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The Michael Heidelberger Papers

Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Joshua Lederberg pdf (61,774 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Joshua Lederberg
During World War II, a number of biologists and chemists, including Heidelberger, had worked on secret government and military research projects intended to develop vaccines and antidotes against microorganisms and toxins that were potential biological and chemical warfare agents, such as anthrax and, in Heidelberger's case, ricin. In order to develop such vaccines and antidotes, these scientists first had to purify the substances under study, thereby making them more potent. Several of the scientists involved, including Luria and Heidelberger, were troubled by this blurring between offensive and defensive biological and chemical weapons research. After the war, they campaigned for a ban on secret research of this kind.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (61,774 Bytes)
1947-02-24 (February 24, 1947)
Luria, Salvador E.
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Daniel D. Luria.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War II
Biological Warfare
Chemical Warfare
Exhibit Category:
Antigens and Antibodies: Heidelberger and The Rise of Quantitative Immunochemistry, 1928-1954
Metadata Record Letter from Michael Heidelberger to Salvador E. Luria (February 27, 1947) pdf (63,421 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 4
Folder Number: 1
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Folder: MS C 245 (first finding aid)
Dear Dr. Heidelberger,
A group of local bacteriologists here, after discussing the implications of the secret work on bacteriological warfare, have felt that it would be useful to make the profession and the public more aware of the dangers involved. We thought the best way, at least to begin with, might be to submit a resolution to the next meeting of the S.A.B. I am enclosing a tentative draft, on which we would like to have your comments and suggestions, hoping you will be willing to sign then an accompanying letter to a larger group that will be asked to act as sponsors of the resolution. As co-drafters, we are also contacting Dr. VanNiel, Dr. Stanley, Dr. Barnett Cohen, and a few others.
Let me take the occasion to thank you for your suggestion to write to the Rockefeller Found. re a grant from the cytology congress, where I am scheduled to give a paper on my current work on genetic recombination of lethal mutations in phage--
Best regards,
SE Luria
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