John Flynn joined the editorial staff of Biological Abstracts as an assistant editor on August 1, 1928, the year before he received his doctorate in botany from Cornell University. He continued in this capacity until September, 1937, when the board of trustees appointed him acting editor, with the somewhat gruesome assignment of completing the editing, and arranging for the publication of the 1937 volume of Biological Abstracts, as well as for the several annual indexes that were still in arrears—and then for liquidating the whole enterprise once and for all, with the support of a terminal grant of $40,000 from The Rockefeller Foundation given for these mortuary purposes. Considering the dismaying conditions of his assignment, especially after nearly ten years of association with Biological Abstracts, Dr. Flynn turned out to be an authentic hero, undoubtedly reflecting the Irish kings in his heritage; brought in, as he was, to negotiate a total surrender, he turned the tables, and, with unexpected and unanticipated reinforcements, he won the day. Under his administration, with the inspired help of the Avery committee and a new and forward-looking board of trustees, as well as his own innovative ideas, bulldog tenacity, and total dedication, Flynn not only kept Biological Abstracts alive, but, through the most rigorous economies, he brought about a long overdue reversal in its basic concept.
KeywordsExecutive Committee Rockefeller Foundation Assistant Editor Cereal Chemist Editorial Staff
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