Letter from Dennis Flanagan, Scientific American to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Flanagan thanks Nirenberg for an article written in 1963 and asks him to write a short book on the genetic code for Scientific
American. He suggests there is a need for a more extended account of an area in which Nirenberg's work has played a significant
part. Details for publication are included.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (133,257 Bytes)
1972-05-05 (May 5, 1972)
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Reproduced with permission of Dennis Flanagan.
Public Reactions to the Genetic Code, 1961-1968
Letter from Marshall W. Nirenberg to Dennis Flanagan, Scientific American (June 26, 1972)
May 5, 1972
Dear Dr. Nirenberg:
We have pleasant memories of the article you were kind enough to write for us in 1963, and we should now like to make another
We here at Scientific American have always been somewhat frustrated by the fact that the articles we publish do not have more
of a life beyond their initial creation. It is true that large numbers of reprints are distributed, but we fell that even
more is needed. It has lately seemed to us that a logical extension of each of the major articles we publish would be a small
illustrated book of perhaps 50,000 words (roughly 100 pages).
Such a book could be written at the level of a Scientific American article. It could of course take advantage of the fact
that some of the illustrations had already been prepared for the magazine. Other illustrations could of course be added.
The book would be published by our partners, W. H. Freeman and Company of San Francisco. One of the editors at Scientific
American, however, would work with the author on the production of the book and its illustrations. Our colleagues at the Freeman
company estimate that a book of this kind would have a minimum first edition of 5,000 cloth-bound copies and 7,500 paper-bound
copies. These editions would probably be priced respectively at $6 and $3. The usual royalty arrangements would obtain.
Would you consider writing such a book that might simply be titled "The Genetic Code"? If so, one of us would welcome
an opportunity to call on you and discuss that matter further. It would be a privilege for Scientific American and the Freeman
company to present a more extended account of this area in which your own work has played such a significant part. I look
forward to hearing from you at your convenience.