by A. Trevor Willis, M.D., B.S. (Melb.), Ph.D. (Leeds), M.C.Path., M.C.P.A., Reader in Microbiology, Monash University, formerly Lecturer in Bacteriology, University of Leeds. xiv + 234 pages, illustrated, second edition. Butterworth Inc., Washington. 1965. $8.50
The ninth edition of this well known and thoroughly useful manual is a puzzling mixture of conservatism and up-to-dateness, which in many instances brings into relief the bad points of each quality.
The conservatism is painfully in evidence in the matter of bacteriological and zoological nomenclature. Whether we physicians wish it or no, science cannot wait for us to settle our prejudices and come out for a system of naming bacteria that will eventuate in simplifying this vexed subject. The nomenclature adopted by the Society of American Bacteriologists is now “creeping into current usage” and if Dr. Manson-Bahr had cast the influence of this authoritative manual behind it, he would have done a constructive piece of work.
In regard to the use of zoological names, the point of view of those authors who have a personally preferred nomenclature and who will not throw the onus upon the International Commission whose business it is to decide upon the right name for each unit of animal life, is a difficult one to understand.