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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Alfred E. Cohn to Franklin McLean, University of Chicago Press Annotation pdf (88,919 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Alfred E. Cohn to Franklin McLean, University of Chicago Press
In this letter, Cohn briefly outlined to his publisher the involvement of Avery in reading portions of his manuscript, "Burden of Diseases."
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (88,919 Bytes)
1948-03-23 (March 23, 1948)
Cohn, Alfred E.
McLean, Franklin
[University of Chicago Press]
Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center. Alfred E. Cohn Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Exhibit Category:
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Personal and Biographical, 1931-2000
Folder: Additional Materials Relating to O.T. Avery, 1931-1948, 1960-1972, 1987-1999
March 23, 1948
Dear Mac,
There are also other reasons for writing to you but the object of this letter is to speak about our work, Miss Lingg's and mine, on "The Burden of Diseases."
We have put another year and a half of work in on the book. We are at the stage now of notes, references and captions. I think it is better, perhaps much better, than it was. Avery has read the infectious disease aspects. He tells me he thinks it is correct. He also said that he knows nothing about "statistics" but he had no idea this kind of interpretation of the bare census facts was possible. He is much interested. He is now reading it a second time. Naturally, we are very much bucked up.
I hope the University of Chicago Press is still interested in publishing the book. You may prefer not to be consulted or concerned with the negotiations but would prefer my sending the manuscript directly to Mr. Hemans. In any case, is there something that can be done to avoid the misunderstandings and delays which occurred when he had it before? Although we think the text is as it should be, there is no point at which we would not welcome discussion.
The text is ready for the printer. The curves are designed for a book 9" x 12". All of them either fit or can be reduced to these dimensions. There are left only four colored charts, three to be folded and put in a pocket at the back of the book. The number is reduced from 72 charts to approximately 35. If the material contained in the figures meets with approval, the charts must naturally be redrawn for printing. We did not wish to go to this expense until it is certain that the book is to be published. The material is now as we wish It to appear. Owing to the H C of L we cannot make a contribution toward the cost of manufacture.
Finally, in the same way that I have asked Avery about the manuscript on infectious diseases, I have been trying to think whom to consult about the chronic ones. I care what you think, but I cannot put my fingers on anybody else whose judgment I respect. Will you read it again? Avery may be correct - we have hit not so much on a new way of thinking but on a new way of presenting this material. This is only another way of saying that it is new and perhaps, we hope certainly, valuable.
Ever your,
Alfred E Cohn, M D
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Annotation by Joshua Lederberg:
KW:  Burden of Disease project;

jl 12/27/99