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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Mary I. ("Polly") Bunting Annotation pdf (137,774 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Mary I. ("Polly") Bunting
Item is handwritten. Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (137,774 Bytes)
1977-09-01 (September 1, 1977)
Lederberg, Joshua
Bunting, Mary I. ("Polly")
Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center. Edward L. Tatum Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Lederberg Grouping: Published Scientific Article
Metadata Record Letter from Mary I. ("Polly") Bunting to Joshua Lederberg (August 29, 1977) pdf (132,114 Bytes)
Metadata Record Letter from Mary I. ("Polly") Bunting to Joshua Lederberg (October 23, 1977) pdf (184,504 Bytes) ocr (4,336 Bytes)
Metadata Record Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Mary I. ("Polly") Bunting (November 2, 1977) pdf (73,152 Bytes) ocr (1,804 Bytes)
Metadata Record [Draft of a memoir on Edward L. Tatum for Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences] (March 4, 1977) pdf (1,018,978 Bytes) ocr (25,563 Bytes)
Box Number: 86
Folder Number: 71
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Writings
SubSeries: Published Scientific Articles
Folder: P268: "Edward Lawrie Tatum, 1909-1975" (1990)
[stamped, SEP 1 77]
Dear Polly
Thank you for your forthright and candid answer, in your letter of August 29, to my query about Ed Tatum.
What you had to say was quite a load on my conscience -- not about my debt to Ed which I have always acknowledged cheerfully -- but that I was viewed as "going out of my way to antagonize." You could not have written that without recalling some very personal affront on my part; and if there is any way to apologize even now I hope I may still try.
What I knew and felt throughout that time, for my own part, was that Ed was a rare person for not rejecting me as a human being at that time -- and that sympathy was an invaluable part of the developmental process he nurtured.
I enjoyed your characterization of Ed's "one tube" experiments, and will try to inject it into the next draft of the memoir. I am still trying to clear up some details of the discovery of Neurospora, trying to find some documentation to fill out Beadle's patchy and sometimes dogmatic recollections. I have to spend a couple of days at the Rockefeller Archives in N.Y. June Tatum has also been very helpful.
But even getting a reliable fix on just when they actually started experiments on Neurospora has proven to be surprisingly difficult. For example, Bill MacElroy is sure he saw it at Stanford in the summer of 1940. Every other datum points to February 1941. It won't be much of a historical statement if I can't clear that up!
One final note: yes, some parts of my "civilisation" [sic] have been very slow to start. But this got a real fillip about 3 years ago in the person of my daughter Anne. It's never too late to continue one's education.
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Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW:  I query Plly aboiut what she meant about my "going out of my way 
to antagonize [of course that's a metaphor];  what personal
affront did I offer her?  :: Ed's one-tube experiments;
June Tatum helpful;  Annie and my education;

jl  11/26/00