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The Marshall W. Nirenberg Papers

Letter from Frank Press, National Academy of Sciences to Marshall W. Nirenberg pdf (120,531 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Frank Press, National Academy of Sciences to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences, provides an update on the release from exile of Soviet scientist Andrei Sakharov and remains hopeful that formal relations with the Soviet Academy are possible. Press notes that in press interviews Sakharov "attributed his release from exile to the role of Western academies," making Sakharov's return to Moscow and his scientific work a "reason for rejoicing."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (120,531 Bytes)
1987-01-06 (January 6, 1987)
Press, Frank
National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Reproduced with permission of Frank Press.
Exhibit Category:
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
Box Number: 16
Folder Number: 19
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Series III: Laboratory Administration, [1959]-1993
SubSeries: Daily Books, 1968-1996
Folder: #328 - #360, 1986 May-1987 Aug
January 6, 1987
Members of the Academy
Dear Colleagues:
Two weeks ago I informed Academician Guri Marchuk, the new president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, of our delight at the good news that our foreign associate, Academician Andrei Sakharov, and his wife, Dr. Elena Bonner, were being permitted to return to Moscow and that Sakharov would resume his scientific work. (As you may have read in the press reports, President Marchuk visited Sakharov in Gorky.) Academician Yevgeny P. Velikhov, a vice president of the Soviet academy and one with whom I have personally discussed the situation of Sakharov and his wife, was with Vladimir F. Petrovsky, a deputy foreign minister, when the official announcement was made at a press conference. Dr. Velikhov was quoted as saying that he would welcome Academician Sakharov's return to active research at the academy's Institute of Physics. Dr. Sakharov has always retained his membership in the Soviet academy, although he was reportedly stripped of all other honors when sent into internal exile in Gorky in January 1980. Members of the academy in good standing are entitled to a number of privileges, including special medical care, which the Sakharovs deserve.
Dr. Bonner stressed on several occasions last spring, when she was a guest at the NAS Annual Meeting, that our appeals in Dr. Sakharov's behalf should continue to focus on his wish to return to Moscow and to resume his scientific work. In his press interviews, Dr. Sakharov attributed his release from exile to the role of Western academies. It is both gratifying and heartening, therefore, to know that our many efforts, about which I have written you earlier, have been rewarded, and that this wish has been fulfilled. I am hopeful that the decision to reestablish formal relations with the Soviet academy and to use these renewed channels of communication to encourage Soviet scientific leaders to address human rights concerns will continue to show results. Time will tell.
I know that along with the numerous and repeated appeals, both public and private, that were made by the officers of this Academy, many individual members have steadfastly continued their own efforts in Dr. Sakharov's behalf. The leaders of Western governments have also played an important role. Thus, I know that Dr. Sakharov's long-awaited return to Moscow and his scientific work gives us all reason for rejoicing.
Yours sincerely,
Frank Press
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