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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from George W. Beadle to Joshua Lederberg Annotation pdf (252,078 Bytes) trs (4,349 Bytes)
Letter from George W. Beadle to Joshua Lederberg
Transcript provided by Joshua Lederberg.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
5 (252,078 Bytes)
1958-12-30 (December 30, 1958)
Beadle, George W.
Lederberg, Joshua
Courtesy of Joshua Lederberg.
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Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence C
Original File Name:
/j/X/beadle.581230 (4,349 Bytes)
Box Number: 9
Folder Number: 19
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1953-1960
Folder: Beadle, George W.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples

Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW:  transcript:
:f /j/X/beadle.581230			cf: BBAPCR

Letter from George W. Beadle

                                    77 Old High Street
                                    Headington Oxford

                                    December 30, 1958

Dear Josh:

     Thanks for your notes and Charley's letter.  I enclose the
counterpart to you.  As you see, he didn't say that to all the
boys.  Seriously, I hope you make what I really believe to be
the proper interpretation - namely, that I believed only that
your award might reasonably have been deferred a bit.  I have,
I must confess, run into this feeling among a very few others
and I also had heard it expressed in connection with the Academy[NAS].
I should add that I do not share this feeling in the least.  I
believe recognition should be given when merited and that age
should not be taken into account.  I have argued strongly for
this view in the Academy and will continue to do so.  You have
amply demonstrated your scientific talents and I'm sure this
is widely recognized among those who know your work -- including
Charley.  Incidentally, as you may now know, [Dean] Berry and [B.D.] Davis
at Harvard, plugged hard for the three of us for the N.P. (Nobel
Prize).  I should add that I fully intended to bring up the Rick
business again at Stockholm because after our first quick exchange
on the subject I realized I had in my acknowledgment, kidded Charley
about his being so absent minded - I of course had assumed the
letters were the same  - like the one I got addressed to you.  But
as you know there just wasn't time for such discussion.  I've had,
just recently, a little note from Charley and although he was
obviously embarrassed, I do not think he will let the affair
ruin his life.

   I'm sure if we could really penetrate the minds of all our
friends, colleagues and fellow geneticists we'd all find some
with doubts about our deserving the award.  I know I can name
several in my own case.  And in fact, I can agree they could make
a pretty case.  I could never help them with their arguments,
for I know myself well enough to know that any success I've had
was more the results of an especially favorable series of 
circumstances than any inborn special competence.

    I'm pretty much convinced that all this sort of soul searching
serves no good purpose and I resolved to forget it and enjoy life
until your note triggered me off.

    Re Francis R. Yes, I feel it's too bad for US-Japanese relations
that he was not selected. [as science attache, Tokyo embassy]
I know he wanted to go and I wrote a long
letter in favor of his appointment to Wally Brode, giving him all
the reasons why I thought F. was the logical person for the post.
Wally said, in acknowledging my letter, that he was glad to have
this information but that the final appointment would most likely
be Jeff Wyman because he had already served in a similar capacity
(in France?) and was therefore first in line for the post in Japan.
The implication -- or hope on my part, I guess - was that Francis
would be next in line.  But the appointment was not Jeff I
understand, so your hypothesis - that Francis may be a bit too
forthright for State -- may be right.  If so, all I can say is it's
a damned shame.  I know F.R. would win to our side very influential
scientists in Japan who under other circumstances may be pretty
unsympathetic to the U.S.  Incidentally, I also urged Chuck 
Durham in AEC to make use of Francis's talents and interest in
Japan - in connection with the ABBC [sic. Atomic Bomb Casuaty Commission]
program.  Nothing seems to have come of that either.

     Hope the moving plans are working out well.  I know it's a
tiring job and a disrupting one.

     Your card [*] from Stockholm was a marvelous idea.  When Muriel
and I got it we said in unison "Why couldn't we have been smart
enough to think of such a fine solution?"  I used up Oxford's
total supply of air letters and wrote so many notes by hand that
I'm sure many of them ended up in fatigue induced gibberish.

                            Best to all,


[* picture postcard, Stadthuset, thanks for felicitations]

[Charley: is Charles Rick, UC/Davis]    see BBALPV

[Evidently Rick's letter to Beadle was mis-sent to me.];

ancillary papers may be in December 1958, Nobel Fest calendar folders

jl 11/1/02