. 
There are frequently in progress, in the Harvard Laboratory, 
researches on heredity or on problems which demand long ex¬ 
perimental training, the interruption of which, during the 
summer vacation, entails serious loss. It is often impracticable 
to attempt to continue such investigations throughout the sum¬ 
mer in Emerson Hall, for even if the investigator is willing to 
work there, it usually means a serious sacrifice on his part of 
opportunity for rest and recreation through a change of scenes. 
The Franklin Field Station, it is hoped, will result in the saving 
of considerable time to certain investigators, since there it should 
be possible to continue work uninterruptedly throughout the 
summer, while at the same time the investigator may profit by 
the change from city to country and the chance to combine 
experimental and naturalistic studies in animal behavior with 
the recreations of a mountainous country. 
It is by no means intended that all of the investigations con¬ 
ducted in the Harvard Laboratory shall be transferred to the 
Field Station. Instead, only a few should or can, to advantage, 
be so transferred. 
But of primary importance, as contrasted with its value as a 
place for transferred experimental investigations, is the oppor¬ 
tunity which the field station offers for naturalistic work. In 
and about the Cambridge Laboratory, favorable opportunities 
for training students to observe animals carefully, critically, 
and at the same time sympathetically, in their native habitats, 
are rare. And the writer has observed, in many otherwise 
admirable students of the biological sciences, a tendency toward 
the acquisition of a narrow minded attitude toward experi¬ 
mental observation, which blinds them to the value of nature- 
study. It is hoped that at Franklin something may be done 
for at least a few students of animal behavior to counteract 
this tendency and to train them to become enthusiastic and 
reliable naturalists as well as skilled experimentalists. 
There is no obvious reason why, at the Field Station, any one


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