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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Nils Roll-Hansen Annotation pdf (116,087 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Nils Roll-Hansen
Description:
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (116,087 Bytes)
Date:
1981-03-20 (March 20, 1981)
Creator:
Lederberg, Joshua
Recipient:
Roll-Hansen, Nils
Rights:
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence E
Box Number: 35
Folder Number: 48
Unique Identifier:
BBAQPJ
Accession Number:
81
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1978-1984
Folder: Mendel
Transcript:
Dr Roll-Hansen
[stamped, MAR 20 1981]
Mendel . . . .
Thank you for your interesting and generous respon[letters obscured in original] including [?] the reprints.
I also appreciat [words cut off on right side of page for three lines of text]
Morgan's adhere
states" interpr
segregation.
Remarkably a rather similar ideology impeded the development of bacterial genetics -- cf. Hinshelwood's "Chemical Kinetics of the Bacterial Cell"; and I believe even Max Delbruck never quite escaped entrancement by such alluring physics-chemical abstract models.
Meanwhile, Alexander Weinstein has located the passage I was seeking (see encl.) I do now know what would substantiate Iltis' assertion: Nageli's papers would be a reasonable place to look; but I do not know what is extant.
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
Pasteur
May I ask your attention to another matter. For some time I have been fascinated by the degree to which Darwin and Pasteur ignored each other. I enclose the only mutual references I have been able to find.
As I note you have specialized in Pasteur, I wonder if you can add to this?
An even more fundamental issue: can you comment on Pasteur's position in re monomorphism as enunciated by Cohn and Koch? How did personal and national rivalry influence the development of scientific doctrine in this field?
I am sure you will understand my preoccupation with these questions.
Sincerely,
Joshua Lederberg
[END PAGE TWO]
[BEGIN PAGE THREE]
P.S. -- Reductionism
To answer Mays 1969: much of the development of molecular and microbial genetics after 1944 surely must be called reductionist:
e.g. the successful search for genetic recombination in bacteria
the solution theory of adaptation (drug resistance)
the elective theory of antibody formation
the mechanisms of DNA replication (Kornberg).
Not so are the discovery of the role of DNA in genetic transformation (Griffith -- Avery)
Transduction in bacteria
[END PAGE THREE]
[BEGIN PAGE FOUR]
nor the vast majority of (recent) practical developments in pharmacology and medicine. (sic!)
With respect to the latter, I believe we are on the point of a new cycle of rational reductive applications, symbolized by the rising "DNA engineering" technologies.
PRISM
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2007-01-11
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Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW: T.H.  Morgan, history of genetics; Alexander Weinstein; Mendel;
Nageli; Delnruck; Alternative states models as alternative to segregation;
Darwin and Pasteur; Cohn, Koch;

jl 12/23/99