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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Robert C. Olby to Joshua Lederberg pdf (64,199 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Robert C. Olby to Joshua Lederberg
Number of Image Pages:
1 (64,199 Bytes)
1972-11-08 (November 8, 1972)
Olby, Robert C.
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Robert C. Olby.
Exhibit Categories:
Shifting Focus: Early Work on Bacterial Transformation, 1928-1940
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Box Number: 4
Folder Number: 7
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Commentary on Avery and His Work, 1944-2005
SubSeries: Chronological
Folder: 1969-1974
8th, November, 1972
Dear Professor Lederberg,
Thank you for your letter and helpful enclosures. I shall attempt to remold parts of my chapter in the light of your comments. I admit it would be clearer if I gave the phenomenological motivation along the lines you suggest, based on the 1928 paper. On the other hand it seemed to me quite clear, when those earlier Reports were taken into consideration that Griffith, however cautious he may have been to friends after 1928, did have a Lamarckian scheme of intraspecific variation in his mind, and was not surprised by the discovery of the transformation of types. Do not the pages I have quoted from those early reports and the telling passage from the 1928 paper (see my p. 15 top) admit of no other construction ?
You will not find it difficult to interest me in the subjects you mention in your last paragraph, though you will find my knowledge scrappy. What has intrigued me very much recently has been the story of early work on bacterial inhibition and on antibacterial substances given by Florey in that great book on penicillin.
My plans for January are still somewhat vague, as I still await a decision from the Wellcome Trust on travel funds within the States, but I expect to come out West during the second week of January.
I hope you will excuse my leaving answering the questions in your letter until then.
Yours sincerely
Robert Olby
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