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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Sewall Wright to Joshua Lederberg pdf (40,867 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Sewall Wright to Joshua Lederberg
Number of Image Pages:
1 (40,867 Bytes)
1973-09-19 (September 19, 1973)
Wright, Sewall
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of the University of Wisconsin.
Exhibit Category:
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Metadata Record When Does Information Become Knowledge? (January 14, 1972) pdf (906,706 Bytes) ocr (29,170 Bytes)
Metadata Record Reply to H. V. Wyatt (September 22, 1972) pdf (199,303 Bytes) ocr (5,928 Bytes)
Metadata Record Avery in Retrospect (September 28, 1972) pdf (282,754 Bytes) ocr (11,128 Bytes)
Metadata Record Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Robert C. Olby (October 11, 1972) pdf (207,385 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Avery in Retrospect (December 29, 1972) pdf (116,015 Bytes) ocr (4,657 Bytes)
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
SubSeries: Inquiries on Avery
Folder: Lederberg Inquiries, 1962, 1972-1978
September 19, 1973
Dear Josh:
I was glad to see your refutation of Wyatt's absurd statement that Avery's work was ignored by geneticists for a decade. I did not see Wyatt's paper but have seen the same statement elsewhere.
I referred to Avery's results not only in the 1945 paper which you cite, but also in my introductory remarks (published in Amer. Nat. 79, 289-303, 1945) for a symposium of the American Society of Zoology in September, 1944, which I had organized as President.
As well as I can remember, I first learned about it at Princeton in talking with Stanley. Dr. Opie, Little and I had been asked by Gasser to pass on whether a certain project should be continued or not by the Rockefeller Institute.
I certainly discussed it at length in my course, "Physiological Genetics," at Chicago that year and stressed it from then on. Jim Watson audited it a few years later as an undergraduate. I doubt whether there was a lag of more than one or two years after 1944 before it was common knowledge among geneticists in general. Some lag is not surprising in view of the difference in field. Not many geneticists read the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
With best regards,
Sewall Wright
Emeritus Professor of Genetics
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