The Fan Memorial Institute of Biology Endowment Fund
The major task of the Institute was to survey the flora and fauna of the northern China. Its departments of zoology and botany were directed by Ping Chi and H. H. Hu. Ping Chi, the first curator, after travelling up and down China for several years, resigned the position as the curator and devoted his full time in the Biology Laboratory of Science Society of China. His position was taken over by H. H. Hu. These two institutions had conducted almost the same research and the only difference was the scope of the research. The China Foundation also believed the location of the institutes in the north and the south was a good idea and the friendly cooperative relationships between the two institutes were appropriate.
Besides the Fan Memorial Institute of Biology, there are the Biology Laboratory of the Science Society of China and The Institute of Plants and Forestry, Chung Shan University in Canton. The three institutes all received our grants. Because the curators of the three have long-term friendly relationships, their works are cooperative without duplication. Since the locations of the three institutes are in the northern, western and central China and there were abundant species in the vast territory of China, the distribution is seamless .
Since the major task of the Institute was to “follow the footsteps of the National Geological Survey to survey the taxonomy of the flora and fauna in China”, its survey areas spread widely north to Mongolia, south to Hainan Island, and to Tibet and Sichuan in northwest and southwest China. They found many new species. Their reports were published in the Bulletins of the Fan Memorial Institute of Biology, the Chinese Plants Illustrated and Floral Special Report, etc.
Fan Yuan-Lien, also called Fan Ching-Sen, was born in Hsiang-yin, Hunan Province. In the early year, he studied biology in Japan. When he returned to China, he was appointed as the Deputy Administrator of the Tsing-Hua School. Later on, he was appointed Minister of the Ministry of Education and President of the National Normal University, Peking. He was the first Director and a trustee of the China Foundation. He was also a member of Hsiang Chih Hsueh Hui (Hsiang Chih Research Society). He enjoyed research in natural science at his leisure hours. When he died in December, 1927, he left a number of books and preserved plants in his home. In order to memorize him as the promoter of biology, his friends provided monies from the Hsiang Chih Research Society in the amount of CN$150,000 to be entrusted to the China Foundation for setting up Fan Memorial Institute of Biology. The Board of the China Foundation decided at the 4th Annual Meeting in June, 1928 to accept the proposal, and on October 1st established the Institute by appointing Ping Chih as the director of the Institute with six researchers such as H. H. Hu and Shou Cheng-Huan.