Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine


Profiles in Science
   
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Letter from Francis J. Ryan to Joshua Lederberg Annotation pdf (585,019 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis J. Ryan to Joshua Lederberg
Description:
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
6 (585,019 Bytes)
Date:
1946-10-04 (October 4, 1946)
Creator:
Ryan, Francis J.
Recipient:
Lederberg, Joshua
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Elizabeth J. Ryan.
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence A
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 53
Unique Identifier:
BBAFFY
Accession Number:
4
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1925-1947
Folder: Ryan, Francis J.
Transcript:
10/4/46
Dear Josh,
I enjoyed reading your manuscript very much. Not only is it, as I have already told you, a very significant and nicely conceived piece of work but you have managed to present most of it in a very readable fashion. Congratulations on all accounts.
I have appended a few comments for your consideration and also have made a few marginal notes. I also asked Dave Perkins to look the manuscript over and his notes are also attached along with my comments on Perkin's comments. Marcus' comments are on the manuscript.
There are just two other points
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
which I would like to mention.
First, I know how you feel about acknowledgements. I once felt that way myself. Now I think they're somewhat silly and later on you may think the same. I wish that you would tone down the much appreciated, yet disapproved of, reference to me. If you must thank me in print why not simply say that you are indebted?
The second point is that your fame for this work has spread far and wide and this without any publication. Along with this fame has gone infamy. Your bad-boy behavior has spread from Massachusets [SIC] to California (I haven't heard from Maine.) Your reputation is
[END PAGE TWO]
[BEGIN PAGE THREE]
spread by many people, including some who have just returned to Europe, where they will certainly carry the same story, "He's a very bright fellow but he misbehaves."
He's overanxious to push himself forwards and he tramples over people. Because this makes a spectacular story, and less so because you already have two papers in press (CSHS and Nature), your name is inseparable from recombination of genes in bacteria. Ed has never been mentioned to me in this connection although he is junior author on all three papers. Yet this work would have been next to impossible to perform without his contributions. And it certainly is a contribution
[END PAGE THREE]
[BEGIN PAGE FOUR]
from his laboratory. Yet that will be hard to see in view of the notoriety attached to your name. I am not trying to belittle your contributions in though or in laboratory work but I do want to suggest that you reverse the order of names on this, the third paper.
It is not a matter of great importance to you than to Ed, despite his security. As you approach 30 and begin to mellow you will probably chuckle at the rambunctious activities of your early 20's. But try to be sure you can mellow if you want. Don't seem to ride over Ed.
I keep thinking of Shapiro
[END PAGE FOUR]
[BEGIN PAGE FIVE]
who was another bright young fellow. But he has reacted to a lot of injustice in such a way that as to accelerate the development of animosity and the ruin of his career.
And don't forget that in sheltering you Ed takes buffets[?] from alot of people. When some of these are close to him they are especially hard. I know.
Lillian tells me the needles were sent early last week. If they haven't arrived let me know immediately and I'll bring some along on Sat the 12th when we hope to pay New Haven a visit. We've decided to hold
[END PAGE FIVE]
[BEGIN PAGE SIX]
off on all but the most preliminary work on E. coli until Y10 arrives. Our method will be more rigorously demonstrated valid if such things as the possibility of selection etc are examined in that strain and not inferred from work on 679-680 Do you think you could have it ready by the 12th?
Regards to all,
Sincerely,
Francis
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2017-05-24
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples

Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW: Tatum;  my reputation as bad boy; "trampling"

   [what exactly did I do?]

jl 1/30/99